Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 June 2019 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.

 

Well it’s wet and somewhat cloudy…but that’s nothing new! (smile) And it’s certainly not going to stop we saints of Christ from going about His business, witnessing to the unsaved, making disciples of them, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and leading lives that exemplify the glory and LOVING-kindness of Jesus! 

Oh friends, that’s what we are called on to do, and do it we must, or the world will just be more strife-filled and sink even deeper into the mire of evil and ungodliness. It’s too bad already! Can you imagine it getting worse? But that’s what will happen if we don’t stand up NOW and be counted! 

Just think about your children or grandchildren living in such an ungodly and evil world nuh. Think about them not knowing or even hearing about Jesus and the awesome stuff He’s done for mankind, and the wonderful treasures He has stored up for those who sincerely LOVE and obey Him. What kind of life would they be living eh? A satanic life of greed, selfishness, lust, envy and all the other stuff that will have them heading straight for hell and eternal damnation! 

That means you won’t be seeing them in heaven, won’t be congregating with them in better circumstances that this evil earth. Like the rich man and the beggar Lazarus, they’ll be begging you to send a drop of water to cool their burning tongues in the raging fires of Hades and you’ll be unable to help them in the least bit! So let’s think on these things nuh and try to do better in our teaching and the examples our lives portray. 

Oh, none of us are perfect, but we can all certainly improve and do better with the help of God. The problem though is that we are either too lazy, or too interested in the fancy but worthless baubles of the world…and asking God for help, well that’s definitely not in some of our proud, haughty and foolish personalities! But please remember people, in this world you got to bow to somebody, and the two main options are God and the devil himself! 

You have to choose one. You just can’t sit on the fence, as so many of us try to do, and hope that everything will work out right, because it won’t! The two powerful entities that control things want you all for themselves, don’t want to share one iota of you with the other, so they’ll both try their level best to get you fully into their camp. That means a constant struggle between the devil; your earthly and fleshly self, and the Lord; your heavenly and spiritual being! 

So whom are you going to choose eh? Remember Jesus said that no man can serve two masters; you can’t serve God and mammon too. (Matt.6:24) That means you have to make a conscious choice. And hopefully we’ll all declare like Joshua did: ‘But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ (Josh.24:15d) Yeh friends, that’s the smart thing to do, the wise move to consciously make. 

Why? Although Jesus calls on us to be more selfless, generous, LOVING and kind, sentiments that the world consider folly, the things that He has in store for us are way way more useful and important than the things Beelzebub, the prince of darkness has to offer. 

And as always, Jesus put’s it so simply and succinctly: ‘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 nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt.6:19-21) Now doesn’t that sound like simple, sensible logic and wisdom? It certainly does! 

That’s because all the treasures we amass here on earth, time and insects will eventually destroy, or people will steal them. And for sure we can’t carry any with us! Oh, I know some of us will have them place some in the box with us, (smile) but they’ll be no good on the other side, neither in heaven nor in hell. That’s why listening to Jesus, and following Him is the wiser of the two options we have. For if we do that, then we’ll end up in heaven, and will have treasures stored up their for us, that will be even better than those down here on earth. 

Unfortunately though, many of us can’t see the forest for the trees, can’t see the bigger picture, always believing that a bird in the hand is better than two or three in the bush. But friends, with Jesus, we have to see it that way. And we can only do so by faith, believing for that which we don’t see. And yes, that’s not easy, especially with the kind of world we’re currently living in. 

But as Jesus taught in the parable of the rich fool, (Luke 12:13-21) who, not caring about anybody but himself, kept building bigger and better and storing up treasures here on earth. And what happened when the Lord called him home unexpectedly eh? All his earthly treasure was left behind for others to fight over, and he had none in heaven to go to. ‘So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’ (Luke 12:21) 

And it’s oh so important that we hear this explanation from the scholars. ‘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 is illustrated elsewhere in the teaching of Jesus.’ So heavenly rewards depend more on the attitude of our hearts and service, than just what we deserve for doing good. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yes!) our Thursday Blessings. In full voice and strong belief: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And please remember, those wonderful blessings haven’t been given to us to selfishly hoard, but to go out and share with the less fortunate…generously…and with the right motive in our hearts! Much LOVE!

…in all that we do…be it good or bad…the Lord looks for the motives in our hearts…

 

 

 

 

 

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 29 May 2016 Matthew 5:16.

Matthew 5:16.    Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Well my people, a new week has begun! Yes it’s Sunday, the Lord’s Day, the day for worshipping and praising and fellowshipping and rejuvenating our spirits at God’s sanctuary, or wherever two or three of God’s children choose to gather! 

That’s the beauty of our faith; we don’t have to meet in a physical building, although that’s nice, but we can meet anywhere at all, under any conditions, and still invoke the Spirit of Christ to lead us in praise and worship. 

Neither do we have to always meet in great numbers, although that too would be desirable, but we can have church with only two or three believers. I remember doing that some years ago. On a particularly cold winter’s morn, just the priest, Rev. Anne, the lay reader and I showed up for the 8.30 service. So they called me up to the altar, and we had church. 

And you know there’s something about having church with only a few people that I like. I don’t know if it’s because there seems to be more intimacy with God and with each other. As the saying goes, there’s more room for God in an empty church. (smile) 

Anyway, enough of my rambling, let’s move along, because we have plenty stuff to share this last Sunday morning in May of 2016. And we are going to begin with this prayerful poem of Gramps Schuller (Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional. It’s called ‘Fill Me!’ And it was so fine, I had to play it one more time. (smile) 

Please pray with me. ‘O Lord, like the thirsty deer which goes to drink from the mountain spring; like the growing flower which turns hungrily to the satisfying sun; like the empty pitcher which is carried to the fountain to be filled; so I come, O God, knowing that in this time of prayer my soul will be filled with your LOVE and your truth. Thank you! Amen.’ 

Yes Friends, we definitely need our souls to be filled with God’s LOVE and truth so that we can sincerely and successfully perform what Jesus asks of us in our Bit. ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ 

Remember yesterday we spoke about being the salt of the earth and the light of the world; our condition and our mission? Well that salt and light ought to morph into good works which will glorify, exalt, and raise the esteem of our heavenly Father. The unbeliever will see our faithful service and thus come to embrace the living Christ as their Lord and Saviour too. 

Now Jesus, as is His wont, is putting it nicely to us here my fellow believers, but He didn’t have to, because that’s our bounden duty, it’s our main purpose here on earth, why we were created in the first place; to have fellowship with God, to glorify and exalt Him with our truly Christian conduct and consequently lead others to Him. 

And I hope that we sincerely pondered our individual situations on the subject as I asked, and then prayed to God for help to rectify and/or improve our personal testimonies of being salt and light in a dark, bland and evil world. 

Oh my people, it’s ever so important that we let our lights shine brilliantly wherever we are so that Jesus’ LOVE Revolution can grow, and we can spread the good news of His gospel to the entire world as He commanded in the Great Commission. 

‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always(s), even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) 

Yes friends, all of that is included in being salt and light on God’s great earth! 

Now hear how Peter puts it when he talks about living as servants of God. ‘Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 

Having your conversation (conduct) honest (honourable) among the Gentiles: that whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. 

Submit yourselves to every ordinance (institution) of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors; as unto them sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. 

For so is the will of God that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness (evil), but as the servants of God. Honour all men, LOVE the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.’ (1 Pet.2:11-17) 

Yes my brethren, that’s basically how we as Christians, followers of Christ, ought to live! Submit to authority, have a kind heart to everyone, especially to fellow believers, and above all, honour, reverence, fear, glorify and exalt Almighty God, our Creator and Provider! 

Now, as we all know, it’s not easy living sincerely and successfully for Christ in this evil world, filled with numerous lusts and temptations, but if we walk and talk and be led by the Holy Spirit of God that dwells within us, we can make a positive difference in the world. 

And yuh know friends, that’s all Jesus really desires of us; to make a positive difference in our earthly sojourn, no matter how small and seemingly negligible it might be. We can’t all be worldly movers and shakers, but we can ALL be effective believers and doers of the Word in our small spheres of influence. So let’s do it nuh. Much LOVE!

…even the smallest good deed in Christ’s name…will be well rewarded by our heavenly Father…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 July 2015 Colossians 3:2

Colossians 3:2.      Set your affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth.

And then it was Sunday! Yes Friends, it’s that wonderful day when we concentrate on family; both our individual blood families and our church families, those we acquire through faith in Christ Jesus. Yes, it’s time to spend quiet and meaningful time with our biological relatives, but also to gather together in God’s sanctuary, be it in a palace or under a coconut tree, and worship and fellowship with other believers.

We need both kinds of rejuvenation each and every week, so that we can do God’s work with an enthusiastic spirit and a willing heart, to a standard of excellence. And the best way to accomplish those desires is by getting together with others of like faith and singing, praising, worshipping and praying to Almighty God, our Creator, Controller and great Provider.

By so doing, we receive encouragement, upliftment and a sure confidence that we can do all we need to with and through God’s timely help. So please don’t ignore or find lame excuses not to go to church today. And I know there are lots of hypocrites in church, so what? You will only make one more. (smile)

Oh I know people use that foolish excuse, but we are all hypocrites to some extent or another, so if no hypocrites went to church, the churches would be empty. We go to church because we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and thus need to cleanse our souls and spirits and give thanks and praise for a wonderful Deity and all that He does for us.

You can’t call yourself a Christian and not go to church, because the church is Christ’s body here on earth and we all need to mingle at some time so that we can keep up the church’s work and raise its profile, and thus spread the good news of the gospel around the world as Christ desires of us. So no more shirking going to church, right.

Now here is an interesting comment from our Friend Anselm, who only seeks to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And here he’s talking about change, which we all need to do at some time or other. ‘But even though change is often difficult, many times it’s also for the best. Accomplishing anything great in life requires significant change that pushes us beyond our comfort zones.’

And that’s gospel truth my people! We don’t usually make meaningful changes without some upheaval in our normal routines and lives. That’s the only way significant change occurs. And that’s exactly what a lot of us are afraid of; the unknown, the uncomfortable and oftimes risky and challenging situations. But if we sincerely want to improve in any area whatsoever, it will be necessary to make some changes, though they may seem rough, unpleasant and foreboding.

Now here is our Bit, which, if taken seriously, will cause a whole lot of us to make a whole lot of significant changes. Bruh Paul told the Colossians in no uncertain terms: ‘Set your affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth.’ Wonderful words of wisdom and some of the best advice we can ever get my brethren.

And the scholars venture this explanation. ‘3:2. Set you affection on things above: The Greek word literally says, “Set your mind on things above.” The readers are not to be preoccupied with things on the earth, such as current heretical philosophies (2:8), legalistic practices (2:16, 21-23), and vices (v.5); nor are they to dwell on things that are not wrong in themselves (houses, jobs, careers, ambitions, etc.), but can be wrong should they become priorities above Christ.’

Unfortunately though Friends, the sad reality of today’s situation is that Christians are more preoccupied with the things of the earth rather than the things of heaven. Those very things that the scholars enunciated above there, are taking priority in the lives of too many Christians over Jesus. And that’s very wrong my people. Why? As Bruh Paul continues: ‘For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.’ (Col.3:3)

And what does that mean? Listen to the scholars. ‘3:3. Your life is hid with Christ in God (or, “Your life is deposited with Christ, who is in intimate relation with God”). As all wisdom and knowledge reside in Christ (2:3), so the believer’s new life is stored up in Him. This means that the Christian life belongs to the spiritual or heavenly realm. Jesus is in intimate relation with God; so are His followers.

Since the Colossians now belong to the heavenly realm and are intimate with God, they should seek those matters and interests pertaining to heaven and not to the earth.’

Yes Friends, our lives are now tied up with Christ and thus ‘When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.’ (Col.3:4)

Oh my people, how can we appear in glory with Christ when He returns in magnificent splendour, if our lives are still tied up the things of the world eh? Not very likely.

And here is the definitive word from the true source, Jesus. ‘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 nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt.6:19-21)

Ah mih people, that should be self-explanatory. But just in case it isn’t, listen to the scholars’ explanation. ‘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 is illustrated elsewhere in the teaching of Jesus.’

So, it’s not simply for good works that we are rewarded, for anyone can do good for the wrong reason, but more the motives, the state of our hearts and the faithfulness of our service to God and man. That’s why we keep pointing out that God looks at our hearts rather than just our outward actions.

So please, let’s clean up our hearts and spirits nuh, and do faithful service, so that our rewards in heaven may be great. That’s wisdom to the nth degree! Much LOVE!

…the material things of the world are worthless…when compared to the spiritual things of heaven…