Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 January 2019 Matthew 21:22.

Matthew 21:22.   ​And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
 

Well my Scrip-Bit brethren, in these northern climes, it’s a chilly Monday morning out there! Yes, it’s winter, so what else do you expect eh? ‘Oh we tired with it!’ comes the sullen reply. ‘Chuh! We tired with the snow and the ice…and the cold…and all the other problems that winter bring!’ But that’s nothing new eh? It’s something you ought to be accustomed to by now… 

‘Foolishness!’ is the angry reply. ‘Who could ever get accustomed to that nonsense eh, much less like it? That’s why they call it the winter of our discontent! Every blooming time it comes around we discontented, so much so that we get sad and miserable and develop the winter blues, what they now call some big name…can’t even remember the blooming thing…Oh…Seasonal Affective Disorder! Yes, it happens every winter season, so how you could tell me about being accustomed and contented eh?’ 

And there is a point to be made there my people. When the dark, gloomy, often sunless, snowy and slippery days get into your blood, it’s hard to be enthused about the weather, especially if you have to be getting around on P2 (on foot). But as believers in Jesus Christ we have a somewhat different take on the situation (smile). 

We are encouraged to believe the best, even when we experience the worst. Now that’s not easy to do, or even comprehend, but with the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, if we’re serious, we can overcome all odds. 

And for those of us who are shaking it rough this Monday morning, let’s apply some salve to our wounds nuh; let’s declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, call upon the omnipotence and mercy of our heavenly Father to give us some succour down here on a turbulent and ungodly earth. 

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

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

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And yuh see friends, our prayer has barely reached up to heaven when it’s quickly answered! Note the smiles on our faces now; the lifting up of our spirits, and the desire to get out there and work diligently and excellently for Jesus! That’s what we call the awesome power of prayer! With sincere heart, right motives and strong belief, any and everything is possible in Jesus’ realm! 

But the responsibility to call out for help, through prayer, remains solely in our hands. If we don’t ask in prayer, we won’t get. And that needs the power of belief, both to get us to pray, and also for us to expect whatever we’re praying for to happen. And Jesus says it quite plainly in our Bit: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ 

Oh my people, please remember that TWO conditions are necessary there; asking for in prayer, and believing. If those two aren’t present, then all bets are off. As Jesus also said earlier on: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?’ (Matt.7:7-11) What an interesting question my people! And yuh see how Jesus builds up to it, ever the logical philosopher! (smile) 

Now hear these explanations from the scholars: ‘7:7-10. The three imperatives ask, seek, and knock are in the present tense of the original language, suggesting both perseverance and frequent prayer. Fervent and continued prayer is to be made on behalf of those for whom we are concerned. God promises to answer all genuine prayer (vs.8). Everything we need for spiritual success has been promised to us. God leaves no excuse for failure.’ 

Yes friends, we have no excuses if we don’t pray, or if our prayer requests fail. As James, in his two cents worth on the topic declares, (wrong again): ‘Ye lust, and have not: ye kill (murder), and desire to have (covet), and cannot obtain: ye fight and war (battle), yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (earthly pleasures).’ (James 4:2-3) 

It couldn’t be any plainer than that nuh my fellow believers. We either don’t ask, or ask for the wrong things, for the wrong purposes, and ‘instead of wrestling with God in prayer,’ we ‘are striving with one another.’ 

So today, let’s consider our lives nuh, both our earthly relationships as well as our prayer life. Let’s ponder on how we treat others and the things we ask for and the motives behind them. Then as always, let’s ask God for His help to do better. He will NEVER refuse such heartfelt pleas! Much LOVE!

…if the heart and the purpose are not right…then Lord will obviously say NO…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 May 2017 Matthew 25:35.

Matthew 25:35.    For I was an hungered (hungry), and ye gave me meat (food): I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in.

Ah mih people, our favourite lazy day, Saturday, is here at last! God bless Saturdays! And I see some big smiles and hear some sweet sighs as we just plan on lazing through Saturday, doing as little as possible. 

But don’t worry, that’s your entitlement. You are allowed at least one day each week to just commune with yourself and your Maker, while just rolling along with the tumbling tumbleweeds. (smile) 

So as we laze along this blessed Saturday morn, let’s check out some of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. I like this week’s quotes because they are simple and practical. 

Hear this first one: ‘It’s supposed to be hard. If it were easy, everyone would do it.’ Now isn’t that the very truth? It surely is, because in these whatever you may call them times, nobody wants to do anything that’s difficult. Easy living is the name of the game! 

And that goes for our Christian faith too. As soon as a lot of believers’ come upon adversity, they are quick to think about giving up. They don’t realize that it’s the adversity that builds our faith. And that’s why our standards are continually falling.  

And the second quote says: ‘How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.’ Oh so true my people! It’s just another way of warning us that we’ll reap what we sow, and we need to treat others the way we want to be treated. 

This next one sounds like something Granny would say: ‘As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.’ Ah friends, where has that sense of purpose, that commitment to helping others gone eh? 

Nowadays it’s predominantly each man for himself, and let the other one get by as best he can. I remember the days when the world wasn’t as prosperous, but there also wasn’t as much hunger and poverty, for we shared whatever little we had with the unfortunates. But today, in a world filled with plenty, hunger and poverty are rampant, pandemic to say the least. 

Steups! The Lord must look down from His high heaven and sadly shake His head sometimes, asking Himself, just where did He go wrong. But it wasn’t Him that went wrong it was us, we had too much free will and evil had a stronger pull on us than good. 

But hopefully this last quote will help us. ‘Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.’ It’s as simple as that friends, we can’t do better until we know how to do better. So I guess our quest now is to learn how to do better. 

And I have to laugh here at the philosophical stuff than Anselm’s quotes bring out every week. But it does the soul a lot of good, gets us thinking a little more than we normally might. It also brings us to our Bit, Jesus immortal words on the topic. 

‘For I was an hungered (hungry), and ye gave me meat (food): I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in. Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.’ (Matt.25:35-36) 

Yeh friends, that’s the kind of stuff that Jesus is looking for from His followers. If we do those things, then when Jesus comes into His kingdom, we’ll be like the sheep, on His right hand, and not goats on His left. ‘Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’ (Matt.25:34) 

Oh my brethren, we seem to forget that Jesus came to save the lost, the sick, the hungry, the poor; in other words, those who were having a hard time making it in life. If we go back to Isaiah, where he describes true religion, we’ll see where the Lord rags on Israel for their hypocritical fasting in the first 5 verses of chapter 58. 

Then He says: ‘Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal (share) thy bread to (with) the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out (wandering) to thy house? 

When thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health (healing) shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee: the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward ( rearguard). 

Then shalt thou call, and the Lord will answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of these the yoke, the putting forth (pointing) of the finger, and speaking vanity (wickedness).’ (Is.58:6-9) 

Oh friends, that’s what true religion is supposed to be about, not the hypocritical rules and regulations that pass for it today. And you’ll see that it’s not only when Jesus came that caring for the poor and downtrodden became a part of our faith. 

So let’s get serious about what we’ve said here this morning nuh, and try to do what we know is right, so that at the coming of Jesus’ kingdom, we’ll end up on His right hand and be called blessed. Much LOVE!

…unless we sincerely try to help others…we can’t truly say…we have a heart for Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 April 2017 2 Samuel 22:33.

2 Samuel 22:33.   God is my strength and power; and he maketh my way perfect.

Oh friends, blame it all on the game; the lure of the good ole hockey game! (smile) I began watching it late and just had to watch the whole thing. And then my beautiful body called for some decent sleep. So I couldn’t win any which way I turned. (smile) 

And it looks like this rainy Tuesday morning is going to be a smiley type of morning, but nothing’s wrong with that, for smiles are way more useful and beneficial than frowns 

Anyway, today I want to share one of the many famous quotes of Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841-1935), an American judge and member of the Supreme Court. This one wisely declares: ‘The joy of life is to put out one’s power in some natural and useful or harmless way. There is no other, and the real misery is not to do this.’ 

Oh my people, are we doing this; putting out our power in a natural and useful or harmless way? I surely do hope so, otherwise we’re just wasting the resources that God, our Creator, gave to us to benefit the earth in some form and fashion. 

I know we all have problems, be they physical, emotional or financial, but it is of the utmost importance that we learn how to use our resources, our energy in the most productive ways. We absolutely need to get our priorities straight so that we can live a good life with proper investment of whatever energy we have. 

Wasting our precious, God-given energy on unproductive stuff is the worst mistake we can make, especially when we are in the winter days of our lives, and energy is not as plentiful as it used to be. (smile) 

So let’s take stock of our lives today nuh, and see if and where we’re wasting our valuable energy, and ask the Lord to help us improve in that area. And that’s where our Bit comes in. ‘God is my strength and power; and he maketh my way perfect.’

Indisputable, gospel truth that, my brethren! And Bruh David knew it, that’s why he based his life on the strength and power of God. And so should we too my people…if we are wise. 

The words of our Bit come from Bruh David’s Song of Deliverance after a battle where he was less than his usual powerful self, unable to put away a Philistine giant, and Abishai, one of his men had to do the dirty work for him. 

And the end of the verse says: ‘Then the men of David sware unto him, saying, Thou shalt go no more out with us to battle, that thou quench not the light of Israel.’ (2. Sam.22:17) 

Now isn’t that touching! Bruh David’s men realized that he had reached the end of his battle days and wanted no physical harm to come to their beloved king. 

Oh friends, hopefully when we reach that stage of our own lives, there’ll be someone to fight the giants for us and keep us safe from harm. 

Now the scholars tell us that Psalm 18 is almost identical, in fact an edited version of the psalm from which our Bit is taken. They call it ‘a royal song of thanksgiving that rehearses God’s deliverance of David from all his enemies.’ 

And that’s no lie, for Bruh David went through a whole lot of unfair and troubling events, and it’s only because of the Lord’s great mercy and immense strength that he made it through. 

So when he declares in the opening verses of Psalm 27: ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? 

When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up (devour) my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.’ (Ps.27:1-3) 

Oh precious people of God, that is how we feel when we walk seriously and consistently with God! We don’t fear what man can do to us, because we know that our God is the most powerful Being in the entire universe! 

But to come to that point, it is necessary for us to go through the many failures as well as victories that are a part of this life. What did Jesus say? ‘In this world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33b) 

And Bruh David understood that principle; through the power and strength of God, everything would eventually be made right. As Bruh Paul told the Romans: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8:28)  

And that’s a pertinent verse we all know, but don’t place sufficient faith in it, and thus are not as confident as we should be in our Christian walk. 

Anyway friends, as of today all that is going to change, we are going to sincerely believe and walk confidently in the Lord’s strength and power. And we will begin doing so by declaring our Tuesday Mantra with sincerity and a true sense of purpose. 

All together now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And if we truly believe those words we just spoke, then let’s go out and put them into action as Jesus desires! Much LOVE!

…faith is not true faith…until it’s been put into action…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 August 2016 Proverbs 18:21.

Proverbs 18:21.    Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that LOVE it shall eat the fruit thereof.

Oh friends, what a great day it is to be alive! If you’ve read the obits and haven’t seen your name and/or your picture there, then you are one of the blessed ones! (smile) 

And everyday we open our eyes and greet a new day, we ought to be immensely thankful to the Father of all grace and mercy for enabling us to partake, to participate in whatever activities He has planned for us. 

And believe you me, He does have activities planned for us, that’s why we’re alive and kicking today. So please let’s do whatever we’re called to do today with a true sense of purpose and of responsibility. End of sermon! (smile) 

Now let me share a wonderful quote with you – I’m pretty sure I’ve shared it sometime aback, but it is truly worthy of sharing again in the restless and troubling times we’re currently undergoing. It’s taken from my One More Day Devotional – Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness. 

It’s the last stanza of a poem written by Amy Michelle Pitzele. And it says: ‘So never let a cloudy day ruin your sunshine, for even if you can’t see it, the sunshine is still there, inside of you, ready to shine when you will let it.’ 

Words of great truth my brethren. But can you believe that Amy was only nine years old when she wrote the poem? No wonder Jesus quoted Bruh David in Psalm 8:2: ‘Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings (infants) thou hast perfected praise?’ (Matt.21:16) 

Yes friends, wisdom is not allotted only to the mature and elderly, but also to the young. As the Devotional says: ‘Life seen through the eyes of a child can be serenely simplistic. Where does a child get that kind of wisdom and that depth of understanding?’ From our heavenly Father of course! 

Remember too what Jesus said to His disciples when they were turning away children from coming to Him. ‘Suffer (allow the) little children; and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’ (Matt. 19:14). It just goes to show that childlike faith and innocence and trust are major aspects of our Christian life. 

And the Devotional also tells us: ‘We can struggle to keep the child in us alive. We, too, can recognize that even when the cloudy days come, the sunshine – our smiles, our hopes, our dreams – is still there, ready to beam at a moment’s notice.’ 

So friends, regardless of the weather, let’s make sure that the personal sunshine that’s within us, shines today nuh, as we go about doing the work of Jesus. And all God’s children said ‘Praise the Lord!’  

Now let’s further ramp up our faith by declaring our Wednesday Wail with plenty enthusiasm and sincerity. ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. 

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Oh my people, what a joy it is to feel God’s breath of life flowing through us as we work for Jesus and focus on the wonderful future He has in store for us! It can’t get any better than that my brethren! 

However my fellow believers with all of that comes the responsibility and life changing words of our Bit. ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that LOVE it shall eat the fruit thereof.’ 

That means that whatever we say will have repercussions, and according to the words we speak, those repercussions will either be good or bad, and we’ll have to answer for them come the judgement day. As Cousin Sol so wisely informs us: ‘Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue, keepeth his soul from troubles.’ (Prov.21:23) 

Meanwhile, James declares; ‘For in many things we offend all (all stumble). If any man offend not (does not stumble) in word, the same is a perfect man, and also able to bridle the whole body.’ (James 3:2) Unfortunately though friends, none of us is perfect, which means we all stumble and offend to some degree with our words. 

But that doesn’t mean we necessarily have to shut up and say nothing, or only utter a few words. It means though that we have to do more listening, and then think carefully before we speak. That’s the only way for us to eat good fruit from our words and not bad ones. 

And we’ll close off this topic with more of Cousin Sol’s wisdom. ‘He that keepeth (guards) his mouth keepeth (guards) his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.’ (Prov.13:3) And isn’t that the gospel truth my people! 

As the scholars explain: ’13:3. The reward of cautious speech is fuller life and the avoidance of unnecessary trouble.’ 

Oh friends, I couldn’t put it any better! Now let’s go out today and earn rewards through our cautious speech nuh, for that’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…words are so powerful…that they are what the Lord used…to create the universe and all therein…