Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 February 2019 Matthew 8:26.

Matthew 8:26.   ​And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was a great calm.
 

Well it’s Tuesday now, and the crazy wind storms and snow squalls that have harried us for the past couple days seem to have died down, but it’s still beastly cold, somewhere around –12 in my area. And I’m chuckling here because I know that during the inclement weather many of us were praying, trying to get God’s attention to stop it. Not me so much, because I was praying rather that He’d get me safely to where I was going, cause I got caught out in it a couple of times. 

But this time I don’t think Jesus was asleep in the back of the boat nuh, He was wide awake and just waiting to see how we’d behave. And we behaved just like the disciples did when the storm caught them going across the lake and Jesus was resting quietly, ostensibly without a care in the world, but the disciples panicked: 

‘And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him.’ (Matt.8:25-27) And that kind of behaviour from men who had been with Jesus for quite some time and seen Him do all sorts of miracles! 

The point I’m trying to make here this morning friends is that too many of us supposed believers are still too small in faith like the disciples, though we have seen Jesus do great and extraordinary things in our lives! We talk a good talk about faith, but when the occasions come for us to show that faith, we always seem to fall short. 

Why is that eh?  Don’t we truly believe…or are we just scared and afraid of whatever comes against us? No, it’s not easy, and Jesus promised that we’d have trials and tribulations in this world…’But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Yes, and even with that encouragement, He knows that it will be hard for us, but He expects that our faith, which is supposed to grow each and every day we draw breath, will strengthen us and see us through whatever difficulties we encounter down here on earth! 

And the sad part is that even before Jesus came, the Lord was dissatisfied with the faith of His people Israel, as outlined in the words of Moses’ song to the Israelites. ‘And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very forward (perverse) generation, children in whom is no faith.’ (Deut.32:20) 

So I guess nothing much has changed sine way back then! And how many times did Jesus lambaste, castigate His people for not having the faith they should have eh? And there are several! Here are a couple of illustrations: In talking about nature versus Cousin Sol’s glory, nature won out every time. ‘Wherefore, if God so clothe(s) the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall ye not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?’ (Matt.6:30) 

That means we ought not to worry and be anxious or fearful of what’s going to happen because we’re more important to our heavenly Father than nature, which He looks after so well. And when the Roman centurion came to Jesus, asking Him to heal his sick servant, and Jesus offered to go to his house and do so: 

‘The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in all Israel.’(Matt.8:8-10) 

Yeh friends, the servant was healed, not because of his own faith, but because of His master, the centurion’s faith. Jesus was just showing up there the foolishness of His Jewish people who refused to accept t Him for who and what He proclaimed to be, but this supposedly heretic Roman, had no problem with doing so! And He’s doing the same thing today my people; crying out to us to truly believe and have the faith that belief ought to instill in us, but which seems to be sadly lacking! 

Remember the words of the great psalm that we all like to quote: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters: He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil: my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.’ (Ps.23:1-6) 

Oh my people, how do you think all of that wonderful stuff, those mighty and awesome  promises are going to happen eh? They won’t just fall into our laps like manna from heaven nuh, but we’ve got to believe them and have the faith to expect and do our part to allow them to happen. 

So please my brethren, please let us improve our faith nuh, starting today, RIGHT NOW, both for our sakes and the sake of Jesus’ church, for if we don’t do better very soon, our world will surely fall apart with all the ungodliness and evil that’s currently being foisted upon it. 

And having said all of that, let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Tuesday Mantra, telling the world, loud and clear, who and whose we are. In strong and sincere faith now: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And the corollary to that is for us to now go out and share the friendship and LOVE of Jesus with those who don’t know Him, but desperately need to! Much LOVE!

…according to your faith…be it unto you… (Matt.9:29)

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 October 2013 Matthew 5:6

Matthew 5:6.     Blessed are they which hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
 
Ah mih people, one more day has been added to our years on earth…!
 
And all God’s children loudly and gratefully declared: ‘Thank You most gracious Lord, for allowing us to see another beautiful day here on planet earth! Please guide and bless us, so that we can walk worthy of You. We LOVE You and praise your Holy Name! Amen!’
 
Well Friends, if we’re so thankful, then let’s put our money where our mouth is nuh, by ramping up that project we began yesterday, of trying to change the world. Remember we said we’d take it one day at a time, so that means we have to continue doing it today too, and every day that we draw breath in this world.
 
And just so that you’ll remember what we’re talking about, here’s Johnny Reid, in his Kenny Roger’s sounding voice, to remind us.
 
‘Today I’m gonna try and change the world. I’m gonna take it one day at a time. I’ve made my resolution, opened up my eyes. Today I’m gonna try and change the world.’
 
That’s just the chorus, now here’s the second verse… and it’s not the same as the first. (smile)
 
‘I’m gonna make sure my children know right from wrong. Never turn my back on those in need. Always gonna try to see myself through another’s eyes. Today I’m gonna try and change the world… Chorus.’
 
Yes my brethren, some more ways in which we can try changing the world every day that we’re alive! 
 
And Friends, those things might seem simple, but they are ever so important, for they are the very things we need to deal with if we’re going to change this god-forsaken, ungodly world in which we live.
 
We’re talking about things like making sure our children know right from wrong… Steups! Many parents don’t even know that, so how are they going to teach it eh, even if they could find the time?
 
And then ordinary things like not turning our backs on those in need… Chuh! That’s now a mainstay of our society, for too many of us do it too often. That’s where the servant part, the servant mentality of Jesus comes in. But how many of us supposed Christians want to be servants eh?
 
Not a whole lot, for in spite of Jesus’ command to the contrary, we still prefer to be served rather than serve, because the name implies a derogatory situation, and being served makes us look important in the hypocritical eyes of the world. But Friends, in Jesus’ eyes, that makes us look real foolish, faithless and spineless.
 
And before critically and oftimes harshly judging others, many who are less fortunate than us, let’s first try and put ourselves in their place nuh, and see how we’d like others to see us, if the situations were reversed. We so get off on judging others these days, even though we don’t know them from Adam, or have a clue about their circumstances. That’s certainly a big part of why our world is in such a disastrous mess.
 
However my people, we can’t make any of those worthwhile changes unless we have the words of our Bit buried deep in our hearts, souls and minds. ‘Blessed are they which hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.’
 
Yeh Friends, it’s another Beatitude from Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount. It seems like we’re dealing with Beatitudes this meeting, so though we’ve done this one already, some 17 months ago, it’s useful to do it again, because every so often we need reminders. (smile) And I’m sure there’ll be new and different stuff than the last time. 
 
Now here’s what the scholars’ have to say about our Bit: ‘5:6. These future possessors of the earth are its presently installed rightful heirs, and even now they hunger and thirst after righteousness. They experience a deep desire for personal righteousness, which in itself is a proof of their spiritual rebirth.
 
Those who are poor and empty in their own spiritual poverty recognize the depth of their need, and they hunger and thirst for that which only God can give them. They shall be filled (Gr. chortazo) refers to a complete satisfaction. The Psalmist proclaimed: “He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.” (Ps.107:9)’ 
 
And that’s indisputable truth, as many of us can testify to! The problem though is to recognize the dearth, or lack of spiritual depth and then sincerely try to fill it. That means coming to God in humility and hunger of soul, so that He can generously and mercifully fill up that empty space that’s keeping us back from truly enjoying all He has to offer.
 
Remember Jesus’ promise: ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10)
 
That simply shows my people, that we can’t have abundant life, unless Jesus dwells in us abundantly. Let’s ponder on and consider all these things today, then take them all to God in prayer to help us fix whatever needs fixing. That’s wisdom from on high… therefore of the highest order! Much LOVE!
 
…oh to be meek and humble…hungry and thirsty for righteousness…so that our eyes can be opened…and cause us to make a sincere resolution…to try and change the world today…