Today’s Scrip-Bit   14 May 2022 Matthew 16:24.

Matthew 16:24.      If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

And then it was a sunny summer Saturday! Glory be my people! Good days are ahead in the northern climes, and it’s showing already with folks walking about half-naked, and driving around in their convertibles. The sun was actually hot yesterday…and hopefully from now on, it will dispel heat as well as brilliance. Although, when the heat really comes, we’ll start complaining about how it’s too hot. 

Yes, mankind is never satisfied. Even when we get what we call for, we’re not happy. When it’s cold we complain, but when it gets hot, we also complain. Before there was Christ, we complained about Satan and his sinful ways, but now that we have Christ and His awesome story of salvation and eternal life, we’re still complaining. Guess man’s dissatisfaction with life will never end until Jesus comes back and sets up His magnificent kingdom of peace, LOVE and contentment. 

In the meantime, let’s concentrate on our Saturday task, that of checking out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this week we only must deal with three quotes because he inadvertently sent us one from last week, namely: ‘Nobody has ever measured, even poets, how much a heart can hold.’ We dealt with that when we talked about Mary, Jesus’ mother, and the many things she held in her heart re the birth, life, death and resurrection of her marvellous boy child, the Son of God. 

But believe me, a heart can hold a lot, since it is made for patience and long suffering, but how much, I don’t even think we can measure it, because it’s such a wonderfully made organ, second only to the mind, that it just keeps expanding with whatever is placed in it, be it PAIN or LOVE. Imagine the hearts of Mary and the Father when they watched their Son’s badly beaten and abused body, hanging limply on the old rugged cross nuh! That certainly gives us an idea of the heart’s amazing capacity. 

Then we come to this rather interesting quote. ‘Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.’ And that’s the gospel truth friends! We see it happening every day in our celebrity-based society, where you’ll find people fighting to hang around with a celebrity, and usually the latest and/or biggest one in town. And the celebrities themselves are so chocked full of themselves that they encourage these entourages and even seek to compete as to who has the biggest entourage. 

But you know what, regardless of how big we get, our flame dies or burns low at some time or the other, meaning we can no longer afford to have all those hangers-on hanging around us. And they usually just drift away to greener pastures, ofttimes without even a backward glance, and angry too that their good thing has ended, because they are only parasites; organisms that feed off a living body until they kill it, it dies from being fed on too much. (smile) 

None stay to help you get through the rough times, as you are forced to ride the bus instead of the limo. But that’s the celebrity game! And if you foolishly decide to play it, then you have no one to blame but yourself, if you end up paying the price for your big ego and foolish pride. 

Now hear this next quote, which makes a bold statement: ‘You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.’ That’s oh so true my brethren! Once you stay in the safe confines of your comfort zone, or the place(s) where you are comfortable and refuse to take some risks, then your life will never change. You’ll just drone on in the same comfortable but unexciting and unenthusiastic manner. 

Remember life was meant to be lived. Christ died for us to have life abundantly, and that means getting up and doing new and different things, taking risks, not foolish risks, but sensible ones through which you can grow and become a better person and a more mature believer. If you desire change, then you must stretch yourself, because that’s the only way change comes about. You certainly can’t stay in your comfort zone and expect to or acquire change. 

And Jesus is the perfect example of that. He could have stayed in His comfortable position in heaven, but He desired to see some changes down here on earth amongst the people, so He left his comfortable heavenly situation and came to earth to do something about it. Remember His famous words: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17)

Yes friends, the Father LOVED us so much that He didn’t want to see us go down the wide and destructive path that leads to death and damnation, and because of His justice and righteousness He couldn’t just wave our sins away, so He had to step out of His comfort zone and do something drastic, like send His sinless Son to die and pay our sin debt. Jesus Himself could have refused the Father’s entreaties, but He also decided to step out of His comfort zone, and do something big, something drastic and wonderful, but oh so painful, for mankind, telling the Father – ‘not as I will, but as thou wilt.’ (Matt. 26:39d) 

And it’s the same way He desires us to step out of our comfort zones to do His bidding. He said it in no uncertain terms to the disciples: ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.’ (Matt. 16:24) And to do that, we must certainly step out of our comfort zone, unlike the rich ruler who refused to sell his vast possessions, give the proceeds to the poor and then follow Jesus. (Matt. 19:16-26) 

That brings us to this last quote, another interesting one. ‘The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be minds.’ True words friends. If an animal, who is supposed to moult, that’s cast of their skins or feathers or change their outer appearance, like a snake, or certain birds, or a caterpillar, then those animals die. The same thing goes for those of us who are prevented from changing their opinions, like in certain dogmatic or dictatorial societies or organizations. 

Our minds simply die, because they have been made devoid of life, through the refusal to think other thoughts, or have other opinions. Man’s mind is the greatest thing ever made, but it was made for thinking, for being used in worthwhile pursuits, not just sitting dormant or not being profitably used. So, like all living organisms that don’t keep moving and improving, they eventually die from lack of use. 

Please friends, please don’t allow that to happen to our minds. Let’s keep them moving and grooving on the best thing that’s ever happened to us, that’s Jesus! Like Bruh Paul said to the church at Rome. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom. 12:2) In that way, my fellow saints, our minds won’t die an unnatural and unprofitable death. Much LOVE!

…following Jesus is not easy…but it’s adventurous and exciting…because it takes you out of your comfort zone… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​    

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