Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 September 2019 Daniel 9:9.

Daniel 9:9.    ​To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against him.
 

Here we go again friends, the work week is upon us! Please let’s greet it with a positive reaction nuh since there is nothing we can really do about it. I learned that lesson a long time ago, after I quit a job to do my own thing, then had to go back to it when my business went under. I never intended to go back to that job, but then it was the easiest and best job I could get at the time and I certainly needed the money. 

So I just told myself, if you’ve got to go, then you might as well go with a good attitude, stop making yourself miserable everyday you have to go to it. And it worked for me. I eventually got to appreciate the job more then, than in my initial go round. So if it could work for me, it certainly ought to work for you too. But you need to make a conscious decision to do it, then follow through with that decision. 

However, until you get to that stage, (smile) you can join us on a Monday morning as we go to our heavenly Father in prayer, asking Him to grant us strength, wisdom and confidence to face the evil world for another week. Let’s do that now nuh; declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with strong conviction and belief, because when we ask in sincere faith, according to the Father’s will, we will receive His blessing and largesse. 

Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. 

It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. 

We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’  

Ah friends, yuh feel it working? It surely is! Just check out your new energy level; your state of understanding and awareness, your level of excitement to get out and do Jesus’ work. They are all now higher and more intense than they were before we prayed, before we invoked the antidote for whatever ails us on a Monday morning! (smile) And talking about prayer, today we’ll check out Daniel’s prayer for his people Israel, because back then Israel was in captivity in Babylon because of their total disobedience to God’s Word, much like our world is right now. 

Listen to Daniel: ‘O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face (shame), to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee…Neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.’ (Dan.9:8,10) Now friends, if we’re truthful, we will have to admit that the same shameful state exists in our society today, the only difference being that too many of us either don’t know the seriousness of the situation, or we choose to just ignore it. But our attitude towards our God and Creator right now is nothing less than atrocious, very foolish and unwise, and if we don’t smarten up soon, there will be a helluva price to pay. 

Yeh, the Lord is patient and long suffering and as Daniel says: ‘To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against him.’ But tell me friends, how long do you think He’s going to put up with our arrogant disobedience and efforts to remove Him from our society eh? For all those who think that we’re going to be allowed to do as we sinfully and disobediently please for as long as we like, please think again. 

If it’s one thing the Lord is very protective and proud of is His power and glory, and He will not allow no creation of His to take it away from Him. Just check out the foolish Lucifer nuh! He wanted to rise, to promote himself above his Creator, but where is he now eh, residing in the depths of hell as Satan! And so will we too, if we keeping on going in the evil and ungodly direction in which we’re currently headed. 

Hear Daniel explain it nuh: ‘As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil (disaster) is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil (kept the disaster in store), and brought it upon us: for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.’ (Dan.9:13-14) 

That says it all my brethren! If the Lord punished Israel so severely for their disobedience, do you think He’ll allow us to get away with ours, which seems so much worse? I very much doubt it friends. Please note Daniel’s words back there: ‘for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth…’ That means, though He is LOVING, and forgiving and full of grace and mercy, He is also a God of justice and righteousness, and those things are very important to His character and nature. 

Why yuh think He went through the heart-wrenching scene of sending Jesus to die for us? Because righteousness and justice had to be done in whatever He undertook to save us. Please, please, let all of that be a serious and sincere warning to us nuh. We will not get away with continual sinfulness and disobedience. For certain sure, if we don’t repent and return to God, our number will play one day! Much LOVE!

…sinfulness and righteousness…cannot exist in the same place…

 

    

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 September 2019 John 17:16.

John 17:16.    They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
 

And no, yesterday wasn’t a drizzly day like the day before, but it sure was cloudy for a lot of it. That means the Labour Day Monday celebrations weren’t marred by rain and the proceedings could be held outside like it ought to be. However, unfortunately, that also spells the end of the summer vacation period, it’s now back to school and back to work time for the thousands who were merry and carefree all summer long! 

And along with that comes a lot of complaining and anxiety as the cold weather and strenuous times of school and work become a reality. (smile) Yeh friends, good things don’t last forever…except the LOVE and salvation of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And all God’s people said a loud and grateful ‘Thank You Lord!’ 

Yes my faithful Christian brethren, there’s nothing we should be more thankful and grateful for than the unconditional and amazing LOVE of our Triune God and their even more amazing and awesome promise of salvation to all those who sincerely believe, worship and obey them! 

It’s the second greatest thing that has ever happened to mankind! First, there was the original creation, then came the re-creation; the coming of Jesus Christ to earth in human form to save mankind from their abominable sins! Wow! How wonderful, generous and selfless was that eh? Words cannot fully describe it nuh! 

And though, on a mental level we sort of understand it, deep down in our hearts we still have some resistance, else we wouldn’t be behaving in the reckless, sinful and ungodly manner that so many of us supposed believers still do. Yeh friends, as the body of Christ, His church, and as individual believers, we simply don’t come up to scratch! 

We’re certainly not investing enough of our time, talent and resources in fulfilling Jesus’ Great Commission: ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples) of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) 

What’s in that not to understand eh friends? Absolutely nothing! We’re supposed to get up off of our fat, lazy, comfortable fannies and spread the good news of Christ’s gospel to all and sundry, save the lost, help the poor, spread LOVE, mercy, kindness and forgiveness! But are we doing that to the best of our ability? Certainly not! In our comfortable and supposedly prosperous society so many are poor, sick, suffering, and still oh so lost! 

And does the church, as it’s supposed to, helping as much as it can? Certainly not! The church and its hierarchical system and too many of us supposed believers are too interested in building wealth, power and success as the world sees it. Like we’ve forgotten, or simply choose to ignore, those memorable words of Jesus chocked full of heavenly advice! ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

Oh my people, that is possibly the most important and significant advice that Jesus ever gave us! Our future, our eternal home lies in heaven, not here on earth, consequently we ought to be seeking the things of God, not the things of the world. Remember too that Jesus prayed the Father that He should keep us out of the world, that though we had to be in it to do His bidding, we should not be a part of it. 

‘They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart) through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 

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 may also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.’ (John 17:16-21) 

Ah mih people, two thousand years ago, Jesus even prayed for those who would eventually believe in Him, that’s you and me, to be set aside for God’s work, and be one in unity of spirit, so that we could be salt and light in this dark, evil and ungodly world. But we’re not fulfilling His mighty purpose; for whatever reason, too many of us have lost our salty flavour and our batteries need serious recharging! 

And the scholars offer these explanations on those verses. ‘17:18. Sent me…sent them means the mission of the church corresponds to that of Christ. Their tasks are alike – in fact, in purpose, and in results, as this prayer shows.’ And so it should be, if we are serious and sincere followers of Jesus Christ! ‘17:21. They…may be one conveys spiritual unity, not organizational unity. (cf. 1 Cor.12:13; 2 Cor.1:11; Eph.2:19; 4:3-16; Heb.10:25).’ 

Yeh friends, all those scriptures preach unity of spirit and purpose, however organizational unity makes it so much easier to have spiritual unity. And I’m sure that Jesus and Bruh Paul didn’t expect or want us to have so much organizational disunity, with so many religions, denominations, sects and what have you, that obviously causes a serious problem with achieving and attaining spiritual unity! End of sermon! 

But seriously though friends, we all know deep down in our hearts and souls that we can ALL come up higher in God’s work, that includes many of the leaders of the church, whose indescribable atrocities are turning more people away from Christ than to Him. 

I therefore implore us, if we’re serious about leading people to Christ, let’s clean up our acts nuh, come to the Father in humble and sincere prayer, offer repentance, ask for forgiveness and mercy and help to do better. He will NEVER turn away or not positively answer such heartfelt requests. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yehhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are! In strong and sincere voice now:  ‘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!’ 

So please, please mih people, let’s go out today and do just that nuh! It’s all that Jesus desires of us! Much LOVE!

…the believers duty…to let our saltiness flavour the whole earth…and our lights shine brightly in its darkness…to lead the way to Christ…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 August 2019 Matthew 22:37.

Matthew 22:37.    Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.

Oh what a beautiful morning! Oh what a beautiful day! It’s somewhat windy and chilly… But everything’s still going our way!’ And for that we have to give much thanks and praise to our heavenly Father for allowing us to enjoy another joyful day down here on planet earth! Praise His holy name friends! Exalt Him to the very ends of the earth, for He is indeed worthy to be praised and exalted!

And having paid our respects to our God, Creator, Provider, etc. etc. let’s see what bits of wisdom our friend Anselm has to offer us this Saturday morning. Hear this first one: ‘Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.’

Now I don’t know if I agree with all of that nuh. Granted, you can’t be open to the slightest of offences, and people do project their own ideas on you, but you shouldn’t be immune to their opinions and action, because ofttimes, though their motives might be selfish, some of their ideas might be sound and thus beneficial. You need to have a tough character, so to speak, but also an open mind, for pearls of wisdom can come from even the most unlikely sources.

And the next quote wisely advises: ‘To avoid a breakdown, take a break for rest and prayer.’ And is that ever so true! There’s so much meltdown and breakdown in our society today because we live in a fast paced, dog-eat-dog, rat race where there’s never enough time for rest and prayer.

That’s because we don’t make time for it, being too busy trying to keep up with the world and all it’s distractions. And that’s especially true of believers! Oh precious people of God, please, let’s slow down, let’s make time for rest and for God nuh. That’s the only way we can truly enjoy this earthly life!

Then there’s this: ‘Be Impeccable With Your Words. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.’ How true my friends, how true all of that is! But unfortunately nowadays most of that has gone out the window, into the trash can of history, especially in these times of all-pervasive social media and all the talking that’s going on.

We no longer think about what we say, before we say it, we just gush everything from the lip, regardless of the possible consequences. Sorry, no one considers consequences anymore, even though there are a lot of sad and tearful ones occurring each and every minute of each and every day!

And don’t talk about integrity nuh! What’s that eh? That’s what a lot of us might ask when posed with that quote. There’s no longer any integrity in our sad and sorrowful world. And that’s basically being of true and sound character, your word being your bond, given to trust and being trusted, fulfilling obligations as agreed upon, etc. etc. Even supposedly lawful contracts are being reneged on every day, so who’s going to stand on their word eh?

Christians ought to! True believers in Christ Jesus are supposed to stand by their promises, just like Jesus did and still does by His. None of us would be happy if Jesus broke any of His promises. We’d be ever so quick to pull Him down, to make a mockery of Him. But it’s okay for us to do it. Ah friends, as they say, what’s good for the goose, is also good for the gander.

Remember these immortal words of Jesus: ‘Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured you again.’ (Matt.7:1-2) Those are words of great truth friends, for whatever you give out, you will eventually get back; like a boomerang, all your deeds will eventually come back to haunt you, or what you sow, you will eventually reap.

As Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘More than you sow, and later than you sow.’ That’s why we have to adopt the principles mentioned in this last quote as quickly and thoroughly as possible, and also spread them world wide so that our world can be greatly improved. ‘More smiling, less worrying. More compassion, less judgment. More blessed, less stressed. More LOVE, less hate.’

Mamacita! What a wonderful world we’d have if those things played a larger role in our lives! And yuh know what my people? I believe that all of that quote falls under these simple but far-reaching words of Jesus, which He answered to the Pharisee lawyer who tried to tempt Him, by asking:

‘Master (Teacher), which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.’ (Matt.22:36-38)

And so it is indeed my fellow believers. The first and most important thing for mankind to do is to LOVE our Creator with all that we have! That sets the tone and direction for everything else in our lives. But the interesting thing in this session is that the man asked about the great commandment, and Jesus gave it to him, but He didn’t stop there. He continued: ‘And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt.22:39-40)

And our Lord and Saviour and Leader and God, Jesus Christ would never lie to us! So therefore it must be of the uttermost importance that we concentrate in this life on LOVE for our great and wonderful heavenly Father, then LOVE for ourselves, and also LOVE for our neighbours.

But friends, please pay attention to Jesus’ words, ‘LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.’ That means we can only LOVE our neighbours as much as we LOVE ourselves. And we’re not talking in a narcissistic way. But unfortunately, in these trying and troublesome times, too many of us don’t LOVE ourselves, that’s why we can’t LOVE our neighbours. Remember, we can only give what and as much as we have!

And that’s a major reason why our world is in such turmoil. So please, today, let’s ponder the state of our self-LOVE nuh. And whatever state it might be in, let’s ask the Lord for His grace and mercy to bring it up higher, so that we can also LOVE others more, and fulfill His commandment, and thus make our world a much better place for our children and future generations! Let’s let out legacy be one of LOVE! Much LOVE!

…the basic Christian motto…do unto others…as you would have them do unto you…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 August 2019 Matthew 6:9.

Matthew 6:9.    ​After this manner pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
 

‘I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ (Ps.122:1) Oh my fellow believers in Christ, that’s exactly the invitation I’m offering us this Sunday morning, the Lord’s Day! Yes, it is good and right that we venture into His house on His day to acknowledge His sovereignty, holiness, grace, compassion and mercy towards us, miserable sinning saints that we are. In fellowship with other believers, we are expected to lift our voices in songs of praise and thanksgiving and receive encouragement from listening to His holy Word. 

And since there is strength in numbers, it means when we gather together, we are a powerful group, able to move mountains with our faith, but we also spread the joy of the Lord amongst each other, encouraging each other as needed. So please don’t refuse this invitation today, because you never know what wondrous blessings or opportunities the Lord has in store for you in His sanctuary today. 

And even if there is nothing special, you leave there like a preening peacock, (smile) full of confidence and joy in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And believe me nothing is better than that in this cruel and oppressive world! Glory to the Most High God Jehovah! Ah mih people, like the ole fella getting excited…And why not eh, since Christ is the greatest thing to ever happen to mankind. And if I have to tell you that, then something wrong with yuh faith yes! (smile)

Anyway, putting all of that aside, let’s begin the proceedings with praise and worship. And since we sang the second most popular Bible scripture last week; the Lord is My shepherd, I figured it’s only right to sing the most popular one today, The Lord’s Prayer. So let’s get to it nuh, in strong, sweet, sincere and solemn harmony, so that the Father has no choice but to look down on us with favour. 

‘Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever…for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, short but sweet! And we all know it as the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples. Luke describes the scene thus: ‘And it came to pass, that as he (Jesus) was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.’ (Luke 11:1) And the scholars offer this footnote: ‘11:1. Religious communities of the time customarily had their own distinctive prayers. Perhaps the disciples wanted theirs.’ 

And we know what Jesus told them: ‘After this manner pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.’ And He went on to tell them the awesome, far-reaching words that we just sang. It’s amazing how it seems to cover all that our earthly life calls for. But if it comes from Jesus, what else would we expect eh? 

Now the scholars offer some interesting explanations on the prayer, and I’m going to share them. Let’s hope we have enough space. (smile) ‘6:9. The beginning phrase, Our Father, is completely uncommon to the prayers of the Old Testament. The two major elements of the prayer are adoration and petition. Hallowed be thy name addresses the attention of the prayer toward God and reverence for His name and His person. Hallowed (Gr. hagiazo) means to be held in reverence and holy awe.’ 

‘6:10. The phrase Thy kingdom come refers to the eschatological (study of end times) nature of this prayer. Notice that the kingdom is to be prayed for, implying that it has not yet arrived. The kingdom represents the full and effective reign of God through the mediatorial office of the Messiah. The recognition of Thy will be done emphasizes the idea that prayer is to bring about the conformity of the will of the believer to the will of God. Prayer is an act of spiritual expression that brings us into conformity to the very nature and purpose of God.’ 

‘6:11. The section of petitions begins with the request to give us this day our daily bread. Bread (Gr. artos) may be applied to the provision of food in general. The term ‘daily’ (Gr. epiousios) denotes “indispensable.” The concept of daily provision of bread fits perfectly with the Old Testament example of the daily provision of manna to the Israelites while they were wandering in the wilderness. (Ex.16:14-15).’ 

‘6:12. Forgive us our trespasses refers to sins, which are our moral and spiritual debts to God’s righteousness. The request for forgiveness of sin is made here by the believer. In order to be saved one need not necessarily name all his sins, but he must confess that he is a sinner.’ ‘6:13-15. Lead us not into temptation is a plea for the providential help of God in our daily confrontation with the temptation of sin. God does not tempt us to do evil, but we are tempted by our own lusts (James 1:13-14). 

However, God does test us in order to give us the opportunity to prove our faithfulness to Him. He never desires to lead us into evil itself. Therefore if we resist the Devil, we are promised that he will flee from us. The prayer closes with a doxology of praise (expression of praise to God): For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen, which is a liturgical (pattern for worship) ending similar to 1 Chronicles 29:11) Though omitted in some manuscripts, these words constitute a fitting and climactic affirmation of faith.’  

And so it does my fellow believers! I also hope that those explanations give you a better understanding of what our most beloved prayer is all about. I certainly learned a lot from them. And neither did it take up as much space as I expected. (smile) So let’s get ourselves to church sometime today nuh and enjoy fellowship with other believers in the holy presence of Almighty God! That’s my prayer and wish for all of us today! Much LOVE!

…in humble prayer…praise ought always…to come before petition…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 July 2019 Mark 1:35.

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

Summer time, summer time, summer time! It’s a good time…but it’s moving oh so quickly! Can you believe that we just finished celebrating Canada Day at the beginning of July and it’s already the middle of July? Where are the days flying by to eh? And next thing yuh know is September and the summer done and yuh haven’t had a good chance to really enjoy it, because it seems so short. Meanwhile, winter just seems to prolong and prolong…like forever. 

I guess that’s because good and pleasant things don’t last as long as we’d like, while the unpleasant ones last much longer than we want. And I guess the same goes for weekends, which morph into Mondays much too quickly. But that’s life friends. We can’t change it, so we just have to make the best of it. And if you happen to be suffering from the Monday Blues, then you’ve come to the right place, because we have the antidote for just such ailments, in the form of sincere prayer, namely, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So let’s put our hearts and souls into it nuh, as we confidently, but humbly approach the throne of grace, imploring our heavenly Father for His help. 

As one strong voice: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies.

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

Mama Mia! Our wonderful God will never refuse such sincere requests, especially since all we’re asking for is His strength, confidence, leading and guidance to go out and do His will! No wonder you suddenly feel a renewed strength, with a bouncy spring in your step and an overwhelming desire to get out there and engage the enemy in fierce warfare! That’s the Father’s answer to our prayer, through His Holy Spirit. 

Ah mih people, prayer is such a wonderful thing! And why shouldn’t it be eh, since it was devised by the One true and living God, for direct communication between Him and His people; that’s us, believers in His Son Jesus Christ! And there are so many nuances to prayer that we can never cover them all here in the Bit. But let it be known that prayer is, and will always be the best form of therapy, for each and every need, in this evil plagued and ungodly world! 

Yes friends, whatever the problem is, prayer should ALWAYS be our first resort…not our last one! Oh, and don’t forget to give thanks through prayer, when things are going right too eh. Prayer is not just for problems, but also for thanksgiving. And believe you me, our heavenly Father gets annoyed and disappointed when we don’t come to Him first with our problems, because He sees Himself as our great problem solver. And the one thing that all men of great faith had in common was prayer; they offered up prayer for any and everything. So why should we be any different in these troubled times eh? 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Bruh Paul. He said that we should be ‘Praying ALWAYS, with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’  (Eph.6:18) And don’t forget to ‘Pray without ceasing’ (1 Thess.5:17) But also ‘I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. ’ (1 Tim.2:8) So you see that prayer is an indispensable, continuous, any and everywhere aspect of a believer’s life. And Jesus said it best: ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.’ (Luke 18:1) 

How can you refute Jesus’ command if you are a sincere believer then eh? You can’t. But unfortunately a lot of us still try to do it. Maybe that’s because we’re not sincere. Who knows? But one thing about our Saviour, unlike so many of us, He always walked His talk. And there are so many instances in the Good Book which showed Jesus just leaving the crowds, even the disciples, and going off by Himself somewhere quiet to pray. And I just LOVE this particular scripture, our Bit for today: ‘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.’ 

Wow friends! That just talks to my soul and spirit! I guess that’s why I like to sit on my front porch in the early hours of the morning; it’s so conducive for communing with the Father. The only difference is that I don’t like to get up early, I prefer to go to bed late. (smile) Just goes to show that Jesus began each day with prayer, and if the Son of God needed to hear from His heavenly Father before going out into the world, then who are we to be any different eh? 

So my fellow saints in Christ, I implore us, from this day forth, to make prayer a big, constant and anywhere thing in our lives. Remember, it’s all for our benefit…not God’s. So let’s show some serious wisdom and reverence nuh, it will pay off in the end. Much LOVE!

…PRAYER…the lifeblood of the Christian believer…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 July 2019 1 Corinthians 3:11.

1 Corinthians 3:11.    ​For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
 

Sunday morning coming down friends…coming down hard and strong, leading to the place of worship and fellowship, where we’ll meet each other and glorify and exalt our great God, give Him much praise and thanksgiving in song and prayer, for being so faithful and merciful and gracious to us! And it’s such a privilege to get together with other believers and hear His Word, and have it fill our hearts with peace, joy, understanding and confidence; confidence in our ability to defeat our enemies and raise Christ’s banner of victory! 

And today’s song offering is a popular old hymn, ‘The Church’s One Foundation.’ And it seems to have a colourful history, coming about through something that’s very prevalent in Christendom, dissension within the church. Here is what supposedly caused it to be written. “The Church’s One Foundation” is a Christian hymn written in the 1860s by Samuel John Stone, with music provided by Samuel Sebastian Wesley. This hymn describes the church’s relationship to its “foundation” being Jesus Christ. The church is represented as the collective Christian fellowship of the earth as it is wholly united by its Saviour, the Son of God. 

“The Church’s One Foundation” was composed as a primary answer to the division within the Church of South Africa generated by John William Colenso, first Bishop of Natal, who denounced much of the Bible as untrue. This issue is referenced to within the fourth verse of the lyrics “Though with a scornful wonder men see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed.” When Bishop Colenso was dismissed for his teachings, he pleaded to the higher religious authorities in England. It was then that Samuel Stone became included in the discussion. It sparked him to draft a set of hymns based on the Apostles’ Creed in 1866. He titled it, Lyra Fidelium; Twelve Hymns on the Twelve Articles of the Apostles’ Creed. “The Church’s One Foundation” is based on the ninth article, The holy Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints.” 

Ah Lord eh friends, the upheaval and dissension that Christ’s Church has seen during its two thousand years of existence! Most other organisations with that kind of upheaval would have ceased to exist long ago, but Christ’s church is built on solid rock, with Him as its true foundation, that’s why it’s still standing and going strong despite the many disputes and fragmentation it has suffered down through the ages. So let’s sing it now nuh, in full voice and sweet harmony, with a strong sense of purpose and confidence that it will last and be meaningful until Christ returns. 

All together now: ‘The Church’s one foundation Is Jesus Christ her Lord, She is His new creation By water and the Word: From Heav’n He came and sought her To be His holy bride, With His own blood He bought her And for her life He died. – She is from every nation, Yet one o’er all the earth; Her charter of salvation, One Lord, one faith, one birth; One holy name she blesses, Partakes one holy food, And to one hope she presses, With every grace endued. -The Church shall never perish! Her dear Lord to defend, To guide, sustain, and cherish, Is with her to the end: 

Though there be those who hate her, And false sons in her pale, Against both foe and traitor She ever shall prevail. – Though with a scornful wonder Men see her sore oppressed, By schisms rent asunder, By heresies distressed: Yet saints their watch are keeping, Their cry goes up, How long? And soon the night of weeping Shall be the morn of song! – Mid toil and tribulation, And tumult of her war, She waits the consummation Of peace forevermore; Till, with the vision glorious, Her longing eyes are blest, And the great Church victorious Shall be the Church at rest! – 

Yet she on earth hath union With God the Three in One, And mystic sweet communion With those whose rest is won, With all her sons and daughters Who, by the Master’s hand Led through the deathly waters, Repose in Eden land. O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we Like them, the meek and lowly, On high may dwell with Thee: There, past the border mountains, Where in sweet vales the Bride With Thee by living fountains Forever shall abide!’ 

Oh my people, what fabulous words and sentiments! And they are all true. Christ came and bought the church with His precious blood that was shed on the cross of Calvary and regardless of all the isms and schisms, and the many enemies that come against her, she shall never perish because He is her protector right to the very end. And I particularly like: ‘Her charter of salvation, One Lord, one faith, one birth; One holy name she blesses, Partakes one holy food, and to one hope she presses…’ Yeh friends, the church is all ONE, in Jesus name! He’s brought ALL nations under the ONE banner, with Himself as the chief cornerstone.  

Let’s look at some scripture now that corroborate all this nuh, beginning with this pronouncement by Jesus to the disciples after Peter acknowledged that He was indeed the Messiah. ‘And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter (a stone), and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ (Matt.16:18) Now this does not mean that Christ intended to build his church on Peter, but it was just a word play, since Peter’s name also meant a rock or stone. What He actually meant is what Bruh Paul explained to the Ephesians when talking about the unity, the oneness of all believers. 

‘For through him (Christ) we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone: In who, all the building fitly framed (being joined) together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord. In whom ye also are builded together (being built) for a habitation (a dwelling place) of God through the Spirit.’ (Eph.2:18-22) 

So, as the scholars explain: ‘The church’s foundation is composed of the apostles and prophets, its chief corner stone is Christ, and its superstructure is composed of Christians. Oriental architecture placed greater importance on the cornerstone than the foundation, for it connected the walls and concentrated the weight of the building on itself, thus bonding and holding together the whole structure. Fitly framed together is translated above as “being carefully and harmoniously joined together.” This implies the harmonious blending of the Jewish and Gentile believers in the church. Christians are viewed as a habitation or dwelling place in whom God lives through His Holy Spirit.’ 

Christ has adroitly and adeptly brought it all together as one, under His umbrella, so much so that when the Corinthians were fighting over whom to follow, Bruh Paul or  Apollos, he ended up telling them that Christians are co-labourers, one man can plant and another water, but it’s God and God alone who gives the increase. (1 Cor.3:5-10) However they had to be very careful re the foundation of their work: ‘For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’ 

Yes friends, believers can build whatever they want on that foundation of Christ, but not on any other foundation, for He is the mainstay, the chief corner stone of our faith. Let’s remember that and build accordingly nuh! Much LOVE!

…Christ…the corner stone that connects His church…through the Holy Spirit…as One body…unto the glory of God the Father

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 July 2019 Hebrews 4:16.

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

And all the early July Independence parties done now! Time to get back to some hard work that’s good for the spleen and the soul. (smile) As they say, a li’l hard work never kill anybody. And that’s the gospel truth! Just wish most of this current society would acknowledge that and put it into practice. Our world would be so much more productive and conducive to better and richer living in Jesus’ name. But as believers, we can only talk and lead by example. 

So having said that, let’s get up and get ourselves together this Monday morning nuh, and get out there and do our best for Jesus, because He is our Guiding Light! And because we’re only human, some of us will obviously not be up to scratch, possibly tired, depressed, troubled, or just blooming lazy! (smile) But whatever it is that ails us this morning, we have the right antidote for it; prayer, in the form of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So let’s come humbly, but confidently to the throne of grace to ask for help in our time of need nuh.

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

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

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

Glory to God my people! Feel the Holy Spirit moving in our souls nuh, enlightening and encouraging and strengthening us as we asked! What would we do without prayer eh? Hn! We’d be lost like the Israelites were in the wilderness for forty long, dragged out and troublesome years. But our wise and great God instituted prayer as a means of communication between Him and us. A way that we can both praise, worship and exalt Him, as well as pour out the most personal and troubling details of our souls, hearts, bodies and minds, trusting Him to help us. 

And on top of all that, He has sincerely promised to answer our prayer if we live obedient to His will. Listen to His encouraging word. ‘Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer.29:12-13) 

Yeh friends, calling on the Living God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is of the utmost importance, if we want to enjoy a joyful and fruitful life down here on earth amongst all the natural troubles and tribulations that are so rampant in these trying times. And Jeremiah, in his Lamentations, said it this way: ‘The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. 

The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:24-26) And if he could say that after suffering a whole lot of problems bringing the Lord’s Word to his people Israel, then there must be some truth to it. 

Meanwhile Bruh David said it thus in Psalm 31. ‘For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me. Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily (secretly) for me: for thou art my strength. Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth. I have hated them that regard lying vanities (vain idols): but I trust in the Lord. 

I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities (troubles); and hast not shut me up into the hand of (given me over to) the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room (wide space).’ (Ps.31:3-8) 

Oh friends, what better witness declaring (yeah!) God’s mercy and LOVING-kindness can we get than from those two men who suffered so much in doing the Lord’s bidding, yet still pledged their undying LOVE and devotion to Him? Job was another righteous man who suffered much unfair and unjustified tribulation, but he also unequivocally pledged his loyalty to the God of his forefathers when he made these bold statements: 

‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust him: but I will maintain mine own ways (defend my ways) before him. He also shall be my salvation: for a hypocrite shall not come before him.’ (Job 13:15-16) Fighting words those, my brethren! But that’s what happens when we have supreme faith in our God despite our troubled circumstances here on earth. 

And we’ll end with these wonderful, inspiring and reassuring words of the author of Hebrews, re The sympathetic Christ. ‘Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (faith). For we have not a high priest  which cannot be touched (sympathetic) with the feeling of our infirmities (weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.’ (Heb.4:14-5) 

Oh my people, Jesus knows all about temptation in this evil world, because He suffered it just like we are doing, but He was without sin. So He understands what we’re going through. That’s why the author ends this passage with these encouraging words. ‘Let us therefor come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ 

And that’s exactly what we did when we prayed our Monday Morning Battle Hymn…And yuh saw the positive results. So please, let’s just keep trusting and stay strong and steadfast in the Lord. It’s the best option available to us! Much LOVE!

…to pray…to pray…and yet to keep on praying…that’s the Christian way…

 

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