Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 August 2020 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.     ​If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

And it looks like it’s going to rain… Yeh it looks like it’s going to rain today… Oh my brethren, have you ever realised that even if our circumstances are good, when you awaken to a dark and cloudy, rain-like morning, like today, that your soul sort of automatically goes in to a ‘saddish’ sort of mood? But when you awaken to a bright and sunshiny day, even when your circumstances are not the best, your soul seems to react more positively, it sparkles and is joyfully uplifted! (smile) 

I think that’s because the Lord created our souls to process light positively, not darkness and gloom. And that’s why He sent His only Son Jesus Christ to sacrifice His sinless life for us; that despite all the darkness of this evil world, we could always have sunshine in our souls, as our sins are forgiven, we’ve become reconciled to the Father once again and heaven is our future home, with eternal life guaranteed. Let’s remember that today friends as we voyage out into the world to do Jesus’ work. And that’s my penny’s worth for this morning. (smile) 

So since it’s Friday… and I do hope that the fellow who didn’t want to rejoice yesterday because it was Thursday, is still alive and kicking and rejoicing today, the day he believes ought to be celebrated, and that the Lord didn’t call him home during the night, like He did the rich fool who only wanted to build his barns bigger so he could store more, and was not rich towards God. ‘But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee:’ (Luke 12:20) So when will you rejoice again eh? (smile) 

Yeh friends, it only means that we should never forget to be rich towards our great God, refusing at no time to rejoice and give Him the thanks and praise to which He’s due. Now how did we get here eh? (smile) Oh, there’s nothing wrong with a li’l levity, especially in disturbing times like these. But before we run out of space and time, let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say this morning nuh. 

And he waxes philosophical: ‘Well, well, well! If it isn’t Friday! Now I can truly shout, TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the restful weekend is here at last! There’s no day in our society like Friday! We look forward to it with a sense of rejoicing. Yes, because it promises a glorious two days away from hard labour; two days of rejoicing or sleeping or just doing nothing; two days when you can take control of your own life – that’s to the extent that that’s possible in the autocratic society in which we live. 

But gee…is the populace ever happy when Friday comes! And I remember hearing when it wasn’t so at all, when you had to labour seven days straight without a day off! Hn! And if you give the greedy slave masters and them the chance, they’d likely go right back to that. But over my dead body…and those of my fellow workers! Man wasn’t born to be slaves to work, but to enjoy the fruit of his labour, and how can you enjoy the fruit of your labour when you don’t have any time off to enjoy it eh? That’s why we’ll keep on joyfully shouting: ‘Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

And is the ordinary workingman ever full of surprises! You never know what gems of wisdom he’ll come up with each week from his humble position. Now why can’t we saints of Christ have that same joyful, do or die attitude as we step out each day to do Jesus’ work eh? And not the attitude like it’s oh so hard, like pulling teeth without anaesthetic, like making fire in cold weather from two pieces of dry sticks. Ah mih people, what’s our Saviour Jesus going to do with us eh?  Let’s remember the terms of our discipleship nuh. ‘If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ (Luke 9:23) 

Please note the importance of that word ‘daily’ – meaning ‘every day’ – not when we feel like! Are we doing that to the best of our ability my people? I doubt it, else our world would not be in the unrighteous and unholy mess that it’s in. Let’s not forget these words of Christ either. ‘For whosoever will (desires to) save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose (loses) his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged (benefitted), if he gain the whole world, and lose himself (is destroyed), or be cast away (lost)? (Luke 9:24-25) Those are just some good questions for us to ponder this weekend my fellow saints in Christ. 

Now let’s turn to our wonderful God in sincere prayer, releasing our Friday Chant in strong voice, with humble hearts. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And having prayed that prayer, we now need to go out and indeed show that we are faithful believers, and stand strong and steadfast in trusting faith! Much LOVE!

…whosoever doth not bear his cross…and come after me…cannot be my disciple… (Luke 14:27)  

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