Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 October 2020 Ephesians 5:20.

Ephesians 5:20.     ​Giving thanks ALWAYS for ALL things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY CANADA! 

And do we ever have a lot to be thankful for in this blessed and bountiful land of Canada! Oh I know that some of you are complaining plenty about the problems we’re currently encountering on a rather large scale, and I admit they can be rather daunting, especially since we’ve never encountered anything like them before. But the truth of the matter is that even with those problems confusing and confuffling our lives, we’re still living much better in this country than most of the others around the world…and for that we should be everlastingly grateful! 

The abnormal situation we are undergoing right now is the norm for some countries. And as our Christian faith teaches us, once there is life, there is hope, and this too shall pass in God’s time. So we can’t give up, especially since giving up doesn’t exist in God’s vocabulary. Consequently, it’s time for us to have a new revelation; counting our blessings rather than our losses. And yuh know what? We’ll discover we have much more of the former than the latter, which ought to put us in a better and more thankful frame of mind. (smile) 

And to help us do that, let’s invoke a couple of Bruh Paul’s admonitions to the churches at Ephesus and Philippi re living in godly unity and thankfulness. To the Ephesians, he said: ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Spirit. Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. Giving thanks ALWAYS for ALL things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph. 5:18-21) 

Yeh friends, as believers in Christ, we must allow the Holy Spirit to fill us with God’s character and virtues, and thus control our thoughts, attitudes and actions. And we do that through encouraging and exhorting each other with psalms and hymns etc., as well as being joyful in our own hearts and giving thanks to God for everything that comes into our lives, since we know that it will eventually be used for our good by God. And last but not least, deferring to the wishes of others, if we know it’s God’s will. 

And to the church at Philippi, Bruh Paul advised: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation (graciousness) be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand (His return is near, and He will judge us according to our treatment of others). Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:4-7) 

Oh my people, I know those things are hard to accomplish in this evil world, but who ever said that following Christ was easy eh? (smile) But it’s those things that promote unity and LOVE amongst believers, enriching our own lives, as well as showing the unbeliever what is possible if He accepts Christ as His Lord and Saviour. Yeh friends, we must ever be prayerful and thankful, regardless of our circumstances. So even if we’re going through some really rough times now, prayer and thanksgiving are essential if we want to find that peace of God which passes all understanding. 

So what better time to start than right now eh, on this Thanksgiving Day? And we’ll do it through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which I believe captures all our fears, doubts, needs and wants. So as one strong voice, in true penitence, let’s go to God in sincere prayer nuh. 

‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive and standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the natural disasters like storms, famine, drought, plagues, climate change, wildfires, earthquakes and erupting volcanoes that suddenly seem to be blossoming more and more as time goes by. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction to bring our problems under control. 

And for those who are currently suffering from the many negative situations, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. Father, please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

So let’s turn from our evil ways nuh people; it’s as simple as that, because it’s basically sin that’s muddying our waters. That reminds me of a quote from Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) on sin. He says: ‘Sin is like dirt in salt. It corrupts our lives, ruins the flavour of Christianity for all who know us, and makes us useless to God.’ More truthful words were never spoken my brethren! But it’s all up to us. If we want the Lord to heal us and our land, we need to turn from our evil ways. 

Oh, and let it not be said that I was amiss in my duty on this Thanksgiving Day, this day of celebration. (smile) Friends, I plead with us to remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny Boy, drunk or sober, ah beg yuh, please mind yuh business, else somebody else going to mind it for you.’ And that’s the gospel truth people, so please let’s be careful with food and drink, don’t overdo it, remember moderation in all things, and don’t get into no crowds, remember physical distancing and masks too. That’s the recipe for a successful and enjoyable Thanksgiving Day! Much LOVE!

…for the joy of the Lord is our strength…don’t let the devil steal it… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 August 2018 John 14:27.

John 14:27.   Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

And then it was Wednesday; the mid-point of the workweek, and a lot of people exhale a grateful sigh that the week’s nearly over. Now yesterday was a rainy day in my area, and I slept a lot of it away, (smile) but I can’t afford to do that today, because I have things to go out the street and do, so I hope the sun that’s valiantly trying to push its way through some swirling dark clouds out there is successful. 

And later in the evening, I also want to go down to the C.N.E, the Canadian National Exhibition grounds, to our annual country fair and see international Reggae Artist Freddie McGregor and our local boy Jay Douglas at the Band Shell. It’s a long walk from the train station to the Band Shell and it’s also an open-air venue, so the rain definitely will not be welcomed. 

But then I just thought, who controls the rain eh? The Lord God Almighty! And if He wants to send it pouring down, who is to say Him nay eh? Nobody! Let’s just hope and pray He doesn’t make that unfortunate decision today eh. (smile) And even if He does, we just have to live with it. 

That makes this quote of the famous American essayist, lecturer and poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) come in very handy. ‘Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.’ Yes friends, that’s ever so true, because if you don’t accept peace, even that of Jesus, you won’t ever have it. One must make a conscious decision to accept peace, to live in peace and fervently pursue peace. 

As our One More Day Devotional – Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness tells us: ‘True peace comes from the harmony we feel within ourselves. We don’t go out and get peace of mind; it’s the result of what we do. Harmony is being at ease with ourselves, our surroundings, and with our lives. This is no easy task, as we must come to grips with the issues that cause us concern. 

This doesn’t mean that all our problems must be solved before we can have inner peace, for life will be much like a mountain road, with twists and turns and many unexpected bumps. Peace is a reality for those who accept what cannot be changed and take up the challenges that can and must be dealt with. Peace is easier to attain when we cherish the gifts of the present moment.’ 

And isn’t that the indisputable truth my brethren! When we appreciate what we have, and are not complaining or loudly clamouring for what we don’t have, it’s much easier for our souls to find peace. And the thought for that day’s devotional declares: ‘In my life, peace begins with me. I will remember that peace is a prize of the spirit and is available to everyone.’ 

Now that’s basically true, but in this current world, peace is not a valued commodity. Things like strife and anger and war and resentment seem to be more prized. So if you’re trying to find peace in worldly terms, you have an almost impossible task to fulfill. But friends, if you really want peace, the ultimate peace, then you have to look to Jesus for it. 

Listen to what He told His disciples as He warned them of His impending return to heaven. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ 

Wow mih people! What mighty words from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Only He could have made such a pronouncement to the disciples in their time of fear. That’s because He knew the power of the Holy Spirit that was to come upon them after He left. 

And it’s that same Holy Spirit that comforts us in our dark and desperate times. But as with everything else, we have to accept it, and work with it. It just doesn’t happen on its own or overnight. We have to actively go after it. As Bruh David says in Psalm 34 – The Lord hears the righteous: ‘Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.’ (Ps.34:14) Yeh friends, peace in our lives, all depends on us actively seeking it. 

And here is Bruh Paul’s sage advice on finding it. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:4-7) 

Ah my fellow believers, that’s such wise and wonderful advice! Please, let’s promise ourselves today to take it to heart and put it into action nuh! For that’s the only way we will achieve the wonderful peace of God that passes all human understanding. 

And for those of us who have already made that wise and momentous decision, we can now go home in peace, safety and comfort, declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our sure position in Christ Jesus. So with a strong sense of purpose and loud voice, let’s wail nuh: ‘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!’ 

And I can’t help but say it, because it’s oh so true: That future with Christ will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…there’s no other way to gain true peace…than through Jesus…the Prince of Peace…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2018 Philippians 4:6.

Philippians 4:6.   Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

And then it was Friday…and a lot of grateful sighs punctuate the universal skies. None more enthusiastic and exuberant than that of the ordinary workingman: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui mih people! The end of backbreaking labour for a few days! Time to celebrate a li’l freedom from the cruel mental lash of the criminal slave master! 

Our time now is ours to do what we want with it. And believe you me, we going to do just that; we going to party and celebrate and be thankful for this short freedom from unfair work for unfair pay. And whatever happens after that happens! Who cares eh? Just be thankful for Fridays and the weekend that eases we pain!’ 

A lot of sad truth in there mih friends, but as believers, we are encouraged to handle the situation differently. We have Jesus in our corner, so though many of us might suffer the same injustice, we have a different recourse, a different way, to alleviate our problems. 

We turn to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who has faithfully promised to look after us from the time we are saved until eternity. That’s why our Friday Chant differs so much from the workingman’s song. Let’s chant it now nuh, with heartfelt sincerity and a strong sense of purpose. 

‘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.’ 

Yes faithful believers, our God wants us to abide within certain boundaries so that we can be rejuvenated and continue His awesome work without missing a beat. The workingman’s song invites Beelzebub and his carnal addictions, our Friday Chant invites Jesus and His eternal spiritual salvation. 

Wow! What a good and mighty difference! It frees us from having the judgement of Hades constantly hanging over our heads, like the infamous sword of Damocles, suspended by a single hair. Instead, as true believers we can focus on the wonders of heaven and the amazing life to come that Jesus promises. 

But that means sincerely following Him; consistently reading and meditating on His word, offering up prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, and generally being obedient to His law. And the good part is that He knows we’re not perfect, but He is ever so willing to work with us on becoming more mature and Christ-like. 

And in this season of Lent, where we seem to be somewhat more prayerful than at other times, (smile) I guess this is as good a time as any to remind us of Bruh Paul’s admonition to the Philippians, as reflected in our Bit. But first, the two verses before it. 

‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil.4:4-6) 

Ah mih breddren, what wonderful and wise advice! And the scholars have this to say about those verses. ‘4:4. The mention of believers’ names being recorded in heaven (v.3) causes the author to write rejoice in the Lord always. Harmony among church members, as Paul assumes will be the result of his plea in verses 2 and 3, is another reason to “rejoice.”  

In adding and again I say, rejoice, it is as though the apostle looks into the future, considers all possibilities of sorrow, and in spite of them all repeats “the command.” This command to rejoice at all times and in all circumstances is nothing less than a call to faith. For if the Christian believes that his life and all its circumstances are in the hands of a sovereign, wise and LOVING God who is always working to accomplish good for him, then he can indeed “rejoice always.” 

Oh friends, there is no disputing that logic! If we have the faith to believe it, then there’s all the more reason to rejoice! 

As for 4:5. Moderation means “graciousness” or “sweet reasonableness.” The believer who is at peace with his fellow Christian (v.2) and who rejoices always (v.4) is indeed a gracious, reasonable person. The Lord is at hand means two things. First, His return to earth is near. 

His imminent coming as a judge encourages the Christian to be “gracious” unto all men, for He will judge the believer for all his actions toward all people, and will avenge all wrongs committed by others against him. Second, the “Lord is at hand” spiritually. The Lord’s being presently near should free the Christian from fear and anxiety. Hence the command of verse 6.’ 

And that says: ‘4:6. Be careful for nothing means “don’t worry about anything.” The Lord’s nearness (v.5b) leads Paul to forbid his readers from worrying. This is no summons to irresponsibility or an invitation to dismiss legitimate concern. The solution to undue anxiety is to be prayerful about everything. While God is eager to hear our requests, they are to be accompanied with thanksgiving.’ 

And if we do all that, then ‘the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) 

Oh my people, what a glorious promise!  So today, let’s try and stop worrying and complaining nuh, for if we believe in our faith, then there is no reason for them.  Instead, let’s pray and give thanks nuh, because there’s a whole lot for us to be grateful about. Much LOVE!

…worrying and complaining invites Lucifer…prayer and thanksgiving… makes Jesus shine forth…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2017 Philippians 4:4.

Philippians 4:4.   Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

Welcome friends to another marvelous day in God’s extensive repertoire of marvelous days! (smile) 

As always, He was up bright and early to blend all the necessary ingredients, like grace, mercy, compassion, LOVE, forgiveness and understanding so that He could offer us just the kind of day He had earmarked for this Wednesday January 25th 2017. 

Wow! What a wonderful Deity we serve and worship my people! As we keep saying, there’s none other like Him! How could there be eh? No two beings could possess all those awesome attributes in such amazing quantities! 

And in consideration of all that, let’s pray this wonderful prayer written in 1968 by Annie A Zeidman, co-founder of the Scott Mission in Toronto, a Christian non-denominational charity for the homeless. 

‘May the Lord grant you Special grace to LOVE Him, special strength to serve Him, special peace in Him to rest, special faith to know Him best. May no war alarm you, may no evil harm you. May your sheltered dwelling stand, roofed with joy, beneath His hand.’ 

Oh friends, isn’t that just beautiful! And we just prayed it for each other. Glory to God! 

And all of that just enhances our ability to do what Bruh Paul calls for in our Bit. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.’  

Oh what a joyful and positive bunch of people we Christians are eh! (smile) And so we should be, because we have the Lord God Jehovah, Creator and Controller of this great universe providing all our wants and needs for us! 

As Bruh David confidentially proclaims in Psalm 23: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want (lack).’ And that’s the gospel truth my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ! 

Now here comes the proviso after our Bit, from Bruh Paul. We must rejoice, however: ‘Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.’ (Phil.4:5) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus. ‘4:5. Moderation means “graciousness” or “sweet reasonableness.” The believer who is at peace with his fellow Christian (v.2) and who rejoices always (v.4) is indeed a gracious, reasonable person. 

The Lord is at hand means two things. First, His return to earth is near. His imminent coming as judge encourages the Christian to be “gracious” unto all men, for He will judge the believer for all of his actions toward all people, and will avenge all wrongs committed by others against him. 

Second, the “Lord is at hand” spiritually. The Lord’s being presently near should free the Christian from fear and anxiety. Hence the command of verse 6.’ 

And verse 6 says: ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing: but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil.4:6) 

And this is what the scholars have to say about that verse. ‘4:6. Be careful for nothing means “don’t worry about anything.” The Lord’s nearness (v.5b) leads Paul to forbid his readers from worrying. This is no summons to irresponsibility or an invitation to dismiss legitimate concern. 

The solution to undue anxiety is prayer in every thing, “in any matter of life.” The way to be free of anxiety is to be prayerful about everything. While God is eager to hear our requests, they are to be accompanied with thanksgiving.’ 

Now when we do all of that, what happens eh? ‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) 

Wow mih brethren! What an awesome promise if we follow the Lord’s word! 

Now hear the scholars. ‘4:7. The peace of God is that tranquility of mind freeing the believer from fear and worry. “Peace” which passeth all understanding means (1) peace divinely bestowed in times of anxiety, so wonderful that it exceeds one’s ability to understand it; and (2) God’s peace far surpassing one’s own understanding of the problem, and his ability to cope with and solve it. 

Shall keep means “shall guard.” This is a military term for a sentinel standing guard duty. As Philippi was guarded by a Roman garrison, and its citizens were accustomed to seeing soldiers protecting the city, this word would be especially appreciated by the readers.’ 

And so it should still be greatly appreciated by us today my fellow believers, for the Lord, or His Word, NEVER changes! And do we ever need release from fear and anxiety in this crazy, strife-filled world of today. 

However, since we are true believers and don’t fear, then we can thankfully go home now faithfully and sincerely declaring our Wednesday Wail. 

All together now: ‘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!’ 

Now let’s put all those statements in to true action nuh, because that’s the only way others will recognize us as true followers of Christ. Much LOVE!

…to serve humbly…is to be like Christ…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 October 2016 Psalm 105:1.

Psalm 105:1.   O Give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. 

Aye friends, it’s Tuesday; Thanksgiving weekend finish now, which means you have to get up and go back to the daily grind and common task; something called work. Hn! 

And I know that many of us are feeling like we usually do on a Monday morning, possibly worse, because of all the Thanksgiving celebrations, but as the man says, them’s the breaks! As the Good Book says, if you want to eat, you have to work. (2 Thess.3:10) 

But don’t worry my fellow believers, just as we have an antidote for Monday’s problems, we also have one for Tuesday’s. So without further ado, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with the enthusiasm, belief and sense of purpose that it deserves. 

As one 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!’ 

Glory be, my people! What a bonanza of godly faith, favour and blessings! Just imagine nuh, we are beloved children of Almighty God, the Creator and Controller of this great and magnificent universe! Mama Mia! 

You’d think it couldn’t get any better than that. But it does get better. We are also not defined by what the evil, ungodly world says and/or thinks of us. 

And now here’s the crowning glory: we are friends of the ONE and ONLY Son of God; Jesus, the Messiah, the Prince of Peace, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End! 

And that’s not all: He’a also the Lamb that was led to the slaughter for our abominable sins, who once and for all paid the sin debt in full for all those who believe in Him, thus making reconciliation with our heavenly Father possible! 

Now when we put all of that together, there’s indeed nothing better on the face of God’s great planet earth! 

And all of God’s people loudly, proudly and gratefully declared: ‘All praise be to the name of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; the Holy Trinity, who blesses and looks after us with everlasting care, compassion and LOVE!’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, we are indeed the cat’s pajamas! (smile) But we also need to remember that there are two parts to everything; the blessing and then the responsibility. We have already received the blessing; God’s favour and grace, now we need to accept the responsibility which those awesome blessings bring. 

And what’s that responsibility you ask? It’s simple, just like our Messiah, our Friend Jesus; go out and share His LOVE with the rest of humankind. Tell others about Him, the good news of salvation and eternal life that He has bought for us with His sinless sacrifice on the cross at Calvary. 

Now that’s certainly not too much to ask eh, after all that He has done for us? So why then do so many of us cower, are ashamed of and refuse to acknowledge our Friend and Saviour Jesus before the heathen eh? 

I don’t know all the reasons why, but I do know that we’re not keeping our part of the bargain, shirking our responsibility, when we don’t spread the wonderful news of Jesus’ gospel. 

And I do hope that the Holy Spirit, which dwells within us, convicts us each and every time we shirk that responsibility, until we are mature and faithful enough to stand strong and steadfast, proud and true in the name of Jesus. 

Now here is how the psalmist quotes that responsibility in our Bit. ‘O Give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.’ 

Yes friends, it’s all one big smorgasbord that’s termed life; giving thanks for our blessings, calling upon Him for faith and favour in a wonderful relationship, and letting others know about His mighty deeds down throughout the ages! 

Ah mih people, as we said yesterday, thanksgiving is not  a one time thing; simply the act of bringing the first fruits of our harvest to God on a particular day, but something that should be an integral part of our lives, each and every day. 

And I don’t think anyone puts it better than Bruh Paul in his missive to the Philippians. He declares: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation (graciousness) be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. (His return is imminent). 

Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God (the tranquility of mind) which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ. 

Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), what soever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise (anything praiseworthy), think (meditate) on these things.’ (Phil.4:4-8) 

Oh my fellow believers, Bruh Paul has laid it all out on a golden platter for us! It’s not always easy to live a Christian life, but we can certainly try by occupying our minds with the right things and busying ourselves with the right activities. That’s the motto for Christian success.  Much LOVE!

…if we truly want to know and LOVE Jesus…then we first have to get to know Him…by studying and meditating on His Word…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 July 2016 John 14:27

John 14:27.   Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

So it’s Friday! And all over God’s great earth, working people are celebrating! They are ecstatic that the weekend is upon them, and are joyfully singing: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! When this working day is done, my time will be my own! No more slave master to drive me crazy, to keep my nose to the grindstone! I’ll be free! Doing my own thing! Glory Be! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, we all know how important the weekend is for most of us, trying to get things done that we couldn’t do during the work week. But we can’t afford to encumber ourselves with too much of our own activities either, for we’ll just continue the stress of the workweek. The weekend is a time when we must recapture some semblance of balance in our lives. 

So let’s chant our Friday Chant which gives us a better idea of how to achieve that balance. 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.’ 

Yes my brethren, we must find some way to get rest, relaxation and fellowship into our weekends if we want to be able to function at a high level the following week. And in keeping with that philosophy, here’s an interesting quote from one Robert H Davies. In checking though, there were so many people with that name, I couldn’t figure out which one said it. 

Nonetheless here it is. ‘One of the signs of maturity is a healthy respect for reality – a respect that manifests itself in the level of one’s aspirations and in the accuracy of one’s assessment of the difficulties which separate the facts of today from the bright hopes of tomorrow.’ 

Yes friends, a healthy dose of reality is what a lot of this world needs right now, especially with all the huge emphasis we’re currently placing on what is called virtual reality. Today, if true reality hits some of us in the face we won’t even recognize it! (smile) 

But we do need to be more mature and sensible about what has gone before, what’s happening today, and our prospects for the future. We must stop living in the past, learn to accept the present, and refrain from painting too bright a future, which when it doesn’t come to pass will only drag us down into the depths of despair. 

Goals and dreams are great to have, but we must temper them with a modicum of circumspection, of reality, otherwise they can mess up our lives. Essentially what we need in our lives, especially in these trying times, these rush and push days, is a proper sense of balance. 

And you know what my people, that can only be accomplished with a big, wonderful dose of Jesus: of His LOVE, His peace, His care and compassion! And nowhere is that more readily seen and available than in the words of our Saviour, as highlighted in our Bit. 

‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’  

Ah friends, what encouraging and reassuring words! Jesus was there telling His disciples of the necessity for Him to go away so that the Holy Spirit, our Guide and Comforter could be sent to us. 

Now obviously it takes some maturity in the Christian faith to accept those words of Jesus at face value. But it’s the only way that we can truly handle the vicissitudes of this life, our changing circumstances and fortunes. Only through the peace and harmony gained by associating with Jesus, can we ever successfully navigate the stormy seas and strong winds of this life. 

And please note the priestly benediction that the Lord gave Moses for the children of Egypt way back when. ‘The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee (look on you with favour), and give thee peace.’ (Num.6:24-26) 

Yeh friends, without the peace and favour of our wonderful God moving in our beings, our lives will never be stable and successful. 

Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the Philippians. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful (anxious) for nothing: but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’  (Phil.4:4-7) 

Oh precious people of God, what a moving and encouraging set of scriptures! Through constant prayer and thanksgiving we are able to invoke the wonderful peace of God, that’s always close by, through the Holy Spirit! A peace that our finite minds can’t even understand, but we can surely feel it. 

And we’ll end with these reassuring and triumphant words of Jesus. ‘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) 

Friends, as true believers in Christ, let’s therefore go forth today, and everyday, holding those words of enduring truth in our hearts, souls, minds and bodies, so that we can successfully navigate our way through this evil and ungodly world, for that is wisdom to the nth power! 

Much LOVE!…Jesus is the blueprint for successful earthly living…so let’s copy as much of His style as possible…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 March 2016 Judges 5:3‏‏‏

Judges 5:3.   Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes: I, even I, will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel.

Aye mih people, how it going this cloudy Friday morning eh? 

The somewhat snotty reply was: ‘But what yuh expect eh brother? Is Friday. That means it going beautifully! Yuh don’t hear everybody joyfully declaring, ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday!’ 

The weekend is upon us, and everybody’s just holding their breath, can’t wait for evening to come, so that they could party, celebrate another week of slave work over, with only a mere pittance for pay, under the greedy slave master and them. 

The only difference now is that they don’t have no whips nor dogs to keep you in line, now is economic slavery. That is why everybody so happy when Friday come, and joyfully shouting ‘Thank You Lord for Friday!’ 

Now who am I to dispute those allegations eh? I’m certainly not going to jump up and say ‘I the alligator sir!’ as a politician in Tobago was reputed to have said in the House of Assembly many moons back. (smile) 

I can only say that spending too much time partying and wasting away the supposed pittance you’re paid on wine, women and song is not a very wise move. We’d all be better off with a balanced weekend as our Friday Chant advises. So let’s chant it up with plenty enthusiasm and thankfulness nuh. 

As one 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 line of thinking provides a much better perspective on the matter my people. And before I forget, let me make some apologies. In yesterday’s Bit I talked about growing up in T&T celebrating St. Paddy’s Day, but apparently I was wrong. A friend wrote and told me that instead we celebrated St. Joseph’s Day on March 19. 

To tell the truth, I really don’t remember what day we celebrated back then. I only remember that we’d be anxiously waiting for that one day in the middle of Lent when you could drink and party and hear calypsos on the radio with a free conscience. (smile) 

And on the other hand, I’ve been celebrating St. Paddy’s Day up here for the last forty something years, so the memory of down south in that respect is somewhat dim. (smile) 

Now yuh see friends, that is the kind of feedback I require, that I need. Please, when I make mistakes, as I’m won’t to do every so often, being an ageing human, let me know nuh. I very much dislike putting stuff in the Bit that isn’t true. Anyway, thanks for that Miss T. (smile) 

Now here’s our Bit. ‘Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes: I, even I, will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel. 

And yes, our Bit is the same one as the last couple days, because thanks and praise are such integral aspects of a Christian’s life, and I don’t believe that we’re doing it as well as we ought to. Our hearts don’t really seem to be in that space where we’re happy to seek God; to sing and praise Him for His LOVING-kindness and His most merciful outlook upon us. 

Oh my fellow believers, that is just such a sorrowful statement on our part. And I do believe it’s true. Just look around us and you’ll see the way we Christians behave, almost as badly as the heathen, as the unbelievers; greedy, resentful, lusting for power and the material things of the world.  

Now that has got to change, if we ever hope to make any significant change(s) in our crazy, discombobulated world. I know several people who refuse to go to church because of the unchristian way those already in the church behave. But I keep telling them to go and add one more hypocrite to the bunch already there. 

Oh friends, we’re all hypocrites to some degree, because we all do things we’re not suppose to, then chastise others for doing the same stuff. So what does that make us eh? Definitely not a true Christian! And besides, it’s more difficult trying to change things from the outside. You stand a much better chance if you’re on the inside too. 

Anyway, that’s just my take on the situation. Let’s get to some appropriate scripture. And there’s none more suitable then this admonishment of Bruh Paul to the Philippians. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand, 

Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:4-7) 

Oh my people, what true and wise and wonderful advice! Actually, it should be a no-brainer for even the elementary Christian because from day one we’re advised to sing and praise and give thanks to God in ALL circumstances, and bring EVERY problem to Him in prayer, be they large or small. 

For whatever reason though, we just are not doing those things sufficiently, that’s why our individual lives and the lives of our churches are not as joyful and Christ-like as they should be. 

So let me plead with us this morning to get back to the basics of our faith. Remember, it’s all about our relationship with Almighty God; seeking Him, praising and glorifying Him. That’s the wisdom of the ages! Much LOVE!

…man was made in the spiritual image of God…so that his spirit would be closely attuned to God….

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 June 2015 Philippians 4:6

Philippians 4:6. Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Aye Friends, welcome to another day in the unfolding of God’s great universe! It is unfolding as it should. We might not think it logical or understand it, but all we need to know is that God is still on the throne, and still in control of what He made. His thoughts and abilities are way higher than ours, so our small, finite minds won’t be able to comprehend all that’s going on.

Be not afraid though, for everything is working to plan; God’s plan that is. Just rest in the comfort and reassurance of His tender, forgiving and merciful embrace and allow the Holy Spirit that dwells within you to lead and guide you on the straight and narrow path that leads to our heavenly Father. End of sermon. (smile)

And now, on this wet and cloudy Tuesday morning in my area, here’s a simple but powerful prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H. Shuller) Hour of Power Devotional titled ‘I WILL MOVE…’ I don’t know if I’ve ever shared it before, because it doesn’t even look familiar to me. Hn! And I’ve been reading the book for several years now.

Anyway, please pray with me: ‘Lord, I want your heart to be in my heart. For in you I come alive, moving ahead from boring death to exciting life! In your promises, I will move from discouragement to hope. In your pardon, I will move from shame to glory. In your power, I will move from weakness to strength. In your providence, I will move from failure to success! Thank you, Lord. Amen.’

Oh my people, what true and wonderful sentiments! That’s just what I was saying earlier; putting your hope and trust in Almighty God is the only wise and sensible way to proceed in this mish-mash thing we call life. Without His involvement in our lives we are simply powerless and rudderless, aimlessly drifting on a tossing sea of sin and sinfulness, which augurs no good whatsoever to anybody.

But with Jehovah God in our lives, as Gramps Schuller so rightfully declares, we keep moving ahead in an exciting life, filled with hope, glory, strength and success!

And all God’s people said a loud and grateful: ‘Glory to God! Praise Him for His wonderful LOVING-kindness to the children of men!’ Yes Friends, that we certainly ought to do, for our God does deserve much reverence and thanksgiving! 

And talking about reverence and thanksgiving, listen to our Bit, which details it marvellously for us. ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’

Without a doubt my brethren, the wise way is always to bring everything to God in prayer with much thanks for all that He’s done and still doing for us.

And the scholars offer this information on our Bit. ‘4:6. Be careful for nothing means “don’t worry about anything.” The Lord’s nearness (v.5b) (‘The Lord is at hand’) leads Paul to forbid his readers from worrying. This no summons to irresponsibility or an invitation to dismiss legitimate concern.

The solution to undue anxiety is prayer in everything, “in every matter of life.” The way to be free of anxiety is to be prayerful about everything. While God is eager to hear our requests, they are to be accompanied with thanksgiving.’

Ah Friends, unfortunately too many of us don’t put that advice in to action, therefore we are worried and anxious about all sorts of things. I guess it depends on the level of faith to which we have attained; meaning the greater our faith, the more we submit or adhere to the programme.

Consequently we need to build our faith so that going to God with EVERYTHING in prayer with thanksgiving becomes an automatic action in our lives. And I can tell you from personal example, it works my brethren, it truly works!

You might not always get the answer you want, or even deserve, but if you follow the leading of God’s Spirit that dwells within you, you will seldom go wrong. It won’t always be an easy row to hoe, but it will be definitely interesting and worthwhile.

And in support of our Bit, let’s look at some defining scriptures. First up is Jesus’ profound pronouncement from the Sermon on the Mount. ‘Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for (do not worry about) your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat (food), and the body than raiment (clothing)?’ (Matt.6:25)

And the scholars offer this splendid explanation of that verse. ‘6:25. Jesus now deals with the equally dangerous tendency of those who have few possessions: worry! Take no thought (Gr. me merimnao) means “Do not be anxious.” This word means to be so disturbed about material needs that we distrust God and are distracted from faithfully doing His will.

Anxious care is the direct opposite of faith. Therefore, even the poor are not to worry needlessly about what they should eat, drink, or wear. The question Is not life more than meat, and the body more than raiment? indicates that inner mental stability must come from the spirit of a man and not from outward physical provisions.

To set one’s heart on material possessions or to worry about the lack of them is to live in perpetual insecurity and to deprive oneself of the spiritual blessings of God.’

And isn’t that the gospel truth my people. That’s why so many of us are so insecure. We place too much emphasis on the material things of life; worry too much about them, and work too hard to acquire them. We do need them, but listen to Jesus further on the issue.

‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) And if you are a person of faith, a true believer in Christ, then you will understand that if you do the will of God, Jehovah Jireh, the Lord our Provider, will indeed provide for all our material wants and needs.

It’s all a matter of faith, my brethren. Believe and you will not worry, and will be amply provided for. Do not believe, then you will worry, be anxious and stress yourself out, and still not be sure of having all your needs met. And on that most important note, we’ll end today’s message.

Oh Friends, I implore us to have faith, or to raise the level of our faith, so that we won’t have the unnecessary worry and concern that comes with lack of faith. That is the wisdom of both heaven and earth. Much LOVE!

…why walk in worry…when one can walk worry free in faith…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 November 2014 Psalm 4:1.

Psalm 4:1.  Hear me when I call , O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged (relieved) me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me (be gracious to me), and hear my prayer.

And then it was Saturday…time for sleeping in late and all that good stuff! Chuh! Some of us just don’t have time for such luxuries nuh, we have to be up and about God’s business. (smile)  But our wonderful God rewards us in other ways, so we really can’t complain.

And talking about complaining, I believe that’s one of the serious problems in our society. We have been so spoiled by God’s goodness and mercy over the years, that now things have become somewhat rough, our pampered bodies and souls can’t handle it, and we end up complaining about small, petty things which makes us sound like spoiled brats.
 
The petty things that we complain about, 80 % of the world would gladly take, as opposed to the real serious problems they have. The technological and communications revolutions haven’t helped matters either, making us ever more in need for speed and dependent on them, so that when they fail, or break down, as man made things are wont to do, we get very testy and impatient.
 
Impatience is another one of the great flaws of our Western society, and we exemplify it even in our prayers to Almighty God. But God knows what we need and what we want, and gives it to us at the right time, if He sees fit.
 
But many of us turn away from God because of the foolish reasoning that we prayed, waited – possibly for a couple of hours or days – and didn’t receive what we prayed for, be it legitimate or fanciful, and then decide that God either doesn’t exist or doesn’t truly answer prayer.
 
But Friends, I’m here to tell us that that’s just another one of the enemy’s cruel deceptions. Our God is alive and on His throne, in control of everything! And He does hear and answer prayer – sincere ones that is, those which come from a heart with pure and sincere motives.
 
And our Bit aptly demonstrates that, as Bruh David cries out to the God of his fathers. ‘Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged (relieved) me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me (be gracious to me), and hear my prayer.’  
 
Obviously the Lord had heard his prayer of distress sometime before and had helped him out of it. That only boosted Bruh David’s faith, as it should ours, when God faithfully answers our sincere prayers.
 
And once again we’ll proclaim that the greatest example of the need for prayer comes from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Yesterday we highlighted a scripture passage which showed His prayerfulness (Luke 6:12).
 
Today we’ll highlight another one. The Good Book tells us: ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ (Mark 1:35)
 
And since that comes from God’s Word, my brethren, that means it’s gospel truth! So, as we also said yesterday, if Jesus felt the need for prayer, why should we, mere mortals, not feel it too eh? We’re just too full of foolish pride and stubborn, rebellious ego, thinking that we’re so great, when all we are is a collection of fallible flesh and bones, which eventually returns to the dust from which it was formed.
 
Anyway, let’s look at some more scriptures which highlight the importance of prayer. Listen to the wisdom of Cousin Sol. ‘The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.’ (Prov.15:8)
 
And the scholars say of that: ’15:8. The best that the wicked can offer God religiously is completely rejected.’ For good reason too!
 
Meanwhile, in Acts, after the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended on ALL believers, and the Christian communal community was growing at a fast rate, the apostles decided that they had more important things to do than running around doing pantry duty. (smile)
 
‘It is not reason (desirable) that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore brethren, look (seek) ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.’ (Acts 6:2-4) And that’s when Stephen was chosen.
 
And then, as today’s last example, there’s Bruh Paul, who, in his usual zealous fervour, tells the Philippians: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation (graciousness, reasonableness) be known to all men. The Lord is at hand (His coming is imminent).
 
Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:4-7)
 
Yes my people, there’s no greater service that we can perform than prayer…with some thanksgiving too!
 
So let’s take that wonderful advice of Bruh Paul’s to heart nuh, and thus reform and/or reinvigorate our prayer lives, and consequently the lives of all those around us. That’s the wisdom of God, my fellow believers! Much LOVE!
 
…when we pray…we communicate with our heavenly Father…the One who created us…and who controls our life strings…and without whom we can’t do anything substantial…