Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 February 2019 Matthew 21:22.

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

Ah mih people, the sun is shining brightly outside, the gloominess has been lifted, but please be careful because the weather isn’t completely done with its frustrating shenanigans! (smile) 

Yeh, yuh still hearing about the likelihood of getting all the different kinds of winter weather over the weekend, and the place is still white with ice and snow, and the wind is still blowing strong, but we not going to let it bother us. Like the workingman says in his song, we going to do our thing, regardless of what kind of weather shows up! Amen! 

And since it’s Saturday, and we have good reasons to sleep in, (smile) let’s check out some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this first quote is interesting: ‘I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.’ 

Now I don’t know if that is completely true nuh, because oftimes our decisions are made because of the circumstances in which we find ourselves. So though the decisions may seal the deal, they can always be leveraged by the circumstances. 

And the next one says: ‘The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.’ And believe me, a lot of people will try to stop you, possibly more than will allow you to do what you want to do, especially in these turbulent times of technological advances and the rise of social media, where every fool and his brother can introduce their two cents worth without revealing their identities. 

But friends, all that foolishness should not stop us in stepping up to the plate and valiantly and powerfully doing what Jesus requires of us. Remember, He had plenty opposition too, but that never stopped Him from doing the Father’s business, and neither should we let whatever opposition comes against us stop us from doing His work. 

Then there’s: ‘Education costs money. But then so does ignorance.’ Gospel truth that! (smile) But somehow or the other, I believe that in this day and age education is costing a whole lot more than ignorance. 

You really don’t have to do much of anything to obtain ignorance nuh, just let the world go by without paying much attention to it, and you will end up ignorant, like so many of us unfortunately are today. We not even paying attention to the good free stuff like Jesus and His LOVE Revolution, so how can we be anything else but ignorant eh? 

And then this last quote says: ‘Believe you can and you’re halfway there.’ I don’t know if you’ll be quite halfway there, but your strong belief in whatever you’re doing is certainly going to get you over the top. It’s like the Chinese Proverb advocates: ‘The longest journey begins with the first step.’ 

And most definitely, the first crucial step in any undertaking is to believe that you can do it, otherwise your odds of success will be greatly lowered. That’s just the way the Lord set up His universe. That’s why Jesus castigated the disciples with these words, when they queried why they could not heal a mentally ill young boy. 

‘And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove (move); and nothing shall be impossible to you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt.17:20-21)  

Yeh friends, we do indeed need even a small grain of belief before we can do anything successfully. Jesus even talked earlier about the parable of the mustard seed: ‘Which indeed is the least of (smallest of) all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among the herbs (greater than the other herbs), and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge (rest, sleep) in the branches thereof.’ (Matt.13:32) 

So friends, you see that all things start with small beginnings, and that also applies to our faith, our belief in Christ Jesus; we start with a small grain of faith or belief, then as time goes on and we water and feed it with the right nutrients- i.e. the Word of God, prayer and fellowship- our faith will grow stronger and stronger, and just like the mustard tree, we will be able to help others come to Jesus and grow strong in faith too. Glory Hallelujah! 

And likewise, when Jesus put a curse on the bare fig tree, and the disciples marvelled at how quickly it withered away: ‘Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt.21:21-22) 

Yes my people, belief and believing are the corner stones to doing anything successfully in this world…and even more so in Jesus’ realm. So let’s wake up and smell the coffee nuh (smile) and start truly believing, because without true belief, we will never see Jesus! Much LOVE!

…the world says…seeing is believing…but Jesus says…believe it…then you will see it…

P.S. It nice and short and sweet today. (smile) Praise the Lord! Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 November 2018 Psalm 109:4.

Psalm 109:4.   For (in return for) my LOVE they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.

So once again it is Monday friends; that day that so many of us dread without just cause. (smile) And no doubt, in these northern climes it’s also going to be another dreary and gloomy looking day, like the last few have been…Steups!  No wonder an air of sadness permeates our society in the winter months, something which we’ve finally recognized to be a serious problem and now term ‘SAD -Seasonal Affective Disorder,’ or something to that effect. (smile) 

And it happens a lot when the human animal is not getting sufficient light in their diet. And for sure we haven’t gotten enough in ours in the last little while! But the worse day for it to happen is on a Monday, when we’re already jaded and miserable over having to get up and go out to work after a weekend of fun and frolic. 

But fear not my people, for we might not have the physical sun at our disposal today, but we have a bigger, better and even brighter light than that dwelling within us; that’s our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus…the LIGHT OF THE WORLD! His Holy Spirit is there to shed inner light on the darkness of our souls, which we are supposed to let shine on the outside to the rest of the world. For remember, we are the salt and light of the earth in Jesus’ eyes. 

So what if we shaking it a tad rough this Monday morning eh? Please don’t let it get us down, instead, let’s join together in prayer, the most powerful tool in God’s creation, and allow it to lift our spirits, let them soar right up to the dark, dreary clouds above. (smile) So altogether now, with confidence, for remember we have to approach the throne of grace boldly but humbly. 

‘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!’ 

Yuh see friends, yuh see the awesome power of prayer? Yuh realize now that your mood has suddenly lifted and you are now rearing to get out into the evil world and give it all you’ve got for Jesus! Mama Yo! That’s why as believers we need to pray, we’ve been instructed do so, and to do it continually, without ceasing. (1 Thess.5:17) 

And that’s why Bruh David wisely declared in our Bit: ‘For (in return for) my LOVE they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.’ He realized that on his own, he had no sway, or hold over those who came against him, but through prayer, with His omnipotent God by his side, he could be a mighty conqueror. And the same thing applies to us my brethren, if we would only give prayer a chance. 

 Now let’s look at some instances in the Good Book where prayer was greatly utilized. But first, hear these immortal words of Jesus on the subject to the disciples. ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt.21:22) However, please note the most important word in that sentence is ‘believing.’ You have to believe; otherwise it’s a waste of time! 

Now hear Cousin Sol from Proverbs. ‘The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.’ (Prov.15:8) Yeh friends, our wonderful God takes great pleasure in hearing from those who believe in Him. So much so that James could confidently say: ‘Confess your faults (trespasses) one to another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.’ (James 5:6) 

Then He goes on to give the example of how Elijah, a man just like us, prayed earnestly that it shouldn’t rain and it didn’t rain for three and a half years. Then he prayed for rain…and wonder of wonders…rain came tumbling down! (smile) 

And I like this particular occasion when prayer worked its wonders. That’s after Herod kills James and locks up Peter, intending to bring him out after the Passover and make a public spectacle of him. The Good Book says though: ‘Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.’ (Acts 12:6) And that same night the angel of the Lord came and escorted him out of the prison without a soul being the wiser. 

However, we also see here the problem of believing. For when Peter caught himself and realized what had happened, he made his way to the house of John Mark where people were praying for him. But when he knocked on the door and a lady who recognised his voice went and told the others that he was indeed free and outside, they foolishly claimed: ‘It is his angel.’ (Acts 12:15) So what’s the use of praying if you don’t believe that God can, and will answer your prayers eh? None whatsoever! 

So friends, let’s ‘wisen’ up nuh, believe what our faith says, and above all, trust in the Lord God Almighty who LOVES us more than we can ever imagine, and who, while we were yet sinners, sent His One Son, Jesus Christ to die for us! Much LOVE!

…with LOVE and PRAYER in his arsenal…the believing Christian…can conquer the world…

P.S. And bringing it even closer to home. Yuh think I could write such wonderful Bits over such a long period of time without sincere prayer and belief? Not on yuh life! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 August 2018 Matthew 21:22.

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

So the whole new workweek rigmarole begins again today eh friends! I know it gets rather tedious and frustrating sometimes, doing the same thing every week, like you’re on a merry-go-round that never stops. But that’s just the way of life in our Western Society. 

And then, after numerous years of merry-go-rounding, you’re put out to pasture, nicely termed retirement, when you are allowed, or expected to sit at home and do nothing, and consequently so many of us just waste away and die of boredom and inactivity. Something’s wrong with that picture, isn’t it? 

But I guess that those in control of wealth and power in our society don’t care too much about us lesser mortals, so they work us like slaves when we’re young, then when our bodies can’t handle the slave labour any longer, they just cast us on the scrap heap with a few measly dollars, nicely termed a pension, on which we’re seldom ever able to maintain our accustomed standard of living. But again, that’s Western Society for you! 

And if you want to be able to collect the measly few pension dollars somewhere down the line, you’d better get up and get yourself out to labour this Monday morning, because the end amount depends on your consistency now. 

Ah friends, I’m chuckling as I write this tongue in cheek, but it’s serious business. The decisions we make today will affect our lives and lifestyles in our waning years. So please, let’s do the wise and sensible thing nuh; hie thee hither to labour. (smile) 

And if your spirit is willing, but your flesh is weak, then join us in trilling our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which is a sure antidote for anything that ails you on this first day of the new workweek. Altogether now, with whatever enthusiasm you can muster. 

‘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!’  

Yes my people! I know we’re all beginning to breathe easier and more positively, because the Holy Spirit is working its blessedness in us. So take heart, for once the Holy Spirit refills our spirits with God’s grace and mercy, we WILL go out and do an excellent job in Jesus’ name! 

And why is that? Because Jesus assured us of it in our Bit: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ And we just asked for it in prayer above. Why pray, if you don’t believe that your prayers will be answered eh? 

The disciples were amazed at the simple words Jesus said to a fig tree that had no fruit. ‘Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever,’ (Matt.21:19) and it just dried up and withered in a day’s time. Then Jesus solemnly informed them: ‘Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto the mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.’ (Matt.21:21) 

Faith, friends, is the great mover and shaker in a believer’s life. If you have it, you can move mountains, but if you don’t then times will be even rougher and tougher for you in this abysmal world in which we currently live. And remember when the disciples could not remove a demon from a child and they asked Jesus why? 

He said to them: ‘Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove (move); and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt.17:20-21) 

And remember also, these applicable words of Jesus earlier on. ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.’ (Matt. 7:7-8) 

Ah friends, yuh see the same basic things are important in each believer’s life; praying, fasting, asking, seeking, knocking and believing. And I guess the saying that faith moves mountains is derived from the words of Jesus on the subject. So let’s try and build up our faith, today and everyday we’re alive nuh. It will provide enormous and outstanding benefits. Much LOVE!

…without faith…it is impossible to go to God…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 August 2018 Matthew 7:7.

Matthew 7:7.   Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

Oh my brethren, the Caribana holiday weekend is in full swing with lots of festivities happening all around the province, especially in and around Toronto. But that’s no excuse to stay away from church today. 

Most of you won’t remember the days when nothing of any relevance happened in the city on a Sunday until after lunch. That gave people a time to visit the Lord’s sanctuary and fellowship with others in worship, praise and thanksgiving, while receiving His blessings and confidence for the upcoming week. 

And though those times are long past, as true believers, we are now expected to make that decision for ourselves. So let’s make sure we give God some of our time today nuh. There’ll be lots left over afterwards for us to play and have fun and enjoy our lives. That’s exactly what He wants us to do, but only after we’ve spent some valuable time with Him. 

So as always, let’s begin with a song of praise, to both give God some glory and soften up our hearts to hear and receive His awesome Word. And today we will sing a hymn penned long ago by an interesting lady, Charlotte Elliot (1789- 1871) 

‘The first 32 years of her life were spent mostly at Clapham. In 1823 she removed to Brighton, and died there Sept. 22, 1871. To her acquaintance with Dr. C. Malan, of Geneva, is attributed much of the deep spiritual-mindedness which is so prominent in her hymns. Though weak and feeble in body, she possessed a strong imagination, and a well-cultured and intellectual mind. 

Her love of poetry and music was great, and is reflected in her verse. Her hymns number about 150, a large percentage of which are in common use. The finest and most widely known of these are, “Just as I am” and “My God, my Father, while I stray.” Her verse is characterized by tenderness of feeling, plaintive simplicity, deep devotion, and perfect rhythm. For those in sickness and sorrow she has sung as few others have done.’ 

So let’s sing with that heartfelt and plaintive simplicity that her most popular hymn calls forth: ‘Just as I am, without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me, and that thou bidd’st me come to thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. Just as I am, and waiting not to rid my soul of one dark blot, to thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. 

Just as I am, though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt, fightings and fears within, without, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. Just as I am, thou wilt receive, wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve; because thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.’ 

Ah friends, that’s the beauty of finding and coming to Jesus: You can do so just as you are! You don’t have to clean up yourself or anything like that, cause He will do all the cleansing and whatever else you might need, when you come to Him. Isn’t that great? It surely is! 

Any other deity wants you to come clean and polished, but Jesus, our humble servant and friend is willing and able to do the dirty work Himself, just like He washed His disciples feet when He was here on earth. (John 13:1-20) Yeh friends, Jesus welcomes with open arms, anyone who sincerely comes to Him. As He says in our Bit: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.’ It’s as simple as that! 

Once you’ve come to the end of yourself and realize you can’t get any further ahead on your own strength, all you have to do is turn to Jesus in prayer. Ask Him to come into your heart…and He will. Seek Him with all your heart, mind, body and soul…and you will find Him. And when He comes and knocks on the door of your heart… gladly and humbly open it and let Him in and say a joyful ‘Thank You Lord!’ 

People believe that becoming a child of God is difficult, but on the contrary, it’s one of the easiest families to become a member of. However, living according to His rules and regulations and doing what He expects of us after we become His brother or sister, that could become somewhat difficult, because the Father seeks excellence and wants us to conform as much as possible to our Big Brother’s image, especially in terms of obedience. 

Oh, He knows that it’s impossible for us to be Jesus’ perfect clone, because He made us imperfect, but we still need to come as close as humanly possible, and He does help us. So if you’re down and dirty, sick and suffering, downtrodden and abused, and you just can’t take it anymore…please turn to Jesus, He will accept you JUST AS YOU ARE, and care and comfort you like no one else can. It only takes a simple, but faithful prayer request. 

Here’s how Jesus put it: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt.21:22) Yes friends, Jesus is the answer to ALL our problems…but we have to go to Him with a sincere and humble heart. Much LOVE!

…there is no other invitation in the universe like Jesus’…which asks so little…but delivers so much…that’s why it’s called…the Great Invitation…


Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 November 2017 John 16:24.

John 16:24.   Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

Aye mih people, there’s been rebellion in the camp this Tuesday morning; a strong sense of mutiny is in the air. My aging, aching and apparently weary body bluntly refused to get up this morning when I commanded it to. 

Steups! It simply stated that it was not well rested enough to get up and perform the duties I desired, then calmly rolled over and went back to sleep. What is our world coming to eh, when our own flesh is rebelling against us eh? (smile) 

I obviously had no choice but to roll over and go back to sleep with it… That is until it felt rested enough to get up and perform its duties in the excellent manner that our Leader, Jesus Christ requires of us. 

Ah mih friends, yesterday was indeed a bit rough on the body, and not because of any great doings nuh, just the simple day-to-day aspects of living, but without the required rest thrown in for good measure. And that’s what’s killing many of us; we try to live life too busily, what with all the amenities we have, multitasking and what not. 

But that’s not how God made us to go about this earthly life. And here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises titled ‘The Reason,’ which accentuates what I’m talking about. 

Please pray with me. ‘God, why am I so often defeated? Why am I so full of dread and anxiety? Why am I so lamentably weak – So perilously susceptible to temptation? Why am I so often inhospitable So intolerant of the needs of others? Why am I so undisciplined So restless and dissatisfied? Why do I protest so violently? Above all, God Why do I so frequently lose The sense of your shining Presence? God, why? Why?’ 

Oh my fellow believers, too often, too many of us cry out to the Lord with words and feelings akin to those. But you know what God replies. It’s so simple and true: ‘Because you pray so little.’ Amen! 

Yeh friends, if our souls and spirits are always, or too often in turmoil, then it simply means that we’re not communicating with our heavenly Father enough. 

And the Bible verse for that promise is the middle verse of these simple and basic instructions from Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians. ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:16-18) 

And yuh know my brethren, if we’d simply adhere to those three, simple basic things, ‘rejoicing, praying and giving thanks’ continually, our lives would be amazingly less troublesome and confrontational. 

Now that is exactly what Christ is saying to the disciples, and to us in our Bit. ‘Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.’ 

He’s telling them that up to that time, they hadn’t asked anything of God in His name, but that they should begin doing so, because He is the conduit between mankind and the Creator. You can’t get to the Father except through Him. And if you ask, you’ll receive. 

And isn’t that  the general way things happen? When we want something we ask for it? And hopefully we’ll receive it. Obviously Jesus wasn’t talking about blatantly selfish needs or worldly lusts and sensual pleasures, but stuff that it would please the Father to give us, like our daily bread, and forgiveness of our sins. 

Now yesterday we looked at the ‘joy’ aspect of our Bit, today let’s look a little at the asking and receiving part of it. Jesus said it several times; the most famous being: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.’ (Matt.7:7-8) As always, simple instructions from our Leader. 

And after He had cursed the fig tree and told the disciples about having faith, He reiterated. ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ Matt.21:22) 

And the last quote from Jesus, after He tells the disciples about His going back to the Father. ‘And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.’ (John 14:13-14) 

The scholars explain: ‘13-14: In my name means “as My agent.” The promise of answered prayer is based on the disciple acting as the agent of Jesus’ will (cf. 16:23-26). It is also linked here especially in the accomplishment of the “greater works,” (vs.12). The promise is for unlimited resources to do the works of God.’ 

However friends, there is one proviso scripture to all of that. Listen to James. ‘Ye lust, and have not: ye kill (murder), and desire to have (covet), and cannot obtain: ye fight and war (battle), yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (worldly pleasures). (James 4:2-3) 

Yeh mih people, that just shows that a lot of the times we ask for the wrong things for the wrong reasons, and the Lord will not grant them to us. We need to ask for the things of God, so we can do His work. 

That brings us to our Tuesday Mantra. Let’s declare it as though we truly mean it. ‘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 it’s time to walk that talk! Much LOVE!

…if you don’t ask…you won’t get…simple as that…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 November 2017 John 16:24.

John 16:24.   Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

Welcome once again friends, to the merry go round that’s our workweek. We’ve got get back on that train, the gravy train, (smile) and ride the rails again, because it’s Monday; the day that stirs up so much negative emotion in us. So if we want to eat, and have a roof over our heads, then it’s simple, we have to work, and it makes much more sense working with a joyful feeling than with a miserable, unhappy one. 

But just in case this morning you are not feeling up to scratch, we have the perfect antidote for whatever is ailing you. We call it our Monday Morning Battle Hymn! Yeh friends, it drives away the blues and gets our spirits up and running in fine form. So let’s just sit back, relax and sing it out with as much spunk and gusto as we can muster nuh. 

As one 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!’ 

Ah mih people, I hear you sigh, like a breath of fresh air wafted over you and raised you up from your misery. (smile) I told you, our Battle Hymn will fix whatever is wrong. Consequently, it’s time for us to get out on the road and run our race with excellence, diligence, humility, forgiveness, grace, mercy and LOVE as our Lord and Saviour, our fearless Leader, Jesus Christ expects of us. 

Remember, it’s all about Him friends, about His LOVE Revolution, not about us. We’re just His servants, His friends, His brethren, His saints, His warriors, here to do His awesome bidding. And according to our Bit, He wants us to do His bidding with joy. ‘Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.’ 

Oh my people, contrary to a popular opinion, Jesus did not come to earth to be sad and miserable and make sad, miserable followers out of us.  We all know His famous pronouncement: ‘The thief cometh not, but (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) 

What part of that says that Christians ought to walk around as though they were suffering so much and on their last breath eh? None of it! So why do so many of us supposed Christians go around like a bunch of ‘poe (poor) me ones’, like we’re struggling so much, with no real joy in our souls. Chuh man! That’s not why Jesus died. Hear what He told the disciples when talking about the vine and the branches. ‘These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.’ (John 15:11) 

Yeh mih breddren, Jesus had joy in His soul, and wherever he went others felt and experienced it. And John in his second set of writings, his epistles, penned the same message to the believers. ‘And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.’ (1 John 1:4) 

And the scholars tell us: ‘1:4. The major purpose of 1 John is stated in 5:13 (tell of salvation and eternal life), but another purpose is stated here: for the recipients, and no doubt John as well, to enjoy and share in the deep sense of satisfaction and purpose that knowing Christ and walking with Him brings.’  

Why then are so many of us believers joyless eh? If we are to be truly His followers, we must cultivate a reasonable amount of joy in our souls too. Remember what they say in Nehemiah: ‘for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh. 8:10b) That means, if you don’t have any joy, then you won’t have any strength either. 

And Peter, talking about Christ declares: ‘Whom having not seen, ye LOVE; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.’ (1 Pet. 1:8-9) 

Oh fellow Christians, if we are saved and believe the promise of salvation and eternal life, then that’s the biggest reason to be joyful! And we’ll end with this prayer request of Jesus to His heavenly Father on behalf of the disciples, and consequently to us. ‘And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.’ (John 17:13) 

What more can we ask eh friends? Jesus even prayed to the Father that we might be filled with His joy. So let’s get ourselves together and stop behaving so pitifully, like we’re orphans or something nuh, with no one to LOVE us. We have Jesus…and that’s more than enough! Much LOVE!

…Christians…should be the most joy-filled and joyful people…on God’s good earth…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 October 2014 Psalm 4:1.

Psalm 4:1.  Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged (relieved) me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me (be gracious to me), and hear my prayer.

 Ah Friends, once again it’s Friday…! And as usual there are loud and joyful shouts of ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! Thank God for bringing us safely through another week of work! Praise His Holy Name!’ 
 
Yes my people, we do indeed need to thank our heavenly Father for allowing us to successfully complete another week of life, both in the general world and in our particular place of work.
 
Many people can’t say that at all, so please let’s learn to appreciate the wonderful blessings we have, by giving some thanks and praise to our Creator and Provider, for without Him, we’d be all alone out on some lonely back street, languishing in abject poverty, as numerous others are unfortunately doing today.
 
And I don’t know why, but I got up a while ago humming the chorus to our old and dear hymn, ‘What a Friend we have in Jesus.’ And just in case it was a sign (smile) I decided to include it in our discourse today.
 
Please sing the first verse with me. ‘What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.’
 
Yeh mih breddren, we have such a wonderful Lord and Saviour, such a wonderful High Priest and Advocate, to whom we can carry all our cares and problems for sure help, yet we foolishly decline to do so. Thus we suffer, endure so many unnecessary burdens and cares. That’s not very wise my people.
 
Jesus is inviting us to bring ALL our troubles to Him (Matt.11:28-30), so that He can ease our sorrows and relieve our pains. So please, let’s be wise and gratefully accept His most generous invitation nuh. We’re only hurting and depriving ourselves of wonderful opportunities to live that abundant life which Jesus died to provide for us.
 
We quickly turn to fickle and fallible man for help, when our omnipotent God should ALWAYS be our FIRST source of help. Let’s try and rectify that unfortunate situation today nuh. Let’s focus on taking our prayers to God, like Bruh David does in this evening prayer of trust in God – Psalm 4.
 
He opens it with the sincere and endearing request of our Bit: ‘Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged (relieved) me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me (be gracious to me), and hear my prayer.’
 
Friends, it’s simple and to the point. There’s no denying what he desires. And that’s all it takes to go to God; a sincere heart with a heartfelt plea. The Lord knows all our problems, but He requires us to come to Him to help us solve them. It’s true that He could solve them all with a simple snap of His fingers or a word from His lips, but that would make Him our lackey, rather than our Lord and God.
 
Please remember that we are in covenant with Him, and we need to perform our part in the covenant relationship, else the covenant becomes null and void. And today, since that’s the direction it seems our Lord wants us to go, we’ll look at a few instances where the importance and power of prayer are highlighted in the Bible, God’s divine Word to us.
 
And the greatest and best example of participating in prayer is obviously Jesus! The Good Book declares it thus: ‘And it came to pass in those days, that he (Jesus) went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.’ (Luke 6:12)
 
Ah Friends, if Jesus, the Son of God, God incarnate Himself, still felt the need for prayer, who are we then, mere sinful mortals to think that we don’t eh?
 
And again, we turn to Jesus, this time as He positively promotes the act of prayer. ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt.21:22)
 
Oh my people, our Lord and Saviour, Redeemer and Atonement for our abominable sins said it, so it must be true!
 
And way back when, Isaiah declared this word from our God on the subject. ‘Even them (those who take hold of my covenant) will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called a house of prayer for ALL people.’ (Is.56:7)
 
Oh my fellow believers, our God couldn’t be any clearer and simpler than that! His invitation is open to all those who are willing to accept it. So why don’t we do so today eh? Now that’s the million-dollar question! It’s not an idle or false and deceitful invitation like so many of man’s entreaties and advertisements.
 
We have oodles of examples, from Genesis to Revelation, where all the true servants of God prayed fervently to Him and received answers and benefits. So why are we so stubborn, so adamant in refraining from something that can only benefit us eh? I really don’t know nuh.
 
But in accordance with all we’ve written, we’ll go home with our own prayer today, our Friday Chant. No I didn’t forget, (smile) just thought it would be more appropriate today at the end rather than at the beginning.
 
So as one loud, grateful and prayerful voice, let’s chant: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.
 
Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’
 
Yes Friends, it’s short and simple, but as James so wisely and truthfully tells us: ‘Confess your faults (trespasses, sins) 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 5:16)
 
And when we follow that heavenly wisdom my people, we certainly won’t go wrong. Much LOVE!
 
…to pray…to pray…and yet to pray…that is the pilgrim’s role…
 
 

 

 

 
 
 
 

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