Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 January 2020 John 14:1.

John 14:1.    ​Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
 
Well it’s Wednesday; the middle of the work week, the hump day, where we feel like we’ve finally gotten hold of, gotten over that invisible hump, where work takes up most of our time. But work certainly takes up most of our time in this life yes! Most of us work five days a week for an average of forty years, then we retire, thankful that there’s no work on the horizon, the early mornings and late nights are finally done! 

But yuh know what? After doing something for forty years it’s hard to get accustomed to not doing anything, to not have to get up and go to work every day, although we complained most days about having to get up and go to work! Hn! And if we just loll about in retirement and don’t keep busy, then our bodies give up and we head back to the dust from which we’ve come, sooner than expected. We’re creatures of habit. That’s the contrariness of the human animal! (smile) 

And I finally finished watching the second half of the movie ‘Gone with the Wind.’ And it is indeed an epic story. But if the truth be told, nothing has really changed in our world since then nuh; that civil  war didn’t solve a whole lot, possibly besides the end of slavery, because there have been several bigger and more brutal wars since then, there’s still too much racism, overt and covert, still too much avarice and greed and jealously and strife, too much poverty and sickness and advantage, too much injustice and discrimination, be it by race, colour, class or creed, despite all the supposed advances we’ve made! 

Yes friends, our world is still a hotbed of dissension and disagreement! And yuh know what? It’s getting worse! Just look around at all the discontent between friends and families, between neighbours and nations…we’ve come closer together in terms of distance and communication, but we’ve gotten further apart in terms of true fellowship. There are more lonely people around now even with the advent of cell phones and social media, because that communication is basically impersonal; half the time you don’t even know who you’re really dealing with. 

Oh my people, the ONLY true solution to what ails our world is JESUS! He is the ONLY ONE who can truly bring us all together and give us the peace, LOVE and joy that we all seem to clamour for, but are far from experiencing! But strangely enough, Jesus is also one of the biggest factors of contention in our world; you either LOVE Him or hate Him with a passion! 

But let me ask you a few questions? Who is the ONLY ONE that came down from heaven, was made man, made in our image and lived amongst us like us eh? JESUS CHRIST! Who is the ONLY ONE who died on a cross to take away our sins, to give us another option besides hellfire and damnation with Satan eh? JESUS CHRIST! Who is the ONLY ONE who died and rose from the grave and ascended back into heaven with the promise to come back for us when we have made disciples of all the nations so that nobody will be lost to Beelzebub eh? JESUS CHRIST! 

Oh precious people, who said these momentous words with this awesome promise? ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

Oh friends, Jesus had no cause to lie. They saw Him do numerous miracles. They saw Him crucified on the cross at Calvary, then rise up again. Yuh think if the early believers didn’t see Christ after He rose from the dead, they would have believed him and done what He asked and waited for Him? No way Jose! 

Hear the scholars: ‘14:1. Let not your heart be troubled refers to Peter, Jesus having just told him of his imminent denial of his Lord (13:38). But the larger reference is to all the apostles, through whom Jesus is going to lay the foundation of the church. His comfort also includes instruction about His departure, the sending of the Holy Spirit, the promise of spiritual power, of answered prayer, and of peace, but especially the promise of His return.’ And a great shout of ‘Praise the Lord!’ echoes far and wide across the land in anticipation of that most wonderful promise! 

Yes friends, Jesus is the ONLY ONE who desires to build a group of people, His church, on the basis of LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), meekness and temperance (self-control). And if you didn’t recognize them, they are the fruit of the Spirit, seeds of which are planted in our own spirit when we do the wise thing and receive Christ as our Lord and Saviour. It’s then left up to us to water and nurture them and let them grow in and through us, by reading His Word and sincerely living it. 

That’s why Jesus said: ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them,’ speaking of false prophets and evil deceivers. (Matt.7:20) A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, neither can a corrupt tree produce good fruit. And we need to also remember these famous words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians: ‘And now abideth faith, hope, charity (LOVE), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE).’ (1 Cor. 13:13). 

Yes brothers and sisters, LOVE is indeed the greatest, because God is LOVE, and LOVE does no harm, but covers a multitude of sins, neither is there any fear in LOVE! And if  God first LOVED us, then we should also LOVE Him, and LOVE one another too: those are His two greatest desires! And now that all of that is indelibly written in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, let’s go home celebrating our position in Christ by declaring (chuh!) our Wednesday Wail. 

Altogether now, in strong voice and sincere hearts: ‘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 in light of all Jesus has promised, friends, it will certainly be a glorious future indeed! Much LOVE!

…JESUS…the answer to EVERYTHING…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2020 Philippians 3:14.

Philippians 3:14.    ​I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
 
And on a rainy, somewhat gloomy looking Saturday morning, the urge to sleep in was irresistible, especially when the beddy-bye time was the wee hours of the morn. (smile) I was up late watching the epic movie ‘Gone with the Wind.’ And it has to be one of the best movies ever made, simply because of it’s scope, grandeur and length; 4 hours. It must have taken a long time to make since they didn’t have all the computer stuff and special effects back in 1939 when it was first released, that we have now. 

And it just shows the utter wastefulness of war; the civil war in the U.S, where the old South is fighting to keep a style of life that has outlived its usefulness, with slavery and the grand families, plantations and mansions of the time as its centre piece. However, by the time I got to the intermission, it was already 4 a.m. so I shut it down until another time. 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s see what mental goodies our friend Anselm sent us this week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I’m in a quandary here, not knowing where to begin and end, as each of the quotes seem to have real truth, substance and body to them. (smile) Ah, the best place to begin is always the beginning! And the first quote tells us: ‘Keep a good attitude and do the right thing even when it’s hard. When you do that you are passing the test. And God promises you your marked moments are on their way.’

 Now that’s ever so true my faithful brethren! It’s exactly what our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ expects from ALL His followers! It’s not easy to do, but with His help we can do it. That’s why He told us to not to indulge in an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth situation, to go the extra mile, to turn the other cheek, to give away our coat too, and to LOVE our enemies, bless them and pray for them.’ (Matt.5:38) That’s also why Bruh Paul told us not to recompense evil with evil, but to overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:17, 21) 

And that runs right into the next dandy of a quote: ‘There is nothing better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time.’ Ah friends, none of us like adversity, but unfortunately that’s the only way we grow in our faith walk and learn from our mistakes. It’s only when we go through rough times that we actually have to use our faith to help us get through them. Otherwise our faith just sits dormant and thus cannot grow. 

Look at all the great people of faith, they all went through tough times, especially Jesus! Yuh think He really wanted to go though all the rejection and ‘sufferation’ He endured? Not really, but it was all a learning curve, so that He could be strong enough to endure the cross! And please remember His most reassuring and encouraging words: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Precious people of Christ, those are words we should have written deep in our souls so that we can use them when adversity comes a calling, as it invariably will during our earthly sojourn. 

Then there are also these awesome words of wisdom: ‘Don’t be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn’t do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today.’ Yes friends, none of us began our lives as wise as we now are. That’s because true wisdom comes with age and experience. So we don’t need to knock the young as much or as hard as we sometimes do, for hopefully they too will get wise with age and experience. 

Remember Jesus words: ‘Judge (condemn) not, that ye be not judged (condemned). For with what judgement (condemnation) ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured to you again’ (Matt.7:1-2) Oh my people, if our current, oh so quick to judge and judgemental world would only adopt that teaching eh! Unfortunately it doesn’t like that’s going to happen at any time soon, because we’re all so engrossed on judging each other; just look at the foolishness that’s going unhindered on the social media platforms nuh. Some of us with the biggest planks in our eyes are daring to judge those with mere specks in theirs!  (Matt.7:3-5) 

Now here’s the piece de resistance (smile): ‘Let go of yesterday. Let today be a new beginning and be the best that you can, and you’ll get to where God wants you to be.’ And we all know that as gospel truth because we serve a God of new beginnings, new chances and starting over as often as is necessary. That’s why Bruh Paul admitted to the church at Philippi: ‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended (reached where I want to be, the ultimate pinnacle): but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:13-14) 

Yes friends, Bruh Paul didn’t think he was a hot shot, although he could boast about many things, his religious credentials and past Christian achievements. As the scholars say: ‘In ever pursuing his goal to know Christ (v.10), he refuses to let past guilt pull him down, or to rest on past laurels. Either could spell spiritual disaster. Those things which are before refers to his goal of knowing Christ, with all that implies: experiencing His power and participating in His suffering, becoming more like Him in death (v.10), and experiencing the resurrected life (v.11).’ 

And so should we be evermore focused on what’s coming up and not what’s gone before. Hear the scholars: ‘3:14. The mark is the objective of verses 10 and 11 (i.e. knowing Christ). The prize is the joyful personal satisfaction of having attained it, as well as the divine commendation and reward to be granted in heaven for having reached this goal on earth. The high calling of God is the divine summons extended to the believer for salvation.’ 

Oh my people, my people, this Saturday morning I sincerely implore us to be wise and diligently seek that mark, that objective of knowing Christ and the power of His resurrection, so that we can all eventually receive the wonderful heavenly prize given to those who have received and accepted the divine summons of salvation! Now that’s surely a Bruh Paulian sentence! (smile) And we can then declare like Bruh Paul: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.’ (2 Tim.4:7)  Much LOVE!

…Christians should always be looking forward to the ultimate prize…that of being with Christ in heaven…for eternity…