Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 January 2019 Matthew 28:19.

Matthew 28:19.   ​Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
 
And then it was the first Friday in the new year; a day every working person was just dying to see, because it was a harbinger of the weekend and they so badly wanted to rest their tired bones, flesh and spirits after all the New Year’s celebrations! Ah mih people, the doctor’s appointments business in the big city have begun again yes. But I’m not sure that I’m keeping this one this morning nuh…

Chuh! The ole fella didn’t sleep well last night and is walking around this morning like an ole fogey. (smile) Easy mih first born easy…(smile) She’s already warned me not to cancel any appointments, but she’s not the one feeling the feelings, nor has to trek umpteen miles in the cold and traffic to hear a doctor say: ‘Oh, everything’s healing well. Just keep on doing what you’re doing!’ And I don’t believe that the duchess is too thrilled having to drive me either. But we’ll see how it shakes out after I’m done with the Bit. 

And nobody is more thrilled than the ordinary workingman to see this day as he so enthusiastically informs us: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! I couldn’t work another day even if mih life depended on it! Brother! Them Christmas and New Year’s festivities really drain me yes! Ah guess is time to realize that ah not as young as I used to be…in other words, no spring chicken, so I can’t afford to party as hearty and not feel the resulting rough consequences. Hn, hn! But where there is a will there is a way. 

So watch me, come this year Christmas and New Year’s Eve nuh! Ah going to start getting mihself ready from early o’clock…because who want to miss them fantastic celebrations, sitting down like some ole man in a wheelchair and kyar move and go round the place and eat and drink up other people stuff eh? Not me for sure nuh! So thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, that enable me to renew mih soul and body, so that I could get out and party! Party, party, party…!’ 

Yes mih breddren, it never ceases to amaze me, how we can be so kind and gracious for a couple of weeks, then go right back to the disgusting living we practiced before. But I guess that’s just nature of the human animal. However, since it’s Friday, we need to let our Christian voice be heard in our Friday Chant. It’s not as ebullient and mind chasing as the workingman’s song, but it sure fits our purposes admirably. 

 So altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yeh, it’s not spectacular, but it helps keep us out of the enemy’s reach, and doing Jesus’ work. And that’s the most important aspect of our lives, doing Jesus’ bidding! Remember His last words to the disciples, in what we term, ‘the Great Commission’?

‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.’ (Matt. 28:19-20) 

There you have it friends, the imperative from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Ours is to spread the good news of His Word around the world, to all and sundry. And note, He assured us, that He would be with us all the time we’re doing His will. What an awesome Saviour we have my brethren! Always thinking of us and our welfare! 

And the scholars give us this explanation: ‘28:19. The controlling purpose of the local church is to make disciples of all kinds of people. Those who are evangelized and converted should then be baptized, attesting to their identification with Christ and the local body of believers. The final phase of the Great Commission is to train disciples in Christian knowledge and for effective service. A church cannot choose one aspect of its responsibility and neglect the others. 

The Great Commission is a simple command with three steps – evangelism, baptism, and education. Illustration: The Great Commission is the strategy by which the church at Jerusalem saturated its community with the gospel. Application: Every Christian should determine that his ministry for Christ in the church upholds God’s objectives for that institution. (First Ref. Matt.16:18; Primary Ref. Matt.28:19; cf. Phil.1:27).’ 

Yes friends, our job is to let the heathen know about Christ, and all the wonderful things He has to offer to those who come to Him in humility and sincerity. And each and every Christian has a part to play in this transformation! The question that now faces us, is whether we’re doing what Jesus requires of us, and if we’re doing it to the best of our ability? 

And it’s obvious that as the body of Christ, the church, we’re not doing such a great job, otherwise our world wouldn’t be in such a state of upheaval and evil. So I’d like to invite each of us to sit down and seriously ponder our current role in Christ’s church, and then ask the Lord to help us do better, for we can ALL do better. Much LOVE!

…I must work the works of him who sent me…while it is day…the night cometh…when no man can work… (John 9:4)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 April 2016 Luke 9:23

Luke 9:23.   And he said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

And then it was a dry, warmer, sunshiny Tuesday! Glory to God! Yeh friends, Tuesday has dawned much better than Monday did, and let’s hope the remaining days of the week will do likewise. 

Oh, they are even forecasting temps up in the high teens for the latter part of the week. Let’s hope that the weather people are right, because we do need a break from this rather unseasonable weather. And all God’s people in the beleaguered northern climes shouted a loud ‘For sure!’ (smile) 

But my people, though the weather might be important to a certain extent, we cannot allow it to be a major focus in our lives. It’s not that important. Our focus must be concentrated on Jesus and doing His will here on earth. 

And to help us do that this Tuesday, spring-like morning, (smile) let’s declare, let’s confess our Tuesday Mantra with a whole lot of enthusiasm and conviction. 

As one now: ‘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.’ 

And isn’t that the glorious truth my fellow believers? Indeed it is! We are not defined by whom this evil and adulterated world says we are. No! We are defined as God’s beloved children and all the wonderful things that entails! 

All praise and glory be to our heavenly Father for His mercy and LOVING-kindness, sending Jesus to die for us, then to become our friend and most trusted confidante! Oh what an honour that is! 

Consequently, we are duty bound to share the good news of His gospel and His unconditional LOVE with all we meet, wherever we might go, for we are today’s disciples, entrusted with the sacred duty and directive, aptly named ‘The Great Commission’: 

‘Go therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always(s), even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) 

Oh friends and neighbours, are we fulfilling that mandate to the best of our ability? I don’t think so nuh, else the church of Jesus; His earthly body of followers would be much larger, more cohesive and Christ-like than it is today. The divisions and dissensions, the envy and jealousy and resentment would surely not be as great as they currently are. 

Now here is some interesting info from the scholars, termed the ‘Purpose of the Church.’ ’28:19. The controlling purpose of the local church is to make disciples of all kinds of people. Those who are evangelized and converted should then be baptized, attesting to their identification with Christ and the local body of believers. 

The final phase of the Great Commission is to train disciples in Christian knowledge and for effective service. A church cannot choose one aspect of its responsibility and neglect the others. The Great Commission is a simple command with three steps – evangelism, baptism, and education. 

Illustration: The Great Commission is the strategy by which the church at Jerusalem saturated its community with the gospel. Application: Every Christian should determine that his ministry for Christ in the church upholds God’s objective for that institution. (First Ref. Matt.16:18; Primary ref. Matt.28:19; cf. Phil.1:27).’ 

Oh my fellow believers in Christ, are we upholding all the aspects of the Great Commission in our local churches, are we saturating our local communities with the gospel? I don’t think so nuh. At least not to the extent that we should. 

Are we evangelizing and training disciples in the knowledge of Christ? Not as we ought to. The church of Christ ought to be more forceful and proactive, not fearful and reactive and divisive as it is. Unless we’re all on the same page, nothing truly constructive will be done to further God’s glorious kingdom. 

And it all begins with us at the individual and local level my people; right down at the grass roots. The church needs a solid foundation at the bottom, just as any successful organization needs to have, if it is to grow strong and prosper for an enduring length of time, and in Christ’s case, forever. 

That finally brings us to our Bit, where Jesus laid down the terms of discipleship in His organization. ‘And he said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ 

Yes my precious people, to be true disciples of Jesus, we have to take up our cross, and follow Jesus. And please note that He emphasizes a ‘daily’ taking up of our cross, not sometimes, or when we feel like, but each and every day of our lives. 

Now listen to how Matthew characterizes it in his gospel. ‘He that LOVETH father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that LOVETH son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.’ (Matt.10:37-39) 

Yeh friends, Jesus is supposed to be our NUMBER ONE LOVE! No ifs ands and buts about that! And if we LOVE anybody else or anything more than Him, then unfortunately we are not worthy of Him. 

So please, today, let’s take some time to truly ponder what position Jesus holds on the depth chart of our LOVE, and do whatever it takes nuh, with God’s help obviously, to make Him Number One, El Numero Uno! For that is true wisdom. Much LOVE!

…who is the Greatest…Jesus…who is Number One…Jesus…who is our Lord and Saviour…Jesus…who is our Advocate in heaven…Jesus…it’s ALL about Jesus… 

P.S. Please excuse the lateness, but the ole fella’s life been sort of topsy turvy these last few days. Got to bring it into balance. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 June 2015 Romans 8:1‏

Romans:8:1.     There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Well Friends, that wonderful day we call Monday has rolled around once again! Wow!

And yuh know what? I’ve just finished reading the obits and I didn’t see any of our names there. That means we’re still alive and kicking and the Lord still has wonderful plans for our earthly lives! Glory Be! Yes mih people, all glory to our wonderful God and Heavenly Father!

And I do hope that when we got up we gave Him some much appreciated thanks for getting us safely through the night and asked for His safety and guidance as we begin another week of work.

And all you sourpusses out there, who are still miserable and complaining when Monday comes, wake up and be wise nuh. There’s not much we can do about it, so we might as well accept it as a fait accompli, a fact of life and get with the programme. (smile) You’re only making yourself and those around you miserable unnecessarily.

And now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, (smile) let’s get to singing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn which is guaranteed to get our spirits up and our adrenalin running.  As one big choir now, with much gusto and plenty chutzpah:

‘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 most excellent Friends! One of the best renditions we’ve done in long while. Our august choirmaster Jesus, was very proud of us, so much so that He even high-fived the Father, saying with a big grin, ‘That’s my people!’ (smile) Yes Friends, that sort of thing goes on in heaven when we do excellently down here on earth.

So let’s get out there and work diligently and faithfully on Jesus’ behalf nuh, so that we can raise some more joy in heaven. And all God’s people said a loud and sincere: ‘Yes, let’s do it!’

But you know what my brethren? Before we can do ought for Jesus, we have to first read, mark, believe, digest and put our Bit into practice. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’

That’s the absolute truth! We are powerless until we truly believe that our sins have been paid for by the shedding of Jesus’ blood on the cross. That means we have been set free from the bondage of sin and are no longer condemned. The Father no longer considers us unseemly outcasts, but prodigal children who have finally come to their senses and have returned to the family home.

Obviously He welcomes us with open arms and there is much celebration in heaven when a wayward child returns to the roost.  But then we have to learn to give up the old lifestyle we originally embraced and take up the new one that’s prescribed by Jesus. That’s walking not after the things of the flesh, the lusts of this world, but being led and guided by the Holy Spirit of Almighty God which comes to indwell us when we accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour. 

Oh my people, living for Jesus, resisting and rejecting the evil, as well as the material and worthless things of the world, is not an easy row to hoe, but believe me, the rewards are well worth the effort.

Now let’s look at some scripture that ties in admirably with our Bit. This is Bruh Paul writing earlier on in the epistle to the Romans. ‘Now if we be dead (died) with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once (once and for all): but that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

Likewise reckon ye (consider) also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through (in) Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield (present) ye your members as instruments (weapons) of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield (present) yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments (weapons) of righteousness unto God.’ (Rom.6:8-13)  

Yeh Friends, I know that’s a mouthful from Bruh Paul, but here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘6:11. Reckon (Gr. logizesthe, “reckon, take into account, calculate”). The believer is to calculate all the facts as to his identification with Christ and his separation from sin, then live accordingly.’

‘6:12. Let not (lit, “stop letting”). The believer is to stop letting sin have mastery over his life.’ ‘6:13. Neither yield ye (lit. “stop presenting”): In the day to day confrontation with sin, stop giving in. But yield (lit. “present yourselves”): Paul calls for a determined commitment.’

Ah Friends, we all know that the things of the world are bright and flashy and tend to attract and drive our sinful nature, but if we want to be true disciples of Jesus, we have to make a special effort to reject sin and all that it stands for. And our God is so wonderful and well organized that He sent His Holy Spirit to dwell in us to enable us to do it.

The problem though is that we have to listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, because He will not force His will on us. That means it’s up to us to get serious and buckle down to the bidding of the Holy Spirit, if we’re to be truly children of God. Let’s wake up to right thinking and right living nuh my people, for that is indeed wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…humans struggle with two natures…one that tends toward sin and the things of the world…and another that looks to righteousness and the things of God…the latter is by far the much better one to adopt…