Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 November 2019 Psalm 138:7.

Psalm 138:7.    ​Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.

Well my wish has finally been granted…the rain’s stopped! And the sun is even trying to push out against the darkness in the eastern horizon. But the wind is still causing a ruckus as it’s done since I don’t remember how long. And in spite of the seriously inclement weather, can you believe that children were still out there trick or treating last evening! But who am I to say anything eh, it’s not in my generational makeup? (smile) But the workingman might have something to say about it. Let’s hear him nuh. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…the weekend is finally here…and the rain stop! Brother, is almost two days of straight wind and rain! And it definitely kill Halloween for me. The children were disappointed, but no way was I going out in that foul weather to collect a few pieces of candy! Steups! And the children still too young to go out by themselves. And even if they were older I still wasn’t allowing them to go out there in that kinda weather. Chuh shoot! Can you imagine it still had children come knocking on my door, by themselves to boot! 

What is wrong with parents nowadays eh? Have they lost their minds? Many of them were probably home eating and drinking and partying, while deh children out on the street facing what kinda danger, nobody knows. And they like to talk about safety and child protection and all that stuff, but they still sending them out in such bad weather to get a few candy and expose them to the serious predators out there. And yuh know what? My children not going to be hard up for candy, because they have all the candy that I’d bought to give out and nobody came around to collect. So we have a win win situation! Wow! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, the ordinary workingman might step out far on the fragile limb sometimes, but he still does have his wits about him when it comes to the safety of his children. Now how many of us supposed believers either went out with our children in that bad weather last night, or sent them by themselves eh, all for the sake of a foolish, evil and ungodly tradition? That’s between you and God. (smile) Anyway, let’s raise our Friday Chant to heaven nuh, invoking our wonderful God’s care and concern. 

Altogether now: ‘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, ours is a more structured environment, because our Lord and Saviour doesn’t encourage us to go way out on the fragile part of the branch for fear that the slender branch will break, and we fall off into the waiting arms of the enemy. Yuh know he’s constantly lurking and looking around for believers to make a mistake, so he can jump in and create havoc. 

Oh friends, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! For although He has set boundaries and borders for us, when we foolishly step out of them and endanger ourselves, or life just comes against us, as it ofttimes will, He will still step in and look after us, because we are His beloved children! That’s why Bruh David could proclaim with such certainty in Psalm 138: ‘Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.’ 

Glory be, my faithful saints in Christ! That’s exactly what our great and faithful God will do. And very few of us will have a difficult and dangerous life like Bruh David did, but the Lord saved him from his enemies, despite his many mistakes, because he never gave up on the God of his forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! And the Lord will do exactly the same for us, despite our many mistakes, if we just have true faith in Him and surrender our souls, our lives to His everlasting wisdom, grace and LOVING-kindness! 

And even if we don’t know, or are unfamiliar with the words of our Bit, we do know the immortal and momentous words of Bruh David from Psalm 23, that convey the same sentiments. ‘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.’ (Ps.23:3-4)

Ah friends, just like the shepherd David protected his sheep with his rod and staff, likewise the Lord, our shepherd, will protect us with His invincible rod and staff! O praise his mighty and glorious name my fellow believers! 

And our God is so great and wonderful and brazen, (smile) here’s the staggering, the awesome limit to which He will take our divine replenishment. ‘Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest me head with oil; my cup runneth over.’ (Ps.23:5) Wow people! That’s the power and the boldness of our God!  He can feed and anoint us in the presence of our enemies!

And since we are the sheep of His pasture, it’s His duty to look after us as best He can. And we can be very sure that He will NEVER renege on His promise or duty, that’s why like Bruh David, we can profoundly believe and proudly and confidently say: ‘Surely goodness and mercy (LOVING-kindness) shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.’ (Ps.23:6) 

All praise and glory to our great God! So let’s rejoice and be glad in all the wonderful things we have going for us today in Jesus Christ my fellow saints! Much LOVE!

…if God be for us…who can be against us eh…NOBODY…not a single soul…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 August 2019 John 10:11.

John 10:11.    ​I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
 

Please get with the programme friends! What programme you ask? How yuh mean what programme eh? It’s Sunday, the Lord’s Day, that means church calls! Yes, we’re required to join with other believers in the Lord’s sanctuary to worship and exalt our heavenly Father, encourage each other, hear His Holy Word and get confidence to go out and fight another week of victorious battles in His name! Yes friends, it’s the biggest day of the week! So let’s begin the celebrations in our usual manner nuh; in song, in praise and worship, telling our wonderful God how much we LOVE and admire and revere Him. 

And today’s song of praise is possibly the second most known and LOVED bit of scripture, after the ‘Our Father,’ or ‘Lord’s Prayer.’ And we talking about Psalm 23 – The Lord is my shepherd! Yes mih people, Bruh David’s amazing and immortal words celebrating the care, compassion and LOVING-kindness of the God of his forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! So in strong voice, with plenty soul and sincere emotion, truly believing those simple but awesomely descriptive words and sentiments, let’s sing!  

‘The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want He makes me lie down in green pastures He leads me beside the still waters He restore’th my soul And guides my path in righteousness For His name’s sake Surely goodness and mercy Shall follow me all the days of my life And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever and ever and ever. 

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 prepar’est a table Before me in the presence of my enemies Thou anoint’est my head with oil My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and LOVING-kindness Shall follow me all the days of my life And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever and ever and ever. Amen!’ 

What a marvellous description of our Jehovah God! I don’t think it could be described any better, for we are indeed lost and dumb like sheep and we desperately need a good and kindly shepherd to lead and guide and take care of us. And there’s none who does it better than Yahweh; our Creator, Provider, Healer, Comforter, our Be All and End All! Yes indeed, our heavenly Father is all those things to us, and when you add His unconditional LOVE, grace, and forgiveness to the already long list of His wonderful attributes, you just have to jump and shout for joy and declare: ‘Oh what a good thing I’ve got!’ 

And yuh know what friends, Bruh David could only have written such touching and heartfelt words because He experienced first hand the Lord’s goodness and LOVING-kindness in His blessed but oh so tumultuous and eventful life! And the imagery of God being our shepherd would have resonated quite well with the agrarian Israelites back then, because it was language they understood. 

And following that story line, the scholars make an interesting observation: ‘Believers are never pictured in Scripture as mighty lions, independent and self-sufficient; rather, they are sheep who are dependent on their Shepherd for His provision and protection. The believer is more than a dependent sheep, however; he is also like and honoured guest, since the Lord prepares a table for him (v.5). Connected with this honoured position is abundant provision, vindication before one’s enemies, and eternal celebration of God’s goodness.’ Oh brother! What could be better than all that eh? Absolutely NOTHING! 

And Isaiah also writes of God looking after His people in the shepherd metaphor. ‘Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand (in strength), and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work (wage) before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is.40:10-11) 

Oh my people, there’s something that just resonates of calm and comfort and compassion and caring when we talk about shepherding. And I guess because in our current society we are more into manufacturing and technology than farming, and actual sheep herding is not a big thing, we don’t understand all the nuances involved, and thus cannot really appreciate the great importance of a shepherd to a flock of sheep. But believe me, without a shepherd, a kind and caring one, a flock of sheep would not last very long in the great outdoors. Consequently, when Jesus came He continued the metaphor of the shepherd looking after his flock. Thus, He made this magnificent proclamation: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’  

Oh friends, mankind should be ever so ecstatic and joyful that Jesus made such a statement then went on to make it true, laying down His sinless life for our sinful ones, so that we could be reconciled with the Father, and have our sins forgiven and our souls washed white as snow! But I guess because we don’t fully understand the chemistry and sync between shepherd and sheep we’re lost and unaware of the deep relationship that exists between them. 

But Jesus reminds us of that important relationship. ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.’ (John 10:14) Yes precious people, the shepherd knows all his sheep, and the sheep know their shepherd as Jesus earlier stated. ‘But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter (doorkeeper) openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. And a stranger they will not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.’ (John 10:2-5) 

Now that’s what our Lord and Saviour is expecting of us friends; to know His voice and follow His call, not that of stranger’s, for they will just lead you astray. And to make the picture complete, listen to Bruh Paul’s encouragement to the Philippians when they sacrificed to send him a gift. ‘But my God shall supply all of your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:19) That means when we remain in Jesus’ fold we will be well fed by the Father through Him. 

‘Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.’ (Phil.4:20) Please have a blessed day my fellow saints in Christ! Much LOVE!

…sheep without a shepherd…is like the blind leading the blind…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 July 2019 Matthew 16:24.

Matthew 16:24.    ​If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
 

And the alarm goes off…and suddenly you are catapulted out of a sweet dream…and you steups and get up grumpily mouthing: ‘Chuh Blast! And just as the so and so dream was starting to rock yes! This blooming alarm and work nonsense going to be the death of me yes!’ Ah friends, in how many darkened bedrooms are those kinds of scenes playing out right now eh? Too many! 

Welcome to the real world my people! It’s Monday morning and work is a calling. That place where you earn your daily bread; where you make the dough to keep a roof over your head and food on your table and clothes on your back…oh and the place that enables you to send your children to that expensive and elite private school. Yes, that place is crying out for you to get up and get in your new, expensive chariot and hit the traffic jam, so you can get downtown to the concrete jungle jaded and tired, to begin a new week of the never-ending rat race we so glamourously call work! (smile) 

And so many of us are tired of it, would rather retire to the peaceful and quiet countryside. But that’s somewhat like a pipe dream if we want to keep on enjoying our current lifestyle. And the pressure has become so much that we can no longer handle it all in our own strength. Yes friends we need help, supernatural help!  That’s why we have this antidote for whatever ails you on any workday morning, but particularly on a Monday, which is usually the hardest day of the week to get up. We simply call it our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, where we cry out to out wonderful God for grace and mercy to get out there and fight in His holy name. 

So all together now, let’s approach the throne of grace with confidence and sincerely pray: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Yes mih people, how can our compassionate and considerate God ever turn down such a sincere prayer request eh, especially if it’s prayed in His Son’s name? He just can’t! That’s why you’re now feeling the rush of adrenaline and the belated enthusiasm to go to work! The Lord has ordered our guide and helper, His Holy Spirit, which dwells within each believer, to activate the necessary controls to make us bright eyed and bushy tailed, so we can go out into the evil world full of spunk, full of…whatever and vinegar (smile) and fight victorious battles on Jesus’ behalf. 

And all God’s people said a loud and proud: ‘Glory to God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit! They are indeed the best guardians a human being can ever have!’ And all His saints shouted a glorious ‘Amen!’ So be it!’ But friends, please realize that truly and sincerely serving Jesus is not all wine, song and roses. The test of true discipleship is indeed rough, as Jesus said to the disciples: ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.’ 

Tough words those my brethren, but that’s the reality of the situation. If we really want to follow Jesus, we’ve got to sacrifice our wishes and dreams and take up our cross and follow Him. And the scholars have an interesting explanation on ‘Take up: The meaning is “lift up.” It is a stronger word than that used in 10:38 – “And he that taketh not his cross…’ – and implies a lifting of the cross on high, so that all may see it. This is the strongest statement in the New Testament about the disciple’s need to crucify himself, by yielding to the claims of Christ’s lordship over him.’ 

Yes fellow saints, we can’t serve Jesus only in private and expect to get any citations. Remember He said whoever is ashamed of Him and denies Him in public, He will do the same to them before the Father. (Matt.10:33) And sadly, a lot of supposed Christians try to hide their faith through fear of the consequences, but as Jesus also said to one fellow who wanted to follow Him, but desired to go home first and bid his family farewell. ‘No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.’ (Luke 9:62) 

Ah mih people, that refers to the way to plough a perfect furrow (row). Once you’ve begun to plough it, you can’t look back or it will not end up in a straight line. As the scholars say: ‘One who makes life’s lesser matters of greater priority than God’s work is of little use to Him.’ Similarly, you’re not ‘suitable’ or ‘usable’ in God’s service if you keep looking back instead of forward. 

And it’s something we say every week in our Wednesday Wail: ‘We’re not looking back, our hands are securely on the plough. We’re looking forward to a glorious future with Christ.’ Now let’s go out and prove that this Monday morning nuh my fellow believers! Let’s show them that we are fit for service to Christ, as we lift our crosses high and honour Him! Much LOVE!

…the true disciple… doesn’t mind sacrificing his desires…for those of Christ…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 July 2019 Matthew 10:22.

Matthew 10:22.    ​And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
 

Ah friends, Saturday, the day of all days! (smile) What’s on the agenda for today eh? For most of us it’s sleeping in, then a lazy day on the couch, or fun and games, barbecuing and enjoying the summer weather. For others though it can mean a busy day at home; cleaning and washing and replenishing groceries and stuff; possibly harder work than what you get paid to do during the week. (smile) 

But that’s how life goes, and once you have Jesus walking in you and with you, then you don’t have to worry about getting whatever job it is done. Oh yes, it might be somewhat difficult, but you’re assured that with Jesus’ help, you will get it done successfully! All praise and glory to our great and wonderful God for the help He gives to us frail and mortal humans! 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s see what gems of wisdom our friend Anselm sent us this week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this one: ‘Life is too short to waste in the company of those who can’t wait to put you down. Let them say what they want. Their opinions aren’t your problem. Keep doing good, as you’ve always done. No matter what they do or say, don’t doubt who you are and what you’re doing.’ 

That’s wise advice friends! In this current mish-mash world, people are only too glad to put you down once you’re trying to improve yourself and your situation. Possibly because of jealousy, or their own laziness, they don’t want you to rise above them. But once you’re sure of who and whose you are, that you belong to Jesus, for you were bought with a high price, that of His precious blood, then you can ignore all the naysayers and go about Jesus’ business with confidence. 

And then there’s this: ‘Being quiet and calm doesn’t mean you’re weak. Such people show strength that’s under control. The most intelligent people know when to speak, know when to listen, and know when to be quiet.’ Oh what truth my brethren!

But unfortunately, with the current burst of technology that makes communication so easy, everyone has an opinion on everything and are not bashful to share it, thus the great explosion of social media and the large amount of nonsense, endless talking, false information, lies and deceit they provoke. 

Now here’s a gem: ‘You’ve been in situations where you thought you’d never make it out, but you did. You’ve lived through it, you’ve learned from it and you survived. So whatever it is that you’re currently going through right now, you can and will get through it if you are determined to push thru.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren. We’ve lived through numerous times of adversity and trouble, but with the Lord’s help we got through them all, stronger and more mature. So why worry about whatever tough situation you’re experiencing now eh? It’s a problem too many Christians face; not turning back and remembering what the Lord brought us through, and realizing and believing that if He’s done it a million times already, He’ll do it a zillion times in the future, for that’s His awesome, unbreakable and ever-faithful promise. 

And I particularly like the last two quotes, which fit together quite nicely. The first says: ‘People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.’ That’s an undeniable fact! That’s possibly because of the leader’s charisma or charm, or some sense of trust and reliability that they exude. There’s no better example of that than Jesus. Look at how He chose His first four disciples: 

‘And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers (fishermen). And he saith unto them, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets and followed him.

And going on from thence, he saw two other brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother in a ship with Zebedee their father mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.’ (Matt.4:18-22) 

Ah mih people, those fishermen must have seen something in Jesus to just drop their livelihood and follow him, the last two leaving their poor father to manage on His own. And Jesus called Matthew the same way. Matthew was sitting at his tax office, adding up his money, when Jesus passed by and said to him, ‘Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.’ (Matt.9:9) 

Now who in their right mind would give up the lucrative position that the tax man held back in those olden times to follow some itinerant preacher eh, and more importantly why? But Matthew did it, so he must have seen something in Jesus or felt some abnormal pull to just give up his lucrative tax job to become a fisher of men. 

Now the last quote says: ‘Leadership is not wielding authority — it’s empowering people.’ And that’s exactly how a true leader ought to operate. If you’re secure in yourself and your authority and power, then there’s no need to blatantly wield said power. What you need to do is raise up your followers so that they too can embrace your vision and help you bring it to fruition. 

And again, Jesus is the best example of empowering leadership. He knew who He was, and what power He had, and realized that He could not proselytize the whole world on His own, so He brought together the twelve most unlikely candidates to help Him, and over a three year period He taught them and empowered them, so that they could go out and do His work after He was gone. 

I like how He told them: ‘Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless (innocent) as doves.’  (Matt.10:16) Imagine telling your workers that nowadays nuh! I doubt you’d have too many after that. And that did happen to Jesus. When some of them saw how difficult the task was, they simply quit. 

Furthermore, He warned them thus: ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ Oh friends, those are indeed tough statements to hear and bear, and they still pertain to us today. But please note that the true disciples bought into Jesus’ vision and did withstand all the trials and tribulations they encountered to spread His Word. 

And they did such a wonderful job, that two thousand years later, despite all sorts of problems, that magnificent and true Word has come down to us, with all the same provisos and tough conditions.

Yes friends, the baton, the glowing torch of Christ’s salvation, has now been passed to us, to keep it burning, until we pass it on to the next generation. Please, I implore us, don’t let it be said that that eternal torch was extinguished on our watch! That would be such a dismal stain on our report card. Let’s stand strong and endure to the end! Much LOVE!

…to be eligible for a prize…one must finish the race…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 May 2019 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.    ​If any man will  (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
 
Oh isn’t it great to be alive on a sunshiny morning my faithful brethren in Christ? It surely is! And though it’s still somewhat chilly in my area, life gets even better when we realize the treasure we have in Jesus Christ being our Lord and Saviour, our Leader and Guide, etc. etc! That’s just the cat’s pajamas; (smile) the best it can get, both in this world and the next! 

So let’s not murmur and complain about the problems we have nuh, instead, let’s give thanks and praise and glory to Almighty God for the great blessings He’s bestowed on us, especially that of His Son, Jesus Christ! And since it’s Saturday, let’s get right to the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Hear this first one: ‘Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.’ And is that ever so true. This earthly life is chocked full of problems, but we can’t allow them to get us down, otherwise we’d just lead a negative and depressed life. 

And remember Jesus said that He had overcome the world and we should cheer up, be glad, in spite of the tribulations we encounter. (John 16:33) So please, let’s not allow problems to ruin our happiness. With Jesus help, they are all conquerable! 

And listen to this quote: ‘Make improvements, not excuses. Seek respect, not attention.’ More truth there friends! Our society nowadays is one of excuses and casting blame everywhere else but on ourselves, where more often than not, it truly belongs! But let’s not play the blame game nuh, because it doesn’t help, just causes more confusion and bitterness and disunity. And above all, it doesn’t show the kind of people we ought to be as followers of Jesus. 

And I like this quote: ‘The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence; the past is a place of learning, not a place of living.’ Oh is that truth in spades my people! The past is very useful, but only as a guide to the future, to show you what mistakes you should not make again. But unfortunately too many of us live in the past, that’s why we’re so unhappy and unfulfilled. We let the past colour our present and future lives too much. 

Living in the past is the worst thing we can do to our present day lives. Therefore: ‘Do not let the memories of your past limit the potential of your future. There are no limits to what you can achieve on your journey through life, except in your mind!’ So true friends so true! All the past does is limit our future and hold us back from the awesome life that God has prepared for us. So please, let’s just learn from the past nuh, but not live there in squalor and hopelessness. (smile) 

And this last quote also aligns nicely with those gone before, sort of paraphrasing them. ‘Life is about accepting the challenges along the way, choosing to keep moving forward, and savoring the journey.’ And before we even talk about the challenges, let’s remember that life is a journey, one we ought to enjoy, one in which we grow from glory to glory, meeting the challenges that this evil and ungodly world constantly throws at us with the help of the Holy Spirit of God that dwells within us. 

Some of us believe that life is just something to muddle through and be constantly depressed and negative. But remember what Jesus said, that He came that we might have life, and have it in abundance! (John 10:10) Now does that sound like we should always be down in the dumps, beaten by the challenges of life? No! Exactly the opposite! 

We talk about how Jesus has conquered, hell, death and the grave, so if He’s conquered the evil forces of this world, why should we be mired in depression and negativity, anxiety and fear eh? The victory is already ours, we just have to live it out in confidence and assurance, if we truly believe in Jesus and all that He’s said. 

But yuh know what friends, for us to successfully do all that we’ve talked about above, we have to do one basic thing, sincerely take up our cross and follow Jesus! That’s the ONLY way our lives will ever be truly worthwhile! Jesus didn’t mince words when He said it. ‘If any man will  (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ 

Oh my people, I know that many of us believe that taking up our cross and following Jesus is extremely difficult. And at times it is yes; like giving up our selfish desires to help others, facing up to challenges that we want to shy away from, going the extra mile and turning the other cheek, like Jesus desires of His followers. Yes, we are not supposed to be like the world, but show the world a different style. 

And I bypassed the most important word in Jesus’ statement on purpose; ‘daily.’ Now that’s the magic word friends. We don’t pick up our cross when we feel like, or when it’s convenient for us, but each and every day of our earthly lives, if we are truly sincere believers in Jesus! Yes, it’s hard. But nobody ever said that life would be easy. And just look at what Jesus suffered for us nuh. The least we can do is to show a li’l gratitude and gratefulness by picking up our cross and following Him daily. 

‘For whosoever will (desires to) save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose (loses) his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged (benefited), if he gain the whole world, and lose himself (is destroyed), or be cast away (lost)? For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.’ (Luke 9:24-26) 

Oh my people, it couldn’t be any plainer and clearer than that! So please, let’s wake up and smell the roses nuh, because Jesus can return at any time, and if you’re caught napping when He comes, then crapaud smoke yuh pipe! Much LOVE!

…to truly serve Jesus…one must take up one’s cross…DAILY…

 

 

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)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 September 2018 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.   And he (Jesus) said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Cooler days are here again! You can bet your bottom dollar on that friends! Come September, the cool weather just explodes on us. Although in these times of climate change who knows what will happen. Yesterday evening though, I noticed that some maple trees in my area have already begun turning brown in preparation for the long, dry, cold, winter months. 

Do they know something that we don’t know! It’s possible. But not to worry, once we’re walking hand in hand with Jesus, we can face anything that comes against us, remember we’re conquerors in His Name! Glory to God! 

And with it being Saturday, let’s take a look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘Throw kindness around like confetti.’ 

Mama Mia! And if you’re a sincere follower of Jesus, that is exactly what you ought to be doing, for kindness is, was, and always will be the hallmark of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and if it’s not in your repertoire of attributes, then you’re not a sincere follower. 

And this next one says: ‘It is better to walk alone, than with a crowd going in the wrong direction.’ And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! You’re certainly better off alone than with the crowd going in the wrong direction. Some of us will remember being cautioned by our parents: ‘Don’t follow the crowd!’ And that’s usually wise advice, for the crowd is usually taking the easy way out, following Lucifer, and doing what they’re not supposed to do. 

So even if you get lonely treading that wise path that leads in the right direction, remember you’re NEVER really alone, because Jesus is ALWAYS with you, faithfully keeping His promises to never leave nor forsake you! Oh, our Jesus is so wonderful! How could we not LOVE Him eh! 

And this next quote reminds us to: ‘Remember, for everything you have lost, you have gained something else. Without the dark, you would never see the stars.’ Likewise friends, if we didn’t have rain, we would never appreciate the sun and its brilliant light. So please try to not focus so much on what you’ve lost, but on what you’ve gained through the loss. (smile) 

Now hear this tongue breaker: ‘One day it just clicks. You realize what’s important and what is not. You learn to care less about what other people think of you and more about what you think of yourself. You realize how far you’ve come and you remember when you thought things were such a mess that you would never recover. And you smile. You smile because you are truly proud of yourself and the person you’ve fought to become.’ 

Glory be for that day my brethren! That’s the day when we truly discover the Lord in our hearts! When we truly surrender our lives to Him and realize that He is ALL that really matters! Wow! What an enlightening day that usually is! 

And this last quote is the basis for our writing today: ‘Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one.’ And that’s no lie my fellow believers! The right path in this life is following Jesus, but hear what He says in our Bit for those who want to follow Him. ‘And he (Jesus) said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ 

Now that’s definitely not an easy row to hoe my people! That’s a daily denial of self! Note the young ruler who came to Jesus seeking eternal life. Note his sad, despondent reaction when Jesus told him eternal life would be his, if he sold his many possessions and gave to the poor, then came back and followed him. (Matt.19:16-22)

Unfortunately too many of us feel that way about our earthly possessions. But yuh see what Jesus went through on our behalf? It wasn’t easy for Him, even though He was God in human flesh. Now we most likely won’t go through as much ‘sufferation’ as He did, but we will definitely go through some, most likely more than we desire or care for. (smile) 

And Jesus didn’t mince words on the subject. He very clearly informed the disciples, and consequently all who came after, like us: ‘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 reassuring words my breddren! Though He tells us very clearly that we will face trouble in this evil world, we’re not to worry about it, because He has overcome the world with His sacrificial death and resurrection. And even when trials come against us, if we’re sincerely walking with Him, we’ll find peace; the peace of God, which passes all human understanding, that shall keep (guard) our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) 

Yeh friends, that peace is so special, that only true believers in Christ can experience it. Hear how Jesus explains it. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) Yeh friends, that peace is not of this world, but it comes from the Prince of Peace, so it’s a mighty tool in the lives of believers. 

And we’ll close with some more authoritative words of Jesus, re our Bit. ‘For whosoever will (desires to) save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose (loses) his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged (benefited), if he gain the whole world, and lose himself (is destroyed), or be cast away (lost)?’ (Luke 9:24-25) 

Now that’s a very good question friends? Do we want to have all the earthly wealth and lose our eternal soul, be separated from our Triune God in eternity? For all our sakes, I hope not. That means we have to seriously buckle down, and each and every day, pick up our cross and walk with it, the way Jesus did with His, in true obedience to His Father’s will. Much LOVE!

…earthly life might be difficult…but the rewards of eternity with God are certainly worth it…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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