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 18 July 2016 Philippians 1:12

Philippians 1:12.    But I would ye should understand, (want you to know) brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out (turned out) rather unto the furtherance of the gospel.

‘TGIM! TGIM! Thank God it’s Monday!’ the Christian workers joyfully declared. ‘Thank God it’s Monday and we get to go back out into the cruel and oppressive work world and win souls for Christ! What a glorious endeavour!’ 

Oh friends, that’s the stuff dreams are made of! And please note that our wise and wonderful Creator would not have given us the gift of imagination, the power to dream, if He hadn’t wanted us to use it. 

And we must not dream too small either. I read just recently, I believe it’s in one of Gramps Schuller’s devotions (Robert H. Schuller), where he said that if you could accomplish your dream on your own, then it was too small. Our dreams have to be big enough so that we need to enlist God’s help with them. 

And that’s gospel truth my people! Dreams by definition are supposed to be bigger than us. And can you believe what monumental improvement, thinking like we opened with, would make to our war-torn and strife filled world! Mama Mia! 

But sadly I don’t see that change, that upliftment in Christian thinking happening any time soon. Thankfully though, there are no limits, no restrictions on dreaming. (smile) Now let’s keep that dream alive by singing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with the same enthusiasm and pizazz that we began with. 

So in sweet harmony and strong, melodious voice, let’s sing. ‘‘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!’ 

Now that was beautiful my people! You could see the fire in Jesus’ eyes and the energy in His spirit as He vigorously swung His conductor’s baton, guiding us in song.  

Wow! What a wonderful beginning to this Monday morning! And with our motors firing on all cylinders, and the adrenalin coursing mightily through our bodies, let’s go out into the sinful and disgusting world and do what we need to do to truly win souls for Christ! 

And all God’s people gave a purposeful shout of ‘Praise the Lord, for He is indeed worthy of our praise!’ 

Oh friends, the ole fella’s certainly on a roll this morning! (smile) But what’s the purpose of living, if we can’t be in high spirits more often that we’re in low ones eh? What did Jesus say about His coming to earth? He came that we, the sheep of His marvellous flock could have life in abundance. (John 10:10) 

And it would be a sacrilege, a sin, to live an abundant life in a lackadaisical, doh care manner. Life was meant to be lived my brethren, so let’s live it nuh! And that doesn’t mean in lustful and worldly fashion, but in a godly and righteous manner.  

Now I want to introduce our Bit here that shows how our God works in mysterious though sometimes difficult ways for His followers. We’ll continue today, from where we left off yesterday, that is with the missive that Bruh Paul wrote to the Philippians while in jail in Rome. 

‘But I would ye should understand, (want you to know) brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out (turned out) rather unto the furtherance of the gospel.’ Now that’s a very interesting scripture my people. But let’s keep reading, before we try to dissect it. 

‘So that my bonds (chains) in (for) Christ are manifest (well known) in all the palace (by the palace guard), and in all other places (the rest of places). And many (most) of the brethren in the Lord, waxing (becoming) confident by my bonds (chains), are much more bold to speak the word without fear.’ (Phil.113-14) 

Ah friends, what a strange, but rather efficient way to spread the gospel. But our God is full of works that we can’t understand. Now the listen to the scholars: 1:12. Things… have fallen out means “have occurred.” Paul tells the readers that his imprisonment has occurred for the purpose of furthering or spreading the gospel. 

The word rather suggests that the Philippians were anticipating bad news as a result of Paul’s captivity. He informs them rather to the contrary. In His wisdom and sovereignty God has deliberately designed His servant’s present circumstances, as undesirable as they may be, for the gospel’s benefit. 

Two positive results of Paul’s imprisonment are given in verses 13,14. (1) Caesar’s palace learned the gospel from him (v.13); and (2) many Roman Christians were stirred to preach the gospel during his bondage (v.14).’ 

And who says our God doesn’t move in mysterious ways eh? The Lord caused Paul to be imprisoned so he could have the close attention of the palace guards. If he had been preaching out on the street corner, he would never have had the undivided attention of such a large and influential audience. 

And even better yet, because of Bruh Paul’s captivity, the brethren outside got confident, found confidence in the Lord and began preaching the gospel too without fear. Now friends, those last two words -without fear – are very important, because they show the level of maturity and spiritual strength that Roman Christians got from the whole situation. 

Likewise my fellow believers, many of us might be in tight or tough circumstances and wondering why, but the Lord has obviously put us there for a purpose. So please, instead of crying and complaining, consider Bruh Paul’s attitude and look around and see if there be any you can minister to, for God might just have put you there for that very purpose. 

And most important of all; please, let’s all preach the gospel of Christ WITHOUT FEAR, for in the gospel itself, we have oodles of protection. Much LOVE!

…in whatever circumstances a Christian finds him or herself…they are expected to share the good news of Christ…