Today’s Scrip-Bit   17 November 2021 Matthew 5:10.

Matthew 5:10.      Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

What a morning! The day’s half done, and I haven’t done my business yet. (smile) But that’s how life intervenes sometimes; getting you behind the eight-ball before you have even begun. So, without further ado, let’s begin. And the Good Book opened today on the Beatitudes, those blessings with which Christ began His Sermon on the Mount, and though we are only going to look specifically at the last section, the scholars offer an excellent explanation of Jesus’ message. 

They say: ‘The opening verses of the Sermon on the Mount indicate that the message deals with the inner state of mind and heart that is the indispensable absolute of true Christian discipleship. It delineates the outward manifestation of character and conduct of true believers and genuine disciples. Thus, the life of the believer, described by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, is a life of grace and glory, which comes from God alone. To make this quality of life the product of man’s human efforts (as does the liberal) is the height of overestimation of man’s ability and underestimation of his depravity. 

To relegate this entire message, Jesus’ longest recorded sermon, to a Jewish only life-style, as do some dispensationalists, is to rob the church of her greatest statement of true Christian living. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus states the spiritual character and quality of the kingdom He would establish, and the basic qualities of this kingdom are fulfilled in the church He would establish. Virtually every section of this message is repeated in substance elsewhere in the New Testament. Nothing here indicated that this message is to be limited in its application to the people of Israel only.’ 

Awright friends, so we now have a working knowledge of what the Beatitudes are supposed to mean, because just reading them without a proper understanding, will lead us astray, since all of them begin with ‘Blessed,’ which means “happy,’ but seem to be applicable to people who are suffering. They all seem rather contradictory to what the world expects. How can a suffering person be blessed and happy eh? But that’s because Jesus is talking about His spiritual kingdom, not that of this physical world, and the spiritual world always seems to be the opposite of the physical. 

Now, according to the scholars ‘Blessed is a basic description of the believer’s inner condition as a result of the work of God. These Beatitudes, like Psalm 1, do not show a man how to be saved, but rather describe the characteristics of one who has been saved.’ 

And finally, (smile) we come to the section we want to look at. It says: ‘Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.’ (Matt. 5:10-11) Yes, my fellow saints, if we live the way Jesus wants us to live, we will face persecution, ridicule and hate from the world around us. 

And the scholars explain: ‘5:10.  As Jesus develops His message, He clearly teaches that such a life causes His people to be in direct contrast to the world in which they live. Therefore He reminds us, Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake. The plural use of  “ye” in verse 11 indicates that He foresaw this persecution as touching all His followers. Notice 2 Timothy 3:12, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”  

There’s absolutely no doubt about that friends! No wonder so many of us don’t acknowledge Christ, or our faith in Him in public, because we are either and/or ashamed and afraid of the repercussions from those around us. But we must remember that no cause is ever easily invoked or maintained. 

Please note what the scholars tell us, re verse 11. ‘Again, Jesus warns that men shall revile you, and persecute you. This became true during His own ministry, in the lives of the apostles, and throughout the history of the church. This persecution spoken of here is twofold. First, it involves a physical pursuing of the persecuted, and second, a personal attack of slander against them.’ 

And that’s why I chose that section of the Beatitudes to look at today my fellow brethren. Some of us are naïve, or just don’t know what to expect in being a true and devout Christian and trying to live by the principles that Christ taught. But it is not a simple matter, as we see from the beginning of the church all the way down to right now. And yuh better believe that in many places, it’s open season on persecuting believers. So it’s not something to be taken lightly. 

However, as our Lord and Saviour always does, He provides solace for us even in those times of persecution. He says: ‘Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’  (Matt. 5:12) And I know that’s difficult to do when persecution is staring you straight in the face, but it’s a necessary part of walking with Jesus. 

Listen to the scholars again: ‘5:12. Rejoice is the command that grows out of the blessedness of the believer. The phrase ‘Rejoice and be exceeding glad’ means even more, exult! Great is your reward in heaven focuses attention on the eternal destiny of all things. If God is real as He claims, if the Bible is true, if heaven is to be gained, then no temporary earthly trouble or persecution can dispossess the child of God of joy in the prospect of the eternal glory that lies ahead.’ 

And that’s the God-awesome truth! We have to keep our minds tuned to the home we have waiting in heaven for us. Although this one will be pretty rough, the ultimate one will be worth all and any suffering we do down here. Please remember what Jesus said to the disciples later on when He was explaining the whole scenario of His coming and going to them? ‘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 He has overcome the world through His death, resurrection and ascension, but we have to be strong and remember that this earth is not our home, and for Jesus’ sake, with His strength and wisdom, handle whatever comes against us, knowing that He is faithful who promised. And for those of us who are sincerely attempting to do that, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

Altogether now! ‘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, let’s keep that glorious future of heaven in our mind’s eye as we walk this evil and ungodly earth. Much LOVE!

…whatever ‘sufferation’ this earthly life brings…the joy of heaven will supersede and totally erase it…as soon as we get there…                                                                                                                              

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8          

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 June 2021 2 Timothy 3:16.

2 Timothy 3:16.     All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 

Ahoy there my fellow saints in Christ! Hope that you are having a wonderful Tuesday, walking in LOVE with our wonderful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, for that’s what this life is all about; an interesting LOVE walk with Christ! Now nobody said it was going to be all wine, roses and song. No, it doesn’t mean life will be a bed of roses just because you’re walking with Jesus, for He didn’t have an easy earthly life and even promised that those who follow Him won’t have it easy either. 

Please note these words of His: ‘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 that’s where we believers in Christ win them! Yes friends, we have the ability to be peaceful and cheerful during all and any storms, trials and tribulations, or negative experiences that come against us in this evil and ungodly world! 

That’s because our Jesus has already conquered the prince of darkness, Satan, the evil ruler of this evil world. Mano-a mano, he wrested the keys of hell death and the grave from him! He did that when He triumphantly rose from the dead on that Easter Sunday morn some two thousand years ago, to live forever! 

Wow! What a mighty conqueror is our Jesus! And since then, Satan has had no power or authority over believers, unless we foolishly give it to Him. And as Bruh Paul so confidently proclaimed in his message to the church at Rome. ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril or sword?…Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. 

For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life; nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:35, 37-39) 

Now that’s something we all ought to confidently believe. Why? For as the scholars explain: ‘We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated, because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is His purpose (vs. 28).’ 

Yuh hear that mih people? NOTHING can separate us from the LOVE of God that’s found in Christ Jesus! But we must believe it sincerely and confidently, then act in a manner that speaks it out loud and clear! And Bruh Paul’s words to Timothy echo the action we need to do so. 

‘Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers (imposters) shall wax (grow) worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished (equipped) unto all good works.’ (2 Tim. 3:12-17) 

Yuh see that friends: this world is going to get even more evil, than it is already – if that is possible – but we have the wherewithal to overcome it if we live according to the Word of God, the life-map written for us. Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘3:14-17. Continue literally means “remain.” The things which thou hast learned were his oral instruction in the holy scriptures (the Old Testament, here) by his mother (Eunice) and grandmother (Lois). Inspiration of God (God-breathed) describes the unique character of Scripture. 

It is not only written by men, but authored by God. For doctrine means to tell one what to believe. For reproof means to tell one what is wrong. For correction means to tell one how to correct wrong. For instruction in righteousness means to tell one how to live. Perfect (proficient, capable) is having everything needed to do what God wants. Thoroughly furnished means “thoroughly equipped.” God’s inspired word, properly used and applied, provides all we need for life and ministry.’ 

Oh Mama, Mama! We don’t need anything else to live this life friends but the inspired Word of God! But the most important thing though, is that it must be ‘properly used and applied.’ And unfortunately, that is not what’s happening in these last days, where men are becoming worse and worse, as Bruh Paul so aptly described in the earlier verses of that chapter (3:1-11). God’s Word is sadly not being preached properly, and even worse, is being used as justification for all sorts of wrongdoing and ungodly stuff. But have no fear, the workers of iniquity will eventually pay. That’s the Lord’s promise, and we know He is very faithful that promised! (smile) 

And let us not forget this most meaningful bit of scripture, which allows us to live in peace. ‘But now in Christ Jesus ye (Gentiles) who sometimes (once) were far off are made nigh (near) by the blood of Christ. For he (Himself) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition (division) between us.’ (Eph. 2:13-14) 

Yes friends, Jesus broke down the walls between Jews and Gentiles and made one new party, the Christian church, so there should be no more feuding between the two groups. He did that by taking all the sins of the world unto Himself and paying for them all with His sinless life on the cross of Calvary. Now, we need to be living examples of that peace and joy which His death and resurrection provided. And we do that by following the life laid out for us in the Word of God, confidently knowing that we can handle anything that comes against us. 

Oh my fellow saints, when we have Jesus living in us through His Holy Spirit, to lead and guide us into all goodness and righteousness until the day of salvation, we simply can’t go wrong. And for those of us who are sincerely trying to live the good life in Christ, let’s go home proclaiming our Tuesday Mantra. 

As one strong voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’  Now, the upshoot of it all, is for us to go out and share that awesome LOVE and friendship of Jesus with those we meet. Much LOVE!

…Christians…ought to be the most joyful people in the world…not the poor me ones…so many of us look and behave like…                                                                        

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8