Today’s Scrip-Bit   14 January 2023 Matthew 20:26.

Matthew 20:26.        But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister (servant);

It’s cold and cloudy out there on this lazy day Saturday…and the snow is no longer beautiful because it’s been sullied by man, for anything that mankind touches goes bad, is destroyed, loses its beauty. But we have to keep on keeping on in Christ’s mighty name regardless of what comes against us, because He has sincerely promised that ‘No weapon formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of (from) me, saith the Lord.’ (Is. 54:17) 

So friends, as faithful believers, it behooves us to accept that promise and move on in steadfast trust and faith. Now, let’s see what words of wisdom our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one is certainly interesting. It says: ‘I no longer look for the good in people, I search for the real… because while good is often dressed in fake clothing, real is naked and proud no matter the scars.’ 

And the quote does have a point, because nowadays a lot of what seems good on the outside is really evil on the inside, a lot of faking, fraudulent behaviour and deceit is happening in our society, so you can’t trust all those who seem to be wonderful on the outside. It’s like Jesus said of the religious leaders of His time. ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres (whitewashed tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.’ (Matt. 23:17) We therefore have to be very careful of whom we listen to and let into our inner sanctums. 

Oh friends, I went upstairs just now to warm my coffee, and would you believe, when I looked out the window, I was almost blinded, like Bruh Paul on the road to Damascus, (smile) because the sun was out shining bright and spunkily! Wow! It’s the first time in ages we’ve seen the sun shining, able to overcome the cloud cover! Miracles do happen still! Glory to God! Hope the sunshine will last for than just a short while though. 

But moving on, the next quote advises: ‘If they respect you, respect them. If they disrespect you, still respect them. Do not allow the actions of others to decrease your good manners, because you represent yourself, not others. Do not lower your integrity for anyone.’ And that’s sound advice, especially if you claim to be a believer in Christ Jesus, for in the Sermon on the Mount, He preached: ‘Blessed are ye when men shall revile (upbraid, angrily scold) you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matt. 5:11-12) 

That was indeed Christ’s style. And He set the example for us in spades. How does Peter put it? ‘For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted (beaten) for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable to (commendable before) God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow in his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile (deceit) found in his mouth. Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again (in return); when he suffered, he threatened not, but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.’ (1 Peter 2:20-23) 

Now, because of our fallen human nature, we obviously won’t be always able to do it like Jesus did, but we can certainly do better than we’re currently doing. And that segues quite nicely into this next quote: ‘There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama & people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad & focus on the good. LOVE the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.’ 

There’s no fault to be found with those words of wisdom, especially in these topsy-turvy times when too many people are playing out a whole lot of unnecessary drama. Drama seems to be the name of the game right now. But we believers don’t need that unnecessary stuff. With Jesus, we can just float right along, cruise along in the knowledge and faith of His wonderful grace, mercy and LOVE! Therefore, this other quote should be one we strongly adhere to. ‘Don’t be afraid of change. You may end up losing something good, but you will probably end up gaining something better.’ 

That’s oh so true! And I can testify to that from some recent changes in my life. I unexpectedly lost certain things and figured I’d be completely lost without them. But now I can see some light at the end of that dark tunnel and know that what is in the offing will be better than what I’ve lost. We’re always comforted by what we have and fear what might happen if we succumb to change, but change in the right manner and for the right reasons can be ofttimes better than the old way. Just make sure that we don’t change just for changing sake. 

That brings us to this last simple, but oh so powerful and true quote. ‘Never believe you are above or below anyone. Keep a humble spirit.’ And that’s somewhat difficult to do in these times of overwhelming, pride, arrogance, and hunger for wealth and power. Everyone is seeking to be better than the other, because that’s how the world judges us. But not so in Christ’s kingdom. Bruh Paul wrote it thus in his letter to the Roman church. ‘For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.’ (Rom. 12:3) 

Yes, it’s possible for us to both overestimate and underestimate ourselves. But per Bruh Paul, ‘the righteousness of God will cause the believer to conduct himself with humility.’  And let’s also remember Jesus’ words when the mother of Zebedee’s sons came and asked Jesus for them to sit on his right and left hand in His kingdom and it riled up the other disciples. But Jesus called them and pointed out how the Gentile higher ups lorded it over them. ‘But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister (servant); And whosoever will be chief (first) among you, let him be your servant (slave): Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto (be served) but to minister (to serve), and to give his life a ransom for many.’ (Matt. 20:26-28) 

Yes my fellow believers, humility was one of Jesus’ most important earthly traits, and it should also be ours. Now humility doesn’t mean being weak and dotish, but knowing one’s self, and not being boastful and arrogant about it, but being modest regarding your gifts and accomplishments. Having a modicum of circumspection, as Jeeves would say. (smile) 

And we can’t end without mentioning these wonderful verses on the subject from the letter to the Philippians, where Bruh Paul declares: ‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men, (he emptied himself of all his privileges): And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil. 2:5-8) 

Oh my fellow saints, that’s a good scripture for us to remember when we feel like we’re getting too big for our britches! (smile) So let’s get out there today and fight the good fight for Jesus; be strong, but modest and humble, for that’s the example He set us. Much LOVE!

…although calamity surrounds us…our souls find peace in Jesus… 

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