Today’s Scrip-Bit   8 January 2022 Matthew 7:20.

Matthew 7:20.     Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Three days straight of cold but decent sunshine…Now that’s indeed a record! Many of us might not have noticed it as yet, because we’re still abed this Saturday morning, enjoying the lazy pleasures of not having to get up and go out to labour. That’s provided we have jobs, what with the new Covid restrictions put in place this past week due to the quickly spiking cases. 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he wishes us a Happy New Year. Now this first one is long and complicated, (smile) but certainly something we can entertain to our benefit. It says: ‘We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.’ 

That’s a very interesting statement, because too often we seem to concentrate on our flaws and mistakes rather than our potential and successes. And that’s not a healthy situation. We need to be concentrating on our God-given potential if we expect to make godly headway in this current confused, strife-filled and ungodly world. 

And to help us generate that kind of thinking, Anselm offers these ‘Things to think about for 2022: 1. Talk less; listen more; 2. Remind yourself you are not the General Manager of the Universe; 3. Sit on your ego; 4. Take one day at a time; 5. Separate worries from concerns. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you to do and let go of the anxiety. If you can’t do anything about a situation, forget it; 6. Pray; 7. Do not Worry.’ 

Now all of those are godly, life enhancing recommendations, and we would be wise to embrace them, which I believe starts with doing what Jesus advises: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) Yes friends, we cannot, or must never lose sight that our aim, our number one priority is the kingdom of God and His righteousness, because it’s only then that we truly find God and begin to enjoy the life He has destined for us. 

That leads us to this next quote: ‘We attract what we think about, that which we lust after and that which we fear. Anything that consumes our thoughts get manifested in the real world.’ Now that’s the awesome truth! That’s just the way the universe is set up; what consumes most of our thinking will eventually manifest itself in our lives. Thus, if we fixate on lustful, carnal, or fleshly thoughts, like the world suggests, then it’s lustful, carnal and fleshly things that will occur in our lives. 

Cousin Sol warns us in Proverbs: ‘Eat not the bread of him that hath an evil eye (is a miser), neither desire thou his dainty meats (delicacies): For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.’ (Prov. 23:6-7) Yes my people, we have to be very careful of what others say to us, and consequently, what we say to others, because very often, what comes out of our mouths does not mesh with what’s in our hearts. And the heartfelt stuff is what truly guides us. 

That’s why Jesus warns: ‘Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.’ (Matt. 7:20) We can always tell what kind of tree we are looking at, by the fruit it bears. What, or who we really are will eventually show in our actions, because we are truly guided by what’s in our hearts, not what comes out of our mouths. That’s called hypocrisy. And unfortunately, we are all hypocrites to some degree, because it’s not always what we say we mean. 

But let’s move on to the next quote. ‘Acknowledge that negative thinking has not been helping you. Unless you replace them with positive thinking, you will keep getting the same outcome.’ And that’s oh so true! If you keep thinking one way, mostly negatively, and you’re not getting the results you want, then common sense dictates that you change your way of thinking, try the positive kind. It’s basic logic: you can’t keep doing the same think and expect to receive a different result. 

So please, let’s begin this new year by checking out our way of thinking, and making the necessary changes that will enable our lives to come together and produce positive results. And the best way to do that is by coming to Christ and asking for His divine help. And don’t be afraid, because He NEVER turns down anyone who sincerely comes to Him for help. 

Meanwhile, the last quote tells us that: ‘A fantasy noted down with a date turns into an objective. An objective partitioned into ascertained strides turns into an arrangement. An arrangement bolstered by activities makes your fantasies work out as expected. So this New Year, take your fantasies, travel the distance to their goal and make them a reality.’ 

Now generally speaking that’s how a plan works: we begin with the seed of the idea and build upon it. However, the important thing in a believer’s life is the seed that we intend to plant. Is it an idea that God will approve, is it in His will for our lives? Those are things we need to ascertain before we begin planting or building. That brings us back to Jesus’ words on the tree and its fruit. 

‘Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening (ravenous) wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil (bad) fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil (bad) fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.’ (Matt. 7:15-18) 

Oh my fellow saints, it means that as followers of Jesus we need to come up with good ideas, plant seeds that bear good fruit, fruit that will be beneficial to Christ’s kingdom. The process of growth and bringing plans to fruition are always the same, building, or growing one step at a time, the important aspect is therefore the seed that we’re planting, and the plan that we expect to realize, are they worthwhile in God’s sight? 

And many of us have all kinds of exciting plans for this new year of 2022, but please, let’s stop and consider if they fall into the category of good and timely fruit before we begin to execute them nuh, because if they don’t, the Lord will not allow them to come to fruition. Much LOVE!

…each new year… many plans are born…but most fall by the wayside…because they don’t meet God’s criteria… 

       

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 September 2020 Matthew 6:19.

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

So it’s Saturday! What’s new with the world eh? Nothing nuh! Just more of the same old, same old; overwhelming evil, violence, hate and strife, with not enough peace, LOVE, forgiveness and godly attitudes to quell those negative enemy traits. But if there’s one thing we believers know, is that there’s a righteous, graceful and merciful God sitting on His throne in the high heavens watching down on us, and contrary to popular opinion He IS in control of ALL things, and in His time, in His own inimitable style, will right ALL that’s wrong with this world, working ALL things out for good to those who LOVE Him! 

And that’s the gospel truth friends, so let’s just hang in there in strong faith and blessed assurance, knowing that ALL promises will be fulfilled in due course of time. Now let’s see what goodies our friend Anselm sent us this week nuh, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. Hear this first one, which is simple logic. ‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.’ Now that’s obvious isn’t it. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say, ‘You can’t do the same thing all the time and expect to get a different result.’ 

But that’s exactly what a lot of us do. We keep going round the same mountain with the same attitudes, but expect things to change. That’s impossible friends! And it leads us nicely into this next quote: ‘Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them.’ And isn’t that the unfortunate truth! That’s why we keep going around the same old mountain, with the same old results. Things will only change when we fess up to our problems, face them squarely in the face and get to work on them! 

Good example is the Israelites wandering in the wilderness for forty years because they were afraid to go into the Promised Land when the Lord told them to. And when they said they were ready, He said no, it’s not your timing but mine. So He let them continue wandering, allowing the old ones to die, while He built up the courage and strength of the younger ones. So that only Joshua and Caleb of those who came out of Egypt ever set foot in the Promised Land. But please note that during all that time, their clothes nor shoes never wore out, and He fed them continually with manna! Such is the magnanimity of our God, even when He’s trying to teach us a lesson. 

Then there’s this: ‘If you don’t ask the right questions, you don’t get the right answers. A question asked the right way often points to its own answer. Asking questions is the ABC of diagnosis.’ Again, that’s simple logic. But sadly, logic is something that’s being constantly levered out of our society. We’re now been barraged by things and people called ‘influencers’ paid to influence us with their lifestyle, regardless of how foolish or distasteful and useless it is. And too many of us don’t ask questions as to why these things are being done. We just follow them blindly! 

Ah the pull, the power of social media to dictate our lives! Steups! What a foolish, gutless, monkey see, monkey do society we’ve become. Yes friends, we can’t see or understand what’s happening unless we ask questions, and the right ones at that! Let’s wake up and start doing that nuh, instead of merely accepting whatever social media and the supposed experts say nuh! Let’s start charting our own God-led paths, instead of those the world is setting out for us. And here’s one way to do that: ‘A relentless barrage of “why’s” is the best way to prepare your mind to pierce the clouded veil of thinking caused by the status quo. Use it often.’ 

Not foolishly though. Don’t just ask questions for the sake of asking questions, but develop a strategy of asking sensible and to the point questions on matters that interest you. Nobody likes a body who just keeps pestering them, asking questions willy nilly, without any good or apparent reason. Questions though, wisely asked and with proper timing can lead to a well-spring of growth and phenomenal understanding of the ‘whys’ and ‘wherefores’ of this world and our earthly existence. 

That brings us to the last quote: ‘Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.’ Well how could they eh, when they inherently pertain to growth and progress? The problem though is what we consider growth and progress. Is it the world’s version, or God’s version? I suggest that God’s version is the much better one! Here’s why in a nutshell. This from Jesus, the Son of God, and if He doesn’t know the truth, then who knows it eh? (smile) 

‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), 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 and steal.’ (Matt. 6:19-20) 

Wow! What wonderful advice my brethren! So if that’s a fact – and if Jesus says so, then it is so – why would I want to have the worldly version of growth and progress eh? Then all my treasures would be liable to theft and ruin by rust and moth. But when I desire the godly version of growth and progress, then all that I achieve is safely stored in heaven. As Peter says so awesomely: ‘To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that faded not away, reserved in heaven for you.’ (1 Pet. 1:4) 

Oh my people, nothing bad or evil can touch anything we store away in heaven, there is never any loss or lessening of our treasures stored there. However, to be able to store away stuff in heaven we need to follow this golden rule – from Jesus again, which means it must be true. ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) That means we need to have Almighty God as our Number ONE priority!And just like He looked after the Israelites for forty years in the wilderness, He will look after us, granting us ALL the necessities we need for earthly living and also storing up some for us in heaven! 

Now how does the world’s version of growth and progress compare to that eh? Not very well, because all the wealth and power you may amass under the world’s evil prince, can be lost in the bat of an eye, like the parable of the rich fool in Luke 12:16-21, where the rich, greedy man decided to break down and build bigger storehouses for his wealth, but that same night the Grim Reaper came calling as he generally does rather unexpectedly. And what did the rich fool leave with eh? Nothing! 

And neither did he have anything stored in heaven, because in his earthly life, he was not rich towards God. So all his earthly work, progress, growth and possessions turned out to be of absolutely no use to him. My people, please let’s learn from his story nuh, and be wise and be rich towards God in our earthly lives. That’s wisdom to the nth degree!Much LOVE!

…earthly things are nice…but heavenly ones look better and last longer…