Today’s Scrip-Bit   15 October 2022 Matthew 14:27.

Matthew 14:27.       Be of good cheer (take heart, courage) it is I, be not afraid.

It’s raining, it’s raining on this lazy autumn Saturday morning! A chill is in the air, ‘cause the wind’s a blowing, so the trees are dancing, their multi-coloured leaves a waving this way and that!  And I’ve been enjoying every bit of this lazy Saturday morning…that is until now, when I can’t put off writing the Bit any longer. Oh, the tough times some of us have to bear eh. (smile) Anyway, as they say, you can run but you can’t hide, especially from the good Lord. So, let’s do what we always do on Saturdays; see if we can make heads or tails of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Now this first quote says: ‘I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.’ And that’s true to a certain extent. When we make up our minds on what needs to be done, in other words when we make a purposeful decision, we generally get a feeling of strength behind it, and we let go of the fear and anxiety that indecision usually causes. But what happens when we can’t make a decision eh, when indecision just bathes us in a stream of fear, especially in this crazy world of today. We keep living in fear and anxiety, keep living the substandard life that those emotions produce. 

But when we live for Jesus…Glory be! Fear is no longer our nemesis, for with Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, our Master and Guide, we can move along productively and courageously even in the midst of anxiety and worries. That’s because living for Jesus brings a peace of mind that the world cannot offer. Remember this great promise of our omnipotent God, through the prophet Isaiah? ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee, yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’ (Is. 41:10) 

Yes friends, that’s the promise Jehovah God made to His people long ago, and He’s kept it up to this day, because He’s not a deity that ever reneges on His promises, like some false gods do. And remember too that some of Jesus’ favourite words were ‘Fear not.’ And He said it so often that we don’t have space nor time to relate them all, only these few. Think of the occasion when Jesus went walking on the water to the disciples on the boat out in the sea. They were terrified as though they saw a ghost and cried out in fear. ‘But straightway Jesus spoke unto them saying, Be of good cheer (take heart, courage) it is I, be not afraid.’ (Matt. 14:27) 

Then there’s that time that Jairus, the synagogue leader came to Jesus to heal his young daughter, but while they were on the way, Jairus’s servants came and told him that the girl was dead. What was Jesus’ response to that news? He told Jairus: ‘Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole (saved).’ (Luke 8:50) And what about when Jesus and the disciples were crossing the sea of Galilee and a terrible storm blew up on them, while Jesus lay asleep in the back of the boat apparently unconcerned. They woke him, terrified of drowning. ‘And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.’ (Matt:8:27) 

There you have it in a nutshell my fellow believers. The three basics for handling fear are to believe, take heart or courage, and have faith in Jesus, for He is our Good Shepherd, and the shepherd always looks after the sheep. (smile) That brings us to these next two quotes. The first tells us. ‘If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.’ And the second advises. ‘When it comes to luck, you make your own.’ Now I chose to lump them together because I believe they basically say the same thing; you have the power to make your life the way you want it, and to change it whenever you feel like doing so. 

Now again, that’s true only to a certain extent with the free will that God’s given us. But how many of us have tried to change our lives when we felt like doing so and just ran into so many roadblocks that change became virtually impossible eh? That’s because the hand of the Lord was in our affairs, like it always is. (smile) Let’s not forget these very important words of Cousin Sol in Proverbs. ‘The preparations of the heart in man (a man’s plans belong to him), and the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.’ (Prov. 16:1) That means we can plan all we want, but it’s the Lord’s will that will eventually come to pass, because He is sovereign over even the thoughts and words of man. 

And later on in Proverbs, Cousin Sol repeats that advice this way. ‘There are many devices (plans) in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.’ (Prov. 19:21) And I can personally testify to that through hard experience. I never planned to be a writer on scripture, had plenty other secular plans in mind, still do, but then the Lord waylaid me, wouldn’t take no for an answer, and eventually brought all my other ventures to an end. Yes friends, the best laid plans of mice and men usually go astray when the Lord peruses them. (smile) So though we have some leeway to make changes in our lives, what the Lord wants is usually what we’ll become. 

And that certainly contradicts this next quote. ‘Our lives are stories in which we write, direct and star in the leading role. Some chapters are happy while others bring lessons to learn, but we always have the power to be the heroes of our own adventures.’ Again, it’s only true to the extent that the Lord allows us to write and star in our own production. But as we all know, He has a plan for each and every life that He creates, and when He’s ready to put His plan into effect, it’s wisest to simply accept it without any hassle, for He will just keep on making your life more miserable until you accept His dictate. 

Trust me, I know what I’m talking about, because that’s what He did to me when He brought up this Bit idea. I laughed and said I couldn’t because I wasn’t sufficiently knowledgeable in scripture, and that was the truth. But He kept after me, placing obstructions in my way, until I had no choice but to agree. And when I began it was merely a verse of scripture. But through my perseverance and His faithfulness, it’s grown over the last fifteen, almost sixteen years, where I now find myself writing too much instead of too little. (smile) And that’s why I can vouch for the Lord’s faithfulness. He never gives you a task without the tools and the help to do it. 

That brings us to this last quote. ‘Don’t try to lessen yourself for the world; let the world catch up to you.’ And that’s the gospel truth, especially if you are a follower of Christ Jesus! We ought never to take a back step to the world, but to step forward into the light and make the world a better place for Jesus. But unfortunately, not enough of us supposed believers are doing that. Instead, we’re playing second fiddle to the dictates, pleasures and evils of the world. 

But please remember that in Jesus’s band, there is only ONE fiddler, that’s Him, and if we want to be a part of it, then we have to come to terms with that fact and stand up strong and steadfast in His marvellous name, and not play second fiddle to the world. As He so passionately desires and zealously stated: ‘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) 

So please my fellow saints, let’s go out into this evil world and do as Jesus desires of us nuh – shine our lights! That’s our bounden duty. Much LOVE!

…only in Jesus…can we find what our heavenly Father desires for us… 

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