Today’s Scrip-Bit   1 October 2022 Matthew 5:16.

Matthew 5:16.        Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Ah friends, the tiredness and laziness are certainly permeating the ole fella’s body and spirit this lazy, somewhat cloudy Saturday morning, the first day of October 2022. Now I like that sentence because it tells us so many things all in one go. (smile) But I think this lazy Saturday thing is getting into me, becoming a habit, and I don’t like it. I was up earlier on, did a couple of things, then went back to bed, claiming I was still sleepy. But the truth is, an hour or so later, I don’t know if I’m feeling any better than I did the first time I got up. 

Nonetheless, there’s God’s work to be done, which is one of the reasons I’m beginning to dislike the lazy Saturday idea, because rain or shine, sleet or snow, in sickness or health, I still have to do it. (smile) And God’s work on Saturdays entails looking at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us the past week and make something Christian-like of them, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And that’s not always easy, but with God’s awesome help, I always manage to turn out something respectable. ‘Thank You Lord!’ 

And we’ll begin with this interesting quote, which says: ‘If you make your internal life a priority, then everything else you need on the outside will be given to you and it will be extremely clear what the next step is.’ Now, there’s a lot of truth in that, provided Jesus Christ is your Lord and Saviour and you make Him, or your spiritual life, your priority, for He sincerely and faithfully promised: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) That’s food, clothing, and all the other necessities of life. But we first have to believe in Him, and then put Him first in all that we do. 

But I question the last part of the quote, for everything will definitely not be made extremely clear. Yes, somethings will be made clear, but a lot of it we will be expected to walk by faith and trust in Christ Jesus. For what’s the purpose of a God eh, if He tells us everything clearly and leaves nothing to our imagination or faith eh? None whatsoever! 

And that segues very nicely into this next quote. ‘You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go and see what happens.’ And that’s the gospel truth! But you can only do that when your faith and trust in Jesus is strong, and you’ve already had some experience with Him. If He is your guide and protector, then you have to let go sometimes and just let Him lead and guide you. We call him the Good Shepherd, and that’s what shepherds do; lead and guide their flock safely and compassionately. And Jesus is the epitome, the master example of shepherds and shepherding. (smile) 

But in any case, as Cousin Sol so wisely tells us in Proverbs: ‘A man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.’ (Prov. 16:9) Yes my brethren, our God is sovereign over our scheming and planning, that’s why so many of our bright schemes and plans go astray. (smile) If they are not in His will, then ofttimes He won’t allow them to happen. And even if they are in His will, sometimes it’s just not the right time, so they won’t happen either. That means it’s very important to recognize God’s sovereignty and will over our lives, otherwise His yays and nays will eventually drive us crazy, and possibly turn us away from Him, which is the worst thing we can ever do. 

Then there’s this quote: ‘No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.’ Now there should be absolutely no doubt to that, since it’s been words and ideas that have been changing the world since the beginning of time. They are put in place before any action happens. And we have a great example in the fall of man. Satan spoke to Eve with words, planting ideas in her mind, re eating from the tree of Good and Evil. 

‘And the serpent said unto the woman (Eve), Ye shall not surely die. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods (God), knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes (a desirable thing), and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons (girding coverings)’ (Gen. 3:4-7) 

And there we have it; the first words and ideas that changed the world, that brought sin and disobedience into the life of mankind! And I like how the scholars describe verse six, in terms of 1 John 2:16. ‘Good for food, appeals to appetite, or ‘lust of the flesh.’ ‘Pleasant to the eyes,’ turns us to the law against coveting in Ex. 20, showing as ‘lust of the eyes.’ And ‘to be desired to make one wise,’ according to the use of the verb ‘desired’ in Deut. 5 for coveting, appeals to ‘the pride of life.’ So that just set us on that path of lust and sinful desires. 

But there’s also another great example where words and actions wrought a substantive change to that first foolish and disobedient action of our forefathers. That’s the coming of Jesus Christ, the Son of God to sacrifice His sinless life so that man could be redeemed, be forgiven of his disgusting sins and disobedience and be once again reconciled to the Father. And how did Jesus put forward His plan to the people, with words and ideas, just like Satan did. And you’ll notice the amazing change in people when those words and ideas sank in. 

Then, when He followed them up with appropriate action…Wow! There was such an uprising of change and clamour like the world’s never seen before, and it’s been taking place down through the ages, even to this day! And in between, we’ve had all sorts of words and ideas that have changed our world, but none as big and lasting as those two. 

And this next quote also follows on nicely to the last. ‘What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.’ More gospel truth my people. What has happened to you, and what will happen to you in the future, depends to a great extent on what lies inside of you. If you have the evil spirit of Satan lurking and working within you, then most likely you will be bound for evil doings and eventual damnation and hellfire. However, if you have the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Ghost, dwelling within you, as all believers have, and you’re listening to His lead and guidance, then you will be able to accomplish marvellous things in this world. 

Why? Because the Spirit of Jesus dwelling within believers bears wonderful fruit. Fruit like, LOVE, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, kindness, faithfulness and self-control! Now how can those marvelous things dwelling and growing within you not produce most excellent stuff eh? That brings us to this last quote, another interesting one. ‘Do not allow people to dim your shine because they are blinded. Tell them to put some sunglasses on.’ Now that’s putting it nicely! 

Yes, friends, when that fruit of the Spirit begins producing good stuff in us and in our actions, then others will become jealous, disgruntled, or some other negative reaction, because they don’t want to see us shine, especially if we’re shining for Jesus. But as the quote advises, tell them to get a grip, to put on some sunglass if your light is too bright for them, because that’s exactly what Jesus wants to see from His followers. Like He said: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt: 5:16) 

And with that exhortation ringing in our ears, my fellow saints, let’s get out there and SHINE! SHINE for Jesus! SHINE like we’ve never shone before! Our world desperately needs us to shine in these very depressing and destructive times! And Jesus is counting on us to do just that! Much LOVE!

…the darkness of the world…can only be overcome by…the blazing light of Christian LOVE… 

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