Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2018 Matthew 7:20.

Matthew 7:20.   Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
 
Aye friends, the ole fella is somewhat listless and lethargic this Saturday morning yes! And the aches and pains not helping the situation either nuh. But yuh know what, we not giving in to the feelings today. The aches and pains might slow us down some, but we not stopping. Remember the race is not for the swift but for the sure of foot, and yuh better believe when I plant my big feet down they stay down! (smile) 

Yeh, it’s just one of those days; the weather doesn’t look good, the body doesn’t feel good, but GOD IS GREAT! That’s something we can always count on, for He has said so in the promises of His Word, and His Word does not lie! Give Him some thanks and praise my people! 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week in his noble attempt to aspire us to a better tomorrow. And this one jumps right out at me today: ‘You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.’ Wow! That’s gospel truth! For none of us can do it all ourselves. As they say, no man is an island. The Lord made us to fellowship with each other and to help each other, not to be single and all sufficient in our selves. 

And on that point, hear what the Good Book says: ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves: but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor.3:5) Now that says it all! 

And this next quote also points directly to God: ‘Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.’ You do have all of that, but only if God is sincerely in your efforts! 

Now listen to this one: ‘It is possible to become discouraged about the injustice we see everywhere. But God did not promise us that the world would be humane and just. He gives us the gift of life and allows us to choose the way we will use our limited time on earth. It is an awesome opportunity.’ 

Yes friends, it is an awesome opportunity we’ve been given to live for Jesus on this earth. And to use that opportunity properly, we need to remember these two scriptures. In the immortal words of Bruh David: ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.’ (Ps.34:8) And also: ‘The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.’ (Ps.145:9) 

It’s all about our heavenly Father my people! And this quote exemplifies that: ‘We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.’ That goes right back to the first quote, we can’t be successful on our own, for success means taking others on that journey with us, both individually and communally! That’s how the Lord designed it! 

And this last quote covers them all: ‘When we are really honest with ourselves we must admit our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines the kind of people we are.’ And today I want to focus on that last line; how we live our lives determines the kind of people we are. 

Yeh friends, we can live our lives like the Pharisees did, outwardly showy and hypocritical, or like Jesus recommended, honest and truly considerate of others. For as He says: ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.’ Yes friends, by our deeds we shall be known. And hear some deep insights of Jesus on the subject of how men live their lives. 

First off, He states very clearly: ‘A good tree cannot bring forth evil (bad) fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.’ (Matt.7:18) And that’s not rocket science, just plain, basic logic. Then Jesus lays it out in plain terms: ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt.15:11) 

Oh friends, I hope we understand that. We can’t bear good fruit unless what is in us and what comes out of us is good! What’s in our hearts determines the kind of people we’ll be! 

Hear Jesus again: ‘Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out (eliminated) into the draught (body waste)? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt.15:17-20) 

Yeh friends, that whole argument began when the Pharisees complained that the disciples were eating with unwashed hands, which they considered a big thing. But Jesus, as usual set them right. And in Matthew 23, (please read it) He really lambastes the Pharisees, who looked real good on the outside but were dirty as hell on the inside! 

And we’ll end with this description: ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres (white washed tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness).’ (Matt.23:27-28) 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ’23:27-33. Whited sepulchres: Since contact with a dead body rendered a person unclean according to the Mosaic Law, graves were customarily painted white to make them conspicuous and give the opportunity of avoiding contact with them.’ 

Oh friends, please let us live lives that will not cause those unpleasant comparisons to be said of us nuh. Instead let us be good and uncorrupted trees, so that we can bear good fruit in Jesus’ name and make a productive difference in the lives of those around us. Much LOVE!

…whatsoever is in our heart…will undoubtedly manifest itself in our outward behaviour…that’s why we need a clean heart to live for Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 July 2017 Psalm 41:13.

Psalm 41:13.   Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.

‘Oh what a beautiful morning…Oh what a beautiful day! Oh what a beautiful morning…Everything’s going my way!’ 

Yes friends, it is indeed a glorious morning in my neighbourhood! Both the Sun and the Son are shining brightly. And you know when that happens all of heaven is excited. 

I just wish I could get my body to respond with the same level of excitement that my soul and spirit currently enjoy. (smile) And I know a lot of you feel the same way. 

But as the song says,’ two out of three ain’t bad.’ Let’s be thankful, for many others are batting zero for three…if you get my drift. (smile) 

But it’s Saturday, and we’re either doing housework or shopping, or simply lazing around the house, if we’re lucky, or getting ready for a picnic or barbecue or some such outside entertainment. 

And we had better get in as much as we can because this is the last Saturday in July, which means the summer is almost done; just August to go now…then it’s September – Labour Day, the cooler weather, and back to school! 

Wow! Can you believe that the summer’s just whisked by like a fleeting thought? And we haven’t even had any real hot days…Even today is cooler than it usually is. But yuh know what, most of us will take this kind of weather over the cold, white stuff any day! Glory be! 

Now let’s see what our friend Anselm had to say this week, as he aspired to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And here is the first one: ‘Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work through difficult problems.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth friends? We only learn persistence and resilience when we’re confronted by tough problems, then we stand strong, work persistently on them, and finally conquer them. 

And this next quote, though it might be the proverbial truth, it surely isn’t widespread in practice today. ‘Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them.’ 

Hn, hn! In which companies today do we see people excited to deal with problems eh, especially with all the downsizing and doubling up of work on those left behind? 

Then we have: ‘The game of life is a lot like football. You have to tackle your problems, block your fears, and score your points when you get the opportunity.’ 

That surely is in the realm of truth in this crazy, strife filled world. Life is certainly full of blocks and tackles and attempting to score points, as we try to manoeuvre through its wild and jungle-like atmosphere on a daily basis. 

But I’ve left the best for last. ‘It’s good to be able to laugh at yourself and the problems you face in life. A sense of humour can save you.’ Now that has oodles of truth percolating through it. 

Without a sense of humour we’re just sad, sourpusses, painstakingly trudging along on our pilgrim’s journey. But a sense of humour relieves the tension and frustration and helps us bear the burdens much better. Remember laughter is the best free medicine one can buy. 

And I believe it’s Winston Churchill himself who said that the best ability one could have was the ability to laugh at oneself, for it keeps us solidly grounded and not overly proud like a peacock. (smile) By the way, that last part was mine, not Winston’s. 

And since today is such a glorious day, and we’re so joyful, I’ve been led to keep it simple and thankful, thus our Bit; words of Bruh David from Psalm 41 – Abuse and assurance. ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.’ 

Oh precious saints of Jehovah God, we couldn’t do any better than to praise His holy name, for that’s why we were so fabulously made. And in a Bit earlier on in the week, we saw how the living creatures and elders in heaven continually praised and worshipped their Creator. So how could we do any less eh? 

Now we’re just going to wind down by checking out some joyful scripture along the lines of our Bit. Hear the psalmist from Psalm 106 – Israel sins against God’s LOVE. ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. (Hallelujah) Praise ye the Lord.’ (Ps.106:48) 

And Listen to Cousin Sol from the first of the only two psalms he authored. The other is Psalm 127. ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen, and Amen. The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.’ (Ps.72:18-20) 

And according to the scholars that psalm closes the Second Book of the Psalter – The Exodus Book – Concerning Israel as a Nation. And we’ll end appropriately with these glorious words of Psalm 150 – Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. 

‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah). Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness… Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high-sounding cymbals. Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord (Hallelujah). (Ps.150:1-2, 5-6) 

And that’s how it ought to be my fellow believers! So please let’s go out and do that nuh, let’s do our bounden duty; praise the Lord, shout ‘Hallelujah!’ Much LOVE!

…giving much deserved thanks and praise to our heavenly Father…is one of the best things a believer can do…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 February 2017 Psalm 139:23.

Psalm 139:23.   Search me,  O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts.

Welcome to another beautiful day in God’s wonderful universe, my Scrip-Bit family and friends! The day is indeed unfurling as it should, as our omnipotent God planned it. But I beg to wonder why our temperature today is supposed to go up to around ten degrees Celsius, from a low of around minus 7, or thereabouts, and then fall back to below freezing temps by Sunday night?  They say it’s climate change. 

Ah Lord eh! That’s why so many people get sick in these volatile temperature changes! Today a whole lot of people will be out in shirt sleeves, declaring what beautiful spring-like weather it is. Then they’ll get caught without proper protection from the elements later on. But that’s the nature of the beast in these parts. (smile) 

Anyway, let’s take a look at a few of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this past week. Remember, his aspiration is to inspire us with his thoughtful words.  The first one says: ‘He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.’ And that’s quite true! 

But there are sensible risks and not so sensible ones. So we still have to consider whether the risks are worthwhile or not. It’s brave to go out on limb that seems able to stand your weight, but foolish to go out on one that is obviously too small. The same goes for risks. 

That brings us to this quote: ‘If you put yourself in a position where you have to stretch outside your comfort zone, then you are forced to expand your consciousness.’ That’s also true, but then again how far outside of your comfort zone do you want to go, or is it wise for you to go? It’s all a matter of your comfort level. 

And this next one declares: ‘The only limits to the possibilities in your life tomorrow are the buts you use today.’ More truth friends! You know how we always like to say marvelous things, then affix them with ‘a but.’ That’s the bane of our modern day language; everything, everything – but.  

And the last one tells us. ‘No one rises to low expectations.’ Yes my people, we cannot rise high unless our expectations are high. That’s just the normal workings of the universe. And our Christian faith expects us to keep on rising higher and higher, making excellence the watchword of our earthly walk with Jesus.  For if we do not aspire to excellence, the church will simply become stagnant and eventually fall apart. 

And I believe that is what’s happening right now. Christ’s church, His earthly body is not growing as it should, for numerous reasons. But we’re not here to talk about that today, we’re here to discuss the motives of our heart, of our spiritual being, as expressed by Bruh David in his grand Psalm 139 – The everlasting presence and power of God. 

He boldly, but contritely states in the last two verses – the first one our Bit. ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ (Ps. 39:23-24)  

Ah mih people, the overriding question now is, whether we as Christians, are willing, and or able to declare such a brave statement to our Maker? The truth of the matter is that we ought to be. We ought to be so open and be so close to our God, that we shouldn’t fear to go to Him in any situation at all, even though we know we are on the wrong side of the fence. 

For as the author of Hebrews reminds us: ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb.4:16) 

And I like the explanation the scholars put forward. ‘4:16. Only Christianity provides such boldness for sinful men before a holy God, and that boldness is possible only because of our High Priest (Jesus Christ). The figure of a throne suggests a place of authority and provision. It is the place to obtain God’s grace when it is especially needed.’  

Yeh friends, only our wonderful faith exhibits such a confidence in being able to go to God in any and every circumstance. He welcomes us, invites us in the Great Invitation (Matt.11:28-30) to come to Him when we‘re tired and weary and beset by life’s circumstances, and He will give us rest. 

No other faith offers such succour my brethren. So I don’t understand why so many of us are afraid to bare our hearts to the Lord. Remember though that’s He’s our Creator, and already knows what’s happening with us, even more than we know. He knows and sees the beginning to the end. 

Consequently friends, please let’s stop trying to hide our innermost secrets and fears from Him, because it’s foolish to do so. He wants us to come to Him and let it all out, to show that you truly believe in and trust Him.  

Yuh notice how Bruh David went to God without fear on everything – even eventually His adultery with Bathsheba and His murder of Uriah, her husband, after the prophet Nathan berated him about it. 

Now we won’t always get away scotch free with our wicked deeds – Bruh David paid a hefty price with strife in his house – but we’ll always get forgiveness and mercy if we sincerely repent of them. That’s wisdom for the ages my people. Please ponder on that today. Much LOVE!

…fear should never override faith…especially in dealing with God…