Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 September 2018 James 5:16b.

James 5:16b.   The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.

Aye mih people, it looks like a glorious day is in the offing in my neighbourhood! Glory to God! But all of us are not that blessed, like the people of North Carolina who are expecting Florence, a category 4 hurricane to bombard them sometime soon. 

But all most of us can do is pray for them. So let’s do that nuh! Let’s plead with the Lord to lessen the power of the storm, lessen His wrath, and even turn it away from making landfall, because we definitely don’t need any more devastation than what we already have. 

What does the Good Book say? ‘Confess your faults (trespasses) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much. Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are (with a nature like ours), and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth fruit.’ (James 5:16 18) 

Yeh friends, that’s the power of prayer…unless the Lord is really tired and fed up with our sinful and ungodly shenanigans. Who knows? But as Bruh Paul wisely advised the Philippians: ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil.4:6) 

Then to the Thessalonians he said: ‘Pray without ceasing.’ (1 Thess.5:17) That means prayer is ever so important my brethren! In fact it’s the most powerful tool we believers have in our arsenal. Yuh see, that even when you put on the armour of God, it’s not effective unless prayer accompanies it. (Eph.6:18) 

And we’re ever so blessed through Christ’s obedience to God’s will, that as joint heirs with Him, we can ‘come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:16) Oh what a wonderful blessing and privilege that is my fellow believers! 

But we need to be careful, for when the Good Book says boldly, it doesn’t mean brash, bold face and arrogant, but with confidence and a suitable amount of humility because we’re going before Almighty God, the Creator and Controller of the universe and we must know our place. (smile) 

I like how the scholars put it: ‘4:16. Only Christianity provides such boldness for sinful men before a holy God, and that boldness is possible only because of our High Priest (Jesus) The throne suggests a place of authority and provision. It is the place to obtain God’s grace when it is especially needed.’ 

And do we ever need God’s grace and mercy in these sinful and ungodly times friends! So prayer should be uppermost in our lives, even more than usual. It’s the only way we have to communicate with our sovereign God. So please let’s get busy nuh! 

But along with the prayer must come some repentance and desire to stop being as sinful as we are and be obedient to God’s will. We obviously can’t be as obedient as Jesus was, because of our inherent sinful nature, but we all know that we can be better, even we believers can be much better. And if we are better and the world sees it, then the world will become better too. 

And that’s all we’re seeking my brethren; the betterment of the world, through our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus! That’s why He came to earth and sacrificed His sinless life, and asked those who believe in Him to help Him make the world a better place. We surely aren’t doing that by our less than true Christian behaviour, not walking out talk like we should, and making the world turn away from Jesus, even to the point of blaspheming Him. 

That’s not right my people! As His disciples and ambassadors we have a bounden duty to show the world, through our lives, the vast merits and benefits available in turning to Him for salvation, care, comfort and eternal life! 

Hn, hn, hn! Ah mih people, it’s one of those days when the Holy Spirit just let the ole fella loose to do his thing. So I hope it all makes sense. I guess what I’m trying to advocate is the great importance of and need for prayer in our daily lives, both as individuals and as the church, the body of Christ, especially in these sinful end times. 

Remember the last time the world got so sinful, in the days of Noah, that the Lord couldn’t take anymore and He destroyed it by flood? And yes, He promised Noah that ‘the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.’ (Gen.9:15b) But friends, the Lord never promised not to destroy the world again, just not by water. 

So let’s wake up and smell the caffeine nuh; it’s percolating ever so strongly right below our very noses All is not right in our world, far from it, and we need to come to God in repentance without further ado, for who knows how much longer He will withhold His wrath on this evil world of ours? 

Now let’s go home now declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our position in Christ. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Oh friends, I implore us to think seriously on the matters we’ve spoken about and open up our hearts sincerely to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, for He is the ONLY answer to our many problems. Much LOVE!

…the future won’t be glorious for many of us…if we don’t repent and come to God …NOW…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 August 2018 Luke 18:1.

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

And then it was Caribana Monday… Oh I’ve been calling it Caribana all weekend, but that’s no longer the official title nuh since the original committee was stripped of the authority to put on the festival a few years ago, and they ended up in court over the name.  

Don’t ask me what the official name is nuh, because I don’t know, and don’t particularly want to know either. (smile) History will always call this weekend, what it’s supposed to be called: Caribana! End of story. 

And by the way it’s not a Federally instigated holiday, but a local government proclamation, so it’s mostly the banks and government offices that are closed, meaning that a lot of folks still have to get up and go out to work, while a blessed few are able to stay home or go out to the numerous parties around the place. 

That means there will obviously be some ill will between the two groups, but as mature believers I’m sure we can put our petty differences aside and come together to sing out our Monday Morning Battle Hymn which will energize and refresh all of us, because we’re all tired from participating in the weekend’s festivities So whether you’re going to work or have the day off, let’s concentrate on raising our song to heaven and the Father’s listening ears. 

Altogether now: ‘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 now we’re all ready and rearing to go out and do Jesus’ work! Wow! How invigorating and refreshing is sincere prayer! You just can’t beat it for restoring the doldrums in our souls. That’s why Jesus gave this strong advice in our Bit. ‘And he (Jesus) spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart). 

Yes my breddren, we ought never to lose heart, to give up on prayer and our faithful, omnipotent and gracious God! That’s because prayer lends sustenance to our souls and our spirits. No wonder Bruh Paul also told us to ‘pray without ceasing.’ (1 Thess.5:17) That means to lend ourselves continually to prayer. 

And it’s not like we’re supposed to walk around praying audibly every minute of every day, but we ought to be in a godly space most of the time. That’s a place where God is more on our minds than He is not. Where we don’t do stuff, or make decisions without consulting Him. Where we share our fears and hopes, and thank Him for even the small victories that we have as we journey through each day. 

Bruh Paul said that too: ‘In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:18) So whether the times are good or the times are rough, we need to keep a good prayerful, thankful attitude. The important thing is to keep God close at hand, let Him be an integral part of our everyday lives, the way He desires to be. 

Oh, and for those of you who will be in the party scene today, please remember Granny’s wise words: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober mind yuh business.’ And I know some of you think it’s foolishness, but if we’re truthful, we can all look back at some particular time(s) and genuinely wish that we had followed it, because of the negative consequences we’ve suffered, or might still be suffering for our disobedience. 

And we’ll close this Caribana Monday morning with some appropriate words from Bruh David. ‘As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice…. Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken).’ (Ps.55:16-17,22) 

Truer words were never spoken friends. So let’s be wise and take them to heart nuh, they will be marrow to our bones (strength to our souls). Much LOVE!

…as believers…we ought to spend more time in simple prayer…and the giving of thanks for small mercies…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 February 2018 Luke 18:1.

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

Looks like it’s going to be another warm, wet and rainy day in my neck of the woods…but that’s better than a cold, white and snowy one any time! (smile) Yeh friends, the winter weather seems to have eased up a little, and are we ever thankful for small mercies! 

And today it seems like we’ll be dealing with prayer in some form and fashion, so let’s begin with two tidbits on the subject. The first comes from the renowned Pastor, F.B. Meyer, who reputedly said that ‘The great tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer, but unoffered prayer.’ 

And there seems to be a lot of truth in that statement, for it’s not that God doesn’t answer our prayers, but rather we don’t pray enough. And why is that eh mih people, when we keep saying that prayer is the most powerful weapon in the world? 

I don’t know nuh. It’s possibly because we don’t truly believe it, or we’ve offered up prayer to our heavenly Father that was not in His will and He refused to answer it, so we end up believing that prayer is a waste of time. But please remember my brethren, the Lord only answers prayer when it’s within His will. 

You can’t go and ask Him for a whole lot of worldly things to satisfy your fleshly desires and expect Him to answer you positively, or even answer you at all. Remember too, that He looks at the motives of our hearts, rather than the words we utter through our mouths, for they can be very different to what’s really in our hearts. 

And the next thing we want to say about prayer, is that it should be our FIRST CHOICE, not our LAST RESORT. Mama Mia! 

And is that ever a problem in the lives of many believers. When a problem arises we’re quick to run to the phone or the I-pad or whatever form of social media we’re using and ask our friends and acquaintances for help, and only when we can’t get a man-made solution, we run to God in desperation and expect Him to help us immediately. 

That’s so wrong my people. In ALL circumstances, God should be the FIRST person we run to, and if He so desires, then He will direct us to go to other people. Remember that our God doesn’t like to play second fiddle. If He can’t be first fiddle, then He doesn’t want to be in the band. (smile) 

And you know it’s amusing that when troubles hit a lot of people who don’t really believe in God, the first words out of their mouths are ‘Oh God!’ So you see friends, two of our basic problems in our prayer life is that we don’t go to God FIRST, and we don’t offer up enough prayers that fall within the realm of God’s will. 

Consequently, our Bit for today is based on the wise and wonderful advice of Jesus. ‘And he (Jesus) spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not faint (lose heart).’ 

Oh my believing brethren, if our Lord and Saviour said it, then it must be true. And we have a whole lot of examples of Him constantly getting alone and praying to His heavenly Father. In fact, prayer ruled His life; He did nothing of significance without first consulting the Father, and so should we. 

And Jesus is not the only one who advises us to be strong in prayer. Bruh Paul famously tells us in 1 Thessalonians: ‘Pray without ceasing.’ (1 Thess. 5:17) And to Timothy, he writes: ‘I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.’ (1 Tim.2:8) 

Yuh see friends, prayer should be our constant companion, because that’s how we communicate with God. If we are to take ALL our problems to Him, then it’s logical to expect to do a lot of praying in many different places. Oh my brethren, I can’t over emphasize the importance of prayer in a believer’s life, for it’s the basis of all we say and do, it’s how God leads and guides us, in conjunction with His Holy Spirit that dwells within us. 

Now listen to this interesting example of Bruh David crying out to God in prayer, as he pleads for protection against his oppressors. ‘Hear the right (a just cause), O Lord, attend unto my cry; give ear unto my prayer, that goeth forth not out of feigned (deceitful) lips. 

Let my sentence (vindication) come forth from thy presence; let thine eyes behold the things that are equal (upright). Thou hast proved (tested) mine heart; thou hast visited me (searched me out) in the night; thou hast tried (examined) me, and shalt find nothing (evil): I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.’ (Ps.17:1-3) 

Now that’s a wonderful prayer friends, but not all of us have the gift of words that Bruh David had, and the Lord doesn’t really need any long and involved prayers, simple but heartfelt words will do. But the important thing is that we pray’ pray often and pray everywhere, without losing heart. 

Now let’s declare our Wednesday Wail to proudly let the world know of our wonderful association with Jesus. With loud voice and strong sense of purpose now. ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And that future is surely going to be glorious my people! Much LOVE!

…a future with Jesus could not be anything…but marvellous and glorious…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 January 2018 Mark 1:35.

Mark 1:35.   And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.

Ah friends, it’s one of those days when you start out behind the eight ball. I went to bed fairly early, but `woke up late with my back aching like crazy. I don’t understand it nuh. The body calls for rest, but when I rest the body for any decent length of time, I wake up with more aches and pains than I went to bed with. Chuh! It’s just not right! (smile) 

Then it looks like we’re going to have a bleak snowy day with temps in the minus something or other. Steups! And to make matters worse, I happened to glimpse the weather forecast for T&T and it was projected to be plus thirty. That’s where I ought to be! 

And I’m not worried, because I know that I’ll be there at some stage of the game, but right now, the Lord in His awesome wisdom has other plans for my life in the cold weather, so I’ll just have to grin and bear it, while keeping my eyes focused on the future promise. 

Enough of my bellyaching though, here are a couple of more important things for us to concentrate on. The first is a Daily Bread Thought for the day, which says: ‘Pray your way past the urge to do wrong.’ And the second comes from the great Christian writer, Oswald Chambers, who tells us that: ‘Prayer imparts the power to walk and not faint.’ 

Both those sayings are gospel truths my brethren and wisdom of enormous proportions. Why? Because prayer is the most powerful medium on God’s great earth! It’s the direct line of communication with the Creator of the universe! It couldn’t get any better than that. 

Our problem is that we either refuse to pray, are afraid to pray, or pray for the wrong things, and when we don’t get them, we get discouraged and curse God and give up on Him. But remember God never promised to answer every prayer right away. He answers them in His own time and if they fit the direction He wants us to go. 

Oh friends, prayer is possibly the most important aspect of a believer’s life. Because that’ how we communicate with Almighty God. Look at Jesus, who though He was God Himself, still chose to live His earthly life through strong and consistent communication with His heavenly Father. 

As the Good Book says in our Bit: ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ He never made important decisions without consulting the Father. 

Apparently on that occasion He was considering whether to continue preaching the gospel as the focal point of His ministry, which wasn’t being received too well, or to focus on the miracles aspects, which the people were lapping up. But He never left the Father out of His deliberations. And most important He ALWAYS made time to do it. 

We claim to be too busy to talk our Creator, which in reality friends is nonsense.  We find or make time to do every other worldly thing that seems important to us though. Whether we make time or not, just goes to show how important we consider communicating with the Father is to us. 

But friends, if we want to have good communication with God, we have to make time to talk to Him, regardless of what else is happening in our lives. Look at Jesus again. After He fed the five thousand with the five loaves and two fishes, (Matt.14:15-21), He sent the disciples away on a ship over the lake. 

‘And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart (by himself) to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.’ (Matt.14:23) Yuh see friends, Jesus MADE TIME to be with God. Look at this other example of Jesus’ full prayer life. This happened just before He chose the 12 disciples. 

‘And it came to pass in those days, that he (Jesus) went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom he also named apostles.’ (Luke 6:12-13) Another example of Jesus consulting His Father before making big decisions. 

But friends, the Lord doesn’t only want us to communicate with Him on big decisions, but on ALL decisions, be they big or small. That means He desires to be an integral part of our everyday lives. Whatever we’re doing, He wants to be involved in it. 

That’s why Bruh Paul in his writings talks about praying always, (Eph.6:18); praying without ceasing (1 Thess.5:17); and praying everywhere (1 Tim.2:8) The Lord wants to be in constant contact with us, and prayer is how He does it. So let’s be wise and MAKE TIME to communicate with Him nuh. It’s for our benefit, not His. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, a prayer that shows how connected we are with our God, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In one strong and sincere voice now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And yuh know what friends, our puny minds can’t even begin to comprehend the future that really awaits us. We know it’s going to be glorious, but just how glorious, we have no true idea. But hang in there, and we’ll find out eventually. Much LOVE!

…eye hath not seen…nor ear heard…neither have entered into the heart of man…the things which God hath prepared…for them that LOVE him… (1 Cor.2:9)

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 November 2017 John 16:24.

John 16:24.   Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

Aye mih people, there’s been rebellion in the camp this Tuesday morning; a strong sense of mutiny is in the air. My aging, aching and apparently weary body bluntly refused to get up this morning when I commanded it to. 

Steups! It simply stated that it was not well rested enough to get up and perform the duties I desired, then calmly rolled over and went back to sleep. What is our world coming to eh, when our own flesh is rebelling against us eh? (smile) 

I obviously had no choice but to roll over and go back to sleep with it… That is until it felt rested enough to get up and perform its duties in the excellent manner that our Leader, Jesus Christ requires of us. 

Ah mih friends, yesterday was indeed a bit rough on the body, and not because of any great doings nuh, just the simple day-to-day aspects of living, but without the required rest thrown in for good measure. And that’s what’s killing many of us; we try to live life too busily, what with all the amenities we have, multitasking and what not. 

But that’s not how God made us to go about this earthly life. And here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises titled ‘The Reason,’ which accentuates what I’m talking about. 

Please pray with me. ‘God, why am I so often defeated? Why am I so full of dread and anxiety? Why am I so lamentably weak – So perilously susceptible to temptation? Why am I so often inhospitable So intolerant of the needs of others? Why am I so undisciplined So restless and dissatisfied? Why do I protest so violently? Above all, God Why do I so frequently lose The sense of your shining Presence? God, why? Why?’ 

Oh my fellow believers, too often, too many of us cry out to the Lord with words and feelings akin to those. But you know what God replies. It’s so simple and true: ‘Because you pray so little.’ Amen! 

Yeh friends, if our souls and spirits are always, or too often in turmoil, then it simply means that we’re not communicating with our heavenly Father enough. 

And the Bible verse for that promise is the middle verse of these simple and basic instructions from Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians. ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:16-18) 

And yuh know my brethren, if we’d simply adhere to those three, simple basic things, ‘rejoicing, praying and giving thanks’ continually, our lives would be amazingly less troublesome and confrontational. 

Now that is exactly what Christ is saying to the disciples, and to us in our Bit. ‘Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.’ 

He’s telling them that up to that time, they hadn’t asked anything of God in His name, but that they should begin doing so, because He is the conduit between mankind and the Creator. You can’t get to the Father except through Him. And if you ask, you’ll receive. 

And isn’t that  the general way things happen? When we want something we ask for it? And hopefully we’ll receive it. Obviously Jesus wasn’t talking about blatantly selfish needs or worldly lusts and sensual pleasures, but stuff that it would please the Father to give us, like our daily bread, and forgiveness of our sins. 

Now yesterday we looked at the ‘joy’ aspect of our Bit, today let’s look a little at the asking and receiving part of it. Jesus said it several times; the most famous being: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.’ (Matt.7:7-8) As always, simple instructions from our Leader. 

And after He had cursed the fig tree and told the disciples about having faith, He reiterated. ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ Matt.21:22) 

And the last quote from Jesus, after He tells the disciples about His going back to the Father. ‘And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.’ (John 14:13-14) 

The scholars explain: ‘13-14: In my name means “as My agent.” The promise of answered prayer is based on the disciple acting as the agent of Jesus’ will (cf. 16:23-26). It is also linked here especially in the accomplishment of the “greater works,” (vs.12). The promise is for unlimited resources to do the works of God.’ 

However friends, there is one proviso scripture to all of that. Listen to James. ‘Ye lust, and have not: ye kill (murder), and desire to have (covet), and cannot obtain: ye fight and war (battle), yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (worldly pleasures). (James 4:2-3) 

Yeh mih people, that just shows that a lot of the times we ask for the wrong things for the wrong reasons, and the Lord will not grant them to us. We need to ask for the things of God, so we can do His work. 

That brings us to our Tuesday Mantra. Let’s declare it as though we truly mean it. ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Now it’s time to walk that talk! Much LOVE!

…if you don’t ask…you won’t get…simple as that…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 September 2017 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.

Ah mih fellow believers, it’s so good to wake up to the best day of the week once again! Yes, it’s the Lord’s Day; time for worship and praise, fellowship and spiritual renewal on a more particular basis. 

So let’s not be found wanting, let’s ‘hie’ ourselves hither to His tabernacle today and with our fellow believers praise and glorify and exalt God’s holy name. And, as always, let’s open with a song, for there’s nothing that gets us in the mood, opens our hearts, minds and souls to receive God’s Word like a bout of praise and worship. 

And today, as we desperately plead for help for ourselves and our friends, families and neighbours all over the world, who are facing very disastrous times, there is no song more appropriate than this one: ‘What a friend we have in Jesus.’  

So let’s sing it out, loud and clear, heartfelt and sincere, as we bring to remembrance all that Jesus has done for us, and has promised to do, both in the good times and the rough times, and the simple, but awesome fact that there’s NO ONE greater, or more important than Him, in our lives. 

The hymn was apparently written by one Joseph M. Scriven in 1855 to com­fort his mo­ther, who was across the sea from him in Ire­land. It was orig­in­al­ly pub­lished anon­y­mous­ly, and Scriv­en did not re­ceive full cred­it for al­most 30 years. 

With sacrificial praise from our lips then, let’s tell our story. ‘What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer. 

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer. Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care? Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer. Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer! In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer. Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there.’ 

Oh friends, what wonderful words of peace, comfort and reassurance! But yuh know, the most poignant and reality based words in the hymn are: ‘O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.’ 

That’s ever so true my people! A lot of our pains and problems stem from either our foolish pride or lack of knowledge, because both keep us from taking those same pains and problems to Jesus in prayer. And who knows what the results might have been, had we taken the time to go to Jesus in prayerful mode. 

And strangely, even in these times of serious disaster, many so-called believers won’t even consider turning to God in prayer, again because of foolish pride. Amazingly though, it’s the unbelievers, who most of all, in rough times, find their voices and cry out to God for help and mercy. 

Oh my brethren, please remember that prayer is the most powerful force in the universe. It’s God’s stated means of communication with us. So if we don’t pray, then effectively, we’re not communicating with the Most High God, our Creator and Provider. And who suffers for that lack of communication eh? Not God, but us! 

And though God might not answer our prayers the way we want them to be answered, He always answers them, whether it be ‘Yes, No, Not Now,’ or whatever. The problem is that we’ll never know His answer until we carry our problems to Him in prayer. 

Why do you think Jesus communicated the thinking in our Bit? ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.’ 

Because prayer is ever so important, so essential for mankind. It’s as important as food and water. If we don’t have those two ingredients for a while we die. We also die, spiritually, if we don’t have prayer. 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘18:1. To faint means “to lose heart.” Precisely when tempted to give up, men ought to be strong in their resolve to pray.’ I couldn’t have said it any better my brethren. 

And why do you think Bruh Paul made that bold pronouncement to the Thessalonians eh? ‘Pray without ceasing?’ Because it’s such a vital part of our existence! 

So friends, on this Sunday in September, when our world seems to be falling apart right before our very eyes, let’s be wise, remember the words of Jesus and Bruh Paul and get back to prayer; constantly and diligently, sincerely and humbly. That is the wisest action we can take in what seems to be the approaching end times. Much LOVE!

…prayer is spiritual food…essential for the believer’s soul…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 July 2017 Psalm 55:16.

Psalm 55:16.   As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me.

‘Alive! Still alive! Still alive and kicking! Give God the glory!’ Yeh friends, the ole fella is still alive and kicking! What an honour! 

That means God still has some plan for me to accomplish. And though I might not be kicking as healthily and actively as I’d like, once I’m alive, I have hope that things can get better. But if I’m not alive, things can’t get any better here on earth. (smile) 

So let’s praise our wonderful God and give Him much, much thanks for everyday we open our eyes to a bright new morning with Jesus the focus of our lives. Glory to God! 

So it’s Friday and the workingman is overjoyed at his short stint of upcoming freedom, and understandably shouts: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday mih breddren! No more labour till Monday! We going to laugh and sing and party like there was no tomorrow…

For who knows if there’ll be a tomorrow anyway! So let’s party up a storm and enjoy the fruits of we labour nuh like Cousin Sol, the wisest man ever, advised. Thank God for Fridays and the weekend oui!’  

And Cousin Sol did advise that my friends, but I don’t think he meant for us to go overboard with it, as the workingman seems to advocate. I believe he would have liked to see some boundaries, boundaries that did not allow the enemy to get into our lives. 

He’d much prefer a statement along the lines of our Friday Chant, which advocates a tad more circumspection. So let’s give voice to our Friday Chant nuh…declare it like we truly mean it. ‘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!’ 

Ah mih people, I guess that’s what you’d call erring on the safe side (smile). But there is an enormous benefit to it; spending more time with God and less with the enemy! And anytime we can do that, we’re winning the battle of life. 

That brings us to our Bit; the proclamation of Bruh David from Psalm 55 – the cry against deceitful friends. In the midst of it all, he faithfully and boldly declares: ‘As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me.’ 

What awesome faith my brethren! How many of us boldly make such declarations when the trials and tribulations of life are coming against us eh? Not as many as should, I’d dare to say. 

When times are good, we talk a good talk, but when they get rough, the exact time when we desperately need God, too many of us forget Him, give up hope and allow the ever-lurking enemy to confuffle us even further. That’s foolish, unproductive and ungodly behaviour my fellow believers, which severely detracts from our faith walk. 

Instead, we should be declaring powerful acclamations like Bruh David did after our Bit: ‘Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.’ (Psalm 55:17) Yeh precious people of God, when our prayers are constantly being floated up to heaven, we are assured of more assurance in our faith walk. (smile) 

That’s why Bruh Paul told the Thessalonians: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:16-18) And the scholars tell us that ‘the constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer to maintain gratitude (even) in the face of adversity.’ 

What more can we ask eh friends? Not a whole lot. To be grateful in the rough times is the mark of a true believer. And Bruh Paul also exhorted Timothy to prayer when he wrote. ‘I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.’ (1 Tim.2:8) 

So again we see that prayer should not only be constant, but it can be done anywhere, preferably ‘with a pure life without disputes.’ 

And we won’t forget to mention Jesus’ advice on the subject. ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ (Luke 18:1) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus. ’18:1. To faint means to “lose heart.” Precisely when tempted to give up, men ought to be strong in their resolve to pray.’ Exactly the message I’ve been trying to covey my fellow believers. 

Now we’ll close with a powerful example of what we’re talking about. It’s about Daniel, when his enemies plotted against him and had the king sign a law that forbade anyone to ‘ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save (except) of thee O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.’ (Dan.6:7b). 

They knew that the only way they could get to Daniel was through his God. But Daniel was not perturbed. The Good Book tells us: ‘Now when Daniel knew that the writing (written decree) was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a (that) day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime (had been doing all along). 

Then these men assembled and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.’ (Dan.6:10-11) 

And we all know the story how Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den but the Lord stopped them from harming him. 

Oh friends, examples like Daniel have been placed in the Word to encourage and uplift us, so that we too can take courage in the efficacy of prayer. Please, let’s use them productively nuh, like our caring and compassionate God intended. Much LOVE!

…to pray…and yet to pray…and still yet to pray…that is the answer…

 

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