Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 February 2019 Matthew 21:22.

Matthew 21:22.   ​And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
 

Ah mih people, the sun is shining brightly outside, the gloominess has been lifted, but please be careful because the weather isn’t completely done with its frustrating shenanigans! (smile) 

Yeh, yuh still hearing about the likelihood of getting all the different kinds of winter weather over the weekend, and the place is still white with ice and snow, and the wind is still blowing strong, but we not going to let it bother us. Like the workingman says in his song, we going to do our thing, regardless of what kind of weather shows up! Amen! 

And since it’s Saturday, and we have good reasons to sleep in, (smile) let’s check out some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this first quote is interesting: ‘I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.’ 

Now I don’t know if that is completely true nuh, because oftimes our decisions are made because of the circumstances in which we find ourselves. So though the decisions may seal the deal, they can always be leveraged by the circumstances. 

And the next one says: ‘The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.’ And believe me, a lot of people will try to stop you, possibly more than will allow you to do what you want to do, especially in these turbulent times of technological advances and the rise of social media, where every fool and his brother can introduce their two cents worth without revealing their identities. 

But friends, all that foolishness should not stop us in stepping up to the plate and valiantly and powerfully doing what Jesus requires of us. Remember, He had plenty opposition too, but that never stopped Him from doing the Father’s business, and neither should we let whatever opposition comes against us stop us from doing His work. 

Then there’s: ‘Education costs money. But then so does ignorance.’ Gospel truth that! (smile) But somehow or the other, I believe that in this day and age education is costing a whole lot more than ignorance. 

You really don’t have to do much of anything to obtain ignorance nuh, just let the world go by without paying much attention to it, and you will end up ignorant, like so many of us unfortunately are today. We not even paying attention to the good free stuff like Jesus and His LOVE Revolution, so how can we be anything else but ignorant eh? 

And then this last quote says: ‘Believe you can and you’re halfway there.’ I don’t know if you’ll be quite halfway there, but your strong belief in whatever you’re doing is certainly going to get you over the top. It’s like the Chinese Proverb advocates: ‘The longest journey begins with the first step.’ 

And most definitely, the first crucial step in any undertaking is to believe that you can do it, otherwise your odds of success will be greatly lowered. That’s just the way the Lord set up His universe. That’s why Jesus castigated the disciples with these words, when they queried why they could not heal a mentally ill young boy. 

‘And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove (move); and nothing shall be impossible to you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt.17:20-21)  

Yeh friends, we do indeed need even a small grain of belief before we can do anything successfully. Jesus even talked earlier about the parable of the mustard seed: ‘Which indeed is the least of (smallest of) all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among the herbs (greater than the other herbs), and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge (rest, sleep) in the branches thereof.’ (Matt.13:32) 

So friends, you see that all things start with small beginnings, and that also applies to our faith, our belief in Christ Jesus; we start with a small grain of faith or belief, then as time goes on and we water and feed it with the right nutrients- i.e. the Word of God, prayer and fellowship- our faith will grow stronger and stronger, and just like the mustard tree, we will be able to help others come to Jesus and grow strong in faith too. Glory Hallelujah! 

And likewise, when Jesus put a curse on the bare fig tree, and the disciples marvelled at how quickly it withered away: ‘Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt.21:21-22) 

Yes my people, belief and believing are the corner stones to doing anything successfully in this world…and even more so in Jesus’ realm. So let’s wake up and smell the coffee nuh (smile) and start truly believing, because without true belief, we will never see Jesus! Much LOVE!

…the world says…seeing is believing…but Jesus says…believe it…then you will see it…

P.S. It nice and short and sweet today. (smile) Praise the Lord! Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 August 2014 Matthew 5:20

Matthew 5:20.    For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case (by no means) enter into the kingdom of heaven.
 
Ah Friends, the ole fella’s paying the price for disobedience this morning, an aching back. Too much rest it would seem. (smile) Apparently I ignored the wake up bell this morning and slept in. But my body was tired, I pleaded! No excuse, I was summarily informed. When the bell goes, you arise. End of story! 
 

Ah what a hard taskmaster. But I guess dem’s the breaks! (smile) I know the rules, so if I don’t abide by them, I’ll just have to pay the price. And that’s the way it is with most things in life my people. If we don’t do right, especially if we know what’s right, then we pay.
 
Anyway, today I want to share with you a couple of passages from an article in the July issue of In Touch Magazine, titled ‘Know Your Place,’ by Jim Daly. Some of you might have read it already, but didn’t even pay it any real serious attention, but Friends these words and actions are of vital importance in the life of each and every Christian believer.
 
Mr. Daly quotes Timothy Keller, from his book, ‘The Prodigal God.’ “You can’t live the Christian life without a band of Christian friends, without a family of believers in which you find a place.”
 
And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! We can’t live a truly Christian life alone, it’s too difficult to do, especially with all the inviting and exciting wrongs the world has to offer nowadays. We need the empathy, encouragement and bolstering that a tightly knit group offers.
 
And in any case, Jesus didn’t desire and plan for His people to be separate and apart, but be together as one, as one body in His name. It’s all well and good to go to church and participate in the ceremonies and rituals on an individual basis. 
 
But as Mr. Daly later adds: ‘But if we’re not making an effort to connect and engage with our brothers and sisters in Christ, we’re missing out on a key element of the church as described in the New Testament.’ And that’s the fostering of true community amongst the Christian brethren.
 
Oh Friends, that’s why there is so much resentment, jealousy and antagonism in the church today. We don’t individually nor collectively foster a sense of true community in the body of Christ. We talk it, but don’t actually walk it. Consequently, we’re not able to be as productive in spreading the good news of the gospel, as we ought to be.
 
We need to put away the selfishness and petty things that keep us apart, die to our own selves, and encourage the things that truly bring us together. And though the leaders in the church might be to blame for some of that, every single believer also has to shoulder some blame too, because it all begins with us as individuals.
 
And that brings us to this passage from Bruh Paul’s epistle to the Romans, where he talks of the people having zeal but no righteousness. ‘Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel, is that they might be saved. For I bear them record (witness), that they have a zeal of (for) God, but not according to knowledge.
 
For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law, for righteousness to every one that believeth.’ (Rom.10:1-4)
 
And the scholars have a good explanation of that scripture. ‘10:4. Christ is the end of the law.  Israel mistook the purpose of the law. The law pointed to the righteousness that is attainable only by belief in Christ. Israel also mistook the scope of the law.
 
The righteousness to which it pointed was universally available to all who responded to God’s revelation of Himself through the law. But by Paul’s time many had substituted works for faith. Rather than seeking redemption in God’s mercy, they pinned their hopes on their own religious achievement.’
 
And sadly my people, today too many of us are still doing the same thing; depending on our own religiosity rather than God’s available mercy and grace.
 
But please note what our Bit says about that behaviour. ‘For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case (by no means) enter into the kingdom of heaven.’
 
Those are the words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, so obviously there’s no doubting them!
 
And the scholars provide a wonderful explanation of all that. ‘5:20. Because of the necessity of righteousness as a requirement to enter heaven, Jesus then declares that except their righteousness should exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees they could not enter heaven.
 
The significance of this is seen in the fact that the Jews of Jesus’ day considered these people to be the most religious in all Israel. However, their religion was largely an outward show of self-righteousness.
 
In communicating the depth of His message, Jesus used a series of contrasts between the outward behaviour demanded by the law and the inner attitude of the heart desired by God. Here we discover the practical application of genuine Christian character to true spiritual living. Here we see the gospel in action:’
 
Sadly Friends, it’s the same thing a lot of us are still doing today, depending on self, rather than God. And the scholars add a very useful list of what the Law required and what the Spirit of God desired.

 LAW                                                                        SPIRIT

 

No murder                                                                No anger

 

No adultery                                                               No lust

 

No divorce                                                                Commitment

 

No oath-taking                                                          Speak the truth

 

No retaliation                                                            Forgiveness

 

Hatred for your enemy                                              LOVE for your enemy

 

  (tradition allowed it)                                                   (commanded)

 

And there we have it my people, a simple breakdown of the things the religious Law called for and/or allowed, as well as the things that Jesus desired, and still desires, of His true and faithful followers.

 

So let’s sit down today and consider our own reaction and behaviour to all those things nuh, and then, as always, sincerely ask God to help us improve in whatever way we need to. That’s heavenly wisdom my brethren, for we know He will NEVER refuse any requests to draw closer to Him! Much LOVE!

 

…to be a true believer…one must lose the self in self-righteousness…

 

P.S. That makes up for the short Bit yesterday. (smile) Much LOVE!