Today’s Scrip-Bit   7 May 2022 Colossians 3:14.

Colossians 3:14.      And above all these things put on charity (LOVE), which is the bond of perfectness.

Welcome aboard Saturday! Hope you are going to remain steadfast and true to the sunny disposition you now have and grace us with a wonderful spring, or better yet, near summer day. (smile) We’ve got to hope and have faith friends that all will go well today. And even if it doesn’t, then we have our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to rely on, to bring us comfort, safety and a refuge from the trials and tribulations of this crazy and evil world. Now who wouldn’t want such an awesome life eh? 

Unfortunately though, many of us choose not to believe in Christ Jesus, only to their everlasting sorrow. But all we can do, as good ambassadors of Christ, is to keep on telling His story, the good news of His wonderful gospel that brings salvation and eternal life to all who dare to believe, and hope that eventually they will come to recognize the error of their ways. However, since it’s Saturday, we need to get on with our business of checking out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first quote tells us: ‘Even if you cannot change all the people around you, you can change the people you choose to be around. Life is too short to waste your time on people who don’t respect, appreciate, and value you. Spend your life with people who make you smile, laugh, and feel LOVED.’ And that’s the gospel truth! Life is indeed too short and the world too evil and confused to spend time with people who don’t appreciate and value you. Oh, I know that we all desire to be amongst people, that we were made to be in relationships, but sometimes it’s better to be alone than to be in unproductive relationships. 

And if you cannot find satisfying relationships, like those mentioned above, then turn to God and ask for His help. There’s no shame in that. He will lead you down the right path, but sometimes it might take a li’l while for Him to arrange it, so you might have to be lonely and unsatisfied for a spell. (smile) But placing the problem in God’s hands is always the correct answer. Remember, Christ died for us to have the abundant life, and being in unsatisfying, unvalued relationships certainly does not meet that criterion. 

And do I ever like this next quote, which says: ‘When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.’ Oh, is that ever true! And why not eh? As we just said life is short, so why wait when you find the one you want to be with in this life? But a word of caution here. Let’s not rush into things. With such a huge commitment, a lifetime one in mind, we need to first ascertain that the other person also wants to spend the rest of their life with us. And even more importantly, that they are the right person for us in God’s will. But if you’ve checked, and all of those things are in the positive realm, then why wait? (smile) 

Meanwhile, the next quote explains why we must be very careful in our every move nowadays for it tells us that ‘The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.’ And that’s an indisputable fact. Our world is made in the image of our thoughts. Our minds are the fountains of creativity, and the thoughts and ideas which flow through and from them lead to the actions that we take. And that’s why the enemy, Satan, is so gung-ho to get control of our creative space. It enables him to drive us down the path of evil, instead of the path of righteousness. 

No wonder the mind is called a battlefield; everyone is fighting for control of it. Thus it is true, that to change our world, we must change our thinking. However, it’s ever so important that we have the right kind of thoughts and thinking that will benefit our world rather than harm it. And Bruh Paul made that quite clear when he wrote these marvellous words of advice to the church at Rome. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.’ (Rom. 12:2) 

Yes friends, by its very nature, the world is sinful, and thus reflects a sinful lifestyle, but we can reject that by transforming our minds to believe and do the things that Jesus wants us to do. It’s not always easy, but with His help, it can be done. In fact it must be done, if we ever want to, or hope to see a better world for our children and grandchildren. That’s why Bruh Paul also wrote these words to the church at Corinth. ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.’ (2 Cor. 5:17) It’s time for us to put away our old lifestyle and conform to the new one that Christ has designed for us, one of righteousness and not of sinfulness. 

Then there’s this quote: ‘There is no charm equal to tenderness of the heart.’ More awesome truth my brethren! There’s absolutely nothing in this world to beat a tender, compassionate caring heart! And undoubtedly, we have the best example of that in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Throughout the Gospels, they talk about the compassionate heart of Jesus, and that’s just a reflection of the heart of our great God. As Bruh Paul wrote to the Corinthians. ‘Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.’ (2 Cor. 1:3)

Oh my fellow saints, our great and wonderful God is indeed characterized by mercy, care, comfort, compassion and long-suffering, otherwise we would have been destroyed long ago. And it’s that kind of heart we need to also have, as outlined in the words of Bruh Paul to the Colossians. ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies (tender mercies), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, and long suffering… And above all these things put on charity (LOVE), which is the bond of perfectness.’ (Col. 3:12,14) 

Yes my people, LOVE is the crowning glory or grace of all Christian virtues, as well as God’s greatest attribute. So, to be a true reflection of God, those attributes must also be reflected in us. That brings us to this last and very interesting quote. ‘Nobody has ever measured, even poets, how much a heart can hold.’ And that’s no lie. We don’t know for sure how much our hearts can hold, not even God’s heart. We just know that it can hold a lot, especially if one is a believer in Christ Jesus. 

But the heart that truly speaks to me amongst humans is that of Mary, Jesus’ mother. Her heart surely held a lot, from the surprising choice to be the mother of the Son of God, to seeing Him horribly punished and crucified for wrongs He did not commit. Then His triumphant rising from the dead and ascension back to heaven. No wonder the Good Book remarks after the shepherds came and paid tribute to Jesus in the manger after His birth. ‘But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.’ (Luke 2:19) 

Then after the only occasion where we see some rudeness from Christ towards His parents, when they found Him in the temple talking with the elders after searching for Him for three days. ‘And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist (know) ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?’ (Luke 2:49) Imagine any other twelve-year-old saying that to their parents nuh. Hn! Many teeth might have been lost. But the Good Book continues. ‘And they (Jesus’ parents) understood not the saying which he spoke unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.’ (Luke 2:50-51) 

Ah friends, from day one, mothers have never had it easy, but they are indeed the backbone of the family, and on this Mother’s Day weekend, let’s fill our hearts to overflowing with LOVE for them nuh, and treat them as the queens that they are, for they always give much more than they ever ask for or expect. Much LOVE!

…it’s only the LOVE in our world…that keeps it from totally falling apart… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 December 2015 Luke 2:33‏‏‏

Luke 2:33.  And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him. 

Well Friends, it’s Old Years, New year’s Eve; 2015 is on its last legs. And it’s a day that many of us have been looking forward to, hoping to come out from under its suffocating shroud and shadow into a new year that promises so much. 

But let’s remember friends that a new year is just another day, and nothing much changes from one day to the next. And though we might have several areas of our lives that need upgrading, let’s not burden ourselves with too many resolutions. 

As I said sometime before, there’s only ONE that we really need to make, and that’s being a stronger and more faithful follower of Jesus!  

When we accomplish that, everything else will fall into place. So just enjoy the partying and don’t be overly concerned about New Year’s resolutions, just concentrate on Jesus, and everything will be fine. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, because I want to finish this series of messages on Mary today. ‘And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him.’ 

Ah mih people, what an interesting and no doubt sometimes frustrating experience Joseph and Mary had as Jesus’ parents. And none was more frustrating than this one. We’re talking about the time when Jesus was twelve and his family went up to Jerusalem as usual for the feast of the Passover. 

Because of the big gathering of the extended family from Nazareth, when they left for home they automatically thought that Jesus was in the company of his relatives. But unfortunately he was not. When they realized this they turned back to Jerusalem. 

And the Good Book details it thus: ‘And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the midst of the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors (teachers), both hearing them and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.’ (Luke 2:46-47) 

Wow! Imagine a twelve year old reasoning intelligently with the rabbis and teachers of the Jewish nation nuh. That also begs the question where did He eat and sleep and wash for those three days? Hn! 

The scholars explain that last verse by saying: ‘2:47. This may be due not only to Jesus’ person but also to a careful upbringing by His parents. The Old Testament placed great responsibility on parents to saturate their children’s minds with Scripture. (Deut. 6:7).’ 

And yuh know what my people? That responsibility has never been cancelled! It’s still our duty today to inculcate the Scriptures into the minds of our children. It’s jut that we have shrugged it off. That’s why our children are the godless way they are right now, and we have no one else to blame but ourselves. 

But anyway, can you imagine the concern, the anxiety Jesus’ parents must have had, no doubt blaming them selves for not paying closer attention to his whereabouts? Unlike a lot of us today who don’t know where our children are, and don’t seem to care. 

And the Good Book continues the story: ‘And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us (done this to us)? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing (anxiously). And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist (know) ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?’ (Luke 2:48-49) 

Ah Lord eh! Imagine at twelve years old talking to your parents like that nuh! Hn! Some of us would have been begging Santa to bring us some new teeth. (smile) 

The scholars explain that bit of impropriety by saying: ‘2:49. Wist ye not or “Did you not realize?” There is a certain tension between Jesus’ responsibility to parents on the one hand and to His heavenly Father on the other.’

I guess you could quite rightly say that, although at twelve years of age it does seem a bit much. 

However the Good Book goes on to say: ‘And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.’ (Luke 2:50-52) 

Poor Mary and Joseph didn’t know what was really happening, and though Jesus went home with them and seems to have behaved properly after that, Mary still kept all those things in her heart, and no doubt pondered them regularly. 

And again, like after His circumcision, we see that Jesus grew strong and wise and found favour with everybody. 

The scholars tell us there: ‘2:52. The picture is one of consistent and well-rounded growth. There follows a gap of nearly two decades in Jesus’ life. When we see Him again, He is prepared for the task set before Him.’ 

He certainly is, and thus set to cause His poor mother more grief when they lock up Him up for sedition and blasphemy. How do you think she felt when she saw or heard about His beatings and scourging and the crown of thorns upon His head, traipsing back and forth between Pilate and Herod like a common criminal, being made a pappyshow instead of a royal show? 

And how do you think she felt when she saw Him faltering under the heavy load of the cross, struggling up Calvary’s hill? 

But most of all, what do you think it did to her very heart and soul when she saw her wonderful son, all battered and bruise, impaled on that wooden cross, His life blood slowly ebbing away in the hot noonday sun? 

I’m sure it brought back to her memory the fateful words of Simeon some three decades before, re the division and anguish His life would cause, but especially the words ‘(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also).’ (Luke 2:35) 

And I guess what must have hurt Mary the most is that she couldn’t do anything about her son’s situation, because deep down inside she knew that that was His destiny, that is what He was born for. 

And regardless of how His earlier acts might seem, Jesus did have a soft spot for His mother, because He knew that was the only one who even had an inkling of His true earthly purpose. 

Listen to the Good Book. ‘Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he LOVED, (John) he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.’ (John 19:25-27) 

Ah mih people, though Jesus caused Mary some worries in His life, in His death, He made sure that she had somewhere safe to go, like all good sons ought to. 

That brings us to the end of Mary’s story, and I do hope that I was able to bring home to us, just how important she was and is to our faith, for without her strong and unbroken faith, the story of Jesus might have turned out differently. 

Now let’s ring out the old year and ring in the new, prepared to embrace Jesus even deeper in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls. Much LOVE!

…there’s no human LOVE…to beat a mother’s LOVE… 

P.S. Friends, I know it’s long, but I couldn’t shorten it without having it run on for another day. You can’t have it both ways. (smile) Much LOVE!