Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 July 2018 Lamentations 3:22-23.

Lamentations 3:22-23.   It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Well friends, here we are again on another beautiful Tuesday morning in the land of the living, blessed to the gills; filled to the brim with all the innate goodness and mercy of Jesus, just waiting to be brought forth in truthful words and LOVING actions! 

Hn, hn! A good mouthful that! But it’s ALL true! Yes my brethren, all the goodness and mercy of Jesus has been planted in us, like seeds in the ground, since the day we accepted Him as our Lord and Saviour! Now it’s our responsibility to let those seeds grow in us and blossom forth with much good fruit. 

Remember, Jesus said: ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.’ (Matt.7:20) So the world will know whether we are true disciples of Jesus or not, by the fruit we bear. So let’s be diligent to bear good fruit in His name nuh. 

And today we’ll continue with our Bit on compassions, because it’s such an important aspect of our God, and consequently our Christian lives. Moreover, compassionate behaviour is one of the ways that we are indeed able to bear good fruit. 

‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ 

Oh my people, every time I read that passage, thankfulness and gratitude just wells up within me! Let’s hope it does in you too, because it’s only through God’s exceptional LOVING-kindness that we have hope of eternal life and not everlasting darkness and damnation! 

And finally I get to do what I wanted to from the beginning; show the compassion of our wonderful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ as recorded in the Good Book. (smile) Oh friends, if nothing else, Jesus was filled with compassion for the lost, the sick, the sorrowful; anyone who had a need, and to be true disciples of His, we also ought to have that compassionate mentality. 

Hear the Good Book tell it: ‘And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted (were weary), and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.’ (Matt.9:35-36) 

Ah friends, sadly, that same condition still exists in our time today. There are numerous needy sheep scattered around our world, our individual countries and individual neighbourhoods with no shepherd. What are we doing, or going to do about them eh? 

Listen to Jesus when He saw that sad situation. ‘Then saith he (Jesus) unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.’ (Matt.9:37-38) 

Oh my people are we so moved when we see the poverty and sickness and great need that exist in this supposed prosperous society? Do we pray to the Lord to send forth more harvesters; missionaries, evangelists, doctors, nurses, philanthropists, etc. etc. to help those in need? And do we ourselves try to up our contributions to the betterment of the situation in some form or the other? 

That’s what we as Christians, as true believers and followers of Christ ought to be doing! But obviously we are not doing it as well as we should, else the mass of needy humanity in our society would not be as great as it currently is. 

Now here is another instance of Jesus’ compassion from the Good Book. This was after Herod killed John the Baptist and his head given to his (Herod’s wife). ‘And his (John’s) disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus. 

When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart (by himself): and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities. And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.’ (Matt.14:12-14) 

Ah mih breddren, yuh think Jesus didn’t feel sorrow and emotional pain too? Remember He was fully human, so He certainly did, as indicated by His going away by Himself after hearing about John the Baptist’s death. Remember too that John was His cousin, His forerunner. And though they did not associate much, He was still moved, because He knew that it was basically on His account that John lost his life. 

But even then, when He saw the multitudes of poor, needy and sick people, He could not avoid having compassion on them. Oh my fellow believers that’s how we ought to be too! Obviously we’ll not be able to alleviate all the suffering in the world, but come the judgement day it will be very beneficial to us, if the Lord could point out many acts of compassion which we did on His behalf, while here on earth. 

Now let’s go home, declaring who and whose we are through our Tuesday Mantra, which has compassion as a central theme. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

Yeh friends, sharing Jesus’ LOVE with the world is compassion. So let’s go out and do it nuh! Much LOVE!

…when Christians show true compassion…they are being truly Christ-like…


Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 June 2018 1 John 4:4.

1 John 4:4.   Ye are of God, little children, and ye have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

Well a good Monday morning to all you hard working Christian folks out there! I do hope that your trip to work was uneventful; uneventful in the sense that you encountered no negative circumstances. However, on the brighter and more positive side of things, you did encounter someone to talk to about Christ. 

Oh mih people, mih people, how heartwarming and rewarding it is when we can talk to someone about our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, especially so early on a Monday morning! Glory be! It just lifts our spirits and has us confidently chugging along like the li’l engine that could, beaming from ear to ear, because we’ve successfully brought Jesus to the forefront on this the first day of the work week. (smile) 

It certainly makes us feel like we’re on the right track. But however, if we weren’t that blessed, and we’re still in a sour and miserable state of mind, then let’s sing together our sure antidote for our Monday morning ills. We call it, most appropriately, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, because we are indeed going out to do battle for Christ! 

Altogether now, with good enthusiasm nuh, seeing that we’re thankful for still being alive and kicking, even though we’d rather be lazing around at home. 

‘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 friends, I can hear you all breathe a huge sigh of relief and feel your spirits lift considerably having sung our Battle Hymn. Now let’s keep the adrenaline flowing nuh, as we face a day beset roundabout by the enemy and all his evil cohorts. 

For remember the words of John, when he reminded believers about the spirit of the antichrist, which was around even then, spreading false teachings, and which is even more rampant in our world today. Ye are of God, little children, and ye have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.’ 

Yes friends, Jesus Christ is greater than the prince of darkness, the prince of this world. The scholars explain it thus: ‘4:4. Christ indwells believers; Satan is likewise the lord of his own followers. But Christ is greater than he who wreaks havoc in the world. Have overcome is in the perfect tense, stressing the abiding nature of their victory. Their strength lies in the fact that they are (born) of God.’ 

And my faithful breddren the very same thing applies to us today; we are born of God, and thus the Spirit of Christ dwells in us, making us able to overcome Lucifer and his evil cohorts, and having the continuing victory that Christ won at Calvary! Glory to God my people! Give Him some thanks and praise nuh! 

And John continues to enlighten us: ‘They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us: he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.’ (1 John 4:5-6) 

And the scholars explain: ‘4:5. They refers to all who are ruled by the spirit of the antichrist. The world finds their teaching more appealing than the truth of God.’ 

‘4:6. Those who acknowledge the truth of the apostolic (New Testament) witness to Christ will recognize and conform to the teaching John is presenting. Those who do not are animated by a common and unifying spirit of error. John warns his readers against this spirit by contrasting their false views of Christ with the views that he, a personal follower and witness of Christ, proclaims.’ 

Well friends, it does seem logical that if John was a personal witness and follower of Christ that his story would most likely be the truer one. So please, let’s be careful of all the crazy, false and inaccurate teaching that is floating around today. And the only way we can do that successfully is by knowing what the Word of God says. That means we need to consistently read, study and meditate on it. So let’s get to it nuh! (smile) Much LOVE!

…you cannot know truth from error…until you learn truth…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 June 2018 Psalm 95:1.

Psalm 95:1.   O Come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) to the rock of our salvation.

So it’s Tuesday friends! What’s new and exciting eh? And you grouchily mumble; ‘same old, same old.’ But that’s not really true, for we have a brand new day to live, courtesy of our magnificent and magnanimous God; a day filled with brand new mercies, grace, forgiveness and LOVE! 

So how can that be the same old, same old eh? Wake up mih breddren, let’s give the Lord God Almighty, our Creator, Controller and Provider some sincere thanks and praise for bringing us through another dark night into a sunny day, filled with the everlasting brilliance of His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Wow! 

And to help us do just that, here is a reminder from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional, letting us know that no problem is permanent. He says: ‘Every mountain has a peak. Every valley has its low point. Life has its ups and downs, its peaks and its valleys. 

No one is up all the time, nor are they down all the time. Problems do end. They do go away. They are all resolved in time… Storms always give way to the sun. Winter always thaws into springtime. Your storm will pass. Your winter will thaw. Your problem will be resolved.’ And it’s all true my people! 

So with all that in mind, let’s pray with Gramps Schuller nuh. ‘Lord, when I face a mountain, do not let me quit! Give me the strength to keep on striving until I climb over, find a pass through, or tunnel underneath. And if my best efforts fail, give me the patience to stay and the perception to see the possibilities of turning my mountain into a gold mine with your help. Amen!’ 

Ah friends, this earthly life is not easy, but with God’s help we can have hope and faith and keep on keeping on, fighting the good fight of faith, turning our problems into gold mines. (smile) 

And as I opened the Good Book to find a suitable Bit for today, this is what jumped out at me: ‘O Come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto him with psalms (songs). 

For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand (His possession) are the deep places of the earth: the strength (heights) of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.’ (Ps.95:1-5) 

Oh my faithful believing brethren, those are words of indisputable, inescapable truth! So why aren’t we giving our great God the enormous thanks and praise and reverence He so rightfully deserves eh? I guess we’ve either gotten too comfortable in receiving His LOVE, grace, mercy and forgiveness, that we now take it all for granted and don’t bother to give much thanks for them. Or on the other hand, we simply don’t believe. 

Ah friends, either path is fraught with danger. We give plenty thanks to our fellow men who give us worldly, destructible things, so why not to our Creator and Provider eh, who gives us worldly as well as spiritual things, and so much more than any man? 

Oh my breddren, it behooves us to show plenty gratitude to our wonderful God for undeserved blessings, or those blessings might just stop coming. And if we don’t believe, then we won’t get the blessings and suffer the pangs and numerous injustices of this evil and ungodly world all on our own. Now, even with God’s help, that’s not an easy thing to do, so can you imagine trying to fight this world all on your lonesome? I certainly can’t. 

So please, let’s be wise nuh, let’s get wisdom and understanding, the principal things we need as believers. And when we do that, then we’ll be able to truthfully and sincerely declare like the psalmist: ‘O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand (under His care).’ (Ps.95:6-7a) 

Oh my people, my people, that is what we were made for: to have fellowship with our maker; to LOVE and cherish Him, like He does us. Therefore, as the psalmist encourages, ‘Today if you will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation (rebellion at Meribah), and as in the day of temptation (trial or testing) in the wilderness: when your fathers tempted (tried) me, proved me, and saw my work.’ (Ps.95:8-9) 

Oh friends, that was so foolish of our forefathers, for look at what happened as a consequence of that foolish act. ‘Forty years long was I grieved (I was disgusted) with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart (go astray), and they have not known my ways: Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.’ (Ps.95:10-11) 

And so said, so done! Only TWO of the millions who left Egypt, Caleb and Joshua, entered the Promised Land because of their disobedience and refusal to take God seriously. They wandered aimlessly in the wilderness for forty years until they all died out. Even Moses, the great man of God, only saw it from afar. 

Oh friends, what wasted lives those were. Please, I implore us, please don’t let us become like those Israelites of old nuh, just wandering aimlessly in this world because of our disobedience or unbelief. Instead, let’s be praiseworthy and strong under the unconquerable banner of God! 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, proudly telling the entire world, who and whose we are. In strong voice and sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

The next move then is to go and share Christ’s LOVE, as He so greatly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…fools despise wisdom…but wise men praise God…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 April 2018 Matthew 6:19.

Matthew 6:19.    Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.

Oh friends, it’s bright and sunshiny in my neighbourhood today! Yay! Both the Sun and the SON are in their element! Glory Hallelujah! But it’s still cold, and the ice still remains frozen on the ground and at the curbs. 

Oh, and I received some info from my Ward Councilor yesterday explaining why the roads were not cleaned after the recent ice storm. Some nansi story about it was ice and not snow and ice is harder to clean, and then it rained and clearing it would have caused more flooding etc. Hn! 

But the bottom line is that the city’s snow clearing contract ends at the end of March and keeping it going until April would cost some four hundred thousand dollars a week, which would eventually be added to our Property Tax Bill. So who cares eh? People want to be able to walk and drive safely after those storms! The Property Tax Bill is still going up every year regardless. 

At least this way we would have some idea as to what the increase is being used for. And besides, she concludes, spring will soon be here anyway. So people have to carefully navigate the dangerous ice that has accumulated on the curbs and the banks until when ever it gets warm enough to melt it? Steups! Politicians eh! Two–tongued crooks! 

But yuh know what? It’s Friday, and the workingman isn’t concerned about that now, as he sings his song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! The weekend…Freedom time…though is only two lousy days off! But any time off from slave labour is gladly appreciated. Our time to eat, drink and be merry! For who knows, tomorrow we may die, so let’s enjoy it to the max nuh, while we have the ability to do so. Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’  

Ah mih breddren, the complexities of this modern life eh! Life was so much simpler and clearer when we didn’t have as much as we now have, and overall I believe people were happier, at least more contented with their lot. They weren’t as worried and perplexed. But now, we’re just hurrying and scurrying, walking over each other to make a living that’s not much better in quality than what our parents enjoyed. 

Oh we have more amenities, but we have to spend more time servicing those same amenities, and work like crazy to pay for them, thus the complaints in the workingman’s song. However, as Christians, true believers in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we have a different take on the situation as stated in our Friday Chant. Let’s declare it now nuh with much zeal and strong sense of purpose. 

‘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.’ 

Yeh friends, believers don’t go overboard, we have boundaries which prevent the enemy from getting any footholds in our souls and thus wreaking havoc in our relationship with Christ. I know it’s hard sometimes to hold back from the leggo beast attitude, but hold back we must, if we are to be good and true representatives of Christ. In the long run though, it will pay enormous dividends. If not down here on earth, then certainly in heaven. 

We therefore need to be more heavenly minded or centred than we currently are. That’s why we need to take serious heed of Jesus’ warning in our Bit. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.’ Such wonderful advice from the Master! 

However, to be wise and faithful servants, Jesus advises: ‘But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves do not break through and steal.’ (Matt.6:20) Yeah mih people, treasures in heaven are theft proof, rust proof and moth proof. 

So where will you rather secure your treasures then, down here on earth, where you can lose them or they be destroyed through natural wear and tear, and you have to leave them behind when you die anyway, or in heaven where they are completely safe? The obvious answer would be heaven. 

Please note though friends, that there is nothing bad about having or gaining earthly wealth and power, Jesus will indeed grant them to us if it’s in His plan for our lives. The problem is when we begin treating the earthly stuff as our god, when it becomes more important than the real, One True God, our heavenly Father. 

And anytime we allow someone or something to become more important to us than God, then we’re in serious trouble. For remember our God is a jealous God, as He so blatantly states in Exodus 20:5. ‘For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God…’ And His very FIRST Commandment reflected that in spades: ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me.’(Ex.20:3) 

So friends, it’s all well and good to live a good life down here on earth, because that’s part of the reason why Christ died for us. But we have to realize and recognize that God must come before everyone and everything else. And to do that without too many problems, we have to do it consciously, for as Jesus so rightly warns: ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt.6:21) 

And that’s no lie my people! Just check your own life. Don’t you think about your earthly treasure a lot, whether it be money in the bank or costly artifacts you have already accumulated, or are in the process of accumulating? We certainly do! But today I’m imploring us not to make them more important than our heavenly Father, for we’ll certainly be on the losing end if we do. Much LOVE!

…true wisdom…live a full life on earth…but think a whole lot more about heaven…which will last much longer…like forever…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 March 2018 2 Peter 3:18.

2 Peter 3:18.   But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever.

And then it was a snowy Tuesday morning…not a whole lot of the white stuff, but certainly sufficient to cover everything and remind us that it’s still winter. Yeh, though we’ve been having some fairly mild temps recently, Ole Man Winter thought it necessary to remind us that spring has not yet sprung. (smile) 

And talking about winter; they say things happens in threes, and in the case of the North Eastern U.S. they are probably right, because for the third time in two weeks another winter storm is bludgeoning the area. Ah Lord eh! 

Let’s pray for them friends, and do whatever we can to help them otherwise, even if it’s just calling or texting or somehow communicating with those in the affected areas to find out how they are doing. For we never know when we’ll be affected by some disaster and need their help. 

And today I want to share something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that points out some of the trauma and drama in our spiritual growth. It’s titled, ‘Worth the Waiting.’ 

Please read with me: ‘Growing spiritually is such a long, slow process! It’s painful too. Every day at the turn of the road I become acquainted with new pitfalls and heartaches. Sometimes the pain backs me into a corner. For example: There is a woman I know who is so sarcastic, so curt and unkind. Am I ever excused? Is forgiveness always a part of my growth? 

So often I feel like a spiritual midget while my husband and friends appear to be spiritual giants. I seem to shrink in my own home. Another thing: I confess I’m a coward about pain. Emotional pain. Physical pain. The pain of loneliness, the pain of grief. Yet, again and again it is true. 

What I must learn in my pain is that it’s leading to something positive, something beyond what I can see in the present darkness. I do want to grow! I want to become more and more like Jesus. Even though it takes so long, surely it is worth the waiting.’ 

And it is indeed worth the waiting my fellow believers! Oh my brethren, growing in anything at all takes time and can be an arduous process, but like it is with Jesus, the end will all be worth it. And I know many of us want to grow spiritually but are having a hard time wading through all the stuff that it entails. 

But take heart, everything we go through in being recreated in the image of Jesus has a purpose. God never throws away anything in our lives, even the negative, painful stuff, He always puts them to good, positive use. That’s why Bruh Paul writes this very reassuring scripture in the word: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8:28) 

Yeh friends, if we LOVE God and are called to do His work, then everything will work out good eventually. It’s God’s promise, and as a faithful believer, you are expected to accept it…without a grain of salt. (smile) And the Bible Promise for the reading above is also our Bit for today. But before we get to it, let’s hear what Peter says to the early believers who were living in the hope of the Lord’s coming. 

‘Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before (beforehand)…’ And he’s talking about the Lord’s Second Coming and how we’re looking for a new heaven, and all the stuff that Bruh Paul has written, some of which is hard to do. (2 Pet. 3:1-16) 

‘…beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.’ (2 Pet. 3:17-18). 

Oh my people, Christianity is indeed a beautiful faith; the most beautiful, but it is also time consuming and calls for a lot of effort and sacrifice! But it’s all worth it! As the scholars explain: ‘Peter urges his readers to look beyond the present world to the new heavens and a new earth characterized by righteousness.’ 

And so should we be looking forward to coming in glory of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Remember this earth is not our home; we are merely strangers and sojourners here. Heaven is our real home. We should therefore look forward to it. 

But to do that we have to be strong and steadfast, like Bruh Paul warned the Ephesians in talking about the new life in Christ. ‘That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight (trickery) of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby thy lie in wait to deceive. But speaking the truth in LOVE, may grow up to him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.’ (Eph.4:14-15) 

Oh friends, to grow spiritually means we must stop being childlike and put in the effort to grow in all aspects of Christian living. And if we do so sincerely, God will give us the grace we need to become more like Christ, each and every day. 

Now let’s go home telling the world who and whose we are. Let’s shout out our Tuesday Mantra as though we really 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 let’s go out and action those things in Jesus’ name. Much LOVE!

…‘Christian maturity is attained in part…by thorough instruction…in sound doctrine…given in a LOVING manner…’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2018 Philippians 4:6.

Philippians 4:6.   Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

And then it was Friday…and a lot of grateful sighs punctuate the universal skies. None more enthusiastic and exuberant than that of the ordinary workingman: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui mih people! The end of backbreaking labour for a few days! Time to celebrate a li’l freedom from the cruel mental lash of the criminal slave master! 

Our time now is ours to do what we want with it. And believe you me, we going to do just that; we going to party and celebrate and be thankful for this short freedom from unfair work for unfair pay. And whatever happens after that happens! Who cares eh? Just be thankful for Fridays and the weekend that eases we pain!’ 

A lot of sad truth in there mih friends, but as believers, we are encouraged to handle the situation differently. We have Jesus in our corner, so though many of us might suffer the same injustice, we have a different recourse, a different way, to alleviate our problems. 

We turn to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who has faithfully promised to look after us from the time we are saved until eternity. That’s why our Friday Chant differs so much from the workingman’s song. Let’s chant it now nuh, with heartfelt sincerity and a strong sense of purpose. 

‘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 faithful believers, our God wants us to abide within certain boundaries so that we can be rejuvenated and continue His awesome work without missing a beat. The workingman’s song invites Beelzebub and his carnal addictions, our Friday Chant invites Jesus and His eternal spiritual salvation. 

Wow! What a good and mighty difference! It frees us from having the judgement of Hades constantly hanging over our heads, like the infamous sword of Damocles, suspended by a single hair. Instead, as true believers we can focus on the wonders of heaven and the amazing life to come that Jesus promises. 

But that means sincerely following Him; consistently reading and meditating on His word, offering up prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, and generally being obedient to His law. And the good part is that He knows we’re not perfect, but He is ever so willing to work with us on becoming more mature and Christ-like. 

And in this season of Lent, where we seem to be somewhat more prayerful than at other times, (smile) I guess this is as good a time as any to remind us of Bruh Paul’s admonition to the Philippians, as reflected in our Bit. But first, the two verses before it. 

‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil.4:4-6) 

Ah mih breddren, what wonderful and wise advice! And the scholars have this to say about those verses. ‘4:4. The mention of believers’ names being recorded in heaven (v.3) causes the author to write rejoice in the Lord always. Harmony among church members, as Paul assumes will be the result of his plea in verses 2 and 3, is another reason to “rejoice.”  

In adding and again I say, rejoice, it is as though the apostle looks into the future, considers all possibilities of sorrow, and in spite of them all repeats “the command.” This command to rejoice at all times and in all circumstances is nothing less than a call to faith. For if the Christian believes that his life and all its circumstances are in the hands of a sovereign, wise and LOVING God who is always working to accomplish good for him, then he can indeed “rejoice always.” 

Oh friends, there is no disputing that logic! If we have the faith to believe it, then there’s all the more reason to rejoice! 

As for 4:5. Moderation means “graciousness” or “sweet reasonableness.” The believer who is at peace with his fellow Christian (v.2) and who rejoices always (v.4) is indeed a gracious, reasonable person. The Lord is at hand means two things. First, His return to earth is near. 

His imminent coming as a judge encourages the Christian to be “gracious” unto all men, for He will judge the believer for all his actions toward all people, and will avenge all wrongs committed by others against him. Second, the “Lord is at hand” spiritually. The Lord’s being presently near should free the Christian from fear and anxiety. Hence the command of verse 6.’ 

And that says: ‘4:6. Be careful for nothing means “don’t worry about anything.” The Lord’s nearness (v.5b) leads Paul to forbid his readers from worrying. This is no summons to irresponsibility or an invitation to dismiss legitimate concern. The solution to undue anxiety is to be prayerful about everything. While God is eager to hear our requests, they are to be accompanied with thanksgiving.’ 

And if we do all that, then ‘the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) 

Oh my people, what a glorious promise!  So today, let’s try and stop worrying and complaining nuh, for if we believe in our faith, then there is no reason for them.  Instead, let’s pray and give thanks nuh, because there’s a whole lot for us to be grateful about. Much LOVE!

…worrying and complaining invites Lucifer…prayer and thanksgiving… makes Jesus shine forth…

 

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