Today’s Scrip-Bit   10 December 2022 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 once again, this new day, this lazy Saturday has dawned grey and overcast. However, my computer weather forecast tells me that it will eventually be mostly sunny. Let’s hope that is true, because there’s nothing worse than a cold, cloudy day. And since I’ve already lazed out as much of the day as possible, (smile) I’ve got to get right into the Bit, considering the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Now the first quote tells us: ‘Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.’ Well, that’s at least partly true, because some things, if you don’t believe in them, you’ll never experience them. That’s just the nature of those things. It’s like belief and faith in Christ. If you don’t believe in Christ, have sincere faith in Him, you’ll never experience the wonderful things He has in store for you. All the many miracles, or what some might call magical moments, in a life lived exclusively for Him. 

It’s the faith, the belief that creates the opportunities. And how is faith defined? ‘The substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb.11:1) Exactly my faithful brethren! Faith is what we hope for, the positive expectation of what we don’t see, but know that it will come along eventually. And that segues very nicely into our next quote. ‘Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.’ 

That’s the gospel truth. Many of us can think back to moments we never really valued at the time they were happening, but now, many years later, realize how important and valuable they were in our life. I can think of several right off the top of my head. Unfortunately though, not properly appreciating the moments of life when they occur, is a sad drawback to the human nature. 

Why? I don’t know! But we just seem to pass over some moments without paying proper attention to them. And that’s ever so possible and plentiful in our busy society. And later on, we so often hold our heads and bawl: ‘Oh how I wish I’d paid more attention to such and such, or so and so!’ But then it’s too late my people. Let’s hope that this will give us a wakeup call, to consider all the moments in our lives, so that we don’t pass over some of the real important ones, and only have vague memories of them as we go back and forth in our rocking chairs. (smile) 

Meanwhile, the next quote succinctly informs us: ‘To win big, you sometimes have to take big risks.’ And that’s the glorious truth! Be it in the evil doings of this world, or in the wonderful kingdom of Christ. To gain much, one must usually expend much; in time, money, energy, faith and hope! That’s because big rewards just naturally come from big expenditures in whatever you’re seeking to achieve. And if you think that’s not true, then listen to Jesus as He sets out His basic rule for discipleship. ‘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) 

Now if that isn’t a big risk, I don’t know what is. It means that every day we have to put aside our own desires and do God’s will. Be like Jesus said in His darkest hour in the Garden of Gethsemane: ‘O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except (unless) I drink it, thy will be done.’ (Matt. 26:42). Yes friends, Jesus would have surely preferred not to go to the cross, but He was willing to do it if it was the Father’s will. Likewise, we are expected to put our desires aside and do Jesus’ will if we want to receive big rewards in heaven. 

Please note that all the people mentioned as being of great faith and doing great things in the Bible, all took great risks and sacrificed much. Names like Abraham, who packed up and left his family simply on God’s say so. A God He did not even know. Likewise, Moses, led the Israelites at great sacrifice to himself. Bruh Joseph experienced much heartache and betrayal in his young life, but he held on staunchly to the promise of His God and was eventually greatly rewarded by being made the Prime minister of Egypt, then the greatest power on earth. 

Look at the lives of Bruh David, Bruh Paul, Job, etc. etc. All laid down their own desires to follow that of their God, and were well rewarded, not necessarily here on earth, but definitely in heaven, where Jesus said it was the best place to store one’s treasure. (smile) 

And then, there was this quote: ‘To live a fulfilled life, we need to keep creating the ‘what is next’, of our lives. Without dreams and goals there is no living, only merely existing, and that is not why we are here.’ Now, all of that is technically true; without dreams and goals we’re merely existing, and that’s not why God made us. But to live a truly fulfilled life, one must be living for Jesus! For He is the only one who can bring real fulfillment to our souls and spirits. 

The world might bring fulfillment to our bodies, but those pass away back to the dust from which they were originally formed. However, our souls and spirits live on, and that’s why they ought to be properly taken care of. And remember only Jesus gives eternal life, peace, true joy and unconditional LOVE! But that doesn’t mean that our desires and dreams are unimportant to our God. Definitely not, since he is the One who originally put them there! 

And let’s not forget this magnificent advice of Bruh David, which he wrote from personal experience: ‘Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on His faithfulness). Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.’ (Ps. 37:1-5) 

Obviously you won’t get everything you want, especially if it conflicts with God’s will, but my people, that’s the only way to live a truly fulfilled life on God’s great earth! That brings us to this last quote, another dilly. ‘The most wasted of days is one without laughter.’ And yuh better believe it! A day without laughter is indeed a wasted day. Now, we’re not talking about just maniacal, delirious laughter, but moments when the soul and spirit exude a joy that lifts us up, that enables us to continue steadfastly on the straight and narrow road. 

And Cousin Sol, in his infinite wisdom, described laughter thus. ‘A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.’ (Prov. 17:22) Yes friends, it’s been scientifically proven that laughter is one of the best, and the cheapest medicines ever. Here are some of the things laughter does. It lowers blood pressure; reduces stress hormone levels, and right now stress is the biggest killer in our society. Laughter also works your abs. Oh yeah! When you laugh your stomach muscles contract and expand like when you intentionally exercise your abs. 

It improves cardiac health; gets your heart pumping and improves blood flow. It boosts ‘T-cells’ a natural immune system that helps us fight off sickness. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, another facet of our natural pain relief system. And finally, laughter produces a general sense of well-being. It certainly does! And doctors have discovered that those with a positive outlook on life, who laugh a fair amount, also live longer than those who are on the negative side of the equation and don’t laugh as much. So please, let’s go out today and be positive, bask in the joy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and laugh a lot, so we can live longer! Much LOVE!

…living for Jesus might be tough…but it’s always interesting… 

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