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…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 March 2015 I John 1:9

1 John 1:9.    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
 
Oh Friends, ‘I, I am blessed! I want to tell the world, that I, I am blessed!’ 
 
Yes my people, last night in one of my late night sessions, I heard that tune by Mello G, one of my favourite reggae songs. And apparently it reverberated and resonated through my mind during those restful hours of sleep, because I got up this morning still singing it. I took that as a sure sign that I was expected to share it with you on this chilly Tuesday spring morning.
 
And to further solidify that theory, when I went outside just now to put out the garbage, I heard the birds singing it too. (smile) So if these lesser creatures can recognize their blessings and give thanks for them, why can’t we, God’s greatest creation eh?
 
So please sing the chorus with me: ‘Oh we, we are blessed! Let’s shout to the world, that we, we are blessed! Yes indeed, we are truly, truly blessed!’
 
Yes my brethren, if you can read these words and mentally process them, then you are indeed blessed! The roofs over our heads, the clothes on our backs, the food on our tables, the fruit of our loins, our children, the jobs we go to which allow us to earn money to provide those necessities, those all indicate that we are greatly blessed!
 
The freedom to worship Jehovah God, all of that shouts out blessings and blessedness my brethren! For there is a very large portion of the earth’s population who can’t say those things at all.
 
So please, let’s gratefully appreciate them nuh, instead of simply taking them for granted and abusing them, and learn to share our good fortune, our godly empowerment with the less fortunate, and stand up strong and fight to keep those rights that our forefathers fought so long and hard to get, but which the cruel, evil and greedy enemy now wants to take away from us!
 
Wow Friends! That certainly came in a sudden burst of inspiration! (smile) Now here is this touching story entitled ‘The Truant,’ from the One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin.
 
It says: ‘What does God do with a truant who plays hooky from her heavenly Father? What are the options? One thing is sure: He doesn’t pamper her. He knows she needs to stretch her spiritual muscles. He doesn’t shout, “Get up, foolish child!”
 
She’s so covered with mud she can’t move. He doesn’t condemn her, because His promise is “There is therefore now no condemnation.” In the end he does what He always does for any half-demolished child of His: He unlocks her handcuffed spirit with His key of infinite LOVE.
 
He checks her fluctuating heart with its spiritual irregularity. He gives her a fleeting glimpse of things as they could be. He accepts her confession. He thoroughly cleanses her, then He holds her close to His tender heart. He restores her joy and empowers her to obey.
 
Suddenly she knows with great gladness that her one safe fortress is the centre of her Father’s will. At least so it is with one truant child: me.’
 
And Friends, that story is ever so true! It’s repeated thousands of times a day by our wonderful heavenly Father! No other supposed god does anything like that. They put you through even more misery for your sins and shortcomings.
 
But not our wonderful God! When we confess our wrongdoings, He instead cleanses us and shows us LOVE and compassion! And yet so many of us still refuse to obey and faithfully serve Him. What foolishness, what lack of wisdom, my people!
 
And the Bible promise that’s quoted for that story is our Bit for today. ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’
 
Oh my fellow believers in Jesus Christ, those are just more beautiful truths that ought to empower and uplift us, to encourage us to keep on faithfully following our wonderful Lord and Saviour! But they obviously don’t do that for a large part of our population, who prefer to follow the sinful path of the prince of darkness.
 
Now listen to the verse after our Bit. ‘If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.’ (1 John 1:10) More unfortunate truths again my people!
 
And the scholars offer these interesting explanations on those verses. ‘1.9. This is a restatement of verse 7. We ought not to deny our sins (v.8), but rather to confess them before God. This opens the door for His forgiving and cleansing light to purify our hearts. Unrighteousness is another way of saying “sin”. 
 
1:10. To deny one’s sinfulness (v.8) or sins is not just to deceive oneself; it is to make God a liar by denying His word. Both Old and New Testaments stress the universality of man’s sin. (e.g. Job 4:17; Ps.14:3; Is.53:6; Rom.3:10-18, 23).’ 
 
Yes Friends, that’s all gospel truth: ‘For we have all sinned, and come short of the glory of God.’ (Rom.3:23)
 
So, after hearing all of that, we have no good or real reason not to believe in and serve the omnipotent, omniscient, omni-present God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. None whatsoever! Unless we’ve lost our minds and literally gone mad.
 
Sadly though, it seems that a lot of us have succumbed to that dreaded illness, because too many of us have chosen, and are choosing to follow the worldly, lustful ways of Beelzebub, the prince of darkness, rather than the righteousness of Jesus Christ, the Master and Giver of Light and Eternal Life!
 
The wonderful thing about our God though, is that we can always get another chance! While there is His breath of life in our mortal and sinful bodies, there’s always hope for His forgiveness.
 
But please be warned, there isn’t time to waiver and sit on the fence, because Jesus is coming back in majesty and glory at any time! And when He does… all bets are off!
 
So please be wise and get yourselves straightened away with Him today; better yet, RIGHT NOW! That is the wisdom of the righteous! Much LOVE!
 
…let us be wise…be prepared…for we know not when…the last train bound for glory…will be steaming out of the station…and if we’re not on it…hn!…then crapaud smoke we pipe…