Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 June 2020 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.    ​If any man will (desires to) come after (follow) me, let him deny himself and take up his cross DAILY, and follow me.
 

Well thank the Lord, some early morning showers of blessings graced the parched earth in my area! And I’m sure the earth was mighty thankful for them because it has been a few dry and hot days since they were last watered. And now the earth looks nice and clean as the reflection of the shining sun sparkles the drops of water on the green leaves and green blades of grass. 

Oh friends, there’s nothing like being cleansed; and that in body, spirit, mind and soul, for it cleans, refreshes and brings a new perspective to our thinking, to our way of life!  That’s why Bruh David pleaded with God in his prayer for cleansing: ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps. 51:10) 

So let’s all send that prayer heavenward this bright, clean and beautiful Saturday morning nuh, as we take a gander at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, in his sincere aspiration to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first quote states: ‘Whether it’s forced or invited, change is inevitable.’ And that’s gospel truth my people! There are only three things in this world we’re very sure about; death, taxes and change! And the comforting thing about them all, (smile) is that they all often come at some unforeseen and unbidden times.

 But change is a must, if the human race expects to survive. And we’re going through such a time right now with the double situations of the Covid-virus pandemic and the protests in streets all over the world. Things are going to change before those two babies are put to bed, that’s for sure! And this next quote falls in line with what we’ve just been talking about. I also like its expansiveness. (smile) ‘The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.’ 

Now that might boggle some of our minds, but it really is true. And right now we’re seeing the perfect example of it; sickness all over the world and protests all over the world. Those things are not relegated to small pockets of our world, but the entire universe, where much change, much improvement is certainly needed! And when it’s all over, the entire earth will have effected some change(s) be they large or small, but hopefully good and necessary. 

Yes, nowadays, the whole world is our playground; it is indeed a global village, where most things affect everybody in every part of it. For example, even the dust from the Sahara Desert, thousands of miles away, is currently affecting the citizens of Jamaica. It’s really a small, small world! 

Now the next quote is especially significant to the Christian believer. ‘Don’t say it cannot be done, rather say, you don’t know how to do it yet.’ And I say that, not only because it’s a useful way to view life, but with Christ as Lord of our lives, there’s nothing we cannot do, since all things are possible with Him, because He is God incarnate. And remember, He strengthens us to do whatever He requires us to do. That leads us to this quote, a rather interesting one, and one that’s also significant to the believer. (smile) 

‘Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.’ And isn’t that the living truth friends? It surely is! And it’s also what Christ expects from His followers; steadfast diligence that nurtures an attitude of excellence. We know that we can’t be perfect, but if keep reaching for high levels, levels of excellence in all that we do, we will get as close to perfection as an imperfect being can get, and that’s what Jesus desires of us. But this last quote is the champion, (smile) and is again especially significant to believers in Christ Jesus. ‘If you believe in a cause, be willing to stand up for that cause with a million people or by yourself.’ 

Yes people, standing up for whatever we believe in is extremely important, whether it’s with a throng of millions, or by ourselves! If we don’t do that, then it says that we don’t truly believe what we profess. And standing up for our beliefs is NEVER easy, not even with millions involved, like the worldwide protests we’re now experiencing.  So you can imagine how difficult it can be when you’re standing up by yourself. But standing up is what we must always do, especially as faithful saints of Christ. 

And in these trying and troubling times it is even more important than ever for us to stand up for what we believe in, namely the gospel, the good news of Christ and His kingdom, which is at hand. This is a significant moment in time when the Lord our God is calling mankind to repent and return to His fold, and we are the workers on whom He is depending to get that job done. Remember Jesus words to His disciples when He saw the multitude that needed saving. ‘The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few: Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.’ (Matt. 9:37) 

Well friends, the good news is that we Christians are the labourers that the Lord is sending forth to reap the harvest of an unsaved and evil world. And no, it’s not easy, but I guess it’s time to remind us of the terms of discipleship which we agreed to. ‘If any man will (desires to) come after (follow) me, let him deny himself and take up his cross DAILY, and follow me.’ Now do you remember agreeing to that? If you consider yourself a follower of Christ, then you either explicitly or implicitly agreed to it. And you can’t complain that you didn’t read the fine print. (smile) Ignorance is no excuse!  

I’d also like to emphasize the point that taking up one’s cross and following Jesus is a DAILY exercise, not a once in a while, an occasional thing, as so many of us supposed Christians believe and do. Every day we need to get up and be counted; like soldiers, be prepared to stand our ground on matters of principle, in unity, on the true foundation of God’s Word which is our guidebook and lifeline. That is the only way Christ’s church will ever be successful! 

So let’s take some time today to ponder our walk with Christ nuh; let’s check out whether we’re really taking up our crosses DAILY and following Him, then, with the Lord’s help, make whatever changes are necessary. Much LOVE!

…stand up, stand up for Jesus…the trumpet calls obey…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 April 2016 Luke 9:23‏‏

Luke 9:23.   And he said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Oh friends, oh friends, it’s Thursday, another bright and sunshiny day in my neck of the woods! And on top of that, it’s also supposed to be warmer than yesterday. 

Oh, all praise and glory be to our amazing God, who bestows, who showers us with new and wonderful mercies, blessings and LOVING-kindness each and every day! 

Wow! How could I not LOVE, worship, praise, revere and glorify such a magnanimous Deity eh! 

And all God’s people declared a loud and proud, ‘Praise the Lord, for His goodness to the undeserving children of men!’ 

Yes my people, we do deserve to praise our heavenly Father for His unselfish care and compassion for us. Just wish that we could show Him and each other the same kind of care and concern. Anyway, since it’s Thursday, it’s time for us to confidently declare our Thursday Blessing… 

And with a thoughtful frown, the congregation asks: ‘What yuh talking about eh? Didn’t know we had a Thursday Blessing.’ 

Well the truth is my precious people, I didn’t know that either until a couple nights ago when I got this zeppo. (smile) 

And the story goes like this. As part of my devotions, I read an old devotional written by Bubba (Joel Osteen) in his early days of ministry. It had to be, because it’s old and beat up now, with some of the pages falling apart, and it was already old when I discovered it at my mothers place some years ago and we began reading it everyday, even when we couldn’t remember Bubba’s name. (smile) 

It’s called ’30 Thoughts for Victorious Living.’ I don’t know if Bubba even remembers that he wrote something like that, the amount of stuff he’s written over the last few years. But I like it; it serves my purposes, and I will continue to use it as long as I can. 

On a point of interest, most of my devotionals are old, but I prefer them to some of the new-fangled stuff that’s out there now. 

Anyway a couple days ago I was reading the devotions for the 11th of the month, which says ‘Declare Blessing’, and the prevailing scripture for that is the blessing instituted by our God long time ago for the Israelites. ‘Say to them, may the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favour and give you His peace.’ (Num.6:24) 

And the opening lines of the devotion are: ‘A blessing is not a blessing until it is declared! So today declare a blessing over yourself and others. Speak that blessing in the name of Jesus!’ And then he goes on to declare some blessings. 

Now the other day when I finished reading it, it suddenly occurred to me that it would make a good prayer for Thursdays. I thought about a couple of names, like ‘Thursday’s Temptation,’ or ‘Thursday’s Tantrum’ (smile) but eventually ended up with ‘Thursday’s Blessing’ as being more appropriate. 

And what I’ve done is basically taken Bubba’s general blessings and individualized them. So please declare with me now my brethren our Thursday Blessing, in a loud, proud, sincere and confident manner. 

‘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 everyday! Amen!’ 

Yes friends, that’s our Thursday Blessing. I like it, and I do hope you like it too. It’s basically a rework of the Lord’s blessings promised to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 28:1-14. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, some very important words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, re the terms of our discipleship. ‘And he said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ 

Yes my brethren, the number one rule in following Jesus is to deny ourselves, become selfless instead of selfish, as our world is today. That doesn’t mean we don’t look after ourselves as best we can and do stuff for ourselves, but that we are not the be all and end all of our earthly lives. 

Just as Jesus came to serve and save, we too must concentrate on serving and saving, and on a daily basis too, which isn’t always easy. But as I keep saying, with God’s help, EVERYTHING is doable! 

And we’ll end with Jesus’ words after our Bit. ‘For whosoever will (desires to) save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose (loses) his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged (benefited), if he gain the whole world, and lose himself (is destroyed), or be cast away (lost)? 

For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels. But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.’ (Luke 9:24-27) 

And there we have it friends, the self-explanatory, immortal words of Jesus on how we must approach our discipleship. Please, let’s take some time today to ponder our individual relationship with Jesus, re those terms of discipleship. And as always, with God’s help, try to improve them, for that’s the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…successfully walking with Jesus…takes lots of time…lots of selflessness…lots of care and consideration for others…  

P.S. I know it’s long and late, but please be aware that the hockey playoffs have begun, which means that there’s lots of hockey every night, and thus there will be many late nights and consequently late mornings. (smile) Just bear with the ole fella nuh. He’s got to have a life too yuh know. And once he’s alive and kicking, the Bit will get there…eventually. Much LOVE!