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 16 August 2019 John 1:5.

John 1:5.    ​And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended (apprehended) it not.
 

Welcome to a glorious Friday friends! And it’s all the Lord’s doing on our behalf! All praise and glory to His holy name! So please, let’s make the effort, show the necessary gratitude and rejoice and be glad in it nuh! That’s the only wise and sensible thing to do in light of His wonderful gesture. But yuh know, sometimes it seems that the unbelievers are more grateful for the good days they enjoy than we believers. 

Listen to the ordinary workingman, as he sings his Friday song nuh. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! My most favourite day, because it heralds the start of the weekend, where my time is my own, to do with as I like and please. And I can tell anybody to go jump in the lake if I don’t like their suggestions for how I’m spending, or planning to spend my time! 

And it sure feels good when you can tell some farse or nosy somebody to mind their own business! Too many people in this world today don’t have no business of their own, or just like to mind other people’s business! Chuh! I don’t mind theirs, so why they have to bother with mine eh? But enough about them yes! Today is Friday, and it bright and sunshiny, so me and mine going to enjoy it to the fullest. 

I’m even going to take a half-day off from the slave master work – tough if he doh like it – and go home and spend it with the children. Might even take them down to the Ex; that big country fair down by the CNE grounds on the Lakeshore. They would certainly enjoy that! But let’s see how the day plays out nuh, before we make any firm commitments. We’ll just be thankful that it’s Friday and the start of the weekend! Praise God for that yes!’ 

Ah mih fellow saints, how many of us get so excited about another supposed ordinary day eh? Not too many of us, who are supposed to be the most joyful people in the world. But we not going to preach on the subject (smile), let’s just chant our Friday Chant, sing our weekend song. 

As one, strong voice now: ‘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!’ 

Yeh, it’s not as enthusiastic and colourful as the workingman’s offering, but it sure does keep us on the straight and narrow. And today, I want to share the scriptures I had planned to share yesterday when the Lord guided me in a different direction. It’s the same Bit: ‘And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended (apprehended) it not.’ And unfortunately that hasn’t changed much since John wrote that some two thousand years ago. And why is that eh? 

Possibly because as Jesus explains: ‘And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men LOVED darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth (practices) evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deed should be reproved (exposed).’ (John 3:19-20) And isn’t that the awesome truth my fellow believers? We hide what we don’t want others to see in the darkness, behind closed doors. 

But please remember Jesus’ warning: ‘Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed, neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets (secretly in inner rooms) shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.’ (Luke 12:1b-3) 

Oh my people, all the things we hide and do in the darkness will one day be revealed publicly! And besides the Lord sees them when we do them now, so what’s the purpose of hiding eh? As they say, our true self is reflected in what we do in darkness, behind closed doors, when no one else is around. So anything else we do differently in the light is pure hypocrisy. 

As the scholars explain: ‘12:1-2. Hypocrisy, piety just for the sake of appearance is futile; for even hidden motives will one day be laid bare by God.’  Please believe that my people, and let’s try our best to only deal with true and godly motives, it will pay big dividends for us in the long run. Now let’s see how many of those original scriptures on light we can get in now, because the Bit’s again gone in a slightly different direction than I had planned. (smile) 

And I guess the best one to begin with is Bruh David’s proclamation in Psalm 27: ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?’ (Ps.27:1) Not a single soul my people! Then in Psalm 119, the psalmist declares: ‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’ (Ps.119:105) So true friends, the Lord’s Word is our guidebook for earthly living! 

And Isaiah declares: ‘Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.’ (Is.5:20) Yuh better believe it! And what better way to end than with John’s poignant declaration: 

‘This the is the message which we have heard of him (Jesus), and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not (practice) the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.’ (1 John 1:5-7) 

Please friends, let’s ponder on those oh significant and important words today nuh, and see if we’re truly walking in the light or just fooling ourselves, and actually walking in darkness. But whatever answer we get, please let’s also ask the Lord for His awesome help to truly walk in His Light. That’s wisdom of undeterminable proportions! Much LOVE!

…you can’t truly walk in the Light of Christ…and in the darkness of Satan…at the same time…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 May 2015 Exodus 20:12

Exodus 20:12.     Honour thy father and thy MOTHER: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

 HAPPY  MOTHER’S  DAY!

 Well a Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful and not so wonderful Mothers out there! That special day of the year, where we specially celebrate Mothers is upon us once again. And you know I’ve been wondering what to write for the last half an hour or so, while researching stuff in the Bible.
 
And I did come up with a few things. But then, the Lord in His wisdom guided me to read last year’s Mother’s Day Bit. And was I ever surprised, and somewhat disappointed, that last year I had already written about all the things I was now considering. Chuh! What a letdown! What bubble-buster!
 
Now I have to think about other stuff to say, because I can’t give exactly the same message as I did last year. And even if I do say so myself, I was rather taken with last year’s Mother’s Day Bit, for it covered a lot of ground, some of which is worth repeating.  
 
But this is a different year, and I’m depending on the Holy Spirit to guide me in a somewhat different direction. Have faith Friends, for it will happen eventually. (smile) The Lord has never let me down yet, so why would He choose a day like today to do it eh?
 
You know it disappoints me some, that today we’ll make a big fuss over our mothers, but what happens to the rest of the year eh? Many of them are forgotten, left to languish as it were by the wayside. That’s certainly not right my people, because mothers are the lifeblood of our society.
 
They physically bear us in their wombs for nine months, then have a hard time getting us to come out. And even though the labour required for that can be quite painful and exhausting, as soon as we’re out, they forget about the pain and just dote on us, the beautiful bundle of joy they’ve just produced.  (smile)
 
And then they spend the rest of their lives raising and nurturing us with LOVE and all the other good things that mothers do.  All of it, for ‘NO CHARGE’ as the Shirley Caesar song I heard on the radio yesterday evening so truthfully declares. So why then don’t we pay more and better attention to our mothers eh?
 
Look at our Bit: ‘Honour thy father and thy MOTHER: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.’
 
Our God taught it of such importance that He placed that directive in one of His ten most important rules to His people. Now if the Lord, in His great wisdom could make such a declaration, who are we to dispute it and not follow through with it eh? And please notice the last part of the commandment: ‘that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.’
 
Yes Friends, our longevity depends to a certain extent on the way we treat our parents. So you godless, unruly, undisciplined children out there, who treat their parents terribly, especially their mothers, I’d very strongly suggest that you smarten up right now and follow that directive of God, otherwise your days may just be short and pitiful on the earth.
 
And what exactly does our Bit mean by ‘HONOUR’ eh? I’ve found a whole lot of synonyms for that word, so let’s hear some of them. ‘HONOUR’ means to cherish, show respect, put on a pedestal, give kudos to, show esteem, favour, recognition, admiration and privilege, to look up to, to appreciate, to adore, revere, and show distinction.
 
Oh my people, there are so many ways to show ‘HONOUR’ to our parents, that we truly have NO excuse whatsoever for not doing so. And that’s one of the reasons why our world is such a mess; ignoring our parents, treating them terribly, especially our mothers, is a sin against Almighty God. 
 
And from the In Touch Devotional message from Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) for today, I picked up these wonderful guidelines for honouring our Mothers.  First off, we should LOVE them unconditionally, just the way God LOVES us. Now that surely makes a lot of sense, because we can’t be truly godly folks if we’re not practicing godly attitudes and actions.
 
And then Uncle Charles says to forgive our mothers compassionately. We seem to forget that mothers are humans too and thus fallible and open to mistakes, and will have some baggage from their earlier days that made them a certain way. We’re no angels ourselves, so we should not judge them too harshly.
 
Then we’re to remember our mothers gratefully, consider all the things she’s done for us over the years; from bearing and raising us to oftimes burying us. And for all she’s done, there’s usually ‘NO CHARGE!’  
 
And finally, we ought to treat our mothers kindly, make them feel LOVED and appreciated, even though in the natural many of them don’t seem to deserve it. But remember we didn’t, and still don’t deserve God’s saving grace, but because of His great LOVE and magnanimity, He bestowed it on us. Thus the least we can do is to also bestow it on others.  
 
Ah Friends, when it comes to mothers, I have a very soft spot in my heart for them, beginning with my biological mother Molly who throughout my whole life showed me what a true mother ought to be like. Aye Molls baby, can you imagine that it’s now four years since you left me an orphan? (smile) But don’t worry sugar, you’ll always have a place of great esteem and respect in my heart and my memory banks. And so too will the five other mothers I’ve had during my lifetime.
 
And I know that some of you are laughing at that, but believe me people, there were several times when I was in dire straits and the Lord, in His mercy and LOVING-kindness, sent those women into my life to assist, to lead and guide me on the right path.  How could I ever forget you eh my six mothers? No way! For without you all I definitely would not be writing these words today. Thank you all so much for showing and showering me with your LOVE and godly guidance.
 
And we’ll end today’s message with a word of advice, instructions concerning widows, from Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘Honour widows that are widows indeed. But if any widow have children or nephews (grandchildren), let them learn first to show piety at home, and to requite (repay) their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.’ (1 Tim.5:3-4)
 
Yes Friends, supporting our parents, especially our mothers, is indeed acceptable and wonderful in God’s sight. So please let’s get a move on and do it nuh, for it’s the wisdom of heaven. Much LOVE!
 
…a mother’s responsibilities are so overwhelming…that very few men can carry them out successfully…and her LOVE…ohhh…it is one of the most powerful things on God’s earth…  
 
P.S. Yuh see mih people, the Lord didn’t disapoint me. (smile) He did guide me to write something somewhat different. That’s why I keep saying, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! He is definitely the BEST! Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 
 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 August 2013 Luke 18:14.

Luke 18:14.   I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
 
Oh mih people, is Sunday; fellowship day for most of us! So please let’s get out there and gather with those of like minds, and sing and praise and glorify our great and wonderful God! Wow! What a privilege that is!
 
And all God’s people joyfully declared: ‘Yes, let’s fellowship in the name of the Most High God Jehovah! Let’s sing and dance and rejoice before Him, for His goodness, mercy and LOVING-kindness endures forever!’ And that’s certainly gospel truth!
 
By the way, for those of you who celebrate the Sabbath on Friday or Saturday, I surely hope that you got out and joined your fellow believers in giving thanks and praise and worship to our Creator, because one of His earliest commands was to keep the Sabbath Day holy. (Ex.20:8)
 
And we won’t argue about which day should be rightly considered the Sabbath Day, since that will only bring about more futile arguments and cause more resentment and divisions, of which we already have more than enough. Suffice it to say, that whatever day your denomination has chosen, just make sure you do as the Lord commands.
 
And today Friends, I want to again talk about the parable of the Pharisee and the publican or tax collector, but in a little more detail. I am also going to quote the verses again, because the scholars have some very interesting info on each of them, info I believe can be very useful in our Bible Study.
 
So here we go: ‘Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.’ (Luke 18:10)
 
The scholars say thus about that verse. ‘Publicans (tax collectors) were known for being corrupt. Pharisees on the other hand were held in high esteem by most. Listeners here would have expected the Pharisee to be extolled and the tax gatherer condemned.’
 
Yuh see that mih breddren, because we look up to outward religious expression, we’d be quick to condemn the corrupt tax collector, while raising up and praising the hypocrite Pharisee. So please don’t let outward expressions of piety fool us. That’s why God chooses to look at the motives of our heart and not outward actions.
 
Turning to the next verse: ‘The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.’ (vs.11)
 
And the scholars nail this: ‘Standing was a usual position for prayer, but here standing suggests a certain arrogance. (Compare the sinner’s hesitancy in vs.13) A sense of personal superiority is not a good reason for thanking God. It is rather in itself a cause for repentance.’
 
That’s undeniable truth Friends! Please remember that our God totally dislikes pride and arrogance.
 
Meanwhile, the ole hypocrite Pharisee continues: ‘I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all I possess.’ (vs.12)
 
And the scholars declare: ‘This is not exaggeration, but an example of how Pharisees truly exceed the letter of the law in their piety. But their pride and contempt for others reveals the true state of heart.’
 
No wonder Jesus was always on their case.
 
‘And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote (beat) upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.’ (vs.13)
 
To which the scholars note: ‘The heart was regarded as the seat of sin. The publican’s action implies acute contrition and a sense of personal unworthiness. To obtain forgiveness he thinks not of his own works but solely of God’s mercy.’
 
And that’s the way it ought to be my people! For as Jesus tells us in our Bit: ‘I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.’
 
And the scholars say of that verse: ‘The publican’s anguished confession would be followed by results in keeping with his repentance. (See 19:8.) But justification by faith comes independently of the works which that justification produces. Such works are the result and not the cause of God’s accepting the sinner.’
 
And we see this all borne out in Luke 19:8, where Zaccheus the tax collector, confesses in repentance after he associates with Jesus. ‘And Zaccheus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.’ (Luke 19:8)
 
To which the scholars add: ‘Zaccheus’s confession reveals a penitent heart. If does not suggest doubt that he is guilty of wrong doing; the only question is to what extent. Leviticus 6:1-5 stipulated that illegally gained money had to be returned, plus one-fifth. A fourfold return was legislated where livestock were concerned. (Ex.22:1, 2 Sam.12:6).’ Please read those scriptures.
 
And what was Jesus’ reply to Zaccheus’ contrition? ‘This day is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.’ (Luke 19:9-10)
 
Oh Friends, let’s hope from all that, we gain the wisdom to do away with foolish pride, arrogance, haughtiness, boastfulness, superiority and all those similar things that the world cherishes, but which the Lord finds totally despicable! For that my brethren, is indeed true, true wisdom! Much LOVE!
 
…in the day of reckoning…he that is first (proud) on earth…shall be last in heaven…and he that is last (humble) on earth…shall be first in heaven…