Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 June 2021 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

1 Thessalonians 5:18.     ​In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Oh friends, it’s a glorious Monday morning; a new day of a new week, and we’re all alive and kicking, so please, in gratitude for such blessing, let’s do as the psalmist decreed so long ago nuh! ‘Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.’ (Ps. 150:6) Yes my people, everything and everyone that draws the living breath of the Lord this morning ought to shout ‘Hallelujah! Praise the Lord for His goodness to His creations!’ For there’s none like Him, and will never be any other deity with His LOVE and compassion! That’s the indisputable truth! 

And on a lesser level now, you’ll be proud of the ole fella, for remember last Monday I promised to improve my game, to do more of the things I wanted to do? Well, I did! Still not as much as I would have ideally liked to do, because I was somewhat under the weather with allergies and a cough giving me a hard time. But I did do more than I’ve been doing in the last li’l while! Give the Lord some praise for that! (smile) 

Oh precious people, we can never go wrong by giving thanks to God. That’s one place where we are always on solid ground. As Bruh Paul said to the Colossians: ‘Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus; giving thanks to God and the Father by him.’ (Col. 3:16-17) 

And here are some interesting explanations on those verses from the scholars. ‘3:16. When believers are forbearing, forgiving (vs. 13), and LOVING (vs.14), toward one another, when peace reigns among God’s people (vs. 15), then the church is fertile soil for the blessings produced by the word of Christ.’ Now is that the current state of our church, would we say it’s fertile soil? I would say, certainly not! And per ‘3:17. The beneficial influence produced by the indwelling word of Christ is not only to affect public and private worship (vs. 16), but is also to control ALL areas of a Christian’s life.’ 

Yeh friends, in giving our ALL to Christ, we allow Him…or are supposed to allow Him to control all aspects of our lives. Unfortunately though, many of us don’t give up total control to Christ, but we still want and expect to get the total blessings that come with His control. We can’t live like that my brethren. All we are doing is shortchanging ourselves when we promise to give all, but then withhold some, for we’ll never get the full benefit of Christ’s goodness under those circumstances. 

And I’m chuckling here, because I had not intended to preach, (smile) but just to give us some good tidings re giving thanks. And I see no reason to not continue down that path. Our next section of thanks comes from Bruh Paul’s first epistle to the Thessalonians, where he sincerely admonishes them…and us, to ’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) 

It could not get any plainer than that my fellow saints in Christ. God’s will is for us to rejoice and pray and give thanks through Christ! What an awesome privilege and benefit! And the scholars explain it thus: ‘5:18. In every event or circumstance (thing) the Christian is to give thanks to God for the good He can bring out of the event, even should the event be unpleasant. The constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer to maintain gratitude in the face of adversity.’ 

Now that brings us back to the famous verse we all know: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God; to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) So, if we are well looked after in every circumstance, on every front, by an omnipotent and generous God, how can we not be thankful and live the way He desires of us eh? But the truth is that we have been ungrateful and disobedient and consequently have gotten ourselves in serious trouble, and since He is the only One who can relieve our discomfort, we need to go back to Him with thanksgiving and prayer as Bruh Paul advised. 

And to show our new wisdom and understanding, let’s go to Him right now with our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, sincerely laying all our fears and problems at His feet. As one strong 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, unless the Lord sees sincere repentance in our future behaviour, He will not answer our request positively. So it’s obvious that we need to do much better that we’re currently doing. Much LOVE!

…let him who has ears to hear…hear…                                                                

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 March 2021 Ecclesiastes 12:13.

Ecclesiastes 12:13.     Fear (reverence) God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Oh friends, it’s another bright and sunshiny morning with more springlike temps! And best of all, the Lord chose to wash the earth clean last evening with a glorious thunderstorm. So out there looks fresh and new now, and there’s a feeling of hope in the air! Yuh know how we usually feel clean and refreshed after a shower! Well that’s how the earth looks this morning! Glory be! 

And here’s some more good news. The ole fella now has a podcast on the Anchor website of WordPress, where our blog is displayed. Our God is certainly something else yes, great and mysterious. I’d been wondering about doing a podcast since it’s all the rage now, but thought it would be too complicated, however, a few days ago, when I was posting the blog, I noticed a sign that said turn your blog into a podcast. But that day I ignored it. 

The next day though, I ventured into the unknown and soon thereafter, without a whole lot of fuss our Scrip-Bits Podcast was born! Glory to God my people! So for those of you who prefer to hear me, rather than read me, (smile) you can go to this link https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8 and sign in to Spotify with whatever you choose. Now it’s just a simple podcast, so don’t look for fabulous sounds and sights, (smile) just my growly voice. 

And oh, here’s something else, I never told you about. If you want to hear my gravelly voice, well done, with music, then you can contact me at randyobrien50@hotmail.com to purchase a C.D, or rather a double C.D, titled ‘Some of My Favourite Script-Bits, Vol. 1’ which I recently put out. It’s not available on a website or streaming as yet. But you’ll get two for one: The spoken word with music behind them, and just music alone. And the music is quite eclectic, varied, so you’re sure to find several things you like. 

Believe me, producing that C.D has truly been what we call a labour of LOVE! It’s been about ten years in the making. Ah Lord, when I think about the process, I just have to shake my head and chuckle. I had the vocals all ready to go from the beginning, but couldn’t find anyone willing to write the music. Then, in the Lord’s time, He sent someone along to do it. And even then, there were roadblocks all along the way. But would you believe that’s in the height of the pandemic, He allowed me to complete it. 

Ah mih people, I keep telling us that the Lord surely moves in mysterious ways and His timing can be somewhat tough and overbearing, but when we wait on Him, He does good things when we least expect it. And today’s certainly a good news Friday, for here’s what the ordinary workingman has to say. His enthusiasm has certainly been raised a notch, as he declares: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday…And though a whole lot hasn’t changed, there is at least a li’l light at the end of the tunnel. My boss called this week and said that we’d be able to go back to work in the next easing stage of the lockdown! Glory be! 

And since I’m one of the older employees, I’ll be amongst the first to go back. It’ll sure feel good to earn some money after such a long time! Let’s hope the next easing stage doesn’t take too long nuh, because then I’ll be so out of shape, I might not be able to do all the heavy lifting and physical stuff we need to do on the job. And with the vaccine being handed out, it’s the first sign of optimism I’ve felt in many a day. Ah Lord eh! Let’s hope that the foolish people out there don’t relax their caution either, now that there’s a vaccine and cause another corona wave to start nuh. So things looking up. Thank God oui!’ 

Oh mih bredrin, as Bruh Paul so rightly said to 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 isn’t that the indisputable truth! 

And we on a roll here friends, for when I opened the Good Book just now, to look for some scripture to back up all that we’ve said, it opened at this interesting section of Ecclesiastes, where Cousin Sol proclaims: ‘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.’ (Eccl. 5:18) Yes friends, enjoyment is a gift of God, and we ought to be excited and motivated to do just that, as our life is so short here on planet earth. Oh we can’t get away from troubles, but in our honest toil and labour with God beside us, we can certainly find joy. 

And Cousin Sol wraps up the Book of Ecclesiastes with these awesome words. ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear (reverence) God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl. 12:13-14) And that’s the gospel truth friends! Our job is to obey God and do His will, but we will all answer for our actions or lack thereof come the judgement day. 

Now let’s go to God with that awesome privilege of prayer, through our Friday Chant, and empty our hearts, pour out our hopes and dreams before His holy throne. Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And if we truly want the strife and sickness in our world to be lessened, then we have to keep our vow to God; be faithful believers, and handle the situation properly with true repentance and LOVE for Him and each other! Much LOVE!

…the Lord gave us life…so that we could enjoy it…within His boundaries… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 February 2021 Job 13:15a.

Job 13:15a.     ​Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:

And after the snow comes the mild temperatures…then comes the snow again! I guess that’s how life is, how the Lord orchestrated it to happen; feast then famine, sorrow then joy, one good then bad and so on. But throughout it all He expects us to have a good attitude, to trust Him to work all things out together for our good, as His faithful promise proclaims. (Rom. 8:28) 

And yes, that good attitude is not always easy to come by, especially when the evil and trouble of the world comes against us, but if we are sincere in our trust and belief in Christ Jesus, then we will be able to do it; He will empower us to come up higher in His name. But we have to reach that level of faith where we know that we know that we know ALL His promises are faithful and leave it all in His mighty hands. 

Oh friends, we need to reach the level of faithful maturity so that we can say like Job, when his whole world suddenly came tumbling down. ‘Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return thither; the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly (accused Him with wrong).’ (Job 1:21-22) 

Yeh mih people, all of that is much easier said than done, but as believers that’s where we need to get to in this earthly life. How many of us accuse God, even curse Him when things go wrong in our lives even while we’re trying to live right eh? Too many! We need to remember that God is the BOSS, and whatever He says goes, even though it may seem unfair to us. 

And remember too that His mind and ways are higher than ours, thus His plans and purposes we will never fully understand. And if we intend to live a fairly peaceful and productive life here on earth, we need to understand, believe and live His faithful word. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) 

Oh my brethren, once we can get those promises written down deep in our hearts, minds and souls, then we can live the kind of earthly life Jesus died for us to live; one of peace and abundance, with our eyes focused on the things of heaven, not those of the earth. And if you don’t believe me, then check out how God dealt with Job nuh. After He allowed Satan to inflict wrong on Job so He could prove Job’s faithfulness, He gave Job twice as much as he had in the beginning. ‘And the Lord turned (restored) the captivity (losses) of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.’ (Job 42:10) 

Please notice praying for his friends was also an important aspect of God restoring Job’s fortunes. And please note too that Satan had to go to God to get to Job. The Good Book says: ‘Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan (the Adversary) came also among them.’ (Job 1:6) 

And if we’re wondering how that was possible, hear the scholars. ‘1:6. Sons of God in this passage refers to angelic beings. Satan is considered one of them, though fallen from his original sinless state. His name means “Adversary,” and in this narrative he lives up to its meaning. The passage shows that Satan has access to God’s presence, though this does not seem to be Satan’s abode.’ 

Oh my people, nobody knows how God operates better than Satan, because he was once one of His top operatives before his pride and lofty position made him too big for his britches, and he got kicked out of heaven for trying to overthrow God. Just imagine the ‘boldfacedness’ of the created being nuh! Unfortunately though, we’re doing just like he did, trying to kick God our of our society. But a word of warning to the wise: that will NEVER happen! 

Anyhow, moving on with the story from the Good Book. ‘And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.’ (Job 1:7) The scholars tell us that refers to Satan’s activity, and though he does not admit it there, his many travels are for evil purposes. (1 Pet. 5:8) 

‘The activity of Satan indicates that he has only limited access to God. This account in Job emphasizes that God is sovereign over Satan. It also teaches that Satan is a finite being and therefore not omnipresent (be in several places at once). Nor can he touch God’s servants without God’s permission.’ 

And all God’s children said a loud ‘Amen!’ to that. Then, I like how God boasted on Job to Satan. ‘Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect (blameless) and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth (shuns) evil?’ (Job 1:8) Oh brother, I don’t know if I want the Lord to boast so on me to the enemy nuh. (smile) 

But as the scholars explain: ‘1:8. The initiative in the conversation lies with God, but He may well have simply expressed what was on Satan’s mind. God’s view of Job is the same as the description given in 1:1.’ And Satan failed miserably in trying to get Job to curse God. 

Instead he worshipped Him. Despite all the inaccurate and hurtful things his supposed friends said against him, and the way that people despised and turned away from him, Job stood strong in the faith of his God. These word of his, say it all. ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways (defend my ways) before him. He shall also be my salvation: for a hypocrite shall not come before him.’ (Job 13:15-16) 

Mama Yo! That’s what yuh call ‘strong faith!’ And the scholars explain: ‘13:15. Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him expresses the unquenchable faith of one who lives by faith, not by sight. Even when it appears that God Himself has turned against Job, he will still trust in God.’ 

Now friends, it’s that kind of unquenchable faith that we need to have, especially in these very rough times that we’re currently experiencing. It’s not easy, and will never be easy, once we live here on planet earth with the prince of darkness it’s ruling force. But we know that Jesus will come again and eventually make everything right. 

And this note from the scholars on the turning around of Job’s life is important. ‘The point to be garnered from the book is not that God intends to deal with every servant as abundantly as He did with Job; rather, that God holds sovereign and LOVING sway over every human life. Therefore He can be trusted implicitly in all things (cf. Rom. 8:28; 1Thess. 5:18).’ And that’s what I’ve been trying to say from the very beginning friends! (smile) 

So for those of us who sincerely believe and implicitly trust, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. As one strong voice: ‘In God’s eyes, 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 let’s go and do exactly that nuh! Much LOVE!

…the Christian motto…rejoice evermore…pray without ceasing…in everything give thanks… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 January 2021 Psalm 19:14.

Psalm 19:14.     ​Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (my rock), and my redeemer.

Another snow-filled morning…but who’s counting or bothering eh? Certainly not me, or any of those Jesus filled believers who have to trudge out and about in it! (smile) That’s because with Jesus both in us and by our side we will not fear, regardless of what the world and its evil self choses to throw against us. And all of God’s children said a loud and proud: ‘Praise the Lord for His goodness and strength to the children of men!’ And that’s for sure friends, the Lord deserves much more thanks than we give Him. 

But remember, we promised to change that for this new year of 2021. Yes, this blessed year of 2021, we going to be sincerely singing the praises of our Lord and Saviour as we diligently carry out His work! We going to rise up and be who we ought to be; powerful and authoritative people of God, but filled with peace, LOVE, thanks, grace, mercy and all the other fruits of the Spirit! 

Wow! Beware evil world, Christ’s mighty army is coming against you this year, we going to be fighting you tooth and nail, right down to the wire, until your evil carcass lies wasted, lies a rotting in Hades! What powerful sentiments and promises friends. I do hope we keep them. (smile) 

Now, let’s see what our friend Anselm had to tell us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And thank the Lord, there is no preface to deal with this week! (smile) Yes it’s somewhat different this week. And it unfurls with this greeting and word of advice: ‘There are greater things to be achieved in every new year, and each and everyone must prepare themselves to be great, not by words of the mouth, but by a lot of sacrifices. Do stay safe.’ 

Ah precious people of God, our friend Anselm hit the nail on the head right there! Much talking must stop and be replaced by much action, with many sacrifices, cause that’s the example our Leader, Jesus set us. All of us want to be great, but we don’t want to expend the labour, the blood, sweat and tears it takes to do it. So we just talk up a storm, but do nothing worthwhile about it, because we just plain scared or lazy or whatever to truly confront the world in Jesus’ name. 

Remember Jesus told us not to fear so often that it ought to be seared into our minds, souls, bodies and spirits. And furthermore, He informed us that there would be trouble in the world but He had already conquered it, so we should be cheerful and just keep on doing what we ought to, because He would always be with us, right down to the very end of the age! That’s means, the world and its evil rulers can’t conquer us if we stand up strong with Jesus all around us, as He’s promised. 

So then, here’s this most interesting and very worthy advice from our friend Anselm. ‘We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth friends? We always seem to look for the bad parts in us, but seldom the good ones. We do have good parts yuh know, parts filled with lots of potential that God placed there for us to work on and fulfill our destiny and His purpose for our lives. Unfortunately though, we don’t pay sufficient attention to that aspect of our lives. 

And per Anselm, here are some ‘Things to think about for 2021:’ And the first bit of advice is ‘Talk less; listen more;’ Brother! Is that ever appropriate for many of us, including me. I even promised my family that I wouldn’t talk as much as I do. So there you see, I’m already on the right track. Hope I can fulfill that promise though, because it’s not an easy one to keep, but we can do it, if we cry out to God for help, like Bruh David did: ‘Set a watch (guard), O Lord, before my mouth; keep (watch over) the door of my lips. Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties (delicacies).’ (Ps. 141:3-4) 

And if we’re sincere about it, the Lord will certainly hear our prayer and help us. Or we can also plead like Bruh David in Psalm 19: ‘Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (my rock), and my redeemer.’ (Ps. 19:14) Yes friends, we know we’re maturing when our words and the motives of our hearts are not displeasing to our heavenly Father. 

But moving right along, Anselm then tells us: ‘Remind yourself you are not the General Manager of the Universe;’ Now that’s certainly interesting because too many of us believe that we run the world; that it should run like we say or think. But for our information, that’s God’s job! We’re just a li’l speck in the great plan He has for His universe! So let’s not go messing with it nuh, as though it’s ours to set straight, for the Lord doesn’t take kindly to others trying to run His business. (smile) Let’s just concentrate on the li’l portion He gave us to look after nuh. We not even doing that properly, but we want to look after the world. (smile) 

And in the process, Anselm informs us that another useful endeavour would be to ‘Sit on your ego;’ And oh, do we ever need to do that in this ego driven, celebrity worshipping world of ours, where every li’l knuckle head – not the word I really wanted to use – (smile) thinks, believes and acts like a superstar. Steups! But fortunately, many of them flame out just as quickly as they catch fire. Oh friends, until we realize that there’s ONLY ONE SUPERSTAR in this universe, JESUS, and start worshipping Him and not our fellow weak, mortal, frail and finite man, our lives won’t be worth a whole lot! 

Now according to Anselm, we ought to also ‘Take one day at a time;’ And that’s wise advice, since Jesus told us the same thing long ago. ‘Take therefore no thought for (don’t worry about) the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt. 6:34) Yeh, we can make some plans, with God ‘s help, but if we don’t look after today, who says we’ll be around to see tomorrow eh? 

And while we’re doing that, it would also be wise to ‘Separate worries from concerns. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you to do and let go of the anxiety. If you can’t do anything about a situation, forget it;’ Absolute words of wisdom my brethren! Brother Anselm’s been preaching to us today! (smile) I would like to add one thing to that though, if you can’t do anything about the situation, but it’s real important, then give it to God, let Him hold it for you, while He works on it. We don’t need to hold it if we can’t fix it. Just give it to the Master Fixer. 

And last but not least, possibly most important, Anselm advises us to ‘PRAY!’ Ah mih people, that is indeed the crowning glory of all we do! As Bruh Paul told 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 that is indeed God’s will for His people! 

Then Anselm ends by wishing a ‘Happy New Year to all my friends and family.’ And I wish the same for all of us my precious saints in Christ! Let’s make 2021 a banner year for the church and people of Christ! Much LOVE!

…if you truly believe…then you ought to rejoice…pray…and give plenty thanks… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 December 2020 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18.

1 Thessalonians 5:17-18.     ​Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

And then it was Friday; the day we all so look forward to because it means the end of our work week and the beginning of our partying time. (smile) But yuh know what? Plenty of us haven’t worked for a long time, neither partied for a long while, and plenty of us won’t be working or partying for an even longer while, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, which seems to spread very rapidly when we gather together in large groups without masks and taking the other necessary precautions. 

Unfortunately though, too many of us are ignoring the limitations and still gathering in large groups and partying regardless, and that’s one of the reasons why the Covid-19 count is still reaching record highs every day! Steups! And that’s how the supposedly smartest creature on the planet is behaving. Hn! But that’s just my take on the subject though, let’s see what the ordinary working man has to say about it all. 

And he ambles up in a contrary mood. ‘Why yuh telling me about TGIF, Thank God is Friday eh? What is there to thank God for this Friday a couple weeks before Christmas? Ah don’t have no work, and no decent money coming in. The li’l pittance the government promise could barely pay mih rent! They not even telling me about when I could go back to work – if ah even going to have a work to go back to when all this nonsense done! 

All they telling me is to stay home and to social distance and to wear masks if I go out. But where ah getting the money from to buy the blooming mask and them eh? All ah hearing is about a vaccine coming soon…but how soon is soon eh? And then yuh hearing so much bad things about the vaccine an’ them, how deh using them to change people DNA and inject them with the mark of the beast and what not…so what’s a poor body to do eh, how to know truth from fiction eh? Steups! 

This world in such a mess eh? And when yuh add in the antics of the fool and his bunch of foolish cronies down in the U.S…. well is only bad and negative things could come out of it all yes! Ah sorry for mih children and them yes, because they surely going to have a very hard world to navigate through oui!’ 

And isn’t that the indisputable truth my brethren! This world is going to be much harder to navigate when all the nonsense we currently going through ends. And yes, it will end at some stage of the game, but how and when are the unknown, but the two most important variables right now. So like the ordinary workingman asks, what’s a body to do eh? The first thing is to obey the rules and regulations; do your part in not spreading the virus. And as yuh doing that, simultaneously turn to Almighty God and pray; pray like you’ve never done before. 

Like Bruh Paul said to the Thessalonians: ‘Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:17-18) And if we’d take a moment and ponder our recent past, and be truthful about it, we’d realize that neither of those two things; praying and giving thanks, have been our strongpoints in the last decade or so. No wonder our world is in such a mess. If the Lord desires prayer and thanksgiving, and we’re refusing, how can our world function properly and efficiently eh? No way Jose! 

So let’s see if we can’t begin to straighten out those problems right now nuh…Yes my people, right now we going to start to pray and give thanks on a regular basis – that’s if we want our world to survive in a reasonable state. So for those of us who desire such an outcome, let’s go to God right now, in humble adoration and unburden our heavy and weary hearts to Him, through our Friday Chant. 

As one strong voice now, in all sincerity: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now we can’t just say that prayer, hopefully with sincere hearts, and expect all our troubles to vanish into thin air. No! We need to keep on praying and giving thanks and being obedient to the government’s rules and regulations, as well as the Lord’s, except where they conflict, and then the Lord’s governance takes control. It’s the only way friends. 

But many many more of us have to seriously buy into that solution for it to come to fruition. The relatively small number now seriously involved is definitely not enough to turn things around. So I guess it behooves us to talk to others so that they can buy in. And that’s all Jesus is asking of us: to tell people about Him and His word. And after all that He’s sacrificed on our behalf, is that so much to ask? Not really. Much LOVE!

…for our world to run properly…Jesus must be NUMBER ONE… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 October 2020 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

1 Thessalonians 5:18.     ​In every thing give thanks: for that is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

 Well the weather is behaving just as inconsistently as us! (smile) Yeh, yesterday it didn’t morph into any bright and sunshiny skies, just remained dark and dreary. Now today, after a foggy, drizzly night, the sun is out there trying to overcome the dark rain-filled clouds. Who knows which aspect will be victorious eh? Only the good Lord at this particular time, but we’ll find out eventually. 

Yeh friends, that’s the way we live a lot of our life, not sure what’s happening in our present or future, and only understanding it when it becomes our past. As Cousin Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say; ‘you live life forward, but understand it backward.’ And that’s certainly the truth…if you understand it at all. (smile) Anyhow, enough of me, let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say this cloudy Friday morning, as we run through the month of a very calamitous October. 

And as usual, he opines: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and work soon done for a couple days! It’s good to see another weekend, although there still isn’t much to do in it, but stay home and stay safe, for the Covid-19 numbers not coming down appreciably even though some of us still in phase 2 of the lockdown. In fact, the average cases actually going up, and some four major hospitals have outbreaks of the virus now. Ah Lord, what is happening eh? An’ people still refuse to wear masks, wash dem hands and stay away from crowds, the only things we currently have to somewhat control the virus So what yuh expect eh? Steups! 

But as my old mother always use to tell me: ‘Son, when yuh don’t hear, yuh does feel.’ And believe me, plenty times when I didn’t hear her, I certainly felt her! (smile) And is the same thing that’s happening to us as a society now. We not listening to the medical advice, what little we have, so people still living in fear of the tiny li’l virus that yuh can’t even see with the naked eye. What a knowledgeable and revolutionary society we’ve built eh… Hn! 

The trouble is that though we society so advanced and so flashy looking, we still only full of heifer dust! And as they say, if yuh put a pig in a palace, it still going to be a pig, and still going to behave like one! But with a small man like me, all I can do is try to keep my family safe yes, and say thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Ah mih bredrin, when you have a preponderance of sin, foolish pride, greed, hunger for power, and a lack of godly principles in a society, there will never be peace nor stability. And those are the things which are currently running rampant in our society, so it’s no surprise that we are in such a distasteful and disastrous situation. And how do we solve our calamitous situation eh? I just came upon a couple verses of rather appropriate scripture, some prayerful words ascribed to the prophet Daniel, when Israel was suffering the consequences of one of their disobedient spells; seventy years of captivity in Babylon. 

Daniel prayed: ‘O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city (Jerusalem) which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do (listen and act); defer (delay) not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.’ (Dan. 9:18-19) 

Yeh friends, it seems that it’s only in our dark and dreary times that we remember the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And so it is in these times, many who had turned away from God, for whatever reason, are now crying out to him for help and succour as they go through unprecedented and very unfavourable times. And those of us who have remained faithful and steadfast during the exodus from God’s fold, we too need to get very prayerful. As Bruh Paul said to the Thessalonians: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for that is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-19) 

Ah mih people, those are not easy rules to follow, but if we want to be successful in this life, we ought to follow them as best we can, obviously with the Lord’s help. Hear these explanations from the scholars. ‘5:17. Pray without ceasing… the believer ought to remain in an attitude of prayer though not always praying audibly.’ That means praying at intervals throughout the day. ‘5:18. In every event or circumstance (thing) the Christian is to give thanks to God for the good He can bring out of the event, even should the event be unpleasant. The constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer to maintain gratitude in the face of adversity.’ 

Yeh friends, it’s not a matter of giving thanks for the adversity, although that will help us grow stronger in faith, but more for the fact that God can bring good from all our adversity. Remember the famous scripture that promises it. ‘And we all know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) So we need to be prisoners of hope and hang in there. And as per quenching God’s Spirit, we must ‘not stifle, suppress or hinder the Spirit’s workings by stopping Him from leading us to rejoice (vs. 16), to pray (vs. 17), to give thanks in adversity (vs. 18).’ 

Oh my fellow saints in Christ, it’s in those times of dire need that we need to listen to the Spirit’s leading and guiding more than ever. So let’s put some of that into action right now nuh, by going to God in prayer and supplication, making our needs, wants, fears and anxieties humbly known to Him through our Friday Chant. 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’  

Now if we were really sincere in that prayer, then we need to go out and behave like faithful believers, handle the situation the way Christ desires, so that others can take example from us and come to Him. Much LOVE!

…talk is cheap…but action needs sacrifice…let’s see some works with our faith…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 August 2020 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18.

1 Thessalonians 5:17-18.     ​Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Oh friends there’s nothing better to awaken to than a clean earth that’s been well washed by divine showers of blessings during the night, and then opens as a bright and sunshiny day. Everything smells fresh and clean and there’s an added sparkle to the morning, as when silver is polished to a heightened state. (smile) Well that’s the kind of day with which we’ve been blessed in my area on this lazy, late summer Saturday. And since it’s Saturday, I guess I should turn my attention to the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And this first one is certainly interesting: ‘Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.’ Now that’s what you call gospel truth, because none of us ever knows if our next breath may be our last. The Grim reaper can come calling so suddenly, that we need to continually remember the vapour that life is. As James puts it: ‘Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.’ (James 4:14) And Job, when he remonstrates with God, solemnly declares (yeah!): ‘O remember that my life is wind…’ (Job 7:7) 

That just goes to show how frail and uncertain our lives can be. Consequently, this next quote can certainly help us in that regard. ‘If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.’ Ah mih people, those two words, ‘thank you,’ are possibly the best two we can ever say to God or man. Now I’m assuming that the author of that quote doesn’t mean the one single prayer you’ve ever said in your entire life, and that you’ve never said another, (smile) but that ‘thank you’ is the prayer you say continually, and nothing else. 

Under those circumstance I believe that God will be extremely pleased, because all He asks of us is to be thankful and grateful for the life and blessings He’s so generously bestowed on us, especially the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. And as Jesus says, we don’t need to prayer long prayers. ‘But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.’ (Matt. 6:7) Now that doesn’t mean that our every prayer should be only a few words, but generally speaking, babbling on like the heathen are accused of doing, doesn’t mean our prayers will be heard or answered any quicker. 

That leads to the following quote, which does a marvellous job of explaining how our lives ought to be ordered. Listen up carefully. ‘It is necessary, then, to cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.’ Oh friends, oh friends, what wonderful truth is contained in those words, and if we were to ever follow it, our lives would be different like night and day! 

And it’s so sad to realize that the habits of gratefulness and thankfulness are fading fast away from our greedy, selfish, godless and immoral society. For some of us, saying thank you, or showing gratefulness is like pulling teeth without the use of anesthetic! Being grateful for all that we have, or have done, which makes us who we are, has become anathema to our society, and has been replaced by the cult of entitlement. Yes, entitlement now rules the roost my brethren! We are now entitled to everything! 

But let’s remember the immortal words of Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians nuh: ‘Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:17-18) That means, as the scholars explain: ‘5:17. A believer ought to remain in the attitude of prayer though not always praying audibly.’ ‘5:18. In every event or circumstance (thing) the Christian is to give thanks to God for the good He can bring out of the event, even should the event be unpleasant. The constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer to maintain gratitude in the face of adversity.’ 

And to the Ephesians, re the ways of the believer, Bruh Paul said it thus: ‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; submitting yourselves one to another in the fear (reverence) of God.’ (Eph. 5:20-21). Meanwhile to the Colossians, he said: ‘And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.’ (Col. 3:17) How much more do we need to hear for it to sink in and take active root in our lives eh my people? 

And this last quote covers, or encapsulates all the others. ‘When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.’ And is that the living truth! My precious people of God, when we begin counting our blessings, instead of our adversity, then the whole mood, mode and tempo of our lives change for the better. Our vibes then become positive and not negative and we look forward to life each and every day, although we know that it won’t always run as smoothly as we desire. 

But that’s the Spirit of God then working in us to lighten and brighten our days. As the song ‘Count Your Blessings’ so wonderfully puts it: ‘Count your blessings, name them one by one; count your blessings, see what God hath done…’ Why don’t we try doing that today my fellow saints in Christ, rather than dwelling on the negatives in our lives eh? That’s wisdom to the nth degree. And we all know that wisdom is the principal thing. Much LOVE!

…nothing beats a grateful and thankful heart… 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 May 2020 Ephesians 6:18.

Ephesians 6:18.    ​Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
 
Morning friends and family, the ole fella starting out a tad late because he got up late, although I went to bed early, (smile) and then I had a couple of problems to attend to before I could get to the Bit. But as the ole people say, better late than never! So what we going to talk about today eh? I’m not sure, but there’s this piece of paper in front of me with some jottings, so let’s see what it says nuh. Oh friends, it’s ever so good! It’s talking about our most important tool and weapon; PRAYER! God Almighty! There’s nothing better that we can ever talk about than prayer, especially in these pandemic times. 

So what does my jotting say about prayer? According to Pastor Corville Peters: ‘Prayer is not about trying to overcome God’s reluctance (to help us), but it is laying hold of God’s willingness to act on and in our behalf!’ Wow! Isn’t that wonderful of Him? It surely is! Yeh friends, we don’t have to try and force God to help us through prayer, because that’s His avowed intention! He created prayer as a method of communication between Him and us so that we’d have a direct line to Him, one that’s never busy or malfunctioning. 

And as the jottings on my piece of paper further say: ‘Prayer is the best way to confront your problems.’ And that’s the gospel truth my bredrin! The first place we ought to turn in times of trouble or anxiety or uncertainty should always be to the throne of God, through His direct line of prayer. Remember this is His universe, we are His creation and He’s still in control of both! So it only makes sense to go to Him when we have problems we can’t fix or are uncertain as to what direction to take. 

And my jottings continue: ‘God, the big problem solver, answers prayer!’ Mama Mia! That’s for sure! Otherwise why would He tell us to come to Him through prayer when we have problems and fears and anxieties eh? So we can deduce at least one thing from all of that; that there’s awesome power in prayer, since it allows God to move on our behalf! As we said earlier on, it is our most important tool and weapon! God pointedly designed it as such. That’s  why throughout the Lord’s Word, the Bible, there are so many references to prayer. 

Prayer is supposed to be the backbone of a believer’s life. Yes friends, prayer is our lifeline to our heavenly Father! And if that lifeline is cut, broken or neglected, then we’re lost and alone in this big, crazy, dangerous universe without the help of the Most High God. And that’s certainly not in our best interest. And praying is so important precious people of God that Bruh Paul made these statements regarding prayer. To the Ephesians, re putting on the armour of God and standing strong: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ 

And the scholars append these most important explanations to that verse: ‘6:18. Praying is grammatically linked to “stand” in verse 14. Without prayer God’s armour is inadequate to achieve victory. Prayer is indispensable. Always means “on every occasion,” that is when Satan attacks. In the Spirit signifies that with the Spirit’s help such prayer for divine help is to be made. Watching thereunto means “being vigilant in this very matter” of prayer. They are to pray not just for themselves but also for all saints; spiritual combat is both an individual and corporate matter.’ 

Oh my faithful brethren, yuh see how important prayer is in our lives, that even when we have on God’s protective armour, we still need to pray to achieve victory. Then to the Thessalonians, Bruh Paul said it ever so simply: ‘Pray without ceasing.’ (2 Thess. 5:17) That means our minds should always be filled with thoughts of God, of reaching out to Him for direction and guidance in all we do and say. Then to Timothy, Bruh Paul says: ‘I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.’ (1 Tim. 2:8) 

So friends, yuh see how we always should be in pray mode, and praying any and everywhere? Prayer is the great equalizer, whether yuh rich poor, Jew, Gentile, or even an idolater, because you still have to make obeisance to your idol. And possibly the best example we have of prayer is that of Jesus. Although He was God, but being the Son of Man here on earth, come to fulfill the Father’s purpose, prayer was a constant part of His everyday life. As a human being, He needed God’s direction and strength to endure His earthly problems. 

And Mark illumines this by telling us: ‘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.’ (Mark 1:35) Yes friends, Jesus had a persistent prayer life, talking to His Father pretty early in the mornings before He began His days. Now if Jesus, though being God, could submit Himself to prayer, why can’t we mere mortals, creations of dust do the same eh? Unfortunately, we’ve gotten too big for our britches, thinking that we don’t need God anymore, He’s nothing more than an outdated dinosaur now, only good for casting aside and trampling underfoot like unflavoured salt. 

But mih people, have you seen what’s happening in this coronavirus pandemic time? People are turning to God in droves, coming to Him like crazy in prayer. Hn! And the longer the pandemic lasts, with no vaccine available, the more people are going to turn to prayer, because there are no more man-made solutions. And as always, we’ll only turn to our great God, our merciful and forgiving, healing and ever-LOVING Creator as a last minute substitute, instead of the first person we turn to. But that’s why He gave us free will, so we could do as we please. But remember, there are always consequences to our every action. End of sermon! (smile) 

Now for those of us who know and try to do better, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail letting the unbeliever know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 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!’ 

And I like to remind us that if we stand steadfast and strong to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we could ask or even imagine! Much LOVE!

…to pray…to pray…and yet to pray…that’s salve for the soul…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 March 2020 Isaiah 59:2.

Isaiah 59:2.    ​But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

 

As the Genius – Ray Charles, would sing: ‘Here we go again. Another day of Coronavirus lockdown again… Wonder when this live play, this serious tragedy, will end? Oh, by the minute, it just seems to be getting worse…No light at the end of the tunnel yet!’ Ah friends, it is indeed a pretty rough and serious situation, but please remember that we worship the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Creator and Controller of the universe! And He has promised us that we should not fear, for anything that comes against us, He will be right there to guide, lead and accompany us through it. 

Remember these awesome words of promise declared through His prophet, Isaiah. ‘But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour; I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.’ (Is.43:1-3) 

Yes friends, though Israel deliberately rejected the Lord as their king, He yet reassured them of His eventual redemption from earthly spiritual and physical bondage, as well as that to come in eternity. And He has kept His promise to one and all, including we, the Gentiles, by sending His one and only Son Jesus to die for our sins and redeem us. But as it was from the day our forefathers sinned in the Garden of Eden and listened to the voice of the evil serpent, sin has separated us from our Holy God. And sometimes, when we get so sinful and corrupt on a national, and like now, a worldwide basis, the Lord has to remind us of our very unbecoming behaviour, which He won’t tolerate forever. 

Listen to His words to Israel, through Isaiah again. ‘Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood (bloodshed), and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity (empty words), and speak lies; they conceive mischief (trouble or evil), and bring forth iniquity.’ (Is.59:1-4) 

Oh my people, just like the Israelites sins separated them from God, so do ours right now! And there’s no one around, and in their right mind who can truthfully say that our world is currently not a sinful cesspit; possibly the most sinful it’s ever been! And I don’t know why we think that other sinful societies suffered the Lord’s wrath, but we will not. And it’s amazing how the Lord could point out our iniquity through such a small and yet very dangerous germ. His ways of working are indeed very mysterious…but also very productive! (smile) 

And it’s good to see that people are taking it seriously and are remembering that God is still on His throne, still controlling things, and at least trying to turn back to Him. Enough preaching for the day though. (smile) It’s Friday, so let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Thank God for the Coronavirus yes…! Well not really, except for the fact that it’s my second week off work with pay, and that’s nice. But you can only take your family being always around you for just so long, then everybody begins to get on everybody else’s nerves. And you can only go around the block so often in a day. 

Steups! I’m getting stir crazy! And ah have to laugh too, because I’m actually missing work and my buddies down there. Chuh! I can only drink so much by mihself too! And the wife has definitely gone stir crazy, since she’s not accustomed to having all of us underfoot the whole bloody day, every day! And to make matters worse, all you can hear on the radio and tv and social media is about the virus; how so many people have it, and how it killing so many people. And we still don’t have no real way to fight it. No wonder people panicking! But what can I say or do in my li’l corner eh? Nothing but thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, and hope they find a cure soon!’ 

Ah friends, I’m sure a lot of people feel useless like the ordinary workingman there, but we all are useful in these trying times. And the first and most important use we can put ourselves to is that of prayer. And then if we can help anybody else in whatever safe shape or form, then please do so. And since it’s Friday, let’s chant our rejigged Friday Chant in answer to the workingman’s song. All together now, with strong voices and sincere hearts: 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. As usual, it’s been kinda rough, but a different kind of roughness than normal. All this confusion with the Covid -19 virus and the monumental storm and the seemingly unending havoc it bringing…we not accustomed to that Lord. But with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat this virus. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the  least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, and also introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now, let’s put our faith into action, as Jesus so desperately desires of us. Much LOVE!

…pray without ceasing…and remember…to give thanks too…

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