Today​’s Scrip-Bit 19 March 2019 Matthew 6:19.

Matthew 6:19.   ​Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal:
 
Ah friends, what a shock it is to the system when one gets up and sees your whole area clothed in white! Hn! Especially after the warm weather of the past week has conditioned one’s mind – falsely it would seem – to believe that all that white stuff business was a thing of the past and the distant future of next winter! But obviously that’s not so! 

And though it’s not a great amount of snow, no amount of snow at all is welcome! (smile) But since we’re such sturdy people, especially we believers, with plenty backbone and belly, we’ll just grin and move along as normal, what with the Lord providing ALL our needs through His riches in glory, through Jesus Christ our wonderful Lord and Saviour! 

And all God’s children loudly, proudly and gratefully declared (right ho): ‘All praise to the name of Jesus, the innocent Lamb of God who was slaughtered to pay for our abominable sins! Bless His holy name and worship sincerely at His cross!’ 

Oh my people, what would we have done without Jesus eh? I shudder at the very thought of not having all the wonderful stuff He has made available to us, and greatly desire to be able to make others understand what it all means; how if they don’t have Him in their lives, they’re totally lost, headed for hell and eternal damnation with the fallen evil angel Satan, and what that would mean for their eternal livelihood. 

But since the Lord in His eternal wisdom gave us free will, free will to choose whatever kind of life we want to live, it is an uphill battle to convince others to accept Jesus and leave the flashy, but empty and hell bent things of the world alone. 

Oh, it’s not that Jesus doesn’t want us to have nice things and to be prosperous, otherwise He wouldn’t have made this telling statement: ‘The thief cometh not but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) 

Yes friends, Jesus died so that we could have life, a full and prosperous one, wisely living it in full communion with Him. Otherwise, what would be the purpose of His dying eh? The problem though, is that with our natural sinful nature, we tend to gravitate to the sinful, lustful things and treasures of the world. 

But hear how Jesus classified that stuff nuh: ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal:’ 

Ah mih people, truer and more sensible words were never spoken! And it doesn’t take a genius mentality to see that. All the things of the earth that we treasure at some stage either rot or can be destroyed, or stolen, and to make matters worse, when we die we can’t carry any of them with us. So why spend our earthly lives foolishly trying to amass treasures of the world eh? 

Instead, as Jesus so wisely proclaims: ‘But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:’ (Matt.6:20) Glory be my people! The treasures we need to accumulate are the ones that will not rot or be destroyed by insects or stolen…and the only treasures of that kind are found in heavenly places! 

That means to be wise, we have to concentrate on accumulating the heavenly kind of treasure, for as Jesus also mentioned: ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ Matt.6:21) And that’s the gospel truth my fellow believers! If we are concentrating on earthly treasures, then our hearts will be here on earth with them, but if heaven is our future destination, then out thoughts and efforts will be aligned with heavenly things. 

And it’s not like when we live for Jesus that we become poor and needy, but on the other hand all our needs are fulfilled. Listen to Jesus again: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

Oh my people, our wise and wonderful God knows that we need food, clothes, money and houses to live and He has faithfully promised that if we live for Him, keep Him first place in our lives, that all those things will be provided for us. As Bruh David so rightly says in Psalm 27 – The Lord is my light and my salvation. ‘I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.’ (Ps.27:13) 

Yeh friends, what’s the purpose of believing in the Lord if you don’t expect to see the things He’s promised eh? None whatsoever! And if you still don’t believe that you can get all things through Christ, then please remember who is still regarded as the richest and wisest man who ever lived… Cousin Sol! 

And why and how? Because he believed sincerely in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and asked for wisdom to rule his people, not wealth and long life, but our God is so wonderful and so magnanimous, that He also gave him those things in abundance, just like how Jesus died so that we can have life in abundance. 

Wow! I just hope all this makes a difference to somebody today! (smile) But for those of us who already sincerely believe, let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are! In strong voice and deep sense of purpose: 

‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Now let’s go out and share it all with those who don’t believe for that’s what Jesus desires of us! Much LOVE!

…when you live for Jesus…you live for eternity in heaven with Him…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 November 2018 Galatians 5:22-23.

Galatians 5:22-23.  But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.
 

Another wet morning, without even a hopeful ray of sunshine! Steups! But thankfully, there’s no precipitation currently descending from on high! (smile) Ah friends, the gloom persists, but as believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we have all we need to handle it. And to boot, we can also truthfully declare: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) 

And we would indeed be foolish if we did not enjoy this extra day the Lord has granted us on His great earth. And yes, every day we’re here is an extra day, so be wise and enjoy it and live obediently for Christ, do the work God has entrusted to you!

For we each have a purpose and a plan of God for this earthly life. Our God doesn’t move vie-ke-vie; in a careless, unplanned manner, so each day we’re down here means we still have work to do under His awesome, gracious, merciful and LOVING plan. So let’s get to it nuh! 

And it being Saturday, we will take a look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first quote says: ‘The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.’

And that’s oh so true! But unfortunately very few of us ever get to truly live the life of our dreams, because life is such a series of ups and downs, and none of us ever experience any downs in our dream life. (smile) 

The fact is that most of us have unreasonable dreams, and even with the reasonable ones, we’re not willing to work towards them. Now dreams are important in this life, but until we’re willing to action them, they will always remain dreams. 

 And the next quote tells us: ‘Live life to the fullest, and focus on the positive.’ Now that ought to be motto of the Christian believer! Christ said: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) What’s the point of having abundant life and not enjoying it to the fullest eh? It would only make Christ’s sacrifice a waste down. 

But to enjoy our lives, we also have to focus on the positive aspects, especially of Christ’s teaching, because the negative aspects of the world only beat and break us down. 

And the last quote says: ‘Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.’ Now that is gospel truth my brethren! In fact, death is not a loss of life at all, for believers it’s only a journey from one realm to the other, and even more importantly it’s from a short, finite and rough earthly life, to a long and glorious infinite eternal life. So we don’t suffer a loss of life at all, but move up to a higher, spiritual one. 

The problem is the stuff that dies inside of us while we’re living this earthly life. We’re talking about stuff like, hope, faith, joy, LOVE, mercy, forgiveness, empathy, self-control and self-discipline; the attributes of God we need to live a faithful and fruitful life; things we call the fruit of the Spirit.

Thus our Bit: ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ 

Yes my believing brethren, those are the things we want alive and well in all of us, so that we can live the life Jesus died for us to have, and to do His work. Unless those things are reigning in our lives we’ll be unable to live good, Christian, fruitful lives like Jesus desires of us.

The Holy Spirit of God dwells in each believer, and is there for the express purpose of leading and guiding us in God-filled lives. That means we have to follow the Spirit’s direction if we want to live successful Christian lives. 

As Bruh Paul so astutely continues: ‘And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (its passions). If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.’ (Gal.5:24-25) 

Now here are a few explanations from the scholars: ‘5:22-23. The word fruit is significant for three reasons (1) It means the result, product, outcome or effect produced by the Spirit in the believer’s life. (2) Unlike “the gifts of the Spirit” (plural), only some of which are given to a Christian, each believer is to have all nine virtues composing “the fruit of the Spirit” (singular). (3) As fruit on a tree takes time to grow and mature, so the spirit does not cultivate these virtues in the believer’s life overnight. 

LOVE is the willing, sacrificial giving of oneself for the benefit of another without thought of return. Joy is gladness of heart. Peace is tranquility of mind, freeing one from worry and fear. Long-suffering is patience with others, the opposite of a short temper, a disposition quietly bearing injury.

Gentleness is kindness. Goodness is generosity. Faith here is dependability. Meekness is gentleness, that is, courtesy and consideration in one’s relations with others. Temperance is self-control, that is, the ability to harness and control one’s passions and lusts.’ 

And there you have it friends, ‘the Fruit of the Spirit Lecture 101!’ (smile) Yes, I know it’s not easy to cultivate all those wonderful attributes, especially with the world on our back to do differently, but with the help of the Holy Spirit we can certainly work towards them and be fairly successful if we set our minds to it. 

Remember, as believers in Christ, we are done with carnal fleshly matters, and are supposed to live by the Spirit of Christ imbued in us. So let’s do that nuh, and consequently fulfill Bruh Paul’s desire: ‘Let us not be desirous of vain glory (conceited), provoking one another, envying one another.’ (Gal.5:26). Much LOVE!

…to grow good fruit…we have to sow good seed…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 August 2018 John 10:10b-11.

John 10:10b-11.   I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Awright my believing brethren, what shall we say about this day eh? ‘This is the day the Lord has made we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ And what else? That this is the Lord’s Day and we WILL go to His sanctuary to give Him much praise and thanks, to celebrate our blessed lives and fellowship with others of the same belief! 

We shall also listen to His Word, let it seep into our hearts and souls, and consequently have our spirits refilled with God’s LOVE through His Holy Spirit, so that we can walk tall and strong, proud and confident, when we depart from His sanctuary! And all God’s people said a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord!’ 

Yes friends, our God is indeed worthy to be praised! And there’s no better way to praise Him than in song: He enjoys it, and it brings the best out of us. And today’s song of praise is a favourite gospel song from a few years back, one we all know and LOVE; it’s simply but oh so meaningfully titled ‘Oh Happy Day!’ 

It was written by the gospel singer Edwin Hawkins, and first recorded by the Edwin Hawkins Singers. Unfortunately though, Edwin Hawkins died a few weeks ago, but in conjunction with his choir, he left the world a wonderful legacy in song. I also saw a wonderful rendition of it on You Tube by Ray Charles and the Voices of Jubilation choir. Oh, Ray was so worked up that on his way off the stage he stopped at least three times and did a Happy Day dance! 

So let’s open our hearts and mouths and allow our voices to soar to high heaven with these few simple but oh so meaningful words. Remember, half the beauty of the song is in its call and response style, so let’s call and respond in all sincerity and truth nuh, letting our magnificent and magnanimous God know how deep is our joy, in having the wonderful privilege of worshipping Him. Hn! I hope that makes sense. 

But anyway, enough talk, let’s sing: ‘Oh happy day (oh happy day) Oh happy day (oh happy day) When Jesus washed (when Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (when Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (when Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (oh happy day) 

Oh happy day (oh happy day) He taught me how to watch, fight and pray, fight and pray And live rejoicing every, everyday Oh happy day He taught me how to watch, fight and pray, fight and pray And live rejoicing every, everyday Oh happy day Oh happy day (oh happy day) Oh happy day (oh happy day).’ 

Oh my fellow believers, how could we not be ecstatic eh, when Jesus washed away our sins, cleansed us with the blood He shed on Calvary? He also taught us how to watch, to fight and pray and live rejoicing every day! Glory be! We’d be foolish and ungrateful if we didn’t appreciate His stellar and selfless efforts on our behalf. 

Just look at what our Bit says: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ And that’s exactly what Jesus did my brethren! He gave His life so that we could enjoy abundant living in concert with the Father; redeemed, made righteous once again, with salvation and eternal life the end benefits. 

That means Christians ought to be the happiest people on Planet Earth…and show it in our behaviour too. For why would anyone want to come to Jesus if we claim to have so much wonderful stuff when we believe in Him, but our attitudes and demeanour are sour and miserable and definitely don’t reflect the joy we talk about so much eh? 

If our everyday lives aren’t filled with hope, happiness and heavenly thoughts and longing then we’re not true believers and/or Jesus sacrificed His sinless life in vain. Please friends, let that not be the case, because it would break both the Father and Jesus’ hearts. 

So please let’s make every day a happy day nuh; watching for His promised return; fighting the many evil enemies who want to discredit Him and turn us away. But they don’t know that when we get on our knees, both literally and figuratively, and pray to the Father in His name that the battle is as good as won! Glory Hallelujah! 

And with all of that good stuff, the rejoicing just comes naturally. Ah mih people, we have so much to look forward to when we sincerely make Jesus our Lord and Saviour. And when our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, then we’re sealed forever as a child of God, our bonds are so ironclad that nothing, or no one can ever break them. That’s how powerful association with the Lord and His heavenly host is. 

So today, let’s step right up to the plate and hit the devil right out of the park for a large home run. That’ll show him to mess with Jesus’ people! Much LOVE!

…as a believer in Jesus…we’re promised joy for ever more…now who in their right senses would refuse that eh…