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…

 

Advertisements

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…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 June 2019 Matthew 8:27.

Matthew  8:27. But the men marvelled, saying, what manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

 

Sunday, oh Sunday! Blessed Sunday! Time to go to God’s sanctuary and give Him praises; sing Him songs of worship and adoration, while fellowshipping with other believers and opening our hearts wide to hear, accept and digest His Holy Word, so that we can be refreshed, strengthened and renewed in our faith! What a time it will be in God’s house! Singing and dancing…with joy and good cheer overflowing!

And to get us started on that hallelujah trail, we going to sing a soulful piece of gospel music written by Mary A Baker. I first heard this rendition a couple of days ago while looking through You Tube for a song for today. It’s by a Black Gospel singer named Jessy Dixon. Don’t know if you all know him, but this was the first time I had ever heard about or seen him. He’s tall, dark and handsome, and a natty dresser too…and can the brother ever belt out a gospel tune like back in the good old days!

He reminds me of Wilson Pickett singing ‘In the Midnight Hour.’ That’s for the ole timers. (smile) He has some videos on You Tube with Bill and Gloria Gaither’s Homecoming Festival. Check them out if you want to see him. But friends, from the time I heard his rendition of ‘The Tempest is Raging!’ with great music and outstanding background vocals, I knew that was our song of praise and worship for today!

So no more talk, let’s get right into nuh! Let’s raise our hearts, heads, hands and voices to high heaven in pure, simple, unadulterated soulful gospel mih people! As one harmonious choir now: ‘Master, the tempest is raging, Oh, the billows are tossing high. The sky is o’ershadowed with blackness, Oh, no shelter, no shelter or help is nigh – Carest thou not that we perish? How canst You lie, How canst thou lie there asleep, When it seems like each moment so madly is threatening?

Oh, A grave, a grave, a grave in the angry deep? Get up Jesus because! The winds and the waves shall obey thy will. All You got to say is, Peace, be still, Peace, be still, Peace be still, Peace, be still. Whether the wrath, the wrath of the storm-tossed sea, Or demons, or evil men, or whatever it be. No water can swallow the ship wherein lies, the Master of the ocean, the earth and sky. They shall all sweetly obey thy will, If You say, Peace, peace, peace, be still.

The Lord will give you peace! He wants to give you peace! In the midnight hour, When there’s nobody else there, God will give you peace. When you feel lonely, You have someone who will give you perfect peace! He’ll be your friend, yes He will. The Lord will give you peace, If you’re looking for peace, In all of your needs, In all of your days, Get down on your knees and talk to Jesus! Yes, whatever the Lord says, there will be peace, there will be peace, there will be peace. For He knew it, Yes, He knew it, Peace, be still, Peace, be still, Peace, be still, Peace be still…’

Oh mih people, you can’t beat a good piece of gospel soul nuh! That’s because it really comes from the heart! When our forefathers were suffering during the days of slavery, that’s all they had, all they could do was cry out in heartfelt agony to the God of the same people who were enslaving them. And the Lord eventually hearkened unto their cry, like He had done for the Israelites so many years before down in Egypt land, and set them free.

That’s why soul is such a powerful instrument of music and prayer. And we did a wonderful job there just now! (smile) All heaven was in tears…tears of joy, as we lifted up, exalted the Prince of Glory in soulful song! Oh friends, there’s nobody like our Jesus! Nobody else whom the raging seas and howling winds will obey, when He says just three, simple words to them, ‘Peace, be still!’ That’s the awesome power He possesses as the Creator and Controller of our universe!

And we all know that this earthly life is not only filled with physical storms, but also with figurative raging tempests, that tend to disturb and oftimes capsize our earthly equilibrium, and leave us lost and oh so forlorn. But yuh know what friends, there’s no need to let those storms of life beat us down when we have Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, for He’s sincerely promised to safeguard us from the storms and the evils of this world.

But it won’t happen just like that. You have to turn to him and invite Him into your life. Or if He comes knocking on the door of your heart, then you have to open it and let Him come in. As He so politely offers: ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup (dine) with him, and he with me.’ (Rev.3:20) You couldn’t want for a better offer than that friends.

But getting back to our song for today, we all know the real life incident it was based on. The Good Book relates it thus: ‘And when he (Jesus) was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he (Jesus) was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.

And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, what manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’ (Matt.8:23-27) That really said something negative about their faith though, especially after seeing Jesus do countless miracles; healing people, feeding thousands with a few loaves of bread and fishes, even raising Lazarus from the dead.

But don’t look down on them for their lack of faith, because we’re just as bad today. And we have even more information and revelation than they had. But we still don’t make enough use of Jesus and His amazing but ever so faithful promises, and still get rather anxious and distraught when the storms of life come against us, instead of feeling the peace and calm His lead and guidance can bring.

Oh friends, all we’re doing is spoiling our lives by refusing to take Jesus as seriously as we ought to. So please, please, let’s wake up and discover the inevitable joy of a close walk with Him. That’s wisdom in spades! Much LOVE!

…who alone can calm the storm…with only three simple words…JESUS…!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 May 2019 James 5:16.

James 5:16.   ​Confess your faults (trespasses) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.
 

 

Once more dear friends, once more unto the breach, for Christ’s sake, in His mighty name! Yes, the evil and ungodly walls of the world are just waiting to fall, to crumble to the ground, like those of Jericho did so long ago! They only need us, Christ’s saints to get going and walk our walk! 

Note, for the first six days the priests blew their ram’s horns, but the people only marched, only walked, didn’t say anything. Then on the seventh day, they marched around it seven times, blew their trumps and shouted, and those massive, seemingly impregnable walls of Jericho just cane crumbling down! 

Wow! It’s the same way the walls of our current world will come tumbling down if we do more Christian walking and Christ-like doing than the great amount of talking at which we’re so adept! (smile) 

And the first order of the day is to offer up some sincere and heartfelt prayer for Alyssa, the daughter of one of our Scrip-Bit family members, who’s undergoing some serious surgery this morning, as we speak. Please, let’s pray that the Lord will strengthen her, both in body and spirit so that she can undergo the rigours of the surgery – and believe me, surgery is very rigorous, takes a lot out of you. 

And that He will also guide the hands of the medical team doing the surgery, and finally bless the family with strength and faith so that they can accept His faithful promise to work everything out for good! In Christ’s name we pray! And all God’s children said a loud and grateful ‘AMEN!’ 

Yes mih people, prayer ought to be as important to our Christian family of faith, as breath is to our earthly lives. For just like our physical body dies if it doesn’t have a refreshed and renewed air flow, so too does our spiritual man suffer death without continual sincere and heartfelt prayer. That’s because it’s our all-important method of communicating with our heavenly Father who created us and so generously gave us His breath of life! 

That’s why we’ve been instructed so often to pray. The Lord said it to Cousin Sol so long ago, when he dedicated the 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. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent (attentive) unto the prayer that is made in this place (the temple).’ (2 Chr.7:14-15) 

And Jesus said it in even fewer words. ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ (Luke 18:1) Ah friends, that’s where prayer power comes in. When we’re likely to falter and give up, that’s when we need prayer most! 

But then too, prayer isn’t just mouthing words. Listen to how Jesus puts it: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive it.’ (Matt.21:22) And please note the most important word in that sentence is ‘believing.’ For prayer without belief, without faith is useless! And Bruh Paul says we should pray ‘always.’ (Eph.6:18) We should also pray ‘without ceasing.’ (1 Thess.5:17) As well as pray ‘everywhere.’ (1 Tim.2:8) 

Oh precious people of God, you can see how important prayer is in our lives. But another very important aspect of prayer is our praying for each other, not merely our selves. As James so eloquently tells us: ‘Confess your faults (trespasses) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.’  

And several times in his epistles, Bruh Paul asked the receivers of those messages to pray for him, that he would stand strong and steadfast in Christ’s name and be effective in his ministry. And somehow, I can’t seem to find any but this one right now (smile) ‘Brethren, pray for us.’ (1 Thess.5:25) 

And James’ theory is proven oh so well by this bit of scripture from long, long ago. When the people of Israel complained about the lack of meat in the wilderness after coming out of slavery in Egypt, ‘it displeased the Lord: and the Lord heard it; and his anger was kindled (aroused); and the fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts (outskirts) of the camp. And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the Lord, the fire was quenched (extinguished).’ (Num.11:1-2) 

Yeh friends, we learn two important lessons from that scripture; be careful of our complaining, for the Lord doesn’t take well to too much complaining, especially when He believes He’s doing a good thing for us. And secondly, the prayer of a righteous person can indeed be very effective. 

So with those two lessons burning through our souls, bodies and minds, let’s go home today declaring (yes!) our Thursday Blessings nuh. Blessings we haven’t earned, and don’t deserve, but which our great God, in His awesome generosity, has seen fit to bestow on us. 

All together now, in sincere appreciation: ‘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 everyday! Amen!’ 

Yes mih breddren, yes! What a magnanimous God we serve and worship! Now let’s go out and share those awesome blessings with the less fortunate as Jesus Christ so greatly desires of us! Much LOVE!

…heavenly blessings are meant for generous sharing…not for selfish hoarding…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 May 2019 Ephesians 6:18.

Ephesians 6:18.   ​Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
 

Oh yes, it’s bright and sunshiny and even warm too! Glory to God! Yeh friends, the day’s begun the way a day is supposed to begin; with the light of Jesus shining brightly in and through our lives! (smile) Oh, is it ever good to wake up to sunshine after all that watery precipitation. 

And would you believe that yesterday afternoon with sunshine flowing, the rain still made its way down! But I guess that shower was just to wash away the remaining clouds, because after that the sun came out even brighter! Thanks be to God! 

And I want to apologize for not giving us the whole story a couple of days ago when we dealt with the spiritual armour of God. Yuh know we’re fully protected once we have our loins girded with the truth of God, and the breastplate of righteousness is secured fast against our chests, and our feet are properly shod in the preparation of peace, the eagerness provided by the gospel of Christ. 

Not to mention having that all important shield of faith to protect us from the fiery darts of the enemy, our heads protected by the helmet of salvation, the hope and assurance of eternal glory in God, while wielding that terrible two edged sword of the Spirit, God’s immortal, powerful and life changing Word! 

Yes friends, it all looks good, but there is one necessary part, one thing is needed to get it all going, to galvanize us into action; and that’s prayer! Without prayer, our armour is not worth a whole lot. That’s why Bruh Paul warned after telling us all about the spiritual armour: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ 

Oh my people, prayer is always the most important item in any earthly situation! And the scholars’ explain that verse thus: ‘6:18. Praying is grammatically linked to ‘stand” in verse 14. Without prayer God’s armour is inadequate to achieve victory. Prayer is indispensable. Always means “on every occasion,” that is, when Satan attacks. 

In the Spirit signifies that with the Spirit’s help such prayer for divine aid is to be made. Watching thereunto means “being vigilant in this very matter” of prayer. They are to pray not just for themselves but also for all saints; spiritual combat is both and individual and corporate matter.’ 

Oh my fellow believers that last part is especially important; we’re required not only to pray for ourselves but also for the rest of God’s church, all His saints, because we all need the Spirit of God to work productively in us, and prayer is the catalyst that gets it all going! And Bruh Paul made that abundantly clear when he continued after our Bit: 

‘And (pray) for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery (the hidden truth) of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds (chains): that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.’ (Eph.6:19-20)  

Yuh see friends, even though Bruh Paul was blessed with so much revelation from God, he still needed human prayer to help him do the job; speak boldly and openly about the truth in Christ’s gospel. Now tell me how much more do we, in these sad, stressful and strife-filled times need the prayer of our fellow believers eh? But sadly, because of the selfish, greedy and first person singular motives that currently flourish in our society, we don’t pray for our fellow believers as much as we ought to. 

Too many of us supposed believers are focused only on our own selves, our own needs, wants and problems. But there is a lot of truth in the saying, that somebody out there is always suffering more than us, and need God’s help worse than we do! Let’s just remember that, especially we believers in this wealthy and prosperous, but ever so wasteful and selfish Western society! End of Sermon! (smile) 

Oh, I forgot I wanted to add these two warnings of Jesus on the subject of prayer. First off: To His disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane who should have been praying with Him, but instead fell asleep. ‘Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ (Matt.26:41) And isn’t that the awful truth! 

The second warning is this: ‘And he spake a parable unto them (the disciples) to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ (Luke 18:1) And the scholars give a nice, precise explanation of that verse. ’18:1. To faint means “to lose heart.” Precisely when tempted to give up, men ought to be strong in their resolve to pray.’ And that’s for certain sure friends, because there’s NO giving up in Jesus’ vocabulary! 

And by the way, the parable mentioned above was about the woman seeking justice from the unjust judge. (Luke 18:2-8) And she only received it because she kept on badgering him, until in disgust, he finally relented. That’s how we ought to pray my fellow saints; always…and with confidence and humility! 

Now let’s go home declaring (right ho!) those wonderful attributes bestowed on us believers in our Thursday Blessings. We’ve got to declare them for them to take effect. So as one sincere body of faith: ‘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 everyday! Amen!’ 

And remember, those blessings are not granted for us to selfishly hoard, but to generously share with the less fortunate. So let’s go out and do just that nuh, and thus warm the cockles of Christ’s heart! Much LOVE!

…without sincere and constant prayer…a believer’s life is never fulfilled…thus falling short of his destiny…

 

 

 

Previous Older Entries