Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 September 2022 Hebrews 12:2a.

Hebrews 12:2a.        Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; 

And is it ever a lazy day Saturday my friends! I actually went to bed early and got up early, obviously by my standards, (smile) did a few things, then went back to enjoy some lazy time in my bed. Now isn’t that the way to spend a Saturday morning? It surely is! But as always, reality eventually sticks its unwelcome head in and makes you realize that time’s a passing and there are things to be done, like the Bit. 

So, here I am finally, at minutes to ten, on this sunshiny but rather chilly Saturday morning, looking at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow, considering what to write about them. But I’m not worried, because I know, with the Lord’s help, I’ll eventually write something worthwhile. (smile). 

And I guess we’ll begin with the shortest and simplest quote: ‘You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.’ And that’s the gospel truth my people! In the first place, while there’s God’s breath of life flowing through your body, you should never stop doing, stop learning or growing, because when you stop, then your life technically stops too, for being inactive causes spiritual death, and ofttimes even physical death too. Just look at those people who retire and simply become sedentary after a half century of being busy. Their bodies soon atrophy and they die from lack of activity. 

And thankfully, regardless of your age or mobility, in this modern world of so many conveniences and amenities, there’s always something constructive you can find to do, something that can keep you physically and spiritually active. So there’s absolutely no need to ever stop dreaming or goal setting. You just have to be realistic and find a dream or set a goal that you are still capable of reaching. 

And I believe that leads us nicely into this next quote. ‘For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.’ Now that statement is also full of truth. It’s not always about an end or a goal, but more often about the learning and the growing, of improving oneself, the joy of being on the journey. You know when you set out on some trip, physical or mental, by whatever means, you never think so much of the end point, your destination, but more of enjoying the time in between, the time it takes to get there. 

And that’s what life is all about, a journey, a journey preferably with Christ Jesus as your Instructor and Guide. For He personally knows all the ups and downs of life, the good and exciting places to visit, as well as the bad ones, because He’s been through it all already. As the Good Book so rightly advises: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb. 12:2) 

Yes friends, Christ Jesus has already blazed the trail and finished the course so that we can have fairly smooth sailing with Him as our Leader and Guide. He knows all the ins and outs of the journey of life, having researched and experienced them to the max. And as the Good Book further explains: ‘Seeing that we have a great high priest, that is passed into (through) the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (confession of faith). For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.’ (Heb.4:14:15) 

What a marvellous Lord and Saviour we have my faithful brethren! He knows our weaknesses and can understand what we go through from day to day, because He also experienced the rough and tough times of human life down here on earth. The only difference is that He did not sin. That doesn’t mean He didn’t feel temptation, for He surely did, as you can read in the Good Book, where the Holy Spirit led Him into the wilderness after His baptism so that the devil could tempt him, and He could walk out of there, the victor in that early battle of their ongoing deadly war. (Matt. 4:1-17) 

So, whatever our eternal destination, we know that the journey through this earthly life will be tough, but if we’re walking with Jesus, we also know that even in those rough and tumble times, He’ll take us on an interesting journey, because that’s His promise. ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10b) 

And that segues rather nicely into our next quote. ‘People tell you the world looks a certain way. Parents tell you how to think. Schools tell you how to think. TV. Religion. And then at a certain point, if you’re lucky, you realize you can make up your own mind. Nobody sets the rules but you. You can design your own life.’ 

Oh my people, the hullabaloo in our world today is so great that the noise level is maddening! There are so many voices in our heads nowadays, telling us what is good from bad, how to live, how to think, what to eat and wear, etc. etc. that if you’re not careful, it can drive you crazy. That’s why the stress level today is so high and such a big money maker, as well as the current number one killer of the brethren. All of a sudden, our world has gone mad with mountains of advice and supposed truth, most of which however are totally fraudulent. 

And when, by hard experience you discover the fraud, and realize that you can do your own thing, you still need good guidance and advice to navigate the treacherous waters of life on your own. But thankfully, there’s still one place you can find some peace, truth and wise advice. That’s in Jesus Christ; as a believer and follower of His. He is the ONLY One who can successfully lead us through this myriad of highways and byways, of dark alleys and narrow lanes, the confusing maze, we term life, and then bring us to that amazing and wonderful destination called heaven! 

So, the wise word is to tune out all the voices that are continually fighting to be heard, and it’s not that easy to do, but when you tune into Jesus, He helps you to do just that, and then leads you on an amazing journey, filled with ups and downs, but He never leaves you to face them alone. That’s why this last quote is oh so important. ‘At the end of the day, whether or not those people are comfortable with how you’re living your life doesn’t matter. What matters is whether you’re comfortable with it.’ 

Now that’s true to a certain extent. We must be comfortable with the lives we’re living, or otherwise what’s the purpose of living it. But then too, in the context that there are basically only two options of living this life, for Jesus, or for Satan, then we need to make a choice as to which one to be comfortable in. And as we all know, the wise money is on Jesus, for He’s already defeated Satan in the battle for overall supremacy, by taking away the keys of hell, death and the grave, Satan’s territory, through His own death and resurrection. So why live for Satan then eh, when Jesus is the victor, when it’s all over bar the shouting! Much LOVE!

…life is certainly turbulent and  tumultuous…but with Jesus as our knowledgeable pilot…we can navigate it all with peace, joy and LOVE… 

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

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   11 July 2022 Hebrews 12:3.

Hebrews 12:3.       For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds (become discouraged).

Heads up my people! It’s Monday, and that means no dilly dallying, we’ve got to hit the pavement running, charging into the enemy’s ranks, not foolishly, but wisely, spunky and unafraid, living out the gospel of Christ in our godly, worthwhile actions. Yes, we’ve got to take Monday by storm and let it know unequivocally that we mean business, this first day of the work week…and each and every day after that too! 

Ah mih bredrin in these troubled times it is indeed necessary for us to run our race, to run a good race for Christ, one without too many hindrances. And we can only accomplish that if we follow the guidelines of the Good Book. The author of Hebrews tells us in no uncertain terms: ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (snare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.’ (Heb. 12:1) 

Yes friends, we have a whole ‘cloud of witnesses’ looking on, that’s the heroes of our faith referred to in chapter 11, and we need to do them proud; set the same kind of example that they set, living by strong faith in Christ. However, to do that successfully, we must first remove any impediments that are weighing us down, be it excessive clothing or body weight. Then get ourselves out of any entangling sin that’s holding us back and finally move forward with endurance, keep persevering, because this is a race for salvation and eternal life, one race in which we cannot quit, cannot give up. 

In fact, we can’t even come second, (smile) we’ve got to win it for those who need to come to Christ. And the best way to do all of the above is like the author of Hebrews continues: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher (originator and perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb. 12:2) 

Oh my people, there could be no better example for us to follow than that of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who first blazed the trail of our faith and crossed the finish line miles ahead of all the other participants. We’ve got to keep our eyes fixed steadfastly on that finish line and just keep going in the direction that He set without turning to the right nor to the left. And the next verse puts it all in true perspective. ‘For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds (become discouraged).’ (Heb. 12:3) 

Yes faithful believers, we must remember the suffering and rejection that Jesus went through on our behalf and not become tired and/or discouraged when we face the many problems that will crop up in all of our lives. That’s just par for the course. Remember though that we have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us to empower, lead and guide us in all righteousness, so it’s not as difficult as it would otherwise be. 

And here’s the sort of situation we ought to end up in. They are Bruh Paul’s words to Timothy. He said: ‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim. 4:6-8) 

Wow! What a powerful testimony! That’s how we need to go out of this world my fellow saints; a winner in the race of life, ready to receive that crown of righteousness from our ever-faithful God! Now, all that we’ve said above is both true and wonderful, but the whole process has got to begin somewhere, and that beginning somewhere is always prayer! So, let’s go confidently to the throne of grace in prayer, outlining our current position through our Monday Morning battle Hymn. 

As one voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

Now friends, we’ve got to wait with eager and expectant patience (smile) for heaven’s answer, and while doing that, keep our promises and develop right heart motives. That’s the only way we will receive positive answers. Much LOVE!

…JESUS…our champion and glowing example…in the race of life… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   1 January 2022 Philippians 2:5.

Philippians 2:5.     Let this mind be in you, which was in Christ.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

Well, it’s 2022 now my brethren, and I want to wish us all in this most favoured Scrip-Bit family a blessed and happy New Year! Some things will change, but most of life will remain the same, and with Jesus dwelling in our souls and bodies, we will be able to handle whatever comes against us, just like we handled it this past year! All glory be to God my people, for His goodness and mercy to us, sinful children of men! 

And like I’ve been saying over the last few New Year’s days, the only resolution we need to make is to get closer to Jesus! Like He promised: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) Like Bruh David says in Psalm 37 – The true state of the wicked: ‘I have been young , and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed (descendants) begging bread.’ (Ps. 37:25) And that’s the indisputable truth my fellow believers! No righteous believer in Christ will ever beg for bread! 

And Bruh Paul’s words to the Philippians reinforces that quite well. ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:19) And if all of that doesn’t raise your passion for Christ this New Year’s morning, then I don’t know what will! (smile) Now, since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first one tells it exactly like it is: ‘There are greater things to be achieved in every new year, and each and every one must prepare themselves to be great, not by words of the mouth, but by a lot of sacrifices.’ And that’s the glorious truth friends. As they say, actions speak louder than words! You can’t deny that. And if we really want to live for Jesus, this year of 2022 is going to call for Christians to make a lot of sacrifices in Christ’s name and do numerous actions that will raise His presence in this evil and ungodly world. 

Remember Jesus said that if we don’t deny ourselves, give up our will, take up our cross and follow Him, we are not worthy to be called His disciple. (Matt. 16:24) Living for Jesus friends, means making sacrifices for Him, even to the ultimate sacrifice of giving up our life for Him. But thankfully, in our Western society, going to the ultimate sacrifice is not necessary, although it is in some other societies around the world, and those believers there do exactly that. 

But out here in our wonderful and entitled society many of us won’t even sacrifice a broken fingernail on Christ’s behalf, but yet we expect to get showers of blessings, and live high on the hog. It won’t happen friends. The only way that Jesus will be glorified in our currently ungodly world is by His followers making much sacrifice, and not the easy, but the tough kind! 

That brings us to this next quote: ‘The control centre of your life is your attitude.’ And that’s no lie. Your basic attitude towards life in general, and Christ in particular, controls what you will and won’t do. So, if you have an arrogant, evil, ungodly attitude or mindset, then those are the things to which you will gravitate. On the other hand, if you have a kind, LOVING and godly mindset, you will gravitate to the things of Christ. And this year, my fellow believers, more than ever before, our premier task is to get the unbelievers to change their mindset to one that values and believes in Christ Jesus, for that’s the only way our world will ever improve. 

And our problems won’t go away, or even be lessened, until, and unless more of us get together under the glorious umbrella of Christ. Remember Bruh Paul’s entreaty to the Philippians? ‘Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same LOVE, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem the other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but everyman also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was in Christ.’  (Phil. 2:2-5) 

Yes friends, we all need to come to the thinking of Christ; humble, obedient, LOVING, compassionate and considering the welfare of others more than ourselves, if we ever hope to better this world. That leads us to the next quote: ‘To succeed you have to believe in something with such passion that it becomes a reality.’ And as most of us know, that’s the awesome truth! You can’t succeed at ANYTHING, unless you are so passionate about it, that in your mind and actions, it’s like it has already come to fruition, already become a reality. 

And I believe a good analogy is what Jesus said in this Beatitude: ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.’(Matt. 5:6) Yes mih people to achieve anything, we must be that passionate over it, like we’re hungering and thirsting for it. And that carries us right into the following quote:  ‘No alarm clock needed. My passion wakes me.’ Now that’s all a part of the same equation; to succeed takes great passion. So much so that we don’t even need an alarm clock to wake us up in the morning, our passion for our project does that automatically. 

And the last quote puts it all together: ‘A great leader’s courage to fulfil his vision comes from passion, not position.’ Oh my brethren until we realize that a leader’s position is not merely a state of power but one of enormous and constant passion, we will never be ready for a leadership role. And the best example we have of that is our Leader, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who withstood all the sacrifice, resentment, rejection and punishment He had to bear, because He was truly passionate about saving us, about saving a sinful mankind, and that was the only way it could be righteously and justly done. 

As the Good Book so exultantly declares, admonishes and advises (smile): ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we are compassed about  with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus, the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb. 12:1-2) 

My fellow saints, if we want to be true and sincere followers of Christ, then we have to give up our own desires and follow His; follow His lead, if He is our leader. And remember what He’s called us to do, His last request to His disciples? ‘All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:18-20) 

Now isn’t it time we got serious and do what our Leader asks of us? It certainly is, especially with the sad, sick and sorry state that our world is currently in! Much LOVE!

…if you truly know Jesus…you can’t help but LOVE Him…and LOVE those around you…even when it’s difficult to do… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 August 2021 Psalm 31:23.

Psalm 31:23.     O LOVE the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth (fully repays) the proud doer.

Come now mih bredrin, why that sad, droopy look this bright and sunny Thursday morning eh? Oh, I know that it’s not always easy to put on a bright and smiley face when things aren’t going right, but we have to make the effort, and at least not allow those sad times to last too long. Remember we have Jesus, who died in our place so that we could have a good life and do all that we need to do through His amazing strength. And yes, the evil world is fighting a strong fight against us, and our carnal mind, our flesh isn’t helping matters either. 

But again, let’s not forget that we have Jesus, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings in our corner, and with Him beside us we can fight every enemy and win the victory! All praise and glory to His Holy name my brethren! Life isn’t easy, but with Christ in us, and we in Him, we are well prepared, have all we need to fight the good fight. And though we might lose a few battles here and there, we are guaranteed to win the war with Jesus, our esteemed Leader in our camp! 

So now it’s time to end the pity party and return to the safe, secure and happy pavilion of our great and wonderful God by reminding ourselves of why we first believed and continue believing. Let’s do that by declaring (yeah!!!) these marvellous words of Bruh David from Psalm 31. 

‘In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust (I take refuge); let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness. Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock (rock of refuge), for a house of defense (fortress) to save me. For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me. Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily (secretly) for me: for thou art my strength. Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.’ (Ps. 31:1-5) 

Ah friends, remember when you said similar words to the God of your forefathers and accepted His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour? Well nothing has really changed, just a li’l trial and tribulation occurring along our pilgrim’s journey to heaven. And remember again, that with Jesus dwelling in us, through His awesome Holy Spirit, we can deal with anything that comes against us. 

Yuh know, even Jesus had it rough. On His human side, He too was tempted, rejected, betrayed, and suffered loads of inhumane treatment on our behalf, but He didn’t turn away His face from Calvary. And so too, we ought not to turn away from doing His work. Like Him, we too need to rest sometimes, but the idea of stopping or giving up should never occur to us, because He is our example, and He didn’t give up even when it came to giving His sinless life so unselfishly for us. 

Thus, the least we can do is put up with a li’l suffering on His behalf. We need to follow in His footsteps, as the scriptures advise. ‘Looking unto Jesus, the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb.12:2) 

Oh mih people, what a mighty example our Lord and Saviour set us! For the joy of our salvation and the rewards He would receive from the Father, He willingly accepted the sufferation of the cross. Likewise, for the rewards of heaven that we have been promised, we ought to stand strong and bear whatever burdens we need to bear down here. So let’s not look at the course, but at the finish line, that’s heaven, as Jesus did, and we’ll not notice the trials and tribulations along the way as much. Remember, Jesus has already blazed the trail, cleared the path to heaven, so we don’t need to do anymore clearing, just follow in the footsteps He left in the sands of time. 

Therefore, we can say like Bruh David did: ‘I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities (troubles). And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy (given me over to the enemy): thou hast set my feet in a large room (a wide place).’ (Ps. 31:7-8) 

Yes, my fellow saints, in these evil and turbulent times, life will not be sweet and easy, and we will have to put out a lot of effort to keep things under control, but with the Lord God Jehovah occupying a special place in our lives, being Number ONE to us, we don’t have to worry about accomplishing our earthly tasks. 

Hear Bruh David tell it again nuh: ‘Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear (reverence) thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! Thou shalt hide them in the secret (place) of thy presence from the pride (plots) of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion (shelter) from the strife of tongues…. O LOVE the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth (fully repays) the proud doer.’ (Ps. 31:19-20, 23) 

Oh friends, I hope all of that has reminded us of what we signed up for with Jesus, and all the promises we have to enjoy at the end of the road. It certainly brightened my outlook, because I was one of those with the sad, droopy looks before I began writing this Bit. But that’s one of the purposes of God’s Word; to brighten our outlook when times get rough. So let’s never forget when times look dim, we need to get into the Word and reenergize ourselves. 

And how can we ever forget the many blessings that the Lord has bestowed on us to do His earthly work eh? So, let’s spell out in loud and sincere voice, what we call our Thursday Blessings. Altogether now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

And having declared all that, we now have to go out and share those blessings with others, just as generously as the Lord shared them with us! That’s His heartfelt desire! Much LOVE!

…be of good courage…and he shall strengthen your heart…all ye that hope in the Lord… (Ps. 31:24)                                                                                                                               

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 February 2021 Hebrews 12:1b.

Hebrews 12:1b.     …​let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.

It’s a new day people, so graciously granted to us by our heavenly Father, so let’s give Him some thanks and praise for it nuh, and promise to enjoy it to the fullest, while doing His awesome will! Yes friends, it feels so good to be alive on this Thursday morning, that despite all my difficulties, I still want to jump and shout for joy and sing praises to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Wow! Hope you are also experiencing the same extraordinary feeling, because it is not a normal emotion that the world, that unbelievers can experience. 

That feeling of peace and calm, of LOVE and goodwill to our fellow beings, even when we are in the midst of a dreadful storm ourselves! And that feeling of euphoria, even in the darkest times is only possible when Jesus has first place in our lives. When we focus on Him, our lives take on a different quality, we rise to a higher level of humanity, we gain a strength and sense of purpose that enables us to run the race that our Creator has set out for us. 

Yes friends, when we embrace all the promises that our God has made down through the ages, we are then able to rise to the occasion, and allow Him to lift us from glory to glory, ever becoming more faithful and Christlike as we live this earthly life. And these awesome words from the Good Book epitomize all that I’m saying. The author of Hebrews, which resonate like the words of Bruh Paul, but which some scholars doubt, gives us this news of great assurance about running our race. 

‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.’ (Heb. 12:1) And I guess it’s only appropriate that I enclose the lengthy, but excellent explanation the scholars provide on that verse, so that we will get the real meaning and understand it perfectly. (smile) 

‘12:1. The present exhortation to run finds its basis in the examples of the champions mentioned in chapter eleven. These heroes of the faith are like a cloud of witnesses. As “witnesses” (Gr. marturon) they are sometimes regarded as spectators (Gr. theatai) or as martyrs; yet the Greek word should be understood as referring simply to those who testify or witness. The emphasis is on the witness provided by their living by faith. 

This race of faith is described by three modifying statements. First, it is to be run by laying aside every weight. This refers to impediments that weigh one down, whether clothing or excessive body weight. These things are not inherently wrong, but for the diligent runner, or the faithful Christian they must be removed.

 Second, it is to be run by putting off the entangling sin. This seems to refer to the one sin above all others that defeats a Christian. This may be a different sin for each individual. Third, it is to be run with patience (Gr. hypomones). Since patience is not an attribute commonly associated with running, this word would be better translated as endurance. Endurance and persistence have been on the author’s mind since the end of chapter 10 (cf. 10:32, 36-38, 11:13).’  

There you have it friends, our race is all about faith, learning from the faithful exploits of those who have gone before us and setting glorious examples, glorious witness and testimony for those who are coming after us. And remember our race is not a sprint, but a marathon, and those require much endurance and strength, both physical and spiritual, that’s why we need to practice, and practice seriously if we truly desire to win our individual races. And friends, the ability to do that is certainly enhanced when Jesus is our focus, cause remember we can do all things through Him, who strengthens us. 

Thus, the second verse of Hebrews 12 boldly continues: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb. 12:2) Oh my people, that verse is key, for it is Jesus who began our faith and completed the first race in it. 

And the scholars declare it thus: ‘12:2. Just as verse 1 establishes some qualities for the entrance into and the actual running of life’s race, so verse 2 directs one’s eyes to the finish line. Jesus is the author and finisher in that He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.’ 

That makes Him the best example to follow in running our race. ‘For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint (discouraged) in your minds (souls). Ye have not yet resisted unto blood (bloodshed), striving against sin.’ (Heb. 12:3-4) 

And the scholars explain: ‘12:3-4. Though chapter 11 provides many champions for believers to emulate, the supreme example of endurance is Jesus Himself.’ Make no doubt about that my brethren! Jesus is the example that our heavenly Father wants us to emulate. Yes, He knows that it won’t be easy, but that’s why He has blessed us so profusely with all the parts and trappings to be successful. 

And let’s thank our lucky stars, or should I say, our heavenly Father, (smile) that very few of us will have to undergo and endure the sad and brutal punishment that Jesus endured for our sinful sakes. That means we need to show gratitude by putting our best foot forward in supporting and promoting His wonderful cause. And He’s so magnificent and magnanimous that He’s even given us the tools to help us do His work. We call them our Thursday Blessings. Wow! So let’s remind ourselves of them as we go home this bright but cold Thursday morning nuh. 

As one strong, confident but humble voice. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

And having declared them, let’s now go out, or stay in, or whatever, and share them with others, use them to benefit others, just as magnanimously as Christ has done with and for us. Much LOVE!

…the Lord knew we needed help in witnessing…that’s why He provided so many good examples…the best being Jesus…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 September 2018 Hebrews 12:2.

Hebrews 12:2.​     …who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame…

I don’t understand it nuh people. I went to bed around one this morning feeling fairly decent, but got up at seven with pains raging through the ole bod. Steups! I thought sleep and rest were the panacea for such ills, not the ‘bringer on’ of them. (smile) But what can you do eh, but grin and bear it? I guess it’s all a part of our earthly faith walk. The Lord doesn’t want us to get too relaxed and contented, so He tests us as soon as we get up. 

And yuh know what mih breddren? We going to pass that test; pass it with flying colours to boot! And with the Lord’s help too! Because that’s the wonderful kind of God He is: He not only gives us the tests, but also gives us the wherewithal to pass them! Glory to our Most High God! There’s none other like Him! And it looks like the wicked windstorm that rampaged through Southern Ontario yesterday has now quietened down. 

Oh friends, all day yesterday, into the late hours of the night, the wind just raced through the place, causing damage and power outages in several areas. Up around the capital city of Ottawa, they even had a tornado. Hn! I sat down on my bed and watched the wind just tear through the poor trees all day long. Had them dancing a merry, tiresome jig. But the trees were strong. Many times I thought they would fall, but they stood up strong, and this morning they seem none the worse for wear. 

Now that’s the way we Christians ought to be my brethren; stand up strong and steadfast to all the adversity that comes against us, especially when we have the Creator’s faithful promise to stand with us through thick and thin! 

And since it’s Saturday, it means we have to look at the quotes sent to us this week by our friend Anselm, who sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. I don’t know what’s happening with him, but this week, we only got one quote from him again. However, it is an interesting quote, which says: ‘Shame hates to have words wrapped around it. If we talk about it, it loses its grip on us.’ And that’s generally true. 

But friends, shame is possibly the second biggest problem we believers face, except for fear. The enemy uses fear and shame to quench our brightly burning lights that are supposed to shine in God’s favour. And way too many Christians fall prey to the falsehood of shame. 

And here is a perfect example of it. I know a Christian family that is going through some relational problems. One member of the family is acting up, his addiction causing him to behave very wild and irrational. I went to visit them earlier this week, but unfortunately what I took away from the talk and the visit is that shame over the family member’s behaviour is overwhelming. 

And though they talk about praying and all the other believer’s tools, they are still in too much of a feeling sorry for themselves mood, thinking too much about what will happen to them. Their faith hasn’t risen to the top like it should. Oh I know you must consider those things, but your faith is supposed to help you come up over them. And yes, your family member is making a fool of himself, and you deeply regret it, and are concerned, but you didn’t do anything to be ashamed of. 

What others think seems to be of paramount importance. But who really cares what others think eh? They have the same problems and sometimes worse! I have always been somewhat irked at that behaviour. If I didn’t do something, why should I clothe myself in shame eh? It’s just the devil’s work! But hear the worst part of the story, in my opinion. 

Now I know they are short on money, and they know that I know that, but yet when I offered some to help tide them over, the mother refused it. And when I asked why, she claimed that it made her ashamed. And that with a disabled child to look after and only one family member working. Chuh! It hurt my heart. And though I argued some about it, with words like you can’t eat shame or pay your bills with it, I quickly realized that it was a matter best left alone. 

Oh my people, how can you turn down a few dollars from a close friend when you are in dire straits because of that foolish and senseless word called shame eh? I know what it is to be hungry and in need, and sometimes it’s an affront to refuse a friend’s help in those situations. But you can’t legislate the behaviour of other folks. 

And to end we’ll just highlight two instances where shame played a great role in the Good Book. The first is the first instance of it in the world, with Adam and Eve after they ate the forbidden fruit. ‘And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons (girding coverings).’ (Gen.3:7) Then when the Lord came looking for them later on, they were afraid and hid. Why? ‘…because I was naked…’ (Gen.3:10) 

Yuh see friends, before their eyes were opened, there was no shame, no reason to hide from God, but once the enemy intervened, they became ashamed of their nakedness. And then there is this magnificent verse from Hebrews containing our Bit: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith: who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb.12:2) 

Yes friends, there couldn’t be anything more shameful to a Jewish man than being crucified butt naked in front of the whole world! If he had seriously considered the shame involved in His crucifixion, He wouldn’t have done it. But for our sake, and the wonderful rewards that awaited Him, Jesus threw out the thing called shame and went to the cross like it was nothing. 

Likewise friends, we ought to get rid of, overcome the twin deaths of fear and shame and take up our crosses as positively as Jesus did, and march on to victory in His awesome and holy name! That’s what being a true believer in, and follower of Christ means! Much LOVE!

…shame is just fear in disguise…

 

    

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 August 2018 Hebrews 7:24.

Hebrews 7:24.   But this man (Jesus), because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.

Aw shucks friends, Monday’s done – like dinner! (smile) And you’ll notice that we weren’t plagued by any of the evil forebodings we had conjured up in our minds for the first day of the workweek. Glory to God! It was all just peace and quiet, LOVE, joy and friendship in Jesus Christ! Mama Yo!

So let’s just keep it like that today too nuh. And the best way to start out is by declaring this mind-setting acclamation: ‘This is the day the Lord has made. We WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’  And having set our minds on that, we can now go out and bring it to pass. And to help us do that, here is this ‘Prayer for Success,’ from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. 

Please pray with me. ‘As I become a success with your help, Lord, let me never forget that what I am is more important than what I do. Faith stimulates success. Hope sustains success. LOVE sanctifies success. So I cannot and I dare not succeed without your power, peace, and pressure in my life, Jesus Christ. Amen!’ That’s all gospel truth my brethren! Without those wonderful and powerful attributes of Jesus we cannot succeed in this evil and ungodly world! 

And Gramps Schuller continues: ‘Be open. Be humble. Correctable. Educable. Then you will hear God’s voice. You will see God’s plan. Grab onto it, give it all you’ve got, and you will inherit the earth!’ More words of indisputable truth friends! 

And you know what hold us back more than anything else, is not that we don’t believe etc. etc. but we don’t give it all we’ve got for a sufficient length of time. Yes my people, we give up way too easily. Just think if Jesus had given up on us, what would have happened eh? 

It’s sure scary to think about no forgiveness of sins, no mercy or grace, no salvation, no eternal life. Hn! But He persisted, even though He knew the severe trials He would have to face. And because of His persistence, He overcame them. Likewise my brethren, we, His faithful followers ought to be persistent in all that we do in His name. 

And our Bit shows just how persistent and persevering is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ‘But this man (Jesus), because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.’ Yeh friends, all the other important priests died, and so did Jesus, but He rose from the dead and continues living and working on our behalf. 

‘Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.’ (Heb.7:25) Ah mih brethren, how blessed we are when we follow Jesus! He not only died to pay for our sins and help us be reconciled to the Father, but even now, He is sitting at the right hand of God interceding for us. 

He never stops pleading on our behalf! Glory to His Holy Name; the one that’s higher than any other, and the one that all must bow to! So are we as persevering and persistent in our work on His behalf? I don’t think so, otherwise the world would not be as evil and ungodly as it is, neither would there be so many people willing and pushing, even clamouring to have God removed from our society. 

And the reason for that ungodliness lie heavily both on the church as an organization and we individuals within it. And here I’ll just recall a couple scriptures on the persistence of the early church. ‘And they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.’ (Acts 2:42) 

‘And they continuing daily with one accord (mind) in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat (food) with gladness and singleness of heart (simplicity). Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily, such as should be (were being) saved.’ (Acts 2:46-47) 

Friends, that just shows how fervent and persistent the early church was about living for Christ. Unfortunately though, in today’s feckless and spineless society, we seem to be more enamoured of the things of the world, than those of God. But that’s a fool’s wisdom my people. Now here is a passage of scripture I hope will encourage us to keep on keeping on regardless of what comes against us. 

‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint (discouraged) in your minds (souls).’ (Heb.12:1-3) 

Yeh friends, the times are evil and ungodly, and only as we believers are persistent and true in following Jesus, will, or can they ever change. So let’s think about all Jesus did for us, and is still doing, and make that extra effort to run our race for Him nuh, for His glory. 

And for those of us who have decided to do just that, let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice, with sincere hearts now: ‘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!’ 

Now let’s go out and do exactly that, so we can effect, bring about, some badly needed godly change in our world. Much LOVE!

…the saints in heaven are watching…are cheering us on to run a good race…let’s not disappoint them nuh…

 


Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 September 2017 Hebrews 12:2.

Hebrews 12:2.   Looking unto to (let us fix our eyes on) Jesus, the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Well friends, as they say, all good things must end! And it looks like this delightful, unexpected party of summer weather is over as of today! Chuh! But we’ve certainly enjoyed it while it lasted. 

As of tomorrow, we’re supposed to go to highs of around 19 Celsius, which is more like the normal temp for this time of year. So enjoy today’s twenty something high, cause it’s the last time we’ll see it for a long, long while. (smile)  

And today, I have an interesting excerpt to share from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. I can’t remember if I’ve ever shared it before, but it certainly applies to a lot of us believers. It’s simply titled ‘Excuses.’ 

Please read with me. ‘O God I’ve become a self-educated master Of a thousand polished excuses. Hoping to avoid your penetrating gaze I clutch them to me like valuable gems. When I think I have myself thoroughly covered I’m caught short with the realization That you can see right through me. My flimsy excuses are never really hidden. 

I find an excuse for all my failures Wrong choices Late appointments Wasted time. I excuse my foolish blunders, my laziness My broken resolves, my unreachable goals. I need your help, Lord! To hide from You is as foolish As the Grand Canyon Attempting to hide from the sky. 

O God, my only hope Lies in your invincible power To make me what I am not yet But what you know I can become. Strengthen my will, Lord. Make me firm, steadfast, consistent. Control my impulses, my emotions. May I keep pursuing and never quit.’ 

Ah mih people, I’m sure all of us, at some time or other have made various excuses to God why we didn’t or couldn’t do something He desired of us, but deep down we knew that those excuses were pretty flimsy and couldn’t hold up to the Lord’s scrutiny. 

I don’t know why we insist on doing that foolishness nuh, when we very well know that the Lord can see right into our heart and detect the truth, including our nefarious motives. We all know that being a pilgrim here on earth is not easy, but we do have the wherewithal to handle whatever comes against us. 

And if we truly feel unable or afraid to do something, it’s better to go to God with the truth, than with a flimsy, selfish excuse. Remember, we can’t ever run, nor hide from God! But some of us still insist on trying. (smile) 

And the Bible verse for that poem, as well as today’s Bit, is one we all know. ‘Looking unto to (let us fix our eyes) on Jesus, the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ 

Yeh friends, in rough and uncertain times we need to keep our gaze fixed completely on Jesus, seeing how He handled His hard times and trying to do likewise. Our Bit talks about the joy that was set before Jesus. Yuh think His physical ‘sufferation’ and unholy crucifixion were joyful? 

Surely not! But the joy was the knowledge that His sacrificial death would set us free, pay our sin debt in full, and then elevate Him to the right hand of the Father, where He could still advocate on our behalf. That was the joy which Jesus beheld friends! 

And the scholars tell us: ’12:2. Just as verse 1 establishes some qualities for the entrance into and the actual running of life’s race, so verse 2 directs one’s eyes to the finish line. Jesus is the author and finisher in that He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, Jesus has already done it all, we don’t need to carve out a new trail, just follow the one He has blazed. 

And I like the two verses after our Bit. ‘For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint (discouraged) in your minds (souls). Ye have not yet resisted unto blood (bloodshed), striving against sin.’ (Heb.12:3-4) 

For sure friends, the majority of us have not, and will never come up against anything close to what Jesus endured on our behalf. So just remember when things get rough and tough, that Jesus is the supreme example of endurance, both physical and spiritual, andHe is the One we must always look to, as a mighty example, and for help in our own endurance. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, which shows that we are truly on the right path, the straight and narrow one. In strong voice, with true sincerity: ‘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!’ 

How could it be anything other than that eh mih breddren? Much LOVE!

…what a glorious example we have in Jesus…in how to live a pilgrim’s life…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 June 2017 Hebrews 12:2.

Hebrews 12:2.   Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Awright friends, the trumpet has sounded Monday’s battle cry! That means it’s time for us to be up and at ‘em, for Jesus is waiting at the front lines to lead us into battle. We can’t keep our leader waiting because with each passing moment the enemy is advancing closer and closer and gaining the advantage. So without further ado, let’s put on our spiritual armour and hasten to the battle lines. 

And to help raise our awareness and courage, let’s belt out our Monday Morning Battle Hymn like there was no tomorrow. And for many of us there might just be no earthly tomorrow. 

So in full voice, let’s sing. ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

That was good friends! It put a smile on Jesus’ face. Now let’s follow Him into battle, as we hit the highways and byways en route to the concrete jungles and brave the frantic attacks of the evil enemy, who doesn’t know that He’s already lost the battle, because Jesus died, was buried and rose from the grave, signifying the death knell of hell, death and the grave. 

Our Bit tells the story in one sentence. ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ 

Yes my precious people of God, our Lord and Saviour bravely endured the necessary shame and scandal to pay for our sins, by the shedding of His blood, by being the sacrificial Lamb of God on the cross of Calvary. Wow! What a selfless champion we have as our leader! 

And where is He now? Sitting at the right hand of God’s throne interceding for us, His adopted family and faithful followers. Now how can anything be better than that eh? No way Jose! 

Just imagine it nuh mih breddren: The Son of God, giving His life for us, for which He was then given the awesome title of King of Kings and Lord of Lords and raised to second in command of the universe, like Joseph was with Pharaoh, and is now sitting beside his Father pleading for us to be granted mercy, grace and forgiveness, not for anything we have done or can do, but because of the work He has already done! 

And all God’s children joyfully shouted: ‘Glory to Jesus, the Lamb of God who was slain for us! May He reign forever and ever!’ 

And He will friends, there’s no doubt about that, because the ole fool Lucifer is no match for our Saviour. Yuh don’t see what Lucifer does, walk to and fro about the earth, while Jesus sits in regal splendour at His Father’s side in the high heavens. So who is better off eh? 

Now let’s look at a few scriptures which corroborate our Bit: ‘who for the joy that was set before him…’ Now what reward could He have been promised to make Him do what He did eh? 

Hear Jesus rebuke the two followers He met on the road to Emmaus. ‘O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?’ (Luke 24:25-26) Then He proceeded to explain all that the prophets had said concerning Him down through the ages. 

And the scholars explain. 24:26. Ought (Gr. dei) bespeaks a divine necessity; what the prophets had foretold (see Is.53; Ps.16:22) must and did come to pass. The disciples had been ready to see in Jesus a glorious deliverer, But Jesus’ rebuke (v.25) relates to their unwillingness to take seriously the many Old Testament texts that speak not only of the Messiah’s glory, but also of His suffering.’ 

So friends, for the glory promised by the Father and just from the great desire to do the Father’s will, Jesus ‘endured the cross, despising the shame…’ 

And Bruh Paul tells us in the Good Book, that Jesus: ‘Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’(Phil.2:6-8)  

Oh friends, there’s nothing our God cherishes as much as obedience to His will. And look at how He rewarded Jesus for His obedience. ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11) 

Yes precious people of God, that is how generous and magnanimous our heavenly Father can be when we obey His will. So let’s seriously ponder today in what way(s) we are not being obedient. Maybe that’s why our cups are not overflowing. Much LOVE!

…to obey is better than to sacrifice…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 October 2016 Isaiah 53:7.

Isaiah 53:7.    He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought (was led) as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 

‘Oh friends, I, I am blessed, Yes, I want to tell the world that I, I am blessed!’ Sing it with me: ‘Oh we. We are blessed! Let’s tell the world, that we, we are blessed!’

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! For as children of the Most High God Jehovah, followers of Jesus Christ, and fertile soil in which the Holy Spirit dwells, then we must be blessed! Only thing is that a lot of the time, many of us don’t behave as though we are blessed. Instead, we moan and groan and complain about insignificant stuff. 

And yuh know what friends, a lot of the things we consider problems, are things that most of the world would only be too glad to have, along with the many benefits that we take for granted.

We are just too spoiled and complacent, expecting everything to be handed to us on a silver platter. But that’s not real life friends, for in this world serious problems abound, many of which fortunately don’t touch or concern us. 

Most of us have a job, a roof over our heads, food on table and we are reasonably healthy, and if not, we have the opportunity to go to a doctor. Meanwhile, billions of people around the world have none of those amenities, or rather necessities. But yet, we complain about petty stuff. 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s check out a couple of quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this week’s quotes are both short and to the point. The first says: ‘Don’t expect people to listen to your advice and ignore your example.’ 

And that’s one of the biggest problems in our Christian faith! We talk a good talk, but don’t walk the necessary walk. Consequently we acquire a reputation as hypocrites, like the Jewish leaders, the Pharisees of Jesus’ day.

Oh mih people, that hypocritical aspect of our earthly pilgrimage is hurting our cause so badly that Jesus’ church has now become something of a laughingstock among unbelievers. Sad but true. And it’s our own fault too. 

My fellow believers, we badly need to clean up our act on that front, otherwise all our efforts to mobilize the heathen to join Jesus’ LOVE Revolution will fall on deaf ears, and we’ll be laughed to scorn.

Now is that the result we desire for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross? NO WAY! So let’s get serious and start practicing what we preach nuh, if we truly want to represent Jesus in the best manner possible. Remember, actions work more forcibly on the mind than precepts, mere words.  

And the second of Anselm’s quotes declares: ‘Instead of complaining–contribute.’ Now that’s what we were talking about earlier on. We are a society that complains way too much about petty stuff, when we should be contributing to the solutions of the numerous problems we have.

And yuh know mih people, complaining is a sin! Too much complaining doesn’t sit right with our heavenly Father. He wants us to be giving thanks and praise, regardless of our difficult situations. 

Just look at Jesus, whom we are supposed to be the mirror image of. He had real serious problems down here on earth. But He never complained. The Good Book tells us in our Bit: ‘He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought (was led) as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.’ 

And in yesterday’s Bit, we saw where it said that Jesus ‘endured the cross, despising the shame….’ He certainly put up with a lot of affliction and rejection for our sakes without a whole lot of complaining. Now I know that we all can’t be as stoic and uncomplaining as Jesus, but we can surely do much better than we’re currently doing. 

And when we have problems, the best way to resist the temptation to complain and carry on is to help others with their problems. It works wonders friends! It not only takes our minds off of our own troubles, but it also pleases and glorifies our heavenly Father! 

Now here are a couple of situations where Isaiah’s prophecy about Jesus not speaking came to pass. First up is His interrogation before the high priest, where two false witnesses stated. ‘This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness (testify) against thee? But Jesus held his peace (remained silent). (Matt.26:61-63a) 

However, shortly after, when the high priest said unto Jesus, ‘I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said (it is as you said): nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.’ (Matt. 26:63b-64) 

Possibly Jesus should have kept quiet then too because that only caused the high priest to throw a tantrum, rent his clothes and declare that Jesus’ statement was blasphemous for which the council found Him guilty and began to abuse him, physically and emotionally.  (Matt.26:65-68) 

But I guess Jesus had to say something like that, otherwise they would not have had a case against Him, because it’s that charge of blasphemy for which they finally brought Him before the Roman authorities, seeking His death.  

That brings us to the other time when Jesus remained silent. He was before Pilate the Roman governor. ‘And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness (testify) against thee? And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.’ (Matt.27:12-14)

Oh friends, I know it’s difficult, but sometimes it’s best for us too to keep quiet when we are being wrongfully accused. It throws off our accusers, gives us time to think and also time for God to act on our behalf. 

Well enough for us to chew on today. Please take your time, chew slowly, and ponder while you chew. (smile) Much LOVE!

…silence is usually golden in most situations…

 

 

 

 

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