Today’s Scrip-Bit   26 November 2021 Matthew 6:8.

Matthew 6:8. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before you ask him.

What shall we say to opening our bleary eyes to a bright new shiny day eh? A simple answer like ‘Thank You Lord for allowing me to see another day. I praise You and bless your holy name,’ will do. Our wonderful God doesn’t need a whole lot of verbiage to satisfy His soul, just our heartfelt thanks and gratitude. 

That’s why Jesus uttered this warning to His listeners, a warning which I believe is also very timely for us in these trying and turbulent times. He said: ‘And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites (pretenders) are: for they LOVE to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. 

Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet (inner room), and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy father which is in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.’ (Matt. 6:5-6) 

Now friends, that doesn’t mean that praying publicly is wrong, because it’s decreed in many parts of the Bible, the problem is the misuse of prayer, praying so that men can see us and believe we are so righteous and holy, when we are nothing more than a bunch of hypocrites using it for our personal glory. 

And as the scholars explain: ‘The principle here is that the believer should not make a show of his prayer, nor of the answers he receives of prayer in such a way as to call unnecessary attention to himself.’ Unfortunately, many of us today, do just that; make showy attempts of prayer, so that others can see us and think we are such prayer warriors, when we are nothing of the kind. 

Jesus knew the hypocrisy of the religious leaders, so He continues on the subject of prayer. ‘But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.’ (Matt. 6:7) Yes my brethren, we don’t need to babble on in our prayers, saying the same things over and over, or speaking without thinking, like some of the heathen and false prophets found in the Old Testament. 

Thus, this last word from Jesus. ‘Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before you ask him.’ (Matt. 6:8). For sure! He is God, the Creator and controller of the world, who’s thoughts and ways are so much higher than ours, so He must know what we need, although He likes us to come to Him in prayer and ask, to acknowledge our submission to His will and not ours. 

And the scholars offer a wonderful explanation on prayer through that verse. ‘6:8. Prayer is not man’s attempt to change the will of God. Prayer is not conquering God’s reluctance to answer, but laying hold of His willingness to help. Prayer in the life of the believer is an act of total confidence and assurance in the plan and purpose of God. 

The following sample prayer is given to the disciples as an example of a suitable prayer. This prayer, often called the “Lord’s Prayer,” is in reality a disciple’s prayer. In no way does the prayer itself embody all of Christ’s teaching about prayer; and having just warned against vain repetition, he did not intend for this particular prayer to be merely recited with empty meaninglessness.’ 

Oh friends, we all know the prayer, and ofttimes we just mouth it without really thinking about what we’re saying. And yes, it’s good to have God in our mouths, but He should also be in our hearts and minds. And we won’t go into a line by line break down of the prayer, but be it sufficient here to know that it contains two major parts; the first is adoration, and the second is petition. 

Now that’s the way most prayers, especially in the Psalms are devised. They open with thanks and praise, then they ask for their needs, and I believe that’s a healthy way for us to design our individual prayers. Don’t just jump right into what we need, unless it’s a dire emergency, but first offer up thanks, and remember what the Lord has done in the past for us, and His overall goodness in our lives, show that we appreciate His grace and mercy, before we begin asking for things. 

And by the way, please make sure the things we ask for are things that are in His will for our lives, not merely our selfish wants. Now, what we’ve said above, is not the end all and be all on prayer, but hopefully, it will upgrade out thoughts on prayer and help us to pray in a more meaningful manner. 

So, with that in mind (smile) let’s go to God in prayer, right now, through our Friday Chant. As one voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. 

And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Please remember, that if we want positive answers to our prayers, we need to keep the promises we’ve just made. Much LOVE!

…Prayer…God’s method of communication with His children… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 November 2021 Philippians 4:4.

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

I hear you friends! I hear you calling out ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and this miserable workweek soon done!’ And yes, the workweek might have been difficult and/or frustrating, but please look on the bright side nuh, you were one of the blessed ones, you at least had a job to go to. However, in these pandemic, riotous, disastrous and dangerous times, thousands of your brethren had none to go to, and would have grabbed yours without a backward glance. Many would have given their ‘eye-teeth,’ as the old people would say to have any li’l job at all, so they could make a few dollars to feed themselves and their families

. So please, let’s not belittle the work we do, even though it may not be as soul-satisfying as we desire. Times are exceedingly hard, and instead of complaining we ought to be thankful for what little we might have, because there are so many others around the world with so much less than us, who would be exceedingly glad and thankful to have the little we claim to have. 

That’s why this scripture writing of Bruh Paul to the Philippians is ever so important today. He writes: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.’ (Phil. 4:4) Yes friends, that’s the number one characteristic and attitude of believers in Christ Jesus; we are joyful in whatever situation we find ourselves. Remember that the joy of the Lord is our strength! (Neh. 8:10) That’s why the enemy tries his best to steal our joy, because he knows that without that joy, which brings strength, we are totally at his evil mercy. 

And I like how the scholars explain that verse. ‘4:4. The mention of believers’ names being recorded in heaven (vs.3) causes the author to write rejoice in the Lord always. Harmony among church members, as Paul assumes will be the result of his pleas in verses 2 and 3, (to be of the same mind), 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.” 

And yuh better believe my brethren that in these perilous times the command to rejoice is indeed a call to faith, since we do have a wise, sovereign and LOVING God who has promised never to leave nor forsake us and to work out everything for our good eventually. Thus, the level of our joy rests on the level of our faith, on how much we believe what our Creator says. If our faith is strong, then our joy will be forthcoming, but if our faith is weak, then we will be filled with all kinds of doubts, fears and anxieties. 

That’s why Bruh Paul continues: ‘Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.’ (Phil.4:6) And the scholars tell us that ‘Moderation means “graciousness” or “sweet reasonableness.” The believer who is at peace with his fellow Christian (vs.2) and who rejoices always (vs.4) is indeed a gracious, reasonable person. 

The Lord is 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 any 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 we all know the command of verse 6. ‘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) What a majestic and encouraging verse of scripture my people! We don’t need to be anxious for anything because we can take it all to God in sincere prayer and supplication, but with thanksgiving, letting Him know that we desperately need His help. That means thankfully laying our anxieties at His feet, assured that He can and will deal with them on our behalf. Thus, we are freed of the anxieties and worries, the doubts and frustrations of this evil and ungodly world. 

Wow! No wonder we are to rejoice and be thankful! And I would be amiss if I didn’t add some of the scholars’ explanation of that verse. They say, ‘Be careful for nothing means “don’t worry about anything.” The Lord’s nearness (vs. 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.’ 

So what’s the end result of all that eh? Bruh Paul states it thus: ‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:7) Oh my people! ‘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 problems, and His ability to cope with and solve it.’ 

And that peace shall guard our hearts through our trust and belief in Christ Jesus! Glory be my fellow saints! What more can we ask eh? Nothing really, but we do need to take our current fears and anxieties to the Lord in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. So, let’s do that right now nuh, through our Friday Chant. As one voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now, please remember that we need to keep our promises, if we expect the Lord to keep His. Much LOVE!

…the Lord is my helper…I will not fear…                                                                                                        

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8          

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 September 2021 Isaiah 42:8.

Isaiah 42:8.     I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

And then it was Friday, that blissful day we all look forward to, and joyfully declare: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui!’ It means the beginning of our weekend frolic time. And this weekend is even better because it’s the Labour Day long weekend. Unfortunately, I don’t believe there will be any big Labour Day parade in Brooklyn, New York after the terrible flooding that occurred over the last few days in that city. But mankind, being the quickest animal to rebound from a disaster, or even to celebrate in a disaster, one never knows. (smile)  

Anyhow, let’s hope and pray for our besieged world, where so much of it has recently been plagued by disease, poverty, earthquakes, volcano eruptions, wildfires, floods, famine, hurricanes, hunger and our ever-present human strife. Oh my people, it’s really a sad time in the life of our world, and one that will only improve with our turning back to Almighty God. Yes, the same One who created and LOVED us so much that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross for us to be saved from our abominable sinful and ungodly lifestyle. 

And please note friends, that unless we soon do something about our evil and ungodly machinations, our world will continue to crumble under our feet, until it just simply implodes or explodes with a fierceness that we cannot imagine. Oh, we blame a lot of it on what we call climate change, but who has caused climate change eh? We the people, who insist on littering the earth and the heavens with our ever-increasing refuse and polluting it with new pollutants every day. And yet we still expect it to be such a glorious place to live, and can’t believe that we’ve done so much damage to our wonderful environment. 

Now, let us not forget the strong possibility of the hand of God being present in our worldly misfortunes, because it is said that He will not allow the sinful to continue in their sinful ways for ever. Remember, one time He got so fed up with our sinful ways that He destroyed the earth and all therein by flood, except for Noah, his family and one set of every animal so that He could replenish the world, give us a brand new start. 

Unfortunately though, over time, we returned to our sinful, ungodly ways. And unless you are so living in the darkness of sin, that you are totally blind to what’s happening around you, you will acknowledge that this is one of the most depraved and sinful eras of mankind’s existence, even as his intelligence and knowledge have reached unimaginable heights. That has led him to want to remove God from the society, because he now feels that he is a god unto himself. 

But mankind forgets that he is a created being, meaning he cannot stop or prevent the death and the eventual destruction of his human body, and no matter how intelligent he becomes, he will never be able to fully replicate himself, because neither can he do the ultimate job of breathing the breath of life into a body. Yes, he can imitate it by creating an artificial being, a robot with all the accoutrements of a human body, but never the breath of life, because that’s reserved for Almighty God Himself, the creator and ultimate controller of the universe. 

We have obviously forgotten, or simply choose to ignore God’s statement to the ungodly Israelites. ‘I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.’ (Is. 42:8) And as the gotquestions.org website tells us on the subject. ‘God’s glory is His honor, splendor, and dignity, and He will not share it with anyone. In telling Israel of how He was sparing them from destruction and giving them new prophecies, God says, “For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another” (Isa. 48:11) I don’t know how much clearer the Lord can be nuh. 

And we’ve said all of that friends, simply to say, that there is a higher power than mankind in this universe, and it will not let him destroy it or bring it to ruin through his sinful, ungodly behaviour. And having given us an option to reject sin, to get away from eternal damnation, through accepting His Son, Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, Jehovah God cannot be blamed if He just gets tired once more with our sinful shenanigans and destroys our world once more. And this time friends, He’s promised that it won’t be by water. 

So, can you think of other methods of destruction? I believe they are all worse than water. One commentator asks these two interesting questions: ‘God promised no more floods. Is there a loophole—fire next time? Will God continue to self-limit when faced with our continuing evil? God promised not to destroy the earth (at least by a flood). Will God let us destroy it?’ Who knows the answers eh? And if yuh want a li’l heads up on it, listen to the album titled ‘The Fire Next Time’ by that awesome rap group from T&T, 3 Canal. (smile) 

And right now friends, there are numerous wildfires burning in every corner of our universe, fires that we have been fighting for months, and are still unable to put out. Fires that are causing people to evacuate their safe and wonderful homes and cities every day. So, the world going up in flames, is not such an incredible option or idea, as so many of us would like to believe. All I know is that if we want to survive worldwide disaster, we have to, we must, bring God back into our society, re-establish Him and His rule as the Number One factor in the way we live our lives. 

And we can begin doing that right now by going to Him in humble prayer, through our Friday Chant, sincerely asking for His help. So, as one voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now friends, as always, the Lord’s answer will be based on the way we keep the promises we’ve made! Much LOVE!

…most of man’s woes…result from his own wrong doings…                                                                                                     

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8