Today’s Scrip-Bit   4 May 2022 Matthew 21:22.

Matthew 21:22.       And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Oh, it’s been a very persistent drizzle; right from yesterday afternoon, through the night…and believe it or not, (smile) it’s still happening in my neighbourhood! So, this middle day of the week, Wednesday is wet and cloudy. It’s the kind of day we expected in April, you know, April showers that bring May flowers. But it hasn’t worked out that way. It’s May, and we still haven’t seen any flowers. What’s with that eh? But after a somewhat colder than normal April, the trees are now venturing to bud. 

And we’re laying it all at the feet of climate change. Now isn’t it strange that we always find something or someone else to blame for our problems rather than the usual cause, that’s ourselves? For sure! We don’t like to accept blame, even when it’s staring us full in the face. And our society is daily getting worse in that respect. But I’m not going to go any further into that topic, because it’s one fraught with all kinds of pitfalls. (smile) But rather, I’m going to revisit our Bit of yesterday, the reassuring and uplifting words of Jesus on prayer. ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt. 21:22) 

And why is that you ask? Simply because some of the scriptures I had planned to share yesterday never got shared, and I believe they are important enough for us to consider on the subject of prayer. And the first scripture we want to address is this one that Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion, when His heart was heavy and His spirit pretty low. ‘And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.’ (Mark 14:36) 

Yes friends, we need to note there, that although Jesus would have liked to be spared the ‘sufferation’ of the cross, He was willing to bow to the Father’s will. We saw the same thing with Bruh Paul yesterday, when the Lord refused to remove the thorn from his flesh because it showed the Lord’s power more in his weakness. And that’s the same thing we must understand. God will not always answer our prayers, the way we want them, when our problems serve for His greater good. You can see that instead of taking away the ‘sufferation’ of the cross, He gave Jesus the wherewithal to handle it, and likewise with Bruh Paul, He gave him the strength to handle whatever was the annoying thorn in his flesh. 

So please don’t be dismayed if we ask for relief in some way and the Lord provides it in a different way. Remember, whatever we ask for, must be in line with the Lord’s will, and there will be times, when we truly believe we need genuine relief from problems, but facing those problems will accentuate His glory and raise our maturity level, so He might just give us the strength to face them, instead of removing them completely. 

Then there is this very interesting and true statement from Jesus to the disciples, after He came and found them sleeping, instead of watching and praying with Him. He said to them: ‘Watch ye and pray, lest ye fall into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.’ (Mark 14:38) And that’s the indisputable truth my people! Our flesh is easily ruled by our sinful nature, and we need to be in a state of spiritual perception to be able to resist the wiles and evil schemes which the enemy constantly throws at us. 

And the best way to do that is through prayer. For when we are praying, temptation cannot overcome us. Now listen to Jesus again to the disciples after telling them that He was the vine and they the branches. (John 15:5) ‘If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto (for) you.’ (John 15:8) And that relates directly to the fact that we ask for whatever in Jesus’ name, because it’s only through His work on the cross and His name, that we have access to the Father. So only if we are His true agents and ambassadors, living His Word, will using His name work. 

And these words of James, Jesus’ brother, on the topic of prayer, really tell us how important it is in the believer’s life. He says: ‘Is any among you afflicted (suffering)? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults (trespasses) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.’ (James 5:13-16) 

Yes my fellow saints, prayer should be our number ONE response to everything! As Bruh Paul said to the Thessalonians: ‘Pray without ceasing.’ (2 Thess. 5:17) The Lord our God ought to be the first person we tell about any problem. Then He will direct us to the best road to take. As Cousin Sol so wisely and rightly says in Proverbs. ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make straight) thy paths.’ (Prov. 3:5-6) 

Truer words were never spoken or written my friends! That’s why we can turn to the first epistle of John to read and hopefully learn these most valuable lessons. ‘Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.’ (1 John 3:21-22) 

Now the scholars give us a very good warning about those passages of scripture. ‘We have confidence toward God if our lives are in line with the standard of Christian living set forth by John in the earlier passages. John is not saying that whether a person is right or wrong is simply a matter of how he subjectively feels about himself. That is why John has given so many indicators and commands for Christians to take note of and assess themselves by. And one of the great results of a life lived in purity before God is a life where there is effective prayer. Right living is an important part of successful praying.’ 

And that hits the nail right on the head my brethren! Prayer is non-functional unless we are living right. In other words, right living determines the successfulness of our prayers! And for those of us who are endeavouring to live right, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our most wonderful position in Christ Jesus! 

Altogether 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 the corollary to that is this: if we endure to the very end, then the future will be even more glorious and marvellous than we can ever ask or imagine! Now doesn’t that give us good reason to endure right down to the very end? It surely does! Much LOVE!

…and this is the confidence that we have in him…that if we ask anything…according to his will…he heareth us… (1 John 5:14) 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   31 December 2021 Mark 14:38.

Mark 14:38.     Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.

Ah friends, let me apologize for the Bit being late, but I had some other heartfelt matters to attend to first. You know that saying when you think you have things bad, somebody else has worse problems than you. Now that’s the gospel truth! And life just takes pleasure in playing these little games with us. This morning I came down to write the bit, complaining about my aches and pains, only to open my e-mail and find a note from an old friend, regarding the funeral for the son of another old friend in T&T. 

The funeral service was being streamed so I just had to watch it. And though my friend Haydn’s face was masked, I could see the terrible sadness and sorrow in the way he walked and his general deportment, because the worst thing that can ever happen to a parent, unfortunately happened to him, he lost a child to heaven, while he himself was still alive. Now that’s something I’ve always warned my children about; please don’t die before me, because I don’t know if I could handle it, and I don’t want to know either! 

Now my friend is a medical doctor, and apparently his son died from Covid. So if a doctor can’t save his son, then who can be saved eh? It’s a rather trying situation my brethren. All over the world hundreds and thousands of people are dying from the virus, but yet, we are not taking the situation as seriously as we ought to. What’s it going to take eh? And today is New Year’s Eve, the night of the biggest parties around the globe. And believe me, there will be many big parties tonight, with maskless people in close proximity to each other, hugging and kissing, ringing in the New Year with joyful abandon. 

But how many of those are going to live to see the end of that New Year eh? Definitely not all, if we don’t get our act together, sooner rather than later. The Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus is spreading like wildfire and we still refuse to take the necessary precautions to fight the bloody virus. It killed us in 2020, when we didn’t know much about it. It killed us in 2021, when we knew more about it. And it’s going to keep on killing us in 2022, if we don’t smarten up and come together and fight it as one! 

And who knows if another more dangerous variant will soon pop up, to muddy the waters even more. Mankind is the most stubborn, foolishly proud, and hard-headed of all God’s creations! Even the wild animals with no sense of reason know better than to let a deadly foe divide and conquer them. But that’s why our world is in such a sad state of deterioration and destruction, with evil and ungodly strife, plus all the other negative emotions currently being so rampant and thus leading the way to our imminent demise. 

Oh my people, it’s only through, togetherness; that’s LOVE, compassion and mercy for and to each other, will we ever be able to overcome our deadly enemy, the devil and his evil minions, who want to destroy our world. And it’s ONLY JESUS who can help us to accomplish that immense but not impossible task. But as He told His disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane: ‘Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.’ (Mark 14:38) 

Yes my fellow believers, it’s ever so important that we don’t allow the carnal lusts of our mortal flesh, the lies and deceits of the enemy, to influence our behaviour. Thus, these immortal words of Bruh Paul to the Galatians, re walking in the Spirit. ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.’ (Gal. 5:16-18) 

Oh friends, when we yield to the Spirit’s leading, we yearn to put sin out of our daily life, and He enables us to do it. And Luke, uniquely in his gospel, further expounds on that theory, when he quotes Jesus, saying: ‘And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged (weighed down) with surfeiting (carousing), and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth: Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.’ (Luke 21:34-36) 

And the scholars offer these interesting and important explanations. ‘21:34. Surfeiting means “to indulge one’s appetites excessively.” No believer is beyond the temptation to fall into sin. Jesus warns against slackness and lack of daily readiness in the Christian walk.’ And yuh better believe that tonight, all around the world there will be lots of ‘surfeiting’, carousing, debauchery and lots of slackness all in the name of ringing in the New Year, with lots of resolutions and good intentions that will fall apart as soon as the year returns to normal, with the drudgery of everyday work and living asserting themselves. 

But listen to this explanation from the scholars re verse ‘21:36. Prayer is the better part of valour when persevering for Christ under pressure. Prayer alone will enable one to stand before the returning Son of man when those all around are falling, whether in condemnation before Christ or to the temptation to deny Christ under the trials of the hour.’ Blessed be the holy name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, my people! 

And since prayer is so important in our staying godly and righteous, let’s go to God right now in prayer, through our Friday Chant, sincerely seeking His help for our many problems. ‘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!’ 

And I shouldn’t have to remind us, but I will (smile), that ONLY if we set a good example as faithful believers, will the Lord seriously and sincerely entertain our prayer. Much LOVE!

…good intentions don’t mean a thing…until they become good actions… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 January 2021 Jeremiah 13:15.

Jeremiah 13:15.     Hear ye, and give ear, be not proud for the Lord hath spoken. 

Oh mih people, it’s Saturday! Wow! Already? And if you’re reading this, then it means that you have opened two of the most precious gifts man can ever receive; we talking about your eyes. (smile) 

Oh friends, what a beautiful universe our great God has created, with mankind as its top exhibition! And if yuh believe that, then shout a loud, proud and grateful ‘Amen!’ Yes my brethren, let’s give thanks and praise to Almighty God for all the wonderful things He’s done, is doing and has promised to do for us nuh, for without Him we’re nothing! 

And as they say, if you’re alive, you have plenty to be thankful for. And if you have food, clothing and shelter, then you’re more blessed than most of the world. And if you also have a LOVING family and good friends, then you’re blessed like a mighty child of God! Glory be! 

So let’s not waste any time this day moaning and begroaning whatever unfortunate circumstance(s) that might have come our way nuh, for if we’re children of the Most High God then we know that they have not come to stay, that they too will eventually pass away and leave us stronger in body, soul, spirit and mind, for that’s the way our heavenly Father has set it up. Give Him a much deserved round of applause nuh mih bredrin! 

And I guess, by now you have deduced that there are still no quotes from our friend Anselm. Sorry to say it, but that’s the truth. Don’t know what’s happened to him, like he just dropped off the face of the earth. Hope that he’s all right though. Please say a word of prayer for him, just in case he’s in trouble. 

And while we’re doing that, let’s also remember these fateful words of the Lord to His people of Judah through the prophet Jeremiah, when they were revelling in disobedience and ungodliness, just like our society is doing right now. 

‘Hear ye, and give ear, be not proud for the Lord hath spoken. Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.’ (Jer. 13:15-16) 

Oh friends, that warning is so apropos for us in these trying and troubled times that we need to pay instant heed to it. For many of us are already stumbling in the darkness of sin, disobedience and doubt, and many are going through the valley of the shadow of death because of it. The corona pandemic isn’t helping us any either, just adding to our concerns. 

So why aren’t we listening to the voice, the divine warning of our heavenly Father eh? Is it because we’re too proud to ask for help, or because we think we are the rulers of the universe and we know what we’re doing and nobody must tell us anything? Hn! What foolishness! 

Why would we think such a stupid thing eh? Can any of us define our times or do anything to stop them? No! So why do we still insist on thinking of ourselves more highly than we truly are eh? 

Now hear how Jeremiah continues with the Lord’s words. ‘But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the Lord’s flock is carried away captive.’ (Jer. 13:17) 

Yes, the Lord will weep and be sorrowful for our demise, but being a God of justice and righteousness, He must band His belly and punish sin, like He had to do when Jesus died for us. And oh my people, are we ever proud and haughty in these days of the modern technological revolution! 

We think we’re the cat’s pajamas! But in fact we’re not. We’re still God’s creation, and still beholden to Him for everything we have, receive or do! So listen to this explanation from the scholars on those verses above. 

‘13:15-17. A third illustration (in the series of God’s warnings to Judah) concerns a weary traveller in danger of being overtaken by the falling darkness of night. Such was Judah. It must renounce all pride and give God His rightful glory before the final darkness of national catastrophe engulfs it.’ 

Oh my people, my people, what’s wrong with our minds eh? We claim to be the wisest civilization ever, but still, we turn away from our Creator with blasphemy, vehemence and downright cursing, and we yet expect to prosper forever? Hn! What fools we are my friends! 

The Lord LOVES us like a real Father, but also, like a real father He’s not going to let us get away with sin and willful disobedience forever. Remember, He’s given us free choice for a reason, to test our true LOVE for Him. And believe me, we have been tested and found sadly wanting. 

Now a lot of people are claiming that we’re in the last days, the days before Jesus’ return, and they just might be, because many of the signs He spoke about that would herald His Second coming are currently playing out. But who knows just when that will be? Only the Father Himself! (Matt. 24:36) 

But be assured that the last days are much closer than they have ever been. (smile) Remember too, Jesus’ warning about Him coming like a thief in the night. (Matt. 24:43) And in Revelation: ‘Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.’ (Rev. 16:15) 

Yes friends, Jesus’ Second Coming will be an unexpected affair, therefore we must take His warning very seriously. ‘Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt. 24:44) 

Oh my fellow believers, I think those are very fitting words to leave us with this Saturday morning in this troubled year of 2021. Please, let’s ponder them seriously and make the appropriate decisions nuh. That’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…watch ye…watch ye and pray…watch ye and pray… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 August 2020 Mark 14:38.

Mark 14:38.     ​Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
 

And then it was Thursday… a beautiful Thursday by the way! And we way way behind the eight ball because of my late bedding down and thus late rising, but also due to a couple of chores I had to do before getting down to brass tacks. And that’s my mea-culpa. (smile) 

Today I have a couple of gems for us from our ‘P.S. I LOVE YOU’ Poster. Long time I haven’t shared anything from that. Some of you might not even know about. It’s just a cardboard poster with that title my young daughter gave me some years ago with some useful life quotes on it. And the first gem says: ‘Almost all of our unhappiness is the result of comparing ourselves to others.’ Quite true that! And the second tells us: ‘We can’t do much about our appearance, but we have total control over the kind of person we become.’ 

In these modern times of advanced medicine and technology, the first part is not so true anymore, because through those avenues we can now change our appearance a whole lot, but the second half is still and will always be true! Changing our appearance doesn’t mean a blooming thing if the kind of person we are doesn’t improve with it. In the long run, who we are, not what we look like, will always be the deciding factor in the outcome of our lives. And since I’m so sweet and generous, here’s a langniappe, a brawtha, something extra thrown in for good measure. (smile) 

‘To change everything, simply change your attitude.’ Wow! What wisdom and truth my bredrin! And do a whole lot of us ever need to change our surly, stupid, selfish, greedy, angry, resentful, hateful, gossipy, unforgiving, jealous, envious, ungodly, unkind, UNLOVING attitudes! Yes friends, all those negative attitudes are taking a severe toll on our individual lives and consequently are then flowing into our society, making it the negative, ungodly society it’s become. 

Some of you might choose to argue that the society itself first had the negative attitudes and we as individuals then adopted them. But that’s like the chicken and the egg story, about which came first. It doesn’t matter who or what infected the other, it just matters that we’ve been infected, and must first begin with individual change if we want to right the situation. And how do we accomplish those changes? I just came upon some very interesting words of Jesus, that memorable night in the Garden of Gethsemane. 

When the disciples couldn’t stay awake, He said to Peter. ‘Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour? Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.’ (Mark 14:37-38) And is that ever so true friends! The Spirit of God that dwells within us is ever ready to help us set our lives aright, but the weak flesh that we naturally possess, that desires the ungodly things of the world puts up a pretty good fight against it. And if we aren’t careful, and prayerful, it’s so easy to fall into temptation and thus destroy the godly character we’re trying to build. 

Bruh Paul calls it the struggle of two natures. As he explains in Romans 7: ‘For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal (fleshly), sold under sin. For that which I do I allow (understand) not: for what I would (want to do), that I do not; but what I hate, that I do. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto (agree with) the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would (want to do) I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.’ (Rom. 7:14-19) 

Yeh friends, even the great Bruh Paul struggled with his flesh; the desire to do good, but doing evil instead. And because of that, he’s also a great example, showing us ‘the problems that all believers experience in their battle with sin.’ Yes my people, our flesh; our minds, bodies and souls through the ongoing efforts of the enemy, are often dominated by sin and sinful pursuits. And Bruh Paul said it this way to the Galatians. ‘For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.’ (Gal. 5:17) And that’s the gospel truth fellow saints! 

As the scholars explain. ‘ 5:17. One’s sinful human nature (flesh) and the Holy Spirit lusteth against one another, that is, they have desires and yearnings that are contrary to one another. The Christian, then, is a battlefield, having desires to do good and evil. The outcome is that ye cannot do the things that ye would: the flesh seeks to thwart the Spirit, who, in turn, attempts to frustrate the flesh’s evil desires.’ 

Oh, it’s definitely not easy my people! But let’s remember that with Jesus running our lives, we can do anything, for ALL things are possible with Him! We just need to bear down, to watch and pray, to stand steadfast and strong in our faith and belief in His crowning glory, and remember that through His death on the cross, and His resurrection, the victory’s already been won, we just have to walk it out now. And we do that by diligently and efficiently using the generous blessings bestowed on us to do Christ’s work. We call them our Thursday Blessings. 

And since a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken, let’s declare (yeahhh!) them right now over ourselves nuh. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

Wow! What a magnanimous God we serve! It blows my mind every time I consider how generous and LOVING He is! So to show our sincere appreciation, let’s go out and share those blessings just as generously with others nuh, as we are meant to. Much LOVE!

…the mind…the battlefield of life…