Today’s Scrip-Bit   8 January 2022 Matthew 7:20.

Matthew 7:20.     Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Three days straight of cold but decent sunshine…Now that’s indeed a record! Many of us might not have noticed it as yet, because we’re still abed this Saturday morning, enjoying the lazy pleasures of not having to get up and go out to labour. That’s provided we have jobs, what with the new Covid restrictions put in place this past week due to the quickly spiking cases. 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he wishes us a Happy New Year. Now this first one is long and complicated, (smile) but certainly something we can entertain to our benefit. It says: ‘We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.’ 

That’s a very interesting statement, because too often we seem to concentrate on our flaws and mistakes rather than our potential and successes. And that’s not a healthy situation. We need to be concentrating on our God-given potential if we expect to make godly headway in this current confused, strife-filled and ungodly world. 

And to help us generate that kind of thinking, Anselm offers these ‘Things to think about for 2022: 1. Talk less; listen more; 2. Remind yourself you are not the General Manager of the Universe; 3. Sit on your ego; 4. Take one day at a time; 5. Separate worries from concerns. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you to do and let go of the anxiety. If you can’t do anything about a situation, forget it; 6. Pray; 7. Do not Worry.’ 

Now all of those are godly, life enhancing recommendations, and we would be wise to embrace them, which I believe starts with doing what Jesus advises: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) Yes friends, we cannot, or must never lose sight that our aim, our number one priority is the kingdom of God and His righteousness, because it’s only then that we truly find God and begin to enjoy the life He has destined for us. 

That leads us to this next quote: ‘We attract what we think about, that which we lust after and that which we fear. Anything that consumes our thoughts get manifested in the real world.’ Now that’s the awesome truth! That’s just the way the universe is set up; what consumes most of our thinking will eventually manifest itself in our lives. Thus, if we fixate on lustful, carnal, or fleshly thoughts, like the world suggests, then it’s lustful, carnal and fleshly things that will occur in our lives. 

Cousin Sol warns us in Proverbs: ‘Eat not the bread of him that hath an evil eye (is a miser), neither desire thou his dainty meats (delicacies): For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.’ (Prov. 23:6-7) Yes my people, we have to be very careful of what others say to us, and consequently, what we say to others, because very often, what comes out of our mouths does not mesh with what’s in our hearts. And the heartfelt stuff is what truly guides us. 

That’s why Jesus warns: ‘Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.’ (Matt. 7:20) We can always tell what kind of tree we are looking at, by the fruit it bears. What, or who we really are will eventually show in our actions, because we are truly guided by what’s in our hearts, not what comes out of our mouths. That’s called hypocrisy. And unfortunately, we are all hypocrites to some degree, because it’s not always what we say we mean. 

But let’s move on to the next quote. ‘Acknowledge that negative thinking has not been helping you. Unless you replace them with positive thinking, you will keep getting the same outcome.’ And that’s oh so true! If you keep thinking one way, mostly negatively, and you’re not getting the results you want, then common sense dictates that you change your way of thinking, try the positive kind. It’s basic logic: you can’t keep doing the same think and expect to receive a different result. 

So please, let’s begin this new year by checking out our way of thinking, and making the necessary changes that will enable our lives to come together and produce positive results. And the best way to do that is by coming to Christ and asking for His divine help. And don’t be afraid, because He NEVER turns down anyone who sincerely comes to Him for help. 

Meanwhile, the last quote tells us that: ‘A fantasy noted down with a date turns into an objective. An objective partitioned into ascertained strides turns into an arrangement. An arrangement bolstered by activities makes your fantasies work out as expected. So this New Year, take your fantasies, travel the distance to their goal and make them a reality.’ 

Now generally speaking that’s how a plan works: we begin with the seed of the idea and build upon it. However, the important thing in a believer’s life is the seed that we intend to plant. Is it an idea that God will approve, is it in His will for our lives? Those are things we need to ascertain before we begin planting or building. That brings us back to Jesus’ words on the tree and its fruit. 

‘Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening (ravenous) wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil (bad) fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil (bad) fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.’ (Matt. 7:15-18) 

Oh my fellow saints, it means that as followers of Jesus we need to come up with good ideas, plant seeds that bear good fruit, fruit that will be beneficial to Christ’s kingdom. The process of growth and bringing plans to fruition are always the same, building, or growing one step at a time, the important aspect is therefore the seed that we’re planting, and the plan that we expect to realize, are they worthwhile in God’s sight? 

And many of us have all kinds of exciting plans for this new year of 2022, but please, let’s stop and consider if they fall into the category of good and timely fruit before we begin to execute them nuh, because if they don’t, the Lord will not allow them to come to fruition. Much LOVE!

…each new year… many plans are born…but most fall by the wayside…because they don’t meet God’s criteria… 

       

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 January 2019 Matthew 5:13a, 14a.

Matthew 5:13a,14a.   ​Ye are the salt of the earth…Ye are the light of the world!
 
Well it’s the first Saturday in the New Year, and though the ole fella was up a bit early, he’s fallen somewhat behind the eight ball. But that’s allowed eh, especially on a cloudy, winter’s Saturday morn? (smile) Hope everybody is catching up on their rest after the hectic Christmas and New Year’s seasons, but please don’t put away the Christmas spirit with the decorations, and remember that we are walking closer with Jesus this year of 2019! 

And since it’s Saturday, it’s time to look at what our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Now this is an interesting scenario that he’s submitted: ‘We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential. 

Things to think about for 2019: 1. Talk less; listen more; 2. Remind yourself you are not the General Manager of the Universe; 3. Sit on your ego; 4. Take one day at a time; 5. Separate worries from concerns. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you to do and let go of the anxiety. If you can’t do anything about a situation, forget it; 6. Pray. Happy New Year to all my friends and family!‘ 

There’s nothing wrong with any of that! In fact it’s all stuff we should do, if we want to live a joyful and peaceful and blessed New Year! Then there is this quote that sort of paraphrases the thoughts above: ‘There are greater things to be achieved in every New Year, and each and everyone must prepare themselves to be great, not by words of the mouth, but by a lot of sacrifices.’ 

Oh friends, our world is in such a sad state of disrepair, that only enormous sacrifices on the part of each and every believer could ever hope to right it! That’s why, as true believers in, and steadfast followers of Christ, we have to totally embrace this last quote: ‘The ones who can see the vision when no one else can, and work on it like there is no tomorrow, will succeed. The rest will follow.’ 

Yes my Christian brethren, that’s what our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ expects of us; to have the vision He’s supplied and then to diligently and sincerely work on it like He desires of us. He most urgently wants us to be leaders, not followers! That’s why in His most memorable sermon, that on the Mount, He took such pains to point out what He expects of us: ‘Ye are the salt of the earth…Ye are the light of the world!’ 

Yeh faithful followers, in Jesus’ time, and still today, salt and light, are two of the most valuable things, much needed commodities in our world. Salt still enhances the taste of our food and keeps it fresh, while we can’t walk anywhere or do anything constructively if there’s only darkness. 

Light, especially that special light that Jesus brings and offers, is desperately needed in this terribly dark world of ours. The powers of evil and darkness are ruling the roost, and that doesn’t sit well with our Leader. And that ascendance of darkness and evil didn’t just happen overnight, it happened over a period of time when His followers were too lax, lazy, fearful and compromising to step up and confront the undesired situation! 

But remember friends, all is not yet lost, and once we have Jesus on our side, ANY and EVERYTHING is possible! However, we have to put in the sacrifices, the actual work, not just talk to improve our world! Just thing about the kind of world our grandchildren will inhabit in the next couple of decades if we do nothing NOW to make it better nuh? 

We’ve already allowed the evil and corruption of this world to fester and run like an inflamed sore, we can’t afford to let it get any worse, otherwise we’ll just have to amputate the rotting body part. That’s why these immortal words of Jesus ought always to be pounding in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls: 

‘Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor (flavour), wherewith (by what) shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lamp stand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt.5:13-15) 

 Oh friends, what more can I say eh? Except that we can’t let down Jesus like we’re currently doing! We need to pull up our britches and tighten our bootstraps if we want to be truly successful workers in His cause. And one thing also to remember, when we fail Jesus, since we are His chosen workers, it also means that He is failing the Father! 

And under no circumstance can we allow the Father the opportunity to look askance at Jesus. That’s why we have to make the effort, the real sacrifice this year of 2019 and do as He pleaded: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.5:16) 

Yes mih breddren, letting our light shine in this dark world must be our avowed purpose for this New Year, so that our Father in heaven, our Creator, Almighty God can be glorified. Remember that’s why He created us! Much LOVE!

…the Father sent Jesus to do a job…He did His part…set the foundation…then sub-contracted the rest of building His church to us… and He’s depending on us to do our part…to bring about successful completion…all to the glory of the Father’s name…