Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 August 2019 Matthew 6:9.

Matthew 6:9.    ​After this manner pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
 

‘I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ (Ps.122:1) Oh my fellow believers in Christ, that’s exactly the invitation I’m offering us this Sunday morning, the Lord’s Day! Yes, it is good and right that we venture into His house on His day to acknowledge His sovereignty, holiness, grace, compassion and mercy towards us, miserable sinning saints that we are. In fellowship with other believers, we are expected to lift our voices in songs of praise and thanksgiving and receive encouragement from listening to His holy Word. 

And since there is strength in numbers, it means when we gather together, we are a powerful group, able to move mountains with our faith, but we also spread the joy of the Lord amongst each other, encouraging each other as needed. So please don’t refuse this invitation today, because you never know what wondrous blessings or opportunities the Lord has in store for you in His sanctuary today. 

And even if there is nothing special, you leave there like a preening peacock, (smile) full of confidence and joy in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And believe me nothing is better than that in this cruel and oppressive world! Glory to the Most High God Jehovah! Ah mih people, like the ole fella getting excited…And why not eh, since Christ is the greatest thing to ever happen to mankind. And if I have to tell you that, then something wrong with yuh faith yes! (smile)

Anyway, putting all of that aside, let’s begin the proceedings with praise and worship. And since we sang the second most popular Bible scripture last week; the Lord is My shepherd, I figured it’s only right to sing the most popular one today, The Lord’s Prayer. So let’s get to it nuh, in strong, sweet, sincere and solemn harmony, so that the Father has no choice but to look down on us with favour. 

‘Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever…for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, short but sweet! And we all know it as the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples. Luke describes the scene thus: ‘And it came to pass, that as he (Jesus) was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.’ (Luke 11:1) And the scholars offer this footnote: ‘11:1. Religious communities of the time customarily had their own distinctive prayers. Perhaps the disciples wanted theirs.’ 

And we know what Jesus told them: ‘After this manner pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.’ And He went on to tell them the awesome, far-reaching words that we just sang. It’s amazing how it seems to cover all that our earthly life calls for. But if it comes from Jesus, what else would we expect eh? 

Now the scholars offer some interesting explanations on the prayer, and I’m going to share them. Let’s hope we have enough space. (smile) ‘6:9. The beginning phrase, Our Father, is completely uncommon to the prayers of the Old Testament. The two major elements of the prayer are adoration and petition. Hallowed be thy name addresses the attention of the prayer toward God and reverence for His name and His person. Hallowed (Gr. hagiazo) means to be held in reverence and holy awe.’ 

‘6:10. The phrase Thy kingdom come refers to the eschatological (study of end times) nature of this prayer. Notice that the kingdom is to be prayed for, implying that it has not yet arrived. The kingdom represents the full and effective reign of God through the mediatorial office of the Messiah. The recognition of Thy will be done emphasizes the idea that prayer is to bring about the conformity of the will of the believer to the will of God. Prayer is an act of spiritual expression that brings us into conformity to the very nature and purpose of God.’ 

‘6:11. The section of petitions begins with the request to give us this day our daily bread. Bread (Gr. artos) may be applied to the provision of food in general. The term ‘daily’ (Gr. epiousios) denotes “indispensable.” The concept of daily provision of bread fits perfectly with the Old Testament example of the daily provision of manna to the Israelites while they were wandering in the wilderness. (Ex.16:14-15).’ 

‘6:12. Forgive us our trespasses refers to sins, which are our moral and spiritual debts to God’s righteousness. The request for forgiveness of sin is made here by the believer. In order to be saved one need not necessarily name all his sins, but he must confess that he is a sinner.’ ‘6:13-15. Lead us not into temptation is a plea for the providential help of God in our daily confrontation with the temptation of sin. God does not tempt us to do evil, but we are tempted by our own lusts (James 1:13-14). 

However, God does test us in order to give us the opportunity to prove our faithfulness to Him. He never desires to lead us into evil itself. Therefore if we resist the Devil, we are promised that he will flee from us. The prayer closes with a doxology of praise (expression of praise to God): For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen, which is a liturgical (pattern for worship) ending similar to 1 Chronicles 29:11) Though omitted in some manuscripts, these words constitute a fitting and climactic affirmation of faith.’  

And so it does my fellow believers! I also hope that those explanations give you a better understanding of what our most beloved prayer is all about. I certainly learned a lot from them. And neither did it take up as much space as I expected. (smile) So let’s get ourselves to church sometime today nuh and enjoy fellowship with other believers in the holy presence of Almighty God! That’s my prayer and wish for all of us today! Much LOVE!

…in humble prayer…praise ought always…to come before petition…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 September 2018 Matthew 26:42.

Matthew 26:42.   He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except (unless) I drink it, thy will be done.

Alive! Alive and kicking mih breddren! Yea! The Good Lord has seen it fit to allow us to see another blessed day on His wonderful Planet Earth! Glory be! That means He still has stuff for us to do down here. So let’s go out willingly and do His work today nuh! Make it our priority this Wednesday, as it ought to be! 

And all God’s people gave a loud and grateful shout of ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His holy Name, for He is indeed worthy of much thanks and praise! Amen!’ 

Yeh mih people, our God is indeed a great and powerful God, but also an ever-LOVING and caring deity. That means He doesn’t just cast us off, even when we deserve casting aside. But He works with us, encourages and comforts us, gives us second, third, fourth and even fifth chances to turn our lives around. No other supposed deity does that! That’s why He is indeed the GREATEST! 

But though He’s LOVING and kind and all that, He still has rules and boundaries and will not allow us to get away with too much nonsense. I’m reminded of that by this piece in our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, titled ‘Method of Achievement.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘I said to You: Lord, crush my resentment Chisel my rebellion Chain my self-centredness Crash my inconsistency Stifle my fears. You said to me: I will cleanse you with My blood I will melt you with My LOVE I will flood you with Myself Until you grasp anew – Our intention is the same But the method is Mine.’ 

Glory be mih people! The method is certainly God’s! He will do whatever we want, but it will be His way, according to His will, and His time! He’s just reminding us who is the Boss! Who is the Creator and the Created! And though He is indeed our Friend, our BEST Friend, He is also our Lord, our God, our Maker and Master, so we have to know our place! Amen! 

Even Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour acknowledged that the Father’s will was most important. As He says in our Bit, when He was anguished in the Garden of Gethsemane, the night before His crucifixion. ‘He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except (unless) I drink it, thy will be done.’  

Yeh friends, even in Jesus’ darkest hour, He acknowledged that the Father’s will was uppermost. And all through His earthly sojourn He never claimed that He was here to do His will, but always the Father’s. Listen to His reply to the disciples when they offered Him food at the well of Jacob, after He had spoken to the Samaritan woman. ‘Jesus saith unto them, My meat (food) is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.’ (John 4:34) 

Ah my brethren, doing the Father’s will should also be our main job on this Planet Earth! He made us, created us for His purpose and if we’re truly faithful, we’ll do what He desires. He has a plan for every life He creates, and it’s our duty to talk to Him and find out what He desires of us personally. 

And the scripture promise for our poem today was this interesting passage from Isaiah. ‘Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his counselor hath taught him? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him the path of judgement (justice), and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding?’ (Is.40:13-14) 

And the simple answer to that friends is NOBODY! It was ALL His own doing! 

And the scholars offer this interesting explanation re the Freedom of God. ’40:13. God is the only Being in the universe that possesses independence from the Creation. The only limits to God’s freedom are in His own nature and attributes. He is unlimited in His existence. Because His existence relates to His nature rather than His will, God will exist forever. He who exists by reason of His nature rather than His volition must have existed  – and must continue to exist – forever. 

Illustration: When God revealed His nature to Moses at the burning bush, He called Himself “I AM” (Ex.3:13-15). This name emphasizes God’s self-existence, the fact that He has always existed and always will. Application: Neither anyone nor any outside force will affect God’s relationship to us. He will deal with us according to His nature because He is free from outside influence. (First ref. Gen.6:17; Primary Ref. Is.40:13; cf. Rom.12.1).’ 

Ah friends, that might be somewhat confusing to some of us, but my favourite part is that nothing or no one will influence God’s relationship with us. Yayyyy! Glory to God! Now, having said all of that, let’s go home rejoicing, declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know our position in Christ Jesus! 

So in strong voice, with sincere hearts, let’s wail mih breddren! ‘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 as always, I can’t help but think that the eternal future with Jesus will be even more glorious than we can hope or imagine! Much LOVE!

…God is…was…and always will be…that’s comforting knowledge to the believer…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 April 2017 Matthew 26:38.

Matthew 26:38.   Then said he (Jesus) unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye (wait) here, and watch with me.

‘Oh what a beautiful morning! Oh what a beautiful day! Oh what a beautiful morning! Everything’s going my way!’ (smile) Well not exactly everything on this Holy Thursday morn, but sufficient stuff to keep me rather grateful. Glory to God! 

Some of you ole fogies might remember that song from way back when, but it’s still very applicable in these trying times, for everyday that we open our eyes and greet the world, it’s a beautiful day and things are going our way! 

And today I want to especially give thanks and praise to our ever-faithful heavenly Father for getting me out of the quandary that I was in yesterday; meaning having my friend Jackie’s funeral and an important doctor’s appointment the same time to day. 

But in His wonderful mysterious workings I called the doctor’s office and was able to get my appointment time pushed back to later. Thank You Lord! 

I would have been very disappointed if I couldn’t go to Jackie’s memorial service, because over the last year or so we had gotten fairly close, and would take interest in each other’s medical affairs, boosting each other to hang in and hope for the best. 

Right now she indeed has the best, while I am still here doing my pilgrim’s thing, (smile) but with her memory forever etched on my heart. 

And yuh know what friends, our God is so good and wise and wonderful, that the very night before Jackie died, I was watching a programme ‘At the Cross’; a call in religious show for prayer and godly help, and the topic of the night just happened to be, ‘Are you grieving a loss?’ 

And that loss could be anything at all, a house, a dear one, a job, finances, etc. Once the loss touched you severely, there was room for grief. And the host of that night’s programme identified two types of grieving; one he called demonic grief and the other cleansing grief. 

The demonic one was obviously the type of grief that just throws you down and keeps you down for a long time, where you can’t function at all, can’t go on with your life, and there is a lot of bitterness and anger and negative emotions in your soul. 

Meanwhile the cleansing grief is the grief that helps you get over your loss. It may take a long while, but in the meantime you will be able to function, because you have given your grief and sorrow to Christ and He has kept His promise of Matthew 11:29: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ 

Yeh friends, that’s the only way that makes sense; take it all to Jesus, admit that you can’t handle it and ask for his saving grace and LOVING-kindness. Then and only then will you be able to handle your grief in a wholesome manner. 

And that is one testimony that I can most definitely attest to; a moment in time I’ll never forget. I’m talking about when my mother unexpectedly went to be with the Lord some years ago while I was in California, an unexpected aura of peace just floated over me. 

I was most surprised by it, and though deep down I was devastated by the loss, I was able to hold up quite well. Some people were skeptical bout my calm attitude, but I never took offense, because I knew that the Spirit of the Lord had imbued me with the peace to set things in order. 

And yuh know what friends? Even Jesus had grieving and sorrowful moments, the main one being His rough moments in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Holy Thursday night before he was crucified. 

Listen to our Bit. ‘Then said he (Jesus) unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye (wait) here, and watch with me.’ 

Yes friends, Jesus agonized over stuff too, that’s why He can understand our human frailties and emotions. Thus the Good Book tells us: ‘And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.’ (Matt.26:39) 

Then He went back to the disciples and found them sleeping, and admonished Peter, ‘What could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ (Matt.26:40-41) 

Extremely good advice for us to take to heart my brethren! Then Jesus went away and prayed a second time, ‘Saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except (unless) I drink it, thy will be done. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.’ (Matt.26:42-44) 

Yes my people, three times Jesus prayed for the cup to pass away. Meanwhile Luke tells us that during His first prayer session: ‘And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.’ (Luke 22:43-44) 

And the scholars explain thus: 22:43-44. Only Luke notes this. Jesus is borne up in His hour of greatest need, when He must intercede not only for Himself but for His followers, who are about to leave Him in the lurch. 

Agony appears only here in the New Testament; it points to the intensity of Jesus’ struggle. Surely Jesus wrestles not so much with death itself, but with His own destiny to be made the sin-bearer for all mankind for all the ages. The punishment that had to be borne for our sins brings Jesus to His knees in anguish.’  

Now hopefully friends, we’ll truly appreciate the great weight, the severe burden that Jesus had to bear on our behalf, and in future give Him much more thanks and praise. So let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, which, despite our sinfulness, the Lord still doles out so generously to us. 

‘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 everyday! Amen!’ 

Now remember a blessing is not a blessing until it’s declared over someone, so let’s go out now and declare blessings over plenty some ones. Much LOVE!

…grief and sorrow are natural human emotions…but through Jesus …we can bear them successfully…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 February 2017 Matthew 26:39.

Matthew 26:39.   And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

Welcome, welcome, my fellow believers to another glorious day in the annals of History! There are brand new strands of grace, mercies and lots of other good things to enjoy, courtesy of our wonderful God Jehovah! 

So let’s gratefully acknowledge and accept them like the psalmist did nuh, by declaring: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24) 

And that’s the way it should be my people, because that’s how our magnanimous and omnipotent God planned it. Any believer that does not rejoice and be glad in God’s day is not worth his salt, or the name of believer. 

Now here is a li’l something from my ‘P.S. I LOVE YOU’ Poster to titillate our senses. (smile) It says: ‘When fate shuts a door, come in through the window.’  The problem with that though, is suppose God shuts the door, then going in through the window might cause serious problems. 

But generally speaking, I believe they mean don’t give up, to keep on trying, for one never knows when your number will play, it’s always the darkest before the dawn, and that sort of thing. 

And we’ll get to our Bit right away. ‘And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.’ 

Yes friends, Jesus’ soul was in agony, just like ours would be if we knew the horrific kind of death that was waiting for us in another few hours. It’s sad, that after praying our Bit, Jesus came back to His disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter: ‘What could ye not watch with me one hour? 

Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except (unless) I drink it, thy will be done. 

And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.’ (Matt.26:40-44) 

So friends, we can see that Jesus prayed three times that the cup of death, that His horrific crucifixion could be nixed, although deep down He knew it could not be set aside, because that was the Father’s will. Nonetheless, he still experienced agonizing moments. 

The gospel of Luke reports it thus: ‘And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.’ (Luke 22:43-44) 

Yes precious people, Jesus shook it real rough that night in the Garden of Gethsemane, so much so that the Lord sent an angel to strengthen Him. 

The scholars explain those two verses thus: ’22:43-44. Only Luke notes this. Jesus is borne up in His hour of greatest need, when He must intercede not only for Himself but for His followers, who are about to leave Him in the lurch. 

Agony appears only here in the New Testament; it points to the intensity of Jesus’ struggle. Surely Jesus wrestles, not so much with death itself, but with His own destiny to be made the sin-bearer for all mankind for all the ages. The punishment that had to be borne for our sins brings Jesus to His knees in anguish.’ 

So yuh see mih people, the anguish and agony Jesus bore for us, so that we could be set free from the slavish hold that sin had on us. Now how can we not be eternally grateful to Him eh? 

I really don’t know nuh, but too many people write Him off as a fake, as a fraud, and foolishly look to the evil Lucifer for pleasure. However they don’t realize that the pleasures of this world only last for a short time, then comes the judgement. 

And we’ll close with one more instance of how Jesus shows the great importance of doing the Father’s will. This came on an occasion where He was teaching, surrounded by a crowd of people, when His brothers and mother came to talk to Him. 

‘And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek (are outside seeking) for thee. And He looked round about at them which sat (in a circle) about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.’ (Mark 3:32-35) 

Now that might sound a bit harsh to some, but to Jesus, the Father’s will overruled everything else, regardless of who was involved. May we also feel the same way, as we go home declaring our Wednesday Wail with mucho passion and heartfelt truth. 

‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

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

Oh friends, that’s the ultimate in life! Let’s not allow it to slip away from us, for worthless earthly pleasures. Much LOVE!

…the pleasures of earth are short-lived…but those of heaven are eternal…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 November 2016 Psalm 139:1.

Psalm 139:1.    O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.

Ah friends, I think I prefer the going to bed late and getting up late yes. At least when I get up I don’t have any back pains. I might be a li’l groggy (smile) but a few sips of java usually banishes that grogginess. 

And if I so desire, I can always go back to sleep after writing the Bit. I know it makes the Bit later than I want it to be, but I can’t change the night owl nature in me. I just feel more comfortable that way. 

Anyhow, enough of my rambling, the grogginess is gone. (smile) Here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, which I think is quite applicable to many of us Christians. It’s called ‘Turnabout.’ 

Please read with me: ‘God, for so long I thought that by praying I could change Your mind. Often I prayed Fervently, pleadingly Until I felt Emotionally pulverized. 

Then I gradually began to grasp That the purpose of prayer Is to find Your mind And let You change mine. 

Little by little The turnabout is renewing me. Slowly I begin to feel A settling quietness. I wait while You woo me To Your will, dear Lord. I wait until my thoughts Harmonize with Yours. 

For in my deepest heart Despite my guarded resistance I somehow sense That what You want for me Is stupendously more Than anything I could Dream or wish or want For myself.’ 

And isn’t all of that the gospel truth friends? It surely is! So many times we get these ideas and try to bend God to our will, rather than bending our will to His. 

But if we’re serious about our relationship with Him, gradually, li’l by li’l, He’ll show us that life is so much better when we bow to His will than if we try to force ours on Him. Remember who is the Big Boss? 

He is the Creator and Controller, we are merely His minions, beloved though we might be. And thus it is our job to bow to Him, rather than the other way around. 

And the promise for that poem is our Bit for today. ‘O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.’ 

And if we hearken back to what we were just saying, we’ll understand that our great and wonderful God knows everything about us, since He created us. Listen to Bruh David as he continues to expatiate (smile) on the everlasting presence and power of God. 

‘Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising; thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compasseth (comprehendeth) my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. 

For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset (enclosed or hedged) me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.’ (Ps.139:2-6) 

That says it all my brethren! The Lord knows EVERYTHING about us, even before we do. That’s why it doesn’t make sense to hide anything from Him. We’re just foolishly fooling ourselves if we think we can do that. 

Now let me share an interesting explanation from the scholars, re the Comparative Attributes of God. ‘Psalm 139. The comparative attributes of God contrast human abilities with the divine nature. Everyone has some knowledge, but only God has all knowledge (omniscience). Every person has some degree of power, but only God has unlimited power (omnipotence). 

Illustration: Psalm 139 lays a foundation for understanding the comparative attributes. The omniscience of God is seen in verses 1-6. The omnipresence of God is seen in verses 7-11. The omnipotence of God is seen in verses 12-16. 

Application: A Christian’s response to the comparative attributes of God should be to surrender to His leadership because He is wise, He is able to protect us, and He knows the true way to life with Himself. (First Ref. Gen.3:8; Primary Ref. Ps.139:1; cf. Eph.1:8).’ 

Oh my people, yuh see the only behaviour that makes sense in our position is to surrender our will to the Lord, because He knows best! 

Even Jesus in His gravest and greatest time of need – before His crucifixion – pleaded with the Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane: ‘O my father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except (unless) I drink it, thy will be done.’ (Matt.26:42) 

Yeh friends, we can plead for grace and mercy and whatever, but in the long run we must, or ought to submit to the Lord’s will, for that’s what it means to be a true and faithful Christian. End of sermon! (smile) 

Now let’s go home wailing our Wednesday Wail with true passion and sincerity. 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!’ 

And I sincerely hope we put all of that into action today my people. Oh, what a joy it is to be in league with Jesus! Much LOVE!

…when a Christian surrenders to God’s will…he has no more worries…Glory Hallelujah…!

P.S. I know it’s late, but it’s glorious! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 March 2016 Philippians 1:29‏‏‏

Philippians 1:29.   For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.

Aye mih breddren, it’s a white winter’s morn in my neck of the woods this Holy Thursday of 2016. Yes, it’s beautiful to the eyes, but ever so dangerous to the body. A late winter, early spring storm dumped some of the white stuff on us; thankfully not as much as the East Coast and parts to the north of us. 

The problem though is it’s not straight snow but more a combination with freezing rain, which means there’s a high ice content making things very slippery and dangerous. So those of you who have to go out there, please make sure you are very careful because it doesn’t take much under those conditions for accidents to happen. 

Thankfully I don’t have to go out there today. And besides, the last two days have been rather busy, and what with the unusually late nights too, the ole fella needs a bit of a rest. He’s not as young as he was or as mobile and agile as he thinks he is. (smile) 

And we’re going to begin today with a serious and sincere prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H. Schuller) Hours of Power Devotional. We’re going to give ourselves to God, either for the first time, or if we’ve done so before, rededicate our lives to Him. 

So please pray with me: ‘Almighty God, it is a beautiful way to live to know that you are there with a plan for my life, and through prayer I can draw my life into harmony with your plan. I know, God, that your plan for my life calls for me to follow Christ. 

Jesus Christ, I give my life to you. I’ve never done it before. That has been my problem. That has been my hang up. O God, I give my life to you now. Take my life Jesus Christ, and make it yours. Forgive my sins. Fill me with your LOVE. You are doing it now and I thank you. Amen.’  

Yeh friends, what better time to dedicate or rededicate our lives to Christ than just before He sacrifices His life for us tomorrow on Good Friday! 

We all know it wasn’t an easy time for Him, how He went into the Garden of Gethsemane in the evening and with an anguished spirit, pleaded with the Father, that if it were at all possible, He would be spared the difficult and dehumanizing ordeal. (Matt.26:36-46) 

But it was not, and Jesus knew that, but it just shows that in His humanity He was as vulnerable and anxious as any man would be. 

However, finally accepting that His ordeal could not be put aside, He eventually said: ‘O my Father, if this cup may not pass from me except (unless) I drink it, thy will be done.’ (Matt.26:42) 

Ah mih people, that is how we have to react sometimes too. Even though we know that the going will be pretty rough and painful, if it’s the Lord’s will, we just have to grin and bear it. Remember too, that He will not give us more than we can bear, and will always help us through whatever painful and sorrowful situations we go through. 

Those are the thoughts of faith we must use to get us through the rough times. For as our Bit declares: ‘For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, unfortunately, living for Jesus is a two way street. It’s not easy, but the rewards do outweigh the pain and heartache. And as we promised yesterday, here is the rather appropriate passage from 2 Corinthians. 

‘For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.’ (2 Cor.4:17-18) 

Yeh friends, we can’t afford to merely look at and concentrate on the things that are happening to us in this life, because they are temporary, only for a short while, but through our eyes of faith must keep focused on the things of heaven which we cannot see, but which are so much more valuable and worthwhile than the destructible things of the world. 

My brethren, it’s a serious decision we have to make to follow Christ. We cannot have a wishy-washy, half-baked, fence-sitting attitude, if we really want to be a true Christian. It’s true that Christ died that we may have an abundant life, but he also said that it would be filled with persecution, just because we believed on Him. 

However, He also said that we should not be afraid, because he had already conquered the world, and there was nothing the world could do to us. And we’ll finish with another appropriate scripture passage for this Holy Thursday. 

This one from Hebrews: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith: who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb.12:2) 

And what was that joy, you ask? ‘Wherefore God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11) 

Yes precious people, that’s how the Father rewarded Jesus for sacrificing His sinless life for us. Will He not amply reward us too if we are obedient to His will? Of  course! 

So please let’s go into Good Friday with a sense of suffering for and with Christ, so that when He is exalted, we also will be exalted with Him. There’s no better wisdom than that! Much LOVE!

…any ‘sufferation’ that comes from doing God’s will…will be amply rewarded….in God’s way…and in God’s time…that’s a proven fact… 

P.S. It’s late and long, but oh so good! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 October 2015 Proverbs 8:17

Proverbs 8:17.    I LOVE them that LOVE me; and those that seek me early (diligently) will find me.

Oh Friends, oh Friends, it’s labouring time, labouring time! Monday morning is here, and Jesus is calling to us to join the fray… 

But first He says, just take a few moments and pray: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever…and ever. Amen.’ (Matt.6:10-13) 

Yes my people, it’s a simple and somewhat generic prayer, but nonetheless powerful in its simplicity. According to the old time formula for prayer, it begins with adoration …’Hallowed be thy name…’ then moves into petition…’Give us this day our daily bread…’ then ends in more adoration…’For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory…’ 

And though it’s a useful prayer, per the scholars: ‘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 (v.7), He did not intend for this particular prayer to be merely recited with empty meaninglessness.’ 

Unfortunately though, that’s what many of us do; recite it without any true heart-felt feeling. Please let’s stop doing that, because it just demeans and lessens the power and purpose of the prayer. 

And having said all of that, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with a joy and exuberance that will put a brilliant smile on Jesus’ face, and have the Father tapping His toe and clapping along with us. 

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

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

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

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

Oh my people, that was indeed wonderful…magnificent…magnifico! You could see the joy in Jesus’ eyes as He wielded His baton with grace and majesty, while the angels sang along. And, wonder of wonders, the Father, unable to help Himself, had to get up and dance, so moving and exhilarating was the performance! Mama Mia! 

Now that ought to get us all ‘adrenalized’ (smile) to go out and do God’s will, and thus invoke the sentiments of our Bit. ‘I LOVE them that LOVE me; and those that seek me early (diligently) will find me.’ 

Ah mih breddren, how truly wonderful it is to LOVE and serve the Most High God and be able to seek and find Him under any and all circumstances. Let’s make sure though that we just don’t seek Him when times are rough and we need help, as so many of us tend to do. 

It’s ever so important to seek Him during both the bad and good times, so that we don’t give the impression that we’re only in it for what we can get from our omnipotent God, but because we truly LOVE and adore Him and we feel refreshed and enlightened in His company; He just brings out the best in us. 

Now let’s check out a couple of scriptures which corroborate our Bit, beginning with words from the promise of a glorious return to Jerusalem of the captive Israelites in Babylon. ‘Thus saith the Lord the maker thereof, the Lord that formed it, to establish it; the Lord is his name; Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not (are inaccessible).’ (Jer.33:2-3)

Yuh see Friends, Judah had turned away from the Lord, been corrupt, proud and unfaithful to their covenant with Him, so they had to suffer the unfortunate consequences. Likewise, we, individuals as well as nations will suffer serious consequences for our disobedience. However, our God is so gracious, merciful and forgiving, that if we repent and sincerely turn back to Him, He is willing to accept us back into His fold.  

That brings us to Job being implored to repent of his sin by his buddy Eliphaz.  ‘Acquaint now thyself with him (God), and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee. Receive, I pray thee, the law (instructions) from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart. If thou return to the Almighty, thou shall be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles (tents)… 

For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God. Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows. Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways.’ (Job 22:21-23, 26-28) 

Yes my people, all Eliphaz says there is gospel truth, and since our God and His Word does not change, that means it all still applies to us today. So please let’s grab hold of wisdom, and understanding and sincerely turn to God, and follow Him faithfully from now until eternity, for that’s the only thing that makes any sense in this lost and forlorn world. Much LOVE!

…if you’re not following Jesus…then you’re not doing the right thing…and will suffer the eventual consequences…which won’t be very pleasant…

 

 

 

 

Previous Older Entries