Today’s Scrip-Bit   17 September 2022 Matthew 19:26.

Matthew 19:26.       With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

Well it’s lazy Saturday again friends! But the ole fella wasn’t lazy this morning, he was up bright and early and moving around. (smile) I guess that was possibly because he went to bed fairly early last night, or this morning. That’s one of the disadvantages of going to bed too early, you can’t have a good excuse to lie around in bed all day. In any case the Lord’s work is always waiting to be done, so lying around is not an option, we have to get up and shake a leg, have a look at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Unfortunately though, this past week our friend must have been a bit confused because he sent us three quotes that he had just sent us the previous week. And out of the new two ones, I struggled to understand one of them, as they say, couldn’t make head nor tail of it, so I’m leaving it alone, rather than make a mess of it. That leaves us with only one quote for this week, but it’s a good one, and we ought to be able to do it justice. (smile) And here it is: ‘There is nothing impossible to those who will try.’ 

Now, we all know the mantra of success is try, try, try and try again, until you succeed. And that’s true to a certain extent, but some things are just impossible to man regardless of how often he tries. And that’s because he wasn’t made by the Creator to accomplish all that he desired in his own strength. The truth is that one needs to be a believer in and follower of Jesus Christ to be able to do certain things. 

And we all know, or ought to know (smile) the story of the rich young man who came to Jesus asking what he could do to gain eternal life. And though he had kept the basics of the Ten Commandments, Jesus told him: ‘If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.’ (Matt. 19:21) 

Oh, that was obviously difficult for the young man to do since he had many possessions, so he went away sad and disappointed. But we should not look down on him, because most of us would have done, and right now would probably do the same thing if Jesus told us to sell what little we had and come and follow Him. That led to this very controversial statement of Jesus to the disciples. ‘Verily I say unto you that a rich man shall hardly enter (it is hard for a rich man to enter) into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.’ (Matt. 19:23-24) 

Now there are a few things we must clear up before moving on. Jesus’ response to the rich young man was simply to show how hard it is to be a true disciple. As the scholars explain: ‘This passage teaches the seriousness of true discipleship, but in no way teaches the average man that he must sell his possessions in order to be a Christian.’ At that time, it was thought that the rich were blessed and would automatically be saved, no wonder the disciple’s shock at Jesus’ statement. But He was showing them the human difficulty for the rich to be converted, because wealth just brings out a selfish and greedy aspect of our human nature. 

It was indeed difficult, but not hopeless. Otherwise, people like Abraham and His children, Job, Bruh David, Cousin Sol and other filthy rich people wouldn’t have had a snowball’s chance in hell of entering heaven. (smile) The things that seemingly disqualify the rich from heaven are firstly what they do with their wealth, and secondly if they believe in Christ Jesus as Lord and Saviour. If you sincerely believe, and use your wealth to help build the kingdom, then there should be no problem. 

Remember too that it is God who allows us to get wealth, and there’s no call for Christians to be poor and needy, since Jesus came that we might have life and enjoy it to the full, until it overflows. You can’t do that if you’re destitute. So, finally moving on, we come to Jesus’ reply to the shock the disciples felt at hearing that it was easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter heaven. He said to them: ‘With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:26) 

Yes friends, that’s the clincher! It’s what we need to sincerely believe if we are to journey through this earthly life successfully. Remember, none but Jesus is perfect and thus we cannot live a blameless life, and some things just need the impossible power of God to make them happen in our lives. A perfect example of that is God’s gift of grace that gives us eternal life. Without it, eternal life would be impossible for us to achieve. In fact, without a personal relationship with Almighty God, health, wealth and whatever else are of no real benefit to us. 

And I like what Candice Lucey states in her article on the subject on the website Christianity.com. She says: ‘Throughout the Bible, God’s people accomplish unfathomable tasks. God is most glorified by bringing an event to pass which seems impossible.’ And then she points out ‘3 Things to Remember about “With God All Things Are Possible” 1. Power to accomplish the impossible comes from God. 2. The impossible is accomplished for God’s glory. 3. The impossible is accomplished for our good.’ 

Now those are extremely good points for us to contemplate. The impossible can be done only through God’s power, like how Moses brought water forth water from a rock. He didn’t’ do it through His own power, but that of God. Likewise barren women, Elizabeth and Sarah and Hannah didn’t eventually have children through their own power, but through God’s. And what about Abraham impregnating Sarah when he was a hundred and she ninety years old eh? That certainly had nothing to do with their power, but all with God’s. And then the virgin birth, the incarnation of Christ! Mary gave birth to a child without knowing a man! That could only happen through God’s majestic power! 

And then we need to realize that God usually does the impossible to display His glory. Oh, does he ever like to display His glory and power so that men could wise up and see that there’s none like Him! He is the ONE and ONLY ONE to whom all honour and glory belongs! And we only learn that by getting a task that seems impossible in our own strength, but completing it successfully through God’s omnipotent help. And God’s ‘showing off’ is never just to show off, but always for some useful purpose, like the examples we quote above. 

And finally my people, until we realize that ALL God does is for our good, we’ll miss out on a lot of wonderful things, our lives will never be as rich and full as they could be. That’s simply because God LOVES us so completely, we are the apple of His eye, and He wants nothing bad to happen to us. And though we can never be perfect, and this sinful world is filled with problems, we need to put our entire and ultimate trust in His hands so that He can lead and guide us safely along the narrow path that leads through His Son Jesus Christ and ends up at Him! 

My fellow saints, the Lord created us because He wanted fellowship and communion with us, and only when we believe that and do our best to put it into practice, can we ever enjoy life to the fullest, with the joy of the Lord flowing through us! So please, let’s make that our number one purpose and goal nuh! It’s wisdom and common sense to the max! Much LOVE!

…to truly know God…is to truly LOVE Him… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​        

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 July 2021 Matthew 19:26.

Matthew 19:26.      With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Welcome to laziness day – Saturday! Yes, after a hard work week of slogging back and forth in the rush hour traffic, many of us just want to sleep in and get up leisurely, under our own steam, not to the maddening cry of some alarm clock or radio, as happens five days a week.

Now that was the pre-pandemic picture, but what’s happened or is currently happening eh? Are we seeing a different, or new normal? Many of us had no jobs to go to during the raging storm of the virus, so we got accustomed to sleeping in late several days of the week.

But since the lifting of most of the tougher lockdown regulations, some of us have gone back to the nine to five routine. I wonder how we are handling it, after all that free time at home? It must be taking some getting used to. (smile) It’s surprising how habits formed over many years, can be unlearned or cast aside in a short space of time. And how difficult it can be to relearn them. But fear not! We are the children of the Most High God Jehovah, that means we can do anything that’s within His will, for nothing is impossible to Him! All glory to God! 

That brings us to Jesus’ interaction with the rich young ruler who came seeking eternal life. When Jesus told him to keep the commandments, he said he was already doing that, but figured he lacked something. (Matt. 19:16-20) ‘Jesus then said unto him, If thou wilt be (want to be) perfect, go and sell (all) that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.’ (Matt. 19:21) 

Now that must have been like a powerful punch to the gut of the young man. For the Good Book continues: ‘But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.’ (Matt. 19:22) And many of us supposed believers scoff at the young man, but in his position all of us would have felt the same way, because it is indeed difficult to give up wealth. But Jesus was trying to show the man that although he did the outward duties, there was a problem with his inner nature. 

Yes friends, the worldly concern with wealth seriously affects our relationship with God. As Bruh Paul wrote to Timothy. ‘For the LOVE of money is the root of all (kinds of) evil, which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.’ (1 Tim, 6:10) And is that ever the living truth my brethren! 

Money and wealth or material possessions in themselves are not terrible, but it’s the insatiable LOVE for them that gets us into trouble. So much so that our greed is usually our downfall. When we strive after the riches of this world, we usually end up in trouble, for they do not allow us to take God seriously or move in the direction of His august and awesome plan for our lives. 

No wonder Jesus made these eye-opening statements to the disciples. ‘Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ (Matt. 19:23) Meaning that it was, or is hard, extremely difficult, for a rich man to enter heaven. And the disciples most likely looked at Christ in amazement, with their tongues hanging out of their mouths, for back then it was generally understood that it was the rich who got to heaven easily because they were blessed by God and in some sense, automatically saved. 

But Jesus corrected that misunderstanding by telling them that it was very hard for the rich to be converted, born again and be saved, because of their innate affection for their material wealth, though it was not altogether hopeless. That led Him to make this statement which has caused controversy from the time He spoke it until now. ‘And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.’ (Matt. 19:24) 

Mama Yo! What a statement! And ‘When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?’ (Matt. 19:25) Now that’s a very good question my brethren? But let’s focus for a moment on what Jesus meant when He said those controversial words. 

The scholars tell us thus: ‘The illustration of a camel going through the eye of a needle has been interpreted as a camel-hair rope going through a needle; or an actual camel squeezing through a small gate, in particular, the one called “The Eye of the Needle” next to the main gate at Jerusalem, or the absolute impossibility of a literal camel actually going through a tiny needle’s eye. This last usage is most likely.’ 

And, considering Jesus’ next pronouncement, that seems to make sense. ‘But Jesus beheld them (the disciples), and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:26) I guess He was trying to bring home to them, to open up their young minds to the true and awesome power that their God possessed. So powerful was He, that He could even make a large unwieldly and ungainly camel go through the small eye of a needle. And believe me friends, our God can do it! And until we truly believe that He has such awesome power, we will continue to sell Him, and consequently our faith and ourselves short! 

Oh precious people, if God could create this magnificent universe and all therein, then make Jesus come down to earth, be born of a virgin, with no man’s help, then do all kinds of miracles while being sinless here on earth. And eventually sacrifice His sinless life on the cross for us, pay for our sins and reconcile us to Himself, then have Him ascend back into heaven, and send His Holy Spirit to dwell within us, to lead and guide us, why can’t He do such a simple thing as make a camel go through the eye of a needle eh? (smile) 

Seriously though friends, in light of all we have heard and seen our God do, we still don’t believe His omnipotence as we ought to. I guess that’s because of our small, finite minds, they are simply unable to grasp the true magnitude of our great God. But please, let’s keep on trying. The worst thing we could ever do is to stop believing in Him, to give up on Him. Much LOVE!

..our God can do…whatever needs to be done…or undone…because He is the eternal Creator…                                  

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Today​’s Scrip-Bit 13 March 2019 Matthew 19:21.

Matthew 19:21.   ​Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be (want to be) perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
 
What did the man say? ‘Fight one more round…just one more round…before giving up!’ Ah friends, that’s exactly what the ole fella’s doing; fighting one more round, as in going into the big city of T.O. for another medical appointment, and that’s also why he’s up so early writing the Bit! Aren’t you proud of him? I know you are! (smile) 

Yeh, it’s a pain in the rear end to be always going into the city for these medical appointments, but the long and short of the story is that they are for my benefit, not the doctors. So if I don’t go, who’s going to suffer eh? They might not even make less money since there are oodles of people lining up to see them. 

And today, in this season of Lent, where we all aspire to get more spiritual, (smile) we’ll look at an interesting situation in Jesus’ time that still holds good even today, and possibly more so than ever. It all begins with this quote from Uncle John (John Hagee), which says: ‘Your spiritual strength is measured not by what you can believe, but in what you can obey.’ Living truth that my people! Believing is easy, but obeying cuts right to the quick of our sinful hearts and desires! 

And we have a great example of that in the rich young ruler who came to Jesus asking about eternal life. The Good Book reports it thus: ‘And behold, one came and said unto him (Jesus), Good Master (Teacher), what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 

And he (Jesus) said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt (want to) enter into life, keep the commandments. He (the man) saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: And thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.’ (Matt.19:16-19) 

Now that’s standard fare for us all, the basic dictates of the Ten Commandments that the Lord gave to Moses on Mt. Sinai, for the Israelites and all those who believed in Him to follow. And the Good Book continues: ‘The young man saith unto him (Jesus), All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 

Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be (want to be) perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.’ (Matt.19:20-22) 

Ah friends, yuh see what we talking about? Spiritual strength is so much more than just believing! That young rich ruler believed, but he just couldn’t obey. Selling his many possessions and then giving away the resultant funds to the poor was just too much for him to handle. And so it is for many of us in today’s very materialistic society. We believers who are supposed to be in the world but not of the world, are too often caught up in those same very materialistic situations like that young man of old. 

And the scholars offer this insightful explanation. ‘19:18-22. This list of commands in verse 18 centres on outward duties, rather than inward nature, which was the young man’s real problem. He protests that he had kept these outward demands. His luxurious wealth and self-righteousness had blinded him to his real weakness. To expose this, Jesus orders, go and sell all your possessions and give to the poor…and come…follow me (v.21). 

This he would not do and went away sorrowful. Jesus thus shows him that he had not kept the commandments at all. He LOVED himself more than he LOVED his neighbour (the poor), and he LOVED his possessions more than he LOVED God (“me”). This passage teaches the seriousness of true discipleship, but it in no way teaches the average man that he must sell his possessions in order to be a Christian.’  

No friends, the average Joe does not have to give away all his stuff, but I’m sure that we’d all agree that there is certainly too much poverty in our society, when overall there is immense prosperity. This therefore means that too few have too much, and too many have too little. Consequently there needs to be a touch of equalization, where some of us who have a lot, give to those who don’t have much. 

And that was the original purpose of the church; to help those in need, as we see from Acts 2:44-45. ‘And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted (distributed) them to all men, as every man had need.’ 

Yes friends, I know the church was much smaller then and they could do that kind of communal living, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that the church today, meaning all of us believers, is definitely not as sympathetic and giving to the needy as Jesus would like us to be, because we are too attached to our earthly possessions. 

 Remember we are the hands and feet, the body of Jesus down here on earth, and whatever we do will reflect on Him. So for Jesus’ sake, my fellow believers, please, I implore us, let’s try and do better nuh. In this way, the world will have a much more accepting disposition to our Lord and Saviour and thus less souls will be lost to the enemy. 

Now let’s go home wailing our Wednesday Wail, telling all and sundry our sure-fire position in Christ. As one strong voice now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Now that’s a future that none of us should  want to miss! Much LOVE!

…getting is very dependent on giving…you’ll get…as you give…