Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 February 2021 Matthew 5:12.

Matthew 5:12.     ​Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Oh friends, this lazy, hazy, bleak looking Saturday morning in the winter of 2021 has begun a tad rough on the ole fella. (smile) Ah the pleasures of a late night…but the travesty of an early morning. But as the ole people would say, when you do not listen you will feel, and believe me, I am feeling now. (smile) But that’s neither here nor there, God’s work needs to be done, and I know that He will give me the strength and wisdom to do it in a good and sound manner. Why? Because He has faithfully promised: ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ (2 Cor. 12:9a) 

Yes friends, that’s what the Lord told Bruh Paul after he had complained for the third time about a nagging and uncomfortable body problem. And that’s the promise He makes to all of us who are weak and pained; in our pain and weakness His strength and glory are shown forth. Please remember that in those times when you feel weak and in pain; the Lord’s grace will show out in you if you turn to Him in all sincerity. Enough preaching now though. And I know you’re thankful for that. (smile) 

Let’s see what our friend Anselm had to say in his quotes this past week. And the first one, makes this dramatic statement. ‘Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.’ Now that statement does have a lot of truth in it, but whether it’s the greatest enemy of truth, I don’t know. And we do have an exceptionally good recent example of it; the crowds of Americans who listened to the lying and deceitful rhetoric of Donald Trump and the other high up, powerful but oh so deceitful crooks around him, and blindly believed in the lies and deceits they so blatantly spouted. That is what has caused the wide, unamicable split, the hateful and resentful division we now have in the U.S. of A. 

So blind belief in authority does carry serious negative problems to overall truth. And the second quote proudly proclaims: ‘Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.’ And you really can’t find any problems with that statement nuh my people, for it’s totally true. All those characteristics are choices that one must make if you want to embrace them. 

And furthermore, they are all characteristics that the believer in Jesus Christ ought to espouse, because they are all a part of his philosophy, a part of His wonderful gospel! That means choices are an invaluable part of our life, we can’t get away from them, but the essence of the whole thing is that we must be sure to choose wisely, for unwise decisions usually cause, or bring dire consequences, even life-changing, lifetime ones. And having said that, I would be amiss not to tell us that the best choice we can ever make in this life is to believe in Jesus Christ, make him our Lord and Saviour and follow him from now until eternity! 

And interestingly enough, that last quote segues nicely into this next one. ‘When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth my fellow saints in Christ! Although we know that when the Lord closes one door He usually opens another, we get so caught up in what we might have lost, that we fail to realize and recognize the better things that the Lord is offering in the new situation. 

I guess that’s just a normal human reflex action. We miss the good things we lose, more than we look forward to the better things that are ahead. But let’s not beat up ourselves over that fact nuh because mourning and grief over the lost all takes time. But we do have to make sure that we don’t make that sad time too long since it would just break us up even further. Remember the Lord doesn’t close doors on us, unless he has better ones to open. And when those doors close in future, let’s contemplate the promise He made to His people, Israel, through the prophet Isaiah so long ago; ‘to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.’ (Is: 61:3) 

But as sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say, ‘You can’t get the beauty until you give up the ashes.’ And that’s oh so true. We have to turn away from the closed door, though it may be sad and hard, else we’ll never see the newly opened one. It’s all a matter of maturity, of growing in God’s Spirit, of being lifted up from glory to glory! 

And the last quote trumpets this eternal truth: ‘Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.’ And yes, that’s an indisputable fact! If mankind would only change its evil, wicked, inhumane and unjust ways, this world would be such a wonderful place! But I guess that’s never going to happen, at least until Jesus sets up His kingdom here on earth. 

In the meanwhile though, He expects his faithful and sincere followers to exhibit those magnificent tendencies of truth, compassion, honesty and justice, and to stand up forcefully against the powers of greed, inhumanity, injustice and all the other negative things that make life so difficult for so much of mankind. And I believe the best way to close today is with some memorable words of Jesus taken from His Sermon on the Mount., the opening of His earthly ministry. 

And it’s worthwhile to note that He began with the Beatitudes, statements that the scholars explain ‘deal with the inner state of mind and heart that is the indispensable absolute truth of true Christian discipleship. It delineates the outward manifestations of character and conduct of true believers and genuine disciples… It’s a life of grace and glory, which comes from God alone.’ 

So let’s listen to these last few Beatitudes. ‘Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matt. 5:9-12) 

Oh friends, it is tough living for Jesus, but oh so rewarding. Hear the scholars as they explain just why living for Jesus is the most glorious thing we can do in this life. ‘5:12. Rejoice is the command that grows out of the blessedness of the believer. The phrase “Rejoice and be exceeding glad,” means even more, exult (triumph, jubilation)! Great is your reward in heaven focusses attention on the eternal destiny of all things. If God is as real as He claims, if the Bible is true, if heaven is to be gained, then no temporary earthly trouble or persecution can dispossess the child of God of joy in the prospect of the eternal glory that lies ahead.’ 

Let’s think on that nuh this Saturday my precious people. Much LOVE!

…blessed are those who believe in Jesus…and follow His example… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 September 2020 2 Corinthians 12:9a.

2 Corinthians 12:9a.     ​And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness (weaknesses).

Oh friends, the old fella is feeling somewhat ‘achy, breaky’ this Monday morning in soul, body and mind. Hn! That means his mental acuity is not up to scratch and thus he is devoid of any wise and encouraging words at this present time. (smile) But don’t despair, for the Lord our wonderful God is near – He always is – and in His time, He will fill me with guidance and direction as to what wonderful, LOVING sentiments He desires me to convey to you all today. (smile) 

Yeh mih people, the ole fella shaking it a tad rough this morning, lack of enough rest I believe, but we not giving up, we soldiering on because we have Christ with us to enable us with His strength and grace…. Oh mih bredrin ah just got the zeppo I was waiting for…Glory be! 

Yuh see I wasn’t lying when I said that the Lord would eventually tell me what He wanted me to talk about today. And He just did that – today’s topic mirrors my present predicament; tiredness, a kind of weakness of body, soul and spirit that causes unavoidable dependence on God’s grace and mercy. And one of the best examples of that in the scripture is Bruh Paul’s conversation with the Lord about removing ‘the thorn in his flesh.’ 

As he puts it in his first letter to the Corinthians. ‘And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet (beat) me, lest I should be exalted above measure.’ (2 Cor. 12:7) 

Yeh friends, Bruh Paul had some bodily or mental problem, no one knows for sure what it was, but it was painful (a thorn) and somewhat embarrassing, and he believed it was the devil’s doing, and it also prevented him from exalting himself, from glorying in his own strength and power, because of the amazing revelations that the Lord had showed him. 

And he further explains: ‘For this thing I besought (pleaded with) the Lord thrice (three times), that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness (weaknesses).’ (2 Cor. 12:8-9a) 

What a bam-bam mih people! But it’s the same thing that the Lord is saying to us today, and what He just demonstrated in my life, and has done so often over the thirteen years that I’ve been writing the Bit. I’m trying to do His work, I didn’t ask Him for it, He offered it to me, against my wish (smile), so He keeps on showing His faithfulness, never leaves me in the lurch. 

But that doesn’t mean to say it’s always easy. No sir! Sometimes he makes me work very hard to find out what I need or want to say. But in the end, He always comes through. That’s why I can testify to His awesome faithfulness and the fact that He never gives you something to do without giving you the wherewithal, the anointing to do it. 

But getting back to Bruh Paul, as a result of God’s proclamation, about His ‘strength is made perfect in weakness,’ he then declares (yehhh!) ‘Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities (weaknesses), that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.’ (2 Cor. 12:9b-10) 

Oh friends, ah sorry, but I haven’t reached Bruh Paul’s level yet nuh! I can’t say I take pleasure in those things – don’t know if I’ll ever say so – but I know that I can stand strong and handle them with God’s help because I’ve been doing it, the pleasure part though, that’s a different story. (smile) So all it means is that when we are weak, not up to scratch, it’s the opportune time for God to show up and demonstrate His might on our behalf. Look how often He did it for Bruh Paul, through all the trials and tribulations He allowed Him to go through. So He’ll do it for all His people, if we’ll just believe and have faith in His word and His promises. 

And Peter offers an interesting statement, re being good stewards of God’s grace. ‘If ye be so 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.’ (1 Pet. 4:14) Yeh friends, when you suffer for Christ, you are blessed. 

As Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, in the Beatitudes: ‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matt. 5:11-12) Yeh precious people, I know that’s easier said than done, but with Jesus’ strength, power and authority, we can do it. 

So let’s go home now offering up our Monday Battle Hymn to Almighty God, asking for His divine help to do what needs to be done. All together now, in confident voice, but humble heart. ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive and standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. 

We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the natural disasters like storms, famine, drought, plagues, climate change, wildfires, earthquakes and erupting volcanoes that suddenly seem to be blossoming more and more as time goes by. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction to bring our problems under control. 

And for those who are currently suffering from the many negative situations, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. Father, please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

And as always, sincerity ought to lead to action. So what we waiting for eh? Much LOVE!

…the weakness of God…is stronger than men… (1 (Cor. 1:25a)  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 August 2015 Hebrews 10:35

Hebrews 10:35.   Cast not therefore away your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.

Oh Friends, oh Friends, it’s Monday! Yes, Monday, the first day of this new workweek! Glory Hallelujah! So let’s rise and shine and greet it with a grateful and joyful spirit nuh! It’s our Christian heritage you know. Remember Jesus sacrificed His sinless life in part so that we could have a vibrant and abundant one ourselves. And there’s no knowing what wonderful things and situations our magnificent and magnanimous God has in store for us today. 

Wow! Let’s get excited nuh my people! Oh I know that Job wisely said that we can’t have good without bad, (Job 2:10) but today, and everyday hence, we must be positive and believe that the good, whatever it may be, will certainly outweigh the bad. Glory to God! 

And with all that passion and enthusiasm for Jesus bubbling up in us, let’s give the earth…and the heavens too, a rousing and most awesome rendition of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

All together now:  ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh mih breddren, mih breddren, that was beautiful; magnifico, tres magnifique! – couldn’t get in the accents (smile). We were so into it, so sincere and true that tears of joy were flowing down Jesus, our choir director’s cheeks, as our passion was contagious, and He in turn wielded a tantalizing baton to direct us. 

Oh Friends, the angels… in fact all of heaven was eventually singing along with us, including the Father. And they all stood up afterwards and clapped for an encore! What a wonderful way to begin our day my brethren! Heaven’s on our side, and thus everything is right with our world! 

Now if we could only package that enthusiasm and emotion for Jesus and distribute it all over the earth, then there would certainly be great improvement all around. Jesus’ LOVE Revolution then would be in full swing. But unfortunately, the reality is that we cannot simply package it and send it off. Somewhere along the line we also have to live it, and let others see the passion in our souls. 

For remember that actions usually speak louder than words, and people are most likely to do as we do, rather than as we say. If I remember correctly, ‘examples speak more forcibly than precepts (words),’ is how the author of the novel Joseph Andrews puts it. That brings us to the intriguing and encouraging words of our Bit. ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.’ 

Yes Friends, in this earthly life, this pilgrim’s journey, one of the most important things we have to do is to stay confident in the faith, the belief and promises of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It’s not always easy, especially with the enemy and his evil minions constantly breathing down our necks and whispering foolish lies and deceits in our ears. 

But as the author of Hebrews continues after our Bit: ‘For ye have need of patience (perseverance, endurance), that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb. 10:36) Yes my people, our faithful God will not fail to reward us for the sincere work we’ve done in His name. 

The author of Hebrews also addressed that problem earlier on in the chapter. ‘Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering: (for he is faithful that promised :)’ (Heb.10:23) Those are certainly words to live by my fellow believers. It’s even better than money in the bank! (smile) 

Jesus even spelled it out for us in the Sermon on the Mount. ‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matt.5:11-12) 

And the scholars have a great explanation of that verse. ‘5:12. Rejoice is the command that grows out of the blessedness of the believer. The phrase, ‘Rejoice, and be exceeding glad means even more, exult! Great is your reward in heaven focuses attention on the eternal destiny of all things. If God is as real as He claims, if the Bible is true, if heaven is to be gained, then no temporary earthly trouble or persecution can dispossess the child of God of joy in the prospect of the eternal glory that lies ahead.’ 

Wow! What powerful words! And we all know that there are no ifs and buts, doubts and questions about Jesus, heaven, salvation and eternal life. They are for real. So people, let’s do the wise thing nuh and Rejoice… be exceedingly glad, exult, for that is the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…true believers in Jesus…should be the most exultant lot on God’s planet earth…because of the reality and blessedness…of salvation and eternal life…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 November 2013 Matthew 5:12

 Matthew 5:12. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
 
Oh Friends, do you realize that in a mere 2 months we’ll be into the new year of 2014? This year of 2013 has really passed by quickly, and today I’m asking us to check on how we’ve done on the main New Year’s Resolution we made back in January; the promise to walk more closely and sincerely with Jesus than we did before. I’ve also been encouraging us to reflect on it every month rather than at the end of the year. That way we have time to catch up on and/or make amends to any aspect(s) on which we we’ve been lagging. 
 
And what about the resolution we made last week eh; the one to try and change the world a little bit everyday? Have we been doing anything about that? I surely hope so. And if you have, then you’re also working on the first one, because making a positive difference in this crazy, troubled world everyday, is indeed walking closer with Christ, since that’s exactly what He did, and also desires of us.
 
Anyway, your reactions and answers to those questions above are between you and our heavenly Father. I am just the messenger, so please don’t shoot me. (smile)
 
And today we’ve come to the last part of the Sermon on the Mount that deals particularly with the Beatitudes. Today’s Bit: ‘Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you,’ follows from yesterday’s.
 
That Beatitude informed us: ‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.’ (Matt.5:11) And we saw how many believers are being persecuted, even unto death, for just believing in Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.
 
Now none of that is easy my people, but Jesus is telling us that we should rejoice and be exceedingly happy when we’re persecuted for following Him. Why? Because our reward for standing steadfast and strong in faith down here on earth, will be great in heaven; also that’s how the heathen and false believers persecuted the prophets that came before us. 
 
Now that last part is certainly true as the Good Book records all the persecution the early prophets endured, including Jesus, and the general church after that. But Friends, standing strong in the face of persecution, especially if and when it’s unfair, is definitely not that easy. And the promised rewards way up in heaven at some later date, doesn’t make it any easier for most of us, because we’re still living by sight and not by faith as we ought to.
 
It’s only when we have a real strong, steadfast and mature faith in Christ, will we be able to truly consider those rewards in heaven, against the persecution here on earth. And that can only come with time, constant communication with Almighty God, delving deeply into His Word, writing it indelibly in our souls, then trying to live by it.
 
And Friends, we’re so lucky out here in the Western world to be able to freely worship the ONE TRUE GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob without any fear of serious repercussions, but many others in distant lands are not so fortunate. And please, please, I sincerely implore us not to get too lost in that freedom which we now take for granted, because if you haven’t noticed, it’s being slowly eroded by the evil powers that be.
 
At this juncture in our evolution, the LOVE Revolution, we need to stand up even firmer and stronger against the forces of evil, so that we don’t lose what our forefathers gave their very lives for; the right to worship in freedom and peace. And that’s no joke Friends, because more and more everyday, prayer and God are being removed from schools and public places.
 
Therefore it’s imperative that we stop being as complacent as we are about it, and instead be very vigilant and pro-active if we don’t want to lose those rights. For remember, whatever freedom that’s been won, can always be taken away, and the evil minions of Lucifer are just chomping at the bit to take away our freedom to worship.
 
Now listen to the scholars’ interesting take on our Bit. ‘5:12. Rejoice is the command that grows out of the blessedness of the believer. The phrase, ‘Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad’ means even more, exult! Great is your reward in heaven focuses attention on the eternal destiny of all things. If God is as real as He claims, if the Bible is true, if heaven is to be gained, then no temporary earthly trouble or persecution can dispossess the child of God of joy in the prospect of the eternal glory that lies ahead.’
 
And that’s gospel truth my brethren! But as we’ve said above, it won’t just happen automatically, we have to work seriously and consciously on it.
 
Now I have some scriptures to share, but they’ll make the Bit too long, so we’ll address them tomorrow, our great God in favour. In the meanwhile, please let’s concentrate on truly following Jesus, doing the things we know we ought to do, so that we can gain all those rewards laid up in heaven for us.
 
And may the Lord bless and keep us, cause His wonderful countenance to shine upon us, and give us His everlasting peace and divine wisdom, so that we can greatly glorify His Holy Name and further His glorious kingdom down here on this wicked, ungodly earth. Much LOVE!
 
…to successfully handle persecution…we must focus steadfastly on what Jesus has done for us…and on the heavenly rewards He’s promised…