Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 September 2017 Matthew 5:41.

Matthew 5:41.   And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain (two).

Oh friends, autumn has begun with a bang in my area! On the first day, yesterday, the temperature was in the high twenties. And for the weekend, a heat warning has been advised by the Health Department because the temps will be in the thirties all weekend. Wow! Usually by this time the leaves would be brown and falling. 

And wonder of wonders, no little cyclones of leaves from my lane have begun spinning around my driveway as yet, as that’s where they all seem to gather in their death knell. Even when all my trees are bare, my driveway is full of them. But right now all the trees are still green, though we haven’t had any rain for at least a couple of weeks during the nice weather. 

Unfortunately, a lot of others can’t say the same thing because they have gone through devastating losses because of hurricanes, earthquakes or fires. Ah Lord eh! What’s causing all this sudden unusual disaster eh? Is it simply climate change, or God’s wrath on our sinful souls? Who knows? 

But the smart thing would be to try and improve our caretaking of the planet, and turn our eyes and hearts heavenward in repentance to our ever merciful and forgiving God. Those are the only two actions that make sense in these calamitous days my people. Anyway, all true Christians should be praying even more than before, and helping our unfortunate brethren in any way we can. 

Now since today is Saturday, let’s look at some quotes from our friend Anselm for this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this week they were all simple one-liners, like: ‘Upgrade your values.’ Now that should be always a priority in our lives, but the fact is that as we get more intelligent and prosperous, our standards are sadly falling. But who cares? Jesus does, as He expects diligence and excellence from ALL His followers. 

And Anselm also recommends: ‘Don’t stop working towards your dream.’ Now why would we want to do such a foolish thing eh, when working towards fulfilling them is exactly why God put dreams and desires in our hearts? We need to cherish them, hold them close to our hearts and make every effort for them to come true. And if they adhere to God’s law and will, they will eventually do so, but we do have to keep working diligently and enthusiastically towards them and never give up. 

And this quote is interesting. ‘Someone’s opinion is not your reality.’ So true! Ofttimes the opinions of others just don’t jive with what you are about. But please don’t just dismiss them offhandedly; learn to wisely consider those opinions, for sometimes they do contain a grain of truth or wisdom. (smile) 

And thus, you can also ‘Take full responsibility for your life.’ Now that quote brings forth a sarcastic chuckle, because we all know that in today’s world, shunning responsibility is the name of the game. It’s always everybody else’s fault but our own. It’s called the blame game: blame everybody else but ourselves. 

But then in the last quote, Anselm tells us that we should ‘Give more than you are paid for.’ Hn! Hn! Another no-no in this society! We don’t even want to do what we’re paid to do, much less to give more. Chuh! It’s ingrained in our work habits, to do as little as we can get away with; to take advantage of the benefits wherever we can. So doing extra is just very seldom an option in this modern day and age. 

But it was very important to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ as He talks about LOVING our enemies in the Sermon on the Mount, from which our Bit comes. ‘And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain (two).’ 

So friends, shirking our duty and not willing to give more than we are asked for does not fall into Jesus’ portfolio at all. He expects us ALWAYS to live up to our responsibility and to do and give more than we’re asked. That’s just another example of why, as Christians, we should not be following the dictates of the world. We must be in the world, but not be of the world. 

Now here’s an explanation of our Bit from the scholars. ‘5:41. In ancient times government agents were in a position to compel forced service upon a subjugated people. A Roman soldier, for example, could compel a Jewish native to carry his armour or materials for one mile. Jesus now states that if someone compels you to walk a mile, go with him twain. The believer is to be willing to “go the extra mile.” Doing double our duty not only proves our loyalty to human authority, but likewise proves the spiritual intention of our heart.’ 

Ah mih people, how many of us supposed Christians hold to that action eh? Not as many as should, for we insist on following the poor example of the world, because it’s so much easier, less challenging and less responsible too. But my brethren, as true believers, we should instead be following the outstanding example which Jesus set, and wants us to follow, even though it’s difficult and very challenging. 

Yes friends, Jesus is all about coming up higher in EVERY walk of life, and to be His sincere followers, we need to fashion ourselves after Him. Nothing else will do! Much LOVE!

…the tests and trials of this life…are God’s way of remaking us…into the image of Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

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