Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 August 2020 Matthew 6:19.

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

Saturday, oh Saturday! Thou lazy, lumbering but oh so beautiful day! How I do LOVE thee! And I won’t stop to count the ways, because there would be just too many! (smile) Yeh friends, Saturday is one of our favourite days because it invokes the spirit of laziness and do nothing, but also of partying… that is when we could party. I guess we can do it some now with the stage 3 ease in the current Covid-19 lockdown. Let’s hope that we don’t overdo it and spoil the good thing we have going. You know that’s one of our favourite tendencies in this age of overdoing. 

But be that as it may, today is Saturday, so let’s check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. And this first one is a doozy. (smile) ‘Don’t handicap your children by making their lives easy.’ Now isn’t that what our generation has done in spades! We’ve made life so easy for our children that they believe they are entitled to an easy life, and are the biggest whiners on the planet! They have no belly or backbone because they have not gone through any real hard times, and it’s only difficulties that build resilience and stick-to-itiveness! 

We’ve made them so soft, given them what they want, or what the advertising agencies said they needed and thus spoiled them rotten. Oh, I can understand our desire to not make their lives as difficult as many of ours were, but that difficulty is what made us strong and determined, and by removing most of the difficulty in their lives we’ve done them a great injustice, because now, when they face difficulties, many of them can’t cope. That’s why so many of them are seeing shrinks and are on psych meds at an early age and contend so much with suicidal thoughts, especially when confronted with the evil that’s found in social media. 

And the next quote wisely proclaims: ‘The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.’ Now there’s an awesome lot of truth in that saying! When we confront big problems, or that mighty mountain we desire to move, it’s advisable to begin with the small tasks, which are always present, and work our way up to the big ones. That makes our lives easier and our problems less difficult to solve. It makes no sense to try and remove the entire mountain all at once. (smile) You’d notice that even with the great earth removing equipment we have nowadays, they still remove the big mountains one shovel full, or one relatively small piece at a time, never the whole thing at once. 

Then there’s this: ‘He who is untrue to his own cause cannot command the respect of others.’ Now that ought to be pure common sense! How can you espouse a cause then not be true to it and expect others to respect you eh? But unfortunately that happens a lot in these modern times. I don’t know if the causes are never truly espoused and just being used as facades for other stuff. But there are so many varied causes being espoused nowadays, that it’s become very difficult to know whom to trust, and often wise not to trust any of them. It’s so sad that so many people are not who they say they are, or what they are about. 

Consequently there’s so much disrespect and distrust and lack of faith in our society that we have to be ever so careful of whom we deal with. That leads us to this quote. ‘Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).’ Now I’m not sure what that the author really means by that statement. For if you consider our way of life that we term democracy, basically meaning that the majority wins, then it doesn’t make sense. 

On the other hand, I guess one can consider it to mean that being in the majority is not a good thing. In some way it belittles or demeans you, because only the minority knows what’s best, are capable of ruling. I guess that’s why so many li’l cliques are ruling so many things in our world. (smile) But seriously though, I don’t know if there’s ever a bad time to reform or pause and reflect, because none of us are perfect, which means we all have room for improvement in all kinds of areas of our lives. 

And the last quote says: ‘Nothing is forever. Everything goes to 0 eventually.’ Technically speaking that’s not quite true, because eternity lasts forever. (smile) However, in the affairs of men, nothing really lasts forever; be they relationships, businesses, buildings, possessions, even societies come and go. Just look at all the great societies that have populated the planet over time. All of them eventually fell into decay and many disappeared completely, as will our current powerful one that’s now in sad decline and decay. I guess you can call it the nature of the beast. 

And that’s why Jesus gave us this all-important warning. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal:’ (Matt. 6:19) Oh friends, what great wisdom is contained in those words! The treasures of earth are those that will not last forever, they will either get stolen or naturally rust and decay, because that’s just the nature of earthly things. Even the earth won’t last forever and is in a state of constant change with things like earthquakes and volcanoes and other natural disasters constantly changing and destroying it. 

No wonder Cousin Sol also advised: ‘Labour not to be rich (do not overwork): cease from thine own wisdom.’ (Prov. 23:4) For it’s all vanity, useless in the long run. Then Jesus gives us the real truth of the matter. ‘But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves do not break through nor steal.’ (Matt. 6:20) Yes mih people, the one place that will not see any destruction and last forever is heaven! Glory be! That’s why Jesus pointed us in that direction. ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt. 6:21) And that’s the living truth. Wherever our treasure is stored, that’s where our focus will be. 

As the scholars explain: ‘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 as rewards for faithful service, as is illustrated elsewhere in the teaching of Jesus.’ 

Oh friends, treasures can indeed be useful and valuable, but the sad fact of the matter is that the earthly ones don’t last or get us very far, they all leave us, or we leave them when the grim reaper comes a-calling. So we can enjoy them for a while, but should not set our hearts desires on them, but rather be more concerned with the treasures, the rewards that we can accumulate in heaven for faithful service in Jesus’ name, because those are the only real treasures that exist, that are worth working towards and the only ones which will last forever. Much LOVE!

…where’s our heart looking eh…to earth or heaven… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 July 2020 1 John 2:15.

1 John 2:15.     LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in Him. 
 

And the glorious summer days of 2020 keep rolling along like the tumbling tumbleweed! We could certainly use a li’l rain though to cool the parched ground… and even more, some respite from the ever-present pandemic and the strife and protests that are stirring up our world into a maelstrom of bitterness, hate, resentment and violence. Ah Lord eh people, when the history of this summer – well not only of the summer, but the entire year of 2020 is written, it will consist of nothing but disturbing events – and we still have the important U.S. presidential election to come later this year. 

Bubba! Can you imagine how that will resonate around the world, regardless of how it ends up! Ah Lord eh…! Will mankind ever learn? Or do we have to wait until Jesus comes back? It certainly seems like the last proposition is the correct one! (smile) And that brings us to this most appropriate poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s titled ‘Divided Heart.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord I am so often tormented By my lack of direction – So often disturbed By my divided heart. I am like a little child Who wants to rock her doll And jump rope at the same time. I want to obey You in part If I can choose the area of obedience. I want to be real except at those moments When compromise is more appealing. 

I want to be half-motivated And half-satisfied with things as they are. I want to walk a straight path If now and then I can enjoy A few side trips into the far country. I don’t want to be a miserable sinner But neither do I feel excited About being a stoic saint. I want to be partly Yours And partly my own. But in the secret chamber Of my divided heart I am so often disquieted By the pointed question “Why do you so foolishly Mix weeds with seed?” 

And yuh know what my friends, we all do just that! We want to sit on the fence and do a li’l to please God and a li’l to please ourselves. But the problem with that situation is that God doesn’t want our leftovers, or what we so generously choose to give Him. He wants ALL of us or NOTHING at all! Remember Jesus’ words as part of our discipleship: ‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’ (Matt. 16:26) Those are very good questions that we should all consider my people! 

And Remember Jesus’ earlier advice: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) Yeh friends, if we seek God and His righteousness first, He will give us all the worldly things we need to make it comfortably in this world. Believe me, there are quite a lot of well off, even filthy rich Christians in this world, so it’s not like God isn’t generous when we try our best to walk the straight and narrow path and not sit churlishly on the fence. 

And remember also when Jesus prayed for the disciples… ‘I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them… They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart) through thy truth: thy word is truth.’ (John 17: 9-10; 16-17) Yes friends, Jesus was very plain and straightforward about it. He knew we had to live in the world to do His will, but He did not want us to be a part of it. Instead, He desired of the Father that we be set apart for godly purposes! 

But because of our naturally sinful nature, we are so enamoured of the world and all its sinful things, so easily fooled by their pretty but false, empty and deceitful facades. Oh, I know it’s not easy to bypass all those outwardly beautiful things that the world favours, but as true followers of Jesus we must do our best to stay on the straight and narrow road. That’s why John in his first epistle seriously warns us. 

‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in Him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’ (1 John 2: 15-17) 

Oh my people, it couldn’t be put any clearer than that nuh! The world and all its supposedly beautiful things are run by the enemy and he wants nothing better than to get us saints of Christ, so bemused and in LOVE with his stuff that we forsake the things of God and thus besmirch or tarnish our godly reputation and testimony. But my people we need to be strong and ignore all the empty and false advances of the enemy. 

And to help us, hear this explanation of the scholars re Temptation. ‘2:16. Though all people are tempted differently according to their individual weaknesses, temptations follow patterns. They appeal to three fundamental areas of life: (1) the lust of the flesh (physical desires); (2) the lust of the eyes (personal desires); and (3) the pride of life (self-interests). 

Illustration: when Satan caused the fall of the race, he appealed to each of these areas of weakness (Gen. 3:6). He also appealed to them when he tempted Christ (Matt. 4:1-11), who defied Satan’s temptations by relying on the authority of the Scriptures. Application: The Christian today should also depend on the Scriptures to defeat temptation. (First Ref. Gen. 3:1-6; Primary Ref. 1 John 2:15-17; cf. Rom. 5:12.)’ 

And we all have been thus tempted, and it’s not always easy to refute or refuse them, but let’s hear our Lord and Saviour one more time. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Wow! What assurance my brethren! That means we can go home today in such good spirits declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

So what we waiting for eh? Let’s go and do just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…for where your treasure is…there will be your heart also… (Matt. 6:21) 

P.S. Don’t pay attention to the lateness, just check out the great substance! (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 March 2017 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.

Welcome friends, to a winter wonderland! Hn! We all thought we were in for an early spring, but Mother Nature had other ideas; we’re in for a late winter! 

Yes, for the last couple of days severe winter storms have been raging all over the Northeastern and Central parts of North America. We seem to be rather lucky in my li’l neck of the woods with only a few inches, but parts of the U.S have two to three feet of snow, and the winds have been constantly howling. 

Now that’s why I don’t like to be in this country for March; the winds always seem to be colder and more powerful in March. And it doesn’t seem to be over yet. But that’s what you get for living in these northern climes. 

Anyway, here’s a li’l something from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional to bring us in from the cold to God’s warm and everlasting LOVE. (smile) It’s titled ‘For Renewal.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘Almighty God, it is a beautiful way to live to know that you are there with a plan for my life, and through prayer I can draw my life into harmony with your plan. I know, God, that your plan for my life calls for me to follow Christ. 

Jesus Christ, I give my life to you. I’ve never done it before. That has been my problem. That has been my hang up. O God, I give my life to you now. Take my life, Jesus Christ, and make it yours. Forgive my sins. Fill me with your LOVE. You are doing it now and I thank you. Amen!’ 

Yes my brethren, there’s nothing better than making a commitment to Jesus for the first time, or renewing it for the umpteenth time! The important thing is that we make a commitment to live the way Jesus wants us to live, for that’s the only wise and sensible way to live this earthly life. 

Lucifer and his evil world offer lots of pretty baubles, bangles and fine looking things, but they are only façades, they have no real substance and only last for a short while, and they can also get stolen. 

On the other hand Jesus offers eternal stuff, stuff with real substance and value, which will last for eternity, and there are no thieves in heaven. Glory Be!  

That brings us to our Bit, a seminal teaching of Jesus from His Sermon on the Mount. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.’ 

That’s exactly what we were just talking about friends. Concentrating on storing up earthly treasures does not bring true joy and happiness, for eventually you will die and leave it all behind for someone else to dissipate. 

Bruh Paul said it to Timothy thus: ‘For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.’ (1 Tim.6:7) 

Now that doesn’t mean we should not save or purchase nice things and try to live a comfortable earthly life. The problem occurs when we let that be the main focus of our lives, when we idolize the things of this world rather than the things of heaven. 

And Jesus continues after our Bit: ‘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 you heart be also.’ (Matt.6:20-21) 

Oh friends, that last sentence is indeed a mighty one! Gospel truth indeed! For wherever our treasure is stored that’s where our hearts will be leaning and looking towards. You’ll notice that when we concentrate on storing up earthly treasures our hearts are constantly aimed at the earthly stuff. 

However, if we concentrate on storing up heavenly rewards, then we spend most of our time concentrating on those things that bring heavenly benefits. 

Now listen to this interesting explanation from the scholars. ‘6:19-21. The attention of the believer is directed towards 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 rewards for faithful service, as is illustrated elsewhere in the teaching of Jesus.’ 

Ah mih breddren, as we’ve already said accumulation of earthly things should not be our main focus of this life, but rather the stocking up of rewards in heaven through godly service down here on earth. 

And anyway, when you get to heaven, all the stuff you sought down here either won’t be necessary, or they will be of better quality than the shoddy stuff we have down here. (smile) 

Now listen to these telling words from the sons of Korah, from Psalm 49 – Trust in God, not wealth. ‘Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased; For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend with him.’ (Ps.49:16-17) And that’s the ultimate truth friends! 

Now let’s go home pondering all that, while invoking our Wednesday Wail with much enthusiasm and a strong sense of purpose. 

As one now: ‘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!’ 

Yes my fellow believers, though we’re going through storms in our lives, both physical and emotional, we’re still glad to be alive and are looking forward to a glorious future with our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Now that’s wisdom for the ages! Much LOVE!

…only in and through Jesus…can we find true joy and security for ever…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 May 2015 Psalm 16:11

Psalm 16:11. Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Aye Friends, my most humble apologies for the Bit being this late. But it was just one of those mornings: I couldn’t roll out of bed as early as I wanted, and when I did roll out, all the aches and pains seemed to gang up on me, so I was moving around like a real old man for a while. Hn, Hn!

Don’t know if that’s the harbinger of rain or what, as some people seem to think, though we could certainly use some and it’s a tad cloudy outside. But that’s just the way it goes sometimes in the later days of one’s life, especially when you’re beset by the wonderful disease called arthritis.
 
And my lovely allergies have also decided to act up this morning. Chuh Steups! But realistically you’ve just got to grin and bear the adversity and trials, because you can’t do anything much about them.
 
However Friends, the important thing in all of that is that I know that my Redeemer lives! Glory to God! He died, was buried, then rose again from the grave, in the process defeating hell, Lucifer, death and the grave. Glory Hallelujah!
 
So though the body is aching and getting on in years, the spirit is well, it’s beautiful, and remains ever- young, and I can comfortably abide in all the great promises of Jehovah God, for I know from personal experience that He will faithfully keep them and never leave nor forsake me.
 
Wow mih breddren! As I keep saying, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! There’s none other like Him in the universe. And how could there ever be eh? No two beings could have such awesome power and exist together. As the old people would say, ‘two man-rat can’t live in the same hole!’
 
Hn, hn! Haven’t heard that one in some time, but it’s the absolute truth! And just to show what I’m talking about, check out this scene for May, from the One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin.
 
It’s titled ‘The Promise of Abundant Life.’ And it says: ‘Lord, you always bring ultimate good to those who LOVE you. May I never surrender to the false conclusion that you have no more for me than what I already have.’
 
Oh Friends, it’s ever so important that we keep our hopes up, be prisoners of hope always and forever, and never give up on the awesome potential and LOVING-kindness of our great and most merciful God!
 
For as the promise on which that poem is based, which is also our Bit, taken from a contemplation of Bruh David, where he wisely proclaims: ‘Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.’
 
Mama Mia! Now why would I want to walk away from such a Deity eh? One who shows me the way to live righteously, in whose presence I find everlasting joy, and who has innumerable pleasures for me to enjoy from now until eternity?
 
Steups! I would be real foolish my brethren to walk away from such a wonderful God, especially when I know that He always keeps His promises.
 
But sadly, a lot of mankind are doing just that; walking away from Jehovah God right into the waiting arms of an evil and dangerous Lucifer. That’s a fool’s wisdom, my people. For what can Lucifer do for us that the Most High God can’t do eh? NOTHING! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!
 
Nothing but fool us with some material things that don’t last and a few earthly and fleshly pleasures that will only have us end up in hell, and thus endure everlasting separation from Almighty God. Steups! And that’s the WORST thing that can ever happen to a human soul.
 
So why do we still insist on fooling around with the things of the world, of the prince of darkness eh my people? I really don’t know nuh. I guess it’s partly because of our innate sinful nature and our child-like desire for bright lights and flashy baubles and bangles, none of which really have any substance, but are simply false fronts, facades to hide the evil and non- substantive stuff that lies behind the bright golden curtain.
 
Remember Friends, all that glitters is not truly gold!
 
Now let’s check out some scriptures that reinforce the wisdom of our Bit. And we don’t have to go far, just a couple Psalms over to 18, where Bruh David is giving thanks for deliverance from his enemies. Listen to these wonderful words of faith and encouragement my brethren!
 
‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength. In whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold). I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps.18:1-3) 
 
Oh Friends, that’s the only wise way to live this earthly life! And if you don’t believe Bruh David, then listen to Jesus, as He delivers His teachings in the Sermon on the Mount.
 
‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ (Matt.7:13-14)
 
Oh my people, what more can I say eh? Not much, except to give us some thoughts on the subject from the scholars. ‘7:13-14. The closing section of the Sermon on the Mount presents two choices to the listener. These are presented in a series of contrasts: two ways (vs.13-14); two trees (vs.15-20); two professions (vs.21-23); and two foundations (vs.24-29). This was a common method of teaching in both Jewish and Greco-Roman thought.
 
Enter ye in at the strait gate (narrow) means that one must come through the narrow gate in order to reach the path that leads to eternal life. Though many are on the broad…way, that leadeth to destruction (eternal separation from God), the gate that leads to life is so narrow that few there be that find it. Christ Himself is both the gate and the way (cf. John 14:6), and God enables men to find that gate (John 6:44).’  
 
Oh Friends, that’s heavenly wisdom in a nutshell! Please, pretty please, let’s go out and practice it nuh, let’s put it into action in this ungodly world, so that we can glorify our heavenly Father, and ensure that we won’t be separated from Him eternally. Much LOVE!
 
…sincerely living for Christ in these trying times…is the only wise and sensible way to go…