Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 February 2019 James 4:3.

James 4:3.   ​Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (pleasures).

 

Different day, friends, but the same khaki pants! Hn! Ah have to laugh yes, because it seems like more inclement weather is forecasted for today. Steups! Yuh just can’t win with this weather nuh! But you can’t let it keep you locked up indoors forever either. So if you have to go out, just go out and be damned the consequences! 

Just take Jesus’ hand and let Him guide you! He’ll take you out and back safely; that’s His promise! But then again, if you don’t have to go, don’t just go for the sake of going! (smile)  

And today we’re going to talk a li’l about the most powerful tool of communication in our world…it’s called prayer! We know of it, talk a lot about it, but for whatever reason, don’t use it sufficiently. And the first words on it come from the celebrated German writer, philosopher, dramatist and art critic Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781), one of the bright lights of the German Enlightenment era. 

And he said way back then: ‘A single grateful thought toward heaven is the most perfect prayer.’ And so it is my brethren. We don’t have to have long, gushing, ornate prayers to be praying right, but just a heartfelt thank you and request is sufficient. And not only that, it’s possibly more quickly answered than the long, overflowing, flowery words prayer. 

The important thing though my Christian brethren is that we pray, and pray sincerely, whether they be long or short, they must be constant and sincere, because remember, God looks at state of our obedience and the motives of our hearts and not our outward show, before He replies to our prayers. 

Now hear these awesome words from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) on the subject of prayer, from His Hour of Power Devotional. He starts out by making this true and most incredible claim: ‘The greatest power in the world today is the power of people to communicate with Almighty God. 

Prayer is not a scheme whereby we can move God into our lives, but rather a spiritual exercise through which we draw ourselves toward God until we are a part of His plan and His purpose. The purpose of prayer is not to give you what you want when you want it, but to make you the kind of person God wanted you to be when He put you on the planet earth.’ 

There you have it friends, the true purpose of prayer; to draw closer to God and to become what He wants us to be! Not to merely be asking Him for stuff that we desire, most of the time to be applied to our fleshly lusts and desires. Now it’s not wrong to ask for stuff that we need, and even our hearts desires, but they must fall under the will of God, be somewhere in His plan for our lives. 

As James castigates us when he talks about worldliness and pride: ‘Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (pleasures).’ And most of us can’t find fault with that statement, especially in today’s sinful and ungodly world! 

But listen to Job’s discourse on the hypocrite’s hopelessness: ‘For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul? Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him? Will he delight himself in the Almighty? Will he always call upon God?’ The most likely answer to all of that is a simple ‘NO!’ 

For as the psalmist declares (right ho) plain and straight: ‘If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.’ (Ps.66:18) And that’s the gospel truth; anytime the Lord discovers improper motives in our hearts, He won’t answer our prayers!

That brings us to these most important questions of Jesus: ‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’ (Matt.17:26) And the answer to the first question is ‘ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!’

And the psalmist answers the second one this way: ‘They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul is precious (costly), and it ceaseth for ever.’ (Ps.49:6-8) That ought to teach us friends to trust absolutely in God, and not in wealth! 

And Job’s supposed friend, Elihu, adds his two cents worth, as he talks about the results of Job’s sins: ‘Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away with his stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee. Will he esteem thy riches? No, not gold, nor all the forces of strength.’ 

Again we see my people, that nothing that the world possess is sufficient to ransom our immortal souls, only the word of God and belief in His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ can keep us from the hell fires of death and destruction! 

Now, enough of all that negative talk (smile), let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Thursday Blessings that the Lord has so magnanimously poured down on us nuh, for being such good followers of His Son Jesus Christ! (smile) 

All together now: ‘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 He didn’t grant us all that because we were so sweet and obedient, but also to share it with others less fortunate. So let’s go out now and do just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…as Jesus shared the Father’s LOVE and benefits with us…so must we share His LOVE and benefits with others…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 December 2018 1 Chronicles 16:8.

1 Chronicles 16:8.   Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.
 
Well mih people, it’s the day that so many of us have waited for with baited breath; New Year’s Eve, or as we use to call it down south Old Year’s Day! But as they say, a rose by any other name is still a rose, and whether we refer to it as an intro to the New Year or as a goodbye to the Old Year, it’s till the same khaki pants! (smile) 

And I know that many of us are making excited preparations to ring out the old year and ring in the new one, getting out we fancy dan-dan to go out and party, and practicing puckering up we lips for that great midnight kiss, (smile) while making sumptuous plans and resolutions for the New Year. 

And believe me, I don’t want to burst yuh bubble nuh, but here’s a li’l secret; it all won’t make one iota of difference unless we change the way we think, and cleanse our hearts and spirits by getting closer to Jesus! Once the newness and its excitement wears off, we’ll, like the animals of comfort and complacency we are, simply return to our old ways of life. 

That’s why I keep saying the ONLY resolution we need to make is to sincerely promise ourselves to walk closer and more faithfully with Jesus this coming year of 2019! And friends, once we do that, everything else will fall into place; we’ll lose the necessary weight, drop the addictions, improve our financial picture, have a more caring and compassionate self and family, etc. etc. 

For remember, it’s the Lord who helps us to get wealth and all the other good things in life! Like Jesus said, seek first His kingdom and righteousness, then all that you need will be added unto you. And believe me friends, that’s not an empty promise. But you won’t experience it, until you try it! End of sermon! 

And since it’s Monday and many of us have to go to work and are in a crotchety mood, because work is interfering with our New Year’s Eve plans, let’s turn to our heavenly Father and declare our heartfelt plea, in our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which has the awesome power to lift our spirits and faith in our awesome God. All together now, with as much enthusiasm as we can muster: 

‘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!’ Yes friends, let’s do whatever we have to do, as though we doing it for Jesus and we’ll find it all goes down so much easier! 

That’s the secret of living this earthly life in good form and shape; truly believe we’re doing it for our wonderful Lord and Saviour, who LOVED us so much that He chose to selflessly sacrifice His sinless life, taking our sins on His burly shoulders, so that we could receive the free grace of salvation and eternal life! Wow! 

And the Good Book opened this morning at a most appropriate place; at Bruh David’s psalm of thanksgiving after he successfully brought the Ark of the Covenant up to Jerusalem. And having praised the Lord, offered the necessary sacrifices, given everyone meat and wine, and appointed singers and musicians to fill the air with thankful words and music, the Good Book declares: 

‘Then on that day David delivered first this psalm to thank the Lord into the hand of Asaph and his brethren. Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually. 

Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgements of his mouth; O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones. He is the Lord our God; his judgements are in all the earth. Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.’ (1 Chr.16:7-15) 

Ah friends, on this last day of this rather disastrous and controversial year of 2018, I implore us to read those words prayerfully, and let’s action them in 2019 nuh, because it’s all for our benefit. And I’m sure none of us wants to go through another tough and trying year like 2018. However, we can only be assured of that if we sincerely and diligently seek the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob like we’ve never done before! Much LOVE!

…when sincere thanks and praise rise up to heaven…it’s doors open wide…and untold blessings pour down upon the earth…