Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 June 2020 Matthew 10:22.

Matthew 10:22.     And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
 

Well mih people, hope you all are having a fine Saturday, sleeping in or lazing on the couch. Some of us can’t afford those luxuries though, we have to get up and labour away, just like any other day. (smile) But it’s all in the Lord’s name, so I guess it’s okay. And the confusion in the streets and in the medical community still reign. In some places it’s better, in some it’s worse, but be it known that this is indeed a monumental time in the history of mankind. 

And who knows what the outcome will be? For sure there will be changes, but what changes and to what extent? And are they going to make a difference, a substantial or meaningful difference in the way our world operates. Right now, ONLY the Lord alone knows, but let’s all hope and pray, that at the end of this pandemic and these protests that our world will wake up in a new and better place. And all God’s people said a loud and prayerful ‘Amen!’ 

Now let’s get into our Saturday mode and look at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one directly addresses one of our current problems. ‘It’s important for us to also understand that the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter’ simply refers to the notion that there’s a specific vulnerability for African Americans that needs to be addressed. It’s not meant to suggest that other lives don’t matter. It’s to suggest that other folks aren’t experiencing this particular vulnerability.’ 

And I know that some of you, particularly the privileged ones, won’t agree with that statement, because you have never walked a day in a black man’s shoes, but I do, wholeheartedly. That’s because all over the world, the people of African heritage are treated differently than others. It’s so ridiculous that even if you have a white parent, and you look white, you are considered black, because dislike of black skin or heritage is so deeply entrenched in our white ruled society. Now that’s not to say that other minorities aren’t treated in a poor manner too, but nowhere near as badly as black people are treated. 

And the next quote informs to the first one: ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ And isn’t that the living truth! For some reason, possibly because we’re all so selfish and greedy, injustice travels faster and further than justice! The wheels of justice turn ever so slowly, while those of injustice just seem to race along. Have you ever noticed how quickly injustice spreads amongst a hitherto reasonably just society, but how long it takes for justice to be restored when the injustice has been broken down? 

What can I say eh? I guess it’s just the nature of the human animal, that’s why there’s so much truth in the saying, ‘Man’s inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn.’ No doubt our Creator made us to be LOVING, humane beings, but with our free will, we have evolved to be the exact opposite. And the next quote interestingly advises: ‘If people are doubting how far you can go, go so far that you can’t hear them anymore.’ 

Hn, Hn! I like it. It sounds saucy and somewhat rebellious! And why not eh? If people keep jawing in your ears about your inability to move up and on, then simply do so well, move on and up so far, that you can’t hear their negative caterwauling any longer. (smile) It’s so sad when you realize the vast amount of people who never reach their potential because of loudmouthed naysayers! And that’s exactly why our next and last quote is so awesomely true: ‘It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.’ And that’s the backbone of our Christian faith: ‘NEVER GIVE UP!’ 

Yes my faithful believing friends, those words don’t exist in Christ’s vocabulary. His motto is ‘KEEP KEEPING ON!’ And anyone who chooses to seriously follow Him must also make that their number one goal. And Jesus said it ever so plainly: ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ It couldn’t be any clearer than that. And for good measure, He said it a second time when talking about the signs before the end. ‘And because iniquity (lawlessness) shall abound, the LOVE of many shall wax (grow) cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.’ (Matt. 24:12-13) 

And we’re seeing that right now; lawlessness abounds and LOVE is a meaningless word. But as a true believer, you just have to tell your awesome pilot, Jesus: ‘Steady as she goes!’ (smile) We just have to keep on keeping on, enduring and persevering right down to the very end. We can’t be like the seed in the parable of the sower that are sown on stony ground, who hear the word and ‘immediately receive it with gladness. And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction (tribulation) or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended (caused to stumble).’ (Mark 4:16-17) 

No friends, true believers need to react in Bruh Paul’s words, like Charity, like LOVE: ‘Doth not behave itself unseemly (rudely), seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil (keeps no account of evil); Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.’ (! Cor. 13:5-7) Yes mih people, true Christian behaviour is not an easy row to hoe, but with Jesus’ help we can certainly accomplish it, if we truly believe as we like to say: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) 

And it’s why He also told Timothy: ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship) like a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ (2 Tim. 2:3) We believers are all supposed to be soldiers in Christ’s army, and good soldiers endure hardship for their leader and their cause. What we must therefore endeavour to truthfully say at the end, are these momentous words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith; Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim. 4:7-8) 

Now friends, if we would all make that our sincere goal, and work diligently towards it, then our world will be eventually turned right side up, and we’ll get our just rewards in heaven. Much LOVE!

…with strong faith and trust in Christ…we can persevere and endure…whatever comes our way…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 April 2020 Matthew 10:22.

Matthew 10:22.    ​And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
 
Welcome friends, to Thursday April 30 in the year of our Lord 2020 – the year of the Coronavirus pandemic! Unfortunately, some three months in, the deadly virus is still causing havoc and confusion amongst us. Nothing much has changed. We still don’t know anything much about it, but everybody has their opinions. Hn! What a bam bam! Now the panic is increasingly becoming not only about contracting the virus, but more about work, money and food, as a serious shortage is beginning to show up in those vital areas. 

And believe me, I wouldn’t want to be a political leader in these times at all, because the virus has dropped them right between the proverbial rock and a hard place, the devil and the deep blue sea, for now the decision has to be made between the medical and economic fronts; either save people and keep social distancing going, or save the economy and open back up the business, which at this crucial time could lead to a worsening of the medical situation. You’re damned if you do either, because there are strong sentiments in the populace for both actions. So friends, let’s pray that our leaders get it right yes, else we’re in for a long, extremely difficult time. 

But here’s something I heard a preacher recently talk about, something called the Stockdale Paradox, coined by the author Jim Collins in his book ‘Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t.’ And does it ever  seem rather appropriate to our current situation. Apparently Admiral Stockdale, a Navy Pilot spent seven years as a Vietnam prisoner of war and surprisingly he witnessed that those prisoners who were optimists were dying before the pessimists, because after several disappointing episodes of predicting freedom, they lost their hope and gave up. The pessimists, already without hope just went about their business in pessimistic fashion and died off as expected. (smile) 

When asked how he managed to keep his sanity and faith, despite several severe bouts of torture, the Admiral replied: ‘I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.’ Imagine thinking and doing that in a prisoner of war camp nuh!  And he added: ‘You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.’ 

What words of awesome wisdom my people! Words that I believe will certainly help us in these scary and confusing times. Faith will allow us to believe that we will eventually prevail, but we must also be wise and disciplined enough to recognize and confront the hard and unrelenting facts of what we’re currently going through. I think we saw that principle magnificently epitomized in Jesus, especially during His torment in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion. 

Yes, as a human being, He was terrified of having to face the cross, so much so that three times He prayed ‘Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine be done.’ (Luke 22:42.) The Good Book further says: ‘And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.’ (Luke 22:43-44) Yeh friends, Jesus certainly didn’t have it easy. 

And the scholars offer these interesting explanations: ‘22:43-44. Only Luke notes this. Jesus is borne up in His hour of greatest need, when He must intercede not only for Himself but for His followers, who are about to leave Him in the lurch. Agony appears only here in the New Testament; it points to the intensity of Jesus’ struggle. Surely Jesus wrestles, not so much with death itself, but with His own destiny to be made the sin-bearer for all mankind for all the ages. The punishment that had to be borne for our sins brings Jesus to His knees in anguish.’ 

But as the Son of Man, the Son of God, Jesus knew that was His major purpose for coming to earth was to be the sacrificial lamb for sin, and He really couldn’t escape it. He also knew though that He would win the battle eventually and be resurrected victoriously from the grave. So like Admiral Stockdale said, He didn’t lose faith, although things seemed rather dim, but also faced the reality of His crucifixion, knowing that He would win in the end. And that’s the exact kind of behaviour we believers need to exhibit in these trying times my brethren! 

We know that we will win in the end, Jesus has promised it: ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ So we need now to hold on tightly to that promise, while wisely facing our current reality. Remember our motto for this Covid-19 season: ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Let’s use them nuh. And in addition to those attributes, we also have our Thursday Blessings, such wonderful blessings that God has also given to us so we can perform His awesome work down here on planet earth. 

So let’s declare them now nuh, in strong voice, with truly sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

Now let’s go out and generously share those blessings as the Lord greatly desires. Much LOVE!

…strong faith…with wisdom…and endurance…win the crown every time…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 July 2019 Matthew 10:22.

Matthew 10:22.    ​And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
 

Ah friends, Saturday, the day of all days! (smile) What’s on the agenda for today eh? For most of us it’s sleeping in, then a lazy day on the couch, or fun and games, barbecuing and enjoying the summer weather. For others though it can mean a busy day at home; cleaning and washing and replenishing groceries and stuff; possibly harder work than what you get paid to do during the week. (smile) 

But that’s how life goes, and once you have Jesus walking in you and with you, then you don’t have to worry about getting whatever job it is done. Oh yes, it might be somewhat difficult, but you’re assured that with Jesus’ help, you will get it done successfully! All praise and glory to our great and wonderful God for the help He gives to us frail and mortal humans! 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s see what gems of wisdom our friend Anselm sent us this week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this one: ‘Life is too short to waste in the company of those who can’t wait to put you down. Let them say what they want. Their opinions aren’t your problem. Keep doing good, as you’ve always done. No matter what they do or say, don’t doubt who you are and what you’re doing.’ 

That’s wise advice friends! In this current mish-mash world, people are only too glad to put you down once you’re trying to improve yourself and your situation. Possibly because of jealousy, or their own laziness, they don’t want you to rise above them. But once you’re sure of who and whose you are, that you belong to Jesus, for you were bought with a high price, that of His precious blood, then you can ignore all the naysayers and go about Jesus’ business with confidence. 

And then there’s this: ‘Being quiet and calm doesn’t mean you’re weak. Such people show strength that’s under control. The most intelligent people know when to speak, know when to listen, and know when to be quiet.’ Oh what truth my brethren!

But unfortunately, with the current burst of technology that makes communication so easy, everyone has an opinion on everything and are not bashful to share it, thus the great explosion of social media and the large amount of nonsense, endless talking, false information, lies and deceit they provoke. 

Now here’s a gem: ‘You’ve been in situations where you thought you’d never make it out, but you did. You’ve lived through it, you’ve learned from it and you survived. So whatever it is that you’re currently going through right now, you can and will get through it if you are determined to push thru.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren. We’ve lived through numerous times of adversity and trouble, but with the Lord’s help we got through them all, stronger and more mature. So why worry about whatever tough situation you’re experiencing now eh? It’s a problem too many Christians face; not turning back and remembering what the Lord brought us through, and realizing and believing that if He’s done it a million times already, He’ll do it a zillion times in the future, for that’s His awesome, unbreakable and ever-faithful promise. 

And I particularly like the last two quotes, which fit together quite nicely. The first says: ‘People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.’ That’s an undeniable fact! That’s possibly because of the leader’s charisma or charm, or some sense of trust and reliability that they exude. There’s no better example of that than Jesus. Look at how He chose His first four disciples: 

‘And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers (fishermen). And he saith unto them, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets and followed him.

And going on from thence, he saw two other brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother in a ship with Zebedee their father mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.’ (Matt.4:18-22) 

Ah mih people, those fishermen must have seen something in Jesus to just drop their livelihood and follow him, the last two leaving their poor father to manage on His own. And Jesus called Matthew the same way. Matthew was sitting at his tax office, adding up his money, when Jesus passed by and said to him, ‘Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.’ (Matt.9:9) 

Now who in their right mind would give up the lucrative position that the tax man held back in those olden times to follow some itinerant preacher eh, and more importantly why? But Matthew did it, so he must have seen something in Jesus or felt some abnormal pull to just give up his lucrative tax job to become a fisher of men. 

Now the last quote says: ‘Leadership is not wielding authority — it’s empowering people.’ And that’s exactly how a true leader ought to operate. If you’re secure in yourself and your authority and power, then there’s no need to blatantly wield said power. What you need to do is raise up your followers so that they too can embrace your vision and help you bring it to fruition. 

And again, Jesus is the best example of empowering leadership. He knew who He was, and what power He had, and realized that He could not proselytize the whole world on His own, so He brought together the twelve most unlikely candidates to help Him, and over a three year period He taught them and empowered them, so that they could go out and do His work after He was gone. 

I like how He told them: ‘Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless (innocent) as doves.’  (Matt.10:16) Imagine telling your workers that nowadays nuh! I doubt you’d have too many after that. And that did happen to Jesus. When some of them saw how difficult the task was, they simply quit. 

Furthermore, He warned them thus: ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ Oh friends, those are indeed tough statements to hear and bear, and they still pertain to us today. But please note that the true disciples bought into Jesus’ vision and did withstand all the trials and tribulations they encountered to spread His Word. 

And they did such a wonderful job, that two thousand years later, despite all sorts of problems, that magnificent and true Word has come down to us, with all the same provisos and tough conditions.

Yes friends, the baton, the glowing torch of Christ’s salvation, has now been passed to us, to keep it burning, until we pass it on to the next generation. Please, I implore us, don’t let it be said that that eternal torch was extinguished on our watch! That would be such a dismal stain on our report card. Let’s stand strong and endure to the end! Much LOVE!

…to be eligible for a prize…one must finish the race…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 June 2016 Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28.   And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose.

Well a blessed day to all you my Scrip-Bit family and friends! And I know that some of us will be quick to say what’s so blessed about it eh? Just look at my circumstances, look at how I’m suffering and struggling. I certainly wouldn’t call that blessed. 

I understand that friends, but it’s all in our attitude toward those circumstances and struggles. Too many Christians expect to just have a nice smooth ride through life without any problems simply because they are followers of Christ. But it doesn’t work like that. Unfortunately, the greater our calling from God, ofttimes the greater the struggle in our lives. 

Look at all the great prophets, Bruh Joseph, Moses, Bruh David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Bruh Paul, and finally Jesus Christ Himself; they all went through many trials and much tribulation to accomplish their earthly goals. Jesus even warned us: ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33b) 

And furthermore, the Lord uses these trials and struggles to test us, to build and grow our faith; to see if we truly believe and are willing to rely on Him and His promises. As Job, another righteous man who suffered great tribulation declared during his time of trial. ‘But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.’ (Job 23:10) 

And the scholars have an interesting take on that verse. ’23:10. I shall come forth as gold: His friends maintained that Job was full of dross, but Job is confident that no dross, or sin, would be revealed in the fires of refinement.’ 

Yes friends, the Lord puts us through our paces like we put metals through fire to purify them. And believe me, when you go through some of those refining fires, you will come out as bright and beautiful and strong and faithful as gold! 

And we don’t even have to go to the Good Book to learn about struggles; listen to these quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us. He says first: ‘Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.’ And the corollary to that is; Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.’ 

Gospel truth all of that my fellow believers! That’s why so many of this young generation are so soft and sappy and whiny, because they have had most everything given to them by us doting parents. They never had to struggle or work hard for something, so therefore there is no real appreciation of anything they have or get. 

In their minds the world owes them a living. And that’s a big disservice we’ve done to them. No wonder most of them have no belly or backbone, and are quick to throw in the towel as soon as hard times show up. 

Oh my people, everybody goes through struggles and hard times, whether you’re rich, poor, black, white, Muslim, Jew, or whatever, but where we believers win out over the others is that we have the rich and faithful promises of our God to depend on. 

We know for instance that as Bruh Paul told the Corinthians in his first letter: ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able to bear, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.’ (1 Cor.10:13)  

Yes my struggling and suffering fellow believers, our God promises never to give or allow us to bear more than we can handle and will either make a way out for us, or give us the wherewithal to endure it. He doesn’t always make us escape it, but more often than not He brings us safely through it. Another way to boost our faith and make us spiritually strong, more Christ-like, which is the basic goal for all believers. 

That brings us to our Bit, another crucial promise from our ever-faithful God. In the momentous words of Bruh Paul: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose.’ 

Oh my brethren, what a wonderful promise! Only we Christians are assured that our omnipotent, ever-LOVING God will work out everything in our favour eventually, according to His timetable! It’s all a matter of faith, of belief, of patience and perseverance my people! 

And this is what the scholars have to say about that verse. ‘8:28. To them that LOVE God is the human perspective. God is working all things together for good, but those who LOVE God are best able to appreciate that fact because they LOVE Him no matter what (cf. Job 13:15) To them who are called is the divine perspective. Scripture often refers to believers as “the called” or “the elect.”  

And for those of us who want to know what Job 13:15 says but are too lazy to look it up, let me spoon feed you. (smile) Job defends his integrity before his condescending and self-righteous friends by declaring of God: ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine (defend my) own ways before him. He also shall be my salvation: for a hypocrite shall not come before him.’ (Job 13:15-16) Just thought I’d throw in verse 16 for good measure. (smile) 

And the scholars say of ’13:15. Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him expresses the unquenchable faith of one who lives by faith, not by sight. Even when it appears that God Himself has turned against Job, he will still trust in God.’ 

Oh friends, oh friends, in these godless, deceitful and evil times, that is the kind of faith we believers need to have, an unquenchable kind, if we’re going to see it through to a victorious end!  

And we’ll conclude with these fateful words of Jesus: ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ (Matt.10:22) Much LOVE!

…Christians have to understand that struggles are a part of human life…but we have the certain promise of victory in the end…to see us through life’s storms in the middle…