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…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 October 2015 Hebrews 11:1‏‏

Hebrews 11:1.   Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.

Ah mih people, it’s Friday, and the ole fella is feeling fairly wide eyed and bushy tailed because he got a half decent night’s rest. But that means I’m up somewhat late in the morning, and though it’s nice to get up early, it’s always better to get up when the sun is shining rather than when darkness still covers the land. (smile) 

And for you early risers, when darkness still permeates the land, I just want to reassure you that though you may not see the sun, the Son is ALWAYS present by your side, with the Holy Spirit assisting you to make good decisions and showing you the right paths to tread. 

And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful ‘Glory Hallelujah! All thanks and praise to the Lamb that was slain for us!’ 

And since most of you have been up before me, most likely you have already expressed your worldly Friday declaration of ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday, meaning that the weekend is here and the party is getting underway! Thank God for small mercies like Friday and the weekend!’ 

Now I would like to change that somewhat and give us a better perspective on the whole situation. So let’s chant our Friday Chant nuh, with much conviction and enthusiasm. 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Now that’s more like what we should be saying my people, because the weekend isn’t just for fun and frolic, but also for some serious time with oneself and with one’s Creator. 

And we’ll continue with our Bit, those famous words of the author of Hebrews, whom I still can’t help believing is Bruh Paul, because it sounds so much like him. ‘Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ 

Positive words of wisdom my people!  And we all agree that if we can see something, then there’s no need to hope for it. But if we can’t, then there’s every reason to hope for it and wait patiently and eagerly until it shows up. 

And as true believers in Jesus Christ, that’s the kind of faith we need to have Friends; a constant hope that He will come through for us. For you know we can’t have faith without hope. Hope is the starting point of it all, and as it grows, it turns into that strong feeling of assurance, of conviction, that we call faith. 

Now here are some potent insights into the subject as related by Bruh Paul to his protégé Timothy. It concerns fighting the good fight of faith. 

‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things (love for money, etc. vs.1-10): and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art called, and hast professed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ (1 Tim.6:11-12) 

Yes Friends, since we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, then it behooves us to turn away from the lustful and ungodly things of the world and follow the dictates of His Way, which are the things spoken of by Bruh Paul above. 

And the scholars offer these insightful explanations. ‘6:11. Flee these things means shun a love for money (v.10) and the striving for material wealth (v.9) with all its resulting woes. Follow after means pursue. Righteousness is practical correctness, conforming to God’s will in one’s thinking and acting. 

Godliness is proper reverence for, and obedience to God. Faith is a trust in God that grows stronger. LOVE is a maturing affection for God and man. Patience is perseverance or steadfastness in life and service. Meekness is gentleness.  

Now as per ‘6:12. The good fight concerns the daily struggle with sin in the Christian life, and the hardships and adversities in the ministry. A genuine believer demonstrates the reality of his faith by being engaged in this warfare. 

Lay hold on eternal life does not negate that fact that a believer now possesses spiritual life (John 3:36); rather, it speaks of fully realizing or appropriating salvation as the believer matures.’ 

Yes my brethren, it’s all a growing process! So we can begin with small or little faith, but as we progress in our Christian endeavours, our faith ought to grow along the continuum that represents it, until we come to a point of maturity. 

However, we never reach that stage here on earth where our faith reaches the end of the continuum and stops growing, because faith is an action word that‘s supposed to be always on the go, keeping us fresh and renewed in the Christian spirit. If our faith ever stops growing, then something’s wrong, and we need to get it checked out by the appropriate authorities; i.e. God! 

So until tomorrow Friends, the Lord willing, please let’s try and walk the straight and narrow path today nuh. ‘Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised. And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up) unto LOVE and to good works.’ (Heb.10:23-24) That is exactly what we are called to do my brethren!. Much LOVE!

…but without faith…it is impossible to please him…for he that cometh to God…must believe that he is…and that he is a rewarder…of them that diligently seek him… (Heb.11:6) 

P.S. Sorry Friends, but in between the writing, I had to take an important phone call which lasted for about 20 minutes. So you can subtract twenty minutes from the lateness, because that was not my fault. (smile) Much LOVE! 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 August 2015 1 Timothy 6:11

1 Timothy 6:11.     But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness.

Aye Friends, on this summer Saturday morning, I greet you with the words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians. ‘Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ! Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.’ (2 Cor.1:2-3) 

Yes my brethren, we have indeed been blessed by seeing another day on God’s great earth! And grace, and peace, mercies and comfort are all ours for the taking. So please, let’s take them as we need them nuh, through expectant faith and hungry hope, turning to Jehovah God in every circumstance of our lives, with every beat of our heart, with every breath of life we take! 

That’s what He expects of us my brethren, faithful followers that we are. And since we have lots of stuff to look at, I won’t ramble on today… ‘Praise the Lord!’ several voices mutter in the background. (smile) 

So let’s get straight to our Bit, wise words from Bruh Paul to his protégé Timothy. ‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness.’ Wisdom indeed Friends! Bruh Paul had just finished telling him what not to follow. 

And the scholars have a good explanation of that verse. ‘6:11. Flee these things means shun a LOVE for money (v.10) and the striving for material wealth (v.9) with all its resulting woes. Follow after means pursue. Righteousness is practical correctness, conforming to God’s will in one’s thinking and acting. 

Godliness is proper reverence for, and obedience to God. Faith is a trust in God that grows stronger. LOVE is a maturing affection for God and man. Patience is perseverance or steadfastness in life and service. Meekness is gentleness.’ 

Yes Friends, it all applies to us in these troubled times too. And in simple language it means don’t run behind the evil, idolatrous, destructive things of the world, but rather concern yourself with the good, wholesome and everlasting things of God. I don’t know how many times we need to hear that before we believe it and put it into practice nuh. 

But too many of us are still running behind the things of the world, especially material wealth and money and are suffering the resultant negative consequences like general unhappiness, busyness, weariness, stress, anger and resentment. 

Ah my people, trying to keep up with the Jones’ is a rough scene yes, which could eventually cost your life, and there are no guarantees of success. So please pay serious attention nuh, and let go of the flimsy, worthless things that Lucifer and his evil hordes are pushing. It will serve you much better in the long run. 

Then Bruh Paul goes on to tell Timothy: ‘Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ (1 Tim.6:12) Ah mih people, all of that also pertains to us in these dreadful and distressful times. 

Hear the scholars’ explanation. ‘6:12. The good fight concerns the daily struggle with sin in the Christian life, and the hardships and adversities in the ministry. A genuine believer demonstrates the reality of his faith by being engaged in this warfare. Lay hold on eternal life does not negate the fact that a believer now possesses spiritual life (John3:36); rather, it speaks of fully realizing or appropriating salvation as the believer matures.’ 

Yuh see mih breddren, as we face the daily struggles and hardships of life with steadfast faith, we grow, we mature in the Christian life. Oh it’s by no means an easy journey, but when we consider the prize, the eternal reward that’s waiting for us, it certainly makes it all worthwhile. 

I don’t know about you nuh Friends, but I surely prefer to have salvation and eternal life with Jesus amidst plenty hard knocks down here, than to satiate myself with the things of Lucifer, then end up in the burning lake of fire when the time of judgement comes. 

And to show how most of the things of the world that we hunger and thirst for are a waste of time, just take a look around your homes and you’ll see that amongst those things that we had to have, most of them are languishing, or have languished in obscurity for ages, as the shine and desire wore off in the early days. Most of them we only want them until we get them, then our interest quickly fades. So why do we still run them down eh? The Lord alone knows! 

And Bruh Paul continues: ‘I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth (gives life to) all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; (c.f. John 18:36-37). That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable (blameless), until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ; 

Which in his times he shall show (manifest), who is the blessed and only Potentate (sovereign ruler), the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords; who hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see; to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.’ (1 Tim.6:13-16) 

Oh Friends what glorious words of truth, what a perfect word picture of Jesus Bruh Paul paints there! Glory be! 

And the scholars’ explain thus: ‘6:13. A charge is a command. Quickeneth contains the idea of giving life to. Since god gives life to all things, He can also enable Timothy to “fight the good fight” (v.12).’ 

‘6:14. This commandment refers back to the charge in verse 13 which embraces the injunctions of verses 11-12. Thus ‘this commandment” is the charge to pursue godliness (v.11) and to fulfill one’s ministry (v.12). Without spot, unrebukable means Timothy is to be meticulous in his obedience of verses 11-13, that is, without fault and failure in compliance.’ 

So Friends, there’s no more left to say today. Please pay careful attention to all we’ve said, and I do hope that the Most High God Jehovah will help us to understand it, then put it into practice, as soon as possible. Much LOVE!

…Jesus…the ultimate ruler…King of Kings…and Lord of Lords…Potentate of all He surveys…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 July 2013 Romans 8:31

Romans 8:31.    What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
 
Well Friends, the Canada Day party is over, time to call it a day and get back to labouring. Hope you had a fine time and did not embarrass yourself, your country or your God. (smile)
 
And I hear a lot of ‘steupsing’ and ‘chuhing’, but them’s the breaks my people. We can’t party all the time, work must be the rule and partying the exception, otherwise we’d soon party away all we have. And what then eh?
 
So let’s put our noses to the proverbial grindstone and get productive; not only physically and economically, but more importantly, spiritually. Let’s allow the Holy Spirit that dwells within us to truly lead and guide us in right decisions, directions and true Christianity, which means sincere LOVE for God and each other.
 
And to help us do that, I’ve been guided to make this a day of affirmations; a day for scriptures that enlighten, encourage, exhort and educate us about God, His Word and His wonderful and gracious desires for us, His earthly children. These are scriptures that help build our faith, that keep us steadfast and strong. And what better way to begin than with our Bit, a scripture that encompasses it all.
 
Please affirm with me: ‘What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?’
 
And that’s as gospel truth as we’ll ever get my people! If our God is in our corner, who can harm us eh? Not a single solitary soul, be they man, beast or evil power!
 
Let’s continue affirming with this popular scripture. ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24)
 
Then there’s this other well known one: ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) And what a great and true motivator that is Friends!
 
Now hear this other powerful affirmative scripture: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8:28) And isn’t that ever so true Friends, as so many of us can attest to!
 
And as I’m on this page in Romans, I might as well stay there. (smile) ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom.8:37)
 
Wow mih breddren! Doesn’t that just boost your confidence, especially when it’s followed by this omnipotent scripture: ‘No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of (from) me, saith the Lord.’ (Is.54:17)
 
And all God’s servants rose up in one accord with one shout: ‘All praise and glory be to Jehovah God, who made us and protects us with His strong arm! He is indeed worthy to be praised and glorified!’
 
Yes mih people, we do indeed serve a mighty, magnanimous, magnificent and ever-LOVING God! 
 
Now listen to this one straight from Jesus: ‘Jesus said unto him (the father of a dumb child), If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.’ (Mark 9:23) More words of everlasting truth and encouragement my brethren!
 
And why is that eh? Because ‘The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.’ (Luke 18:27) Now that Friends, is the granddaddy of all truth! 
 
And we can’t forget the wisdom of Cousin Sol: ‘A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain (acquire) unto wise counsels.’ (Prov.1:5) Yes my fellow believers, if we diligently read and meditate on God’s Word, we shall acquire wisdom and understanding, even if our formal education is limited.
 
But beware of this next scripture, for it’s a serious warning. ‘The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ (Prov.1:7)
 
And is that ever so true, in both aspects. To truly acquire wisdom, one must first have reverence for the Lord and submit to His will, but prideful fools refuse to do that, feeling that they are sufficient unto themselves, which is the furthest thing from the truth.
 
And moving right along, check out this encouraging scripture: ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil.1:6)
 
Yes Friends, whatever God begins in us, He will bring to fruition, right up until the day Jesus returns. His grace and mercy will never depart from believers working on His behalf. That gives us an eternal security, wherein God’s purpose for our lives will NEVER be abandoned or unrealized.
 
Now hear this powerful exhortation to endurance from Bruh Paul to Timothy: ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7)
 
Oh my people, please let’s drill that deep into our consciousness nuh, for it’s the absolute truth, and if we believe it and act on it, we’ll do ever so much better in all aspects of our lives. That’s because a lot of what we do or don’t do is based on fear; fear of the world and its evil machinations.
 
But please remember Jesus’ admonition: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33)
 
And on that awesome note we’ll close my brethren. And if you’re a true believer, then you’ll believe that and indeed be of good cheer, despite the trials and tribulations you face down here on this dark and evil earth. That’s Jesus promise and we all know that He doesn’t lie, ‘for he is faithful that promised.’ (Heb.10:23b)
 
So my fellow believers let’s memorize as many of those Bible verses as we can, let’s saturate our hearts and minds with them, so that they can encourage us, build our self-confidence, and keep us strong and steadfast in our faith. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen. Much LOVE!
 
…to live a true Christian life…our souls must be saturated with God’s Word…we must believe His promises…and then act confidently on them…