Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 February 2019 James 4:3.

James 4:3.   ​Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (pleasures).

 

Different day, friends, but the same khaki pants! Hn! Ah have to laugh yes, because it seems like more inclement weather is forecasted for today. Steups! Yuh just can’t win with this weather nuh! But you can’t let it keep you locked up indoors forever either. So if you have to go out, just go out and be damned the consequences! 

Just take Jesus’ hand and let Him guide you! He’ll take you out and back safely; that’s His promise! But then again, if you don’t have to go, don’t just go for the sake of going! (smile)  

And today we’re going to talk a li’l about the most powerful tool of communication in our world…it’s called prayer! We know of it, talk a lot about it, but for whatever reason, don’t use it sufficiently. And the first words on it come from the celebrated German writer, philosopher, dramatist and art critic Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781), one of the bright lights of the German Enlightenment era. 

And he said way back then: ‘A single grateful thought toward heaven is the most perfect prayer.’ And so it is my brethren. We don’t have to have long, gushing, ornate prayers to be praying right, but just a heartfelt thank you and request is sufficient. And not only that, it’s possibly more quickly answered than the long, overflowing, flowery words prayer. 

The important thing though my Christian brethren is that we pray, and pray sincerely, whether they be long or short, they must be constant and sincere, because remember, God looks at state of our obedience and the motives of our hearts and not our outward show, before He replies to our prayers. 

Now hear these awesome words from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) on the subject of prayer, from His Hour of Power Devotional. He starts out by making this true and most incredible claim: ‘The greatest power in the world today is the power of people to communicate with Almighty God. 

Prayer is not a scheme whereby we can move God into our lives, but rather a spiritual exercise through which we draw ourselves toward God until we are a part of His plan and His purpose. The purpose of prayer is not to give you what you want when you want it, but to make you the kind of person God wanted you to be when He put you on the planet earth.’ 

There you have it friends, the true purpose of prayer; to draw closer to God and to become what He wants us to be! Not to merely be asking Him for stuff that we desire, most of the time to be applied to our fleshly lusts and desires. Now it’s not wrong to ask for stuff that we need, and even our hearts desires, but they must fall under the will of God, be somewhere in His plan for our lives. 

As James castigates us when he talks about worldliness and pride: ‘Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (pleasures).’ And most of us can’t find fault with that statement, especially in today’s sinful and ungodly world! 

But listen to Job’s discourse on the hypocrite’s hopelessness: ‘For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul? Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him? Will he delight himself in the Almighty? Will he always call upon God?’ The most likely answer to all of that is a simple ‘NO!’ 

For as the psalmist declares (right ho) plain and straight: ‘If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.’ (Ps.66:18) And that’s the gospel truth; anytime the Lord discovers improper motives in our hearts, He won’t answer our prayers!

That brings us to these most important questions of Jesus: ‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’ (Matt.17:26) And the answer to the first question is ‘ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!’

And the psalmist answers the second one this way: ‘They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul is precious (costly), and it ceaseth for ever.’ (Ps.49:6-8) That ought to teach us friends to trust absolutely in God, and not in wealth! 

And Job’s supposed friend, Elihu, adds his two cents worth, as he talks about the results of Job’s sins: ‘Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away with his stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee. Will he esteem thy riches? No, not gold, nor all the forces of strength.’ 

Again we see my people, that nothing that the world possess is sufficient to ransom our immortal souls, only the word of God and belief in His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ can keep us from the hell fires of death and destruction! 

Now, enough of all that negative talk (smile), let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Thursday Blessings that the Lord has so magnanimously poured down on us nuh, for being such good followers of His Son Jesus Christ! (smile) 

All together now: ‘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!’ 

And He didn’t grant us all that because we were so sweet and obedient, but also to share it with others less fortunate. So let’s go out now and do just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…as Jesus shared the Father’s LOVE and benefits with us…so must we share His LOVE and benefits with others…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 February 2015 Psalm 62:12

Psalm 62:12.  Also unto thee O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest (rewardeth) to every man according to his work.

 Well… ‘The party’s over my Friends. It’s time to call it a day…’ Chuh! And as the old saying goes, ‘an end to all fine things must be.’Yeh mih people, the ole fella’s stay on Paradise ends today. How heartbreaking! (smile) But them’s the breaks! It’s time to go back and face the real world now, and leave this fairy tale world behind.

‘But I LOVE this fairy tale world,’ I protest. The Lord answers, ‘Yes I know that, but I have other things for you to do right now.’ And as an obedient child of the Father, I quietly acknowledge, ‘Yes Lord, I know, and I will submit to your will and go back and face the cold with faith and trust in your everlasting wisdom and heavenly guidance.’ What else can I say eh my brethren? Nothing really.

Now here is this timely quote from my One More Day Devotional, Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness. It is attributed to Eva Rose York (1858 –after 1935) Canadian composer, organist, teacher and editor. One of the first female composers in Canada.

Eva Rose writes: ‘I shall not pass this way again; Then let me now relieve some pain, remove some barrier from the road, or brighten someone’s heavy load.’

Very worthwhile words and sentiments my Friends and fellow believers in Jesus Christ! And that is exactly what we are all called to do; brighten someone’s day, and lighten their load if we can. If it’s only with a smile or a kind word.

And that quote segues very nicely right into our Bit from Psalm 62 – God only is my rock and my salvation, immortal words of praise and thanks from Bruh David to Almighty God. Let’s begin with the verse before our Bit, so that we can get a better idea of the context of the passage.

‘God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God. Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest (rewardeth) to every man according to his work.’

And that’s gospel truth my brethren! We are, and will be rewarded for whatever work we do down here on earth, be it good or bad. And though the Lord is indeed merciful, He will not allow us to get away with continual disobedience, punishment of some kind will be definitely in the offing.

Anyway, I don’t have much time to ramble on this morning, as I have to finish packing, so let’s get straight to some scriptures that uphold the truth of our Bit. (smile) And we’ll begin with the words of Jesus, as He foretells His passion to His disciples.

‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.’ (Matt.16:26-27) There you have it Friends, straight from Jesus’ mouth. So if He says so, who are we to doubt it eh?

Now listen to Bruh Paul as he admonishes the church at Rome, as he tells them that to judge others is to condemn oneself. ‘But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds;

To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious (self-seeking), and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile.’ (Rom.2:5-9)

Oh Friends, there it is again in black and white. We will reap what we sow, be greatly rewarded for our good deeds on God’s behalf, and suffer punishment for our unrighteousness. And here are some explanations on those verses from the scholars.

‘2:6. In this parenthetical discourse setting forth the controlling principle of God’s judgment, Paul explains how and why God will judge, and how He can judge both Jew and Gentile and be completely fair in the process. The controlling principle will be according to…deeds because deeds give incontrovertible proof of what is in the heart.’

‘2:7-10. For the regenerate the judgment will result in eternal life; for the unregenerate it will result in indignation and wrath. To the Jew first: Unbelieving Jews will have prominence in condemnation, believing Jews will have prominence in reward.’

And we’ll end with more words of Bruh Paul, this time from his first missive to the Corinthians, who were bickering about whom they should follow, Apollos or Bruh Paul and letting them know instead that Christians are co-labourers.

‘Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his labour. For we are labourers together with God (God’s fellow workers): ye are God’s husbandry (field), ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.’ (1 Cor.3:8-10)

Yes my people, we are all co-workers with God in His ministry of spreading the Word. We might plant and build, but let’s be very careful about why, what and where we plant and build, and above all remember that it is God who grants any increase that we might get. It is not simply of our doing. That is wisdom of the highest order.

So let’s go out today and plant and build in Jesus’ name with the excellence, truth and LOVING-kindness that He expects of His true followers. Much LOVE!

…to work for, and with Jesus…is man’s greatest privilege…and brings forth his greatest joy…