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 20 November 2014 Isaiah 48:18

  Isaiah 48:18.  O that thou hadst hearkened to (heeded) my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.

Well Friends, we’ve made it down to Thursday – Glory Be! Only one more day to go before some freedom time. But yuh know what? Unfortunately the first big snowstorm of the season has visited, in fact is still visiting my area!

Chuh! Regardless of how long you dwell in these climes, I don’t think you ever really get accustomed to the wintry climate nuh. Even those born and bred here get fed up with it.
 
It’s beautiful to look at from your window inside the warm and cozy house, but going out in it can be a rough experience for some people, especially the elderly. I guess you can number me in that category now. (smile)
 
But in the Greater Toronto Area, we do have one thing to be thankful for; we weren’t hit as hard as poor Buffalo on the other side of Lake Ontario. I heard one fellow over there say that they received one year’s worth of snow in some thing like three days.
 
Ah Lord eh! But what yuh going to do eh? Not much. It’s all part and parcel for the area. You just have grin and bear it, as well as literally dig down deep, both in the snow and in your spirit to find the resources to weather the storm.
 
And fellow believers, we all know that there’s only ONE way to successfully weather any and every storm in this life, be it literal or figurative; and that’s under the protective wings of Almighty God! Any other way usually ends up being futile.
 
With all the promises of God to be found in His Word, there’s always something in it to guide and comfort us in times of sorrow and adversity. The Lord has a healing, soothing balm for each and every wound we suffer. So please don’t give up hope, don’t even think of quitting, when the rough times come, as come they will. Stay strong in faith and trust.
 
And talking about hope, here’s an interesting definition from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional. ‘HOPE: Holding On, Praying Expectantly!’
 
And that’s no lie Friends, for when we hope, we do indeed hold on to God’s promises and pray with great expectations for them to come true. It’s all about faith and trust, surrender and obedience to God’s wise and holy will my brethren.
 
But sadly, like the Israelites of old, and many other once upon a time powerful nations who no longer darken the earth, we have failed to live up to the dictates of our great and wonderful God. And what He said so long ago to the Israelites, His chosen people, He’s now saying to us in these terrible times. ‘O that thou hadst hearkened to (heeded) my commandments! Then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.’
 
Oh my people, those words do hold a bundle of indisputable truth! I don’t have to explain the great mounds of evil, of unrighteousness, ungodliness and unfaithfulness that’s currently dominating our world, and consequently the many wars, rumours of war, endless strife and general dissatisfaction that’s evident all over the globe.
 
But the strange, sad part though, is that everyone’s clamouring for peace, but there’s really no peace, for as Bruh David rightly declares: ‘The Lord sitteth (sits enthroned) upon the flood; yea, the Lord sitteth King for ever. The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.’ (Ps.29:10-11)
 
So if we’re not interacting obediently with Jehovah God, how can we expect peace eh, when He’s the one who grants it? That’s also why Bruh David strongly advises: ‘Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile (deceit). Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.’ (Ps.34:13-14)
 
Oh my people, it’s something we have to actively look for and pursue! It just doesn’t come upon us of its own will. But doing that, then allowed him to say with confidence: ‘I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep; for thou Lord, only makest me to dwell in safety.’ (Ps.4:8)
 
Isaiah also echoed Bruh David’s call in his hymn of praise, where he boldly proclaims: ‘Thou wilt keep them in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever; for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength (the Rock of Ages).’ (Is.26:3-4)
 
Meanwhile Bruh Paul says to the Philippians: ‘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.4:6-7)
 
And it’s only fitting that we close with Jesus’ greatest pronouncement on peace. ‘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.’ (John 14:27)
 
That says it all my people! If we faithfully and obediently embrace Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, then His special peace, not that of the world, will fill our bodies and souls, lighten our burdens and increase our joy!
 
Now that’s certainly something worthwhile working towards! So let’s get a move on and do it nuh! Much LOVE!
 
…let us therefore follow after…the things which make for peace…and things wherewith…one may edify (build up) another… (Rom.14:19)

 

 
 

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…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 April 2014 Psalm 66:19

PSALM 66:19.           But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.   

And then it was Friday, and the people were in an uproar: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes mih brethren! I couldn’t hack another day in that sweat shop nuh! Thank God for these two blessed days off!’  

Yes Friends, I know how bad it can be in some of the places some of us work, but sometimes we just have no choice, because that’s the only job we can get at this time, and it’s certainly better than no job at all. But all is not lost my people, we have a LOVING and magnanimous God who looks after us, and He will not allow us to bear more than we can handle.  

As we keep saying, following Jesus is not easy, but it is always interesting, and will bear great rewards at a later date, either down here on earth or up in heaven. So please don’t give up, the trials and tribulations won’t last forever. And to help us handle the weekend the right way, let’s chant our Friday Chant with much enthusiasm to keep our spirits high.  

Altogether 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 let’s work out the day, with the joy of the Lord in our hearts, faithfully looking forward to a great weekend!  That brings us to our Bit: ‘But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.’  

Now such powerful conviction should be held by ALL believers, if we are faithful to prayer, for the Lord faithfully answers our sincere prayers! But Friends, so many of us are lost and lacking in serious prayer, and prayer is so important in the Christian walk of faith, that we are continuing this series of messages on prayer, highlighting scriptures that prove its efficacy.  

Today we’ll highlight two more instances where prayer was masterful. The first comes from Acts 12, where Herod kills James and imprisons Peter, intending to bring him before the people after Passover. (Acts 12:1-4) However, our great and wonderful God had other ideas and plans. Remember, men plan, but it is God’s will that prevails!  

‘Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.’ (Acts 12:5) And we all know the story of how on the night before Herod planned to bring Peter out, the angel of the Lord came to the prison and miraculously led him out to freedom. (Acts 12:6-11) And as the Lord would have it, he ended up at the house of John Mark’s mother Mary, ‘where many were gathered together praying.’ (Acts 12:12)  

Yuh see the power of prayer my people! But just like it is with us in today’s ungodly climate, when Peter knocked on Mary’s door, his friends didn’t believe it was really him, saying it was his angel. They even called the servant girl who answered his knock and heard his voice crazy, though she was absolutely positive that it was Peter. (Acts 12:13-15)  

‘But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.’ (Acts 12:16) Oh Friends, how marvellous are the works of our omnipotent God! And always in our best interest too!  

The scholars though have an interesting take on that episode of scripture. ’12:12-16. Though the prayer of the church was fervent due to Peter’s situation (v 5), there was a deficiency in faith (vv 15-16). Evidently they did not believe God would answer in this miraculous way, or so soon.’  

And doesn’t that sound very familiar? It sure does, because even today many of us still don’t believe in the efficacy of prayer although there are numerous examples to show that it works. But regardless of how strong the believers’ faith was, the important thing is that they persevered in prayer, and the Lord answered their prayers.  

That brings us to the second scripture passage we’ll look at today. It’s Bruh Paul talking to the Philippians about rejoicing in the Lord. ‘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)  

Oh my brethren, Bruh Paul could not be any simpler and straightforward than that! So why aren’t we following it eh? I really don’t know. But here is what he says will happen if we pray continually. “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7)  

Oh mih people, mih people, isn’t peace what we’re all searching for? Well right there we’re told how to get it! And not the peace of the world, but the peace of God! So why aren’t we doing as the Good Book says eh, and continue to stubbornly cling to our own paltry efforts to find peace in an ungodly, wicked world?  

Anyway my fellow believers, today, RIGHT NOW, please let’s allow those simple but momentous words to loudly reverberate in our souls, bodies and minds, so that we can be convinced of the power of prayer, and use it consistently each and every day of our lives, for it is indeed the epitome of wisdom! Much LOVE! 

…without fulsome prayer…a believer is lost…adrift on an endless sea of anxiety and fear…