Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 June 2022 Ephesians 6:4.

Ephesians 6:4.      ‘And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord.’

HAPPY  FATHER’S  DAY!​

Well, Happy Father’s Day greetings to all us fathers, be we good, bad or indifferent! (smile) The Good Book does say that the father is the head of the household, the leader, the spiritual guide and should be a good example to his children as he raises them in accordance with godly principles. In the words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. ‘And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord.’ (Eph. 6:4) 

Yes friends, fathers have an immense responsibility in rearing children and leading a household. As the scholars say, we must not provoke our children to wrath through things like ‘injustice, loss of temper, undue severity, cruelty, favouritism, suppression, sarcasm, ridicule, and misuse of authority.’ 

Brother! No wonder many men run away from that kind of awesome responsibility. It is indeed a lot to handle. And on top of all that we have to teach them about the Lord; rear them in proper LOVE and reverence to the Lord God Jehovah. Do as Joshua did, let it be unconditionally known; ‘but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ (Josh. 24:15d) A father should also be ‘One who ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity.’ (1 Tim. 3:4) That means managing his family in the right way, making sure that the children learn obedience in a dignified manner. 

Wow! The good thing about it all though my fellow fathers, is that once we embark on the right track, the Lord helps us to run our families and raise our children. He just doesn’t leave us in a vacuum; tell us to make sure we do this or that and raise them according to His Word, then disregard us and leave us to rear them on our own. As true believers we ought to know that’s not how our wonderful God operates. Whatever He asks or expects of us, He also enables, gives us the tools to accomplish the task. 

Unfortunately though, in today’s world where God is no longer recognized as being a very important part of our lives, many fathers don’t have the knowledge they need to carry out their responsibilities, or just don’t care, or are not living with their children, and thus the family, the smallest and most important group, the foundation unit of our society is sadly falling apart, leading to the malfunctioning and degradation of society as a whole. Yes friends, when the smallest part of an organism or organization is being ruined, it’s not long before the whole edifice collapses. 

And yes, women do a fantastic job of keeping families together, but they can’t do it all by themselves, they need a male partner to help, if the job is to be done properly. And, unfortunately, it’s the children who suffer the most from these broken or dysfunctional homes. And since the males don’t have a decent example of what fatherhood ought to be, they continue in the same dysfunctional manner when raising their families. How many of us fathers are like Job eh? 

The Good Book says: ‘And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about (his children’s feasting was over), that Job sent and sanctified them (set them apart, consecrated them), and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, it may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually (regularly).’ (Job 1:5) Isn’t that beautiful my people. Job knew the value of continually praying for his children. How many of us fathers do that nowadays eh? Not enough. 

And yes, like this week we’re having the sermon before we get with the praise and worship. (smile) But that’s just how the spirit moved me this morning. But let’s get to today’s song, one that we all know and LOVE. It’s titled ‘My Hope is built on nothing less,’ written by the British Baptist minister Edward Mote (1797-1874). Oh, I know it’s an old song, but that just attests to its staying power, because it deals with assurance and refuge, of strength and a solid foundation that we find only in Christ Jesus, which I believe is a good sentiment for we fathers to seek this Father’s Day. 

So, let’s offer up our scintillating sacrifices of praise in a joyful mid-tempo version, letting our sincerity pour out of both our mouths and our hearts. In perfect unison and harmony, let’s sing: ‘My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. (Refrain: On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.) 

When darkness veils his lovely face I rest on His unchanging grace In every high and stormy gale My anchor holds within the veil. (Refrain) His oath, his covenant, his blood Supports me in the ‘whelming flood When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay. (Refrain) Not earth, nor hell, my soul can move; I rest upon unchanging LOVE. I trust his righteous character, his counsel, promise, and his pow’r. [Refrain] 

When he shall come with trumpet sound, oh, may I then in him be found, dressed in his righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne. [Refrain: On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand… On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand… Oh thank You Lord…You solid Rock!’ 

Now didn’t that make you feel reenergized and reassured? It ought to…if you were sincere in your vocalizing. (smile) And it’s been said that the song was based on Jesus words from Matthew 7, as He winds down the Sermon on the Mount. It’s a story we all know about the two foundations. ‘Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a (the) rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded up a (the) rock.’ (Matt. 7:24-25) 

Yes mih bredrin, wisdom dictates than when we hear the teachings of Jesus that we build our lives and that of our families on Him, because He is the ROCK! A sure place of refuge for all and sundry! Where you are never turned away or left to die on your own. No one else can offer what Jesus offers, so please let’s wake up and heed His urgent call nuh, especially we fathers, for our children, our families and our society as whole are suffering because we are not doing our bounden duty to lead them in a righteous manner in Christ Jesus. Please. I implore us to let today be a serious and sincere turning point in our lives! Much LOVE!

…no other foundation but Jesus…will withstand the battering evil forces of the world… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 June 2021 Psalm 118:24.

Psalm 118:24.     ​This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it!

Well a pleasant Sunday to you my Scrip-Bit friends and family! It’s another beautiful day in the life! Our God surely knows how to make them, doesn’t He! And we also wish a blessed and Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there, be they good, bad or indifferent! (smile) Oh, we know that our parents should be celebrated every day, but that’s not always possible, so we focus on one special day each year for each parent. 

Today is your day Fathers, so please enjoy it. So all around it’s a wonderful day! That means we can say like the psalmist did so sincerely, so long ago: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps. 118:24) Glory Hallelujah my faithful brethren in Christ! 

And what better way to celebrate the Lord’s beautiful day and Father’s Day than by raising our voices in praise to the 18thcentury hymn written by clergyman Phillip Doddridge and made popular, became a gospel music standard in the 20thcentury by the Edwin Hawkins singers. You know that I’m talking about ‘Oh Happy Day!’ So without further ado, let’s get into it nuh, in an up-tempo beat, with loud, joyful, harmonious voices, let’s rock heaven…oh, and don’t forget those wonderful background vocals, because that’s the heart of the song. (smile) 

All together now: ‘Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He washed (When Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) (Repeat) He taught me how (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day Every day Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He washed (When Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) He washed my sins away 

(Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) He taught me how (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day (Good God) Every day Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, it’s a happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, Lord (Oh, happy day) Mmm, good God (Oh, happy day) Oh yeah (Oh, happy day) Mmm, oh (Oh, happy day).’ 

Yes friends, it is indeed a happy day! And as always, we did justice to our song of praise, because all heaven was rocking along, with us, singing and clapping…this time we even caught Jesus singing and clapping while doing a li’l two step shuffle off in the corner. You know He is usually shy and reserved and doesn’t get too caught up in the merriment, but today the energy and joy pulsating from the music was too much for Him to resist. 

And a couple angels who saw Him jigging, gleefully shouted out: ‘Go there mih Saviour! Show them you could step too, when you so desire!’ Obviously Jesus blushed, but He didn’t stop dancing. Ah friends, our Lord and Saviour is indeed a man of many parts, and He wants to get involved in everything that we do. So please let’s not try to leave Him out of any areas of our lives, because we are the ones who suffer when we do that. 

And I guess because today is Father’s Day, I ought to say something spiritual to the Fathers? (smile) And there are lots of scriptures that deal with the responsibilities of fathers. The most well-known one I guess is in Bruh Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians, where he declares: ‘And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord.’ (Eph. 6:4) 

And just to be clear on what Bruh Paul means, here are some explanations from the scholars.‘6:4. Fathers can provoke their children to wrath by injustice, loss of temper, undue severity, cruelty, favouritism, suppression, sarcasm, ridicule, and misuse or abuse of authority. Nurture basically means “training,” here denoting spiritual education. Admonition is instruction that points out one’s responsibilities and duties. Of the Lord is in Greek a subjective genitive (names the subject of the action contained in another noun). This indicates that behind the parents’ rearing and instruction of their children stands the Lord as the chief teacher in child education. Parents do not raise children alone.’ 

Now that is something many of the parents of this generation need to learn; they cannot raise children in isolation from the Lord. Many are still trying though, and no wonder we have so many godless children in our society. Notwithstanding the serious absence of fathers in too many households. Remember friends, the father is the titular head of the family, and if there is no father present in a child’s rearing, or the father doesn’t do a good job then the child obviously suffers in the long run. 

That’s why Cousin Sol spells it out in Proverbs. ‘Train up a child in the way he should go, and (even) when he is old, he will not depart from it.’ (Prov. 22:6) And that’s the gospel truth friends! Have you ever noticed how many young people who grew up in Christian homes, at some point stray from their faith, but eventually return to it when they see that there’s no other way to live a good life? I can personally testify to that. (smile) 

And a few explanations from the scholars re Cousin Sol’s words.‘22:6. Train up a childrefers to the total process of molding a child’s life…. Thus parental training should help children develop a taste for the things of God. The biblical pattern of effective parental training emphasizes a balance of instruction and discipline (cf. Eph. 6:1-4). 

The ideal parent is to be neither overly authoritarian nor overly permissive. Rather, he must balance LOVE and discipline so as not to provoke his child to rebellion.When he is old means simply, “when he is grown up,” or a mature adult. It does not refer to his elderly years. The verse stresses the simple principle that education in the home forms the man throughout his lifetime.’ 

And there is much truth to all that the scholars and Cousin Sol say, but it’s all much easier said than done, for as the old people will tell you, ‘you make the children, but not their minds.’ So you can try your best to inculcate God into them from their formative years, and yet they will still go astray. But nonetheless it is still our job, our responsibility, to teach them the things of God, regardless of what they choose to do with that info. The Lord will deal with them for their disobedience, and with us for ours, because too many of us parents have not given the children of this generation enough of God’s fodder. 

Remember what the Lord said of Abraham. ‘For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgement (righteousness and judgement); that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.’ (Gen. 18:19) 

Oh my people, how many of us can the Lord give such glowing reports of today eh? Unfortunately, not as many as He should, for we have certainly fallen down in raising our children on the tenets of God. However, as the old people would further say, (smile), ‘where there is life, there is hope,’ so let’s not give up on them nuh. Let’s keep being living examples to our children, as well as reminding them of God’s Word and His will for their lives. Much LOVE!

…the foundation of a Christian family is…father, mother, children… and God…                                                                      

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