Today’s Scrip-Bit   23 March 2022 ​Proverbs 1:7.

Proverbs 1:7.      The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and understanding.

Oh friends, like so many other things in this crazy world, the bright spring-like weather was too good to last! We had it for three consecutive days. Let’s be thankful for it and show our endurance and faithfulness by embracing the cold, wet scene out there in our neighborhood, that’s even got some white precipitation, actually ice, speckling the ground. (smile) It’s not much mind you, but at this time of year, we don’t want to see any white on the ground at all. Matter fixed! 

And that’s why, this Wednesday morning in late March of this confusing and oh so uncertain year of 2022, we are going to listen to the amazing wisdom that flowed from the pen of Cousin Sol so long ago, when he declared at the beginning of Proverbs: ‘A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain (acquire) unto wise counsels.’ (Prov. 1:5) 

And that’s the indisputable truth my faithful brethren in Christ! If one is wise, one will always pursue learning, and seek out the counsel, the wisdom and understanding of other wise persons. And that’s even truer, if possible, (smile) for believers in Christ Jesus, because He desires us to keep on learning all through our earthly lives, since we can never know enough about the kingdom of God and its righteousness, and the more we know, the better off we will be. 

Now, before we go further, let’s talk about a couple of definitions, namely that of ‘wisdom’ and ‘understanding.’ The former basically means ‘wise behaviour or living, or good sense.’ On the other hand, understanding ‘means the capability to distinguish between true and false, good and bad, what matters most and what does not matter at all.’ 

So, hopefully, when we have wisdom and understanding, we can live a full and meaningful life. However, two verses later, Cousin Sol injects one more important principle by warning that ‘The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and understanding.’ (Prov. 1:7) 

Wow! Now that’s the key to the whole matter of wisdom and understanding; having a reverential awe of Jehovah God! Yes friends, without that awesome reverence of God we can never acquire true wisdom and understanding because they come from Him, for He is the original fountain of wisdom and understanding.

 And Cousin Sol corroborates that when he says in Proverbs 3: ‘The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths (deeps) are broken up, and the clouds drop down dew.’ (Prov. 3:19-20) There you have it friends! As the scholars explain: ‘Wisdom is so important that God himself used it in creating the world.’ 

The patriarch Job, also had something to say about wisdom and understanding. While undergoing his trials and tribulation, he asked this most material question: ‘But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding. (Job 28:12) Then, after setting out many different scenarios, he ends with this magnificent answer. ‘And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.’ (Job 28:28) 

Mama Mia! What an awesome scripture! Yes friends, wisdom is God’s gift to mankind…but we must diligently seek it throughout our lives. And now, having gained some insight into the origin of wisdom and how to acquire it, let’s go back to that most important verse which talks about ‘the fear of the Lord.’ 

And the scholars give us a good explanation on it. They say that ‘The fear of the Lord means submission to the Lord and His revelation. When one is afraid of something, he either runs from it or submits to it. The latter idea is in view here. It is a healthy fear, like the fear of electricity or the fear of one’s parents, which causes one to act in an appropriate manner. The beginning does not mean that ‘the fear of the Lord’ is left behind in the course of acquiring wisdom, but that it is the controlling principle of wisdom.’ 

And so it is my people! To keep on acquiring wisdom throughout our lives, like Jesus desires of us, we must always have the reverence of God blossoming in our souls, bodies and spirits, for without it, true wisdom is not obtainable, no matter how hard we try. And please remember that we’re not talking about wisdom as the world defines it, but as God, the original source of ALL wisdom does!  

So, now that we have some understanding of true wisdom and understanding, (smile) I think we’ll end for today, because it’s already late and continuing with the second part of our Bit will make it even later and too long. And for those of us who have chosen the path of true wisdom by reverencing Almighty God, let’s go home declaring (steups!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

As one strong, sincere and confident voice: ‘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!’ 

And we all know that if we endure to the end, that the future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! So please let’s concentrate on, plan on enduring to the end nuh, so that we can enjoy it. Much LOVE!

…with God’s gift of free will…we can either be wise or foolish…but each choice has consequences…for good…or for bad…  

P.S. Please accept my humble apologies for the lateness of the bit, but I had an important matter to go out and attend to. But as they say…Better late than never! (smile) Much LOVE! 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   16 March 2022 Isaiah 33:22.

Isaiah 33:22. For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.

And now that we’ve come to Wednesday, the middle of the work week, hopefully we can take a restful breath and catch our second wind, especially after the snowfall we endured yesterday afternoon that tied up the traffic and caused numerous problems, as it has the bad habit of doing. (smile) But, as believers in Christ Jesus, we are expected, hard as it might be at times, to rise above the worries and problems of this world, through the leading and guiding of Christ’s Holy Spirit that dwells within us for that very purpose. 

However, that only happens when we listen and are obedient to the Spirit’s guidance. So, to all of us, I plead, please, please, let’s pay serious attention to the Holy Spirit nuh, so that our earthly journeys can be less difficult and frustrating than they otherwise will be. End of sermon! (smile) 

And since the Lord has seen it fit to give us another day on earth to continue His important work, let’s return to those marvellous words of Isaiah that we’ve been studying for the last couple days. ‘For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king, he will save us.’ (Is. 33:22) Yes friends, our God is all of those things to His most magnificent creation. Give Him thanks and praise for His goodness to us underserving children of men! 

Now, today we will tackle the last and possibly the most important aspect of them all, ‘he will save us.’ And why is that you ask? Because God can be our judge, lawgiver and king, but if He doesn’t save our sinful souls, we’ll still be ending up in ole hades with the demonic master. So, saving us is of the utmost importance! And Jacob, the father of the twelve tribes of Israel, knew this, for when prophesying over His sons, said about Dan: ‘I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord.’ (Gen. 49:18) 

But, being the wise and wonderful Deity that He is, Jehovah God obviously had a plan for that from the very beginning, and made it clear in several passages of His Guide Book for Earthly Living: the Bible. And if you don’t believe me, then listen to these magnificent scriptures of the promise of salvation, beginning with these most encouraging and reassuring words from Bruh David from Psalm 37 – The true state of the wicked. 

He ends the psalm thus: ‘But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble. And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.’ (Ps. 37:39-40). And we know that our God doesn’t make idle promises! 

Then Isaiah, in talking about Israel’s restoration to Zion, delivers this message from God: ‘Say to them that are of a fearful heart, be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense: he will come and save you.’ (Is. 35:4) All through His word the Lord’s been reassuring His people of salvation and a good end. And Isaiah again, in The song of praise by the redeemed, confidently declares: ‘And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.’ (Is. 25:9) 

Yes, my faithful brethren, ONLY, the Lord God Jehovah can give us salvation! And He spelt it right out, so that there could be no misunderstanding, through this mighty promise of scripture from Isaiah that we all know, re the birth of the Prince of Peace, Jesus, the Messiah, the Saviour of the world. 

‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgement and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.’ (Is. 9:6-7) 

Oh, what a powerful picture that is my people of our Lord and Saviour, Immanuel! A benevolent ruler, who will eventually bring peace and LOVE to our fractured world! And that Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ was born on Christmas Day and grew into the man who declared His Sonship of God, and the fulfillment of God’s promises, His mighty plans of deliverance and salvation for His people, through these awesome words. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world ; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17) 

Game, set and match, mih bredrin! Matter done! Salvation has been provided! God’s awesome promises have been fulfilled! And it’s so simple: all we have to do is believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and truly died on the cross of Calvary to atone for our sins! John, the apostle, who walked with Christ, agrees and says it thus: ‘And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.’ (1 John 4:14-15) 

Wow! None of the other supposed gods make it that easy to come to them. They can’t, because they don’t exist. But the Lord God Jehovah can do so because He is the One True and Living God who has the omnipotent power to save with righteousness and justice! All glory be to His mighty and holy name! 

Ah friends, all I can say is that the option Jesus provides is much better than that provided by the enemy Satan. And since there are only two options, I believe, or rather I know, that Jesus is the wiser choice. However, we each have to make our own decisions. But please remember that there are serious consequences to either choice, and do take the consequences into consideration before making your personal choice. 

For those of us though, who have already made the decision to follow Jesus, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Jesus. As one confident 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!’ 

And as we remind ourselves every Wednesday; if we endure to the end, the future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! So please let that encourage us to endure to the end nuh! Much LOVE!

…JESUS…the Saviour of the world…He defeated death…and now offers Eternal Life…to any who believe… 

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

    

Today’s Scrip-Bit   9 March 2022 Psalm 27:10.

Psalm 27:10.      When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up (take care of me).

Another bright sunshiny day on God’s great earth, with Jesus at the helm of our lives! Wow! What a mighty privilege my people! For as the song so rightly says, He’s our reason for living, He’s our source of survival, the One we look to when things and times are tough! 

That’s why we need Jesus in the morning, in the evening, in the midnight hour, in fact every minute of every day we badly need Him, because He’s the only One who can lift us up when our souls and spirits are cast down, when we are forsaken and lost without a strong and trusted guide and a safe harbour to anchor in when the storms of life batter and bruise us. 

And we cannot find a better promise than this magnificent one from Psalm 27 – The Lord is my light and my salvation – where Bruh David trustingly declares (chuh man!!!): ‘When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up (take care of me). (Ps. 27:10) 

Now does any other supposed God offer such a magnanimous promise? Obviously not! Because they are dead like doorposts and thus don’t have the power to do it! But our wonderful living Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ indeed has the awesome power to do that, as well as any other promise He’s made! All glory and honour to the One True God my faithful brethren, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

Oh friends, that most reassuring promise of never leaving nor forsaking His people, was one promise that all the prophets down through the ages knew for certain and spoke of to all who would listen. And if you don’t believe me, let’s check out a few appropriate scriptures. And the first one is this famous verse from the prophet Isaiah, where he proclaims on the Lord’s behalf. ‘Can a woman forget her suckling (nursing) child, that she should not (and not have) compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven (engraved, inscribed) thee upon the palm of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.’ (Is. 49:15-16) 

Oh what a blessed promise! For as the scholar’s say, that speaks to, ‘reveals the eternal security of the salvation of God’s people. They are inseparably united to Him.’ And we all know that inscribing of our lives in God’s palms was physically portrayed by the nail marks in Christ’s hands where He hung from the cross for our deliverance, the atonement, the payment for our abominable sins. 

Remember when Thomas, one of Jesus’ disciples doubted that his fellow disciples had seen the risen Jesus, and refused to believe, saying unto them: ‘Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.’ (John 20:25) And we all know what happens when we doubt Jesus. He will prove us wrong. 

Eight days later, He again shows up before the disciples, once more coming through the shut doors. This time Thomas is with them, and after saying ‘Peace be unto you,’ He accosts the doubting Thomas with these words. ‘Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless (unbelieving), but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen me, and yet have believed.’ (John 20:27-29) 

Yes friends, it’s all about belief; belief in Jesus Christ, that He has done what He says, and can do what He promises! And we won’t see Christ in living colour until He comes back again, but based on His Word, we know that He is the indisputable One True God, who will never leave nor forsake us, and if we are wise, having heard His Word, we will put our total trust in Him. And yes, I know we meandered some, (smile) but it was absolutely necessary to ensure that we had some physical proof of God’s enormous caring and compassion, seen through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus on our behalf. 

So, let’s go back to some of those scriptures on God’s eternal fatherly image. The prophet Malachi said it thus on the Lord’s behalf: ‘And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels (special treasure); and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.’ (Mal. 3:17) 

Please note though my people, the last part there which specifies servanthood. It’s what Christ came to do, as He said to the disciples when they were striving as to who would be the greatest among them. ‘And whosoever will be chief (first) among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto (to be served), but to minister (serve) and to give his life a ransom for many.’ (Matt. 20:27-28) 

Now that’s exactly what He also expects of His followers, and said it in plain terms after He washed the disciples’ feet. ‘For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.’ (John 13:15) And the truth is that no leader is worthy to be thus, until he or she can serve with a pure heart, or come under the authority of others without balking at the experience. 

And the last scripture on God’s non-forsaking of His people comes from Psalm 103 – Thanksgiving for God’s mercy – more marvellously reassuring words from the pen of Bruh David, where he proclaims: ‘Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame (understands our constitution); he remembereth that we are dust.’ (Ps. 103:13-14) 

Yes my fellow saints, the Lord remembers that He created us from the dust of the earth and thus we are somewhat frail and fragile, and not able to bear a whole lot of trials and tribulations on our own, so He comes to the aid of those who revere and honour Him through His One Son, Jesus Christ. It’s as simple as that! And for those of us who sincerely try to do it, let’s go home now, telling all and sundry about our blessed position in Christ Jesus, through our Wednesday Wail. 

As one strong, sincere and determined voice: ‘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!’

 And yuh better believe that if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine. So, let’s stand strong and endure to the end with Christ’s help my brethren! Much LOVE!

…only believe…only believe…that’s all it takes…sincere belief… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 January 2022 Luke 14:27.

Luke 14:27.     And whosoever doth not bear his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.    

And it’s another cloudy, frosty Wednesday morning! A little of the white stuff fell in my area last night, but not enough to make a difference, but we are still surrounded by a sea of white, although the roads are passable today, and we might have more problems with ice than snow. (smile) Oh, and by the way, the duchess’ prediction re the snow removal, did not come through, because the trucks and scoops came early in the evening to remove it, instead of late in the night as she had forecasted, and as they often do.

But that’s enough about snow and the unfortunate weather we’ve been having. It’s time to talk about something that will truly make a difference. And what’s that you ask? We’re talking about some of the many immortal words our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ spoke while on His earthly sojourn. These were spoken around the time of His triumphal entrance into Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday, when the disciples informed Him that a group of Greeks who had come to Jerusalem for the feast were desirous of talking to Him.

The Good Book relates it thus: ‘And Jesus answered them (the disciples), saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn (grain) of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth (remains) alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that LOVETH his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my father honour.’ (John 12:23-26)

Yes friends, Jesus expects a high degree of selflessness from His followers, but to be sure, they are well rewarded for it. Now let’s clear up one major point before moving on. It concerns the matter of LOVE and hate in the scriptures. The scholars offer this explanation of verse 25 above. They say: ‘Whenever we see LOVE and hate contrasted we should understand that LOVE for the one is so undivided that it may appear as hate for the other; although it is not necessarily so (cf. Luke 14:26, disciples hating mother and father; Rom. 9:13. God hating Esau.’

Oftentimes, it’s not an emotional thing, but just the Father’s will; like with Jacob and Esau. Jacob was blessed while Esau was not. So every time we see LOVE and hate in the scriptures, we need to take a moment to stop and consider the true meaning, whether it was an emotional problem or just one party being more favoured than another. And if we consider the verse referenced above in Luke, we can see exactly what they are talking about.

There Jesus counted the cost of following Him, to the multitude around Him, when He says: ‘If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren (brothers), and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.’ (Luke 14:26-27)

Oh my people, it is indeed a high price to pay to follow Jesus, but that’s just how important it is to follow Him. And He doesn’t mean we have to dislike our family or friends, just that, as the scholars put it. ‘In comparison to one’s devotion to Christ, one’s family ties must be secondary. This does not set aside Jesus’ other teachings to LOVE one’s enemies, to honour father and mother, and the like. It does highlight that absolute loyalty to Christ is paramount, even though in many societies, including the one in which Jesus taught, as well as many today, following Him involves precisely the either-or that this verse sets up.’

And that’s so sad, because Jesus never meant for us to give up our friends and families, but just to put Hm first. But in way too many cases, religiosity unfortunately, and wrongly forces us to give up one or the other. Yes, you can’t serve God and mammon or money, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have much money, because money is important in forwarding Christ’s kingdom in this sinful world.

So please, let’s not allow religion to drive us to one camp or the other, for in Christ, remember, we are all ONE! There’s no difference between the rich and the poor, the slave and the free, the Jew and the Gentile in Christ’s eyes. It’s only important that we live our lives sincerely trying to obey His will. So what’s the long and short of the story, you ask?

Well, I believe it’s spelled out in two sets of scriptures. The first is Jesus’ sincere admonishment to the disciples. ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:4-5) Now that’s Jesus telling it like it really is! In this world, we can do nothing of any consequence without Him!

And the second set of scriptures that I believe explains our purpose on this earth, is Jesus response to the question, posed by an uppity, self-righteous, hypocritical lawyer of the Jewish ruling class: ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:36-40)

Yes my fellow saints, from the beginning of time, that’s what the prophets been preaching; the absolute and miraculous power of LOVE! It’s marvellous ability to bring things and people together to live in harmony, with Almighty God and with each other! And that’s what our world is sadly lacking in these troubled times; a real sense of caring, of compassion, of LOVE for God and each other. So it seems that’s where our focus should be centred, be concentrated in these calamitous times, if we sincerely desire true improvement in our world. And that’s the long and short of the story! (smile)

Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to preach and practice LOVE, let’s go home declaring (chuh!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. As one loud, confident voice: ‘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!’ 

And believe me people, if we endure to the end, then that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! So let’s hang in there and acclaim Christ’s name nuh, like He so richly deserves! Much LOVE!

…to God the Father…be the glory…through Christ Jesus…the Son…

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   12 January 2022 Philippians 2:14.

Philippians 2:14.      Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings:    

Well it’s Wednesday, not bright like the other days, but just as cold. And would you believe I have to go into the great city of Toronto for a medical check-up. Chuh! It’s a pain going there with all the traffic and confusion, and I would just LOVE to cancel it. (smile) But I can’t find any plausible reason to do so, and, like in most of our problems, I am the beneficiary of the check-up, not the medical people. So if I don’t go, I’m not doing them anything, I’m just putting myself in harms way.

And deep down I know that the Lord will look after me, but I guess it’s just my laziness, or desire not to have to go out into the cold. But sacrifices are a part of this life, and furthermore, it’s a sacrifice for my life, not for anyone else’s. So if you can’t sacrifice for yourself, whom are you going to sacrifice for eh? So enough with the complaining, with the hemming and hawing of whether I should go or not. And I guess, under these circumstances we should take a look at what the Good Book says about complaining. Hn, Hn!

Now Bruh Paul says it loud and clear to the Philippians. ‘Wherefore my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of (according to) his good pleasure.

Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights in the world.’ (Phil. 2:12-15)

Yes friends, complaining, grumbling, murmuring, disputing or any such negative sentiment, should not be numbered amongst the Christian’s tool kit. Why is that, you ask? I like how the gotquestions.org website explains it in an article on the subject.

‘Complaining is certainly not a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) and, in fact, is detrimental to the peace, joy, and patience that come from the Spirit. For the Christian, complaining is destructive and debilitating personally and only serves to make our witness to the world more difficult. Who, for instance, would be attracted to a religion whose adherents are dissatisfied with life and who continually grumble and complain?’

Ah mih people, It’s hard enough to get the unbeliever to respond when we’re kind and contented, much less if we’re continually dissatisfied! And the scholars’ offer this explanation re ‘2:14. Since God is producing in the Philippians the willing and doing of His good and perfect will (vs. 13), there can be no legitimate reason for murmurings and disputings. Not only are they forbidden to complain about the difficulties and persecutions that will befall them in carrying out God’s good pleasure, but quarreling among themselves is also prohibited.’

So all of the nonsense that’s going on between us, supposed believers, re the Covid-19 virus and the many other problems is totally unchristian. And that’s one of the major reasons why we can’t solve any of them; no agreement on how to handle the situations. And that will cause problems every time. For it’s only when we agree, to at least disagree, that healing can begin. And is there ever so much disagreement in our world right now!

I don’t know if there’s anything that we even agree on, and it’s causing so many unnecessary fires both literally and figuratively, to be lit and to keep burning incessantly and with much rage. In fact, rage might be the one common denominator in our world today, for we are all up in arms about something, and nobody wants to give an inch.

That means Peter’s words are continually falling on deaf ears: ‘Use hospitality one to another without grudging (grumbling).’ (1 Pet. 4:9) It’s sad, but ever so true, that the amount of infighting that’s going on between, families, organizations, societies, and nations is mind-boggling and most definitely intolerable, if we are to ever defeat our common problems. And it’s also obvious that we have not taken the immortal words of Hebrews to heart: ‘Let brotherly LOVE continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.’ (Heb. 13:1-2)

Oh friends, we never know who is going to cross our path that will eventually play a large role in our affairs, that’s why it’s so necessary to treat each other with kindness and hospitality, and the only way to bring about some much needed peace and quiet in our tormented and troubled world. Remember what the Good Book says: We are to be ‘blameless and harmless,’ that’s innocent and above rebuke, so we could shine like bright lights in an evil and misguided generation.

That means we are also undoing and disobeying Christ’s desire, when He said: ‘Ye are the light of the world…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14a, 16) And let’s remember that whomever we may be, or whatever our position, our major purpose on this earth is to glorify our heavenly Father!

Now for those of us who are sincerely trying to do that, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. So altogether 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!’ 

And my faithful brethren, let’s not forget either, that if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! That’s just a li’l something to keep us excited, strong and continually motivated to work for Christ! (smile) Much LOVE!

…unfortunately…we believers…instead of using our light to uncover the world’s darkness…we are allowing the world’s darkness to cover our light…

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   5 January 2022 Isaiah 59:2.

Isaiah 59:2.     But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. 

And the days move along ever so quickly, just like they’ve been programmed to do by Almighty God, their awesome Creator. Yes, it’s already the fifth of the month, and we were just celebrating New Year’s Eve. And it’s already Wednesday, when we were just getting our heads around Monday and a new work week. But that’s the way the world works; it waits for no man, but for its creator. 

Like it did way back in Joshua’s time, in a battle between the Israelites and Amorites, when, to give His people time to overcome their enemy the Lord said ‘in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies… So the sun stood still in the midst of the heaven, and hasted not (did not hasten) to go down about a whole day. And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the Lord hearkened (heeded) unto the voice of a man: for the Lord fought for Israel.’ (Josh. 10:12-14) 

Now, there’s another of God’s many miraculous acts on Israel’s behalf and yet they continued to turn away from Him and worship idols and other false gods. That just boggles my imagination. All I can think of is that they were a rather selfish, stubborn and hardheaded people like we are, always asking the foolish question, like we do; ‘What have you done for me lately?’ All I’ve done before doesn’t seem to matter, just what I’ve done lately. 

That’s the mark of an ungrateful, selfish, egotistical and ungodly person and society. And, unfortunately, that question is currently prevalent throughout our now for now, want it immediately society. And it leads to all kinds of selfishness, deceit, fraud and corruption, as we try to keep up with the wanton greed and first-person singular society that we’ve become. 

No wonder, the prophet Isaiah warned Israel thus: ‘Behold the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood (bloodshed), and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity (empty words), and bring forth iniquity.’ (Is. 59:1-4) 

Oh my people, if we are honest with ourselves, we would all agree that that is an excellent description of our current society and world. And as the scholars’ remark: ‘Chapter 59 continues the judgements enumerated in chapter 58 regarding Israel’s hypocrisy. God’s hand is not yet beyond the reach of salvation. But their sins separated them from His presence, and they are described in detail throughout the chapter.’ 

Yes friends, if you read the agonizing truth of Israel’s blasphemy and idolatry you will find it remarkably resembles ours in almost every category. And if you don’t believe me, let’s listen to some more of Isaiah’s reproach. ‘Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity, wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgement (justice) in their goings (tracks, ways): they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace. 

Therefore is judgement (justice) far from us, neither doth justice (righteousness) overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity (darkness); for brightness, but we walk in darkness (gloom, blackness). We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men.’ (Is. 59:7-10) 

Ah mih bredrin, our world is in the same sad and sorry state that Israel was in back then. The big difference though is that we have the Messiah and all His teachings and a host of other opportunities that they didn’t have or know about, yet we still have gravitated down to their sinful and ungodly level. No, in fact we are worse than they ever were, because we have been placed on a higher level, gotten more from the Lord, thus more is expected of us. But in our foolish wisdom, we have chosen to imitate, to follow Satan instead of Jesus. 

How unwise that is! You just have to look at the strife-filled, distrustful, disunified state of our world to realize it. Unfortunately, though, not enough of us are doing that, thus we are not seeing that the only hope we have is turning back to Jehovah God, away from the anemic, wicked and deceitful fool called Satan. Who, as we all know, got kicked out of heaven from his cushy job as an archangel because he wanted to overthrow the One who created him. How foolish is that eh? And yet, today, we are basking in the unholy glow of that same unwise, impudent creation whose abode is the depths of Hades, filled with sin and hellfire! 

What’s wrong with us friends? Are we so shortsighted or so enamoured with the immediate pleasures of sin, that we can’t spare a moment to think of the harsh consequences that come from such behaviour? We all know that the wages of sin is death, that’s spiritual death, but somehow or other we either don’t truly believe it, or think that somehow or other we will be able to escape it. But that’s pure folly my people! 

The ONLY thing that will save us from spiritual death, from eternal separation from God, and eternal damnation with Satan is to accept Christ as Lord and Saviour, and live the way He desires! But sometimes it seems like we’re flogging a dead horse when we teach these sentiments, because so many of us are just dying to get, living for the sinful pleasures of this sinful world! That’s enough preaching for today though! (smile) 

However, for those of us who are set on the right path, the narrow one that leads to Jesus, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ. And hopefully when the heathen hear it, they will adjust their thinking and reach out to Him for dear life, the life that never ends.  

Altogether 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!’ 

And believe me, if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! It will be mind blowing mih people! Much LOVE!

…the pleasures of sin are short lived…but the consequences can be eternal…  

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   8 December 2021 Psalm 139:23.

Psalm 139:23.     Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts:

Well, the wet, white stuff drizzling down out there, has my area white and slushy and messy. (smile) And you know that once man gets into something he just naturally makes a mess of it. The white stuff looks beautiful when it’s untouched by mankind, but after that…Chuh! It’s totally ugly! Anyway, with Christ in our lives, we can see anything, even the ugliest of the ugly, and it will look beautiful to us. That’s just how much His presence in our lives can accomplish. But before we can get to that state, or stage of mind, we first have to go through a metamorphosis, as described by this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Poems with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, aptly titled ‘Turnabout.’ 

It says: ‘God, for so long I thought that by praying I could change Your mind. Often I prayed Fervently pleading Until I felt Emotionally pulverized. Then I gradually began to grasp That the purpose of prayer Is to find Your mind and let You change mine. Little by little The turnabout is renewing me. Slowly I begin to feel A settling quietness. I wait while You woo me To Your will, dear Lord. I wait until my thoughts Harmonize with Yours. For in my deepest heart Despite my guarded resistance I somehow sense That what You want from me Is stupendously more Than anything I could Dream or wish or want For myself.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth friends! Our great and wonderful God wants way more for us than we can even think or imagine, but we keep belittling ourselves. And until we sincerely and seriously come to realize His awesome plans and intentions for our lives, we will always fall way below our God-given potential. And the first step towards that goal is to realize that the purpose of prayer is not to change God’s mind, but to change ours, to bring our will into harmony with His. Remember He’s Number One, that means His will must be first and foremost in our lives. 

And even when we realize this, the turnaround doesn’t happen overnight, not even quickly, because it’s something we’ve got to become accustomed to, that must become a habit for us to successfully complete the metamorphosis. As the poem says: ‘Slowly I begin to feel A settling quietness. I wait while You woo me To Your will, dear Lord. I wait until my thoughts Harmonize with Yours.’ Yes my people, in all our dealings with our heavenly Father, a period of waiting is necessary. He can change us overnight, if He so desires, but then we would not appreciate the change like we should. 

Please note the butterfly; he begins life as a caterpillar, but he knows that flying is his ultimate end, and though he’s eager and anxious to fly, he knows that he must go through a period of waiting, of being a slimy, creeping, crawling caterpillar before he changes into a beautiful butterfly. And he also knows that the change from crawler to flyer is not going to be an easy one, involving many complications, but then too, he is willing to undergo that painful change from caterpillar to butterfly, so that he can achieve his divine destiny. 

Now that’s how we ought to be my brethren; willing to go through the changes, slow and painful though they may be, so that we can accomplish God’s divine plan for our lives. And the Bible verses upon which our poem is based are good, solid, meaningful ones from the pen of Bruh David, from that marvellous Psalm 139 – titled ‘The everlasting presence and power of God.’ They are the last two verses, where he pleads: ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ (Ps. 139:23-24) 

Wow mih people! What an awesome request! But it’s a state to which believers must strive to attain. A state of mind where we can confidently and seriously ask the Lord to check our hearts and deal with any negative or evil stuff that’s buried deep within. Only when we can do that, will we have attained to a state of grace that allows us the freedom to come and go to God without any fear or anxiety, because we know that He will not judge or punish us, but meet us right where we are with His amazing LOVE and mercy. 

Yuh see how Bruh David was always in God’s face, regardless of the wrong things he might have done? That’s why God could call him His friend and a man after His own heart. He always came to Him with His problems, was constantly praising and talking to Him. That’s how we ought to be. As Bruh Paul said to the Thessalonians: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-18) 

That is what the Lord wants of and for us. To come to Him in prayer on each and every matter, big or small, being joyful and giving thanks, knowing that He’s in control and will eventually make all things right in our lives. But that depends on the levels of our trust in Him and our surrender to His divine will. And those can only grow over time, as we increasingly feel more comfortable with going to Him with all our problems and seeing His work in our lives. 

And if we want to see that ‘Turnabout’ in our lives then we must begin doing the things it takes as soon as possible, like right now! (smile) Because the longer we wait to begin, the longer it will take to happen, and we’ll miss out on a whole lot of good things in between. Yes friends, I can guarantee, that when you get comfortable with going to God on all matters, your life will change for the better. Oh…it might also get harder, but you will also be able to handle the difficulties better. (smile) That’s God’s promise. And He is faithful that promised. End of sermon. 

Now, for those of us who are sincerely working on our turnabout, let’s go home declaring (awrighttt!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. Altogether 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!’ 

And yuh better believe, that if we endure until the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…the best habit we can ever form…going to God on every matter…prayerfully, joyfully and thankfully… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   1 December 2021 Philippians 2:14.

Philippians 2:14.     Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings.

Well, we’ve opened unto a fairly decent Wednesday, the first day of December; with no snow and some sunshine. Yes, the clouds are there, tirelessly fighting for supremacy, but the sun is in ascendance right now. Thank the Lord! But friends, how I do wish that we, the followers of and believers in Christ had that unflagging, indomitable, unconquerable spirit like those clouds have as they fight the sun’s awesome power, where we never give up, where we are impervious to defeat and only think victory all the time! 

That’s the kind of faith and spirit we need more than ever in these over-the-top, mind-blowing times that none of us have ever before experienced. And instead of complaining like we do, we ought to be crying out to Jesus and living the way He wants us to, believing, as He faithfully promised, that everything will work out for good in the end, for those who sincerely LOVE and abide in Him. And as we promised yesterday, if God spared our lives, which He’s obviously done (smile), we’ll continue talking about that disgusting and ungodly attitude that we too often have, called ‘Complaining.’ 

Now yesterday we saw back in olden times where the Lord chastised the Israelites for too much complaining, especially when He was keeping them in food and drink. They didn’t like manna, and wanted meat, so He gave them so much meat that it eventually turned their hearts against it, became loathsome to them. And I theorized that the same thing is happening to us today with all the disasters, both natural and manmade, as well as the Covid plague that just won’t go away, because of our stubborn, foolish pride and disobedience to Almighty God. 

But enough of my theorizing, let’s turn to the New Testament for some words on the subject of complaining, since some of us wrongly believe that the Old Testament has nothing to offer us in these supposed modern times. And Bruh Paul, the wise man that he was, spoke to the subject in no uncertain terms in his letter to the Philippians. Listen as he tells them. ‘’Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.’ (Phil. 2:12-13) 

And we know that means not literally working for our salvation because that’s a free gift given by God, and has nothing to do with our works, but the carrying out of it to its logical conclusion depends on us. We need to work out the new life not just for our profit but for the benefit of others also. And if we work out and show the new life divinely worked in us, we will live worthy of the gospel, in harmony with each other, seeking the progress of the gospel. We will also regard each other as more important than ourselves, be concerned with the needs of our fellow brethren, and make the appropriate sacrifices in obedience to God, as did Jesus. 

In doing all of this, we will work out or express the new life we have through Christ. And having said a lot of that in the beginning of the chapter and elsewhere in his letter, Bruh Paul continues: ‘Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings. That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights in the world.’ (Phil. 2:14-15) 

Bruh Paul couldn’t be any clearer than that! Christians are not to be continual grumblers and complainers and disputers! Now remember, it’s God who is working in us, for us to do His good will and pleasure, and that can ofttimes be difficult, calling for sacrifices and such, but don’t lose sight of the fact that in the end it will all work out to our benefit. 

And I like the scholars’ explanation of verse 14. They say: ‘Since God is producing in the Philippians the willing and doing of His good and perfect will (vs.13), there can be no legitimate reason for murmurings and disputings. Not only are they forbidden to complain about the difficulties and persecutions that will befall them in carrying out God’s good pleasure, but quarreling among themselves is also prohibited.’ 

Wow! Now that declaration also stands for us today my fellow believers. And how I wish we could all function in such a Christian manner. But unfortunately, Christ’s church right now is a hot bed of grumbling and complaining, of cliques and groups resentful and jealous of each other, of a whole lot of antagonism and evil doings in the body of Christ! If we follow verses 12 and 14, then we would become blameless and harmless. But due to the significant amount strife in the current church this is presently not true 

And are we ever living in the midst of a perverse, crooked, evil and depraved world. Thus, we are expected to help the lost, since that’s the only way that they will ever know Christ. However, in doing so, we must try and not call our witness into rebuke or disfavour by behaving like the world. Instead, as Christ Himself describes us: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid….Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14, 16) 

Oh friends, our crazy, discombobulated world desperately needs us to be bright lights shining in its evil darkness! Please, please, let’s come up higher nuh, so that we can be the kind of light that Jesus desires us to be. And one way to do that is by stopping the grumbling and complaining that we do daily, over petty and unimportant stuff. Don’t you think it’s breaking Jesus’ heart when He sees the disgusting and disturbing state of disrepair that His church has fallen into? I’m sure it does. And we can’t give Him wrong if sometimes He even asks Himself if His life sacrifice was worth it, considering our willful disobedience and unchristian behaviour. 

So we all need to look in the mirror and truthfully ask ourselves if we are indeed shining lights in the world’s darkness, or just adding to its darkness. Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to be lights, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful and enviable position in Christ Jesus. 

Altogether 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!’ 

And we need to be in it for the long haul, because those who endure to the end will find that the future is even more glorious than we can ask or even imagine! Much LOVE!

…Christians ought to…be in the world…but not of the world…  

P.S. Please excuse the lateness of the Bit, but life, as it is wont to do, unexpectedly intervened and delayed my writing. Thanks for the forgiveness! (smile) Much LOVE! 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   17 November 2021 Matthew 5:10.

Matthew 5:10.      Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

What a morning! The day’s half done, and I haven’t done my business yet. (smile) But that’s how life intervenes sometimes; getting you behind the eight-ball before you have even begun. So, without further ado, let’s begin. And the Good Book opened today on the Beatitudes, those blessings with which Christ began His Sermon on the Mount, and though we are only going to look specifically at the last section, the scholars offer an excellent explanation of Jesus’ message. 

They say: ‘The opening verses of the Sermon on the Mount indicate that the message deals with the inner state of mind and heart that is the indispensable absolute of true Christian discipleship. It delineates the outward manifestation of character and conduct of true believers and genuine disciples. Thus, the life of the believer, described by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, is a life of grace and glory, which comes from God alone. To make this quality of life the product of man’s human efforts (as does the liberal) is the height of overestimation of man’s ability and underestimation of his depravity. 

To relegate this entire message, Jesus’ longest recorded sermon, to a Jewish only life-style, as do some dispensationalists, is to rob the church of her greatest statement of true Christian living. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus states the spiritual character and quality of the kingdom He would establish, and the basic qualities of this kingdom are fulfilled in the church He would establish. Virtually every section of this message is repeated in substance elsewhere in the New Testament. Nothing here indicated that this message is to be limited in its application to the people of Israel only.’ 

Awright friends, so we now have a working knowledge of what the Beatitudes are supposed to mean, because just reading them without a proper understanding, will lead us astray, since all of them begin with ‘Blessed,’ which means “happy,’ but seem to be applicable to people who are suffering. They all seem rather contradictory to what the world expects. How can a suffering person be blessed and happy eh? But that’s because Jesus is talking about His spiritual kingdom, not that of this physical world, and the spiritual world always seems to be the opposite of the physical. 

Now, according to the scholars ‘Blessed is a basic description of the believer’s inner condition as a result of the work of God. These Beatitudes, like Psalm 1, do not show a man how to be saved, but rather describe the characteristics of one who has been saved.’ 

And finally, (smile) we come to the section we want to look at. It says: ‘Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.’ (Matt. 5:10-11) Yes, my fellow saints, if we live the way Jesus wants us to live, we will face persecution, ridicule and hate from the world around us. 

And the scholars explain: ‘5:10.  As Jesus develops His message, He clearly teaches that such a life causes His people to be in direct contrast to the world in which they live. Therefore He reminds us, Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake. The plural use of  “ye” in verse 11 indicates that He foresaw this persecution as touching all His followers. Notice 2 Timothy 3:12, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”  

There’s absolutely no doubt about that friends! No wonder so many of us don’t acknowledge Christ, or our faith in Him in public, because we are either and/or ashamed and afraid of the repercussions from those around us. But we must remember that no cause is ever easily invoked or maintained. 

Please note what the scholars tell us, re verse 11. ‘Again, Jesus warns that men shall revile you, and persecute you. This became true during His own ministry, in the lives of the apostles, and throughout the history of the church. This persecution spoken of here is twofold. First, it involves a physical pursuing of the persecuted, and second, a personal attack of slander against them.’ 

And that’s why I chose that section of the Beatitudes to look at today my fellow brethren. Some of us are naïve, or just don’t know what to expect in being a true and devout Christian and trying to live by the principles that Christ taught. But it is not a simple matter, as we see from the beginning of the church all the way down to right now. And yuh better believe that in many places, it’s open season on persecuting believers. So it’s not something to be taken lightly. 

However, as our Lord and Saviour always does, He provides solace for us even in those times of persecution. He says: ‘Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’  (Matt. 5:12) And I know that’s difficult to do when persecution is staring you straight in the face, but it’s a necessary part of walking with Jesus. 

Listen to the scholars again: ‘5:12. Rejoice is the command that grows out of the blessedness of the believer. The phrase ‘Rejoice and be exceeding glad’ means even more, exult! Great is your reward in heaven focuses attention on the eternal destiny of all things. If God is real as He claims, if the Bible is true, if heaven is to be gained, then no temporary earthly trouble or persecution can dispossess the child of God of joy in the prospect of the eternal glory that lies ahead.’ 

And that’s the God-awesome truth! We have to keep our minds tuned to the home we have waiting in heaven for us. Although this one will be pretty rough, the ultimate one will be worth all and any suffering we do down here. Please remember what Jesus said to the disciples later on when He was explaining the whole scenario of His coming and going to them? ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

And He has overcome the world through His death, resurrection and ascension, but we have to be strong and remember that this earth is not our home, and for Jesus’ sake, with His strength and wisdom, handle whatever comes against us, knowing that He is faithful who promised. And for those of us who are sincerely attempting to do that, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

Altogether 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!’ 

Yes friends, let’s keep that glorious future of heaven in our mind’s eye as we walk this evil and ungodly earth. Much LOVE!

…whatever ‘sufferation’ this earthly life brings…the joy of heaven will supersede and totally erase it…as soon as we get there…                                                                                                                              

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   10 November 2021 Matthew 6:21.

Matthew 6:21.     For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

And then it was Wednesday…and we have our second wind…we pushing on relentlessly in the name and the power of Jesus, knowing that Friday and the weekend are just around the corner, and we’ll soon have another opportunity to gather, worship and praise our great and wonderful God, while He refreshes us for another fateful week in the trenches of life! 

Brother! Is that a great sentence or what? Reminds me of some of the convoluted ones Bruh Paul writes. So I’m not in such bad company then. (smile) But seriously though, Wednesday, the mid-week workday, is one where we should take a moment to take stock of how our week is going and if we need to make any changes or even ramp up our faith. It’s a suitable time to consider if we are actually doing what we planned, or still just talking the talk, without any, or enough of the walk that’s necessary. 

Remember, we are merely human beings with all kinds of frailties and weaknesses and we can easily get sidetracked by the enemy and the ungodly world. That’s why we need to keep a steady check on how we are progressing, if we are truly storing up heavenly treasures though living this earthly life. Jesus said it quite plainly, as He is wont to do. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt. 6:19-21) 

And that’s the gospel truth friends! Wherever our treasure is hidden or laid up, there also will be our heart, because our treasure is ever so important to us. That’s why so many of us think of the banks so often. (smile) And why not eh, if all our money is in there, hopefully readily available to us when we need or want it. 

Now let’s check the explanation the scholars offer of those verses. ‘6:19-21. The attention of the believer is directed toward treasures in heaven. The term ‘treasures’ implies the accumulation of things. The two kinds of treasures are conditioned by their place (either on earth or in heaven). The concept of laying up treasure in heaven is not pictured as one of meritorious benefits but rather of rewards for faithful service, as is illustrated elsewhere in the teaching of Jesus.’ 

And truly, earthly treasures are not bad in and of themselves, it is when we concentrate all our efforts on accumulating them and don’t have time for God in the unwise pursuit of what Cousin Sol calls ‘vanity’ or futile stuff. Furthermore, if we focus on earthly wealth, we stand a good chance of losing it to moth, rust and thieves. And yet furthermore, (smile) when your earthly days are over, you can’t take any of it with you. As Bruh Paul wrote to Timothy: ‘For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment (clothes) let us therewith be content.’ (1 Tim. 6:7-8) 

The scholars explain. ‘6:7. And it is certain we can carry nothing out (or, “because we are unable to carry anything out”). Man enters the world at birth possessing nothing. In order to teach him that he will exit the world in the same manner – taking nothing with him. This is a divine means of showing man that since material wealth is relatively insignificant, he should pursue the important things mentioned in verse 11.’ And as per ‘6:8. This verse prevents the wrong understanding of verse 7, that material possessions have no place in the Christian’s life. By figure of speech food and raiment stand for all of life’s basic necessities. These are all the believer needs, and having these he can be content.’ 

And my fellow saints, I would certainly be amiss if I did not point out the important things mentioned in verse 11. (smile) Bruh Paul writes: ‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things (the LOVE of money and striving for other earthly wealth – vs. 9-10): and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness.’ (1 Tim. 6:11) 

Oh, and will I ever be my sweet self and throw in verse 12 for good measure, (smile) because it so desperately applies to us in these very dangerous and desperate times. Bruh Paul continues to Timothy: ‘Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ (1 Tim. 6:12) Now that’s exactly what we need to do in these perilous times my faithful brethren. 

And if you don’t understand it all, let’s allow the scholars to explain. ‘6:12. The good fight concerns the daily struggle with sin in the Christian life, and the hardships and adversities in the ministry. A genuine believer demonstrates the reality of his faith by being engaged in this warfare. Lay hold on eternal life does not negate the fact that a believer now possesses spiritual life (John 3:36); rather, it speaks of fully realizing or appropriating salvation as the believer matures.’ 

And I so like to spoil us, that I’ll quote John 3:36. (smile) John the Baptist, not John the disciple, is testifying of Jesus: ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth (remains) on him.’ Yes friends, we have salvation and are going to heaven, through God’s free gift of grace, but in the meanwhile we have to make use of all the opportunities, benefits and blessings that that salvation brings to us here on earth. We have to live out our faith. As Bruh Paul said to the Philippians: ‘…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.’ (Phil. 2:12b) 

And these two paragraphs from an article on the subject by Ed Elliot on the medium.com website explains that verse much better than I can. Ed writes: ‘Working out our salvation is very different from working for our salvation. When Paul tells believers they need to work out their salvation, he is simply explaining that the wonderful gift they freely received from God is inside of them. We bring out those beautiful attributes and character traits by faith. Faith is a rest, but it is faith that works, not us. So working out what is on the inside of us happens by faith. 

This process can be frightening in the beginning as a new believer discovers how to live and walk by faith. Some strong trepidation may be present at first when a person decides to trust God as his or her source and peace. I remember how scary it was for me to stop trusting in my natural abilities and trust in God’s Word. This is what Paul is referring to when he mentions “fear and trembling.” He isn’t talking about being afraid of God. Rather, he is helping the new believer to know that in the beginning, it will seem scary to walk by faith. However, it is the only way to see our inner salvation manifest on the outside through our character.’ 

But to do that successfully my brethren, means we have to spend serious time in the Word and with the Lord, as well as with other believers, encouraging and teaching each other. Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to do that very thing, let’s go home now declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

As one strong voice: ‘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!’ 

And don’t forget that if we endure to the very end that the future will indeed be even more glorious that we ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…why seek finite earthly treasures…when heavenly ones last till infinity…

P.S. Please excuse the lateness of the Bit, but I had some important errands to run and as always, the best laid plans of mice and men do tend to go astray. (smile) Much LOVE!                                                                                                                   

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