Today’s Scrip-Bit   18 October 2021 Philippians 4:11.

Philippians 4:11.     Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

And since the universe unfurls exactly as its Creator programmed it to do, today is Monday! That’s what the printout says, and there is nothing we can do to change it, so we might as well just accept it and say, ‘the Lord be praised!’ (smile) Yes friends, we don’t have much, if any say in how the world turns, which means we had better learn to accept and be contented in whatever state we are in, allowing the Holy Spirit of Jesus to lead and guide us, knowing that in the end we will be well looked after by our heavenly Father, who has promised to work all things out for our good. 

And as Tim Sullivan says in the opening remarks of his sermon of how to abound and how to be abased, on the workerstogetherwithhim.org website. ‘To everything there is a season. Some seasons are of ease and others are of struggle. Life certainly has its ups and downs. But God desires that we know true contentment in all seasons, regardless of the circumstances that surround us.’ 

Now all of that is gospel truth, as Cousin Sol articulates as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes: ‘To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.’ (Eccl. 3:1) And the Lord expects believers to handle whatever comes against them in any and every season with zeal and panache, with style and flair. (smile) And it’s great if we can handle the ups and downs of life with equanimity, that’s a calm and composed manner, especially in the difficult times. It’s not an easy thing to do though. 

That brings us to the encouraging words of Bruh Paul in his epistle to the church at Philippi, when talking about his appreciation of their gift. ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.’ (Phil. 4:11) And therein lies the Christian’s problem: being content does not come as naturally to us, as complaining does. (smile) We have to learn how to be content. And that takes a lot of learning in a lot of difficult situations. 

Hear the scholars’ explanation on that verse. ‘4:11. Not that I speak in respect (because) of want: Paul’s ability to be content despite the circumstances assures the readers that his joy of verse 10 is not solely over his “need” being met at their expense. He implies that he could have done without their financial aid. For justifies this implication. I have learned …to be content: The Greek here suggests that contentment is a lesson learned neither in a classroom nor overnight, but through many practical experiences in life.’ 

Yuh better believe that friends, you can’t learn contentment in any classroom or in a short period of time. It’s only learned by going through the many hard knocks of life. As Bruh Paul continues: ‘I know both how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.’ (Phil. 4:12) 

And the scholars tell us: ‘4:12. By listing some specific examples, this verse elaborates upon the very general and broad “in whatsoever state I am” of verse 11. Be abased means literally to discipline oneself, that is tighten the belt in lean times. To abound means to live in prosperity. Every where and in all things I am instructed (or “in all circumstances I have learned the secret of how”) to be full, that is “well-fed.” Paul has acquired the skill for successfully living with little and with much, the latter probably being harder.’ 

And to back up that statement, they quote the British Philosopher Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) ‘For one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.’ And surprisingly that is very true. There are many who will withstand adversity better than prosperity. But here is the kicker, the engine power that makes the whole situation work. Bruh Paul’s proclamation: ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil 4:13) All power and glory be to God, my fellow saints! 

Yes friends, that’s how we can abound and be abased and not lose hope and faith and trust in Almighty God! Now listen to the scholars: 4:13. The apostle’s ability of knowing how to live skillfully on little or in prosperity does not mean that he is a spiritual superman. The reason he can live in such extremes is not owing to his own ability. Rather he can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth him, thus enabling him to adapt to his various, ever-changing circumstances. God orders Paul’s various circumstances, and God gives him the strength to be content in them all, trying and perplexing though they may be.’ 

And that’s exactly what He does for every one of His children! God orders our steps, and He also gives us the wherewithal to handle them. That’s the kind of God He is, a fair, just, righteous and LOVING God! And the sooner we understand and appreciate that fact, the sooner we will make inroads into living the contented life. Now, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, let’s seek His omnipotent help with the many problems we are currently experiencing. 

As one voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

Now let’s go out and keep those promises we just made, so that the Lord can bless us and our land. Much LOVE!

…you can’t strong in ALL circumstances…unless the power of Christ is within you…                                                                                                             

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                      

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 July 2021 2 Thessalonians 3:10.

2 Thessalonians 3:10.      For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

Yes people, once again it’s our weekly nemesis – Monday! Time for the partying to end and serious money-making work to restart. Oh, I know that Monday is a pain in the royal butt, but that’s the way our society is structured. If you don’t work, how are you going to live eh? 

And Bruh Paul’s instructions to the Thessalonians is an appropriate scripture for us to contemplate this Monday morning in the height of this pandemic summer 2021. He says: ‘For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.’ (2 Thess. 3:10) 

Now that sounds like a rather profound and harsh judgement. But there was good reason for Bruh Paul’s statement. And he lists his reasons in the next verse. ‘For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.’ (2 Thess. 3:11) 

And do we ever have a lot of those in our current society. And were we ever to do as Bruh Paul commanded, what a hue and cry there’d be in the land. But a lot of able-bodied people are taking advantage of the welfare system, often living better than those who are working. 

And yes, the pandemic has brought about a scarcity of jobs, but I’m talking about those families who for generations have lived off welfare. They are like parasites, simply living off their host and not contributing anything to its betterment. But as they say, that’s life! The truth is that whatever helping programme we institute; somebody will always find a way to use it to their advantage. 

So does that mean we should not provide for the genuinely sick and disabled? Absolutely not! Perhaps we need to police the system…sorry, police is the wrong word, considering all the anti-police sentiment that’s currently in vogue. Perhaps we need to have more checks and balances in the system, so that not as many unqualified people can take advantage of it. 

And Bruh Paul’s solution to the overall problem was: ‘Now them that are such (lazy busybodies) (smile) we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work and eat their own bread.’ (2 Thess. 3:12) Now that’s much easier said than done. 

And the scholars explain: ‘3:10-12. Paul expounds his simple and straightforward work ethic. If a person will not work, he should not eat! The Thessalonians diversion encouraged their meddlesome ways, demonstrating that “idle hands are the Devil’s workshop.” Now isn’t that the awesome truth! 

Nonetheless, Bruh Paul presses on. ‘But ye brethren be not weary in well doing.’ (2 Thess. 3:13) Yes friends, under all circumstances though, the church and its constituents should continue to do good. ‘And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish (warn) him as a brother.’ (2 Thess. 3:14-15) 

And the scholars tell us. ‘3:14-15. This instruction falls short of excommunication (kicking out of the church). Paul intends his readers to shame the brother, who is not an enemy, into obedience.’ Now that might have worked well back then, but I doubt it would have much efficacy today, where shame is not such a big part of life. In fact, the word, or attitude of shame, is almost non-existent today. The number of shameful things we do in these lax and godless times without feeling ashamed is extraordinary. 

But friends, be sure of this one thing, eventually all our chickens will come home to roost, and when they do, the consequences will be enormous. So please, let’s err on the side of caution nuh. Let’s work as sincerely, diligently and efficiently as we can, and keep on doing good, because that’s what Jesus desires of us. 

Now, there’s no doubting that our society, our world, is in utter turmoil, and it is beyond our capabilities to fix it. So, in sincere prayer, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, let’s go to the One who can remedy the situation, and ask for help. Altogether now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

And don’t forget that God’s answer hinges on our sincerity to turn from our evil ways. Much LOVE!

…when there’s little or no shame in a society…it becomes immoral and depraved…                                                                                                    

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 March 2021 Psalm 37:1.

Psalm 37:1.     ​Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

The 5. a.m. alarm sounds…and I roll over and mutter, ‘O Lord, is Monday, got to get up and go and open the shop. Customers will soon be there knocking on the door anxious to get in…’ and I see myself bustling to fix up the place before opening time. But then something significant happens. I finally open my eyes and realize that it was all a dream, a cruel one, but still a dream. No real alarm went off, and one won’t go off until I don’t know when, for I have not opened the shop in months, because of the lockdown, and it won’t be opening this morning either, although the lockdown has been eased some. 

I am a barber, I am a hairdresser, I am an esthetician, but my premises must still remain closed, while the liquor stores, the pot stores and the big groceries are open and making a killing. They won’t even allow me one or two customers at a time. Steups! But they still want me to pay rent on a shop that they’ve closed up, not me. And how do I get money to do that eh? From the li’l pittance the government so graciously grants me every few weeks? Chuh blast! And what am I supposed to live on, and feed my family with eh? It’s B.S! It’s all B.S! 

The rich as usual are getting richer, while the poor are getting poorer, and the status quo still holds; the privileged ones are enjoying their usual privileges, while the underprivileged and disenfranchised scrape the bottom of the barrel for the crumbs that remain. But isn’t that the way it’s always been, from the beginning of time? The haves sometimes talk a good talk, but their actual walk leaves a lot to be desired. 

I know it’s a balancing act, but the powers that be are not doing a good or even fair job of it. Those at the bottom of the feed trough are suffering so much more than those at the top, but they are still talking about we are all in this together. Yes, we are, but not equally or equitably! For the many are suffering a lot more than the few! 

And how do we rectify this rather untenable situation eh? Let’s see now. The first thing is that we must not give up. Come hell or high water we must continue fighting, because like all adversity, this too shall and must pass! And how do we do that? There’s only ONE sure way that I know, and that’s to trust in our Creator, Almighty God. Surrender our lives and souls to Him completely. He created us and still cares for us, and is the best one to lead and guide us through the universe He’s created for us to spend our formative years – eternity is our adult years. (smile) 

And believe me, our God is allowing this pandemic to terrorize us because He’s trying to wake us up from our sinful slumber and bring us back to Him. Now the best way to do that is by taking His holy word to heart. Listen, as Bruh David teaches how from Psalm 37 – The true state of the wicked. ‘Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.’(Ps. 37:1-2) 

Oh  friends, that’s the initial step; do not envy or be jealous of the wicked who seem to prosper in their wickedness, for when the Lord is ready, their time of reckoning will come upon them. He has faithfully promised us that: ‘the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.’ (Ps. 37:28b-29) 

Then here comes the mainstay: ‘Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on his faithfulness). Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgement (justice) as the noonday.’ (Ps. 37:3-6) 

Yes my faithful brethren, that’s the starting point for us to stay strong and never give. Trust and delight in the Lord, and commit our way to Him, follow His lead and guidance, His plan for our life. No it’s not easy, but once we truly surrender to Him, He will enable us to do it. Then, as Bruh Paul would say: ‘And having done all that, thenSTAND!’(Eph. 6:13b) (smile) 

But Bruh David puts it this way. ‘Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil for it only causes harm). For evildoers shall be cut off (destroyed): but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.’ (Ps. 37:7-9) 

And that my people, is the only way to get through this pandemic successfully; turn your eyes heavenward to the One who made you and cares a whole lot about you, judging from the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, that He made on your behalf. So let’s begin at the beginning nuh, turning our lives over to God through sincere prayer, namely our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

As one voice now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive and standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the many natural disasters that now seem more prevalent than ever. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction to bring our problems under control. 

And for those who are currently suffering from the many negative situations, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. Father, please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Now let’s go out and live up to our word. Much LOVE!

…like the haves…we Christians also talk a good talk…but in these troubled times…we desperately need to walk our talk…Jesus is depending on us to show others the way… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 March 2021 Ecclesiastes 3:1.

Ecclesiastes 3:1.     ​To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven:

Will somebody wake me from hibernation when the pandemic’s over and we have returned to some kind of a normal life? I just don’t feel like facing another Monday morning of confusion, sickness and controversy, of false news and all sorts of conspiracy theories. As the old people would say, too much of anything is no good. 

And we do have too much of all those things listed above, as well as too much information that our minds can’t properly handle and it’s too easy for us to spread that info even when we don’t know if it’s true or false. And the bad thing with our social media revolution is that once the info hits the street, it’s impossible to take it back, for it then takes on a life of its very own. So please wake me when the world adversity is over! (smile) 

And would you believe that today is also the first day of March in this brand new year of 2021? But we’ve been so busy fighting the pandemic and each other that we have hardly noticed that the days are quickly going by; two months have now passed and we’re still no closer to a kind of new normal. But hopefully, we are making some progress towards it. And it’s not like this is the first time we’ve been surrounded by numerous difficult problems. It’s just a part of life. 

As Cousin Sol so wisely said in Ecclesiastes: ‘To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven:’ (Eccl. 3:1) And isn’t that the gospel truth! There’s a season and a time for everything to happen in God’s world, for that’s how He planned it. 

And Cousin Sol spells it out for us. ‘A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep , and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 

A time to get (gain), and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend (tear apart), and a time to sew (together); a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to LOVE, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.’ (Eccl. 3:2-8) 

Now doesn’t that sound rather interesting? It surely does! And hear this explanation from the scholars. ‘3:1-8. As Solomon reflects on all of life, he expresses a beautiful poem of 14 pairs of opposite events that God has a sovereign design behind all events (cf. Rom. 8:28). To gather stones (vs. 5) refers to the process of clearing land for planting or building. To hate (vs. 8) means to withdraw from intimacy and should not always be taken in an absolute sense (cf. Mal. 1:2-3).’ 

Yes friends, because our wonderful God has a sovereign design for life on planet earth, we can faithfully believe that He will eventually work everything out for the good of those He’s called and who respond favourably to that call. (Rom. 8:28) And I think we should take serious note of that reference to Malachi. 

Listen to how the scholars explain the Lord’s words. ‘1:2-5. Yet I LOVED Jacob, and I hated Esau has caused concern to many. This expression involves the use of a Hebrew idiom. If a father had two sons and made one heir, he was said to LOVE the one he made his heir and to hate the other whom he had not made an heir. The LOVE and hate spoken of here is not related to the emotions, they are related to the will of God. The words challenge Israel to recognize the responsibilities inherent in its privileged position.’ 

And the same criteria stand today for us believers in Christ Jesus, which means that we are also being challenged by God right now to recognize the responsibilities inherent in our privileged position. And we can’t deny that we are privileged, for no other people but believers have the Holy Spirit of God dwelling in them and actively leading and guiding them in all sincerity and truth. 

Consequently, we are called to up our game; be highly flavoured salt of the earth, and a bright shining light in the darkness of this evil world. So right now, let’s do like Israel did when they finally woke up from their foolish disobedience nuh; turn to God in sincere repentance and prayer. And the words of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn are rather appropriate for just such a time as this. 

As one strong and sincere voice now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive and standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the many natural disasters that now seem more prevalent than ever. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction to bring our problems under control. 

And for those who are currently suffering from the many negative situations, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. Father, please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Now it all depends on the sincerity of our hearts and if we uphold all that we’ve just vowed to God. And Cousin Sol had solid advice on that too. ‘When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer (delay) not to pay it, for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.’ (Eccl. 5:4) Words of mucho wisdom, my brethren! Much LOVE!

…common sense dictates…that the created should pay obeisance to their Creator… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 October 2020 Isaiah 55:6.

Isaiah 55:6.     ​Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.

And the days pass, one after the other, just like they were programmed to do since the beginning of time. Likewise, the days of man, with God fulfilling them as He promised. (Ex. 23:26) And from the day that our forefathers fell for the deception of the enemy, and were kicked out of Paradise, the Garden of Eden, there has been sin, death, evil, violence and every ungodly thing that the devil and fallen man could devise corrupting the world. And I guess it will remain like that until Christ comes back and lays down the law; sets up His eternal kingdom, because mankind doesn’t seem to truly want, desire or like the things of God, like LOVE, joy, peace and togetherness. 

So it’s no wonder our world has been in continual turmoil down through the ages, and right now is experiencing one of the most tumultuous times ever. And just to show that we’re not as brilliant or wise as we believe, we can’t seem to get a handle on any of the problems we’re currently facing, because we can’t even agree that there’s a problem. And those who do agree that we have problems, can’t agree on how best to fix them either. Thus, it looks like we’ll just roll along with the tumbling tumbleweed, wherever the unseen wind blows us, until we implode, or Christ comes back and bashes some sense in our heads. 

But thankfully, on this Monday morning, as the universe unfurls like it ought to, I am here, on Jesus’ behalf, to try and put a li’l sense in our heads, so that we at least don’t get any worse than we currently are. We’ll bring a li’l light to the darkness that’s covering way too much of our wonderful world. And we’ll try to do that by expounding the Word of God, through His prophet Isaiah, as He generously offers free mercy to all and sundry. ‘Whomsoever will may come.’ That’s it in a nutshell. 

Now hear the words the Lord put in Isaiah’s mouth, way back then, words that are still applicable to us today, since our world has not changed, possibly gotten worse, if anything. ‘Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.’ (Is. 55:6) Now isn’t that marvellous advice my brethren, especially in these rough and tough times? It surely is, especially since we can’t seem to solve our many problems in our own strength. And common sense dictates that if you can’t solve a problem, then you go to a higher power for help. 

And the highest power we can ever go to is Almighty God. And He spells it out for us in no uncertain terms. ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.’ (Is. 55:8-9) Now if that isn’t putting us in our place then I don’t know what it is nuh! (smile) And the scholars tell us that ‘While God may certainly be known by men, He is still incomprehensible in the totality of His person and purposes.’ 

Yeh friends, though our God is close to us, our minds are too puny to even contemplate His true greatness. And despite His awesomeness, He’s most magnanimous and merciful. Hear how Isaiah puts it. ‘Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.’ (Is. 55:7) 

Oh mih people, what a wonderful promise from our Creator! And we all know that He faithfully keeps all His promises, so why are we so reluctant to turn back to Him and receive forgiveness and mercy, grace andLOVE, reconciliation, righteousness, justification and sanctification, all earned on the strength of Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross at Calvary eh? It just doesn’t make sense. As I keep saying, when the Israelites messed up and suffered for it, they were quick to run back to God and receive forgiveness. 

Why won’t we eh? Why are we so stubborn and hardhearted, revelling in our disobedience, as we pay an exorbitant price for it? I really don’t know nuh. I guess my mind is just not big and wise enough to fathom such mighty things. (smile) Anyhow, for those of us who are willing to stand by the promise of God, let’s seek His face right now nuh, let’s call upon Him through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, so that we can find Him and receive forgiveness and all the other wonderful things He has to offer. 

As one now, in confident humility: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive and standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the natural disasters like storms, famine, drought, plagues, climate change, wildfires, earthquakes and erupting volcanoes that suddenly seem to be blossoming more and more as time goes by. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction to bring our problems under control. 

And for those who are currently suffering from the many negative situations, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. Father, please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

The next move is for us to action those words, and begin showing sincere repentance in our hearts, for that’s where the Lord is looking for confirmation of our sincerity.Much LOVE!

…the fool says in his heart…there is no God…how foolish… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 June 2020 1 Samuel 16:7b.

1 Samuel 16:7b.     ​for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
 

Monday, oh Monday…thou day of woe! Poor Monday, it’s been hated, resented and cursed down through the ages for something it has no control over; being the first day of our work week. But yuh know what, any other day, a day by any other name, which hailed the beginning of five days of back breaking labour (smile) would have been met with the same amount of disparagement and scorn that’s been heaped on Monday. Yeh friends, anything that disturbs our peaceful repose is disliked by our soft, lazy, think we’re entitled and inequitable society. 

No doubt many of us are glad that we don’t have to go to work in these dangerous and treacherous times, but then too, we won’t enjoy the fruits of our labour if we don’t labour. Remember Cousin Sol’s words of infinite wisdom: ‘Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely (fitting) for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun (in which he toils) all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion… this is the gift of God.’ (Eccl. 5:18; 19b) 

So to keep the motor of the 24-7 society continually running, as it needs must do in these modern times, somebody or bodies must go out and stoke it. We haven’t built a self-stoking engine yet. (smile) Even those fueled by batteries or electricity, have to be occasionally recharged. And sadly, a lot of us who are being hailed as front-line heroes, are not seeing comparative rewards in our paycheques, but instead are losing valuable family time, as well as on the job benefits. Some of our leaders are being two-faced. But what to do eh, it’s the nature of the political beast? 

I’ll tell you what we can do: we can pray for them; pray to our great and mighty God for them, as well as ourselves. It’s what the Lord is waiting for us to do, for He can’t answer our prayers if we don’t pray them. So as one strong voice, with sincere hearts, let’s call out to Him right now nuh, invoking our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, asking for His mercy and grace in the worldwide problems that we’re now facing. 

‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. And our anxieties have been recently deepened because some restrictions have been lifted in the lockdown, so more of us are going out to work now without any guarantees of safety. 

Then to complicate matters Father, suddenly, and unexpectedly, just like the virus, worldwide strife and protests have also struck us in this sad time of pandemic, and we don’t have a clue how to handle either situation properly. Mass confusion is currently prevailing in our world, and we desperately need your help to solve both problems, as You are the ONLY One with the power and insight to successfully handle them. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. 

Please show us how to successfully handle these scourges that are currently plaguing Your beautiful earth. Please help our leaders to wisely quell the strife and protests, and the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to the virus as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, or been injured in the strife, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. 

Father, please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Oh my people, if enough of us, that means plenty of us, sincerely pray along those lines, as well as repent of our evil ways and do better, our heavenly Father will indeed keep His promise. He did it several times for Israel, so why won’t He do it for us too eh? But remember, the Lord doesn’t only listen to what comes out of our mouths, for like the Pharisees and other leaders of Jesus’ day, what we speak, often doesn’t truly reflect what’s in our hearts. 

That’s why the Lord said to Samuel when He sent him to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the new king of Israel and the good-looking son Eliab stood before Him and Samuel figured he had to be the one. ‘Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused (rejected ) him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.’ (1 Sam. 16:7) 

Yes friends, until the Lord searches our hearts and sees true repentance and true willingness to change our evil ways, our societies will be forever troubled and in turmoil. Now the Lord saw our need and sacrificed His only Son Jesus Christ to help us, that whomsoever believed in Him would have everlasting life. So He’s done His part. The ball is now in our court. We need to accept Christ and receive His peace, joy and LOVE, and show the world that HE IS THE ANSWER…THE ONLY ANSWER…  Much LOVE!

…if the created is wise…he will turn to the Creator for help…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 May 2020 Lamentations 3:22.

Lamentations 3:22.    ​ It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
 
As the tumbling tumbleweed tumbles; as the cycle of life cycles; so do we saints in Christ live in concert with our omnipotent Creator! Wow! What magnificent imagery! That’s why they say B.S. baffles brains! (smile) It’s Monday morning friends, and we’re alive and kicking, so regardless of what tragedies are happening in our world, let’s give much thanks and praise to the Almighty that we’re not too badly off, and most of us are fairly safe, have a roof over our heads, and are well-fed! 

Many others around our world are having it much rougher than us and they’re not complaining, so we shouldn’t either, although, unfortunately, that has recently become the prevalent nature of our privileged, entitled and irresponsible society. And the best way to live in concert with out Creator is by communing with Him through the medium of prayer. So let’s do that right now nuh, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, recently reworked for this pandemic time. As one, strong, humble, but confident voice, let’s come before His heavenly throne in sincere prayer. 

‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. Despite the crucial lockdown, those of us considered essential, still have go to work, and we’re somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. 

Please show us how to successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to it as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them Father. Show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Yes, precious people, I’m sure the Lord heard our prayer because I know that our hearts were quite sincere, for we are awfully anxious and scared of the somewhat unrelenting stranglehold that the Coronavirus currently has on our world. But please, let’s remember what we said above in our prayer, about repentant hearts. We need to show that in our behaviour, keep our promise, if we expect the Lord to keep His and heal our world. Remember Cousin Sol told us yesterday not to make promises, especially to God, and not keep them. (Eccl. 5:4-5) So let’s work sincerely and diligently on that repentance nuh. 

And to help us do that, hear are some encouraging words from the prophet Jeremiah when he was lamenting the sins of his people Israel, who were then going through a rough time for their sinful disobedience. It seems like everything and everybody was against them. And at one stage Jeremiah declared (steups!): ‘I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath. He hath led me, and brought me into (made me walk in) darkness, but not into light. Surely against me is he turned; he turneth his hand against me all the day…’ (Lam. 3:1-3) Then he goes on to tell of the many things Israel had suffered at the Lord’s hands. (Lam. 3: 4 13) 

And furthermore: ‘I was a derision (laughingstock) to all my people; and their (taunting) song all the day. He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood. He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he hath covered me with ashes. And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace: I forgat prosperity (good). And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord: Remembering (remember) mine affliction and my misery; the wormwood and the gall (bitterness). My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled within me (is bowed down).’ (Lam. 3:14-19) 

Ah friends, Israel was in real bad shape, like we are today, and I know a lot of us are lamenting over our many problems, many of which have befallen us because of our sinful and disobedient attitude towards God. But if we continue listening to Jeremiah we’ll discover that things are not as bad as they seem or can get. 

‘This I recall to mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam. 3:21-26) 

Oh my people, please, let’s do like Jeremiah and remember that our God is a great God nuh, compassionate and merciful as no one else. It is because of that compassion and mercy that we are not destroyed, as we deserve to be. And moreover, each new day, He brings new mercies and compassion to the table because of His overwhelming and unconditional LOVE for us. He is indeed a faithful God, and we need to be faithful too if we really want to see all the good things He has in store for us. 

And the scholars tell us that ‘real faith is more than inner belief, even more than whole-souled committal. It is a condition of the soul marked by such a stable character and attitude of total trust that the believer’s whole life is imbued with consistent, responsible service to God (cf. 1 Sam. 26:23; Ps. 37:3-6). From the biblical standpoint, true faith results in faithfulness in one’s life.’ 

Yes friends, faithfulness in this sinful word is not an easy row to hoe, but with the Lord’s help and our determination, we can certainly do much better than we’re currently doing. Much LOVE!

…blessed is the nation…whose God is the Lord… (Ps. 33:12)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 April 2020 Revelation 3:19.

Revelation 3:19.    ​As many as I LOVE, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
 

So we’ve rolled into ‘Holy Week’ where we see Jesus go through a rather intense and emotional time, knowing that the occasion He was born for, His essential task, was close at hand. He knew it would all lead to a setta ‘sufferation’ on our behalf, ending with His crucifixion on the old wooden cross on Calvary’s Hill on Good Friday. And it’s struck me as being somewhat symbolic that at the same time Jesus is going through His adversity, this year, we are also going through some of the roughest times we’ve ever experienced in the world, with this Covid-19 virus situation. 

We’re locked down, with our lives in serious jeopardy and essentially in limbo, keeping away from others, no work and no pay, the streets are for the most part empty of both humans and traffic, people are sick and dying, some can’t even get attention for illnesses because the Health System can’t handle it. Panic, anxiety and fear are rampant, and we can’t get any sure and true answers to when and where and how it will all end because no one really knows. It even seems like a more fearful and disastrous time worldwide, than during the two world wars we fought in the early part of the last century. 

At least then we knew our enemy and what weapons it would take to defeat Him, but in this time of ‘germ warfare’ which has hit us so unexpectedly, we have no real knowledge of it, even where it came from, much less a cure for it. And I’ve said all of that, just to ask this question: do we see the mysterious moving of the Father’s hand in it all? I think we should, because I firmly believe that this is a worldwide wake-up call for confession and repentance. And even if it’s not, then the wisest move we can make is still to turn back to God and confess our manifold sins and wickedness, for there’s no doubt that the current state of mankind is possibly at the most evil and sinful level it’s ever been. 

Please friends, let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that the omnipotent God, who still sits on His heavenly throne and still controls the world He created, will allow us to get away indefinitely without some kind of chastisement for our blatant disregard of His rules and regulations and foolish, futile attempts to remove Him from our society? Remember the Lord LOVES all whom He has created with a deep and burning, never-ending LOVE, and He doesn’t want to lose even ONE of His most valuable creations to the enemy. So if we step out of His will for too long, it’s only expected that He will try to correct us, to bring us back into line. 

This scripture tells the story of God’s discipline: ‘For consider him (Jesus) that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds (become discouraged). Ye have not yet resisted unto blood (bloodshed), striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children (sons), My son, despise not thou the chastening (discipline) of the Lord, nor faint (be discouraged) when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord LOVETH he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?’ (Heb. 12:3-7) 

Unfortunately, in this soft and irresponsible world the answer to that question is too many sons are not chastened, and that’s partly why our world is in such a sinful mess. Remember Cousin Sol’s words of wisdom: ‘He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that LOVETH him chasteneth him betimes (promptly)’ (Prov.13:24) Yes friends, LOVE and discipline go together. And not sparing the rod doesn’t necessarily mean child abuse as so many of us preach today, then wonder why our children have turned out the way they are, and hence the behaviour in our society is less that satisfactory. 

So yes, I do believe it’s a warning, and a serious one at that. It could mean that the Lord is just tired with our sinful shenanigans, or that Christ is coming back sooner than we expect, or even both. Anyway friends, please, I implore us, let’s take this next scripture to heart nuh, these immortal words of Jesus to John in his vision of revelation. ‘As many as I LOVE, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.’ As always, Jesus puts it as plainly and simply as possible. So let’s take His wise advice and do that right now nuh, by coming to God in sincere prayer, declaring our Covid-19 Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

All together now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. Despite the crucial lockdown, those of us considered essential, still have go to work, and we’re somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. 

That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. Please show us how to successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to it as quickly as possible. 

And for those who have already contracted the virus, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them Father. Show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Now let’s hold true to that promise, for remember Cousin Sol says the worst thing we can ever do is to make a vow to God and not keep it. Better not to have made it at all. (Eccl. 5:4-5) Much LOVE!

…Jesus is standing at the door of our hearts knocking…please, please…let’s open them and let him in nuh…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 March 2020 Proverbs 13:12.

Proverbs 13:12.    ​Hope deferred maketh the heart sick; but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
 
Arise people, it’s Monday, the start of another week of work, even for those of us who are working from home. Let’s not abuse the privilege and try to be just as diligent and excellent in our work habits as when we had to physically venture out into the evil world. Nothing much has changed; confusion, uncertainty and panic still abound, but more importantly, our great and wonderful God is still on His heavenly throne overseeing things! And in that everlasting fact, we can put our sincere hope, faith and trust, knowing that He will keep His promise and work everything out for our good eventually. But we still have to do our part in the partnership, and at this moment, that’s prayer. 

So right now, in this turbulent time, let’s come before the Lord and ask for His help, as we pray our Covid-19 Monday Morning Battle Hymn, in strong voice, with sincere hearts. ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. Despite the crucial lockdown, those of us considered essential, still have go to work, and we’re somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. Please show us how to successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to it as quickly as possible. 

And for those who have already contracted the virus, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them Father. Show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Now we just have to do like Bruh David says: ‘Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait (in faith), I say, on the Lord.’ (Ps. 27:14) And when we have faithfully waited on the Lord, you know what will eventually happen? We will sing the song of praise of the redeemed, like Isaiah writes: ‘And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.’ (Is. 25:9) 

Oh friends, there is no better feeling than having waited faithfully, eagerly and expectantly for God’s promise, to be fulfilled in His time, and then having it come to pass. And all God’s children declared a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His holy name; now and forever!’ And do we ever need to do that as often as possible, since He is indeed very worthy to be praised! Now hear these words of further encouragement from Cousin Sol: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick; but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth friends! For as the scholars explain: ‘13:12. Hope deferred depresses, but its fulfillment revitalizes.’ That’s an indisputable fact! When our dreams and hopes don’t come true, we tend to fall into bouts  of depression. But when they come to pass…oh boy…the joy that they bring is overwhelming. That’s why friends, we need to do like Zechariah advises: ‘Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.’ (Zech. 9:12) And you know who is the stronghold He speaks of? Zion’s future King; Jesus Christ! 

Oh my people, our ONLY true help in this time of crisis is the Creator and Controller of our Universe, the Lord God Almighty, in conjunction with His Son, Jesus Christ, the name above all names, who redeemed us by His sacrificial death on the cross at Calvary, and His Holy Spirit, who works His miracles in our souls and spirits! So please, this Monday morning, in this time of pandemic, let’s not lose hope in our great God and His faithful promises. Instead, let’s ramp up our hope, and do like Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Rome: 

‘Let LOVE be without dissimulation (hypocrisy). Abhor that which is evil; cleave (cling) to that which is good. Be ye kindly affectioned (affectionate) one to another with brotherly LOVE; in honour preferring (giving preference to) one another; Not slothful in business (lagging in diligence); fervent (boiling over) in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient (persevering) in tribulation; continuing instant (steadfastly) in prayer; Distributing to the necessity (needs) of saints; given to hospitality. Bless (speak well of) them which persecute you: bless and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.’ (Rom. 12:9-15) 

And don’t tell me we can’t do those things friends, because they are all a part of basic Christianity, a part of the foundation, the example Jesus laid down for His church to follow! And believe me, we, the church of Christ, need to do them more than ever in these cruel and trying times, if we desire and expect to have any hope of survival. Much LOVE!

…and now abideth faith, hope, LOVE…but the greatest of these three is…LOVE… (1 Cor. 13:13)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 January 2020 1 John 5:14.

1 John 5:14.    ​And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us:
 
So it’s the first Monday of the new year, how are we going to greet it eh? How are we going to operate on this opening day of the first full work week of 2020? Are we going to be sour and miserable and tired like we’ve been for a lot of the year just past? I do hope that since most of us have resolved to walk closer with Jesus this year, that most of us will also adopt a better attitude, through regular fellowship and better rest programmes, so that we can bear plenty good fruit for Him. 

And yes, I know that we’ll have some backsliders every week, because that’s just the nature of the human animal. (smile) But we’ll always have a backup plan to lend strong support, namely our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. And I suspect that plenty of us will need it today since we’re still recuperating from the season’s celebrations. (smile) 

So as one strong and confident voice, let’s float our prayer up to heaven. ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And almost immediately, we feel the Holy Spirit moving within us to give us what we asked for. Wow! What an awesome God we serve and worship my people! And why are we so confident in our prayers eh? John explains it thus in his first epistle. ‘And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions we desired (asked) of him.’ (1 John 5:14-15) 

Mama Mia! What other faith has such a built in confidence builder eh? None. As the scholars explain: ‘5:14-15. Assurance of salvation (v.13) leads to confidence in petition. Effectual prayer is according to his will.’  Now that’s the fly in the ointment my faithful brethren: we have to ask for stuff that fall’s within God’s will. So we can’t afford to be too frivolous and ask for stuff that’s carnal minded. 

And John furthermore states in an earlier chapter, as he discusses LOVING one another, not merely in talk, but in deed and in truth. ‘And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure (persuade) our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things which are pleasing in his sight.’ (1 John 3:19-22) 

And what does all of that mean? We’ll let the scholars explain it: ‘3:19. Cain (v. 12) was “of that wicked one”, believers are of the truth. And hereby: John seems to be saying that assurance of salvation comes in part as one reaches out actively in caring for others (preceding verses).’ Yes friends, believers ought to be involved in the truth, in faith as well as deeds. 

‘3:20. In light of John’s strict teaching above, he may have felt that some readers might begin to despair. He assures them that, although our feeble attempts to honour God may leave us feeling defeated inside, God is greater than our self-awareness (cf. 1 Cor. 4:4) and can justify us even when we would condemn ourselves. He sees not only our actions, which at times are thwarted or misguided, but also the motives and intentions behind them.’ And the intentions and motives of our hearts are ever so important in our faith walk my people, because that’s what God judges us by, not simply our outward actions. 

‘3:21-22. If our heart condemn us not: We have confidence toward God if our lives are in line with the standard of Christian living set forth above. John is not saying that whether a person is right or wrong is simply a matter of how he subjectively feels about himself. That is why John has given so many indicators and commands for Christians to take note of and assess themselves by. And one of the great results of a life lived in purity before God is a life where there is effective prayer. Right living is an important part of successful praying.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth my fellow believers! A successful prayer life cannot be had without a righteous daily life. And I think that’s a fitting note to end on today. So please, let’s sincerely ponder our prayer lives based on the above facts nuh, and try to come up higher this year of 2020, with the Lord’s help of course!  Much LOVE!

…confidence in God…comes from knowing His truth…and living according to His will…

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