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 19 January 2018 Matthew 5:41.

Matthew 5:41.   And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain (two).

Aloha my beautiful brethren in Christ Jesus! Welcome to another day in the awesome service of our Lord and Saviour! The One who gave His sinless life on the cross so that we could be saved from eternal damnation! How good it is to do time with Him; to have Him lead and guide us on this confusing earthly journey. 

Remember, He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, so He must know more than us re handling life’s problems. (smile) And for those of us who wisely surrender our lives to Him, He tends us like a kind and LOVING shepherd does his sheep; meeting all their needs, keeping them safe from harm, then taking them home to live with Him for ever. 

Oh glory to God my people for the Prince of Peace, our High Priest and heavenly Advocate, Jesus Christ! 

And since we’re talking about life, let me share a quote on the subject, attributed to one Kyle Crichton. There are several Kyle Crichton’s around, but I believe this came from the one who lived between 1896 and 1960, a playwright, author and screenwriter in the U.S. 

And he said: ‘Life’s a pretty precious and wonderful thing. You can’t sit down and let it lap around you…you have to plunge into it, you have to dive through it.’ And that’s the awesome truth friends! We only have one life to live, and wisdom dictates that we enjoy it, even though it might be difficult. 

One thing is for sure, you can’t allow life to run you, otherwise it will take serious advantage of you. You have to run life, in concert with Jesus Christ of course! Life is a bully boy, and you know how bully boys behave if you allow them to control you. 

That’s why you have to admire the ordinary workingman when he declares his Friday song. ‘TGIF Thank God is Friday oui! Another week of slave labour done! And now the weekend is mine to do exactly as I please; behave drunk and disorderly or not, give way to my carnal desires or not. 

But it all depends on me, not on any chupid slave master. Granted the time short, but Glory to God, my time is mih own! Thank Him everlasting for the li’l weekends and them yes! Otherwise I don’t know how I’d manage nuh. The weekend’s here people, enjoy it to the last drop!’  

There is definitely enthusiasm for life in the workingman’s song! Although he is somewhat misguided, he doesn’t allow life to beat him down, he rises up against it, takes it by the scruff of the neck and uses it for his own purposes. That’s what we Christians are also called to do, but within certain boundaries laid down by our leader, Jesus Christ. 

So let’s sing our rebuttal song nuh, our Friday Chant, with much feeling and true sincerity. ‘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!’ 

Yeh friends, we are also to enjoy our weekend, but with a modicum of circumspection, renew our minds, bodies and souls, not give in to even more carnal living, so that come Monday, we’re just dragging and are too tired to perform our normal duties. For if we are too tired to do what we’re supposed to do, then how can we fulfill Jesus’ desire in our Bit eh? ‘And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain (two).’ 

Ah mih people, that’s just like our Jesus; always giving or doing more than is asked. And that’s how He wants us, His faithful followers to also behave. 

And the scholars explain thus: ‘5:41. In ancient times government agents were in a position to compel forced service upon a subjugated people. A Roman soldier, for example, could compel a Jewish native to carry his armour or materials for one mile. Jesus now states that if someone compels you to walk a mile, go with him twain. 

The believer is to be willing to “go the extra mile.” Doing double our duty not only proves our loyalty to human authority, but likewise proves the spiritual intention of our heart.’ 

Ah mih breddren, I have to laugh yes! Do double duty in our society? Hn! We don’t even want to do single duty, much less double. This is an age where the word ‘responsibility’ has apparently been removed from our vocabulary. No one wants to do anything much, except enjoy the good life; a life of ease and sloth and gossip and run around aimlessly, like chickens with our heads cut off. 

But as Christians, we are supposed to be different my fellow believers. We have to take our responsibility seriously, which doesn’t mean not enjoying our everyday lives, but simply keeping our eyes and ears open and doing what needs to be done in Jesus’ name. 

When we do that, it makes us right with Him, and glorifies our heavenly Father. That’s the ultimate in wisdom and common sense my brethren! Much LOVE!

…faithfully serving Jesus in this life…is the wonderful recipe for spending eternity with Him…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 September 2017 Matthew 5:41.

Matthew 5:41.   And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain (two).

Oh friends, autumn has begun with a bang in my area! On the first day, yesterday, the temperature was in the high twenties. And for the weekend, a heat warning has been advised by the Health Department because the temps will be in the thirties all weekend. Wow! Usually by this time the leaves would be brown and falling. 

And wonder of wonders, no little cyclones of leaves from my lane have begun spinning around my driveway as yet, as that’s where they all seem to gather in their death knell. Even when all my trees are bare, my driveway is full of them. But right now all the trees are still green, though we haven’t had any rain for at least a couple of weeks during the nice weather. 

Unfortunately, a lot of others can’t say the same thing because they have gone through devastating losses because of hurricanes, earthquakes or fires. Ah Lord eh! What’s causing all this sudden unusual disaster eh? Is it simply climate change, or God’s wrath on our sinful souls? Who knows? 

But the smart thing would be to try and improve our caretaking of the planet, and turn our eyes and hearts heavenward in repentance to our ever merciful and forgiving God. Those are the only two actions that make sense in these calamitous days my people. Anyway, all true Christians should be praying even more than before, and helping our unfortunate brethren in any way we can. 

Now since today is Saturday, let’s look at some quotes from our friend Anselm for this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this week they were all simple one-liners, like: ‘Upgrade your values.’ Now that should be always a priority in our lives, but the fact is that as we get more intelligent and prosperous, our standards are sadly falling. But who cares? Jesus does, as He expects diligence and excellence from ALL His followers. 

And Anselm also recommends: ‘Don’t stop working towards your dream.’ Now why would we want to do such a foolish thing eh, when working towards fulfilling them is exactly why God put dreams and desires in our hearts? We need to cherish them, hold them close to our hearts and make every effort for them to come true. And if they adhere to God’s law and will, they will eventually do so, but we do have to keep working diligently and enthusiastically towards them and never give up. 

And this quote is interesting. ‘Someone’s opinion is not your reality.’ So true! Ofttimes the opinions of others just don’t jive with what you are about. But please don’t just dismiss them offhandedly; learn to wisely consider those opinions, for sometimes they do contain a grain of truth or wisdom. (smile) 

And thus, you can also ‘Take full responsibility for your life.’ Now that quote brings forth a sarcastic chuckle, because we all know that in today’s world, shunning responsibility is the name of the game. It’s always everybody else’s fault but our own. It’s called the blame game: blame everybody else but ourselves. 

But then in the last quote, Anselm tells us that we should ‘Give more than you are paid for.’ Hn! Hn! Another no-no in this society! We don’t even want to do what we’re paid to do, much less to give more. Chuh! It’s ingrained in our work habits, to do as little as we can get away with; to take advantage of the benefits wherever we can. So doing extra is just very seldom an option in this modern day and age. 

But it was very important to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ as He talks about LOVING our enemies in the Sermon on the Mount, from which our Bit comes. ‘And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain (two).’ 

So friends, shirking our duty and not willing to give more than we are asked for does not fall into Jesus’ portfolio at all. He expects us ALWAYS to live up to our responsibility and to do and give more than we’re asked. That’s just another example of why, as Christians, we should not be following the dictates of the world. We must be in the world, but not be of the world. 

Now here’s an explanation of our Bit from the scholars. ‘5:41. In ancient times government agents were in a position to compel forced service upon a subjugated people. A Roman soldier, for example, could compel a Jewish native to carry his armour or materials for one mile. Jesus now states that if someone compels you to walk a mile, go with him twain. The believer is to be willing to “go the extra mile.” Doing double our duty not only proves our loyalty to human authority, but likewise proves the spiritual intention of our heart.’ 

Ah mih people, how many of us supposed Christians hold to that action eh? Not as many as should, for we insist on following the poor example of the world, because it’s so much easier, less challenging and less responsible too. But my brethren, as true believers, we should instead be following the outstanding example which Jesus set, and wants us to follow, even though it’s difficult and very challenging. 

Yes friends, Jesus is all about coming up higher in EVERY walk of life, and to be His sincere followers, we need to fashion ourselves after Him. Nothing else will do! Much LOVE!

…the tests and trials of this life…are God’s way of remaking us…into the image of Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 May 2017 Psalm 133:1.

Psalm 133:1.   Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

And then it was Saturday; beautiful spring time in the northern climes! Wow! We just can’t wait for summer to come, after experiencing those two days of summer weather this past week. 

Everybody was out in their shorts and shirtsleeves, walking, riding, the tops of the convertible cars down, with their hair blowing in the wind. I don’t think we’ll see as much of that today though, because it won’t be so warm. Today is shaping up to be a somewhat lazy, hazy day, at least hopefully for me, although I need to go and get some undecipherable noise on my chariot fixed. 

But however it turns out, since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of our friend Anselm’s recent quotes, which are always aimed at inspiring us for a better tomorrow. And this week they were short and pithy – to the point – forceful, clever – like: ‘Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.’ 

And there’s great truth in that simple statement, for success comes in many different forms, and not all of them add value to us or our society. So you can be a successful person, in the eyes of the world, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are valuable, especially in the eyes of Jesus. All the successful but evil people in this evil world aren’t valuable to Jesus or most of us, for in His realm, true value breeds success, not the other way around. 

And I like this quote. ‘Stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion.’ Oh friends, if more of us supposed Christians would only stop running down the money and the non-lasting wealth of the world, we’d not only be happier, but much more useful in service to Jesus. We run down the world’s riches, but we don’t have time to enjoy them. What we need more in these tough times is sincere passion; a desire to do good and not evil, to work diligently for Jesus rather than for Beelzebub! 

And this last quote is awesome. ‘If you are willing to do more than you are paid to do, eventually you will be paid to do more than you do.’ Words of biblical content my people! Jesus always inspired us to go the extra mile, to put our best foot forward, give more than we are asked, because in due time whatever we sow, we will reap in greater abundance. 

Unfortunately though, that idea of doing more than we’re paid to do has fallen on deaf ears. The treat today, is to do ever less than we’re paid to do, then smirk and think we’ve outsmarted our employer. Oh, we just might do that, but constantly robbing our employer of our paid time will certainly put our jobs in jeopardy. And remember, God is watching our every move, and if we Christians succumb to such fraudulent behaviour, we’ll definitely hear about it later from Him. 

So friends, it’s all to our betterment, if we live a useful, valuable and passionate Christian life. Not foolishly running down the things of the world, which don’t last anyway, and only cause us all kinds of worry and illness from the stress and strain of trying to acquire them. 

And all of that just leads to our wonderful Bit. ‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!’ And that’s the living truth my people! 

I don’t know, but something must be wrong with me yes, because I see others living in disunity and resentment and so much negative vibes around them and they seem to enjoy it, to flourish in it. Steups! I could never live so nuh. And as I’ve told my children many a time, if they ever live in such a sad state, I will come back and haunt them! (smile) That’s because there’s NO good reason for brethren, especially blood siblings, to live in continual disunity. 

Now let’s look at an instance in the Good Book pertaining to brethren not living in unity. And it has to do with Lot and Abraham, when their cattle herders were not getting along, because there was not enough land for all the cattle to feed equitably.

‘And Abraham said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.’ (Gen.13:8-9) 

Now doesn’t that make sense friends? It surely does! Why fight amongst each other, when there is ALWAYS some way to mitigate the negativity. We just have to want to badly enough. 

Now hear these words from Bruh Paul to the Romans. ‘Be kindly affectioned (affectionate) one to another with brotherly LOVE; in honour preferring one another (giving preference to another)… Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not (do not set your mind on) high things, but condescend to men (associate with men) of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits (estimation)… If it be possible, as much as lieth in (depends on) you, live peaceably with all men.’ (Rom.12:10, 16, 18) Such words of wisdom my brethren!

And we’ll close with these famous words from the author of Hebrews. ‘Let brotherly LOVE continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.’ (Heb.13:1-2)  

Yes friends, it’s all about living in unity…What else can it be about eh? Much LOVE!

…only in unity can our world ever hope to find peace…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 July 2015 Hebrews 10:23‏‏‏‏

Hebrews 10:23.    Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

Oh Friends, it’s Saturday; sleeping in time for some, but for many others household chores, shopping and looking after young children will possibly make their day more strenuous and tiresome than any of the five days they slog off to work outside the home.

But that’s the unfortunate contradiction of modern day society; we have more conveniences than at any other time in man’s history, which ought to make our lives easier and give us more leisure time, but paradoxically we are also busier and enjoy less free time than our forebears. For sure, life wasn’t as hectic even just one generation ago, but as we supposedly evolve to a higher standard of life, we seem to have less time for ourselves.

Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do about it overnight as a society, but as individuals we can surely scale back the busyness in our lives which is causing us more stress and anxiety and thus increasing mental deprivation and higher rates of suicide, especially among the young.

Ah Friends, contrarily, life is becoming more difficult for many as our civilization evolves and we have to try and manage it as best as we can in our own interest, not the interest of the world and the powers that be. We have to look after ourselves because no one else is looking after the ordinary man who makes up the bulk of the society.

But having said all that, I want to share a quote from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. (smile) And in this quote Anselm reminds us to; ‘Always render more and better service than is expected of you, no matter what your task may be.’

Now that may seem a bit harsh and unfair, but it is what Jesus advocated in the Sermon on the Mount. ‘And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain (two).’ (Matt.5:41)

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘5:41. In ancient times government agents were in a position to compel forced service upon a subjugated people.  A Roman soldier, for example, could compel a Jewish native to carry his armour or materials for one mile. Jesus now states that if someone compels you to walk a mile, go with him twain. The believer is to be willing to “go the extra mile.” Doing double our duty not only proves our loyalty to human authority, but likewise proves the spiritual intention of our heart.’

Oh my people, I know that many of you are chuckling and shaking your heads at that last sentence because numerous amounts of us nowadays don’t even want to do our simple, single duty, much more double. Hn! We have raised a generation that has no idea of, or use for the word ‘work-ethic.’ And that’s a sad mark on our resume as parents of this current generation.

But yuh know what Friends? We still have hope, we can still turn them around, both to come to Jesus, surrender their lives to Him and also find pride in doing good work. In fact we don’t have much of a choice if we intend to grow the LOVE Revolution of Jesus upon this wicked and ungodly world.

And one of the best ways to do that is by steadfastly and sincerely holding on to the words of our Bit, while working diligently to obtain our godly outcome. ‘Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised ;)’

For sure my brethren! When we stand strong in the Lord and ask for His help to accomplish worthwhile projects, He will faithfully lend us a hand. The Lord has made numerous promises down through the ages and He has kept every one of them, so why should He change now eh? No reason whatsoever, once we keep our half of the bargain.  

Now let’s look at some more scriptures which address our Bit. And here is an interesting one from Bruh Paul to Timothy. He’s talking here about being a good soldier of Jesus Christ. ‘If we suffer (endure), we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he will also deny us: If we believe not (are faithless), yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.’ (2 Tim.2:12-13)

Isn’t that wonderful Friends? Regardless of our faithfulness, our God is ALWAYS faithful, because that’s just His nature. Just like He can’t lie, or help being merciful, forgiving, LOVING and kind.

Meanwhile, Isaiah in the song of praise by the redeemed confidently proclaims: ‘O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsel of old are faithfulness and truth.’ (Is.25:1) Again we see God’s faithfulness recognized and lauded by men of great faith.

And in Psalm 89 – God’s sure promises to David, Ethan the Ezrahite also proclaims with great confidence. ‘I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. For I have said, Mercy (LOVING-kindness) shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens…. And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O Lord: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints… O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee?’ (Ps.89: 1-2,5, 8)  

And the answer to those last two questions my people is an emphatic ‘NOBODY!’

And we’ll end with these well-known words of Psalm 92 – Praises for the Lord’s goodness. ‘It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord; and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High: To show forth (declare) thy LOVING-kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night. Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery (lute or lyre); upon the harp with a solemn (harmonious or melodic) sound. For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands.’ (Ps.92:1-4)

Yes Friends, if the people of God did not see faithfulness in Him, none of the scriptures we’ve read over the last few days would ever have been written. Now let’s go out there without any doubts whatsoever in our hearts, re the faithfulness of our magnanimous and magnificent God, for that is heavenly wisdom!. Much LOVE!

…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.4:19)