Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 October 2019 Matthew 6:12.

Matthew 6:12.    ​And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

 

Ay mih people, is Tuesday…and the ole fella is tired. Just finished having a nap after breakfast. Believe me, it was hard to get up, and I still can’t catch mihself, so if some strange things happen in the Bit, don’t be surprised eh. (smile) Today seems to be a rest day, as the people who were supposed to come from the country to visit won’t be coming, but some of the town folks will, so it won’t all be rest. 

Oh, yesterday was certainly a busy day, out and about in the hot sun, visiting a friend in the afternoon, stopping along the way for a couple of the famous Devon House patties – add a piece of a nice bread pudding to that – then getting home just in time to shower and change and go back to an Open Week Library function on the university campus, acknowledging and celebrating some of the educational books, some twenty of them, published in the last year by university people. 

That was a good time too, some singing by a young lady, Mrs. Alicia Taylor, I believe that was her name. Then we had some fine words from our guest speaker, Poet Laureate Lorna Goodison, wine and scrumptious finger food and good mingling. Just for your info, they appreciated the ole fella’s lively spirit. And why wouldn’t they eh? (smile) Enough of my rambling though, let’s get to what the Lord put in my heart and soul to talk about today. 

And friends, today’s topic is oh so important; it’s possibly the most important element in a Christian’s life after acceptance of Jesus…and we talking about FORGIVENESS! Yeh fellow saints, it’s so important that Jesus included it in the prayer He taught His disciples, and consequently us, to offer up to the Father, each and every day: ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ Oh precious people, those words are so important that we ignore them to our peril. 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Jesus again. ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.6:14-15) Yes people, as always, Jesus spells it out loud and clear: forgive and you will be forgiven; do not forgive, and you will not be forgiven! It’s as simple as that. But you know that we selfish and sinful humans like to ask, even beg the Lord for forgiveness, but hesitate, no, bluntly refuse, to offer forgiveness to others. How can that ever stand us in good stead eh my fellow believers? It certainly won’t. 

But even putting aside Jesus’ warning, what we foolishly don’t seem to realize is that forgiveness is not really for the other person but for us. When we forgive, we are set free from whatever bitterness and anger and any other negative emotion that we’re holding on to by not forgiving. A Bruh Paulian sentence that! (smile) Ofttimes the other person, or persons, are not even aware of any wrong they’ve done you, or know and really don’t care, so it’s just you who’s holding and strangling your soul with all that ungodly emotion. 

And you don’t necessarily have to tell them that you forgive them either. You just make a conscious decision to do so, ask the Lord for His help, let it go, and move on with your life. Yeh, I know it’s seldom that easy, taking into consideration some of the awful wrongs that have been done, and are being done in these evil times, but like life itself, it is a process, and the sooner you make that decision to forgive  and actively work towards that forgiveness, the sooner it will happen, and the better off you will be. 

Now hear this rather informative exchange between Jesus and Peter on the subject. ‘Then came Peter to him (Jesus), and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times.’ (Matt.18:21) Peter must have figured that he was being very generous to forgive his brother seven times. But listen to Jesus’ answer. ‘Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.’ (Matt.18:22) Mamacita! Can you imagine forgiving somebody 490 times – especially for the same wrong! Not many of us can, but it’s what we’re required to do if we want to be faithful believers and workers for Jesus. 

And these words of Bruh Paul to the Colossians, highlighting the Christian virtues, admirably guide us in this respect. ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of (tender) mercies (heartfelt compassion). Kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.’ (Col.3:12-13) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘3:13. The fact of believers being urged to assume the virtues of verse 12 signifies that none has yet “arrived” spiritually. As the believer is developing these virtues, he must be forbearing and forgiving toward his fellow church member. For his Christian brother is also in the process of acquiring the virtues of verse 12 and therefore retains some flaws, deficiencies, and weaknesses. Hence the need of forbearance and forgiveness.’ 

Friends, that means we need to be forbearing and forgiving until we die, or Jesus’ comes back, because NONE of us will ever arrive spiritually before those times! So for all of our sakes, let’s ponder the state of our hearts today, and see if there be any unforgiveness in them nuh, then ask the Lord to help us. As Bruh David requested of the Father: ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps.51:10) And you know the Lord will always answer that kind of prayer if it’s sincere.  

Now let’s go home declaring (chuh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice with all sincerity: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ So let’s go and do just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…forgiveness benefits the forgiver…more than the forgiven…both emotionally and spiritually…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 May 2019 Isaiah 1:18.

Isaiah 1:18.   ​Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; and though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
 
No rain! No rain! Glory be! But the skies on the eastern horizon do look a tad dark for this hour of the morning. (smile) And just to let you know that by lunchtime yesterday, rainy day Tuesday had turned into dry and sunny day Tuesday!

Oh the weather system is so tricky and unreliable these days. But thank God our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the most reliable Being in God’s great universe, so we don’t have anything much to worry about, just our own unnecessary worries. (smile) 

And when I read this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin yesterday, it just spoke to me, saying ‘You’ve got to share me!’ So here it is. It’s titled ‘God’s Searchlight.’  Please pray with me: ‘O God If suddenly You were to reveal To my family, my friends, my neighbours Every real thought behind my courteous words If you were to point to my clenched fists While my other hand is openly extended 

If you were to bring to light Every masked motive, every selfish act I would cringe with remorse And beg You to remove Your light of revelation. Yet, Lord, when the searchlight of the Holy Spirit Begins to reveal me to myself I so often close my eyes and turn my back In a frantic but impossible effort To escape Your penetrating gaze. 

What a staggering contradiction, Lord what appalling hypocrisy. Apart from your grace I am utterly shattered. I ask you to sweep through me Purify me, cleanse me completely. From the depth of my penitent heart I thank You for Your continual assurance As I turn toward Your splintered cross. Because of Your LOVE I became Your child Because of Your GRACE I remain Your child.’ 

Oh friends, oh friends, that is all so true! We try to be tried and true believers, but that sinful aspect of our nature too often raises its ugly head and makes us behave very hypocritically! And don’t fool your fat, we’re all a bunch of ole hypocrites, just some to a higher or lower degree than others, because we all dislike things and people and otherwise for which we have no good grounds, and behave in ways that are very unchristian. 

However when the Holy Spirit convicts us, hopefully we turn to the cross of Jesus and cry out for the help we so badly need! And those last two lines say it all: By God’s unconditional and awesome LOVE, we became His children, and by His amazing GRACE, we remain His children! Yes friends, it’s all because of our wonderful God that we’re saved from a life of sin, shame and eternal damnation! 

And I like the scripture verse that Ruth uses for this poem ‘Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; and though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’ 

Oh my people, which other supposed deity is willing to sit down and reason with His sinful disobedient subjects eh? Only the Lord God Jehovah, because He is sure and secure enough in His own omnipotence and omniscience to do so! But please note, that though He is willing to sit down and talk, He is still the one laying down the basic groundwork for our relationships. 

And that is: ‘If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.’ (Is.1:19-20) 

And for some reason or other we don’t tend to take the Lord’s promises as seriously as we should. The Israelites didn’t several times, and felt the wrath He promised. Now we’re doing likewise, and so many of us are falling by the sword and numerous old and new diseases, and we still aren’t paying attention to God’s Word! How unwise my people! 

Now listen to the scholars’ explanation of those verses. ‘1:18-20. The prophet’s appeal to come and reason together reveals God’s gracious invitation to ALL men. It literally means to be “reasonable” by repenting and turning to God. Their sin is described as scarlet and red like crimson, referring to their bloodguiltiness before God. 

The term ‘crimson’ also means “worm,” referring to the colourfast red dye of the scarlet worm. The eradication of this stain turns it snowy white and is symbolic of the life-changing grace of God, which delivers men from the guilt and condemnation of sin. Thus the prophet reminds his readers that God stands ready to cleanse and forgive all who will turn to Him.’ 

All praise and glory to our wonderful God! And it’s not the only time the Lord calls His people to talk with Him about their sins. Listen to Him again, later on in Isaiah: ‘I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Put me in remembrance: let us plead (contend) together: declare thou (thy case), that thou mayest be justified.’ (Is.43:2-26) 

Oh friends, what more can we ask for eh? We have such a wonderful God, who is willing and able to cast aside and forget our sins if we repent and become obedient to His Word. And that’s why the Lord LOVED Bruh David; he wasn’t afraid to confess his sins, even the most abominable ones. 

Listen to him from Psalm 51, when Nathan drapes him up with his sin with Bathsheba. ‘Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities, Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps.51:7-10) 

Yeh mih people, though Bruh David looked good on the outside, He was suffering mightily with the immense guilt on his heart, but when he repented, that guilt lifted because the Lord forgave him, though he paid a serious price for his sin later on in life, a sin which brought serious disrepute to God’s cause. The same thing goes for us today; we can ALL be forgiven through sincere repentance, but more likely than not, there will be consequences to pay for our sins. 

So fully knowing and acknowledging that, let’s go home declaring (yes!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know our wonderful and illustrious position in Christ. As one now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Oh yes my breddren, let’s keep on keeping on strong and steadfast, and that future will be indeed more than we can ask or ever imagine! Much LOVE! 

As Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) so rightly says…the best way to live this life is to…simply obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…