Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 June 2020 Luke 18:1.

Luke 18:1.     ​And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).
 

One more morning, one more beautiful day! Another beautiful morning, has come our way!’ Yes friends, it is a beautiful, sunshiny, cool day in my neighbourhood! Glory to God! Oh yes, we ought to give Him much thanks and praise for every new day we see, especially if it’s a beautiful day, because that simply reinforces the promise we hold of His great and unconditional LOVE for us! And all God’s people declared (steups! – couldn’t wait until the end to misspell it – smile) a loud and grateful ‘Amen!’ 

And it also means that regardless of whatever situations or circumstances we face today, we will have His invaluable help to successfully solve them, as He has also promised never to leave nor forsake us! Wow! What a wonderful God we serve and worship my brethren! And before we go on, let me apologize for a mistake yesterday, re ‘inciteful explanation of the scholars.’ I don’t know if it was just a typo or a brain cramp, (smile) but I really meant ‘insightful,’ to give you greater insight and understanding into the matter – although, come to think about it now, rousing your spirits and stirring you up wasn’t a bad idea either. (smile) 

And if you think our God isn’t a responsive and considerate God, but also one with a sense of purpose and of humour, then listen to this testimony. Yesterday evening I was somewhat under the weather, and I couldn’t understand why I was feeling so lousy and my spirits were at a low ebb, so obviously I went to the Father seeking some understanding. And after communing for a while, you won’t believe the scripture He led me to. The opening verse of Luke 18. I couldn’t help but chuckle as I read it. ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ 

Then Jesus told them of the unjust judge who refused to listen to the hurt widow, but for her continually bothering him. (Luke 18:2-8) And then he followed that up with the tale of the Pharisee and publican (tax collector) who went into the temple to pray and how the hypocritical Pharisee beat his chest and extolled his religious efforts, while the publican would not even lift up his head but sincerely acknowledged his faults. (Luke 18:9-14) Now here are some ‘insightful’ explanations from the scholars on those passages, which I expect us to read. (smile) 

‘18:1-14. These verses teach on prayer, a prominent emphasis in Luke.’ ’18:1. To faint “means to lose heart.” Precisely when tempted to give up, men ought to be strong in their resolve to pray.’ ‘18:6-8. If an unjust judge acts in this way, how much more hope may God’s children place in God? However, the issue is not God’s faithfulness. It is whether believers will persist in supplication (vs.7), or whether their patience and perseverance will give out by the time Christ finally returns (vs. 8; see also vs.1).’ 

‘18:9-14. Here is a parable with special application to ancient or modern Pharisees. Jesus teaching method was generally direct rather than evasive.’ Yes friends, Jesus didn’t mince words, or pussy-foot around the problem. He came straight to the point. And for this next explanation, I think I should spell out the verse. As the Pharisee beats his chest, he declares: ‘I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.’ (Luke 18:12) And the scholars explain. ‘18:12. This is not an exaggeration, but an example of how Pharisees truly exceeded the letter of the law in their piety. But their pride and contempt for others reveals their state of heart.’ 

Oh friends, unfortunately that sad picture resembles so many of us believers today! We have this pious and righteous outlook, but our hearts are filled with envy and pride and contempt for our fellow man because we think we’re so holy and righteous, which is the wrong attitude for true believers to have. 

But coming back to our focal point; the perseverance of believers in prayer, Jesus also spoke of it earlier on when He tells about the friend coming to another friend’s door late at night looking for food to feed an unexpected late arriving guest. And the friend doesn’t get up and give him because he is a friend, ‘yet because of his importunity (perseverance) he will rise and give him as many ae he needeth.’ (Luke 11:8) 

And the scholars explain. ‘11:8. The word translated importunity probably describes the man’s persistence. Jesus is, then, giving an example of prevailing prayer. (see 18:1) The same word does lend itself to a second interpretation. It may refer, not to the petitioner, but to the one being petitioned. In this case the lesson would be that God, because of His desire to uphold His good name, grants the requests of those who seek Him, as a means of bearing witness to his own character and power.’ Yeh friends, however you look at it, once we accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour, persistent prayer ought to become the mainstay of our lives from then on! 

Several other Bible verses maintain that, many of them from Bruh Paul. For instance: ‘Rejoicing in hope, patient (persevering) in tribulation; continuing instant (steadfastly) in prayer.’ (Rom. 12:12) And hear this to the Ephesians: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph. 6:18) Yes mih people, even with God’s armour on, (Eph. 6:13-17) we still need to pray for us to achieve victory! And we’ll end with this well known verse to the Thessalonians: ‘Pray without ceasing!’ (1 Thess. 5:17) Short and to the point. 

And if there was ever a time for steadfast and sincere prayer, this time of pandemic and unrest is it! So let’s take all that we’ve read today to heart nuh and keep praying. But today’s last prayer is one of thanksgiving, thanksgiving for all the blessings the Lord has so generously poured out on us to do His earthly work. Let’s declare then, in strong voice with sincere hearts, our Thursday Blessings Prayer. 

‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

Now the onus is on us to go out and share those marvellous blessings with others, just as generously as God has shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…to pray…to pray…and yet still…to pray…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 October 2016 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.    God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in trouble.

So how do we begin this morning eh friends? I don’t have a clue as to how to engage your attention on this cloudy Friday morning in the fall of 2016, except to say: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the workweek is almost done! The weekend is here…

Give God the glory for that, because if the slave master had his way, we’d work seven days a week. Steups! The greedy fool! But thanks be to God for the weekend where we can do as we please… And am I going to live it up? You could bet yuh bottom dollar on that! Just watch me!’ 

Ah mih people, just like us eh? We go from one extreme to the other, from working too hard to partying too hard. But that only causes undue stress, burn out and eventually illness. What we need is some kind of balance in our lives, and our Friday Chant gives us direction on that. 

So let’s chant it nuh. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yes friends, rest, relaxation, fellowship and play are all necessary for us to live full and godly lives, but we need to mix them in the right proportion, don’t over do any of them. And if we find it difficult to get the right mix, the right balance, there is always our great God to turn to for advice and help. 

What does our Bit say: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in trouble.’ And that’s the living truth in a nutshell! 

Our Creator and Provider is always there for us. In times of trouble we only need to call upon Him with a sincere heart and He will guide us to victory. Remember, He promises never to leave nor forsake us, and He stands by His promises. 

And my brethren, we all have problems that we can’t solve, or handle, so there is no shame or disgrace in turning to the Lord for help. In fact, that’s what He wants us to do; come to Him for every purpose in life, be they big or small. The Lord wants to be an integral part of our lives, involved in EVERYTHING that we do. 

But foolishly, we only want to allow Him to become involved in certain things, the others we want to deal with ourselves. Unfortunately though precious people, the Lord doesn’t work like that. He wants to be involved in ALL or NOTHING AT ALL! 

So please, let’s check our lives and see if there are any areas that we are keeping God out of nuh, and then wisely invite Him to be a part of those areas. Yuh know that might be a part of our problem, why our lives aren’t going right at the moment; God isn’t totally involved in them. 

Now let’s check out some scripture which reinforces our Bit. Hear Moses as he exhorts Israel to obedience. ‘For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh (a God so near) unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call him for? 

And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgements so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?’ (Deut.4:7-8) 

And the answer to both questions friends is NONE! Truly, there is no other God who is so involved, who takes such great interest in the affairs of men! And that’s the way it ought to be. We don’t need a God who is far off, unconcerned about our trials and tribulations, but one who is around when we need help. 

Listen to Bruh David from Psalm 3 – A prayer of confidence in God – as he cries out in despair. ‘Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God.   Selah. But thou, O Lord, art a shield for (around) me; my glory, and the lifter up of (the one who lifts up) mine head. 

I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill (mountain).   Selah. I laid down and slept; I awaked: for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.’ (Ps.3:2-6) 

Oh what a glorious God we serve my people! That’s the kind of confidence He instills in us when we walk obedient to His will! So I really can’t understand why we refuse to walk steadfastly with Him. There is so much to be derived from a genuine walk with Christ, that it would take me a whole day to list them. (smile) 

Now let’s go home with these wonderful words of Bruh David echoing in our minds, souls, bodies and hearts. From Psalm 145 – the Lord is gracious – he faithfully proclaims. ‘The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy (gracious) in all his works. The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. 

He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. The Lord preserveth all them that LOVE him: but all the wicked will he destroy. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.’ (Ps.145:17-21) 

Wow! Oh my fellow believers right there we have the gospel truth in black and white! Please, please, I implore us, let’s take it heart nuh, so that our lives can be fulfilled! Let’s continually praise our wonderful God and bless His holy name at all times, for that is wisdom at its highest level! Much LOVE!

…praise Him, praise Him…Glory Hallelujah…He is LOVE…He is LOVE…