Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 February 2017 Matthew 26:39.

Matthew 26:39.   And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

Oh friends, can you believe it? My body rebelled against me again to day! Hn, hn! But what can I expect eh, when I keep pushing the envelope? 

What’s it they say about when force meets resistance – one of them has to give? Well I’m the one who’s been giving these last couple days! (smile) 

Meanwhile, the workingman is all excited, loudly declaring: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! The weekend’s here! The weekend’s here at long last! Is our time now! Glory Hallelujah! And we going to use it just as we please; drinking and eating, dancing and romancing! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend!’ 

Ah mih people, I know that after a hard week’s work, that’s the way many of us feel, but that’s not the optimum way to use our short time off. Our Friday chant presents a much better alternative. So let’s chant it out loud and clear, like how the workingman belted out his song of freedom. 

As one 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 brethren, it’s all about using our time, talents and energy in the best manner that glorifies our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Our thoughts should constantly be permeated by, ‘will this glorify Jesus?’ for that’s why we were so wonderfully made. 

Just as Jesus was made to glorify His heavenly Father, and did so above all else, as we see from our Bit. ‘And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.’ 

So ought we to consider the Lord’s will before we do anything at all in this earthly life.  

And today we’ll continue looking at the words of some of the saints on the topic. Listen to the author of Hebrews: ‘Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up) unto LOVE and to good works: …

Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience (endurance), that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb.10:23-24; 35-36)  

Yes my fellow believers, we have to stand strong in faith, in LOVE and good works and concentrate on doing God’s will, so that we can receive His faithful promise afterwards. If we don’t do His will, there won’t be any rewards later on. It’s as simple as that. 

Now hear Peter as he talks about being good stewards of God’s grace. ‘Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as (to the extent that) ye are partakers of Christ’s suffering; that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 

If ye be reproached (insulted) for the name of Christ, happy (blessed) are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of (blasphemed), but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody (meddler) in other men’s matters. 

Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf (matter). For the time is come that judgement must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 

And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.’ (1 Pet.4:12-19) 

Ah precious people of God, although our earthly circumstances may be painful and difficult, it’s only in doing God’s will, and with His help, bearing up under the pressure, that we will reap joy when Jesus returns. 

I know it sounds unfair and whatever else, but that’s the way our God operates, and we know that He is a good God, and will work everything out for our benefit in the end. So let’s not lose faith while we wait. 

And we’ll end with this admonition from Peter. ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen!’ (1 Pet.5:10-11) 

What more can I say eh friends? Not a whole lot. Doing God’s will is just the lot of Christians. Much LOVE!

…if ye suffer with and for Christ…you will rejoice and be glad with Him…when He returns…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 January 2017 Galatians 5:16.

Galatians 5:16.   This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Ah friends, the ole fella must be getting better yes, because I woke up this morning and actually felt for a cup of coffee! Glory Hallelujah! 

That does say something, since I haven’t been drinking any since I left the hospital. The couple cups I had earlier on, just didn’t sit right, so I just left it alone. But this one actually tastes good. Glory to God, my taste buds are being revived! 

And in honour of that, this chilly and gloomy Saturday morning, here is a poem from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional titled ‘Beauty!’ 

Please pray with me. ‘Thank you, Father, for filling the world with beauty. I thank you for the beauty of life, the beauty of LOVE, the beauty of children, and the beauty of old people. I thank you for the beauty of Christ and for the beauty of any life when Christ is invited through the Holy Spirit. Thank you, Father, that you have made my life beautiful too. Amen.’ 

And I don’t know about you all nuh friends, but the Lord has indeed made my life beautiful! I can plainly see it after that scary, life threatening moment a couple of weeks ago. 

You never seem to truly appreciate something until you almost lose it. And yuh better believe, I am very appreciative of life right now, regardless of the state I’m in! And it’s all to the glory of God! 

Now here is an interesting quote from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us. This one says: ‘Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.’ 

And is that ever so true friends! A lot of us are clock-watchers, especially when it comes time to quit work and go home (smile) but you’ll notice that despite the circumstances surrounding it, the good ole clock just keeps on ticking on its merry way to wherever. 

Likewise, Christians are not to let our circumstances stop us from ticking on for Jesus. It will not always be easy to do, but if the Father has brought us to it, He will bring us through it, that’s His faithful promise. 

However, we also have to do our part in the partnership between Christ and us. It’s not a one-way street. Thus the advice of Bruh Paul to the Galatians: ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.’ 

Yeh mih people, to walk with God, means to walk in His Spirit, so that our carnality doesn’t come to the fore. 

Listen to this explanation from the scholars. ‘5:16. Walk in the Spirit (i.e. “live by the Spirit”): Christians are to live with the Spirit’s help. How does one “live by the Spirit”? (1) The Christian must believe that the Spirit is with him, having been sent by God into his heart (4:6). (2) In every spiritual confrontation the believer must yield to the Spirit, that is, submit his own desires to those of the Spirit. 

(3) One must depend on the Spirit for help, enabling him to live a God-pleasing life (v.5). (4) The believer should anticipate the effects of the Spirit’s help in his daily life. The believer who “lives by the Spirit” will not fulfill (accomplish, carry out) the lust (strong desires) of the flesh (sinful nature).’ 

Ah mih breddren, I know all of that sounds hard and confusing, but it is the basis of our Christianity. We can’t live on the fence, it’s either Spiritual or carnal, fleshly living, and the first only comes by working constantly and continually at it, with God’s help. 

Please realize friends that true spirit living doesn’t come overnight, but like everything else in life takes practice and time to develop and mature. 

And the reason for Bruh Paul’s admonition in our Bit is: ‘For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.’ (Gal.5:17) 

Yeh friends, it is a controversy within our souls. And the scholars tell us: ‘5:17. One’s sinful human nature (flesh) and the Holy Spirit lusteth against one another, that is, they have desires and yearnings contrary to one another. 

The Christian then is a battlefield, having desires to do good and evil. The outcome is that ye cannot do the things that ye would: the flesh seeks to thwart the Spirit, who, in turn, attempts to frustrate the flesh’s evil desires.’ 

But you know what friends, it’s not really a tug of war, because once we’ve made up our minds to live by the Spirit, we consciously try and remove sin from our lives, so that the flesh doesn’t have much hold over us, and we can just go on sincerely and seriously ticking for Jesus. Now that is wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…each tick and tock of our spiritual clock…means one more point for Jesus…Glory to God…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2015 Ephesians 2:10

Ephesians 2:10.     For we are his workmanship (creation) created in Christ Jesus unto (for) good works, which God hath before ordained (prepared)  that we should walk in them.

Greetings and salutations my people, in the glorious name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, on this blessed but damp and foggy Sunday morning! All power and glory be to the One who sacrificed His holy and sinless life for us disgusting sinners.
 
And to show our grateful appreciation of that wonderful token of LOVE, let’s gather together in His sanctuary on this Sabbath Day, as He desires, to praise and worship Him, give Him the thanks that He so rightfully deserves, and in return receive His grace, mercy and forgiveness, so that our spirits can be renewed, our faith strengthened, and our actions positive and LOVE-filled!

And all God’s people said a loud and sincere: ‘Yes, let us do that, for it is meet and right so to do! 

And now, from the One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings from Ruth Harms Calkin, here is ‘Something Beautiful!’  ‘Here I am dear God  Your Child  A member of Your Family  Asking You  To make something beautiful of my life. Yet, even as I ask I am convinced  That the one beautiful thing  About a child of God  Is You, Jesus Christ. So, dear Lord  As You saturate me with Yourself  My life will be beautiful.’

And isn’t that the living truth Friends! There’s nothing as beautiful as a human being saturated with Jesus Christ! That inner beauty and LOVE of a true child of God just shines through the darkness of this world, knives through it like a big, bright spotlight closely focused on a performer on a stage! Oh my brethren, there’s no better state for us to be in, than to be filled with the beauty and joy of Jesus Christ! For we become new creations, old, evil ways are forgotten, and we look to the future with hope and faith. 

And the Bible promise for that poem is our Bit today; fateful words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. ‘For we are his workmanship (creation), created in Christ Jesus unto (for) good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.’ Friends, that’s truth to the nth degree!

And here are some explanations from the scholars to enlighten us. ‘2:10. For verifies the assertion of man’s good works having no part in obtaining salvation. (vs.8-9) Workmanship refers not to our original or physical birth, but to our spiritual birth: what we are spiritually in the good sense is due to God, not ourselves.

Created in Christ Jesus unto good works means “having been (morally) re-created by Christ Jesus for good works,” that is, Jesus remade our spiritual lives so that we could then do good works. The apostle’s thinking is this; since the Christian has been given spiritual life for the purpose of doing good works, there could have been no good works by him prior to conversion that would merit salvation. Good works follow – do not precede – salvation.’

And I’ll be my usual nice self (smile) and quote the two verses we mentioned above, re good works having no part in salvation. ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph.28-9)

Yes Friends, part of the reason why salvation is not achieved by good works is so that men can’t boast about obtaining it on their own strength or merit. Remember, it is a free gift of God!

Now let’s look at a couple scriptures that reflect the theme of our Bit. Hear the palmist declare from Psalm 100 – A call to praise the Lord. ‘Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.’ (Ps.100:3-4)

Oh my people, if we’d only follow that wise advice of the psalmist, our lives and our world would be a much better place than it currently is!

Now listen to Isaiah, as he talks about the redemption of Israel. ‘But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify (hallow) my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel.’ (Is.29:23)

Without a doubt Friends, we are God’s handiwork, His greatest creation! Glory Hallelujah!

Another psalmist joyfully proclaims: ‘Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.’ (Ps.119:73) Words of awesome truth my brethren! And we’ll end with Bruh David’s version from Psalm 139 – The everlasting presence and power of God. ‘For thou hast possessed my reins (formed my inward parts): thou hast covered (weaved) me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right (very) well.’

My substance (frame, bones) was not hid from thee when I was made in secret, and curiously (skillfully) wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect (unformed); and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned (the days fashioned for me), when as not there was none of them.’ (Ps.139:13-16)

Yes Friends, Jehovah God was the planner, designer, architect and builder of every human being that was ever made. Therefore He knows all about us. We are definitely His, for He is our Creator, our Provider and our God. Without Him, we would not exist. Please, let’s remember that and give Him the appropriate level of praise, worship and thanks He deserves. That’s the duty of a sincere child of God. Much LOVE!

…without the Most High God Jehovah…nothing that was made…would be made…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 January 2015 John 10:14

John 10:14      I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 

Well here it is again Friends, the first and most important day of the new week; Sunday, the Lord’s Day, the Sabbath, or day of rest, fellowship and family togetherness! And it’s the most important day because it sets the tone and tenor for the remainder of the week. How you set up and use your Sundays, usually determines how your Monday to Saturday will go. That means we have to pay particular attention to what we do on Sunday, if we want to have a focused, persevering, prosperous and godly week.

 
So let’s begin by going out to church today nuh, joining in worship and praise, adoration, devotion, gratitude and thanksgiving! That will warm the cockles of God’s heart, as well as open up our souls and spirits to His awesome wonder and LOVING-kindness! It’s what we call, in today’s parlance, a win – win situation.
 
And talking of win- win situations, the best one ever is when Jesus gave His life for us, in atonement for our sins. Some might consider us the big winner in that relationship, but Jesus also won because for His obedience, He was exalted by the Father with a name above all others, as Lord of Lords and King of Kings, the One to whom all knees will eventually bow, and all tongues confess that He is Lord indeed, to the glory of the Father. (Phil.2:9-11)
 
That brings us to our Bit, the same as the last couple of days:  ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.’
 
Oh what a most encouraging statement my people! We all know the LOVE and care that a shepherd shows for His flock, so if Jesus, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, claims to be our shepherd, how can we brook any argument about it eh? We’d be worse than foolish to deny Him that right, and ourselves, His tender LOVING care!
 
Unfortunately though, a lot of us unwisely do just that, and if we don’t wake up soon and realize our terrible mistake, we will eventually face death, eternal damnation and everlasting separation from our heavenly Father. And let me tell you my brethren, that is the worse fate a human being can ever suffer!
 
Now listen to Jesus as He continues His discourse on the topic, after our Bit. ‘As the Father knoweth me, even so I know the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold (flock), and one shepherd.’ (Matt.10:15-16)
 
Oh what a glorious day that was Friends, when Jesus united His two folds, the Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews) which includes you and I! His sacrificial, substitutionary death on our behalf fulfilled that promise! And again I ask, why would I, being of sound mind and reason, turn away from Jesus wonderful invitation to come to Him and lay down my heavy burdens, and refuse to be brought under His easy yoke, to bear His light burden? (Matt.11:28 -30)
 
In light of all that we’ve said and know for a fact, that certainly doesn’t make sense to me. And I just adore these next verses where Jesus expounds on His authority, obedience and closeness to the Father. ‘Therefore doth my Father LOVE me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.’ (Matt.10:17-18)
 
Oh Glory Hallelujah! Yuh see my fellow believers, that close and beautiful relationship that Jesus has with the Father, is the same kind that we can have with Jesus, and by extension, with the Father too. Wow! So why ‘dis’ Jesus eh, and refuse His LOVING entreaties? That’s nothing but a fool’s wisdom!
 
Now hear this explanation from the scholars, re those last two verses: ’10:17-18. Jesus does more than predict His crucifixion and resurrection. He also shows that He has the power to lay down His life and take it up again, once more asserting His deity.’
 
So all those people who believe that Jesus was just a push over for the faithless Jews and cruel, arrogant Romans who crucified Him are totally wrong! In fact, that was the singular purpose for which He came to earth in human form: to die so that we might live!
 
As He said to the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane when the Roman soldiers came to arrest Him. ‘Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me (provide me with) more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scripture be fulfilled, that thus it must be?’ (Matt.26:53-54)
 
If he hadn’t fulfilled the Father’s plan, then we’d still be lost and gone astray, facing death and eternal separation from our Creator. And though it hurts, breaks my heart, to know the pain He bore on our behalf, I’m glad that He was true to His purpose. Now if only we, His followers could be true to ours… what a wonderful world this would be!
 
And do we ever need a whole lot of improvement in our troubled and diseased world my brethren! That’s the task that Jesus has set before us – live a life that causes the unbeliever to turn to Him in repentance and conviction, so that they can receive His free offer of salvation and eternal life.
 
So Friends, are we going to get real serious and sincere about that task this new year and do our best to further Jesus’ LOVE Revolution?  I certainly hope so, because if we don’t, our beautiful world will just keep falling further and further into the depths of hell, until there’s no turning back. And what will that do to our children and their children eh? I leave that for each of us to ponder on, then hopefully do the right thing to correct the woeful situation in which our world is floundering right now.
 
Remember Friends, Jesus is depending on us to help alleviate the sad state of confusion and evil that’s currently reigning. Please, I implore us, to take up the gauntlet and fight the good fight to the death. That’s what a good and true soldier in Christ’s army is expected to do. Much LOVE!
 
…our bounden duty here on earth…is to live a life worthy of Jesus…so that others may see it…and come to faith in Him…

 

 

 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 January 2015 Genesis 49:18

Genesis 49:18.  I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord.
 
Oh Friends, we’re awesome! Yes indeed we are! We have successfully made it through the first real week of work in 2015! Glory Hallelujah!
 
Yes my people, it’s Friday and the weekend looms large and very inviting. And with a heartfelt sigh and a thankful look up to heaven, God’s people declared, with more reverence than usual: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! Thank God it’s Friday, and we’ll get some much needed rest!’
 
Now that’s how I like to see us behave; more attuned to the rest and restoration factor than to the party animal attitude. (smile) I guess some of the partying exuberance for the weekend has worn off because we’re still suffering the after effects of the Christmas celebrations, and a week of work hasn’t helped matters any.
 
Anyway, to get us into the right frame of mind, let’s chant our Friday Chant with more maturity and awareness than we’ve hitherto done. As one harmonious chanter 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 Friends, now that everything has wound down, it’s time to take serious stock of our lives and set the priorities for this new year. Of course the first and foremost one will be to walk in closer harmony with Jesus, and that will bring certain things into line.
 
But then there are a host of other things that we need to seriously consider doing or not doing. These are the days to make a sincere and serious plan, and then without much hesitation, put it into action, for plans that are not actioned are dead and useless.
 
And today I have an interesting quote to share from the famed French playwright and author, Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870), the writer of such acclaimed novels as The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo. Alexandre is reputed to have said that ‘All human wisdom is summed up in two words: wait and hope.’
 
And there is a lot of truth in that statement my brethren, because that’s what we spend a large portion of our earthly existence doing; waiting and hoping. Most things or plans of action don’t happen right away, so after putting them into motion, generally speaking we then have to wait for all the necessary pieces to fall into place.
 
And while we’re waiting, we’re hoping that they will fall into place as we hope, expect and desire. In fact, life is one long journey of hoping and waiting; especially in regard to our great and wonderful God Jehovah! The Good Book tells us innumerable times about waiting for and hoping in God.
 
And Jacob, in our Bit, made one of the earliest statements of hoping and waiting, when he prophesied about the fate of his sons and their offspring. ‘I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord.’
 
Simple, but true words my people, words which we all ought to be able to say in sincere truth. The only difference is that we have seen the Lord’s salvation in the person of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!
 
But the Old Testament people weren’t that lucky, all they had was the promise of God’s salvation. They had to wait and hope through the eyes of faith.
 
As Isaiah says in the song of praise by the redeemed: ‘He will swallow up death in victory (forever); and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.
 
And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.’ (Is.25:8-9)
 
Then again, in chapter 26, a hymn of praise, Isaiah declares: ‘Yea, in the way of thy judgements, O Lord, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee.
 
With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgements are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.’ (Is.26:8-9)
 
Yes my brethren, hoping and waiting and trusting in the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is indeed a large part of our lives! And it’s something we ought to do with a joyful spirit, otherwise we’ll just be miserable most of the time.
 
And as I read somewhere, this wise and sensible person declared: ‘I reached out to God in expectant faith and hungry hope.’ Now that, my people, is exactly how we ought to reach out to Almighty God.
 
And we’ll close with one of the best known Bible verses on hoping and waiting for God; fateful words of Bruh David from Psalm 27 – the Lord is my light and my salvation. Bruh David ends that psalm with these awesome and mightily inspiring verses.
 
‘I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait (in faith) I say, on the Lord.’ (Ps.27:13-14) 
 
Oh Friends, that’s the best advice we can take in these tense and troubled times, for they are words of veritable truth and wisdom!
Much LOVE!
 
‘…hope renews me…and let’s me face each day…with the best possible attitude…’

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 January 2015 Matthew 10:16

Matthew 10:16.     Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless (innocent) as doves.

Well Friends, it’s a Saturday morning that’s calling for snow and rain and freezing rain! Wow!

Over these next two days like we’re going to run the whole gamut of weather problems. We really can’t complain too much though, because we’ve been fairly snow and rain free for at least a couple of weeks now. And besides that, we’re God’s children and a little bad weather doesn’t deter us from doing Jesus’ work. (smile)

Of course it could get fairly rough, like the ice storm we had last year, but even then, we brave the elements like true soldiers of God’s army. What wonderful designations we embrace my people; a child of God, and a soldier in His army! His army of pioneers and pilgrims, going forth to spread His holy Word all over the universe He’s created.

And in the remarkable words of our Bit, Jesus sends us forth, just like He did the first disciples, to do just that: ‘Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless (innocent) as doves.’

And the scholars tell us, re ‘Wise as serpents (cf. Gen.3:1). In the ancient Near East, the serpent was considered the wisest of beasts. A cautious wisdom was necessary to deal with the fierce opposition that the disciples would face.’

Yes my people, it is a wonderful honour to work for Jesus, winning souls for Him, or rather causing lost souls to come to Him for comfort and succour, salvation and eternal life! But unfortunately it is a job that can also entail severe repercussions. That’s why Jesus warned the disciples, and has the same warning for us.

‘But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues. And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against (to) them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought (do not worry about) how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you, in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, ye shall not have gone over (through) the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.’ (Matt.10:17-23)

Oh my fellow believers, working for Jesus can indeed be a dangerous job. All the stuff that Jesus spoke about befell the disciples. They suffered serious persecution on Jesus’ behalf, and so will we, possibly not to the death, as they did, and some are still experiencing in some parts of the world, but serious enough to cause us to consider our options.

But when times do get rough, just remember Jesus’ advice: ‘Don’t worry about what you’ll say, for the Holy Spirit will tell you what to say.’ Yes Friends, the Holy Spirit is our guide and director, and He will not leave us helpless and defenceless when we stand up strong for Jesus!

And then we come to the most important part of His message; that those who endured, who withstood the trials and tribulations in His name would be saved. And all God’s children shouted a lusty ‘Glory Hallelujah! Blessed is the Lamb that was slain for us!’

Yeh mih people, we can shout all sorts of niceties now, but when the time of persecution comes, will we still sing that song? For all our sakes, I do hope so. It’s just that in these spoiled, selfish and easy living times, most of us have lost our belly and backbone, and cave in and give up under the smallest of trials.

But remember too, that we’ve promised that this year of 2015 will be one in which we will rise, without fear and anxiety, to each and every occasion to promote Jesus and His lifestyle.

Now let’s take a gander at some explanations of the scholars for those verses. ‘!0:17-22.  Take no thought means “Do not be anxious.” (See Mark 13:9-13; Luke 12:11-12). It shall be given you promises that the inner prompting of the Holy Spirit would tell them what to say in each situation they would face.

For my name’s sake: They would endure great persecution because of their identification with Jesus Christ. But he that endureth to the end shall be saved is a promise of perseverance, not a teaching that salvation may be lost. Rather, it indicates that those who are truly saved will indeed endure to the end.’

And that’s the gospel truth my people! If we persevere to the end, great shall be our rewards in heaven!

And I want to close with a very true and enlightening quote that’s rather appropriate to our situation. It’s attributed to Margaret Mead (1901-1978), the world renowned American anthropologist. And it says: ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.’

And she doesn’t lie Friends, for look at what a small group of twelve men started. It changed the world! And we are proud and grateful recipients of their commitment. Now let’s go out and do likewise, even though we Christians are in the minority, for with Jesus in the mix, anything and everything is possible. Much LOVE!

…today is all we have…so let’s use it wisely…

 

 

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