Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 March 2021 Matthew 14:31b.

Matthew 14:31b.     ​O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

And so we move on; another day older and closer to heaven! Can you imagine it friends? Some of us have lived so many days already that we don’t know what to do with ourselves. But be not afraid of what’s in your future, for our great and wonderful God has a distinct plan for every one of us, to be His disciple, His ambassador, agent, representative, call it what you like, and it does not end even when we take our last breath and go over the other side to His golden mansions for eternal rest. 

That’s because He expects the lives that we’ve lived down here, to speak to others, as a glowing example of faithfulness and LOVE, even after we have departed this earthly territory. That means what we do, how we behave, how we treat others, every day of our lives makes a difference. And that’s exactly what the Lord desires of us; that we make a positive difference in the land as we walk closely with Him. So the question now my friends is, are we making a positive difference on others, as we live this earthly life? 

Are we being good examples of the kind of life the Lord expects of His followers? I do hope that all of us can answer a resounding ‘Yes!’ to it, but I know that that’s certainly not the case, else our world would not be living the selfish, greedy, godless, dog eat dog kind of life we’re currently living. Oh my brethren, if we’re true to ourselves, we’ll all realize that we’re not living the best Christian life that we can, which means we have lots of room for improvement. 

And why aren’t we living the kind of Christian life we want to lead eh? I think if we look to Bruh Paul’s words and examples in Romans, when he talks about the struggles of two natures, we’ll get some insight into the problem. ‘For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal (fleshly), sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not (don’t understand): for what I would (want to do), that do I not; but what I hate, that I do.’ (Rom. 7:14-15) And we all have that same struggle between our flesh and the spiritual lives we want to live. 

The scholars however, offer an excellent explanation of our problem, re verse 14. ‘The law is spiritual: The law has characteristics of the Spirit and is consistent with the character of God. I am carnal: What follows is autobiographical and designed to reveal the real struggle the apostle experienced in the flesh. His experience is also exemplary, for it shows the problems all believers experience in their battle with sin.’ And yes, as we said above, we all experience personal struggles with sin, but that is no reason, no excuse not to do better than we’re doing, especially if we’re at a fairly high state of spiritual maturity. 

And I think that’s one of the many problems in the church, in Christ’s body today: the mature believers are not leading exemplary lives, and also are not taking enough interest in the less mature believers. But that’s just what Jesus desires of us, as we said at the outset; a life that makes a positive difference and sets a good example to others. And no, He does not expect us to be perfect, because He did not make us perfect, but He does expect us to do our best. As Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘Look your best, do your best and be your best!’ And that’s all the Lord is asking of us. 

But too many of us are too immersed in the ways of the world, the fleshly, sinful carnal life. And how do we get out of that? Only one way friends; by keeping our eyes constantly fixed on Jesus. And we have a great example of that with this interaction between Jesus and Peter. It’s that time when Jesus fed five thousand men besides women and children with five loaves of bread and two fishes, and they took up twelve baskets of remnants afterwards. (Matt. 14:15-21) Then He sent the disciples away in a boat over the lake, the sea of Galilee, while He dismissed the crowd and went up into a mountain to pray. (Matt. 14:22-23a) 

Now the Good Book says: ‘And when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship (with the disciples) was now in the midst (middle) of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night (from 3-6 a.m.) Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit (a ghost); and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. 

And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous (violent), he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth, thou art the Son of God.’ (Matt. 14:23b-33). 

And right in that li’l passage of scripture friends, we have our basic problem. We talk plenty about Jesus being the Son of God, but when the time comes for us to truly embrace it, we fail miserably. Peter was bold enough to step out of the boat, but when the wind got really strong, he took His eyes off Jesus, and doubt crept into his mind and made him afraid. And that’s what happens to too many of us; when troubles come, we stop looking to Jesus, forget the powerful being that He is, and all His faithful promises, and in fear, fall back on our own strength, which will never be enough to get us through this life. 

So friends, if we want to make a positive difference with our lives, we have to steadfastly keep looking to Jesus; don’t be too afraid, or lose our faith, or forget His promises, when troubles come, as they always will. And what better scripture to close with than these assuring words of our Lord and Saviour. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

And for those of us in whom those words have taken solid root, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. As one strong and sincere voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And it’s also reassuring to know that if we endure to the end, the promised future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! So let’s keep on keeping on in Christ nuh my brethren! Much LOVE!

…steadfastly looking to Jesus…is the ONLY way…to handle our doubts and fears… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 December 2016 2 Timothy 4:7.

2 Timothy 4:7.   I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.

Ah friends, another day, another dollar! But Ho! Some of you say that a dollar isn’t a dollar anymore, it’s more like fifty cents, or even less, and that’s possibly true. 

But yuh know what my brethren, the money isn’t as important as the fact that we’re alive. Our pictures and eulogies aren’t in the obituaries, and that’s much more important than the money we might make today. 

We’re alive and have the ability to do lots of good stuff in God’s name. And if by chance we aren’t kicking as strongly as we like, then we can always turn to our heavenly Father for help. 

And here’s a good prayer that reflects our problem. I got it from one of the Daily Bread Devotionals. It simply says: ‘Father, at this moment, I turn to You for strength in my weakness, energy for my weariness, and faith in my doubt.’ 

Simple and straight to the point my people. And if you are sincere, the Lord, who gives liberally to all who ask in faith, will shower you with His blessings until you are kicking mightily. (smile) 

Now, without further ado, let’s turn to our Bit, taken from what’s called Bruh Paul’s last testament, in his second letter to his protégé Timothy. And to keep everything in context, we’ll just do it all at once. 

‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith. 

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:6-8) 

Oh my fellow believers, there is so much stuff in those verses that still pertain to us. Let’s check them out. First of all, we all will die someday. And a lot of us shy away from talk of death, but it’s the only sure thing in this crazy world, even surer than taxes. (smile) 

And blessedly, through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we have a great time to look forward to. But when that time comes, will be ready to meet our Heavenly Father on the other side of the great divide with strong faith and trust; eagerly expectant for what’s over there, gladly shuffling off this rough and difficult mortal coil? 

Or will be afraid and anxious, devoid of or with little faith, not knowing, or rather believing what Jesus promised. ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 

In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

Ah friends, that’s the basic premise of our faith; belief in Jesus Christ! And if we aren’t ready when the time comes to depart, then obviously we won’t be able to say as proudly and confidently as Bruh Paul says in our Bit: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.’ 

And we desperately and definitely need to be able to say that at the day of reckoning! You can’t fight a good fight in Jesus’ name if you don’t truly believe all He’s said, because that belief and faith is what makes you strong, keeps you ticking, has you eager to do His will. 

Consequently, there might not be a crown of righteousness laid up for you on that judgement day. That’s why we all need strong faith, and that only comes by diligently reading and meditating on God’s Word, through regular fellowship and constant prayer. 

So if we are neglecting any of those things, our faith will definitely not grow to the point that we can fight a good fight, and run a strong race, and thus attain that crown of righteousness which is laid up in heaven for all those who surely and steadfastly anchor themselves in the Word and work of God. 

Now please don’t get discouraged if your personal situation doesn’t line up with what we’ve said, because it can always be changed, preferably right now, by going to the Father and asking for strength, guidance and direction to run a good race in His name. 

Remember while there is life, there’s ALWAYS hope. But we’re never sure when life will end, so we have to do what we need to do as soon as possible. Now let’s go home with joy and passion, proudly and boldly declaring our Wednesday Wail. 

All together now, in strong voice and perfect harmony: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Yes friends, tomorrow we might see our name in the obits, (smile) but we have God’s gift of today, so please let’s enjoy it and go out and do our best to make a positive difference in this mish mash world we live in. For that’s what is expected of us, true believers. Much LOVE!

…winning races…needs strong faith and endurance…which can only be acquired through Almighty God…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 May 2016 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.

Well my people, a new week has begun! Yes it’s Sunday, the Lord’s Day, the day for worshipping and praising and fellowshipping and rejuvenating our spirits at God’s sanctuary, or wherever two or three of God’s children choose to gather! 

That’s the beauty of our faith; we don’t have to meet in a physical building, although that’s nice, but we can meet anywhere at all, under any conditions, and still invoke the Spirit of Christ to lead us in praise and worship. 

Neither do we have to always meet in great numbers, although that too would be desirable, but we can have church with only two or three believers. I remember doing that some years ago. On a particularly cold winter’s morn, just the priest, Rev. Anne, the lay reader and I showed up for the 8.30 service. So they called me up to the altar, and we had church. 

And you know there’s something about having church with only a few people that I like. I don’t know if it’s because there seems to be more intimacy with God and with each other. As the saying goes, there’s more room for God in an empty church. (smile) 

Anyway, enough of my rambling, let’s move along, because we have plenty stuff to share this last Sunday morning in May of 2016. And we are going to begin with this prayerful poem of Gramps Schuller (Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional. It’s called ‘Fill Me!’ And it was so fine, I had to play it one more time. (smile) 

Please pray with me. ‘O Lord, like the thirsty deer which goes to drink from the mountain spring; like the growing flower which turns hungrily to the satisfying sun; like the empty pitcher which is carried to the fountain to be filled; so I come, O God, knowing that in this time of prayer my soul will be filled with your LOVE and your truth. Thank you! Amen.’ 

Yes Friends, we definitely need our souls to be filled with God’s LOVE and truth so that we can sincerely and successfully perform what Jesus asks of us in our Bit. ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ 

Remember yesterday we spoke about being the salt of the earth and the light of the world; our condition and our mission? Well that salt and light ought to morph into good works which will glorify, exalt, and raise the esteem of our heavenly Father. The unbeliever will see our faithful service and thus come to embrace the living Christ as their Lord and Saviour too. 

Now Jesus, as is His wont, is putting it nicely to us here my fellow believers, but He didn’t have to, because that’s our bounden duty, it’s our main purpose here on earth, why we were created in the first place; to have fellowship with God, to glorify and exalt Him with our truly Christian conduct and consequently lead others to Him. 

And I hope that we sincerely pondered our individual situations on the subject as I asked, and then prayed to God for help to rectify and/or improve our personal testimonies of being salt and light in a dark, bland and evil world. 

Oh my people, it’s ever so important that we let our lights shine brilliantly wherever we are so that Jesus’ LOVE Revolution can grow, and we can spread the good news of His gospel to the entire world as He commanded in the Great Commission. 

‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always(s), even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) 

Yes friends, all of that is included in being salt and light on God’s great earth! 

Now hear how Peter puts it when he talks about living as servants of God. ‘Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 

Having your conversation (conduct) honest (honourable) among the Gentiles: that whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. 

Submit yourselves to every ordinance (institution) of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors; as unto them sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. 

For so is the will of God that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness (evil), but as the servants of God. Honour all men, LOVE the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.’ (1 Pet.2:11-17) 

Yes my brethren, that’s basically how we as Christians, followers of Christ, ought to live! Submit to authority, have a kind heart to everyone, especially to fellow believers, and above all, honour, reverence, fear, glorify and exalt Almighty God, our Creator and Provider! 

Now, as we all know, it’s not easy living sincerely and successfully for Christ in this evil world, filled with numerous lusts and temptations, but if we walk and talk and be led by the Holy Spirit of God that dwells within us, we can make a positive difference in the world. 

And yuh know friends, that’s all Jesus really desires of us; to make a positive difference in our earthly sojourn, no matter how small and seemingly negligible it might be. We can’t all be worldly movers and shakers, but we can ALL be effective believers and doers of the Word in our small spheres of influence. So let’s do it nuh. Much LOVE!

…even the smallest good deed in Christ’s name…will be well rewarded by our heavenly Father…