Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 November 2020 John 15:5b.

John 15:5b.     ​…for without me ye can do nothing.

And then it was Saturday; that lazy crazy day of the week, where we laze around doing nothing for much of it, then in the evening we hit the party trail! But I think that this Covid-19 business has put a spoke in our party wheel, (smile) and it has probably made us even lazier than usual. Yes my people, this 2020 is the year of change; a year of change like no other most of us has ever seen, and I believe 2021 will be just as chaotic and confusing. 

But enough with the predictions, since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And as is his wont these days, he prefaces them with: ‘Positive affirmation you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are. I’m calm, happy, and content.’ But let me remind us that we are all those things ONLY if we have Jesus Christ as the mainstay of our lives! And also, we won’t repeat that preface again. 

So here then is the first quote: ‘I have the power to create change.’ And that’s true to some extent, if we’re willing to invest the blood, sweat and tears that it takes to make and create significant change. Now that change can be good or bad, big, or small, we still have to take time to make it, and unfortunately, in this modern era, too many of us want change but are not willing to invest the necessary time and effort to make it happen, because we are a society of whiners, complainers and entitled. 

And furthermore, especially when it comes to changing ourselves, it’s impossible for us to do it alone; we need the divine power of Jesus! Remember His immortal words? ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him; the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) Now if that doesn’t tell the whole story, then I don’t know what does! (smile) 

And the second quote says: ‘I’m doing my best and that is enough.’ Well we’re certainly glad to hear that! And it is in fact enough, because your best is the best that you can do, and that’s all Jesus asks of us. But I doubt that many of us are indeed doing our best, because if we were, our world would not be in such a terribly evil condition; filled with so much hate, envy, strife, poverty, sickness, inhumanity, economic depression and suppression, etc. etc. 

In a time of so much plenty, sadly, there is so much lack and want. So fellow believers, can we up the ante, and begin doing our best for Jesus, so that our world could be saved, be renewed, because that’s the only way it won’t sink into the mire of hell. 

Now hear this next quote: ‘I’m in charge of my life and no one will dictate my path besides me.’ Wow! What a boast! But generally speaking, it is true. In most cases we are the pilot of our good ship, me, myself and I. The problem though is do we have the right equipment to guide our lives in the right manner? That’s the million-dollar question. And unfortunately, the answer is that most of us don’t have the parts necessary for such a big and bold task. But we think we do…and the enemy, Satan, encourages us to believe we do. 

But let me remind us here of a small verse of scripture that the Lord our Creator and Maker and Provider and Controller, had the prophet Jeremiah say to his people Israel many moons ago when they were in captivity in Babylon. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) 

Yes friends, our great God has a powerful and great plan for each life He creates. He doesn’t just create vikey-vie, but with a sense of purpose. And the truth is, though He has given us free will to do as we generally please, we will not fulfil the extraordinary plan He has set out for us, before we were even formed in our mother’s womb, unless, and until we turn to Him and His word, and believe in His Son Jesus Christ with all of our hearts, souls, minds and bodies, and follow His commandments to the best of our ability. That is until we make Almighty God our Number ONE Priority! 

So the long and short of the story is that we can indeed do all sorts of things in our own strength, but they will never amount to what we can do with Jesus as the Guide and Leader of our lives. And this last quote proves it even more forcefully. ‘I know exactly what to do to achieve success.’ And the wise ones amongst us indeed do! Here it is in spades, in black and white, straight from the horse’s mouth: 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then shalt thou have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) Oh precious people, it couldn’t be any clearer than those immortal words the Lord said to Joshua when He made him Israel’s leader after the death of Moses! 

Reading God’s word, meditating on and studying it, then putting it into practice is the best and only way to achieve lasting success. The world may inveigle you to do other things and give you some of its corruptible wealth and power, which don’t last, and which you cannot take with you when your body returns to the dust from whence it was formed. 

However, the incorruptible wealth you amass when you sincerely follow Jesus Christ and His dictates, those my people, you can take with you to heaven, where you already have more treasure stored up through the goodness, from the magnanimity of our heavenly Father! So let’s remember that without Christ we are nothing, and can do nothing. But with and through Him,ALLthings are possible, and He is the one who causes us to get wealth and true, everlasting success!Much LOVE!

…only a fool…would turn his back…on everlasting life through Jesus… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 September 2019 Joshua 1:8.

Joshua 1:8.    ​This book of the law shall not depart out of (be continually in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
 

What a crying shame it is friends when one can’t lie abed late on a cloudy Saturday morning because the various aches and pains in your aching body won’t allow you to find a comfortable position in that place that’s supposed to be one of quiet peace and refreshing rest! Hn, hn! 

Yeh mih people, getting old is nice in many ways, but not so nice in others. The wisdom and experience one accumulates, plus the ability to say most of what you want and get away with it (smile) is marvellous, but I can’t say the same for the many debilitating effects age brings to one’s body. However, we can’t seem to have one without the other, so I’ll just say thank you for the good parts and just grin and bear the bad ones. And that’s enough complaining for this morning! (smile) 

Let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I like this first one: ‘There is strange comfort in knowing that no matter what happens today, the Sun will rise again tomorrow.’ Now is that ever so true! 

We all know that regardless of what today brings, tomorrow will show up right on schedule, because that’s the way our great God and Creator planned it! That means we can always have hope and faith that tomorrow, the new rising of the sun, will bring a different and better outcome to our circumstances. So please hang in there…and have hope for tomorrow! 

Now hear this one: ‘Try to find pleasure in the speed that you’re not used to. Changing the way you do routine things allows a new person to grow inside of you. But when all is said and done, you’re the one who must decide how you handle it.’ That’s somewhat complicated, but it does contain some truth. In this world we’re usually creatures of habit and comfort, and nothing’s wrong with that, because we can’t have excitement all the time. 

But the same old, same old routine does get boring and frustrating if we don’t occasionally add a li’l zing and zest to it. That’s why every so often we need to take a risk, do something new and/or different, get out of our comfort zone for a spell, take a different way home from work, eat at a new restaurant, so we can add a touch of spice to our humdrum, mundane lives. 

But having said that though, we have to be careful that we don’t change just for change sake, which is what so many of us are doing these days. We use words like ‘this is the twenty first century; this is 2019, the Old Testament doesn’t matter anymore, etc.’ insinuating that because we’ve reached a certain level of time and space and evolution that things must necessarily change. But please note the old saying, that the more things change, the more they remain the same. 

And that’s gospel truth friends! If you really check it out, most of the things we’re doing, and the reactions we’re showing to the various changes in our world, the same things have been going on for ages, possibly just on a different level. So please, especially in these explosive times of social media and technological revolution, don’t change just for change sake, or because others are doing it. The Good Book containing the Lord’s wise and precious Word must still be our guiding light! 

And I’d like to take the last two quotes as one, because they are closely intertwined. Hear them: ‘When you fail, that is when you get closer to success.’ ‘Success will be within your reach only when you start reaching out for it.’ And they are both full of awesome truth since you generally don’t have success unless you have first failed, and you can only have success if you reach out for it. 

But what do we mean by success eh? Is it how the world terms it; the accumulation of power and fame and money and worldly glory, or celebrity status? Or is it how Jesus describes it; serving the lost, the poor and downtrodden, LOVING our God with all our being, and LOVING our neighbours as ourselves, overcoming evil with good and going the second mile when it’s not necessary? 

Whichever path we choose though, the results will still be the same: we won’t always succeed the first time, or even the fourth and fifth, and we’ll never succeed if we don’t try, and that means try sincerely and wholeheartedly, give our all! Anyway, here’s the best path to any kind of success at all. Obviously it comes from the Good Book, God’s direct words of wisdom and warning to His servant Joshua when He made him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (be continually in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ 

Oh mih people, that’s Success 101 right there! And it hasn’t changed one iota since the Lord said them to Joshua! That formula for success remains constant forever because it’s God’s Word and his Word doesn’t change! And here’s something I LOVE about our God, although I don’t always appreciate it in my dealings with Him. (smile) 

He doesn’t just tell you something and leave you floundering, He often drives it home with another suitable and well placed nail, to oftimes encourage us, like He did there with Joshua, continuing thus: ‘Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:9) 

And that’s after telling him basically the same thing two verses before. But He knew that Joshua would need a lot of strength and courage to lead the wayward and stubborn Israelites and that was His way of encouraging Him. And He does the same with us friends! The Lord will NEVER leave us alone and ‘unencouraged’ when He knows that we definitely need encouragement! Please remember that! All we have to do is call on Him in sincerity and truth and He will answer appropriately. 

Now let’s end with Jesus’ wise and faithful words on the matter of success. ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) No truer words were ever spoken friends! And if we’re wise, we’ll take them to heart and sincerely and diligently put them into action in our lives! Much LOVE!

…following Jesus and His righteous ways…is the ONLY path to true success…

 

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 23 March 2019 Joshua 1:8.

Joshua 1:8.   ​This book of the law shall not depart out of (shall be constantly in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
 
Well it’s a big Saturday morning in the springtime, but it’s cold as ever, like a puppy dog’s nose, (smile) something like minus 5 or 6 in my area. And before we go on, let’s make one thing perfectly clear, the idea that because a date on the calendar says that the Spring Equinox has arrived, does not mean it suddenly gets warm! That is pure foolishness and fallacy yes! (smile) It’s still so and so cold – all like yesterday when the wind lent its support to the cold, though it was a bright and sunshiny day! 

And the wind itself played havoc with my area yesterday, from late afternoon into the middle of the night, just howling like crazy every few minutes, having stuff creaking and clanking and whatever, leaving homeowners hopeful that no part of their houses or property got damaged by it. But it seems to have settled down now, and no serious damage seems to have been done in my area. Thank God for small mercies yes! 

Anyway, since it’s Saturday let’s take a gander at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, in his noble attempt to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I laughed when I first read this one: ‘If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.’ I suppose that’s because we refer to opportunity as knocking on a door, and it only knocks once and that sort of thing. 

So it’s only logical to assume that if opportunities aren’t making themselves available, then the problem might be that there is no door for them to knock on. In that case the sensible thing to do will be to build a door for them to knock on! (smile) 

And the next one says: ‘I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that will not work.’ Now that is the way we have to view our mistakes and supposed failures! We can’t ever give up, or stop trying, because in truth, failure is not failure until we stop trying, and that idea is found nowhere in Jesus’ philosophy. 

So if you’re a believer, you can’t ever give up or stop trying; you’ve got to keep moving ahead, learning more about Christ and becoming more like Him every day, moving from glory to glory. Praise His holy name! 

And this next quote segues nicely with the others: ‘The secret of getting ahead is getting started.’ Yeh friends, we can’t get anywhere until we begin going somewhere! Likewise, we can’t make any progress in our projects and/or ambitions until we begin doing stuff related to them. Everybody wants to write the great American Novel, but no one will ever do so, until and unless they begin writing it. As the Chinese Proverb so eloquently puts it: ‘The longest journey begins with the first step.’ Matter fix! 

This upcoming quote is also quite relevant to our everyday lifestyle. It says: ‘To create more positive results in your life, replace ‘if only’ with ‘next time.’ So true my people, so true! We have a bad habit of saying, ‘if only so and so had happened,’ moaning about some past circumstance. But that only gets us in the negative stream of life. What we ought to be saying is ‘next time, I’ll do so and so.’ Try and keep it in the positive stream of the future. We’ll all be better for it. 

And the last quote declares (right ho): ‘Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.’ Gospel truth that my brethren! It’s like the saying goes, give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. But teach him how to fish and you’ll feed him for a lifetime! 

And I want to put that into perspective with the Lord’s Word: If I just tell you about it, most likely you’ll forget about it shortly thereafter. If I teach you about it, you’ll remember it for a longer period of time. However, if I involve you in the whole process, then you’ll probably learn more than in the two previous scenarios, because you are hands on in the situation, getting down and dirty with the subject matter. 

 Consequently friends, it is all well and good to go to church and hear sermons, but most of us, by the time we get in the parking lot have forgotten what the sermon was about, although we clapped and said numerous ‘Amen’s’ during it.’ And that’s no lie! (smile) Now, if we then go home and read up the scripture that the sermon was based on, we’ll have a better idea on what the pastor was talking about. 

But better still, if we sit down and begin to contemplate, meditate, think seriously on those scriptures, then eventually we will really know them. That’s the only way to truly learn the Word my brethren! We need to get totally involved in it, seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit, asking Him to talk to our hearts about it, show us how it affects or can be successfully made a part of our lives. 

Please remember friends that scripture is a guideline for our lives, and until we make it such, it will be of no real use to us. Knowing it and not putting it to use is a complete waste of time. We’ll never get ahead until we begin living our earthly lives by the heavenly values found in the Lord’s Word!  

And I have to chuckle here friends, because I’ve been writing all of the above with no thought of what scripture we could use to tie it all together. Then I went looking for something in the Good Book, asking the Lord to show me an appropriate one. For a couple minutes nothing happened; my flipping through the word produced nothing useable…

Then Bingo! It suddenly happened. The light went on, and I knew the perfect scripture for out Bit today! Oh, how can I ever doubt the Lord’s faithfulness eh? He doesn’t always make it easy, but He ALWAYS comes through! And the scripture we’re talking about is when the Lord spoke to Joshua, making him the leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (shall be constantly in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’  

Ah mih people, it couldn’t get any plainer and more straightforward than that nuh! And here it’s the Lord Himself speaking to Joshua; straight from the horse’s mouth as it were, not secondhand info.

And if the Lord thought it important enough for Him to personally tell Joshua about the importance of keeping the Law, then it’s obviously important for us to follow the same path, for therein we too shall be prosperous and have good success. What more needs to be said eh…? Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…else he’ll certainly feel…