Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 January 2020 Psalm 107:8.

Psalm 107:8.    Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
 
Yes, we’re somewhat tardy this morning, but through no fault of mine. Let me make that abundantly clear! (smile) I went to bed early…well yes and no…but I was up early, had to go and do some blood work though, that’s why we’re running a tad behind. (smile) 

And we’re going to begin today with a prayer, one of my favourites, something I’ve shared before, doubt you’ll remember it though. (smile) But it’s one done by the Life-Study Fellowship Group in Noroton, Connecticut, some years back. It’s titled, ‘Lord, Please Accept My Heartfelt Thanks!’ And the prayer has as it’s Bible promise: ‘Praise the Lord for His Goodness.” (Ps.107:8) And do we ever need to do that my fellow believers in these sad and trying  times. So please pray with me. 

‘Dear Lord, You are so good to me! And I thank You sincerely for the many blessings You send me! I’m very glad to have You in my life day in and day out – whatever I do and wherever I go! You are the One who always does what is best for my happiness! How grateful I am to be able to turn to You for guidance and comfort when troubles come my way! If any situation arises that makes me feel discouraged, You let me know I can lean on You for support! And because of Your LOVE for me, somehow I seem to find the strength to keep going – even through the most difficult times! 

I’m grateful, too, for peaceful moments like these when I’m all alone with You in prayer! Talking with You never fails to reassure and uplift me! Nothing I say to You goes unheard. You listen with great concern to everything I confide in You! For You truly care about me! As I look to 2020 I pray that You will continue to watch over me – and grant me even more of Your wonderful blessings! And may I serve You well in my every word, my every deed! Be my Guide hour by hour, I pray! Amen!’ 

Oh friends, what a marvellous prayer! I think it covers all the bases: gratefulness for guidance and comfort in times of trouble; encouragement and support when necessary. As the old Bill Wither’s song says, ‘Lean on me when you’re not strong. And I’ll be your friend. I’ll help you carry on!’ Now that’s exactly what our God does! And we can surely do that with all confidence because He is an omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present God! And because of His LOVE…oh my people, my people, because of God’s unending, unconditional and unsurpassed LOVE, we find the strength to keep going even in the most difficult of times! Glory Hallelujah! 

As the Good Book says: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil. 4:13) Mamma Yo! With a God like that, who else do we need eh? Not a single soul! For our God is more than enough to meet our needs. Again, as He promised: ‘God will meet all of my needs according to his riches in glory through Christ Jesus!’ (Phil.4:19) Wow! But yuh know the best part of that prayer is the peaceful moments experienced when we’re all alone with our Maker in prayer. 

Oh friends, there’s something we experience when we’re communing with Almighty God, our heavenly Father, that cannot be truly defined or put into words. I guess the best we can do is call it peace, or the all encompassing Jewish word ‘Shalom!’ And when you’re talking to him, and know for a fact that He’s listening to you closely, and sincerely cares for you…why wouldn’t He eh, when He made you? A feeling of utmost quiet and stillness and calm, even when it’s rough, comes over you. 

Remember too, the Lord is also the Best Confidante we can ever have. He doesn’t tell our ‘secrats’ to anyone, and we can bring EVERYTHING, yes EVERYTHING to Him in prayer, because He’s interested in EVERYTHING that concerns us, be it big, small or intermediate! That’s the kind of caring and considerate God we serve and worship my people! I know some of us wrongly think that we can’t bother God with small, supposedly unimportant stuff, but He’s truly interested in it all! Just as we like our children to bring even their most personal problems to us, so does our heavenly Father want us to bring ALL our problems to Him. 

Remember, He’s not only our God, our Creator, our Judge and Saviour, but also our Father…and Friend, and He does desire to perform fatherly and friendly duties for and with us! Give Him much thanks and praise my breddren, for He so worthily deserves it! As the psalmist so rightly declares: (steups!) ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men!’  And do we ever need to thank the Lord for all the blessings He bestows on us, especially the most important one; our Lord and  Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Oh we can never give Him enough thanks and praise for that nuh, because there isn’t enough in all the world to ever make up for Jesus! Bless His holy name! That’s why I’m encouraging us to really get with the programme this year of 2020 my fellow believers, for it’s a watershed year, a year that will make or break us, a year that will set the tone for all the other ones to come! That’s why Christians have to seriously and truly come together in these perilous times, because everything depends on us; the fate of our children and our world rests solely in our hands; placed there by our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ when He gave us the Great Commission: 

‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the very end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) And yuh see how kind and caring our Jesus is? Although He’s given us a big and important job to do, He’s also given us the tools to do it, through his Holy Spirit who dwells within us, and by whom He also keeps His promise to be always with us. 

So friends, on this first Tuesday of our new year, let’s sincerely declare (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know in no uncertain terms, just who and whose we are. In strong voice, with sincere hearts! ‘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 the world.  Amen!’ Now, as we’ve just promised, let’s go out and tell them about our Lord and Saviour, His undying LOVE and amazing friendship! Much LOVE!

…the Lord…He satisfieth the longing soul…and filleth the hungry soul with goodness… (Ps.107:9)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 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.

Oh friends, spring has finally sprung in this watershed year of 2016!  Yes, Mother Nature is on the verge of refreshing and renewing herself with new bulbs, leaves, flowers etc! 

And on this Monday morning of Holy Week, I believe that it will be in our best interests if we all did likewise. Let’s spring up today and get back in the fray of godly living with excitement and joy and faith in the good things that God has promised to bless us with. 

Let’s do like Mother Nature, who has no guarantees, but at this time of the year she arises from her dormant state refreshed and reinvigorated, and decides to take the bull by the horns and grow, spring forth in all her greenery, come what may. 

Now that is the attitude we Christians need to adopt; come hell or high water, enthusiastically moving forward with Jesus as He desires of us. Remember, He has promised never to leave or forsake us, to always be with us, and to work everything out for our good, meaning that we have more guarantees than Mother Nature. 

So let’s run this earthly race then without fear and doubts nuh, but with the supreme confidence instilled in us by the Holy Spirit, that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us each and every day of our lives. And to help us do that today, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with that confidence and zest derived from the Holy Spirit. 

All together 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!’  

Now that was good friends, though not as spectacular as last week’s rendition, but it did bring a smile to Jesus’ face, and that’s the number one criteria for judging. (smile) 

That brings us to our Bit, which I believe many of you might not like, but it is an integral part of working and living for Jesus. Before we get to it though, let’s try to put it in its proper context. Here Bruh Paul is exhorting the Philippians to steadfastness. 

‘Only let your conversation be as it becometh (conduct be worthy of) the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind, striving together for the faith of the gospel. 

And in nothing (no way) terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token (proof) of perdition (destruction), but to you of salvation, and that of God. For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake. Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.’ (Phil.1:27-30) 

Ah my people, it’s not an easy life being a sincere Christian, but as I keep on saying it’s worth it. Nothing is as rewarding as living and working for Jesus! 

And all God’s children shouted a loud and a proud ‘Glory Hallelujah! All praise and glory be to Jesus!’ 

Now let’s see if we can simplify some of that scripture with this info from the scholars. ‘1:27. Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel means “only conduct yourselves worthily of the gospel” That ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind: That is, the church was to look and act as though she possessed but “one mind” and one way of thinking. To achieve this the assembly must put away their many petty grievances, jealousies, and disunity. 

The manner in which the Philippians are to stand fast in one spirit is by their striving together for the faith, that is, by their standing up for the Christian faith. Like Paul, they too are to expend their lives for the good of the gospel. But proper conduct on their part and unity in the church are essential if they are to benefit the gospel.’ 

And I’m sadly chuckling my brethren as I write that, and the truth of the matter is brought home to me; meaning that in these dreadful and difficult times, we are not working together as Bruh Paul deems necessary for the true furtherance of the Gospel. Instead the petty grievances, jealousies, fears, anxieties and disunity abound in today’s church, no wonder the relative godlessness in our society. 

Oh friends, I don’t how else to say it so that it can make a serious impact, or how often I must say it, but until Christians begin living a true Christ-like lifestyle, show a truly godly example, the world will continue to be run by the powers of darkness, and Christ’s church will take a back seat to it. 

Now that is definitely not what Christ died to make happen, and if we continue the way we’re going, we’ll just make His sacrifice a worthless gesture of LOVE! 

And we’ll end there, because I don’t want to give us too much to ponder on, bearing in mind our short attention spans, especially when it has to do with God. We’ll continue this tomorrow, God in favour. 

Till then, please, please my fellow believers, let’s pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and do better nuh. Remember it’s all for Jesus, whom we claim to LOVE and revere so much. Much LOVE!

…true Christianity means…walking the walk…as well as talking the talk…