Today’s Scrip-Bit   26 January 2023 Philippians 4:6.

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

Well, it’s another cold and cloudy day, but one with a peculiar difference; the earth, the trees and the rooftops are covered in that white fluffy stuff called snow. (smile) Yes, we finally got a fair amount of the beautiful but ever so dangerous stuff yesterday and it just made a mess of the Greater Toronto Area. Accidents galore, and endless time to get around, that is when you could. Saw a picture of a bus having problems moving in the thick snow. And if a bus could have problems, think about how the smaller and less powerful vehicles managed nuh. 

Oh, and I just heard the snowplough outside finally cleaning my small and insignificant lane. (smile) But we can’t complain too much because it’s the first real snowstorm we’ve had for the year, and it’s definitely not as bad as what some areas have had to suffer through. Our storm probably deposited a few inches, while other areas have had a foot or more. So, we can still say ‘Thanks be to God!’ And if we’re talking about giving thanks, then this scripture from Bruh Paul’s epistle to the church at Philippi, written while he was imprisoned, is one we should certainly review. 

He’s talking about the people who helped him lay and build the church, how their names are being written in the Book of Life. Therefore, he advises the church to: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation (gentleness, graciousness) 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.’ (Phil. 4:4-6)  

Oh my fellow believers, I hope you noticed that most significant admonition: ‘in EVERY THING’ we should prayerfully give thanks as we lift up our desires to Almighty God! Yes, whatever it is, however serious or insignificant the problem, our God wants to hear about it, because He desires to work with and help us through whatever difficulties we encounter in this life. But we must endeavour to have a prayerful and grateful attitude regardless of our circumstances. Why? 

Bruh Paul explains: ‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:7) And that’s the gospel truth! When we keep our minds stayed and steadfast on God, He grants us divine peace from worry and anxiety through His wonderful Son Jesus Christ. It’s like Bruh David writes in Psalm 22 – The Plea of the Fearful: ‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken).’ (Ps. 55:22) 

But it won’t happen unless we believe it and subsequently place all our trust in Almighty God. And that’s also why Jesus taught on the importance of not worrying in His Sermon on the Mount. (Matt: 6:25-32) He explained that we should not worry about food and drink and clothes, how the birds and other animals, plus all the beautiful flowers in nature are looked after by the Father, and since we are more important to Him than them, why wouldn’t He also look after us? No reason whatsoever! 

And anyway, we can’t change anything by worrying about it, so worrying is useless. Like Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say. Worry is like sitting in a rocking chair. You can sit there and rock all day and still get nowhere. You can worry about your problems all day and still don’t have a solution. It’s best to spend your energy on talking to God about your problem, than trying to fix it yourself. 

Hence Jesus’ admonition: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow (don’t worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt. 6:33-34) Yes friends, each day has its own problems that we need to handle responsibly, instead of wasting our valuable time looking forward to hypothetical problems that might arise on the morrow. 

That takes us back to Bruh Paul’s admonition to the Philippians, where he continues: ‘Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise (anything praiseworthy), think (meditate) on these things. Those things which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.’ (Phil. 4:8-9) 

That’s it in a nutshell my fellow saints: how to get God’s peace and how to keep it. Seek God first, don’t worry about your life, but take everything to God in prayer with thanksgiving, and think on good things, things that encourage, rather than discourage, and the God of peace will provide peace and a good, worthwhile life for us. Obviously it won’t be easy to do, what with the natural ups and downs of life, but with God’s most able assistance, through His Holy Spirit that indwells us, we can have a good and fruitful life, producing even up to a hundred-fold. (smile) 

And our God is so wonderful that He never asks us to do anything without giving us the wherewithal, or the tools to do them. Consequently, He has generously bestowed on us what we call our Thursday Blessings, so that we can do His earthly work. But we need to declare them out loud so that they can be activated. So, let’s do that right now nuh. Altogether: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

Now, with those blessings activated in our lives, we are expected to go out and generously use them to bring others to Christ. Much LOVE!

…you can ride out any storm of life…in peace…with Jesus as your pilot…  

 Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZ   

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   8 November 2022   1 Thessalonians 5:19.

1 Thessalonians 5:19.       Quench not the Spirit.

Oh Brother, I can’t believe it’s already the 8th day of November nuh! We just celebrated Halloween a few days ago at the end of October. What’s happening with these months eh? They are flying by so quickly, that you hardly have time to really notice and enjoy them. (smile) But in my neck of the words, we really can’t complain because the days have been very warm and sunny considering the time of the year. Let’s just hope that when the real winter season drops down on us, the days fly as quickly. Don’t hold your breath for that though. (smile) 

However, the good thing about being a follower of Jesus Christ is that we don’t have to worry about anything, whether it’s winter, spring, summer or fall, because He ALWAYS has our backs, even in the greatest storm of our lives, our Lord and Saviour is ALWAYS there to guide and protect, to lead and bring us safely through our trials and tribulations! Wow! What a wonderful Lord and Saviour we serve and worship! 

And all God’s children gave a large, long, and grateful shout of ‘Thank You Jesus! We LOVE you with all of our hearts, souls, bodies and minds! Without You we are nothing! Please keep looking out for us, as we will keep LOVING and coming to You for Your awesome grace and mercy!’ 

Mama Mia! I have to laugh yes, because that prayer wasn’t planned, but somehow or the other it just kept flowing from my fingers. No doubt the work of the Holy Spirit, sensing our need for some prayer with praise and thanksgiving in these turbulent and perilous times of our world. And yes, there’s no better way of communing with our great God than through prayer, praise and thanksgiving. That’s why Bruh Paul encouraged the Thessalonians to ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-19) 

Yes my fellow believers, life with Jesus is all about rejoicing, praying, giving thanks and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us the way He is supposed to. Most of today’s teachers and preachers don’t pay much attention to the last verse about quenching the Holy Spirit, but it’s very important since it’s through the third person of the Holy Trinity, that we are led and guided to the Lord’s will. 

And the scholars explain that last verse thus. ‘Quench means putting out the fire in Matthew 12:20. Ephesians 6:16, and Hebrews 11:34. Here it is employed metaphorically to mean “stifle” or “suppress.” The Christian can stifle the Holy Spirit’s workings by hindering Him from leading the believer to rejoice (vs.16), to pray (vs.17), to give thanks in adversity (vs. 18), and by despising prophetic utterance (vs. 20) inspired by the Holy Spirit.’ 

And sadly, that’s what many of us do my fellow saints; we quench the Holy Spirit by not listening to His divine guidance, by going our own way, or the way the enemy lies and deceives us into going. That’s why so many of us are leading such troubled lives, inwardly we’re not in sync with the Holy Spirit of God, despite our outward Christian behaviour. 

Unfortunately though, we, the individual believers, are the ONLY ones who can correct that unwise behaviour. Others can talk to us about it, but unless and until we seriously and consciously choose to change it, then we’ll keep on losing the divine blessings and leadings of God’s great Spirit that dwells within us for that very purpose. And the only way to get us to wise up and do what we know we ought to do, is to keep bombarding us with scriptures on the subject. (smile) 

So here goes, with Bruh Paul’s words 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 Jesus Christ. 

Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are LOVELY, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise (anything praiseworthy), think (meditate) on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.’ (Phil. 4:4-9) 

Hope that stirred up our souls and spirits some. But we’re not done yet. Remember we’re bombarding. (smile) So listen to Bruh Paul to the Colossians on the subject of Christian virtues. ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved bowels of mercies (tender mercies), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 

And above all these things put on charity (LOVE), which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him’ (Col. 3:12-17) 

Now that’s enough bombardment for today! And if it doesn’t rile up our spirits to do better, then I don’t know what else to say or do. (smile) Oh, upon further thought, I’ll just try to emphasize these two things. First, the putting on of charity or LOVE, the bond of perfectness.’ Meaning that ‘LOVE is the crowning grace completing the list of virtues required for perfectness or spiritual maturity. As a “bond” it binds all other virtues together in harmony and unity.’ And remember Bruh Paul’s famous words to the Corinthians: ‘And now abideth faith, hope, charity (LOVE), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE).’ (1 Cor. 13:13) 

Then, the second thing I want to emphasize is that EVERYTHING we do, we should try to do in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in glory to the Father. If we do those two things; live in LOVE, and do all in the name of Jesus, meaning what pleases Him, then I think we will do great things here on earth, live up to our Christian heritage. 

Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to live for Christ, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. As one strong and sincere voice: ‘In God’s eyes, 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 my immediate neighbours, as well as with the whole wide world! Glory be!’ 

And having said that, it’s now our bounden duty to go out and share the awesome LOVE and friendship of Christ with all those we meet, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…to LOVE and serve like Christ…that’s the Christian motto… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ   

Today’s Scrip-Bit   28 January 2022   1 Thessalonians 5:16.

1 Thessalonians 5:16.     Rejoice evermore.

Ah my Scrip-Bit friends and family, this Friday morning has opened beautifully, like a true winter wonderland, with the sun shining so brightly that its reflection off the snow tends to blind you, if you look at it too closely! (smile) And the temperature is just right for such a day too, around minus 16 Celsius. No, I’m not crazy, a certain kind of day deserves a certain temperature. And then we have Jesus abounding in our souls, spirits and bodies, so what more can we ask eh? Nothing! 

So let’s say it like we mean it nuh: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it! Oh yes my people, every day is made for rejoicing, but some like this one, just takes your breath away, and you can’t do anything else but rejoice; rejoice and give thanks! And that just recalls these marvellous passages of scripture, featuring Bruh Paul’s immortal words to the Thessalonians, where he encourages them to: 

‘ Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance (every form) of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly, and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who will also do it.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-24) 

Wow friends! That’s one of those bits of scripture, that sort of includes everything a believer needs to live a good Christian life! And the nice thing about it is that it’s simple and straightforward, as well as practical. So, I would suggest we use it as a guideline for our daily lives, where we rejoice that we are alive and have Jesus who reconciles us to God and offers us the most wonderful gift of salvation for simply believing in Him. 

And to help us with all our daily problems we just keep talking to God about everything, not necessarily continuously or audibly, but having an attitude of prayer throughout our day. And for all of that my fellow saints, giving thanks to our wonderful God in any and everything is paramount, because that’s what He expects of us. As the scholars explain: ‘5:18. In every event or circumstance  (thing) the Christian is to give thanks to God for the good He can bring out of the event even should the event be unpleasant. The constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer maintain gratitude in the face of adversity.’ 

Ah friends, that’s like how we say one hand washes the other; prayer helps us to stay thankful regardless of our circumstances! Then we come to a big one: ‘Quench not the Spirit.’ Now that is possibly the most important aspect of Christian living, for the Holy Spirit of God has been placed within us to lead and guide us in a godly life on this ungodly earth. And when you ‘Quench it,’ that means, ‘stifle’ or ‘suppress it’ then it cannot do the job it was sent to do. As the scholars tell us, we are hindered in rejoicing, in prayer, in giving thanks during adversity, and despising prophetic utterances inspired by the Spirit. 

It’s basically what Bruh Paul said to Ephesians: ‘And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.’ (Eph. 4:30) And yuh know what friends, the more we suppress, stifle or repress the Holy Spirit of God in our lives, the less it is able to act on our behalf. It doesn’t sound as loud and clear as it once did, and we are basically left to paddle our own canoe, which certainly is not a wise action. 

Then we come to the next practical aspect of Christian living as prescribed by Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians. ‘Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.’ (vs. 21) That means be careful of what you believe, try and prove them before you believe them, and hang on to the good ones. It’s similar to what he said more explicitly to the Philippians. ‘Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, 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. 4:8) 

Yes, believers need to think or meditate on the right things, if we want to do the right things, which is ‘Abstain from all appearance of evil.’ (vs.22) And what does that mean? It’s like Bruh Paul explained in his message to the church at Rome. ‘Recompense (repay) to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men (have regard for good things)… Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:17, 21). 

It couldn’t be any clearer than that my faithful brethren. And when we follow those basic rules, then our spirits, bodies and souls will be sanctified, set apart for our faithful God, and the surpassing peace He promised, will guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. And the peace of God is the supreme blessing on this riotous, ungodly, deceitful, evil and unfaithful world. When you have that nothing bothers you, and you can go about Christ’s will with diligence and excellence. 

But where I believe we’ve been most sadly lacking in our Christian journey is in the department of prayer. We haven’t been doing that prayer without ceasing thing. But it’s not too late to begin. So let’s do that right now nuh, let’s go to God in prayer, through our Friday Chant. Altogether now: ‘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 let’s remember all the stuff we’ve talked about today, and do what it takes to be a true and faithful believer, if we want to see positive changes in our lives and in our world. Much LOVE!

…successfully living for Christ is not easy…but following the guidance of His Holy Spirit…enables us to live right… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   30 October 2021 Romans 12:2.

Romans 12:2.     And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Another rainy Friday evening, Friday night and Saturday morning. Much rain, but excellent weather for sleeping and also for sleeping in. However, I could not sleep in, much as I wanted to, that’s because I went to bed early, by my standards that is, and after some four or five hours in the bed, the ole body began complaining with aches and pains, so I had to get up, because resting was becoming more problematic than staying in bed. (smile) 

Anyway, here we are talking about too much rain, while so many unfortunate others in other parts of the world are dying from drought and lack of heavenly blessings. But whoever said that life was fair eh? It certainly isn’t. Our God though is fair and just! So, with that good thought in mind, let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he tries to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And we’ll deal quickly with this one, because he also sent it to us last week. That’s ‘To accomplish great things we must not only act but also dream, not only plan but also believe.’ Back then, we spoke of the importance of dreaming and planning, but more so the overwhelming importance of belief in accomplishing anything at all. Also very important was the source of our belief, or what we placed our belief in. And we gave the example of the synagogue ruler, Jairus, approaching Jesus to ask Him to come and heal his twelve year old daughter. 

But while Jesus was on the way to do it, Jairus’ people came and said that the girl was dead. But as soon as Jesus heard it, He said to Jairus: ‘Be not afraid, only believe.’ (Mark 5:37) Meaning that Jairus was to believe He would and could do what He had promised, that is heal his daughter. And so it is with us, who claim to believe in Jesus. We must believe in the promises He’s made to give us a good future and a hope, of forgiveness of sins, leading to salvation and life eternal with Him in heaven. 

That brings us to this next quote: ‘Nothing is, unless our thinking makes it so.’ I really don’t know what context our friend Anselm means that in, be it physical or mental. As per the physical aspect, I won’t say it’s totally true, because many things exist physically although we don’t think they are. In the mental realm though, a lot of things won’t exist for us, unless we think that they truly are. 

I guess we can use the allegory of philosophical theories, where some believe and even die for them, while others don’t. For the former they exist because they think on and about them, but for the latter they are non-existent, since they don’t spend time thinking about them. And I’m chuckling here because I was just thinking that that quote might fall into the philosophical realm of uncertainty. 

Meanwhile, the next quote tells us: ‘When you visualize, then you materialize. If you’ve been there in the mind, you’ll go there in the body.’ That quote is also similar to one we had last week, re ‘Visualizing is the great secret of success.’ And visualizing is an important part of success. You have to think of and on things, see them in your mind’s eye first, if you ever hope to reproduce them in real form. The world tells us that seeing is believing, but our Christian belief tells us, you must first believe it before you can ever see it, or bring it to reality. 

That’s what great inventors do; they picture something in their minds, then proceed to bring it to reality by whatever means necessary. And it is important to note, that unless you conjure up something in your mind, flesh it out first in your mind, be it a philosophical theory or physical product, you usually can’t bring it to fruition. Because that’s just the process of life, as the last quote says: ‘Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.’ 

Yes friends, that’s the truth in spades, whatever we continually think about and ponder on will usually come to pass, be it something we make or an attitude that we adopt. Ofttimes we associate it with the words of Cousin Sol, ‘As a man thinks in his heart so is he.’ (Prov. 23:7) And that’s quite true, although that’s not all of the proverb. The verse actually says: ‘For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.’ (Prov. 23:7) There Cousin Sol is referring to someone who tells you outwardly to do one thing, but inwardly he really doesn’t mean it. I believe we call those kinds of people, hypocrites! (smile) 

And I want to share some remarks of an article on the crosswalk.com/faith/bible-study website by Clarence L Haynes Jr. titled ‘3 Reasons Proverbs 23:7 Says ‘As a Man Thinks, So He Is’ The article begins: ‘One of the most amazing gifts that God has given us is the human mind. The ability to learn, think, choose, and reason is the essence of what makes us human. While the ability to think makes us human, it actually goes deeper. Your thoughts become a reflection of who you really are. God certainly understands this, and he speaks to this in various places all throughout his word.’ 

Now that is the indelible truth! Whatever you steadily focus on for a length of time will eventually seep into your soul and become a part of you. That’s why the Bible warns us so much about the way we think; carnally and sinfully as opposed to godly and spiritually. So let’s check out a couple of those important scriptures on the subject. This first one is from Bruh Paul to the church at Rome, where he tells them: ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom. 12:2) 

That means we are to stop allowing ourselves to be conformed to ‘the present thinking, value systems and conduct of this world.’ And why is that? Because they run contrary to the Word of God. And what kind of thinking then are we supposed to embrace? Here are some wise and valuable words on it from Bruh Paul to the church at Philippi. 

‘Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise (anything praiseworthy), think (meditate) on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.’ (Phil. 4:8-9) 

And we could not end today’s message with better words of advice my faithful saints. So please let’s spend the weekend thinking and meditating on those kinds of things, so that we can have the peace of God in our lives. Much LOVE!

…the human mind…God’s most amazing invention…let’s use it wisely nuh…  

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 July 2020 Romans 12:2.

Romans 12:2.     ​And do not be conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 
 

Get on up…it’s Monday! Get on up…there’s work to be done! There’s a pandemic to be conquered and strife to be peacefully quelled, so why the lying in bed and being miserable and negative eh? (smile) Ah mih people, we do have those two problems to solve this Monday morning and unless we get up and get a move on, we will never solve them. 

And remember we’ve been placed here at this appointed time for that very purpose. That brings to mind the famous words of Mordecai to his niece Esther, who, for fear of losing her own life, hem and hawed about going to the king and asking for mercy for the Jewish people, when the king’s right hand man, Haman, was plotting genocide against them: ‘…and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?’ (Esth. 4:14b) 

Yes friends, we have been placed in the world for a time such as this! That means the Lord has something important, be it large or small, for each one of us to do in these times of turmoil. So let’s be up and about the Lord’s business nuh. But as we all know, the first item on our agenda should always be communication with Him, that powerful tool we call prayer. 

So let’s boldly but humbly come before the throne of grace and pray that corporate prayer we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, thus giving the Lord God a chance to wisely lead and guide us as we set out to do His daily will. All together now in strong voice with sincere hearts. 

‘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 hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. And our anxieties have been recently deepened because several restrictions have been lifted in the lockdown, so more of us are going out to work now without any guarantees of safety. Then to complicate matters Father, suddenly, and unexpectedly, just like the virus, worldwide strife and protests have also struck us in this sad time of pandemic, and we don’t have a clue how to handle either situation properly. 

Mass confusion is currently prevailing in our world, and we desperately need your help to solve both problems, as You are the ONLY One with the power and insight to successfully handle them. 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. Please show us how to successfully handle these scourges that are currently plaguing Your beautiful earth. Please help our leaders to wisely quell the strife and protests, thus bringing unity, peaceful consensus and real improvement in the areas that are now sadly lacking. Please help the scientists to also find a positive solution, a sure antidote to the virus as quickly as possible. 

And for those who have already contracted the virus, or been injured in the strife, 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!’ 

Now let’s take a moment to sit and wait…to listen for God’s answer to our prayer, to what he wants each of us to do. We know that He always answers prayer, but we won’t hear Him unless we get quiet and wait. And that’s exactly why so many of us claim not to hear from Him. Prayer is supposed to be a two-way conversation…we talk to God, then we patiently wait for His answer… 

Oh my people, my people, I’ve gotten an answer! I don’t know what He’s told you to do, but he’s told me to share, to bring this most important scripture to your attention today! (smile) ‘And do not be conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom. 12:2) 

Mama Mia! What a powerful and mind-bending scripture! (smile) Yes, that’s exactly what the Lord wants us to do, bend our minds away from the ways of the world. And the battle most certainly begins in the mind. That’s why Cousin Sol says that as a man thinketh in his heart (mind), so is he. (Prov. 23:7) 

So whatever is uppermost in our minds is what we’re going to pursue, and in order to pursue God, we need to actively think on the things of God. That’s why Jesus told us so plainly and concernedly: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33)  

And Bruh Paul enlarged on Jesus’ words by purposely telling us: ‘Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are LOVERLY, 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. 4:8) 

So please, let’s stop conforming to the ways of the world nuh, making its values systems, conduct and thinking so important in our lives. And instead do what we’re called to do; the will of God; that’s follow His purpose for our lives by surrendering to His wise guidance and direction, for He’s promised to never forsake us or leave us or lead us astray. And He who promised is faithful! Much LOVE!

…God’s will…bear the fruit of the Spirit…LOVE, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), meekness, temperance (self-control)…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 July 2020 Philippians 1:10.

Philippians 1:10.     ​That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ. 
 

Another glorious summer’s day has dawned in my area as we wish a Happy 4th of July to the U.S. of A! Let’s hope and pray that they will celebrate it in a safe and responsible manner and not foolishly increase the problems they are already experiencing. But as they say, a people without proper direction is doomed from the start, and furthermore, you get the kind of government you deserve. 

Nuff said. It’s Saturday, so let’s turn to those quotes of our friend Anselm which so many of you anxiously wait for all week. (smile) Let’s see what words of wisdom he has imparted this week as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I think this first one is boss: ‘If you define the problem correctly, you almost have the solution.’ Although I wouldn’t go as far as to say that you have the solution, but you are definitely on the right track, for how can you solve a problem if you don’t know what it really is eh? 

And sadly, that’s where so many of us go wrong in these dangerous times; we set out to solve the problem without first considering its true aspects. Contrary to popular opinion, problems are like pains, they might seem to be coming from one spot, but are actually being caused by something in an entirely different spot. So please, let’s analyze our problems fully before we begin to solve them nuh. That’s wisdom for all the ages! 

Then there’s this: ‘Before you say you can’t do something…TRY IT.’ Now that’s also a useful behaviour. In these times of much laziness and entitlement, we’re quick to say we can’t do things without even considering them properly. And ofttimes all we need to do is apply a li’l elbow grease, or even some blood, sweat and tears. But who knows, or even cares about those nowadays eh? Not a whole lot of us! And it looks so bad on us believers when we just wave away actions because they seem difficult, especially when we like to spout about how we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! 

Hn! With Christ in the picture, everything is possible, so we ought to shy away from stuff until we at least try them! That means this next quote is also important. ‘A relentless barrage of “why’s” is the best way to prepare your mind to pierce the clouded veil of thinking caused by the status quo. Use it often.’ I don’t know about ‘a relentless barrage,’ but we must always ask ‘why’ and ‘why not?’ Because that’s the easiest and best way to find out answers to our questions. 

The human mind must always be searching, always be reaching for higher levels, that’s how we advance our civilization. And a mind that is not constantly searching and growing, regardless of the body’s age, is one that is figuratively dead and dying, since it’s not being challenged. 

Yes, from the days of Adam and Eve, the status quo has been challenged by those small but rather powerful words, ‘why’ and ‘why not.’ That’s what Eve asked: ‘Why can’t we eat from the tree of life?’ And you know what happened after; the bottom fell out of the basket. That’s why it’s also important to consider who we ask those questions of, and seriously consider their answers, because we can easily get into a whole heap of trouble otherwise, just like Eve did. (smile) 

Now I don’t know what our friend Anselm is trying to do to me with this next quote nuh. ‘The thing is, continuity of strategic direction and continuous improvement in how you do things are absolutely consistent with each other. In fact, they’re mutually reinforcing.’ It might just be a bit too cerebral and philosophical for me. (smile) 

So let’s see. What I believe he’s saying is that one needs a strategic direction in one’s life, or whatever one is doing. That’s knowing where you’re going, or want to go, on a particular project, or over the long haul, but then as you grow and move in that strategic direction, you must also improve on how you do things. 

As we were saying above, the human mind must always be in a challenged mode for it to improve. And contrary to what some might believe, having a strategic direction and improving as you go along are not inconsistent desires, but actually complement each other. And that’s certainly true! It’s all about making good plans whether it be for a single project or for our lives, and improving them as we go along. You have to know where you want to go, and how you’re going to get there, before you embark on your journey. 

And that brings us to this last and most important quote: ‘Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.’ Oh my people, how I wish that that quote could enter the minds of our entire world today, because quality, in almost everything, has taken a marked decline down through the years. 

At one point things were built to last, but today they’re built to fall apart quickly so you need to buy a new one in a relatively short space of time. And even the more expensive stuff that’s supposed to be of better quality doesn’t always hold true to Confucius’ maxim: ‘cheap thing no good, and good thing no cheap.’ (smile) 

But friends, as true believers in Christ Jesus, that’s exactly what’s expected of us’ sincere efforts along with diligence and excellence of product, whatever it may be. Christ doesn’t do cheap and shoddy stuff! And Bruh Paul said it in so many words to the Philippian church. ‘And this I pray, that your LOVE may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgement; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.’ (Phil. 1:9-11) 

Yes friends, as believers we must think of things that really matter and do things in an excellent manner, for that is Jesus’ desire for His followers. And later on in his letter to the church at Philippi, Bruh Paul qualified it with these awesome words. ‘Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, 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.4:8) 

I could not put it any better my people. So in these dangerous and uncertain times let’s get to practicing that kind of stuff nuh, it’s what is expected of us. Much LOVE!

…to follow Jesus…diligence and excellence…must be at the top of your list…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 September 2015 Colossians 3:1‏

Colossians 3:1.   If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

And then it was Thursday… shaping up to be another glorious summer’s day too! Oh glory to God! Yes Friends, we folks in the northern climes are ever so grateful for every warm day this late in the year. 
 
I even thought that my sitting out on my porch in the early morning hours had ended at the end of last week when the weather had gotten a bit chilly. But the Lord in His goodness gave us this week of warm and wonderful weather, so I can still go out and commune with Him and nature in those quiet and peaceful times. 
 
And am I ever so grateful, because it just relaxes me, gets rid of all the confusion and stress that the busy day has put into my spirit, and allows me to go to bed feeling free and easy. No, not that kind of free and easy. (smile) 
 
And you know what Friends, this morning as I was sitting on the porch enjoying the peace and silence, I found myself humming a familiar sounding tune, but I just couldn’t figure out what it was. Then a minute or so later, it hit me. It was Elvis Presley’s wonderful ballad, ‘Crying in the Chapel.’ 
 
You know I always thought that Elvis was a better balladeer than a rock and roller. (smile) And strangely enough, I found myself singing most of the words to the tune, although I hadn’t heard it for ages, and I thought about sharing it in the Bit today. 
 
Then, as the Lord would have it, when I got up this morning, that’s the tune I began singing, so I guess, I am supposed to share it with you. Please pay careful attention to these words my people, because they can be very important in a believer’s life. 
 
‘You saw me crying in the chapel. The tears I shed were tears of joy. I know the meaning of contentment, I am happy with the Lord. Just a plain and simple chapel, Where all good people go to pray. I prayed the Lord that I’ll grow stronger, As I live from day to day. 
 
I searched and I searched but I couldn’t find, No way on earth to find peace of mind. Now I’m happy in the chapel, Where people are of one accord. Yes, we gather in the chapel, Just to sing and praise the Lord. 
 
You’ll search and you’ll search but you’ll never find, No way on earth to find peace of mind. Take your troubles to the chapel, Get down on your knees and pray. Then your burdens will be lighter, and you’ll surely find a way.’ 
 
And that’s all gospel truth my brethren! For the only way to find true peace of mind on this turbulent planet Earth, is through Almighty God. Yes Friends, whenever we sincerely turn to our Creator with our problems, He always shows us a way. 
 
That brings us to our Bit, which talks about our new life in Christ. ‘If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.’ 
 
That’s just sound logic my brethren. If we are risen with Christ, and are in sincere fellowship with Him, then we ought to think about the things that are above, where He is seated at God’s right hand. 
 
And the scholars explain our Bit thus: ‘3:1. If ye then be risen (or, therefore, since you were raised”): The word ‘therefore’ infers a corollary truth from 2:20 (“you died with Christ”) – not only have the Colossian believers been freed from sin, they have also turned to a new life, leaving behind old ways, habits, values, vices, interests, and sins. 
 
Seek those things which are above: These “things” include deeper knowledge of Christ, closer fellowship with Him, experience of His resurrection power, victory over sin (vs.5-11); the development of godly virtues (vs.12-17); the fulfillment of domestic and social responsibilities (3:18-4:1); an effective prayer life (4:2); fruitfulness in witnessing (4:3-6) – in a word, the attainment of Christian maturity, and all the spiritual benefits God has for His people during their days on earth. To have been raised with Christ and not to seek these blessings would be a contradiction’ 
 
I couldn’t have put it any better Friends. The epistle to the Colossians is just filled with the ways and means that believers ought to live their lives so that they can be in true harmony with Christ. We need to be growing daily in His Word, and we can only do that by seriously concentrating on the things that draw us closer to Him. 
 
And we’ll end with some other things that believers should concentrate on, as Bruh Paul told the Philippians. ‘Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise (anything praise worthy), think (meditate) on these things.’ (Phil.4:8) 
 
Yes my people, those are the kinds of things followers of Christ should be contemplating and meditating upon, not the nonsense; the evil and debauchery of this ungodly world. 
 
So as true believers, let’s buckle down and begin thinking these kinds of thoughts nuh, that we might mature and grow in Christ, as He desires of us. That’s simply Christian wisdom. Much LOVE!
 
…one cannot walk sincerely…or grow in Christ…unless one knows what He’s all about…and that only comes from meditating on His word…and being in constant communion with Him…