Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 September 2018 Matthew 6:12.

Matthew 6:12.      Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Well it’s cloudy, and the forecasters have promised rain for this afternoon, which the ground badly needs, but I also want to go and visit my mother out in the North East end, and it doesn’t make sense to go in the rain. Been putting it off for a couple weeks, finding one excuse after another.

 

Hn! Haven’t seen her for about a year now, if not more, and that’s not a good son’s behaviour. But I know she will forgive my lack of attention, because that’s the kind of person she was. 

Ah friends, forgiveness! One of the most powerful tools in our toolbox. And the greatest words of forgiveness ever spoken are those of Jesus, as He hung, bruised and battered on the old wooden cross, about to breathe His last breath. ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ (Luke 23:34) 

Yeh friends, can you believe it? After the harsh and unjust punishment Jesus received at the hands of wicked and sinful men, He still could ask the Father to forgive us, because we didn’t know what we were doing! What magnanimity of soul and spirit He exuded there.

The same goes for us in these evil times. Only a person with a large heart and spirit can genuinely forgive another. It’s seldom easy, but yuh know what my people? Forgiveness is the very basis of our faith!  

Our most generous and magnanimous God forgave us our sins because it was in His heart to do so. He didn’t have to do it, but because of His LOVE for us, He chose to do it. And He requires us to do the same; to forgive others as He has forgiven us. And if you don’t, then you’re not a true child of His. 

And that principle of our faith was, and is so important that Jesus made it a part of the basic prayer He taught His disciples: ‘Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ 

And the scholars explain the verse of our Bit as follows: ‘6:12. Forgive us our debts refers to sins, which are our moral and spiritual debts to God’s righteousness. The request for forgiveness of sin is made here by the believer. In order to be saved one need not necessarily name all of his sins, but he must confess that he is a sinner.’ 

And that’s a good thing, because so many of us have so many, even some we don’t know about, that it would take us till everlasting to name them all! (smile) As the li’l quote from the Daily Bread Devotional reminds us: ‘The first step to receiving God’s forgiveness is to admit that we need it.’ And do we ever! 

And Jesus didn’t just leave it there in our Bit, but followed up with this most important corollary: ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses (sins, debts), your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.6:14-15) 

Oh my brethren, Jesus could not make it any simpler or clearer than that! If we don’t forgive our fellow man his trespass, then the Lord won’t forgive ours. It’s as simple as that! But we’re such hypocrites and deceivers in this current world that we don’t forgive others but keep on pleading to the Lord for His forgiveness on our behalf. Hn! It won’t work my people. 

The Lord forgave us once on the big stage, through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, but now He expects us, as individuals, to live up to our covenant and do unto others as we expect Him and others to do unto us. So we shouldn’t expect someone to give us something that we’re not prepared to give in the first place, or to give back, having received it. That’s not Christ-like. 

But unfortunately that’s not what our current world is all about. Instead, we’re mightily focused on getting something for nothing, not sharing, being greedy and hoarding, simply looking out for number one, me, myself and I! And even more unfortunately, too many of us Christians are falling into the selfish trap that the world is advocating. 

And it doesn’t help us either as individuals or as Christ’s body, the church. It just makes the unbeliever look at us askance and lose interest in God, because that behaviour does not gel with what we preach as believers. So we’re definitely doing ourselves and Christ’s church irreparable harm when we behave in that hypocritical and ungodly manner. 

Oh my people, I guess we’ll need to hear about forgiveness until the very day, or moment that we die, since it’s not always easy to do, and it goes against the very grain of our naturally sinful soul. But forgive we must, if we want to be forgiven!

And like with every other aspect in our walk of faith, God will help us with forgiveness if we come to Him in all humility and sincerity and ask for His help. He’s promised never to turn us away…and He won’t. 

So let’s wisely get on the forgiveness train nuh, because it’s the only one going to heaven. And simple logic dictates that if you’re not on it, then you’re not going to heaven! (smile) But our God is so magnanimous and wonderful, that for those who try to practice what they preach, He’s ordained numerous blessings, as found in our Thursday Blessings. So let’s go home now sincerely declaring them nuh. 

In unison: ‘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!’ 

Oh what a wonderful God we serve and worship my people! Now let’s go out with a strong sense of purpose and share those blessings with the less fortunate, as Jesus intends for us to do. Much LOVE!

…if you’re blessed…then you were meant to share the blessing…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 February 2018 2 Corinthians 5:20.

2 Corinthians 5:20.   Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray (implore) you in Christ’s stead (behalf), be ye reconciled to God.

Oh friends, it’s a beautiful morning in my neck of the woods! Oh the snow is still on the ground, and it’s cold, but at least the Sun is shining brightly, and we know that the SON is always out there in all of His splendour, burning brightly to show us the way! Wow! That makes it a beautiful day indeed! 

And the workingman is also out there singing his song of freedom: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! The massa really drive we hard this week boy! Don’t know what got in his craw nuh, but he was a real devil, more so than usual. But is one thing he can’t stop is it being Friday and therefore the weekend…and we free! 

Mama Mia! Is we time to do whatever we want with it now. And yuh better believe we going to do just that; whatever, whenever and however for the two lousy days we have off. What did the wise King Solomon say? Something about a man have a right to enjoy the fruits of his hard labour…Well we certainly going to enjoy them fruits this weekend! Thank the Lord for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Yeh mih people, I know that many of us are also thanking the Lord for Fridays and weekends after a hard spell at work this week. But as believers we have a different take on it; we don’t go to extremes, as the workingman likes to do. We have some boundaries set by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as reflected in our Friday Chant. 

Let’s declare it now in strong voice with sincere conviction nuh. ‘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!’ 

Ah mih breddren, that’s more like it! We need to keep the work and excellent standards of Jesus uppermost in our minds at all times, for the enemy is always on the lookout for a letdown in our behaviour, so he can slip in and cause havoc. That coincides very well with the Daily Bread Thought for the Day, which says: ‘When others see us, may what they see, speak well of the Saviour.’ 

Oh friends, that’s our raison d’etre; our earthly purpose, our reason for living; to be worthwhile witnesses, ambassadors of Jesus, so that others will want to come to Him to lay down their heavy burdens and receive His free offer of grace, which then translates into salvation and eternal life! 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray (implore) you in Christ’s stead (behalf), be ye reconciled to God.’ Yeh friends, Bruh Paul is imploring the Corinthians to stick with the reconciliation they had recently received, and be good witnesses to others for Christ. 

Why? ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given us the ministry of reconciliation; 

To wit (that is), that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation…For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.’ (2 Cor.5:17-19; 21) 

Ah mih people, what a magnificent and magnanimous God we serve and worship! Just think about it nuh! The Lord, while we were yet sinners, sent His son to die on the cross for us, so that He could justify bringing us back into His fold, reconciling us to Himself. He forgave us of our sins, putting them all on His sinless Son, so He could make us righteous. Wow! Glory to God! 

Would any of us do that, take our righteous son and make Him a scapegoat, a sacrifice for a bunch of worthless, ungrateful sinners? Very unlikely! But that’s what God did for us, and it just shows the great and undying affection He has for us, His disobedient, rebellious children. 

So therefore, in light of all that; being a new creation, having our sins forgiven, being made righteous in Christ and reconciled to God, having a new status as a child of God and an heir with Christ, why is it so difficult for us to walk worthy of Christ eh? 

That should be a no-brainer friends! We ought to be so grateful for all He’s done for us, that being a good witness and ambassador for Him should just come naturally. 

So today, my believing brethren, like Bruh Paul implored the Corinthians, likewise, I am imploring us to come up strong for Christ, let people see His reflection in our everyday lives, be good examples of His grace and mercy. 

Yuh know we can talk a whole lotta talk, but it’s only through our life example that others will want to rush to His always open and ever-welcoming arms to lay down their burdens and take up their cross and follow Him. 

If we want Jesus to welcome us to heaven with a ‘well done, good and faithful servant,’ then that’s how we need to live our earthly lives. Much LOVE!

…truly living for Christ…means truly trying to be a good example to others…