Today’s Scrip-Bit   4 October 2021 Matthew 6:24b.

Matthew 6:24b.     Ye cannot serve God and mammon (riches).

The grace and peace of Christ Jesus be unto you, my fellow believers, on this wet and windy Monday morning in early October of this confusing and crazy year of 2021! And the universe is moving along as it should, under the ever-watchful eye of its magnificent and majestic Creator, Almighty God! We know that nothing happens in the universe unless He sets it in motion, or allows it, for whatever reason He sees fit. 

So, ours is not to reason or wonder why, but just to do His bidding and hope not to die without receiving Christ Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. That says it all friends: our earthly responsibility is to believe in Christ and live a life that is worthy of Him. When we do that, when we make it our first priority, then everything else falls into place. Like Jesus said: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) 

That’s a faithful promise. Anytime you concentrate on living for Christ, the Lord will take care of all your needs. Bruh Paul emphasized that in his letter to the Philippians. ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:19) Yes, my faithful brethren, when we are faithful to God, He is also faithful to us. He sees the sacrifices and hardships we endure for His name’s sake and will meet our need according to His riches. 

The scholars tell us: ‘that is, in proportion to His unlimited resources. He will meet our needs in glory, that’s ‘gloriously, in a splendid manner, by Christ Jesus.’ What more can we ask for eh? Not a whole lot! However, with that scripture, we must remember that the Good Book is speaking primarily of needs, of the necessities for living, not our fleshly and lustful wants or desires. 

There can be a big difference between needs and wants, especially in this ever so materialistic and ungodly world. And that’s why Jesus also made it clear that ‘No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and LOVE the other; or else he will hold to (be loyal to) the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (riches).’ (Matt. 6:24) And that’s just a simple fact of nature, of logic, my brethren. You cannot run after two things with the same intensity at the same time, one of them will inevitably suffer. 

Now hear the scholars explain that verse. ‘6:24. This kind of spiritual double vision causes one to believe that he can serve two masters. Total loyalty to God cannot be divided between Him and loyalty to one’s own material possessions. A master is a lord or an owner. That God claims total lordship over His own is obvious in this passage. Therefore, Jesus rightly proclaimed, Ye cannot serve God and mammon. The term ‘mammon’ is derived from the Aramaic term for possessions or wealth. Jesus is not condemning money or possessions in and of themselves, but the improper attitude of enslavement toward wealth.’ 

And sadly, our world today, is maximizing the promotion of total enslavement to wealth and possessions, causing us to strive after money as the goal of life. That’s why these times are so ungodly. No wonder Bruh Paul cautioned Timothy. ‘For the LOVE of money is the root of all (kinds) of evil; which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith (for which some in their greediness have strayed from the faith), and pierced themselves through with many sorrows (caused themselves to be ruined).’ (2 Tim. 6:10) 

Remember, Ye cannot serve God and mammon. So, if we are serving mammon to such a great extent, it’s obvious that God will be left far behind, in the lurch, in the dust. And where does that leave us eh friends? In a tough situation. But, as strong and confident Christians, ambassadors of Christ, we will not give up, but keep fighting to get others to come to Jesus, by living godly and righteous lives, and letting His awesome light shine through us, as we cover the earth with His salt. (smile) 

For isn’t that how He referred to us? ‘Ye are the salt of the earth… Ye are the light of the world… Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:13a, 14a, 16) And that takes us right back to what we said at the beginning; ours is just to receive Christ and do the Father’s bidding. But unfortunately, we are not doing that as much as we ought to, and that’s why the enemy is in ascendance right now in the world; why the LOVE for money, power and material possessions is so great, and the desire for the things of God way down on the totem pole. 

However, today is as good a day as any other to take the bull by the horns and begin to turn things around. And prayer is where we begin; it’s always the place to start. So, let’s go confidently to the throne of grace for help, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, in this our desperate time of need. Altogether now: ‘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!’ 

And please remember my fellow saints, that the answers to our prayer all hinge on our sincerity, humility, repentance and truly seeking God’s face. Much LOVE!

…it’s much wiser to store treasure in heaven…where it cannot rot or be stolen…than down here on earth…where it rots and is continually stolen… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 July 2021 Matthew 19:26.

Matthew 19:26.      With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Welcome to laziness day – Saturday! Yes, after a hard work week of slogging back and forth in the rush hour traffic, many of us just want to sleep in and get up leisurely, under our own steam, not to the maddening cry of some alarm clock or radio, as happens five days a week.

Now that was the pre-pandemic picture, but what’s happened or is currently happening eh? Are we seeing a different, or new normal? Many of us had no jobs to go to during the raging storm of the virus, so we got accustomed to sleeping in late several days of the week.

But since the lifting of most of the tougher lockdown regulations, some of us have gone back to the nine to five routine. I wonder how we are handling it, after all that free time at home? It must be taking some getting used to. (smile) It’s surprising how habits formed over many years, can be unlearned or cast aside in a short space of time. And how difficult it can be to relearn them. But fear not! We are the children of the Most High God Jehovah, that means we can do anything that’s within His will, for nothing is impossible to Him! All glory to God! 

That brings us to Jesus’ interaction with the rich young ruler who came seeking eternal life. When Jesus told him to keep the commandments, he said he was already doing that, but figured he lacked something. (Matt. 19:16-20) ‘Jesus then said unto him, If thou wilt be (want to be) perfect, go and sell (all) that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.’ (Matt. 19:21) 

Now that must have been like a powerful punch to the gut of the young man. For the Good Book continues: ‘But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.’ (Matt. 19:22) And many of us supposed believers scoff at the young man, but in his position all of us would have felt the same way, because it is indeed difficult to give up wealth. But Jesus was trying to show the man that although he did the outward duties, there was a problem with his inner nature. 

Yes friends, the worldly concern with wealth seriously affects our relationship with God. As Bruh Paul wrote to Timothy. ‘For the LOVE of money is the root of all (kinds of) evil, which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.’ (1 Tim, 6:10) And is that ever the living truth my brethren! 

Money and wealth or material possessions in themselves are not terrible, but it’s the insatiable LOVE for them that gets us into trouble. So much so that our greed is usually our downfall. When we strive after the riches of this world, we usually end up in trouble, for they do not allow us to take God seriously or move in the direction of His august and awesome plan for our lives. 

No wonder Jesus made these eye-opening statements to the disciples. ‘Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ (Matt. 19:23) Meaning that it was, or is hard, extremely difficult, for a rich man to enter heaven. And the disciples most likely looked at Christ in amazement, with their tongues hanging out of their mouths, for back then it was generally understood that it was the rich who got to heaven easily because they were blessed by God and in some sense, automatically saved. 

But Jesus corrected that misunderstanding by telling them that it was very hard for the rich to be converted, born again and be saved, because of their innate affection for their material wealth, though it was not altogether hopeless. That led Him to make this statement which has caused controversy from the time He spoke it until now. ‘And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.’ (Matt. 19:24) 

Mama Yo! What a statement! And ‘When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?’ (Matt. 19:25) Now that’s a very good question my brethren? But let’s focus for a moment on what Jesus meant when He said those controversial words. 

The scholars tell us thus: ‘The illustration of a camel going through the eye of a needle has been interpreted as a camel-hair rope going through a needle; or an actual camel squeezing through a small gate, in particular, the one called “The Eye of the Needle” next to the main gate at Jerusalem, or the absolute impossibility of a literal camel actually going through a tiny needle’s eye. This last usage is most likely.’ 

And, considering Jesus’ next pronouncement, that seems to make sense. ‘But Jesus beheld them (the disciples), and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:26) I guess He was trying to bring home to them, to open up their young minds to the true and awesome power that their God possessed. So powerful was He, that He could even make a large unwieldly and ungainly camel go through the small eye of a needle. And believe me friends, our God can do it! And until we truly believe that He has such awesome power, we will continue to sell Him, and consequently our faith and ourselves short! 

Oh precious people, if God could create this magnificent universe and all therein, then make Jesus come down to earth, be born of a virgin, with no man’s help, then do all kinds of miracles while being sinless here on earth. And eventually sacrifice His sinless life on the cross for us, pay for our sins and reconcile us to Himself, then have Him ascend back into heaven, and send His Holy Spirit to dwell within us, to lead and guide us, why can’t He do such a simple thing as make a camel go through the eye of a needle eh? (smile) 

Seriously though friends, in light of all we have heard and seen our God do, we still don’t believe His omnipotence as we ought to. I guess that’s because of our small, finite minds, they are simply unable to grasp the true magnitude of our great God. But please, let’s keep on trying. The worst thing we could ever do is to stop believing in Him, to give up on Him. Much LOVE!

..our God can do…whatever needs to be done…or undone…because He is the eternal Creator…                                  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 November 2018 1 Timothy 6:6.

1 Timothy 6:6.   But godliness with contentment is great gain.
 
Well friends, it’s that big day, Friday…but unfortunately the ole fella’s not in great shape. I went to bed late last night and my sleep was disturbed so many time by getting up to go to the bathroom and just getting up and lying there awake so many times that I eventually lost count. Chuh! I was even up for about half an hour contemplating life before I finally got out of bed. 

So you must know that I was a tad grouchy, and to make matters worse that slimy crook, the devil, who’s always on the lookout for an easy mark, was there on my shoulder whispering all sorts of nonsense to me, until I shut him up by telling him: ‘Listen here nuh devil, I might be feeling somewhat low this morning but I’m not the easy mark you think I am eh. I still know that this is the day the Lord God of Israel has made, and yuh know what…I will rejoice and be glad in it, despite how I feel, so be gone with yuh ole lying, crooked deceitful self!’ 

Wow! And he was gone! Sometimes friends we just have to tell the ole deceiver where to get off. But he’ll be back later to try again. We constantly have to fend him off, because he NEVER stops trying to get into our souls and disrupt them! And I’m saddened not only by lack of proper rest but also because today is what has become known as ‘Black Friday.’ 

Steups! The day after Thanksgiving Day in the U.S has now become the biggest shopping day of the year in North America, overshadowing even the Boxing Day charade! Hn! Hordes of unruly human animals line up at all ungodly hours of the morning to rush and push and run over each other in their frantic attempts to get into stores that advertise a few things on sale; things that most of them don’t really need, neither can afford, but because it’s on sale…Ah Lord eh! 

The economic czars are lowering everything to their lowest denominator, so they can catch the foolish public into making their cash registers go kaching…kaching! And the saddest part is that Thanksgiving is no longer about really giving thanks, but much more about Black Friday. Everything seems to be rushed so that we can get ready for it. Even in Canada now the trend has caught on, because if the shopkeepers here don’t adapt, our foolish citizens will head to the U.S. to participate in the folly. 

And I really heard more about Black Friday than Thanksgiving in the last week or so, on the t.v and in the newspapers. Everybody had an ad out for it. Truthfully, if a friend hadn’t written me yesterday morning and reminded me, I would probably not have mentioned Thanksgiving at all in the Bit. What a sad world we’re living in eh mih breddren, where the LOVE of money and useless stuff is all the rage. 

And the workingman doesn’t do us any favours in his song either: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! Black Friday to boot! Where we shopping to kill! Buying up all the nice things in the stores and dem! Brother! Look at that nice big t.v on sale for only three hundred dollars nuh! And that tablet computer for only a hundred! Ah mih people, ah full mih belly yesterday, Thanksgiving Day, now today ah going to full mih eyes and dem. And no slave work until Monday morning, if ah not black up still… Who say ah not thankful for Black Friday and weekends eh?’ 

Ah friends, what a sad tale. And people have indeed been killed in the rush to shop…but it continues nonstop. Thankfully though, as believers in Jesus Christ, we’re not allowed to go so far out on the limb. We’re restrained by more sober boundaries. So let’s chant our Friday Chant with just as much, if not more enthusiasm than the workingman did in his song nuh. (smile) 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yes my people, there’s something to be said for being sober! (smile) And we’ll end today with a sermon from way back when, from Bruh Paul to Timothy that addresses the problem they faced two thousand years ago, and which we still face today. He’s been talking about all the strife and evil that’s been happening in Timothy’s surroundings, and finally declares: 

‘But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment (clothing) let us be therewith content. But they that will (desire to) be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful (harmful) lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition (ruin and destruction). For the LOVE of money is the root of (all kinds of) evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many arrows.’ (1 Tim.6:6-10) 

Ah friends, food and clothing and money are essentials in this earthly life, but it’s when we go overboard and let them become our gods, our idols, that we fall into trouble. There’s nothing wrong in wanting to be rich, but it’s the path we take to fulfilling that dream that causes problems. Jesus says that we should seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness first, then we’ll get all the earthly things we need. (Matt.6:33) 

And Bruh Paul tells Timothy: ‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience and meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art called, and hast professed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ (1 Tim.6:11-12) 

Yes my fellow believers, we too have confessed a good confession before many witnesses as to our trust and fellowship in the body of Christ, so please, let’s do as Bruh Paul says nuh, and stop behaving like the rest of the world! That’s our bounden duty as followers of Christ! Much LOVE!

…Christians…be in the world…but not of the world…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 July 2014 Matthew 6:19

Matthew 6:19.       Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin, destroy), and where thieves break through and steal.

Aye mih Friends, it’s Thursday, what’s new, what’s on the agenda for today eh? I know that all of us have lofty plans for the day, but just remember, for them to succeed, we have to commit these plans to the Lord, link them with His plan and will for our lives.
 
As Bruh David so wisely advises in Psalm 37 – The true state of the wicked. ‘Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgement (justice) as the noonday.’ (Ps.37:5-6)
 
But first things first my brethren; let’s give our wonderful God a mighty shout of praise and thanks for causing us to see another marvelous day here on earth, for without His goodness and tender mercy, His LOVING-kindness and forbearance, that wouldn’t be possible.
 
So please pray with me, this prayer that Jesus taught us. ‘Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (the evil one): for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.’ (Matt.6:9-13)
 
Yes my people, it’s always best to acknowledge our heavenly Father before we begin asking Him for this and that. It just shows our respect, our reverential awe for His holiness, His spectacular majesty and awesome power, and that we’re not merely interested in whatever good things He might have to offer us.
 
For also remember that He can see, and does read the true motives of our hearts, so any hypocrisy we try to hide from Him WILL BE exposed to His supernatural sight. Consequently, I don’t understand how so many of us still come to God with deceitful thoughts and attitudes, thinking to fool Him. Absolute stupidity!
 
Anyway, that brings us to our Bit, a very significant teaching of Jesus. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin, destroy), and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt.6:19-21)
 
Oh Friends, what a very instructive and hopefully convincing passage of scripture, that all of us will sincerely and confidently take note of!
 
And the scholars have this to say about those verses. ‘6:19-21. The attention of the believer is directed toward treasures in heaven. The term treasures implies the addition or accumulation of things. The two kinds of treasures are conditioned by their place (either on earth or in heaven).
 
The concept of laying up treasures in heaven is not pictured as one of meritorious benefits but rather of rewards for faithful service, as illustrated elsewhere in the teaching of Jesus.’
 
Yes my brethren, unlike the world’s theory that we should aggrandize ourselves with the worthless physical riches of the earth, Jesus is advising us to store up the favours and rewards for godly and righteous service in heaven.
 
And it’s a proven fact that wherever the choice things of our heart are located, that’s where our attention will be focused. So if the treasures of the world hold the place of highest esteem in our lives, then that’s where our focus, our priorities, will lie.
 
However, if the rewards and riches found in heaven speak more to us, then it’s on heaven and heavenly things that our focus and priorities will be trained.
 
And though the riches of the world are nice to have, running behind them, making ourselves slaves to collecting them is not a very wise idea. For that path only brings immense headaches and pain, in the long run causing us to forsake our friends and families, and most importantly our God.
 
Now let’s look at some scriptures that support our Bit. And the first comes from the pen of wise Cousin Sol, where he unequivocally declares: ‘Labour not (do not overwork) to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.
 
Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? (Will you cause your eyes to fly on it, and it is not?) For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.’ (Prov.23:4-5)
 
And who should know the effect of riches my people, better than the richest man ever eh? And it is the gospel truth, as we can see from the many who have laboured long and hard to attain material wealth, then lost it all, in no time at all.
 
And there are also many stories of people who have made and lost several earthly fortunes in a lifetime. So it’s essentially easy to amass earthly riches, but the problem is keeping them.
 
And we’ll end today with those wise, famous and memorable words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment (clothing) let us therewith be content.
 
But they that will (desire to) be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful (harmful) lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition (ruin and destruction).
 
For the LOVE of money is the root of all (kinds of) evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith (for which some in their greediness have strayed from the faith), and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
 
But thou, O man of God, flee these things (shun a LOVE of money); and follow after (pursue) righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ (1 Tim.6:6-12)
 
Oh my people, that passage of scripture says it all! So please, I implore us, let’s all look seriously today at our attitude towards material wealth, and wisely place it at the nether end of our priorities, not make it the goal of our lives.
 
Instead, let’s make the accumulation of heavenly rewards our raison d’etre, our reason for living. Now that’s the wisdom of everlasting life! Much LOVE!
 
…earthly wealth can easily be lost…and in any case we leave it all behind…when we go to collect our heavenly rewards…so why doggedly pursue it eh…