Today’s Scrip-Bit   14 May 2022 Matthew 16:24.

Matthew 16:24.      If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

And then it was a sunny summer Saturday! Glory be my people! Good days are ahead in the northern climes, and it’s showing already with folks walking about half-naked, and driving around in their convertibles. The sun was actually hot yesterday…and hopefully from now on, it will dispel heat as well as brilliance. Although, when the heat really comes, we’ll start complaining about how it’s too hot. 

Yes, mankind is never satisfied. Even when we get what we call for, we’re not happy. When it’s cold we complain, but when it gets hot, we also complain. Before there was Christ, we complained about Satan and his sinful ways, but now that we have Christ and His awesome story of salvation and eternal life, we’re still complaining. Guess man’s dissatisfaction with life will never end until Jesus comes back and sets up His magnificent kingdom of peace, LOVE and contentment. 

In the meantime, let’s concentrate on our Saturday task, that of checking out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this week we only must deal with three quotes because he inadvertently sent us one from last week, namely: ‘Nobody has ever measured, even poets, how much a heart can hold.’ We dealt with that when we talked about Mary, Jesus’ mother, and the many things she held in her heart re the birth, life, death and resurrection of her marvellous boy child, the Son of God. 

But believe me, a heart can hold a lot, since it is made for patience and long suffering, but how much, I don’t even think we can measure it, because it’s such a wonderfully made organ, second only to the mind, that it just keeps expanding with whatever is placed in it, be it PAIN or LOVE. Imagine the hearts of Mary and the Father when they watched their Son’s badly beaten and abused body, hanging limply on the old rugged cross nuh! That certainly gives us an idea of the heart’s amazing capacity. 

Then we come to this rather interesting quote. ‘Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.’ And that’s the gospel truth friends! We see it happening every day in our celebrity-based society, where you’ll find people fighting to hang around with a celebrity, and usually the latest and/or biggest one in town. And the celebrities themselves are so chocked full of themselves that they encourage these entourages and even seek to compete as to who has the biggest entourage. 

But you know what, regardless of how big we get, our flame dies or burns low at some time or the other, meaning we can no longer afford to have all those hangers-on hanging around us. And they usually just drift away to greener pastures, ofttimes without even a backward glance, and angry too that their good thing has ended, because they are only parasites; organisms that feed off a living body until they kill it, it dies from being fed on too much. (smile) 

None stay to help you get through the rough times, as you are forced to ride the bus instead of the limo. But that’s the celebrity game! And if you foolishly decide to play it, then you have no one to blame but yourself, if you end up paying the price for your big ego and foolish pride. 

Now hear this next quote, which makes a bold statement: ‘You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.’ That’s oh so true my brethren! Once you stay in the safe confines of your comfort zone, or the place(s) where you are comfortable and refuse to take some risks, then your life will never change. You’ll just drone on in the same comfortable but unexciting and unenthusiastic manner. 

Remember life was meant to be lived. Christ died for us to have life abundantly, and that means getting up and doing new and different things, taking risks, not foolish risks, but sensible ones through which you can grow and become a better person and a more mature believer. If you desire change, then you must stretch yourself, because that’s the only way change comes about. You certainly can’t stay in your comfort zone and expect to or acquire change. 

And Jesus is the perfect example of that. He could have stayed in His comfortable position in heaven, but He desired to see some changes down here on earth amongst the people, so He left his comfortable heavenly situation and came to earth to do something about it. Remember His famous words: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17)

Yes friends, the Father LOVED us so much that He didn’t want to see us go down the wide and destructive path that leads to death and damnation, and because of His justice and righteousness He couldn’t just wave our sins away, so He had to step out of His comfort zone and do something drastic, like send His sinless Son to die and pay our sin debt. Jesus Himself could have refused the Father’s entreaties, but He also decided to step out of His comfort zone, and do something big, something drastic and wonderful, but oh so painful, for mankind, telling the Father – ‘not as I will, but as thou wilt.’ (Matt. 26:39d) 

And it’s the same way He desires us to step out of our comfort zones to do His bidding. He said it in no uncertain terms to the disciples: ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.’ (Matt. 16:24) And to do that, we must certainly step out of our comfort zone, unlike the rich ruler who refused to sell his vast possessions, give the proceeds to the poor and then follow Jesus. (Matt. 19:16-26) 

That brings us to this last quote, another interesting one. ‘The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be minds.’ True words friends. If an animal, who is supposed to moult, that’s cast of their skins or feathers or change their outer appearance, like a snake, or certain birds, or a caterpillar, then those animals die. The same thing goes for those of us who are prevented from changing their opinions, like in certain dogmatic or dictatorial societies or organizations. 

Our minds simply die, because they have been made devoid of life, through the refusal to think other thoughts, or have other opinions. Man’s mind is the greatest thing ever made, but it was made for thinking, for being used in worthwhile pursuits, not just sitting dormant or not being profitably used. So, like all living organisms that don’t keep moving and improving, they eventually die from lack of use. 

Please friends, please don’t allow that to happen to our minds. Let’s keep them moving and grooving on the best thing that’s ever happened to us, that’s Jesus! Like Bruh Paul said to the church at Rome. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom. 12:2) In that way, my fellow saints, our minds won’t die an unnatural and unprofitable death. Much LOVE!

…following Jesus is not easy…but it’s adventurous and exciting…because it takes you out of your comfort zone… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   7 May 2022 Colossians 3:14.

Colossians 3:14.      And above all these things put on charity (LOVE), which is the bond of perfectness.

Welcome aboard Saturday! Hope you are going to remain steadfast and true to the sunny disposition you now have and grace us with a wonderful spring, or better yet, near summer day. (smile) We’ve got to hope and have faith friends that all will go well today. And even if it doesn’t, then we have our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to rely on, to bring us comfort, safety and a refuge from the trials and tribulations of this crazy and evil world. Now who wouldn’t want such an awesome life eh? 

Unfortunately though, many of us choose not to believe in Christ Jesus, only to their everlasting sorrow. But all we can do, as good ambassadors of Christ, is to keep on telling His story, the good news of His wonderful gospel that brings salvation and eternal life to all who dare to believe, and hope that eventually they will come to recognize the error of their ways. However, since it’s Saturday, we need to get on with our business of checking out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first quote tells us: ‘Even if you cannot change all the people around you, you can change the people you choose to be around. Life is too short to waste your time on people who don’t respect, appreciate, and value you. Spend your life with people who make you smile, laugh, and feel LOVED.’ And that’s the gospel truth! Life is indeed too short and the world too evil and confused to spend time with people who don’t appreciate and value you. Oh, I know that we all desire to be amongst people, that we were made to be in relationships, but sometimes it’s better to be alone than to be in unproductive relationships. 

And if you cannot find satisfying relationships, like those mentioned above, then turn to God and ask for His help. There’s no shame in that. He will lead you down the right path, but sometimes it might take a li’l while for Him to arrange it, so you might have to be lonely and unsatisfied for a spell. (smile) But placing the problem in God’s hands is always the correct answer. Remember, Christ died for us to have the abundant life, and being in unsatisfying, unvalued relationships certainly does not meet that criterion. 

And do I ever like this next quote, which says: ‘When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.’ Oh, is that ever true! And why not eh? As we just said life is short, so why wait when you find the one you want to be with in this life? But a word of caution here. Let’s not rush into things. With such a huge commitment, a lifetime one in mind, we need to first ascertain that the other person also wants to spend the rest of their life with us. And even more importantly, that they are the right person for us in God’s will. But if you’ve checked, and all of those things are in the positive realm, then why wait? (smile) 

Meanwhile, the next quote explains why we must be very careful in our every move nowadays for it tells us that ‘The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.’ And that’s an indisputable fact. Our world is made in the image of our thoughts. Our minds are the fountains of creativity, and the thoughts and ideas which flow through and from them lead to the actions that we take. And that’s why the enemy, Satan, is so gung-ho to get control of our creative space. It enables him to drive us down the path of evil, instead of the path of righteousness. 

No wonder the mind is called a battlefield; everyone is fighting for control of it. Thus it is true, that to change our world, we must change our thinking. However, it’s ever so important that we have the right kind of thoughts and thinking that will benefit our world rather than harm it. And Bruh Paul made that quite clear when he wrote these marvellous words of advice to the church at Rome. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.’ (Rom. 12:2) 

Yes friends, by its very nature, the world is sinful, and thus reflects a sinful lifestyle, but we can reject that by transforming our minds to believe and do the things that Jesus wants us to do. It’s not always easy, but with His help, it can be done. In fact it must be done, if we ever want to, or hope to see a better world for our children and grandchildren. That’s why Bruh Paul also wrote these words to the church at Corinth. ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.’ (2 Cor. 5:17) It’s time for us to put away our old lifestyle and conform to the new one that Christ has designed for us, one of righteousness and not of sinfulness. 

Then there’s this quote: ‘There is no charm equal to tenderness of the heart.’ More awesome truth my brethren! There’s absolutely nothing in this world to beat a tender, compassionate caring heart! And undoubtedly, we have the best example of that in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Throughout the Gospels, they talk about the compassionate heart of Jesus, and that’s just a reflection of the heart of our great God. As Bruh Paul wrote to the Corinthians. ‘Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.’ (2 Cor. 1:3)

Oh my fellow saints, our great and wonderful God is indeed characterized by mercy, care, comfort, compassion and long-suffering, otherwise we would have been destroyed long ago. And it’s that kind of heart we need to also have, as outlined in the words of Bruh Paul to the Colossians. ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies (tender mercies), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, and long suffering… And above all these things put on charity (LOVE), which is the bond of perfectness.’ (Col. 3:12,14) 

Yes my people, LOVE is the crowning glory or grace of all Christian virtues, as well as God’s greatest attribute. So, to be a true reflection of God, those attributes must also be reflected in us. That brings us to this last and very interesting quote. ‘Nobody has ever measured, even poets, how much a heart can hold.’ And that’s no lie. We don’t know for sure how much our hearts can hold, not even God’s heart. We just know that it can hold a lot, especially if one is a believer in Christ Jesus. 

But the heart that truly speaks to me amongst humans is that of Mary, Jesus’ mother. Her heart surely held a lot, from the surprising choice to be the mother of the Son of God, to seeing Him horribly punished and crucified for wrongs He did not commit. Then His triumphant rising from the dead and ascension back to heaven. No wonder the Good Book remarks after the shepherds came and paid tribute to Jesus in the manger after His birth. ‘But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.’ (Luke 2:19) 

Then after the only occasion where we see some rudeness from Christ towards His parents, when they found Him in the temple talking with the elders after searching for Him for three days. ‘And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist (know) ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?’ (Luke 2:49) Imagine any other twelve-year-old saying that to their parents nuh. Hn! Many teeth might have been lost. But the Good Book continues. ‘And they (Jesus’ parents) understood not the saying which he spoke unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.’ (Luke 2:50-51) 

Ah friends, from day one, mothers have never had it easy, but they are indeed the backbone of the family, and on this Mother’s Day weekend, let’s fill our hearts to overflowing with LOVE for them nuh, and treat them as the queens that they are, for they always give much more than they ever ask for or expect. Much LOVE!

…it’s only the LOVE in our world…that keeps it from totally falling apart… 

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