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 14 March 2018 Matthew 6:12.

Matthew 6:12.    And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Awright friends and faithful followers of Jesus Christ, we’ve been blessed with another day on God’s great earth! So let’s take advantage of it nuh, because we don’t know how many more we will be blessed with, if any, and let’s open today by declaring like the psalmist did so long ago: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) 

Wow! What a positive opening statement friends! That sets the tone for the rest of our day. We have the opportunity now to go out and enjoy God’s favour; His mercy, grace, LOVE and forgiveness as we work with diligence and excellence to do His awesome, holy will. 

Mama Mia! It couldn’t get any better than that in this sinful and wicked world nuh mih people! Living under Christ’s umbrella is the best antidote for all that ails the world and us. 

And I have a li’l something to share from C.S. Lewis that describes our Christian walk. He says: ‘To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! God has forgiven us so greatly that it’s only reasonable and to be expected that we forgive others. 

And you know what friends? That isn’t even an individual choice we have, because our Lord and Saviour, Our Leader and heavenly King, Jesus Christ enshrined it as a decree in what is commonly known as the Lord’s Prayer, as our Bit declares: ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ 

Now what does that mean? The scholar’s offer this explanation: ‘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.’  

A good thing too, else some of us would still be confessing. (smile) And why is forgiveness so important you wonder? Well Jesus explains a couple of verses later. ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.12:14-15) 

It’s as simple as that my brethren! Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Don’t forgive, and you won’t be forgiven. As the old people would say, ‘tit for tat.’ And would you believe, that in spite of Christ’s serious warning, forgiveness is currently one of the world’s biggest problems? And not only on the small, individual scale, but also on the large national stage. 

What do you think is causing so many small wars and skirmishes to continue to flower and flourish all over the world eh? Memories of wars and other atrocities committed by long ago descendants. But the current ones have not forgotten or forgiven, so the anger, bitterness and hatred continue, unfortunately festering the souls of legions of people who had nothing to do with the initial atrocities. 

Just look at the distrust and angst between the Japanese, Koreans and Chinese that now plays out in international affairs because of the way the Japanese ravaged the Chinese and Koreans in the recent wars. It’s the same thing in the Middle East. Thousands of years have passed and old wounds are still festering. Look at Britain, with Wales, Scotland and Ireland; the same thing is happening. 

Old injuries and slights are still playing a vibrant part in today’s scenarios. And we won’t even talk about what’s happening with the individual members of our society. Forgiveness is anathema; repugnant and odious to so many of us, as we scurry through the rat race, the dog eat dog scene that’s today’s world. 

We’re only interested in our own aggrandizement, and anyone that gets in our way, too bad for them. We want to be forgiven, but we refuse to forgive. And if yuh think that forgiving is a one-time deal, you better had think again. For when Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother ‘till seven times?’ Jesus replied: ‘I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but until seventy times seven.’ (Matt.18:21-22) 

So friends, forgiveness is an ongoing action. It never stops. Once there has been an infraction, there needs to be forgiveness. And the sad part of the matter is that forgiveness isn’t so much for the other person, but for you the forgiver. It releases your spirit from anger and bitterness and all the other negative emotions that clutter up your soul when you refuse to forgive. 

Oftimes the person who you think has done you wrong, doesn’t even know it, or care, and goes on about their business regardless, while you hold all the unforgiveness in your heart. You are the one who’s suffering because you refuse to let go of the wrong. That’s not a very wise way to live my brethren. So please, let’s raise our level of forgiveness, and see how it raises the level of the remainder of our life nuh. 

Now let’s go home shouting out to the world, our position in Jesus Christ through our Wednesday Wail. Altogether now.  ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And oh, how glorious indeed, will be that future with Jesus! I cant wait to experience it! Much LOVE!

…to forgive, forgive…and yet to forgive…that’s the message of Christ…and His cross…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 August 2017 Jeremiah 7:23.

Jeremiah 7:23.   But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.

Oh friends, I looked out my bedroom window when I got up a while ago and was pleasantly greeted by a riot of colour in my backyard garden! 

Wow! The duchess’ green thumb is certainly on display with a profusion of red, green, yellow, pink, purple and white flora flourishing in the sunshine! 

Oh how I wish that our Christian faith could be flourishing as well as those flowers. But unfortunately it’s not. What with our numerous divisions and petty differences and stubborn refusal to come together, plus the ardent work of the evil enemy, our faith seems to be floundering some, with the enemy’s evil kingdom in the ascendancy right now. 

And all I can realistically do is call upon us, who read the Bit to energize ourselves, get truly serious about the spreading the gospel of Jesus and encourage those around us to do the same, if we want our faith to grow instead of falter and eventually die. For that’s exactly what it will come to if we continue our less than stellar efforts to advance it.

Each of us has to do our part in our little enclave of the world to bring it all together. That’s the desire of our Lord and Saviour, our venerable Leader Jesus Christ. 

Now here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin which exemplifies what we’re talking about. It’s titled, ‘I Stake My Life.’ 

Let’s pray: ‘I stake my life totally Completely Permanently On the integrity of Jesus. Lord, Your integrity means You will do all You promised. You will see me through Every fiery furnace Every tempestuous storm. If not, Dear God Then nothing in this life Makes any sense whatever. Your part is to perform what You promised. My part is to trust and obey.’ 

Now that says it all my fellow believers! And the Lord IS doing His part, keeping His promises. However we ARE NOT doing ours, trusting and obeying, to the best of our ability, that’s why our lives and our faith are sub-par, not as flourishing as they could and should be. 

And the Bible Promise for that poem, our Bit for today, is ever so appropriate. ‘But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.’ 

Ah mih breddren, it’s obvious we’re not fully obeying the command of our God, otherwise our lives and our societies and nations and world would not be in such a strife-filled and stressful mess. 

It’s obvious that we’re doing like the Lord said the Israelites did. ‘But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination (stubbornness) of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.’ (Jer.7:24) 

Oh my fellow believers, can’t we see that we’re going backward and not forward with the elevation of the enemy in most walks of our lives? I believe, that as Christians we’ve become too comfortable and satisfied with the status quo. We’ve come to value the easy life and the pursuit of worldly things more than the pursuit of God’s righteousness. 

Our world is currently so full of distractions, and we’ve become so soft and flabby and fearful in our mental and emotional beings that the enemy finds it quite easy to draw us away from the things of God. 

Can you imagine God’s heartache as He desires so greatly to commune with us, His covenant people, but finds that we don’t seem interested in communing with Him? 

And as the Lord further instructed Jeremiah: ‘But thou shalt say unto them, This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the Lord their God, nor receiveth correction (instruction): truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.’ (Jer.7:28) 

How abysmally sad that is my people, but it is the absolute truth concerning this society, where truth has fallen by the wayside, been made a mockery of, with foolish and foppish celebrations of all kinds and levels of truth. 

Steups! How can there be more than one kind of truth eh people? Truth is simply truth! Or else it’s false! Something is either true, or it is not. 

And this last word from Jeremiah which describes our current society to a ‘T.’ ‘And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the Lord.’ (Jer.9:3) 

Ah friends, can we begin being valiant for the truth? It will warm the cockles of God’s heart so much, that He’ll increase the blessings that He’s already bestowed on us, if that is at all possible. 

Remember friends, it’s ALL FOR OUR BENEFIT, not the Lord’s! And let’s sincerely ponder and consider all that we’ve said today as we go home declaring our bountiful Thursday Blessings. 

‘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!’ 

And since blessings are meant to be shared, let’s go out and share them most generously with others, like the Lord did with us nuh, for that’s our bounden duty. Much LOVE!

…in God’s society…when we obey…we prosper…