Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 August 2019 Matthew 6:9.

Matthew 6:9.    ​After this manner pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
 

‘I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ (Ps.122:1) Oh my fellow believers in Christ, that’s exactly the invitation I’m offering us this Sunday morning, the Lord’s Day! Yes, it is good and right that we venture into His house on His day to acknowledge His sovereignty, holiness, grace, compassion and mercy towards us, miserable sinning saints that we are. In fellowship with other believers, we are expected to lift our voices in songs of praise and thanksgiving and receive encouragement from listening to His holy Word. 

And since there is strength in numbers, it means when we gather together, we are a powerful group, able to move mountains with our faith, but we also spread the joy of the Lord amongst each other, encouraging each other as needed. So please don’t refuse this invitation today, because you never know what wondrous blessings or opportunities the Lord has in store for you in His sanctuary today. 

And even if there is nothing special, you leave there like a preening peacock, (smile) full of confidence and joy in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And believe me nothing is better than that in this cruel and oppressive world! Glory to the Most High God Jehovah! Ah mih people, like the ole fella getting excited…And why not eh, since Christ is the greatest thing to ever happen to mankind. And if I have to tell you that, then something wrong with yuh faith yes! (smile)

Anyway, putting all of that aside, let’s begin the proceedings with praise and worship. And since we sang the second most popular Bible scripture last week; the Lord is My shepherd, I figured it’s only right to sing the most popular one today, The Lord’s Prayer. So let’s get to it nuh, in strong, sweet, sincere and solemn harmony, so that the Father has no choice but to look down on us with favour. 

‘Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever…for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, short but sweet! And we all know it as the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples. Luke describes the scene thus: ‘And it came to pass, that as he (Jesus) was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.’ (Luke 11:1) And the scholars offer this footnote: ‘11:1. Religious communities of the time customarily had their own distinctive prayers. Perhaps the disciples wanted theirs.’ 

And we know what Jesus told them: ‘After this manner pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.’ And He went on to tell them the awesome, far-reaching words that we just sang. It’s amazing how it seems to cover all that our earthly life calls for. But if it comes from Jesus, what else would we expect eh? 

Now the scholars offer some interesting explanations on the prayer, and I’m going to share them. Let’s hope we have enough space. (smile) ‘6:9. The beginning phrase, Our Father, is completely uncommon to the prayers of the Old Testament. The two major elements of the prayer are adoration and petition. Hallowed be thy name addresses the attention of the prayer toward God and reverence for His name and His person. Hallowed (Gr. hagiazo) means to be held in reverence and holy awe.’ 

‘6:10. The phrase Thy kingdom come refers to the eschatological (study of end times) nature of this prayer. Notice that the kingdom is to be prayed for, implying that it has not yet arrived. The kingdom represents the full and effective reign of God through the mediatorial office of the Messiah. The recognition of Thy will be done emphasizes the idea that prayer is to bring about the conformity of the will of the believer to the will of God. Prayer is an act of spiritual expression that brings us into conformity to the very nature and purpose of God.’ 

‘6:11. The section of petitions begins with the request to give us this day our daily bread. Bread (Gr. artos) may be applied to the provision of food in general. The term ‘daily’ (Gr. epiousios) denotes “indispensable.” The concept of daily provision of bread fits perfectly with the Old Testament example of the daily provision of manna to the Israelites while they were wandering in the wilderness. (Ex.16:14-15).’ 

‘6:12. Forgive us our trespasses refers to sins, which are our moral and spiritual debts to God’s righteousness. The request for forgiveness of sin is made here by the believer. In order to be saved one need not necessarily name all his sins, but he must confess that he is a sinner.’ ‘6:13-15. Lead us not into temptation is a plea for the providential help of God in our daily confrontation with the temptation of sin. God does not tempt us to do evil, but we are tempted by our own lusts (James 1:13-14). 

However, God does test us in order to give us the opportunity to prove our faithfulness to Him. He never desires to lead us into evil itself. Therefore if we resist the Devil, we are promised that he will flee from us. The prayer closes with a doxology of praise (expression of praise to God): For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen, which is a liturgical (pattern for worship) ending similar to 1 Chronicles 29:11) Though omitted in some manuscripts, these words constitute a fitting and climactic affirmation of faith.’  

And so it does my fellow believers! I also hope that those explanations give you a better understanding of what our most beloved prayer is all about. I certainly learned a lot from them. And neither did it take up as much space as I expected. (smile) So let’s get ourselves to church sometime today nuh and enjoy fellowship with other believers in the holy presence of Almighty God! That’s my prayer and wish for all of us today! Much LOVE!

…in humble prayer…praise ought always…to come before petition…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 June 2016 Psalm 40:4

  Psalm 40:4.   Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

Well my beautiful fellow believers in Jesus Christ, it’s Sunday, the Lord’s Day, a day that’s supposed to be filled with even more praise and worship than usual!  So let’s begin the proceedings by exuding praise in the form of the hymn we all know and LOVE: ‘My Hope is Built on Nothing Less.’ 

Let’s raise our loud and harmonious voices to heaven with sincere, heartfelt praise: ‘My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.  (Refrain: On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.) 

When darkness veils his lovely face, I rest on his unchanging grace; in every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil. [Refrain] His oath, his covenant, his blood, support me in the whelming flood; when all around my soul gives way, he then is all my hope and stay. [Refrain] 

When he shall come with trumpet sound, O may I then in him be found, dressed in his righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne. [Refrain] On Christ, the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.’ 

And that my people is the gospel truth of all gospel truths! (smile) But seriously though, if you’re not standing on the solid rock that’s our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, then sadly and unfortunately you’re standing on sinking sand; sand that will sink and or wash away at the slightest rain or earth tremor! 

The only thing that can withstand the forces of man and nature is the rock that’s Christ! So please friends, let’s err on the side of caution and wisdom and make sure that we’re all standing on that solid rock that’s Christ nuh, so our foundation will be immovable. 

Now let’s check out this ‘Trini Quote of De Day,’ from mih Trini friend. ‘If yuh don’t pay de worker, he will pay himself.’ A wise caution to someone who has hired/planning to hire a worker/s to pay an honest wage; if not, the worker/s may take their just payment or even more. Have a great day, Watch your thoughts: They become words Watch your words:  They become actions Watch your actions: They become habits Watch your habits: They become character.’ 

Yes mih breddren, more wisdom and indisputable truth! And don’t get too comfortable, thinking that you’ve heard all the wisdom and truth for the day, because you haven’t. (smile) Listen to our Bit and learn. ‘Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.’ 

Wow mih people, can you handle so much truth and wisdom in one sitting? Of course you can, because you’re Christians, true believers in Jesus Christ, and with Him supporting us, we can handle anything! 

And for those of you who read ‘Our Daily Bread Devotional,’ you’ll realize that yesterday’s devotion sparked today’s Bit; the same psalm they read from, and the same hymn they noted. But the Bit’s different, as you can see. (smile) And to further prove it, let’s delve into some other scriptures that corroborate our Bit. 

Hear these words of wisdom and warning from Psalm 2 – Why do the heathen rage. ‘Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son (an act of homage and submission), lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.’ (Ps.2:10-12)  

Oh friends, what more can I say to that eh? Nothing really, except to add that the writing of that Psalm is attributed to Bruh David in Acts 4:25.  Now you know. (smile) 

And if you don’t believe Bruh David, then listen to the sons of Korah from Psalm 84 – Blessed are they that dwell in thy house. ‘For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.’ (Ps.84:11-12) 

Ah mih people, we’ve been mostly concerning ourselves with the part of the Bit that talks about trusting God, but there are also two other parts, not respecting the proud and haughty and arrogant, as well as one who indulges in lies. 

Cousin Sol puts it nicely in Proverbs, as three of the seven things that are abominations to our God: ‘A proud look (haughty eyes), a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood.’ (Prov.6:17) And that’s no lie! (smile) 

And to shed more light on God’s character, here’s what Moses says in the Book of Numbers. ‘God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good.’ (Num.23:17)  Yes friends, God is truth, therefore He cannot lie! But with mankind it’s certainly a different story.  

Now listen to Bruh Paul’s advice on the subject to the Colossians. ‘Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.’ (Col.3:9-10) 

And the scholars explain those verses thus: ‘3:9. Seeing means “since.” The old man is all that a person was prior to salvation: his worldly thinking and sinful acts. Since all this was renounced at conversion, one should lie not. Falsehood ill becomes a person claiming to be a disciple of Him who said, “I am the…truth.”  

‘3:10. The new man is the person one becomes after conversion: he possesses a new nature, values, aspirations, and a new life-style. This “new man” is constantly being renewed or developed until he attains a mature knowledge of the God who (re) created him. The more a believer knows and understands of God, the more he will be like God in character and conduct.’ 

And what better way to end than on that note my people. So please, until we meet again, God willing, please ponder all that we’ve said to day, and go safely to LOVE and serve the Lord! Much LOVE!

…one can’t become Christ-like…unless one knows about Christ…and then acts Christ-like…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 March 2016 Psalm 77:13‏‏‏‏‏

Psalm 77:13.   Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary (holiness): who is so great a God as our God?

Ah mih people, welcome to another beautiful and bountiful day on God’s great earth! 

And all God’s children declared a loud and proud ‘Glory Hallelujah! All thanks and praise to our great God who lavishes us with new blessings and mercies each and every day!’ 

Now that’s a truth from which we cannot escape friends; every day, the Lord turns over a new page in our lives, and asks that we do the same; not forget the past, but not to dwell on it, as so many of us tend to do. 

And today I want to share with us, I guess we’ll call it… a formula, for lack of a better word, although I don’t like to talk about formulas when dealing with God’s Word because it makes it sound so contrived. 

Anyway, this is a process that was shared in yesterday’s Our Daily Bread Devotional, so those of you who read it, will know what I’m talking about. But for those who don’t, the story goes that way back in 1895, a South African pastor, Andrew Murray, was visiting England when he was felled by excruciating pain from an old back injury. 

However, during his time of recuperation, his hostess mentioned a lady who was also experiencing a time of great trouble, and wanted to know if the pastor had any words of advice, of wise counsel to help her. It’s reputed that the pastor told his hostess: ‘Give her this paper which I have been writing for my own (encouragement). It may be that she will find it helpful. 

And this is what the pastor wrote. ‘In time of trouble say: First – God brought me here. It is by His will I am in this strait place. In that I will rest. Next – He will keep me in His LOVE and give me grace in this trial to behave as His child. 

Then – He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace He intends to bestow. Last – In His good time He can bring me out again – how and when He knows. I am here – by God’s appointment, in His keeping, under His training, for His time.’ 

Oh friends, what wonderful words of wisdom! For we are all subject to God’s plan for our lives. There’s no getting away from His mandate; we might run for a spell, but we can never hide. 

The best way to handle our adversity is to assume that everything has come from God, even though it might not have originated with Him, there is a reason He has allowed it to upset our lives; for testing, training, learning or to draw us closer to Him. 

The right thing is to come to Him in sincerity and ask for His guidance, what to do under the prevailing circumstances. Don’t go anxiously, angrily and petulantly asking, ‘Why Lord, why me, why this calamity at this time eh? You know I’m trying my best to serve you, but still these adversities happening to me. Why Lord, why eh?’  

For our questions as to why, we very seldom get an answer, although later on we usually are able to determine the why. It’s best just to go before Him with a humble and contrite heart and pour out all our hurt and pain without any aggressiveness. 

For once we let pride make us haughty and aggressive, He will just tune us out. So please let’s take all those points into account, because it will make our lives much easier in times of adversity. 

And now to our Bit. ‘Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary (holiness): who is so great a God as our God?’ 

Yes friends it’s the same one, because there is so much scripture to relate, scripture which teaches us about the greatness of our God! 

And as I said yesterday, we’ll never be able to truly surrender our lives to Him and truly appreciate His wonderful nature until we fully realize How magnificent, magnanimous and merciful He is. 

And we’ll just mention some instances of His great power, beginning with the fact that for all the forty years He allowed His chosen people to wander in the wilderness, until all those who came out of Egypt, except Joshua and Caleb died, neither their clothes nor shoes or sandals ever wore out. 

Just think about that nuh mih people; forty years with no need for new clothes or shoes. Some of you women would die! (smile) Only a rather powerful Deity could do that. 

Now listen to Cousin Sol after he had built the temple. ‘And the house which I build is (will be) great: for great is our God above all Gods. But who is able to build him a house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? Who am I then, that I should build him a house, save only to burn sacrifice before him?’ (2 Chr.2:5-6) 

Yeh friends, who will build our great God a house when the universe cannot contain Him? It’s just like our sanctuaries today. They are merely for our gathering to give Him thanks and praise, a place where we believe He can be more readily found. But in truth, our great God is everywhere, all the time. That’s why we call Him omniscient, omnipotent and omni-present! 

Now hear these words of the psalmist from Psalm 95 – A psalm of praise to the great God. ‘Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto him with psalms (songs). For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. 

In his hand (possession) are the deep places of the earth: the strength (heights) of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker’ (Ps.95:2-6) 

Yes my fellow believers, there’s nothing better for us to do than to bow down and worship our great God, for He is our Maker, and He made us to have fellowship with Him and be obedient to His will. 

So today let’s ponder and consider all that we have said nuh, plus all the times when the Lord has worked His wonders in our individual lives, for He certainly has done wonders in all of our lives. Then let’s acknowledge His glory and majesty, and give Him the praise and thanks that He so fittingly deserves. Now that’s true wisdom! Much LOVE!

…For He is our God…and we are the people of His pasture…and the sheep of His hand (under His care)… (Ps.95:7a)