Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 November 2019 Mark 2:22.

Mark 2:22.    ​And no man putteth new wine into old bottles (wineskins): else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottle will be marred (ruined): but new wine must be put into new bottles.
 

Oh brother, I can’t believe how dark it is still is in my area at eight o’clock on this early November morning! Not even a wisp of sunlight is showing on the eastern horizon. But the good thing is that it’s not raining…at least not yet. (smile) Nowadays, who knows what the weather will turn out to be on any given day, so it’s best not to worry about it. Just remember that Jesus is our Lord, Saviour and Guiding Light, and once He is in us, and we are in Him, then everything will work out for good eventually, as He faithfully promised! Glory to our great and ever-LOVING God! 

And since we said it’s Saturday, I guess it’s time to 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 the first one says: ‘One small positive thought can change your whole day.’ And that’s the absolute truth my people! And we have the perfect example above, where we just think about Jesus, and our whole day gets brighter! There’s no more positive thought that that! So let’s wake up thinking on Jesus…and during the day think on Him…and go to bed at night…still thinking on Him! Wow! That way our whole day will be positive! (smile) 

Now listen to this next quote: ‘Every new day is another chance to change your life.’ I certainly can’t dispute that reasoning, for everyday that we’re given to breathe God’s air, is a new chance to improve our lives. God gives it to us because He knows that we need more time to come to Him, to grow more Christ-like and to complete the work He’s assigned us. So please, let’s not waste every new day that we’ve been so generously given nuh. Instead, as the old people would say, make hay while the sun shines, because you don’t know when the sun will stop shining, neither for how long, and if it isn’t shining, then you certainly can’t make hay. (smile) That means you can’t waste time; you must do whatever you have to do while there’s time – that means today – since there’s no guarantee that we’ll ever see tomorrow. Were the ole people ever so wise my brethren! Wish we were even half as wise. 

That brings us to this quote: ‘When life changes to be harder, change yourself to be stronger.’ Ah friends, that’s the only way to survive, for if you don’t get stronger as life gets harder, life will only beat you down. And this life is certainly getting harder, despite all our improvements and amenities. And don’t fool yuh fat either (don’t be deceived), for some reason I can’t fathom, life just enjoys beating us down. I’ve seen it happen often enough in my three score and ten. So you have to possess plenty belly and backbone to live what we call life. You also have to keep improving, keep adding to the strength of your backbone and belly everyday, because life doesn’t ever take a day off, so neither can you. And we all know the best way to do that is by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour and let him lead and guide our mis-mash lives! 

And here’s another area where following Jesus will come in ever so handy. ‘Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them.’ Oh my people, is that ever so true! Very few good opportunities are ever easy. I guess by definition they are innately difficult, and in this lazy, selfish, greedy society of ours, hard work is something we don’t relish. We don’t even want to work, much less work hard. That’s why so many glorious opportunities are passing us by in this prosperous society where good opportunities abound…if we’re only willing to work hard at them. Here again, with Jesus running our lives, we will see the opportunities, and we will work diligently and excellently to bring them to fruition. Glory be! 

Now here’s the last quote: ‘Old ways won’t open new doors.’ But we still try anyway. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say; ‘You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect a different result.’ So we’ve got to stop trying to open new doors with old ways. That brings us to some very interesting  words of Jesus when asked by John’s disciples, why they and the Pharisees fasted, but His disciples did not? Apparently the Pharisees fasted twice weekly. He basically answered that fasting is done in times of grief, not of joy, and while He was with them, they were joyful, but when He went back to heaven, that would be the time for grief and fasting. (Mark 2:18-20) 

And furthermore, Jesus enlightened them: ‘No man also seweth a piece of new (unshrunk) cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh (pulls) away from the old, and the rent (tear) is made worse. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles (wineskins): else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottle will be marred (ruined): but new wine must be put into new bottles.’ (Mark2:21-22) Oh friends, how can you not be impressed by Jesus eh, no one else uses simple words and ideas like He does! 

And what does all of that mean? Listen to the scholars: ‘2:22. Bottles are wineskins, the old ones figuratively representing Judaism and the new ones Christianity. Old wineskins lose their elasticity and would be burst open by the fermentation of new wine put into them. The point: the old faith of Judaism and the new faith of Christianity cannot be mixed, nor can the practices or traditions (e.g., the time of fasting) of Judaism be forced on Christianity.’ Now that doesn’t mean we have to throw away all that is old, because it’s the old stuff that gives us the true and solid foundations, but if old ways aren’t working, then we do have to try new, but always godly ones. (smile) Much LOVE!

…new brooms sweep clean…but old brooms know the corners…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 June 2018 John 14:6.

John 14:6.   Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.

And the Canada Day celebrations continue apace! And the weather seems to be in full cooperating mood too; it’s supposed to be a scorcher, possibly worse than yesterday. So get on your sunscreen and turn on the A/C, and celebrate the birth of this wonderful country called Canada, within the limits of Granny’s warnings though! (smile) 

Oh we have our problems too, but of all the big countries in the world, I still believe that Canada is the BEST! Go Canada! 

And so having ‘big-upped’ Canada; I hate the word, ‘big-up’ but I couldn’t think of anything more suitable at the time, let’s move on to our Saturday treat of this weeks quotes from our friend Anselm, who sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And this week there’s a whole slate of them, starting with: ‘Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.’ And there’s absolutely no doubt about the truth and wisdom in that statement, for optimism is a foundation stone of our Christian faith. 

That leads to the next quote: ‘Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.’ That also has many grains of truth in it, for if we begin our day with positive thoughts, we will indeed be starting out on the right foot.  

Then there is: ‘Good luck is when opportunity meets preparation, while bad luck is when lack of preparation meets reality.’ It’s basically true, but we believers just don’t dabble in bad luck and good luck, but more the blessed favour, grace and mercy of our awesome God. 

But we must do our part in the partnership and be prepared for them. If we aren’t prepared, when those opportunities appear or arise, then we’ll simply lose out on a chance, no, an opportunity to be blessed by Almighty God. 

Listen to this one: ‘Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.’ 

Now I don’t know if I agree with that totally, because there are times when people do things because of us, and we ought to take them personally. The problem is to know when and what things to take issue with. A lot of the time what others do and say is indeed because of their own problems or inadequacy and we have to be wise and somewhat tough skinned to recognize those times and not allow them to bother us. 

It’s all a balancing act my people, and we do need God’s help to set the balance right. And the last quote says: ‘The more you are positive and say, ‘I want to have a good life,’ the more you build that reality for yourself by creating the life that you want.’ 

Ah friends, that statement is only true in the context of Christianity! If you say you want to build a good life under Christ, then fine. But if you want to build what the world and the prince of darkness call a good life, then you’re definitely on the wrong track. Remember the immortal words of Jesus: ‘Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ 

Yes friends, Jesus was very emphatic in that pronouncement, so if your life is not modelled on His, then you’re indeed going the wrong way, building your life, earthly as well as eternal, on the wrong foundation. 

And Jesus makes His point earlier when He declares that He is the Good shepherd: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep… 

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:1-2, 9-11) 

And that is exactly what Jesus did friends: give His life for us, the sheep of His pasture. So why would we look for some other foundation on which to build our lives eh? Building our lives upon Jesus is like building them on a rock; a rock which stands the test of time and the elements of nature. Building our lives on anything else is like building them on sand, which cannot repel or withstand anything. Check out Jesus’ analogy re the two foundations, in Matthew .7:24-27. 

And we’ll close with some more immortal words of Jesus on the subject, as He spoke to Martha when He arrived late on purpose for Lazarus’ burial. ‘Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead (may die) yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?’ (Matt.11:25-26) 

And as the scholars say: ‘11:25: I am the resurrection is one of Jesus’ greatest “I am” statements, signifying His power to give eternal life.’ 

And oh my people, if Jesus has that awesome power, why wouldn’t I believe in Him eh, and shout out a bold and confident ‘YES’ to the question He asked Martha at the end of the last passage above: ‘Believest thou this?’ 

Oh friends, believing in Jesus is not only the epitome of wisdom, it is wisdom itself! Much LOVE!

…the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…but fools despise wisdom and instruction… (Prov.1:7)