Today’s Scrip-Bit   21 February 2022 Proverbs 6:9.

Proverbs 6:9.      How long wilt thou sleep (lie down, be lazy) O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?

Well, this Family Day holiday in Ontario is a somewhat damp and cloudy Monday morning, but the sun seems to be fighting through the clouds so its glorious sunshine can prevail! Glory to God! 

And you know that’s exactly what we supposed believers in Christ ought to be doing; fighting through all the sin, the evil, the darkness and ungodliness of this world in His holy name! But unfortunately, too many of us have become lax, lazy and complacent, while enjoying the amenities that the world has to offer, and thus have been caught flat-footed and unprepared when the barrage of unexpected problems recently descended on us. 

So we’re afraid…and anxious…and don’t know what to do. But nothing has changed friends, we’re still supposed to do what we know is right to do: that’s get up off of our fat fannies, pray and live sincerely for God! And Cousin Sol puts forth the correct question for us today after showing us the magnificent work ethic of the ant, who has no leader or overseer to force him to work, but nonetheless, diligently goes about his business. In other words, the ant is a self-starter. He is wise enough to prepare for predictable situations. (Prov. 6:6-8) 

Cousin Sol asks this poignant question: ‘How long wilt thou sleep (lie down, be lazy) O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?’ (Prov. 6:9) Now that’s a question that many of us need to answer right away by getting up and doing God’s work, for if we had been doing it, had been the salt and light of the earth like Christ desires of us, our world would never have fallen into such a sad state of disrepair and disrepute. 

And like the lazy and sleepy sluggard, our just deserts will fall on us, in fact, they have already fallen on us. Like Cousin Sol says: ‘Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that traveleth (a prowler), and thy want (need) as an armed man.’ (Prov. 6:10-11) Yes my brethren, as the scholars tell us: ‘The result of such laziness is dire poverty, which will come as suddenly and decisively as a robber.’ 

And yuh better believe that the Covid 19 pandemic, the worldwide strife, the race and religious problems and the many natural disasters of the last couple of years have indeed come upon us without our ever seeing them, much less being prepared for them. And later on in Proverbs, Cousin Sol mentions an interesting fact that ties in quite nicely with what we are talking about. 

He solemnly declares in chapter 24: ‘I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face (surface) thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep (rest): So shall thy poverty come as one that traveleth (a prowler); and thy want (need) as an armed man.’ (Prov. 24:30-34) 

Oh friends, you noticed that Cousin Sol learned from the mistakes of the slothful man. And what did he learn? According to the scholars, he learned that ‘The slothful is too lazy to keep thorns and nettles out of his vineyard or to keep his stone wall repaired (vs.31). His laziness is further exhibited in sleeping late when he should be working (vs.33). Therefore, his poverty will come as one that traveleth: that is, a bandit or a vagabond. Small surrenders lead to great disasters.’ 

Now what wise words those are my fellow saints: ‘small surrenders lead to great disasters.’ It’s the gospel truth! It’s the li’l things in life that we despise and don’t do that ofttimes cause us a whale of a problem. And we are experiencing that in spades right now, with all the various problems howling around us and we don’t know how to solve them. However, if we had been paying attention all along, living the way Christ desires us to live, those many problems would not have caught us off guard, they might not have even seen the light of day. 

But sadly they have, so now we have to wake up from our slothful slumber and try to fix them as best we can. However the problems have gotten so deep and involved, that now we can only fix them with God’s divine help. So as the wise people we are (smile), let’s go to God, ashamed and repentant, but confident in His great mercy, and sincerely ask for His omnipotent help. 

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

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

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

Now, please remember that God doesn’t only listen to the words we speak, but more importantly checks out the motives of our hearts, to see if our words are truly sincere. And we all know what that means! Much LOVE!

…no right motives in hearts…no positive answers to prayer… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   8 January 2022 Matthew 7:20.

Matthew 7:20.     Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Three days straight of cold but decent sunshine…Now that’s indeed a record! Many of us might not have noticed it as yet, because we’re still abed this Saturday morning, enjoying the lazy pleasures of not having to get up and go out to labour. That’s provided we have jobs, what with the new Covid restrictions put in place this past week due to the quickly spiking cases. 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he wishes us a Happy New Year. Now this first one is long and complicated, (smile) but certainly something we can entertain to our benefit. It says: ‘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.’ 

That’s a very interesting statement, because too often we seem to concentrate on our flaws and mistakes rather than our potential and successes. And that’s not a healthy situation. We need to be concentrating on our God-given potential if we expect to make godly headway in this current confused, strife-filled and ungodly world. 

And to help us generate that kind of thinking, Anselm offers these ‘Things to think about for 2022: 1. Talk less; listen more; 2. Remind yourself you are not the General Manager of the Universe; 3. Sit on your ego; 4. Take one day at a time; 5. 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; 6. Pray; 7. Do not Worry.’ 

Now all of those are godly, life enhancing recommendations, and we would be wise to embrace them, which I believe starts with doing what Jesus advises: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) Yes friends, we cannot, or must never lose sight that our aim, our number one priority is the kingdom of God and His righteousness, because it’s only then that we truly find God and begin to enjoy the life He has destined for us. 

That leads us to this next quote: ‘We attract what we think about, that which we lust after and that which we fear. Anything that consumes our thoughts get manifested in the real world.’ Now that’s the awesome truth! That’s just the way the universe is set up; what consumes most of our thinking will eventually manifest itself in our lives. Thus, if we fixate on lustful, carnal, or fleshly thoughts, like the world suggests, then it’s lustful, carnal and fleshly things that will occur in our lives. 

Cousin Sol warns us in Proverbs: ‘Eat not the bread of him that hath an evil eye (is a miser), neither desire thou his dainty meats (delicacies): For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.’ (Prov. 23:6-7) Yes my people, we have to be very careful of what others say to us, and consequently, what we say to others, because very often, what comes out of our mouths does not mesh with what’s in our hearts. And the heartfelt stuff is what truly guides us. 

That’s why Jesus warns: ‘Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.’ (Matt. 7:20) We can always tell what kind of tree we are looking at, by the fruit it bears. What, or who we really are will eventually show in our actions, because we are truly guided by what’s in our hearts, not what comes out of our mouths. That’s called hypocrisy. And unfortunately, we are all hypocrites to some degree, because it’s not always what we say we mean. 

But let’s move on to the next quote. ‘Acknowledge that negative thinking has not been helping you. Unless you replace them with positive thinking, you will keep getting the same outcome.’ And that’s oh so true! If you keep thinking one way, mostly negatively, and you’re not getting the results you want, then common sense dictates that you change your way of thinking, try the positive kind. It’s basic logic: you can’t keep doing the same think and expect to receive a different result. 

So please, let’s begin this new year by checking out our way of thinking, and making the necessary changes that will enable our lives to come together and produce positive results. And the best way to do that is by coming to Christ and asking for His divine help. And don’t be afraid, because He NEVER turns down anyone who sincerely comes to Him for help. 

Meanwhile, the last quote tells us that: ‘A fantasy noted down with a date turns into an objective. An objective partitioned into ascertained strides turns into an arrangement. An arrangement bolstered by activities makes your fantasies work out as expected. So this New Year, take your fantasies, travel the distance to their goal and make them a reality.’ 

Now generally speaking that’s how a plan works: we begin with the seed of the idea and build upon it. However, the important thing in a believer’s life is the seed that we intend to plant. Is it an idea that God will approve, is it in His will for our lives? Those are things we need to ascertain before we begin planting or building. That brings us back to Jesus’ words on the tree and its fruit. 

‘Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening (ravenous) wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil (bad) fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil (bad) fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.’ (Matt. 7:15-18) 

Oh my fellow saints, it means that as followers of Jesus we need to come up with good ideas, plant seeds that bear good fruit, fruit that will be beneficial to Christ’s kingdom. The process of growth and bringing plans to fruition are always the same, building, or growing one step at a time, the important aspect is therefore the seed that we’re planting, and the plan that we expect to realize, are they worthwhile in God’s sight? 

And many of us have all kinds of exciting plans for this new year of 2022, but please, let’s stop and consider if they fall into the category of good and timely fruit before we begin to execute them nuh, because if they don’t, the Lord will not allow them to come to fruition. Much LOVE!

…each new year… many plans are born…but most fall by the wayside…because they don’t meet God’s criteria… 

       

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   6 December 2021 Hebrews 4:16.

Hebrews 4:16.      Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. 

The wheel of life has been spun friends, and it has stopped on the number 1. That means it’s the first day of the workweek, that marvellous day we call Monday! And instead of a loud cheer, a great sigh rises up to heaven, because Monday means laying aside our weekend endeavours, or lack thereof, and getting up and getting a move on so we can make a living and enjoy the benefits of our hard labour. (smile) 

Ah my people, it has been that way for a long while, but because we are now such a flaky, entertainment-oriented society, we cannot get used to it. And a further word of warning, it will continue thus for some time yet, so we might as well come to terms with the situation and stop making our lives miserable every Monday morning. 

The simple fact of the matter is that we know it’s coming, so why not prepare for it, by renewing our spiritual selves with other believers, either at a physical church or through technology, then toning down the Sunday evening activities and getting a good night’s sleep, so we won’t wake up tired and grumpy to begin the new workweek. 

It’s said that the first day of the week sets the tone for the remainder of it. And if that’s true, when we begin Monday on a less than stalwart note, then the rest of the week will probably follow suit. So, it’s to our advantage, as Brother James Brown would say, to step out on Monday on the good foot. (smile) And if we have Jesus in our lives, that should not be a problem, since getting us prepared to face each day is one of the jobs of the Holy Spirit. But we have to listen and pay attention to its guidance and direction if we want to benefit from its power. 

Unfortunately though, too many of us fail to rely on the Spirit of God dwelling within us, thus our lives are not as joyful and contented as they can be. Remember Jesus words of comfort to the disciples: ‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide in you for ever. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless (as orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:16-18) 

And the scholars explain ‘Comforter’ thus: ‘The Greek word ‘parakletos’ literally means “one called alongside to help,” hence the idea of a comforter. The Holy Spirit is called another comforter because this is also one of Christ’s titles (1 John 2:1, translated “advocate”). Illustration: The Father is also known as the God of All Comfort (2 Cor. 1:3). Though those in the early church often endured persecutions, they found their comfort in the Holy Spirit (Act 9:31). Application: Today, Christians can find comfort in the Holy Spirit when trials come. (First Ref. John 7:37-39; Primary Ref. John 14:16-18) 

Yes friends, the Holy Spirit is there to help and guide us through every aspect of our lives. And I’m wondering here if we don’t use the power of the Holy Spirit because we aren’t persecuted today like the early believers were. Remember, the scholars said above that in times of persecution the early church found comfort in the Holy Spirit. Maybe that’s why we’re so lackadaisical and reticent in using the third arm of the Holy Trinity that dwells within us; life is just too good, so we feel we don’t need Him. 

But that’s a fallacy perpetrated by the enemy, my brethren. Once we are in this evil and ungodly world, we need the power of the Holy Spirit, every minute of every day, because that’s the only way we can consistently stay on the straight and narrow path that leads to eternity with Jesus. We definitely can’t do it on our own, so please don’t let the enemy lead us astray thinking that’s possible. If Jesus needed the help of the Father when He was here on earth, so too do we need heavenly help to solve our earthly problems. We can’t fight Satan on our own. He’s too deceptive and cunning for our small and finite human minds to overcome. Only in concert with Jesus can we do it. 

Please, let’s remember that nuh, and don’t try to live life on our own, because the enemy will just blow us away without us even knowing it. That’s why we must never be too proud to ask for help, especially the divine kind. And with the numerous serious problems we are now experiencing, I think this is as good a time as any to do as the Good Book directs us: ‘Let us therefore 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) 

So, as one humble, but confident voice let’s offer up our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

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

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

And now, if we truly want our land to be healed and our problems solved, then we need to pray, repent and turn from our evil ways. Much LOVE!

…it’s not wise to refuse divine help…when it’s readily accessible…when it dwells within us… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 May 2021 Matthew 5:13a, 14a.

Matthew 5:13a, 14a.     Ye are the salt of the earth: Ye are the light of the world.

Let’s get to it people! Let’s get to Monday nuh! There’s a lot of work to be done, even though it’s a holiday in these parts. Why do you think we are alive today eh? Because the Lord has important work for us to do, towards furthering His kingdom. Stuff that He’s planned from the beginning of time. As Bruh David so prophetically declares in Psalm 139: ‘Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect (unformed); and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.’ (Ps. 139:16) 

That means exactly what it says, the Lord planned our lives before He even made one of our bones! And this is our time, the moment in history that He earmarked for us to be alive and producing on His behalf! So let’s get with it nuh. And, by the way, there’s nothing that says you can’t enjoy yourself and do Jesus’ work at the same time eh. (smile) So even if you’re in a party, hopefully a small one, you can still let Jesus and His wonderful vibes flow from your spirit. 

In fact, He deeply desires others to see Him shining forth in our normal behaviour, where the fruit of the Spirit – LOVE, joy peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness and self-control, are prominent in the way we always carry ourselves! And yes, I know that’s not always easy to do, but if we set our minds to it, and request Christ’s help, we can certainly accomplish it a fair amount of the time. 

The truth is, if people don’t see Christ shining forth in us, then they won’t be inclined to believe what we say about Him, or want to invite Him into their lives. That’s why Jesus desires us to be like salt and light. As He says:‘Ye are the salt of the earth:but if the salt have lost his savour (flavour), wherewith (by what) shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden underfoot of men.’ (Matt. 5:13) 

Yeh friends, we all know the many uses of salt, and that we could not survive without it. Back in Jesus time though, it was even more useful and more important. And that’s how He would like His followers to be; useful and important…not self-important, but important to our communities, leading by example. The same thing goes for light. Jesus says: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.’ (Matt. 5:14) 

And that’s the gospel truth; the light of a city set on a hill can be seen for miles around. It’s like a beacon in the dark night, drawing others to it for safety. And that’s how we ought to be; sentinels, beacons, lighthouses shining in the darkness of this evil world to show others the light that’s Jesus and draw them to Him for their eternal protection. And Jesus puts it into perfect perspective when He declares: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:16) 

It couldn’t be said any better than that my brethren! Trust Jesus to know how to clothe it with just enough dig to get our dander up, but not be too self-conscious and ashamed. Oh my people, in those two simple statements – the salt of the earth, and the light of the world – Jesus sums up the basic character of the believer’s life. 

As the scholars explain: ‘5:14-16. Ye are the light of the world describes the essential mission of the Christian to the world. He is the condition (salt) to meet the world’s needs and he has a mission (light) to the world. His light is to shine forth into the darkness of human depravity. He is to set his light upon a candlestick, not hide it under a bushel, or basket. Darkness is the absence of light; and darkness alone cannot dispel the light, but the smallest light can dispel the greatest darkness.’ 

Words of indisputable truth my fellow believers. And from that, we can logically draw the conclusion that our world is so clothed in darkness because Christ’s followers are not putting forth enough light to quell the darkness. What a crying shame my friends! But starting today, I know we are going to make significant changes; we’re going to flavour up our salt and turn up the light in our lamps, so that the world can see Jesus through us. Now it won’t be easy, but since we know that God will help us do whatever needs doing for His glory, let’s go to Him now in prayer, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, sincerely asking for His assistance. 

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

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

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

And we all know the necessary drill; show sincere repentance if we want our prayers answered in a positive manner. Much LOVE!

…for our world to improve…Christian influence…must become much more prominent than it is currently…                                                   

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 April 2021 Matthew 10:22.

Matthew 10:22.​     And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

What a bizarre time we’re going through my people! One day we hear that the police are authorized to make random stops to find out where you’re going, but the police refuse to do it. So, next day, we hear that authority has been rescinded. The government and the medical people don’t seem to be on the same wavelength at all, as there are too many conflicting statements on how to best handle the pandemic situation. But there’s no way to fix it without a fair amount of consensus among all parties. And when you add all the controversy surrounding the vaccines the whole scene is one chaotic mess. 

But let me remind us, that as sincere believers in Christ Jesus, we always have Him to turn to in times of doubt and despair. Life will never be easy or comfortable, especially when we’re living for Jesus, but He has faithfully promised that whatever negative stuff we are experiencing in the world, we can always turn to Him and receive His awesome peace and comfort that are way better than what the world offers. So, with all the bickering and dispute that’s currently going on, now is definitely a time to turn to Him for solace, comfort and wise guidance. 

A time to remember His amazing words of promise, like these. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Yes friends, that’s sometimes hard to understand and accept when our whole world seems to be falling apart. But we need to keep speaking it, keep believing it, until it sinks into our very soul and becomes a natural tool for us to handle unpleasant situations. 

And what about this other warning of persecution. ‘Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless (innocent) as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues…And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ (Matt. 10:17-18, 22). And as the scholars explain: ‘In the ancient Near East the serpent was commonly regarded as the wisest of beasts. A cautious wisdom was necessary in order to deal with the fierce opposition that the disciples would face.’ 

And up to this day, the situation has remained the same: believers have to be wise and cautious in their dealings with the world. In some places today, the persecution is just as bad as in the days of the early church, but you see what a huge difference the perseverance and strong belief of the disciples made in the world, despite the terrible odds they faced. 

And in our western world, we don’t even have an ounce of the persecution they faced, yet we’re whining and crying. That ought not to be so friends. We are supposed to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. The ones to lead others to Christ and all the good benefits He has to offer. And please remember that nothing worthwhile is ever easy to accomplish. 

Now listen to some more inspirational words of Jesus nuh. ‘If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would LOVE his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.’ (John 15:18-19) That’s something we too often forget my fellow saints; that we are IN the world, but not OF the world. So let’s stand up strong and face the world mano a mano nuh. Remember Jesus has already overcome it, and we only need to keep the victory going, with His help obviously. 

And in what is known in some circles, as the long version of the Lord’s Prayer (John 17) Jesus didn’t only pray for the disciples but also for us. ‘Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word. That they all may be one: as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.’ ( John 17:20-21) 

Yuh see that mih bredrin, Jesus knew that His plan would work, and that down through the ages people would believe in Him having not seen Him in person, and He wanted them to be separate, sanctified, living as one, not as the many warring denominations we now have. But as we say, while there is life, there’s always hope, and I believe these difficult times were meant to bring us together and back to God, so let’s do just that nuh, be as one, in sincere prayer, and offer up what we term our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

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

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

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

Now, having said all of that, we need to show true humility and sincere repentance, if we want God to affirmatively answer our plea. Much LOVE!

…bear patiently the slings of the world…and your reward will be great…both in heaven and on earth… 

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

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 21 July 2020 2 Chronicles 7:14.

2 Chronicles 7:14.     ​If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
 

Aye mih people, can you believe we almost at the end of July already? Not really nuh, because my mind is saying we just celebrated Canada Day and the 4th of July so how can it be the 21st already eh? But that incredible thing we call time doesn’t seem to be waiting on me at all. The duchess tired telling me that, but I can’t seem to understand it. (smile) Anyway, it’s Tuesday, and another wonderful summer’s day in my neighbourhood, so I’ll just get out there and enjoy it, with all the new mercies and compassions and manna and whatever else that’s been showered down for our enjoyment today! 

And here’s a super thought for today…don’t remember where I got it from: ‘A little faith can bring your soul to heaven. Great faith will bring heaven to your soul.’ Now isn’t that an awesome truth! All it takes is a li’l faith to get to heaven, but when your faith is strong, heaven will come to you! Wow! Now that’s something to work towards my people! 

And yuh see why I don’t like social media… One of my sisters bothering me here, but still want me to write a good Bit. (smile) She doesn’t realize that I’m only black and beautiful, not superman! And also from the ole school – no good at multitasking. But yuh know what – I’ll just ignore her until I’m done! But she won’t take my ignoring… 

But what’s the purpose of life if you can’t have a li’l fun with your friends and family every so often eh, especially in these highly explosive times, with all the physical distancing and lack of our normal social interaction? None whatsoever! That’s all a part of the abundant life that Christ came to earth and died that we could have. (John 10:10) And yes, we must take life seriously, but sometimes we take it too seriously, while at other times we don’t take it seriously enough! 

Life is a complicated balancing act which we can only successfully balance with the help of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through His Holy Spirit that dwells within us for that very purpose! That’s why these words of Bruh David from Psalm 34 are ever so important in our LOVE walk. ‘O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto him, and were lightened (radiant): and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.’ (Ps. 34:3-6) 

Oh friends, what magnificent and encouraging words! Who else can do all of that for us eh? NOBODY! None but the great God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! That’s why we need to turn to Him in these trying and troubled times, why prayer and repentance should be our number one priorities, because He is the ONLY ONE who can help us solve the very vexing problems that are currently consuming us and driving so many of us crazy! And as I keep saying, there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that some of the negative stuff we’re now experiencing is directly related to the lack of God and godliness in our society! 

You can’t denigrate and try to kick out your Creator from amongst you and still be successful. As Moses asked the people of Israel: ‘Do ye thus requite (repay) the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? Is not he thy father that hath bought thee? Hath he not made thee, and established thee?’ (Deut. 32:6) Yeh friends, foolishly, like the Israelites, we’re repaying our great God with corruption, lies, deception, and all the other works of the evil one! So what can we expect eh? 

Like Israel, every time they turned away from the God of their fathers, they experienced calamity and untold disaster. So why should we be any different eh, when it’s the very same God that we’re supposed to be worshipping? Some people seem to think we’re different, but I think that’s a fool’s wisdom. So why don’t we take another page from the Israelites book eh? When they disobeyed God and found themselves between a rock and a hard place, they were wise enough to repent and run back to Him. So why can’t we do the same thing now too? I’m sure that’s all He’s asking. 

And I want to point out some scripture here that ought to drive home the point to us. ‘But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish (confirm) his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day. And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other Gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish. As the nations which the Lord destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the Lord your God.’ (Deut. 8:18-20) 

Now isn’t that exactly what we have been doing in our society? And we like to say that the Lord and His Word never change, they are the same today and forever. That means the negative consequences of disobedience won’t change either. That sounds like good logic to me. (smile) But He’s such a wonderful God and Father that He’s made provision for us to turn again to Him, whenever we’re ready. Hear what He told Cousin Sol at the dedication of the first temple. ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’ (2 Chr. 7:14) 

Back then, they had to go to the temple to sacrifice and pray, but we’ve had Jesus sacrificed for us once and for all time, and His Spirit now dwells within us, so we don’t need to go to the temple, we can come boldly to the throne of grace, and pray anywhere, without ceasing. That’s the most significant change in that area. So please fellow saints, fellow Christians, called by Christ’s name, let’s wise up and repent and pray and seek His face nuh, so that He can hear us and heal our land…in Jesus name. 

Now it’s finally time to go home, declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

And the obvious corollary to that is for us to go out – with care – or stay at home, and share Jesus’ amazing LOVE and beautiful friendship! Much LOVE!

…prayer…the tool that moves heaven on earth…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 July 2020 Romans 12:2.

Romans 12:2.     ​And do not be conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 
 

Get on up…it’s Monday! Get on up…there’s work to be done! There’s a pandemic to be conquered and strife to be peacefully quelled, so why the lying in bed and being miserable and negative eh? (smile) Ah mih people, we do have those two problems to solve this Monday morning and unless we get up and get a move on, we will never solve them. 

And remember we’ve been placed here at this appointed time for that very purpose. That brings to mind the famous words of Mordecai to his niece Esther, who, for fear of losing her own life, hem and hawed about going to the king and asking for mercy for the Jewish people, when the king’s right hand man, Haman, was plotting genocide against them: ‘…and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?’ (Esth. 4:14b) 

Yes friends, we have been placed in the world for a time such as this! That means the Lord has something important, be it large or small, for each one of us to do in these times of turmoil. So let’s be up and about the Lord’s business nuh. But as we all know, the first item on our agenda should always be communication with Him, that powerful tool we call prayer. 

So let’s boldly but humbly come before the throne of grace and pray that corporate prayer we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, thus giving the Lord God a chance to wisely lead and guide us as we set out to do His daily will. All together now in strong voice with sincere hearts. 

‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. And our anxieties have been recently deepened because several restrictions have been lifted in the lockdown, so more of us are going out to work now without any guarantees of safety. Then to complicate matters Father, suddenly, and unexpectedly, just like the virus, worldwide strife and protests have also struck us in this sad time of pandemic, and we don’t have a clue how to handle either situation properly. 

Mass confusion is currently prevailing in our world, and we desperately need your help to solve both problems, as You are the ONLY One with the power and insight to successfully handle them. Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. 

That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. Please show us how to successfully handle these scourges that are currently plaguing Your beautiful earth. Please help our leaders to wisely quell the strife and protests, thus bringing unity, peaceful consensus and real improvement in the areas that are now sadly lacking. Please help the scientists to also find a positive solution, a sure antidote to the virus as quickly as possible. 

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

Now let’s take a moment to sit and wait…to listen for God’s answer to our prayer, to what he wants each of us to do. We know that He always answers prayer, but we won’t hear Him unless we get quiet and wait. And that’s exactly why so many of us claim not to hear from Him. Prayer is supposed to be a two-way conversation…we talk to God, then we patiently wait for His answer… 

Oh my people, my people, I’ve gotten an answer! I don’t know what He’s told you to do, but he’s told me to share, to bring this most important scripture to your attention today! (smile) ‘And do not be conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom. 12:2) 

Mama Mia! What a powerful and mind-bending scripture! (smile) Yes, that’s exactly what the Lord wants us to do, bend our minds away from the ways of the world. And the battle most certainly begins in the mind. That’s why Cousin Sol says that as a man thinketh in his heart (mind), so is he. (Prov. 23:7) 

So whatever is uppermost in our minds is what we’re going to pursue, and in order to pursue God, we need to actively think on the things of God. That’s why Jesus told us so plainly and concernedly: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33)  

And Bruh Paul enlarged on Jesus’ words by purposely telling us: ‘Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are LOVERLY, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise (anything praiseworthy), think (meditate) on these things.’ (Phil. 4:8) 

So please, let’s stop conforming to the ways of the world nuh, making its values systems, conduct and thinking so important in our lives. And instead do what we’re called to do; the will of God; that’s follow His purpose for our lives by surrendering to His wise guidance and direction, for He’s promised to never forsake us or leave us or lead us astray. And He who promised is faithful! Much LOVE!

…God’s will…bear the fruit of the Spirit…LOVE, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), meekness, temperance (self-control)…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 June 2020 Psalm 9:10.

Psalm 9:10.     ​And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.
 

Oh my people, I’m sorry, but I must let you know that today is Monday! Yes, unfortunately that much disliked day has come around again, as it does every seven days. (smile) And we know what that means for many of us, getting up from our warm and comfortable beds and going out to labour, so we can make a penny to keep a roof over our heads and food on our tables.  For remember what Bruh Paul said to the Thessalonians; he who doesn’t work shouldn’t eat.  ( 2 Thess. 3:10) And since we all like to eat, I think we should get a move on so we can further the process. (smile)  

Sadly though, not much has changed for the better over the weekend. The pandemic is getting worse in several places. Some of them were never locked down, or did so, but opened too soon without enough safety precautions. And much to our chagrin, we still can’t agree on how best to handle it. Ah Lord eh! And who says mankind is the smartest animal on the planet eh? I beg to differ. 

As for the racial protests, that’s still going strong, though some people are ignoring it and still doing their racially provoked thing. That’s something else that boggles the imagination. Yuh see certain actions stirring up the populace, and not only one set, but everybody, and yuh still going to do the same nonsense that stirred it up in the first place? Steups! Is either you don’t care, or you believe the racially biased system will take care of you. But either belief is foolish in these troubled times where accountability is uppermost in many minds. 

And having said that, I guess you all are asking what’s next eh? Well my only suggestion, my best advice is for us to turn to the Creator and Controller of our great universe; the Supreme Being who created us from the dust of the earth, then breathed His Spirit of life into us. He has said that when problems overwhelm our finite minds, we should turn to Him to get His supreme wisdom and guidance. So let’s do that nuh; as one strong voice, with sincere hearts, let’s call out to Him right now, invoking our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, asking for His mercy, grace and divine guidance in the worldwide problems that we’re now facing. 

‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. And our anxieties have been recently deepened because some restrictions have been lifted in the lockdown, so more of us are going out to work now without any guarantees of safety. Then to complicate matters Father, suddenly, and unexpectedly, just like the virus, worldwide strife and protests have also struck us in this sad time of pandemic, and we don’t have a clue how to handle either situation properly. 

Mass confusion is currently prevailing in our world, and we desperately need your help to solve both problems, as You are the ONLY One with the power and insight to successfully handle them. Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. 

That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. Please show us how to successfully handle these scourges that are currently plaguing Your beautiful earth. Please help our leaders to wisely quell the strife and protests, thus bringing unity and peaceful consensus, and the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to the virus as quickly as possible. 

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

Ah friends, we’ve prayed a humble but confident prayer, now we have to wait for the Lord’s answer. That includes releasing our faith, truly surrendering our lives to Him, and sincerely trusting in His goodness. Yes we know that all the current happenings don’t seem to make sense and are causing untold anxiety, but it’s in those uncertain and perilous times that we really need to buckle down and believe, and say ‘Your will be done Lord, not mine.’ Whatever the circumstances, we are called to trust in God’s LOVING-kindness! Remember, He who promised is faithful! (Heb. 10:23) 

That brings us to these awesome words of Bruh David – In Praise of God’s Justice. ‘O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end (finished forever): and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with them. But the Lord shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgement. And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgement to the people in uprightness. The Lord will also be a refuge (stronghold) for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.’ (Ps. 9:6-10) 

Now that is the indisputable truth my brethren! The problem is for us to sincerely put our trust in the great God Jehovah! And if by chance, you didn’t believe Bruh David, then listen to his son, Cousin Sol (smile). ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make smooth or straight) thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones.’ (Prov. 3:5-8) 

Oh friends, if Cousin Sol had never written anything else, those verses would have been enough to set him up for posterity, because they are possibly the best verses in the Good Book, verses that lay bare the Christian principles, short and sweet! So let’s take them all to heart nuh, and do what we know we ought to do to glorify our heavenly Father. Much LOVE!

…trust and obey…for there’s no other way…to be happy in Jesus…than to trust and obey…

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…

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