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 17 January 2019 Matthew 10:16.

Matthew 10:16.   ​Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless (innocent) as doves.
 

Moving on…Moving on…! Yes friends, we’re moving on… onwards and upwards! As believers in Jesus Christ we’re supposed to be always moving onwards and upwards in our faith and Christ-likeness – even till the day our earthly breath expires, or Jesus comes back, whichever one happens first. But unfortunately too many of us believers tend to stop learning, stop moving up, stop growing when we most need to – that’s everyday! (smile) 

We can’t enjoy the abundant life Christ died for us to have and be cheerful because He’s overcome the world, unless we’re filled with His Word and His Spirit. The great spiritual writer C.S. Lewis puts it this way: ‘God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it’s not there!’ Yes my brethren, it’s only in God that we can find true peace and happiness, because that’s the only place it really exists! 

And the more peace and happiness we want, the deeper and higher we’ve got to get involved in God-like matters! Rejoice and exult in His goodness and mercy! Hear, read and study His Word, then entrench it deeply in our hearts, so that when the evil tempter comes a calling we can brush him aside with powerful words and actions from the Good Book! 

It’s all a part of growing up as Christians my people! Of becoming strong, steadfast and true! And that’s the ONLY way we can ever carry out Jesus’ directive: ‘Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless (innocent) as doves.’ 

Ah mih people, working for Jesus is not easy, but He does give us all the tools we need to do the job! What a directive eh! Like dumb, innocent sheep in a pack of hungry, angry wolves, but wise like the serpent and yet harmless like a dove! That’s certainly a hard row to hoe with all the contrariness and contrasts it entails. But as I said before, as true believers, we have everything we need to do it! 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Jesus further: After warning that we’d be unfairly persecuted, He calmly and sincerely directs us: ‘But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what (do not worry about what) ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in the same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.’ (Matt.10:19-20) 

Mamma Mia! What reassurance my brethren! Yuh see, our Lord and Saviour doesn’t leave anything to chance. He has a provision for each and every situation that we might find ourselves in. The Holy Spirit that dwells in us will prompt us what to say and do in every situation that we face! Glory to God! Give Him thanks and praise for being so attentive to the needs of us undeserving children! 

But here is the really rough part: ‘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) Now therein lies the heart of the story. Just for being believers in Christ, we’ll be persecuted. But those who endure; stand, strong, steadfast and true throughout the severe persecution WILL be saved! 

That’s Jesus’ faithful promise my fellow believers! And we all know that He doesn’t make idle promises. If He says it WILL be so, then you can bet your bottom dollar that it WILL be so! (smile) But we have to endure, and we can only do that by being shrouded in His Word and Will.

 Now hear these words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians as he explains to them the way of the believer. ‘But all things that are reproved (exposed) are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light (all sins are exposed by light). Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.’ (Eph.5:13-14) Yes my brethren, all we that are less than right with Christ need to turn from our sin and accept the promise of spiritual enlightenment that Christ offers! 

And furthermore: ‘See then that ye walk circumspectly (carefully), not as fools, but as wise (watch carefully how you live), Redeeming the time (making the most of every opportunity), because the days are evil (and are they ever). Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of Lord is.’ (Eph.5: 15-17) And the only way we can understand the Lord’s will is by having constant and excellent communication with Him and His Word! 

‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be (continually) filled with the Spirit. Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:18-21) 

There you have it friends, Christianity 101: be filled with the Holy Spirit and not wine, which leads to moral intemperance. Learn God’s will, give continual thanks and praise in everything, and defer to others if it is in God’s will. End of sermon! (smile) And when we try to live like that, then our blessings will fall down like rain, as outlined in our Thursday Blessings. Let’s declare them (spelled it right!) in loud voice with 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!’ 

And that needs to be a big ‘AMEN’ my people because of the staggering proportions of blessings we undeservedly enjoy, and remember, are also called to share with the less fortunate.  Much LOVE!

…working for Jesus is not easy…but brother…are the rewards ever excellent…and certainly worth it all…