Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 June 2022 Ephesians 6:4.

Ephesians 6:4.      ‘And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord.’

HAPPY  FATHER’S  DAY!​

Well, Happy Father’s Day greetings to all us fathers, be we good, bad or indifferent! (smile) The Good Book does say that the father is the head of the household, the leader, the spiritual guide and should be a good example to his children as he raises them in accordance with godly principles. In the words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. ‘And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord.’ (Eph. 6:4) 

Yes friends, fathers have an immense responsibility in rearing children and leading a household. As the scholars say, we must not provoke our children to wrath through things like ‘injustice, loss of temper, undue severity, cruelty, favouritism, suppression, sarcasm, ridicule, and misuse of authority.’ 

Brother! No wonder many men run away from that kind of awesome responsibility. It is indeed a lot to handle. And on top of all that we have to teach them about the Lord; rear them in proper LOVE and reverence to the Lord God Jehovah. Do as Joshua did, let it be unconditionally known; ‘but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ (Josh. 24:15d) A father should also be ‘One who ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity.’ (1 Tim. 3:4) That means managing his family in the right way, making sure that the children learn obedience in a dignified manner. 

Wow! The good thing about it all though my fellow fathers, is that once we embark on the right track, the Lord helps us to run our families and raise our children. He just doesn’t leave us in a vacuum; tell us to make sure we do this or that and raise them according to His Word, then disregard us and leave us to rear them on our own. As true believers we ought to know that’s not how our wonderful God operates. Whatever He asks or expects of us, He also enables, gives us the tools to accomplish the task. 

Unfortunately though, in today’s world where God is no longer recognized as being a very important part of our lives, many fathers don’t have the knowledge they need to carry out their responsibilities, or just don’t care, or are not living with their children, and thus the family, the smallest and most important group, the foundation unit of our society is sadly falling apart, leading to the malfunctioning and degradation of society as a whole. Yes friends, when the smallest part of an organism or organization is being ruined, it’s not long before the whole edifice collapses. 

And yes, women do a fantastic job of keeping families together, but they can’t do it all by themselves, they need a male partner to help, if the job is to be done properly. And, unfortunately, it’s the children who suffer the most from these broken or dysfunctional homes. And since the males don’t have a decent example of what fatherhood ought to be, they continue in the same dysfunctional manner when raising their families. How many of us fathers are like Job eh? 

The Good Book says: ‘And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about (his children’s feasting was over), that Job sent and sanctified them (set them apart, consecrated them), and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, it may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually (regularly).’ (Job 1:5) Isn’t that beautiful my people. Job knew the value of continually praying for his children. How many of us fathers do that nowadays eh? Not enough. 

And yes, like this week we’re having the sermon before we get with the praise and worship. (smile) But that’s just how the spirit moved me this morning. But let’s get to today’s song, one that we all know and LOVE. It’s titled ‘My Hope is built on nothing less,’ written by the British Baptist minister Edward Mote (1797-1874). Oh, I know it’s an old song, but that just attests to its staying power, because it deals with assurance and refuge, of strength and a solid foundation that we find only in Christ Jesus, which I believe is a good sentiment for we fathers to seek this Father’s Day. 

So, let’s offer up our scintillating sacrifices of praise in a joyful mid-tempo version, letting our sincerity pour out of both our mouths and our hearts. In perfect unison and harmony, let’s sing: ‘My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. (Refrain: On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.) 

When darkness veils his lovely face I rest on His unchanging grace In every high and stormy gale My anchor holds within the veil. (Refrain) His oath, his covenant, his blood Supports me in the ‘whelming flood When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay. (Refrain) Not earth, nor hell, my soul can move; I rest upon unchanging LOVE. I trust his righteous character, his counsel, promise, and his pow’r. [Refrain] 

When he shall come with trumpet sound, oh, may I then in him be found, dressed in his righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne. [Refrain: On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand… On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand… Oh thank You Lord…You solid Rock!’ 

Now didn’t that make you feel reenergized and reassured? It ought to…if you were sincere in your vocalizing. (smile) And it’s been said that the song was based on Jesus words from Matthew 7, as He winds down the Sermon on the Mount. It’s a story we all know about the two foundations. ‘Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a (the) rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded up a (the) rock.’ (Matt. 7:24-25) 

Yes mih bredrin, wisdom dictates than when we hear the teachings of Jesus that we build our lives and that of our families on Him, because He is the ROCK! A sure place of refuge for all and sundry! Where you are never turned away or left to die on your own. No one else can offer what Jesus offers, so please let’s wake up and heed His urgent call nuh, especially we fathers, for our children, our families and our society as whole are suffering because we are not doing our bounden duty to lead them in a righteous manner in Christ Jesus. Please. I implore us to let today be a serious and sincere turning point in our lives! Much LOVE!

…no other foundation but Jesus…will withstand the battering evil forces of the world… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 June 2021 Psalm 118:24.

Psalm 118:24.     ​This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it!

Well a pleasant Sunday to you my Scrip-Bit friends and family! It’s another beautiful day in the life! Our God surely knows how to make them, doesn’t He! And we also wish a blessed and Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there, be they good, bad or indifferent! (smile) Oh, we know that our parents should be celebrated every day, but that’s not always possible, so we focus on one special day each year for each parent. 

Today is your day Fathers, so please enjoy it. So all around it’s a wonderful day! That means we can say like the psalmist did so sincerely, so long ago: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps. 118:24) Glory Hallelujah my faithful brethren in Christ! 

And what better way to celebrate the Lord’s beautiful day and Father’s Day than by raising our voices in praise to the 18thcentury hymn written by clergyman Phillip Doddridge and made popular, became a gospel music standard in the 20thcentury by the Edwin Hawkins singers. You know that I’m talking about ‘Oh Happy Day!’ So without further ado, let’s get into it nuh, in an up-tempo beat, with loud, joyful, harmonious voices, let’s rock heaven…oh, and don’t forget those wonderful background vocals, because that’s the heart of the song. (smile) 

All together now: ‘Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He washed (When Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) (Repeat) He taught me how (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day Every day Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He washed (When Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) He washed my sins away 

(Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) He taught me how (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day (Good God) Every day Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, it’s a happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, Lord (Oh, happy day) Mmm, good God (Oh, happy day) Oh yeah (Oh, happy day) Mmm, oh (Oh, happy day).’ 

Yes friends, it is indeed a happy day! And as always, we did justice to our song of praise, because all heaven was rocking along, with us, singing and clapping…this time we even caught Jesus singing and clapping while doing a li’l two step shuffle off in the corner. You know He is usually shy and reserved and doesn’t get too caught up in the merriment, but today the energy and joy pulsating from the music was too much for Him to resist. 

And a couple angels who saw Him jigging, gleefully shouted out: ‘Go there mih Saviour! Show them you could step too, when you so desire!’ Obviously Jesus blushed, but He didn’t stop dancing. Ah friends, our Lord and Saviour is indeed a man of many parts, and He wants to get involved in everything that we do. So please let’s not try to leave Him out of any areas of our lives, because we are the ones who suffer when we do that. 

And I guess because today is Father’s Day, I ought to say something spiritual to the Fathers? (smile) And there are lots of scriptures that deal with the responsibilities of fathers. The most well-known one I guess is in Bruh Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians, where he declares: ‘And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord.’ (Eph. 6:4) 

And just to be clear on what Bruh Paul means, here are some explanations from the scholars.‘6:4. Fathers can provoke their children to wrath by injustice, loss of temper, undue severity, cruelty, favouritism, suppression, sarcasm, ridicule, and misuse or abuse of authority. Nurture basically means “training,” here denoting spiritual education. Admonition is instruction that points out one’s responsibilities and duties. Of the Lord is in Greek a subjective genitive (names the subject of the action contained in another noun). This indicates that behind the parents’ rearing and instruction of their children stands the Lord as the chief teacher in child education. Parents do not raise children alone.’ 

Now that is something many of the parents of this generation need to learn; they cannot raise children in isolation from the Lord. Many are still trying though, and no wonder we have so many godless children in our society. Notwithstanding the serious absence of fathers in too many households. Remember friends, the father is the titular head of the family, and if there is no father present in a child’s rearing, or the father doesn’t do a good job then the child obviously suffers in the long run. 

That’s why Cousin Sol spells it out in Proverbs. ‘Train up a child in the way he should go, and (even) when he is old, he will not depart from it.’ (Prov. 22:6) And that’s the gospel truth friends! Have you ever noticed how many young people who grew up in Christian homes, at some point stray from their faith, but eventually return to it when they see that there’s no other way to live a good life? I can personally testify to that. (smile) 

And a few explanations from the scholars re Cousin Sol’s words.‘22:6. Train up a childrefers to the total process of molding a child’s life…. Thus parental training should help children develop a taste for the things of God. The biblical pattern of effective parental training emphasizes a balance of instruction and discipline (cf. Eph. 6:1-4). 

The ideal parent is to be neither overly authoritarian nor overly permissive. Rather, he must balance LOVE and discipline so as not to provoke his child to rebellion.When he is old means simply, “when he is grown up,” or a mature adult. It does not refer to his elderly years. The verse stresses the simple principle that education in the home forms the man throughout his lifetime.’ 

And there is much truth to all that the scholars and Cousin Sol say, but it’s all much easier said than done, for as the old people will tell you, ‘you make the children, but not their minds.’ So you can try your best to inculcate God into them from their formative years, and yet they will still go astray. But nonetheless it is still our job, our responsibility, to teach them the things of God, regardless of what they choose to do with that info. The Lord will deal with them for their disobedience, and with us for ours, because too many of us parents have not given the children of this generation enough of God’s fodder. 

Remember what the Lord said of Abraham. ‘For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgement (righteousness and judgement); that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.’ (Gen. 18:19) 

Oh my people, how many of us can the Lord give such glowing reports of today eh? Unfortunately, not as many as He should, for we have certainly fallen down in raising our children on the tenets of God. However, as the old people would further say, (smile), ‘where there is life, there is hope,’ so let’s not give up on them nuh. Let’s keep being living examples to our children, as well as reminding them of God’s Word and His will for their lives. Much LOVE!

…the foundation of a Christian family is…father, mother, children… and God…                                                                      

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 June 2019 Exodus 20:12.

Exodus 20:12  Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

HAPPY  FATHER’S  DAY!

Well a Happy Father’s Day to all you fathers out there, be you good, bad or indifferent! (smile) Yes, today is the day we spend celebrating that wonderful and godly gift called Fatherhood. And no, it’s not as big as the day we spend celebrating Motherhood, because the world tends to see Motherhood in a somewhat better light than Fatherhood. Therefore Mother’s Day seems to have a bigger impact on both our psyche and our active involvement than Father’s Day. 

And though fathers’ traditional role of bread-winner and ruler of the roost might have changed some, with more working mothers and more irresponsible and absentee fathers than ever before, they are still an important part of our society. (smile) But more on all of that later, because it’s Sunday and we’re going to the sanctuary to participate in faithful and exultant worship to the GREATEST FATHER there is…our heavenly Father! 

And that’s why our song of praise today is the popular Christian hymn ‘This is My Father’s World,’ written by Maltbie Davenport Babcock around the end of the 19th century. According to the website ‘God Tube’ when Babcock lived in upstate New York, in Lockport, ‘he would take strolls along the Niagara Escarpment to savour the overlook’s scenic view of upstate New York surroundings and Lake Ontario, telling his wife he was “going out to see the Father’s world.” 

The central theme of the hymn is joy and appreciation for the beauty of our natural world.’ So let’s sing it like we really mean it nuh, like we really enjoy the beauty of nature that our heavenly Father has created for our enjoyment and pleasure! Let the enthusiasm, sweet harmony and true exaltation just gush out of us on this Father’s Day. 

Altogether now: ‘This is my Father’s world, And to my listening ears All nature sings, and round me rings The music of the spheres. This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas– His hand the wonders wrought. This is my Father’s world: The birds their carols raise, The morning light, the lily white, Declare their Maker’s praise. 

This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair; In the rustling grass, I hear Him pass, He speaks to me everywhere. This is my Father’s world: O let me ne’er forget That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the Ruler yet. This is my Father’s world: Why should my heart be sad? The Lord is King: let the heavens ring! God reigns; let earth be glad! 

I have a Father, a glorious father, He reigns in power and in LOVE, We have a Father, our glorious Father, Creator, King and God. This is my Father’s world: O let me ne’er forget That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the Ruler yet. This is my Father’s world!’ 

It certainly is my fellow saints in Christ! He made it, and He looks after it! Why do you think that the birds sing their songs of praise, and the morning light and lily white declare His praise eh? And so should we humans, His most wonderful creation! Just listen to these touching words nuh: ‘In the rustling grass, I hear Him pass, He speaks to me everywhere!’ That’s the gospel truth friends! In every aspect of nature we can view our great heavenly Father…if we would just slow down and take the time to smell the roses! 

And even more important are these immortal words: ‘O let me ne’er forget That though wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet!’ That’s for certain sure my people! Therefore why should our hearts be sad eh? ‘The Lord is king. So let the heavens ring! God reigns!’ That’s something we oftimes forget; ‘So let the earth be glad, because we have a Father, a glorious Father who reigns in power and in LOVE!’ Truer words were never spoken friends! 

But what we also have to take into account my brethren is that the Lord delegated a lot of His power here on earth to the earthly Fathers, and consequently they are required to lead us in His sovereign will, and we are also required to show them the respect demanded of that high and godly office. Parents are His earthly representatives. 

And the Lord taught it so important that He made it a part of His rules for godly living; the Ten Commandments: ‘Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.’ As always, our God says it simply and straightforward. Our fathers and mothers are the two most important people in our lives, after Him, of course. And regardless of if they are bad, good, or indifferent, it is our job to honour and revere them. 

And as Bruh Paul says later on to the Ephesians: ‘it is the first commandment with promise.’ (Eph.6:2b). That means it’s the first injunction given that has a promise attached to it; honouring and obeying parents ensures a long and prosperous life. Now, unfortunately, as our society gets less and less godly, the honouring and obeying of parents is also becoming less practiced, and a lot of us are even cursing and smiting them too. 

And the dishonouring and disobeying is especially true of fathers, many of whom, for whatever reason, are never around or don’t take any active part in their children’s lives. Remember friends, parents, especially fathers are supposed to bring up children with the word of God richly ingrained in them, starting from very young. 

So if many fathers aren’t around, or are around and don’t do it, then this exacting and rather important job is either going to fall by the wayside, or the poor mother will be forced to take it on, in addition to her many other rearing duties. That’s a lot for any parent to handle, hence the waywardness and ungodliness of so many of today’s youth. 

Ah friends, as the most important part of our society, the family crumbles, the godly commands also fall by the wayside. But we won’t give up, because that’s not in the Christian vocabulary. Instead, we’ll keep trying to push parents and children to be better, beginning with these warnings from the Lord a long, long time ago, re, honouring parents. He that smites or curses his father or mother shall surely be put to death. (Ex.21:15,17) That just goes to show how important God thought parents were. 

And a couple more admonishments from Bruh Paul: ‘Children obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right….And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord.’ (Eph.6:1,4) Yes friends, children ought to obey their parents when instructed to do anything that’s in God’s will, and fathers need to use their authority wisely, giving them proper spiritual training, as well as teaching them their responsibilities and duties. 

Let’s hope and pray that this Father’s Day will bring some recalcitrant fathers and children to the place where they see and acknowledge God’s Word and His awesome desire for their lives. Have a blessed and happy Father’s Day! Much LOVE!

…fear (revere) every man…his mother…and his father…and keep my Sabbaths…I am the Lord your God… (Lev.19:3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2017 Matthew 26:39.

Matthew 26:39.   And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

Ah mih breddren, the ole fella’s a bit on the rough side this morning. I sincerely tried to get up earlier, but the body rebelled, declaring that it needed more rest. Hn! 

And I must say that it had a very valid point, because over the last few days I have indeed been trying to burn the candle at both ends. And the body cannot sustain that for very long, especially with my current state of medication induced insomnia. 

Anyway, I’m finally up, (smile) and we’ll begin with this prayer titled ‘My Walk,’ which I know I’ve shared before, and I believe comes from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr, Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. But as always, these prayers are very worthy of being repeated time and time again. 

Please pray with me. ‘O God, I’m inspired. For you have just impressed this truth in to my mind: The most powerful force in the world is a positive idea in the mind of a believer who is walking in your will. I now reach forth my life and say, “God, put my life in the centre of your will.” Amen!’ 

And there’s absolutely no doubt that there’s anything more powerful than a Christian with positive ideas walking in God’s will! Glory to God! 

And to tell the truth people, I didn’t even know what the end of the prayer said. I just wanted a prayer to put there, and that was the first one that came to hand. I knew it was good and worthwhile though, otherwise it would not be amongst the others. 

Imagine my surprise when I reached the end and saw that it dealt with doing God’s will; the very topic we’re talking about in our Bit. And who says our God does not move in mysterious ways eh! Chuh! They definitely don’t know what they are talking about. 

So here’s our Bit. ‘And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.’ 

Yeh friends, in the last few days we’ve been checking out some of Jesus’ statements on doing the will of our heavenly Father. To Him, it was always the number one priority, and should likewise be to us. 

Today, I want share some of the words and sentiments of other saints on the subject. We already have Gramps Schuller’s opinion in our prayer above, now listen to Bruh Paul in his admonition to the Ephesians, re advice to children and servants. 

‘And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord. Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart (sincerity), as unto Christ; 

Not with eyeservice, as men pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not unto men. Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond (slave) or free. 

And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing (giving up) threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.’ (Eph.6:4-9) 

Oh friends, what a wonderful piece of scripture! Bruh Paul details how we should all work together in pursuing the will of God, because that’s the most important thing in our lives! 

Now hear some of the explanations from the scholars. ‘6:4. Fathers can provoke their children to wrath by injustice, loss of temper, undue severity, cruelty, favouritism, suppression, sarcasm, ridicule, and misuse or abuse of authority. Nurture basically means “training,” here denoting spiritual education. 

Admonition is instruction that points out one’s responsibilities and duties. Of the Lord is in Greek a subjective genitive. (smile) This indicates that behind the parents rearing and instruction of their children stands the Lord as the chief teacher in child education. Parents do not rear children alone.’ 

I just wish that more of today’s parents, including the supposedly Christian ones, were aware of these stipulations. 

‘6:5. Your masters according to the flesh means “your human masters.” Servants are to carry out their slave duties with fear and trembling, that is, with careful concern to do a good job and with reverential respect for their masters. 

Singleness of your heart refers to a mental disposition, an attitude that renders obedience out of sincerity, not hypocrisy. As unto Christ explains why servants should obey masters in the manner prescribed here: obedience rendered to their masters is obedience rendered to Christ.’ 

‘6:6. “Singleness of heart” or sincere disposition excludes eyeservice, that is duty performed only when the master is watching; but it includes doing the will of God from the heart, that is, enthusiastic service coming from within and not having to be coerced by external pressure.’ 

‘6:7. Good will means “good intention.” The Christian servant (employee) seeks the best interest of his master (employer).’ Hn! How often does that happen eh? 

‘6:8. The basis for the servant’s “good intention” (v.7) toward his master is his being recompensed by the Lord – both in this life and in the one to come – the same good he has performed in his servant duties.’ 

‘6:9. Earthly masters are to behave in a reciprocal manner toward their slaves (i.e. with respect, sincerity, and careful concern). For earthly masters have a heavenly Master who will judge them without partiality.’ 

Ah mih people, if only we could put one iota of those things into operation in our current world, what a wonderful world it would be eh! That doesn’t mean we must stop trying, but instead try harder. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings over our blessed lives. And remember a blessing isn’t a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. 

In loud voice and strong belief: ‘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!’ 

Now let’s share those blessings all over the world, as our Lord and Saviour Jesus desires. Much LOVE!

…what were we created for…to do God’s will… 

P.S. It’s long and late, but ever so good! (smile) Much LOVE!