Today’s Scrip-Bit   25 May 2023 Matthew 22:36.

Matthew 22:36.       Master which is the great commandment in the law?

So, we’ve finally arrived at Thursday, the day before the big day of Friday. But I’m sure many eyes, hopes and thoughts are not on today, but turned to that day of supposed freedom from work. (smile) However, here’s a li’l secret that I’ve learned in my own journey through life; you’re never free from the tyranny of work! You may sidestep it for a while, but it always brings you back to that flurry of activity inherent in making a living and a life worth living. 

And have you noticed that as our society gets more and more amenities and technologies that theoretically are supposed make our life less busy and stressful, we are instead getting busier and more stressed, until we’ve reached the point where stress is the number one illness in the land. Don’t ask me why that is, because I’m not an expert, not one of those qualified to give answers to such deep questions. (smile) But this I do know: our turning away from the God of our forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has something to do with the increased busyness and stress that we’re currently experiencing. 

That’s because a majority of us no longer seek His face, and thus cannot enjoy the peace, LOVE and joy that He’s promised to those who seek Him diligently. It’s all very simple yes, and simply spelled out in His Word, the Bible, the Good Library, the Guidebook for earthly living. When our forefathers sincerely followed the Lord, they enjoyed a level of peace, LOVE and joy that most of us in this society have never known. That’s because they acquiesced to His will and His word. And if you don’t believe me, let’s look at a few scriptures that would do us the world of good if we went back to following them. 

First of all, let’s look at the main tenets of our faith, the most important things we ought to do under God’s law. These are the words of Jesus, the Son of God when asked the question in a sarcastic manner by a lawyer, a supposed expert in the law, trying to tempt Him. Oh boy, lawyers seem to have been a two faced, forked tongued, distrustful lot from day one. (smile) 

Anyway, he asked: ‘Master which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said to him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:36-40) 

And that was nothing new to them, for it was the same thing Moses had said to their forefathers in the wilderness, after he led them out of bondage in Egypt. ‘Hear oh, Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.’ (Deut. 6:4-5) 

Now, according to Luke’s version of the incident, the expert in the law stood up and tried to test Jesus, by asking, ‘Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? Jesus said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?’ (Luke 10:25-26) And the ole crook gave the same answers that Jesus gave in Matthew’s version. ‘And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he, (the lawyer) willing (wanting) to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?’ (Luke 10:28-29) 

Oh, the deceit and hypocrisy amongst the ruling elite both then and now! But Jesus went along with the lawyer’s little game, and told him the parable of the Good Samaritan, where the priest, the Levite and a Samaritan passed a robbed an injured Jewish man on the road, and only the Samaritan, the hated cousins of the Jews, stopped to attend to him. (Luke 10:30-35) At the end, Jesus asks the ole crook, ‘Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go and do likewise.’ (Luke 10:36-37 Jesus certainly put him in his place. 

And that’s what happens when we try to play foolish games with God, like turning away from Him, and trying to remove Him and all signs of Him from our society! Remember, He is all powerful, knows everything and sees everything, while we are just His frail and fragile creation from the dust of the earth, to which we all eventually return, who have gotten too big for our britches because of the amazing things we have discovered and invented ONLY through His empowerment! What a sad day it becomes when the created thinks that he is bigger and ‘badder’ than his Creator! 

Don’t we remember all the terrible things that the Lord did to the Jewish people for their stubborn and willful disobedience? The many times their land was besieged and captured by warlike enemies. Don’t forget either when they couldn’t wait on Moses to come down from the mountain with the Ten Commandments and they got Aaron, his brother to make then a golden calf, called it their god and worshipped it. Then eventually Moses had the Levites, kill all of the idolaters. (Ex. 32:25-29) 

Now check out this scripture: ‘And the people spake against God and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water, and our soul loatheth (detests) this light bread (the manna the Lord fed them every day). And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. 

And Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld (looked at) the serpent of brass, he lived.’ (Num. 21:5-9) What irony; bitten by a snake, then saved by looking at a snake. Only our God could think up such a life-saving plan. (smile) 

But seriously though my people, can’t we see that the Lord’s chosen people, the Israelites suffered so many calamities because of their consistent disobedience. What else can we expect then from ours but the chaos and destruction that’s happening all around us eh? But as I also keep saying, when the Israelites discovered their error, they were quick to repent and turn back to the God of their forefathers who so LOVINGLY forgave them and restored them to righteousness with Him. 

Now, doesn’t it make sense for us to do like them and repent and turn from our evil ways and allow Him to heal our world, as He has so faithfully promised to do? But how many of us practice that term nowadays eh?  Not a whole lot. That means we’ll continue to go downhill, until we destroy ourselves, for the Lord is certainly not going to lend a helping hand unless we repent and turn back to Him. Anyway, for those of us who are sincerely trying to make that happen, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Thursday Blessings, which have been generously offered by the Lord for us to do His earthly work. 

Altogether now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

Now, it’s time to take those underserved blessings and go out and use and share them as generously with others, as the Lord did with us. Much LOVE!

…LOVE and OBEDIENCE…that’s basically all the Lord our God asks of us… 

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