Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 April 2018 Philippians 4:11.

Philippians 4:11.    Not that I speak in respect of want (regard of need): for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.

Well friends, it’s Saturday…and yuh know what? The ole fella slept in some. (smile) But who wouldn’t want to sleep in when the spring rain is falling gently on the land, moistening and nourishing it after a long, dry, hard, ugly winter, so that the beauty of nature can sprout and gaily flourish in the spring time? 

Yeh friends, spring is God’s most colourful and productive season where He advances His grand plans for the rest of the year, letting us know through the beauty of a resurgent nature that all things are possible with Him in the lead. Glory to our great God, my people! 

Now since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to some quotes from our friend Anselm this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And it seems like he was on a happiness trip this week, because all of them either deal with happiness or being happy. (smile) 

Here’s the first one. ‘Happiness depends upon ourselves.’ Now that’s invariably true; regardless of your circumstances, be they good or bad, you are the one who ultimately controls your happiness, although oftimes we unwisely allow others to do so. 

And the next one says: ‘Happiness …is governed by our mental attitude.’ I guess that’s basically true, although our circumstances play a large part in our happiness. Then there’s: ‘Happy people plan actions; they don’t plan results.’  Now you might not plan the results, but you definitely put forward the actions which you believe will bring about certain results that you desire. 

Next up is: ‘The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.’ Who would have ‘thunked’ it eh? (smile) Happiness depending on thoughts? But yes, they do to a large extent. And the last quote tells us: ‘Nobody really cares if you’re miserable, so you might as well be happy, and make the most of where you are.’ 

A lot of truth in that too, especially in this ‘I and me,’ selfish generation. We certainly don’t care about each other as much as we should, so it’s best if we try to enjoy where we’re at, at any particular time, without depending too much on others or our circumstances. 

That leads us to today’s Bit. ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (regard of need): for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.’ Now friends, that is the Christian way! All this talk about striving to be happy just confuses and muddles us up. We have to learn to be content in whatever state we currently are encapsulated. 

As Bruh Paul continues: ‘I know both how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.’ (Phil.4:12) 

Yeh mih people, that’s how Christians ought to live. But remember it’s a learned behaviour, through practical experiences and the hard knocks of life, consequently, it doesn’t happen overnight. And we need to have the joy of the Lord as our strength to accomplish it. Or as Bruh Paul tells his Philippian readers: ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) 

Now that is a magnificent verse of scripture; possibly the most endearing and reassuring for true believers. But as always, in God’s economy, we have to believe it first, before we see it. And if by faith, we don’t believe it, then we’ll never see it. That’s the foundation of our Christian way of life: all things are possible through Christ, if we believe that they are. 

So please my fellow believers, let’s stop killing ourselves to acquire the things of the world which we believe will make us happy, because happiness is but a fleeting illusion, if we depend on our circumstances, or other people, or our possessions to make us happy. Those things and people can change from one day to the next, thus will what we call our happiness. 

But if we find joy, which is a constant state and does not change with circumstances, then we’re in a much better position to live a contented life. But on the other hand, real joy can only be found in the Lord God Jehovah; in His strength, His promises and His eternal and unconditional LOVE, because they never change, but always stand steadfast and strong, and therefore can be relied upon to keep us anchored and well grounded. 

Oh friends, since we’re running later than I expected, I’ll close with this one piece of advice from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ that covers it all: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

Yes my faithful brethren, if we put God first in EVERYTHING that we do, we’ll want for nothing, we’ll be contented, joyful, happy and have all we need in this earthly life. That’s the promise of Jesus…and He doesn’t lie! Much LOVE!

…he who places wants above needs…will always be left wanting…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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 26 September 2017 Luke 18:1.

Luke 18:1.   And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint. 

Behold friends, it’s another glorious Tuesday morning in my area! And as the old people would remark ‘heat for so!’ (smile) 

Don’t know when they’re going to end. But like all things, this current beautiful summer weather will eventually morph into the cold and gloomy weather of fall and then winter. 

It’s only a matter of time. So we had better enjoy it while it lasts. That’s why we can all shout, ‘this is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ 

Oh my people, I know that’s difficult for many of us to say and truly mean because we’re undergoing enormous stress and problems, but we just have to suck it up, raise our level of faith and carry on. 

Even me, right now, I’m having some painful hip problems, and it’s indeed a pain in the rear end, both literally and figuratively, (smile) I can’t walk properly, or sleep properly, or do any kind of physical movement without some sudden, unexpected pain in some area. 

Just coming down here to my basement office to write the Bit was a source of annoying pain. But I just have to do whatever it takes to keep on doing the Lord’s work. And from past experience, I know that He will enable me to do it, if I hang in there. 

That’s what our faith is all about friends! Let’s not forget the Lord’s goodness and mercy in our past. Remembering what He has done in the past for us, ought to make us stronger and help us to stick with His word, to keep believing and keep praying. 

And talking about praying, here is something I’ve shared before from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional, but it’s one of those inspiring prayers that we need to share over and over. It’s titled ‘A Prayer For Confidence.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘It is flowing into me now, for my conscience is clear. I have made the right decision. I am not afraid of problems. I will face challenges calmly and serenely for God is behind me. He will help me. If I must go through difficult times, He will rescue me. 

I feel His spirit of confidence surging in my heart now. With Him I cannot possibly fail. “If God is for me who can be against me?” I have a strong feeling that everything is going to work out just beautifully. Thank you, God. Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, what sincere words of reassurance! And I do hope that you feel the surging confidence, the ultimate and enormous power of our omnipotent and merciful God flowing through you right now! I do! 

It’s that spiritual power inspired by prayer and praise, worship and thanks that gets us moving despite all the negative aspects of our lives. We can’t give up friends, especially in these rough and devastating times. As I keep saying, right now we need prayer and faith more than ever, for our world is definitely in a dangerous tailspin. 

And there’s no better time than RIGHT NOW to invoke our Bit. ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.’ 

Remember that was Jesus’ advice to the throng that followed Him. And as faithful believers, we ought to take his advice seriously and do whatever He commands. 

So, please, I urge us, implore us, to keep on praying, to not give up, to not faint, even though the future seems dark and dreary because it’s often darkest just before the dawn, and with our wonderful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, on our side, anything can happen at any time. 

Now let’s look at a magnificent verse of scripture which totally shows us the importance of prayer. They are the awesome words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians as he explains the putting on of God’s armour. 

At the end, he specifies: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:18) 

And the scholars offer this explanation of that verse. ‘6:18. Praying is grammatically linked to “stand” in verse 14. Without prayer God’s armour is inadequate to achieve victory. Prayer is indispensable. Always means “on every occasion,” that is when Satan attacks. 

In the Spirit signifies that with the Spirit’s help such prayer for divine aid is to be made. Watching thereunto means “being vigilant in this very matter” of prayer. They are to pray not just for themselves but also for all saints; spiritual combat is both an individual and corporate matter.’ 

Oh friends, I do hope that shows us how important and indispensable prayer is in our lives. Now, having read and inwardly digested all that, let’s go home joyfully declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know in no uncertain terms, who and whose we are. 

In unison now: 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!’ 

Glory to God my faithful brethren! Now let’s go out and share the LOVE, mercy and forgiveness of our Saviour, as He desires of us. Much LOVE!

…prayer is the believer’s lifeline…his umbilical cord to God…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 March 2017 Luke 21:34.

Luke 21:34.   And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged (weighed down) with surfeiting (carousing), and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.

So friends, like we gone back to winter now, with highs in the minus bracket and promises of that fluffy, but everlastingly cold white stuff! (smile) But that doesn’t matter as much to the workingman as the fact that it’s Friday, glorious Friday! 

And he just goes about his merry way rejoicing, while loudly mouthing: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Thank God is Friday and the weekend here at last! No more hard labour for small pay! No more punching a stupid clock! The next whole two days is mine, to do as I please! Oh, thank God for Fridays and the weekend yes!’ 

And who can really blame him eh, since the working world out there is such a sad state; transitioning from good paying permanent jobs with benefits, to poorly paid temporary jobs with no benefits. 

The modern day employer has the employee by the scruff of his neck as it were, with little choice but to accept whatever he begrudgingly hands out. Like we’re going back to the bad old days of employer advantage, where workers had to fight, both physically and emotionally for their rights. 

But be that as it may, that excessive, overly emotional reaction is not the best, especially in these lean, rough and tough times. Our Friday Chant provides a much more rational and sensible approach. So let’s chant it out now nuh, with just as much enthusiasm and sense of purpose, as the workingman did his song. 

Altogether now: ‘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 my fellow believers, that is the kind of response we need to have towards our two days off on the weekend, otherwise we’d just keep digging ourselves further down into the abyss of Hades every week. 

And my people, our God is wonderful in His awesome and mysterious ways, that He pointed out a most fitting Bit for us today.

‘And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged (weighed down) with surfeiting (carousing), and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.’ 

I just had to chuckle when I was led to it, because it defines our weekends so well. Jesus was here talking to His disciples about some of the signs of His Second Coming, warning them to be prepared, to not be deceived by the wiles and taunts and lies of the world. 

The scholars add this explanation about our Bit. ‘21:34. Surfeiting means “to indulge one’s appetites excessively.” No believer is beyond the temptation to fall into sin. Jesus warns against slackness and lack of daily readiness in the Christian walk.’ 

In other words my brethren, we have to be always ready, daily prepared to walk the good daily walk, as well as be prepared for Jesus’ Second Coming, which can happen at anytime. 

And Jesus continues His warning after our Bit. ‘For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.’ (Luke 21:35-36) 

Ah friends, I couldn’t put it any simpler or more straightforward than that! That’s one thing about Jesus; His words are always simple and straightforward. And here He purposely warned us: WATCH and PRAY! 

Consequently, I can’t understand how there’s not much more watching and praying amongst the brethren, instead of the infighting and power struggles, which currently manifest themselves to a large degree in the Lord’s church. 

But yuh know what? Each man will have to answer for his own deeds come the judgement day, and then we won’t be able to say we didn’t know, or point the blame at someone else. It will all fall squarely on our shoulders. So the wisest move for all of us right now, is to get prepared, and stay prepared! 

And we’ll close with this explanation re verse 36, by the scholars. ’21:36. Prayer is the better part of valour when persevering for Christ under pressure. Prayer alone will enable one to stand before the returning Son of Man, when those all around are falling, whether in condemnation before Christ or to temptation to deny Christ under the trials of the hour.’ 

There’s no more left to be said my friends! So please let’s begin seriously watching and praying nuh, for remember what Bruh Paul said to the Thessalonians: ‘For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.’ (1 Thess.5:2) 

So let’s be prepared for when Jesus comes. Let’s not be like the five foolish virgins who ran out of oil when the bridegroom came, because they were not prepared. (Matt.25:1-13). Let godly wisdom reign amongst us my breddren! Much LOVE!

…PRAYER…the most potent and powerful force in God’s universe…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 March 2017 Psalm 119:105.

Psalm 119:105.   Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Oh my precious people, it’s Thursday, rise and shine and greet the brand new day filled with new mercies and blessings, courtesy of our magnificent and magnanimous God! 

Oh, I know some of you have been up a long while ago, but have you invoked the new blessings and mercies provided especially for today? I do hope you have, otherwise you’re missing out on a whole lot of good stuff, and wasting God’s goodness. 

Anyway, it’s the second day of Lent, that time when Christians become especially introspective, giving up worldly stuff, concentrating on confession and repentance, seeking to cleanse their souls, bodies and minds. It’s a time about spiritual improvement and upliftment that coincides with Jesus’ forty days of temptation in the wilderness. 

Now here is ‘A Prayer for Change,’ from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional, which I believe can be of much benefit to us today. 

Please pray with me. ‘O God, when a life has been so richly blessed as mine has been, it’s not right for me not to be laughing! I confess that I am responsible for my moods. I have no right to selfishly indulge in negative feelings of self-pity. It’s time for me to change my mental dial, Lord. 

You are helping me. This will be the moment when the sun breaks through the parted clouds, and springtime returns after winter. Thank you, Lord! 

The dreary, depressing, disconsolate mood disappears like the morning mist in the glowing sunshine of your LOVE. And joy moves in! And hope begins to build up within me! And a beautiful feeling of LOVE starts to surround me! 

Thank you, God, for the great things you are doing within me now in this moment of prayer. Amen.’ 

Yes friends, with God’s amazing help, we can all change for the better! But as Gramps Schuller states early on in the prayer, we need to change our mental dial to bring about that improvement. Remember it all begins in the mind, with our thoughts. And if our mind and our thoughts aren’t right, then our lives will never be right. 

And this is what the Lenten season is all about, changing our mental dial; looking deep inside, with God’s help obviously, to weed out the unprofitable and unproductive thoughts and replace them with God-centred ones that enrich our lives. 

And to help us do that, we desperately need to delve into the truth of God’s Word, so that it becomes as the psalmist says in our Bit: ‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’ 

Ah mih people, until and unless, we allow God’s Word to lead and guide us in this earthly life, we’ll most likely go astray and end up on the broad highway that leads to destruction. And believe me, that’s not a very nice place to be. 

Yes it looks good, and there’s lots of freedom, but the end of it all is just a ruined life. So let’s look now at some scripture that corroborates our Bit and encourages us to get into the Word like never before. 

This first piece, like our Bit, comes from Psalm 119. ‘Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them. The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments.’ (Ps.119:129-131) 

Oh friends, is that the way we feel about God’s Word? Do we long for it? Do we pant for it? And do we keep it? Now if we are serious believers, then we should be doing all those things. 

As the Sons of Korah put it in Psalm 42 – An intense longing for God: ‘As the hart panteth after (the deer longs for) the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.’ (Ps.42:1) 

Yes my brethren, that’s how we ought to feel about our God: long for Him in our souls like the thirsty deer longs for a drink of cold, sweet water! And believe me friends, when we find Him, a joy comes into our souls just like when the deer drinks that thirst quenching water. 

And this last bit of scripture reinforces all that we’ve said so far. ‘The works of his hands are verity (truth) and judgement; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness. He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.’ (Ps.111:7-9) 

And those are all facts, not alternative ones (smile) but facts of gospel truth! So please let’s take them to heart nuh, so that we can live godly and righteous lives. 

And finally, it’s time to declare our Thursday Blessings. Remember a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. 

So with sincere enthusiasm and belief let’s declare them: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Now let’s go out and bless others! Much LOVE!

…a day that’s not filled with God…is indeed a wasted day…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 April 2016 Exodus 33:14

Exodus 33:14.   And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.

And then it was Saturday, and the next couple days in my area are supposed to be cold and snowy and wet and rainy. Steups! Whatever happened to that thing called spring eh? In winter we didn’t get any snow, and now in what’s supposed to be spring, it’s too often cold and snowy! Chuh! And yet they insist that climate change is not real. 

But anyway, whether it is real or not, we believers in Jesus Christ don’t have to let it worry us. Oh yes, the weather will become irascible like many of us, (smile) but we can’t afford to allow that to dictate our lives, that ought to be done by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  

So to help us handle all the unwanted stuff we have to handle, let’s pray this prayer taken from a Devotional titled ‘A Journey of LOVE. Walking with St. Therese of Liseux’ – The Saint of the Little Flower. I’ve shared it before, but in these troubled times, times of hate and anger and doubt and all the negative stuff that’s predominant in our world, we need something to counteract that negativity. 

And the only thing able to do that is LOVE, and we have been assigned the vocation of LOVE. So let’s pray for help in our vocation. Please pray with me: ‘Jesus, I desire above all else to centre my life in you. Only you can give me the courage to face up to my responsibilities, to be compassionate and forgiving, to let go of what is not important and to embrace what is important. 

I am called to accept and to cherish your LOVE for me and to allow your LOVE to go out from me to all your people, Help me to walk in your steps without compromise and to be open to your presence in all of the people I meet. I make my prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.’ 

Yes friends, the irony of it all is that we cannot do God’s work without God’s help! And the most effective way to receive that help is through prayer.  The Lord has promised that when we diligently and sincerely seek Him, He will be found by us. That’s why prayer is so important in a believer’s life. 

That’s also why Bruh Paul told the Ephesians to pray ALWAYS; (Eph.6:18) the Thessalonians to pray WITHOUT CEASING; (1 Thess.5:17) and his young protégé Timothy to pray EVERYWHERE. (1 Tim:2:8) So to all intents and purposes, prayer MUST BE an integral part of a believer’s life, because in doing so we will always be in the presence of God, which is ever so important for our earthly journey. 

Moses, one of God’s greatest prophets was adamant about not continuing the journey through the wilderness if the Lord’s presence was not going to be with him. That is even after God promised in our Bit: And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.’ 

Ah mih people, without God’s wonderful presence in our lives, innumerable trials and tribulations will come our way, from which we’ll have little or no leeway to escape. However, when we are basking in the Father’s presence, we are assured of His help to get through the difficulties, though not necessarily complete escape. 

That’s because He has promised to work everything out for the good of those who LOVE Him and are called according to His purpose. (Rom.8:28) And if there’s one thing we can rest comfortably on, is that our ever-faithful God NEVER reneges on His promises. 

Now let’s look at some scripture that exalts the glory and wisdom of being in God’s presence. And we can’t talk about that without including words from Bruh David’s heartfelt declarations. This comes from Psalm 31 – In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust. 

‘Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence (secret place) from the pride (plots) of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion (shelter) from the strife of tongues. Blessed be the Lord: for he hath showed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city. 

For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee. O LOVE the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart.’ (Ps.31:19-24) 

And we can’t argue with Bruh David because in spite of his mistakes, he was still considered a man after God’s own heart, so intense was His longing for Him. 

Meanwhile, in Jeremiah, when the Lord is dealing with the false prophets, He promises: ‘Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence. And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.’(Jer.23:39-40) 

Yes friends, that’s the kind of thing that happens when we are cast out of God’s presence. Please pray that it never happens to us. And we’ll end with this great example from the prophet Jonah. 

The Lord had said to Jonah: ‘Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry (out) against it: for their wickedness is come up before me. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.’ (Jon.1:2-3) 

Now how foolish was that eh my brethren? As a prophet, a man of God, Jonah should have known better than that. And we all know the story of the terrible storm that arose, due to Jonah’s disobedience, and how he was thrown overboard and spent three days and nights in the belly of a great fish, before coming to his senses and repenting. And the Lord in His great mercy and LOVING-kindness forgave him and gave him a second chance. 

Oh my fellow believers, fleeing from the Lord is not easy if He doesn’t want us to flee. But why should we want to flee from Him anyhow eh, when He is the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Creator and Provider of all? That’s certainly not wisdom. So please, let’s be wise today and seek the Lord’s presence rather than try to flee from it. Much LOVE!

…the Christian’s desire ought to be…to continually seek God’s face…and to continually bask in His presence…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 June 2015 Ecclesiastes 12:1‏‏

Ecclesiastes 12:1.    Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not (before the evil days come), nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say I have no pleasure in them.

HAPPY  FATHER’S   DAY!
 
Oh Friends, welcome to a most auspicious day in the annals of mankind! (smile)

And why do I say that? First of all, we’re alive and doing relatively well. Then it’s also Sunday; the day we gather together to sing and praise and worship and glorify our wonderful God and Creator. Thirdly, it’s the first day of summer in the northern climes… And triumphant shouts of ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ reach up to heaven for that blessing.

Yes my people, I know that the winter and spring seasons have been long, spiritually and emotionally tiring and just flat out disgusting and depressing. Now we expect to have at least have a couple months of constant sunshine and warm weather. Although we might soon start complaining that it’s too hot. (smile) But that’s just the nature of the beast.

And last but certainly not least, today is Father’s Day. Wow! If all of that doesn’t make this an auspicious occasion, well then I don’t know what does.

And I’d like to wish ALL the Fathers around the world a Happy Father’s Day! It doesn’t matter whether you’re a good, bad or indifferent Father, today is your day, so please enjoy it.

Now I don’t intend to preach a sermon about being a good father, (smile) but just highlight scriptures that point the way. Before we get to that though, just let me say that good fathers are definitely worth their weight in gold; as economic providers, as well as emotional and spiritual guides.

The father is supposed to be the head of the household, the one with the God-given authority to lead and guide the family with a fine balance of LOVE and discipline as we saw in the scholars explanation yesterday.

Sadly, that is not an easy task, and not all men are capable of doing it, or are even willing to try. And that’s when and where the main unit of society, the family, begins to deteriorate. And once that bed-rock foundation goes, then the society itself will eventually crumble. Unfortunately we’re seeing a lot of that, in fact way too much of that deterioration nowadays. 

Men aren’t standing up to their responsibilities as they should, thus leaving the mothers with too much to do. And though mothers are great, can withstand plenty pressure, they are only human and can only do so much with so little. So all I’m asking us men to do is to please accept our responsibilities as fathers, to live up to the expectations that the name implies.

Children weren’t brought into the world by mothers alone, and if, as many of us are, such big, prideful, egotistical men when we impregnate the ladies, then we ought to be just as big and proud and conscientious to help raise the children that we bring into this evil and godless world. End of sermon. (smile)

Now let’s turn to our Bit. ‘Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not (before the evil days come), nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say I have no pleasure in them.’ And we couldn’t find a more appropriate one for this Father’s Day message, because it’s all about teaching our children about the things of God.  

Remember yesterday we highlighted this scripture from Proverbs. ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and (even) when he is old, he will not depart from it.’ (Prov.22:6) Well that’s what being a father is all about.

And earlier on in Proverbs, re a Father’s wisdom, Cousin Sol declares: ‘Hear ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law…. Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many. I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.

When thou goest thy steps shall not be straitened (hindered), and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life. Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it (do not travel on it) turn from it and pass away.

For they sleep not, except (unless) they have done mischief (evil); and their sleep is taken away (they are robbed of sleep), unless they cause some to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. But the path of the just is as the shining (bright) light, that shineth more and more (ever brighter) unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.’ (Prov.4:1-2, 10-19)

Ah mih people, those are some of the things a father ought to be teaching his children; showing them the two ways of living this life, the wise and godly one, and the wicked, ungodly fleshly manner.

Now let’s end with these famous words of advice from Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. ‘Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and thy mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord.’ (Eph.6:1-4)  

Yes Friends, it’s a two way street, but it all begins first with the Father, who must teach the children the right and godly way, which includes spiritual education as well as responsibilities and duties. Sad to say, we have not done a good enough job of that with this current generation, that’s why they are so ungodly and irresponsible.

Fathers, and mothers where necessary, please let’s try and improve that nuh, for without those strong foundational building blocks our children will be lost forever. Much LOVE!

…the home is the training ground of the young…and what they learn there…they will practice outside… 

P.S. Friends, will somebody please slap me upside the head for being too lazy to type the headings anew every day, and then making matters worse by forgetting to change the date on some of them. I did it again yesterday.

Chuh! I know many of you don’t notice it, but when I do, it just drives me crazy, because it means I am not doing as excellent a job as I should on the Lord’s business. Anyhow, I know the Lord and you my readers will forgive me, let’s just hope that I can forgive myself. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

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