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…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 June 2017 Ephesians 6:4.

Ephesians 6:4.    And ye fathers provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord.

HAPPY  FATHER’S  DAY!

Grace and peace be unto all you fathers out there on this Father’s Day Sunday! May the Lord look down upon us with fatherly mercies and blessings that we can share with our families. 

Ah my fellow fathers, this is the day that our society has chosen to honour us, please let us enjoy the day, and let it raise our level of fatherhood as we go through these trying times in our world. True fatherhood has never been more necessary than it is right now, as we are supposed to be the leaders and basic guides of our households. 

So please let’s step up to the plate and do our best so that those who follow us will have superb examples to emulate. That’s the best gift we can ever give; that of being a good role model. Remember, we’ll never be perfect, but we can all be the best we can be. 

Now let’s offer up some thanks and praise to our Mighty Father in heaven, shower Him with the adoration that He so rightly deserves. Let’s acknowledge that even in the deepest and darkest and most tumultuous times of storm, His strong anchor holds us together. So let’s sing one of my favourite Gospel Songs, ‘The Anchor Holds,’ with strong voice and true sacrificial praise. 

‘I have journeyed through the long dark night, Out on the open sea, by faith alone, Sight unknown; and yet his eyes were watching me. (Refrain: The anchor holds, though the ship’s been battered. The anchor holds, Though the sails are torn. I have fallen on my knees as I face the raging seas. But the anchor holds, in spite of the storm.) 

I’ve had visions, I’ve had dreams; I’ve even held them in my hand. But I never knew they would slip right through, Like they were only grains of sand. (Refrain) I have been young but I’m older now. And there has been beauty these eyes have seen. But it was in the night, through the storms of my life, Oh, that’s where God proved His LOVE for me. (Refrain) I have fallen on my knees as I face the raging seas. But the anchor holds in spite of the storm.’ 

Yes friends and fathers, in spite of everything the world throws at us, if we are sheltered under the mighty hand of God, our anchor WILL ALWAYS HOLD! That’s His faithful promise! And we know that our God doesn’t take His promises lightly like we tend to do. 

That brings us to our Bit; most worthy advice from Bruh Paul to the Ephesian fathers way back when, and even more so for these undisciplined and uncontrolled times. ‘And ye fathers provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord.’ 

Ah fathers, we have already allowed this current generation to grow without proper fatherly advice, so that now they are ungodly, lack discipline and figure the world owes them a living. We obviously have not lived up to our wonderful billing, else our youth would not be as disorganized, disenfranchised and disturbed as they are. 

We have done this primarily by our absence from the family home, and even when there, through our neglecting to teach the children what we are supposed to teach them. And it’s not that we didn’t know, because most of us were taught it when we were growing up.  And it’s all based simply on the Lord’s words to His angels about Abraham, before He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. 

‘For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgement (righteousness and justice); that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of to him. (Gen.18:19) 

Yeh fathers, it’s all about serving the Lord and executing righteousness and justice, as Moses further instructed the Israelites. ‘And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.’ (Deut. 6:6-7) 

Oh fathers, how many of us teach our children about God or talk about the Lord or any kind of godly stuff in our houses these days eh? Not too many. But we teach and talk about all sorts of worldly stuff in our homes and schools, while God is considered a subject of taboo. That’s not right or wise fathers, for in the long run it will bring the wrath of God down on all of us for disobeying His command. 

Now hear these words of Asaph the psalmist. ‘For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which commanded our fathers, that they should make known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children. 

That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep the commandments. And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that set not their heart (did not prepare its heart) aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God.’ (Ps.78:5-8) 

Unfortunately fathers, that is the kind of generation we have raised. Now what will they teach the next generation about the Lord eh, if they don’t know anything about Him, and thus don’t care about Him? Not a whole lot. And that is exactly why the Lord wants us to teach our children about Him; so that the word can be passed down from generation to generation. How do you think it go to us eh? Because each previous generation taught the one after them. 

And we’ll close with one immortal verse from Cousin Sol. ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and (even) when he is old, he will not depart from it.’ (Prov.22:6) Yes fathers, once we instill the Lord in the hearts of our children from an early age, even if they stray some, they will always have something solid to fall back on. 

Now, though we have not done our best so far, it’s definitely not too late for us to try and right some of our wrongs. So let’s sincerely ask the Lord to help us do our fatherly duties properly from this time onward. That’s wisdom of enormous proportions! Much LOVE!

…fathers should be people their children can proudly look up to…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 March 2017 Matthew 6:19.

Matthew 6:19.   Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.

Well a Happy St.Patrick’s Day to you my brethren! I do hope that you all enjoy the luck of the Irish in all that you do today, with your green clothes and green food and drink! (smile) 

And you know what? St. Paddy’s day could not have fallen on a better day than a Friday for the working populace because it gives them even more reason to sing: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! St. Paddy’s day to boot! Going to wear me green clothes and drink up me green beer and have a real good time this St. Paddy’s weekend! 

No slave driver to tell me what to do! Just me and mih shamrocks, and mih li’l leprechauns partying all weekend long! Who say we shouldn’t thank God for Fridays and weekends eh?’ 

Ah mih people, can you imagine the raucous behaviour today all over the world, and not only by the Irish diaspora, in celebration of St. Patrick, Ireland’s Patron Saint, credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland? 

What I mostly remember about St.Patrick’s Day growing up in T&T is that it was the one day during Lent we heard calypsos on the radio and you could eat and drink and party hearty. Otherwise, Lent was drink dry and calypso non-existent on the radio. 

I guess to a certain extent that’s why the binge drinking of alcohol is so popular on St. Paddy’s Day. Anyhow friends, regardless of what day it is, binge drinking is never a good idea. So let’s chant our Friday Chant and show them the kind of behaviour that’s most appropriate for the weekend nuh. 

As one 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.’ 

Yes mih people, the best way to handle the weekend is with ‘a modicum of circumspection,’ as Jeeves the Butler in the P.G. Wodehouse books would say. 

It’s obvious we can’t take the licentious behaviour to the limit every weekend or else we’d soon waste away and be good for nothing at all. 

But as true believers, we are expected to do God’s work here on earth, which means we cannot let our bodies and minds go to waste by carnal and lustful behaviour. 

That brings us to our Bit, Jesus’ words of everlasting wisdom from His Sermon on the Mount. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.’ 

But sadly friends, despite that serious warning of Jesus, a lot, too many of us, including Christians, still fall for the lure of worldly wealth and oftimes kill ourselves trying to accumulate it. 

That’s definitely not a wise path to follow my people, for it only leads to death and destruction. Yes my brethren, the purposeful accumulation of worldly wealth can sometimes lead to physical death, but it ALWAYS causes spiritual death, since we can’t serve God and mammon at the same time. 

Listen to these wise words of Cousin Sol from Proverbs. ‘Labour not (do not overwork) to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.’ (Prov.23:4-5) 

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! It’s much easier to accumulate earthly wealth than to keep it. 

Now let’s look at the interaction between Jesus and a young, rich ruler. He came to Jesus and asked: ‘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.’ (Matt.19:16-17) 

The fellow asked Jesus which one? Then Jesus listed the Ten Commandments. ‘The young man saith unto him, 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 all 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.19:20-21) 

Oh friends, don’t look down scornfully on the young man, because most of us would have behaved the same way. Just look at how much material wealth there is in our world today, but yet the great amount of need and poverty. 

If the rich would just give up a little of their wealth for the benefit of others, there’d be little or no poverty in our world. But the mantra of this world is ‘me, myself and I.’ Steups! It’s all first person singular! 

Anyway, that’s the sermon for today. (smile) But please, let’s ponder on all that we’ve discussed, then ask God for help to come up a little higher each day nuh. That’s the only way to improve our spiritual maturity. Much LOVE!

…be careful…earthly wealth can ruin your heavenly life…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 May 2016 Joshua 24:14‏

Joshua 24:14.   Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (The Euphrates River), and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.

Well a good Tuesday morning to all you fellow believers in Jesus Christ! It’s bright and sunny in my neighbourhood, though a tad chilly! But spring’s in the air! Glory Hallelujah! Hope it is encouraging in your area too. 

But just in case it isn’t, please remember that the bright and beautiful, positive and reassuring light of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is ALWAYS shining in and through us, and that helps us to handle the dark and dreary physically challenged days. (smile) That means there’s no need to be down and depressed because of the weather.  

Now here is something from our One Year Book of Bible promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that I thought was rather appropriate to share, especially in these difficult times of ministry. It’s simply titled ‘Coincidences.’ 

And it says: ‘Lord, I was intrigued With the brilliant vocabulary Of the patient sitting next to me In the reception room. I don’t remember The start of our conversation But suddenly we were discussing prayer. I shared rather freely Your pertinent answers To my day-by-day requests. 

Labelling himself a skeptic He smiled and said courteously “What you consider answered prayer I choose to call coincidence.” 

You know how it is with me, Lord – I’m always slightly at ease In the Big Middle Of a theological discussion. I’m much more at home in my kitchen Mixing muffin batter Or tossing green salads. Frankly I was relieved When the dentist called my name. 

But one thing I do know, Lord When I pray, “coincidences” happen. When I don’t pray they stop… So thank You again and again For ten thousand “coincidences” Always in the nick of time When I pray.’ 

Oh friends what a rather common situation that is amongst believers. We all at times feel rather inadequate to explain our faith and why we pray, and are indeed much happier and more comfortable discussing other topics. 

But despite our inadequacy in explaining that faith, we are convinced that answers to our prayers are certainly not coincidences, but the actual workings of God in our lives. And we’ll go to our graves believing that. 

But if someone else wants to label them ‘coincidences,’ then we’ll very gladly receive them. Like a rose by any other name is just as sweet, so is answered prayer by any other name just as reassuring and encouraging. (smile) 

And the Bible Promise for that poem is Bruh Paul’s admonishment to the Ephesians; one that we all know very well, whether we keep it though is another story. ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:18) Remember my precious people, prayer is indispensable in a Christian’s life. 

Now, since it’s Tuesday, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with lots of spunk and plenty conviction. Altogether 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.’ 

All praise and glory and might and power to our wonderful God, who LOVED us so much to sacrifice His only Son Jesus Christ on our behalf! So let’s remember, every minute of every day, who and whose we are; beloved children of Almighty God! 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (The Euphrates River), and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.’ 

And that’s the other side of the coin my fellow Christians! If we consider ourselves children of God, then we must adhere to His Will and Word with sincerity and truth, and consequently revere ONLY Him as our Maker, Provider and Comforter. 

As Jesus told the ole hypocrite Pharisees, when they tried to tempt and confuse Him: ‘Render (pay) therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things which are God’s.’ (Matt.22:21) 

Yes friends, as true believers, that’s how we ought to behave! And things like reverence, supplication, LOVE, care, compassion, wisdom, forgiveness, mercy and grace, ALL belong to the ONE and ONLY TRUE LIVING God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

So let’s give Him His rightful due nuh my brethren, and stop worshiping at the altar of sin and the lustful things of the world, which belong to the evil one, the prince of darkness. Let’s stop wallowing in the darkness of evil, and instead fully, gratefully and graciously embrace the LIGHT and LOVE that’s Jesus, and which offer us so much more, especially salvation and eternal life! 

And we’ll end with these wonderful and true words of the Preacher, Cousin Sol, from Ecclesiastes. ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl.12:13-14) 

Ah mih breddren, as true believers, that’s our bounden duty right there in a nutshell! Please, let’s wisely follow it as long as there is the breath of God in our bodies nuh. Much LOVE!

…true wisdom is simply…faithfully reverencing God and being obedient to His Word and Will…