Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 June 2018 John 14:6.

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

Well friends, it seems like it’s another strife filled day in our strife filled world. Hn! Nothing much has changed from yesterday. But blessed are we of the Christian faith, who don’t have to allow all the bad news around the world to affect us too much. 

Oh we should be concerned about all the unnecessary nonsense that’s taking place, but with Christ first and foremost in our hearts we know the eventual outcome of the situation and our preferred place in it. Thus we do our best to alleviate what we can in our small circle and leave the rest to God, for it’s His universe and He’s the Controller. Amen! 

Now it’s Saturday, sleepy time day, (smile) so let’s look at a couple of quotes I received from our friend Anselm this week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. The first says: ‘No matter how hard you try to make a person who’s miserable all the time happy it’ll never work, until they get a handle on their life and try being happy without a reason. Life doesn’t owe anyone happiness, only you owe yourself happiness.’ 

And that’s the basic truth friends. If a person truly doesn’t want to be happy, you can never make them so. That’s because true happiness has to come from the inside and not merely from outward circumstances. You’re fighting a losing battle from the start if you try to make a diehard grouch happy. (smile) 

Until they wake up and want to be happy, all your efforts will be wasted. As the man said, life doesn’t owe us happiness, but we owe it to ourselves to be happy. 

And the next and last quote declares that ‘ People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.’ I’m sorry friends, but if they are not on the road to and with Jesus, then they are definitely and surely LOST! 

Remember our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ made it so plain when He declared in no uncertain terms: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ Yes my brethren, those immortal words were spoken in response to Thomas, he of the doubting disciple fame. Jesus had just told them that He was going back to heaven to prepare a place for them. 

‘And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:3) What a glorious promise people, because that promise extends also to us today! Then Jesus adds: ‘And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.’ But Thomas with his bright self, pipes up: ‘Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?’ (John 14:4-5) 

That’s when Jesus lets him have both barrels with our Bit., worthy of being repeated again: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ 

And until the unbelievers and doubters of this fallen and sinful world get that down their unbelieving craw, they will remain lost! That’s just the simple, indisputable and incontrovertible fact of the matter! All who don’t believe in Jesus will be lost! The Good Book says so, and the Good Book does not lie, because it is the unadulterated word of God, inspired to men of true faith through the Holy Spirit. 

And I like this explanation of the scholars. ‘14:6. Jesus does not tell them about the way, nor does He show them the way. He does not even guide them along the way. He says He IS the way!’ 

And that’s all there is to it my brethren! It’s either the narrow and righteous way of Jesus, or the broad and sinful highway of the enemy! Those are the only choices we have. There is no in-between option. So those of us, who are trying to straddle the fence, please stop it, because there is absolutely no hope of attaining heaven in that manner. 

Remember how in the Old Testament the priest went into the secluded Holy of Holies in the tabernacle, by himself, once every year and offered a blood sacrifice for the sins of the people. (Heb.9:7) That meant that the people did not have a direct connection to God; only the priest had that once a year. 

However my friends, however, when Jesus died to pay for our sins, everything changed miraculously! The heavy veil that separated the Holy of Holies was rent asunder from top to bottom, because the blood of the Holy sacrificial Lamb had paid for ALL SINS, for ALL TIME! Glory Hallelujah! 

Listen to how the author of Hebrews puts it. ‘And their sins and iniquities (lawless deeds) will I remember no more. Now where remission (forgiveness) of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness (confidence) to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus. By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.’ (Heb.10:17-20) 

And the scholars add: ‘10:20. Jesus is the new and living way by which believers have direct access into the very Holy Place of God. (cf.4:14; 6:20; 7:25; John 14:6).’ Please check out those scriptures. 

That brings us to this dramatic and glorious end: ‘And having a high priest (Jesus) over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 

Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up) unto LOVE and to good works.’ (Heb.10:21-24) 

Ah friends, with Jesus leading and guiding our lives, EVERYDAY is one of celebration, of hope, sure faith, and eternal glory! Much LOVE!

…without Jesus as the rudder in life…you’re inevitably drifting to eternal damnation…

 

                         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 February 2015 Romans 12:2

Romans 12:2. 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.

Well Friends and fellow believers in Jesus Christ, once again the cycle of 7 days morphing into a week has begun. This is the day of the Lord, the first day of the week, and to show proper respect and our grateful appreciation for His goodness and LOVING-kindness last week, and this coming week, we ought to go to His sanctuary and offer up praise, worship and thanksgiving with other believers and receive the strength, encouragement and confidence to face another week in this mish-mash, predominantly ungodly world.

I already had my churching for today. And Friends, the ole fella read the scripture in church and shook my tambourine with much pleasure. Mama Mia! I like this church. It doesn’t seem to have a choir or organ, but they have an African drum and tambourines and the voices really are loud and proud, filling up the whole church with prayers, praises, songs of worship and thanksgiving!

And the female lay reader preached a mighty powerful sermon this morning on the meaning of Lent; a time for introspection, for growing, for giving up things of the world, so that we can get closer to God. And as usual, I saw people from my youth, people I have not seen in many a day. I guess there’s no place I can go in Tobago without meeting someone who knows me, my, mother, my father or my grandfather.

Unfortunately it will be my last visit on this trip. Next Sunday I’ll be back in my cold St. Francis church back in the North Country, but it’s only the surroundings that are cold, the people are warm and lovely and friendly! Hi there my people back at St. Francis! I missed you all, but not the cold weather. (smile)

And since Lent is a time for us to grow in the nature and image of Christ, this morning when I read this most appropriate passage from The One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, I obviously couldn’t pass it up. It’s titled ‘Grow Up.

And it says: ‘Picture with me: a piece of gnarled bark tossed to and fro over the crashing breakers. First one direction, then another, back and forth, over and under. Aimless. No set purpose. Drifting… always drifting. What an accurate picture of an immature Christian. Nothing but spiritual puttering. Up and down, in and out. One study group for a few weeks, then another. One church for a while, then another.

Undisciplined, unsteady, one day soaring, the next day wading in self-pity. No consistency. The apostle Paul tells us to grow up! Not grow older, but grow up into Christ. What we are today is more important to God than what we were yesterday. Our life journey with Jesus is now – this very day, this very hour. Why yearn for change if we’ve made no effort to follow the direction God has already given us?

To grow spiritually we must be single-minded. Our one goal? To be conformed to the image of Christ. He longs for our willingness to let Him root us, cultivate us, water us. Above all, God wants our total commitment. He will take anything we give Him, except second place.’

Oh my people, those are such moving words of truth that I don’t see how we can ignore them if we truly want to be a mature Christian. Like everything else in this world, it takes, diligence, patience, perseverance, endurance, faith, prayer and the sweat of our brow to grow, to come up higher in Christ too. That means we can’t be wishy-washy and wavering, sitting on the fence, jumping down to one side or the other as the fancy takes us, or where the grass seems greenest.

And the promise for that passage is our inimitable Bit, memorable words from Bruh Paul to the Corinthians. And we’ll start with the first verse of the chapter. ‘I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable (rational) service.

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.12:1-2)

Oh Friends, that is the perfect recipe for the wandering, wavering, wishy-washy Christian! In fact for any Christian at all, because that’s how we become true children of God, reflecting the true image and character of Jesus Christ, which is God’s eternal plan. And the scholars have some very good explanations on those verses, so let’s check them out.

’12:1. By the mercies of God summarizes all that God has accomplished for the believer in Romans 1-11 in justifying the believer (chs. 1-5), enabling the believer to live a righteous life (chs 6-8), and being faithful to Israel (chs 9-11). That ye present refers to a definite act of presentation. The verb is used of offering a sacrifice that became “holy” under the Levitical system (cf. Ex.29:37).

This shows that the Christian life begins with total commitment and irrevocable presentation. Your bodies: The body has been an instrument of sin (ch 6). Now it is to be presented to God as a channel through which the righteousness of God is manifested.’

12:2. Be not conformed (lit. “stop conforming yourselves”). They are to resist being poured into the mould of the present thinking, value systems, and conduct of this world. This term is used only here and in 1 Peter 1:14.’

Oh my brethren, that last sentence says it all! We supposed Christians, followers of Christ are being too influenced by the mores, vales and conduct of this evil and ungodly world. So how can we expect to be true Christians when we’re not following the will and work of Jesus Christ eh?

That’s why so many unbelievers look down on us with scorn and serious misgiving, comparing us to the hypocrite Pharisees of Jesus’ time and thus refuse to attend church or commit their lives to Jesus. And they’re quite right too! How can we expect people to join something that’s so conflicted, divisive and two-faced?

In other words Friends, we’re not helping God’s cause with that kind of behavior, but driving it into the ground. And there’s no better time than this Lenten Season to check ourselves and see where we may be coming up short for Jesus, and seriously communicate with Him to help us change, grow, mature, and thus do better in furthering His glorious kingdom.

So let’s concentrate on that today nuh my people, for all of us can use God’s help to improve our earthly witness. Much LOVE!

…the best testimony for Jesus…is through our true and righteous lives…anything less is not good enough…