Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 August 2017 Matthew 9:29b.

Matthew 9:29b.   According to you faith be it unto you.

Well friends, it’s  Tuesday. Were any of you lucky enough to see the mercurial eclipse yesterday? I wasn’t. But it seems like the most powerful man in the world thought he was powerful enough to view it without the special glasses recommended. (smile) 

But that’s what he’s all about ego and power. Enough of the tongue in cheek stuff though. Here is something to help us face the day successfully, from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional, titled, ‘A Prayer for Solutions.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘Lord, thanks for assuring me that you’ll solve the problems if I’ll exercise the faith and make the right decision! Forgive me for waiting for all difficulties, real or fanciful, to be resolved before deciding to make my commitment. 

I confess I have too often allowed problems instead of possibilities to take over leadership of my life – to make my decisions – and take command over my destiny. I know, now, what faith is, Lord! It’s making the right decisions before I see solutions to all problems! Increase my faith! Amen.’ 

Now have we been guilty of that kind of thing? I’m sure all of us have at some time or another. And what’s the first right decision we’re always supposed to make? Turning to God with the problem! 

Yeh friends, whether the problem be big or small, hard or simple, the Lord God Almighty IS ALWAYS THE FIRST ONE we should talk to about it, for He is the Master Problem Solver. Have the faith to let Him direct our steps. 

And what did Jesus say unto the two blind men who wanted him to heal them. ‘Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened…’ (Matt.9:28-30) 

Yes my brethren, our Bit says it all! Our power and blessedness will be defined by the maturity and strength of our faith, for Christianity is a faith-based organization. 

What does Hebrews say about the subject? ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6) 

And there was nobody who had more faith, or gave us a better example of it, than Jesus, for though He was God in the flesh, He never took credit for anything, but always deferred to the Father. 

Even as a youth, when He strayed from His parents in Jerusalem, when they finally found Him debating with the elders in the temple, His words to them were: ‘How is it that ye sought me? wist (knew) ye not that I must be about my father’s business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.’ (Luke 2:49-50) 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘2:49. Wist ye not or “Did you not realize?” There is a certain tension between Jesus’ responsibility to parents on the one hand and to His heavenly Father on the other.’ 

Though He was somewhat rude to His earthly parents with that answer, Jesus clearly showed from early on that His heavenly Father’s business was NUMBER ONE! 

And when the Jews tried to tell Him He had a devil (demon spirit), He bluntly answered. ‘I have not a devil (demon spirit): but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me.’ (John 8:49) 

And later on when they asked if he was greater than Abraham and the prophets, His answer was: ‘If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me…’ (John 8:54) Yuh see mih breddren, with Jesus, it was all about the Father. And so should it be with us. 

Hear Him once more: ‘For I have not spoken of myself (my own authority), but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore; even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.’ (John 12:49-50) 

And whom did Jesus turn to in His time of greatest sorrow? The Father! That memorable night in the Garden of Gethsemane, where He fell on His face and prayed: ‘O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.’ (Matt.26:39) 

Even in His most fervent prayer, Jesus still acknowledged that His journey would be led by the Father’s will, not His. 

And finally, here is this episode from Mark which really shows Jesus’ strong, steady and faithful connection to His heavenly Father. ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ (Mark 1:35) 

The scholars then tell us: 1:35. Mark emphasizes that it was a great while before day. Showing that Jesus began each day of His earthly ministry with prayer is only the secondary intention of this verse. The primary aim is to show how Jesus made important decisions: by earnest, persistent prayer. 

Here Jesus stands at the crossroads of decision: His first year of public preaching (vs. 9-20) has borne little visible fruit. But His miracles of healing are drawing huge crowds (vs.31-32) and bringing Him recognition (v.28). 

So the question is whether He should continue to put the stress of His ministry on the preaching of the gospel for the healing of man’s diseased soul, or place the stress of His work on the more popular performing of miracles for the healing of man’s body. To make the proper choice, He seeks by prayer the Father’s wisdom.’  

And He certainly received the right answer: place the stress on healing our sinful souls! All praise and thanks to God for filling Him with that heavenly wisdom! Otherwise our bodies would have been healed, but our souls would still have been bound for Hades. 

Now let’s go home, safe and secure in the knowledge of our Tuesday Mantra, as we declare it loudly, proudly and sincerely. ‘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!’ 

And if you truly believe it, then let’s go out and do it nuh! Much LOVE!

…if Jesus made it a point to first talk to the Father…then why shouldn’t we lesser mortals do the same eh…

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 September 2015 Mark 6:31‏

Mark 6:31.   And he (Jesus) said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart (aside) into a desert (deserted) place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.

Aye mih Scrip-Bit family! Welcome to a bright, beautiful and bountiful Tuesday in God’s great universe! All the elements are present for it to be another meaningful day in our lives. 

So let’s make it one nuh, with prayer, obedience, faithfulness and thankfulness to Almighty God, who LOVES us so much that He sent His only Son to die on the cross at Calvary so that He could purge our woeful sins and allow us to have fellowship with Him once again. That ought to count for something now my people. 

Unfortunately though, the noise persists outside of my house, for it seems as though they are finally digging up and paving the main road in my area. Oh what a miserable spring and summer it’s been with noise and all sorts of big machinery in the area supposedly fixing drains and culverts and lanes and what have you. 

To my way of thinking, some of it didn’t seem necessary, and some people are of the opinion that it’s only a make work programme… What you say? You thought it was only in the West Indies we had that stuff! Well apparently not! And every so often the house vibrates from the noise outside. Ah chuh! 

But like the tests the Lord puts us through, we just have to grin and bear it, knowing that it will all eventually work out for our good with well paved roads etc.etc. There it goes again, the shaking, the vibrating of my poor house. This time it only lasted for a few seconds though. Oh glory to God. I spoke too soon though, it’s back again. 

Anyway, listen to this interesting poem from the One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. This one’s titled ‘Moments of Leisure.’ 

And it says: ‘Lord, thank You For the moments of leisure And peaceful solitude I can legitimately snatch Here and there Without apologizing. Thank You for assuring me That I needn’t condemn myself When I spend some time Reading or resting Or shopping just for fun. Thank You for convincing me That there’s no glory In a rat race.

I’ve discovered, dear Lord That an hour or two “Away from it all” Calms my inner muddle And cuts through the confusion. Without a driving sense of urgency I think more clearly – I plan more wisely. I am more patient, more LOVING More understanding with my family. 

I even accept with calmness The multiple demands imposed upon me. Thank You so much, dear God For the certain knowledge that Jesus (Who always obeyed the Father) Went apart from the crowd to rest. So must I!’ 

Oh Friends, is all of that ever so true! We do need to take some time apart from the crazy rat race that our society, our world has become in the last generation or so. If we don’t, the busyness and the numerous demands on our time and energy will certainly drive us crazy and bring us to our grave much earlier than we want to. 

Notice how the stress factor has soared off the charts in the last couple decades. Before that stress was not a well-known, or rather an unknown entity, because people had lots of free time and other endeavours to relieve and release it. But with the coming of this communication and technological age it’s just become our worst enemy. 

One very important proviso in this story though, is that we don’t use rest and leisure as an excuse for laziness and its other cronies. Rest if you must, but don’t abuse it. 

And the Bible promise for that poem is also our Bit for today. ‘And he (Jesus) said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart (aside) into a desert (deserted) place, and rest a while; for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure (time for themselves) so much as to eat.’ 

Oh my brethren, we all know about those oppressive times, because we all have experienced them at some time or another! But sadly some of us are still experiencing them too often, and that is definitely not good for our health and well-being. 

And you see Jesus‘ wisdom in calling His disciples apart to rest. They had just come back from a missionary journey and people were milling all around them, so that they had no time to rest, not even to eat. Yes Friends, sometimes we have to do that too today in our overly busy and zealous society, otherwise we’d just crumble under the pressure. 

And the Good Book continues: ‘And they departed into a desert (deserted) place by ship privately (by themselves). And the people (multitudes) saw them departing, and many knew him (Jesus), and ran afoot thither out of all the cities, and outwent  (arrived before) them, and came together unto him (Jesus). 

And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people (a great multitude) and was moved with compassion towards them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.’(Mark 6:32-34) 

Oh Friends, yuh see that? Even though Jesus tried to get away from the multitude for some rest, they followed Him from all over, and even came to His disembarking point before Him! And Jesus, with a heart ever so filled with compassion had no other choice but to minister unto them, because they looked so lost and frail and feeble, like sheep without a shepherd. 

However my fellow believers, let’s remember that that was Jesus, God in the flesh, and He had more parts than us, who are merely flesh, and when the busyness and distractions of this life bombard us, as they will do, we don’t always have to embrace them. 

Sometimes it is necessary to show compassion, but then it’s also necessary for us to rest and recuperate, otherwise we won’t be able to deal successfully with the circumstances that surround us. Now that’s the wisdom of longevity! Much LOVE!

…there’s a time for every purpose under heaven…so rest if you must…but be careful it doesn’t turn into laziness…indolence…or sloth…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 April 2014 Psalm 66:19

Psalm 66:1.     But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.

Oh Friends, blessings and greetings and salutations this Wednesday morning! It’s certainly good to be alive, although all might not be right with us. 
 
And remember that new mercies and LOVING-kindness from our magnanimous God will be filtering down to us all day, so that’s something joyful to look forward to. 
 
Therefore, let us not give in to any negative circumstances that are coming against us. Instead, let us stand strong and steadfast in faith and trust, for we know not what the end of the day will bring, for the Lord has promised to work all things out for the benefit of His people.
 
So if you consider yourself to be one of God’s people, then it’s your bounden duty to hold on to the Lord’s faithful promises. And if that is proving difficult to do, then there is always the option of crying out to Him in prayer, asking for help to handle the situation until He is ready to deal with it. 
 
Remember, prayer is the NUMBER ONE means of communicating with our heavenly Father, and we shun it to our own detriment. And that’s not a trumped up situation, but one established by thousands of years of factual data. 
 
That’s why the author of Hebrews could say with much conviction: ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us. 
 
Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfecter) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb.12:1-2) 
 
Oh my people, do you think the ‘cloud of witnesses’ went through all of their trials and tribulations for nothing? Or that the Father sent Jesus to die for us with no great plan envisioned? 
 
Obviously not! The Lord made us in the first place so that he could have communion with us, which came about through prayer and answer. And even though we fell and became sinful, it was still the Lord’s intention to have meaningful communion with us. 
 
Therefore He sent Jesus to pay the price needed for us to come before Him…again in prayer. Communicating with God has always been, and will always be first and foremost through prayer my people! 
 
That’s why the psalmist could say in our Bit with such utter conviction, even before Jesus came to earth to save us: ‘But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.’ 
 
That Friends, is also why I’m trying to drive home to us the fundamental importance of prayer in believers lives! For it surely is surprising the number of supposed believers who don’t engage in serious prayer. But how can you call yourself a sincere believer in Jesus Christ and don’t indulge in serious and sincere communication with Him eh? 
 
For how do you think Jesus managed to bear His trials and tribulations on earth? By prayer! Although he was God in the flesh, He still needed the Father’s help to bear the painful tasks set out for Him. 
 
Hear the Good Book on the subject: ‘And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.’ (Luke 6:12) 
 
Oh my brethren, if the Son of God needed prayer down here on earth to help Him, why do we mere mortals think that we don’t eh, and don’t seriously consider it? 
 
And the importance of prayer is further highlighted my people by this episode: ‘And it came to pass, that as he (Jesus) was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.’ (Luke 11:1) 
 
Yuh see Friends, knowing the importance of prayer in their lives, John must have thought his disciples to pray. And according to the scholars: ’11:1. Religious communities of the time customarily had their own distinctive prayers. Perhaps the disciples wanted theirs.’  
 
But whatever the reason, Jesus granted their request, giving them this prayer as an example. ‘After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 
 
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. 
 
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.6:9-15) 
 
Ah mih breddren, yuh see how important Jesus considered forgiveness that after the basic prayer, He went on to talk about it? 
 
That should tell us all something, basically we ought to obey the golden rule: do unto others as you would that they do unto you, for as you do to others God will do to you. And that’s all I have to say for today. (smile) 
 
Now may the Lord bless us and keep us safely under the protection of His powerful presence, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. Much LOVE!
 
…the best way to ask, seek and knock…is through heartfelt prayer…