Today’s Scrip-Bit   21 January 2023 Romans 12:17a.

Romans 12:17a.       Recompense to (repay) no man evil for evil…

‘Sunshine, lollipops and roses!’ Well, a half out of three isn’t bad. (smile) We’ve got a touch of sunshine. And the truth is, it’s not even true sunshine, but less cloud cover. But we’ll take it over some sort of precipitation and thoroughly dark clouds. And having lazed away my part of this lazy-Saturday morning, I’ll reluctantly turn my attention to the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And we’ll jump right into this first and ever so important one: ‘Forgive people in your life, even those who are not sorry for their actions. Holding on to anger only hurts you, not them.’ And sadly, that’s the bane of so many of us in this weak, fearful and ungodly world. We refuse to forgive those who have hurt us, thinking that we can do them something by withholding our forgiveness. 

But friends, the last laugh will always be on us. Why? Firstly, because those whom we refuse to forgive will most likely go about their business unconcerned, while we will be stewing in our hate, anger and resentment, making ourselves physically, emotionally and mentally sick. We must realize that basically, forgiveness is not for others, it’s for us, for our well-being. 

And the second foolish aspect of unforgiveness is what happens with God, when we don’t forgive. How did Jesus put it in His sample prayer: ‘Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ (Matt.6:11-12) Yes friends, that’s what we’re praying, for God to forgive us as we forgive others. 

So what does that mean eh? Jesus explains: ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt. 6:14-15) That says it all right there my brethren. So please let’s forget this worldly nonsense about holding grudges and not forgiving, because we are only afflicting ourselves. 

Then there’s this quote: ‘Sometimes Those Trying To Bring You Down Don’t Know You’re Part Of The Reason They’re Still Standing.’ And isn’t that sometimes the awesome truth! So often our associates want to drag us down, or usurp our positions, but don’t realize that it’s because of us they are where they are, and without us they’d be nothing. 

And I guess the greatest example of that is the religious leaders of Israel who refused to accept Jesus and tried to railroad Him to His death, because they figured He would spoil the good thing they had going in the bowels of the Roman Empire. They didn’t realize that He was really the good thing that they needed, and He had come to save them. 

And unfortunately, it’s the same way with many of us; we resent and reject Jesus, but He’s the ONLY thing standing between us and eternal death and damnation. Please remember these ever so important words of Jesus: ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:17) And Jesus is indeed the ONLY reason why we are still standing! Please, let’s acknowledge that hard and true fact and behave accordingly. 

That leads us to the following quote: ‘A wise man once said, “Be careful who you let on your ship, because some people will sink the whole ship just because they can’t be the captain.’ Now isn’t that a glorious truth! And I can attest to that through personal experience over the years. The things some people would do for a li’l power is ofttimes surprising and unbelievable. They’d even torpedo their own livelihood just to be the boss. How foolish. But that’s the chain of foolishness and ignorance that Satan has some of us tied up in. 

Therefore,re we have to be very careful who we let into our lives, especially in these days of so many lies, deceit and fraud. Fraud is possibly the biggest crime going right now. And I just had one of those phone calls from one of the many current schemes that try to defraud you. And when you look at the missed calls, they are the same fraudulent schemers every day. They don’t seem to give up. Now, if they would just use that same persistence and perseverance in a legitimate job, they could do ever so much better. But for some reason or other, they choose the life of crime. 

However, having said that, this next quote shows us a better way. It says: ‘If you ever get the chance to treat them the way they treated you, I hope you choose to walk away and do better.’ Yes, that’s the right way, if you are a follower of Jesus, who expressed these sentiments. ‘Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, LOVE your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully (spitefully) use you, and persecute you; 

That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and unjust. For if ye LOVE them which LOVE you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans (tax collectors) the same? And if ye salute (greet) your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans (tax collectors) so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’ (Matt. 5:43-48) 

The long and short of the story my fellow saints is that as followers of Jesus we are supposed to rise above the norm, not just do what others do but more and better. That’s the philosophy Jesus desires to espouse in His kingdom. And Bruh Paul encapsulates it so nicely in his letter to the church at Rome, by saying: ‘Recompense to (repay) no man evil for evil… Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:17a, 21) 

And this last quote is self-explanatory. ‘When a flashlight grows dim or quits working, do you just throw it away? Of course not. You change the batteries. When a person messes up or finds themselves in a dark place, do you cast them aside? Of course not! You help them change their batteries. Some need AA…attention and affection; some need AAA…attention, affection, and acceptance; some need C….compassion; some need D…direction. And if they still don’t seem to shine…simply sit with them quietly and share your light.’ 

Oh my people, in this sad, confused, evil and ungodly world there are way too many of us who are suffering from a dim bulb or weak battery. Too many of us are flailing around in the darkness, and it needs us believers to attend to them with the LOVE of Jesus, so that they can be set free, to walk out of their darkness into the marvellous and miraculous light of Jesus! 

And the only way that can happen is if we shine our light in their darkness. Like our Saviour so wisely recommended: ‘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) Now, as true believers, let’s go out and do just that, today and every day nuh. Much LOVE!

…the goodness of God…is the only thing that will overcome…the evil of this world… 

 Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZ   

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   30 October 2022 Matthew 5:16.

Matthew 5:16.       Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Glory be my people, it’s Sunday once again! So come let’s gather round in joyful fellowship and give much thanks and praise to our wonderful God! As Psalm 100 so rightly tells us: ‘Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.’ (Ps. 100: 4-5) Now those are words we can never doubt, because they are gospel truth! And Psalm 100 is so chucked full of wisdom in every verse that if you’re not careful it can confuse you. (smile) 

But there is absolutely no chance of confusion with this earlier verse that wisely advices: ‘Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.’ (Ps. 100:2) And since we’re ever so wise and obedient my friends, that is exactly what we’re going to do right now. And today we’re going to spice up our sacrificial praise with an old gospel spiritual titled ‘Give Me Oil in My Lamp.’ Yes, some of you ole fogeys will remember that one. It was popular way back in time, but it certainly hasn’t lost its saltiness, and is therefore still worth singing. So let’s raise our sweet, harmonic voices to heaven in an up-tempo, scintillating, foot stomping, handclapping version. 

Altogether now: ‘Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning. Give me oil in my lamp, I pray. Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning, burning, burning. Keep me burning till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!) Give me LOVE in my heart, keep me sharing. Give me LOVE in my heart, I pray. Give me LOVE in my heart, keep me sharing, sharing, sharing. Keep me sharing till the break of day. (Refrain) 

Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing. Give me joy in my heart, I pray. Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing, singing, singing. Keep me singing till the break of day. (Refrain) Give me faith in my heart, keep me praying. Give me faith in my heart, I pray. Give me faith in my heart, keep me praying, praying, praying. Keep me praying till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!)’ 

Ah mih people, I’m sure that reminded some of us of olden times when we’d belt that tune out in church. And is there ever need for oil in our lamps in these dark and trying times, if we’re to do like Jesus says: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:16) Yes, our lights can’t shine if our lamps are dry like Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins at a Jewish wedding found in Matthew 25:1-13. 

Five of the virgins or attendants were wise and five were foolish. The wise ones took extra oil for their lamps just in case the bridegroom came late. The foolish ones didn’t, and it so happens the bridegroom was late, and their lamps ran out of oil, and they had to go and get more oil from the oil dealer. But by the time they came back the ceremony was in progress and they got locked out. Wherefore Jesus ended the parable with these memorable words. ‘Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour when the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt, 25:13) 

Yes my brethren, the bridegroom is obviously Jesus, and the church his bride, as is mentioned in Matt. 9:15, John 3:27-30, Eph. 5:25-32), and the parable refers to Jesus’ coming again, the day, time, nor hour no one knows but the Father. That means we have to be in a state of constant readiness; the first requirement being obviously born again with the Holy Spirit indwelling us. 

A commentary on the song says: ‘For the religious, one interpretation is that it signifies a thirst for spiritual food—spiritual food to get one through the darkest of times in hopes of a brighter day, a clearer vision of one’s path or until one gains their salvation.’ And that’s a valid interpretation. But I like how the gotquetions.org website describes the parable in general. 

‘The five virgins who have the extra oil represent the truly born again who are looking with eagerness to the coming of Christ. They have saving faith and have determined that, whatever occurs, be it lengthy time or adverse circumstances, when Jesus returns, they will be looking with eagerness. The five virgins without the oil represent false believers who enjoy the benefits of the Christian community without true love for Christ. They are more concerned about the party than about longing to see the bridegroom. Their hope is that their association with true believers (“give us some of your oil” of verse 8) will bring them into the kingdom at the end. 

This, of course, is never the case. One person’s faith in Jesus cannot save another. The “Lord, lord” and “I do not know you” of verses 11 and 12 fit very well with Jesus’ condemnation of the false believers of (Matthew 7:21-23), “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.” 

Oh  my fellow believers, if Jesus said it, then it’s entirely possible. Anyhow, the song encompasses all that we need to wait for Jesus; namely, the oil of the Holy Spirit to light up our lives, that keeps our lamps burning, LOVE in our hearts that keeps us sharing, joy in our hearts that keeps us singing, and faith in our hearts to keep us praying. We can’t ask for more than that, because those things encompass it all. 

And I believe the end of the article from the gotquestions.org website, also makes a fitting end for our Bit today. ‘May we not be found “going away to make the purchase” (v. 10) when Christ returns. Take the time now to fill your lamp with oil and take extra along. Keep waiting and watching with joy and anticipation.’ Now that is wisdom of enormous proportions! Please let’s take strong and serious hold of it. Much LOVE!

…the moral of the story…be not found wanting when Jesus returns…

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ        

Today’s Scrip-Bit   15 October 2022 Matthew 14:27.

Matthew 14:27.       Be of good cheer (take heart, courage) it is I, be not afraid.

It’s raining, it’s raining on this lazy autumn Saturday morning! A chill is in the air, ‘cause the wind’s a blowing, so the trees are dancing, their multi-coloured leaves a waving this way and that!  And I’ve been enjoying every bit of this lazy Saturday morning…that is until now, when I can’t put off writing the Bit any longer. Oh, the tough times some of us have to bear eh. (smile) Anyway, as they say, you can run but you can’t hide, especially from the good Lord. So, let’s do what we always do on Saturdays; see if we can make heads or tails of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Now this first quote says: ‘I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.’ And that’s true to a certain extent. When we make up our minds on what needs to be done, in other words when we make a purposeful decision, we generally get a feeling of strength behind it, and we let go of the fear and anxiety that indecision usually causes. But what happens when we can’t make a decision eh, when indecision just bathes us in a stream of fear, especially in this crazy world of today. We keep living in fear and anxiety, keep living the substandard life that those emotions produce. 

But when we live for Jesus…Glory be! Fear is no longer our nemesis, for with Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, our Master and Guide, we can move along productively and courageously even in the midst of anxiety and worries. That’s because living for Jesus brings a peace of mind that the world cannot offer. Remember this great promise of our omnipotent God, through the prophet Isaiah? ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee, yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’ (Is. 41:10) 

Yes friends, that’s the promise Jehovah God made to His people long ago, and He’s kept it up to this day, because He’s not a deity that ever reneges on His promises, like some false gods do. And remember too that some of Jesus’ favourite words were ‘Fear not.’ And He said it so often that we don’t have space nor time to relate them all, only these few. Think of the occasion when Jesus went walking on the water to the disciples on the boat out in the sea. They were terrified as though they saw a ghost and cried out in fear. ‘But straightway Jesus spoke unto them saying, Be of good cheer (take heart, courage) it is I, be not afraid.’ (Matt. 14:27) 

Then there’s that time that Jairus, the synagogue leader came to Jesus to heal his young daughter, but while they were on the way, Jairus’s servants came and told him that the girl was dead. What was Jesus’ response to that news? He told Jairus: ‘Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole (saved).’ (Luke 8:50) And what about when Jesus and the disciples were crossing the sea of Galilee and a terrible storm blew up on them, while Jesus lay asleep in the back of the boat apparently unconcerned. They woke him, terrified of drowning. ‘And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.’ (Matt:8:27) 

There you have it in a nutshell my fellow believers. The three basics for handling fear are to believe, take heart or courage, and have faith in Jesus, for He is our Good Shepherd, and the shepherd always looks after the sheep. (smile) That brings us to these next two quotes. The first tells us. ‘If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.’ And the second advises. ‘When it comes to luck, you make your own.’ Now I chose to lump them together because I believe they basically say the same thing; you have the power to make your life the way you want it, and to change it whenever you feel like doing so. 

Now again, that’s true only to a certain extent with the free will that God’s given us. But how many of us have tried to change our lives when we felt like doing so and just ran into so many roadblocks that change became virtually impossible eh? That’s because the hand of the Lord was in our affairs, like it always is. (smile) Let’s not forget these very important words of Cousin Sol in Proverbs. ‘The preparations of the heart in man (a man’s plans belong to him), and the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.’ (Prov. 16:1) That means we can plan all we want, but it’s the Lord’s will that will eventually come to pass, because He is sovereign over even the thoughts and words of man. 

And later on in Proverbs, Cousin Sol repeats that advice this way. ‘There are many devices (plans) in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.’ (Prov. 19:21) And I can personally testify to that through hard experience. I never planned to be a writer on scripture, had plenty other secular plans in mind, still do, but then the Lord waylaid me, wouldn’t take no for an answer, and eventually brought all my other ventures to an end. Yes friends, the best laid plans of mice and men usually go astray when the Lord peruses them. (smile) So though we have some leeway to make changes in our lives, what the Lord wants is usually what we’ll become. 

And that certainly contradicts this next quote. ‘Our lives are stories in which we write, direct and star in the leading role. Some chapters are happy while others bring lessons to learn, but we always have the power to be the heroes of our own adventures.’ Again, it’s only true to the extent that the Lord allows us to write and star in our own production. But as we all know, He has a plan for each and every life that He creates, and when He’s ready to put His plan into effect, it’s wisest to simply accept it without any hassle, for He will just keep on making your life more miserable until you accept His dictate. 

Trust me, I know what I’m talking about, because that’s what He did to me when He brought up this Bit idea. I laughed and said I couldn’t because I wasn’t sufficiently knowledgeable in scripture, and that was the truth. But He kept after me, placing obstructions in my way, until I had no choice but to agree. And when I began it was merely a verse of scripture. But through my perseverance and His faithfulness, it’s grown over the last fifteen, almost sixteen years, where I now find myself writing too much instead of too little. (smile) And that’s why I can vouch for the Lord’s faithfulness. He never gives you a task without the tools and the help to do it. 

That brings us to this last quote. ‘Don’t try to lessen yourself for the world; let the world catch up to you.’ And that’s the gospel truth, especially if you are a follower of Christ Jesus! We ought never to take a back step to the world, but to step forward into the light and make the world a better place for Jesus. But unfortunately, not enough of us supposed believers are doing that. Instead, we’re playing second fiddle to the dictates, pleasures and evils of the world. 

But please remember that in Jesus’s band, there is only ONE fiddler, that’s Him, and if we want to be a part of it, then we have to come to terms with that fact and stand up strong and steadfast in His marvellous name, and not play second fiddle to the world. As He so passionately desires and zealously stated: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:16) 

So please my fellow saints, let’s go out into this evil world and do as Jesus desires of us nuh – shine our lights! That’s our bounden duty. Much LOVE!

…only in Jesus…can we find what our heavenly Father desires for us… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ     

Today’s Scrip-Bit   1 October 2022 Matthew 5:16.

Matthew 5:16.        Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Ah friends, the tiredness and laziness are certainly permeating the ole fella’s body and spirit this lazy, somewhat cloudy Saturday morning, the first day of October 2022. Now I like that sentence because it tells us so many things all in one go. (smile) But I think this lazy Saturday thing is getting into me, becoming a habit, and I don’t like it. I was up earlier on, did a couple of things, then went back to bed, claiming I was still sleepy. But the truth is, an hour or so later, I don’t know if I’m feeling any better than I did the first time I got up. 

Nonetheless, there’s God’s work to be done, which is one of the reasons I’m beginning to dislike the lazy Saturday idea, because rain or shine, sleet or snow, in sickness or health, I still have to do it. (smile) And God’s work on Saturdays entails looking at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us the past week and make something Christian-like of them, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And that’s not always easy, but with God’s awesome help, I always manage to turn out something respectable. ‘Thank You Lord!’ 

And we’ll begin with this interesting quote, which says: ‘If you make your internal life a priority, then everything else you need on the outside will be given to you and it will be extremely clear what the next step is.’ Now, there’s a lot of truth in that, provided Jesus Christ is your Lord and Saviour and you make Him, or your spiritual life, your priority, for He sincerely and faithfully promised: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) That’s food, clothing, and all the other necessities of life. But we first have to believe in Him, and then put Him first in all that we do. 

But I question the last part of the quote, for everything will definitely not be made extremely clear. Yes, somethings will be made clear, but a lot of it we will be expected to walk by faith and trust in Christ Jesus. For what’s the purpose of a God eh, if He tells us everything clearly and leaves nothing to our imagination or faith eh? None whatsoever! 

And that segues very nicely into this next quote. ‘You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go and see what happens.’ And that’s the gospel truth! But you can only do that when your faith and trust in Jesus is strong, and you’ve already had some experience with Him. If He is your guide and protector, then you have to let go sometimes and just let Him lead and guide you. We call him the Good Shepherd, and that’s what shepherds do; lead and guide their flock safely and compassionately. And Jesus is the epitome, the master example of shepherds and shepherding. (smile) 

But in any case, as Cousin Sol so wisely tells us in Proverbs: ‘A man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.’ (Prov. 16:9) Yes my brethren, our God is sovereign over our scheming and planning, that’s why so many of our bright schemes and plans go astray. (smile) If they are not in His will, then ofttimes He won’t allow them to happen. And even if they are in His will, sometimes it’s just not the right time, so they won’t happen either. That means it’s very important to recognize God’s sovereignty and will over our lives, otherwise His yays and nays will eventually drive us crazy, and possibly turn us away from Him, which is the worst thing we can ever do. 

Then there’s this quote: ‘No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.’ Now there should be absolutely no doubt to that, since it’s been words and ideas that have been changing the world since the beginning of time. They are put in place before any action happens. And we have a great example in the fall of man. Satan spoke to Eve with words, planting ideas in her mind, re eating from the tree of Good and Evil. 

‘And the serpent said unto the woman (Eve), Ye shall not surely die. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods (God), knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes (a desirable thing), and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons (girding coverings)’ (Gen. 3:4-7) 

And there we have it; the first words and ideas that changed the world, that brought sin and disobedience into the life of mankind! And I like how the scholars describe verse six, in terms of 1 John 2:16. ‘Good for food, appeals to appetite, or ‘lust of the flesh.’ ‘Pleasant to the eyes,’ turns us to the law against coveting in Ex. 20, showing as ‘lust of the eyes.’ And ‘to be desired to make one wise,’ according to the use of the verb ‘desired’ in Deut. 5 for coveting, appeals to ‘the pride of life.’ So that just set us on that path of lust and sinful desires. 

But there’s also another great example where words and actions wrought a substantive change to that first foolish and disobedient action of our forefathers. That’s the coming of Jesus Christ, the Son of God to sacrifice His sinless life so that man could be redeemed, be forgiven of his disgusting sins and disobedience and be once again reconciled to the Father. And how did Jesus put forward His plan to the people, with words and ideas, just like Satan did. And you’ll notice the amazing change in people when those words and ideas sank in. 

Then, when He followed them up with appropriate action…Wow! There was such an uprising of change and clamour like the world’s never seen before, and it’s been taking place down through the ages, even to this day! And in between, we’ve had all sorts of words and ideas that have changed our world, but none as big and lasting as those two. 

And this next quote also follows on nicely to the last. ‘What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.’ More gospel truth my people. What has happened to you, and what will happen to you in the future, depends to a great extent on what lies inside of you. If you have the evil spirit of Satan lurking and working within you, then most likely you will be bound for evil doings and eventual damnation and hellfire. However, if you have the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Ghost, dwelling within you, as all believers have, and you’re listening to His lead and guidance, then you will be able to accomplish marvellous things in this world. 

Why? Because the Spirit of Jesus dwelling within believers bears wonderful fruit. Fruit like, LOVE, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, kindness, faithfulness and self-control! Now how can those marvelous things dwelling and growing within you not produce most excellent stuff eh? That brings us to this last quote, another interesting one. ‘Do not allow people to dim your shine because they are blinded. Tell them to put some sunglasses on.’ Now that’s putting it nicely! 

Yes, friends, when that fruit of the Spirit begins producing good stuff in us and in our actions, then others will become jealous, disgruntled, or some other negative reaction, because they don’t want to see us shine, especially if we’re shining for Jesus. But as the quote advises, tell them to get a grip, to put on some sunglass if your light is too bright for them, because that’s exactly what Jesus wants to see from His followers. Like He said: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt: 5:16) 

And with that exhortation ringing in our ears, my fellow saints, let’s get out there and SHINE! SHINE for Jesus! SHINE like we’ve never shone before! Our world desperately needs us to shine in these very depressing and destructive times! And Jesus is counting on us to do just that! Much LOVE!

…the darkness of the world…can only be overcome by…the blazing light of Christian LOVE… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   7 August 2022   Matthew 5:16.

Matthew 5:16.     Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

And another joyful Sunday has come along; joyful because we can gather and worship our great God, give Him much thanks and praise for His many blessings and awesome encouragement of the past week, and receive more blessings and confidence to go out and face the upcoming week, bold and unafraid in His magnificent name! All praise and honour be unto the Most High God Jehovah, who’s mercy endures forever to the undeserving children of men. And all the people, said a loud and grateful ‘Amen!’ 

So, let’s get on with the show by singing this wonderful Christian song of discipleship written by Christopher Rice in 2004 and sung by Kathy Troccoli, titled ‘Go Light Your World.’ In a heartfelt, soulful, harmonious, mid-tempo version, let’s raise our voices to high heaven in sacrificial praise. ‘There is a candle in every soul Some brightly burning, some dark and cold There is a Spirit who brings a fire Ignites a candle and makes His home. (Chorus: So carry your candle, run to the darkness Seek out the helpless, confused and torn Hold out your candle for all to see it Take your candle, and go light your world Take your candle, and go light your world.) 

Frustrated brother, see how he’s tried to Light his own candle some other way See now your sister, she’s been robbed and lied to Still holds a candle without a flame (Chorus:…Carry your candle…) ‘Cause we are a family whose hearts are blazing So let’s raise our candles and light up the sky Praying to our Father, in the name of Jesus Make us a beacon in darkest times. (Chorus: So carry your candle, run to the darkness Seek out the hopeless, deceived and poor Hold out your candle for all to see it Take your candle, and go light your world… Repeat… Take your candle, and go light your world…Take your candle, and go light your world.’ 

Oh my people, those words hold such valuable promise, and ought to be so inspirational to all believers, especially with the current troubled and ungodly state of our world. Remember one of Jesus avowed reasons for coming to earth was to bring light to a darkened world of sin and ungodliness. As He said so profoundly to the disbelieving Pharisees: ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) 

Yes friends, living for and walking with Jesus is all about basking in the light of His sinless self and the glory of His resurrection. Before he came our world was filled with the darkness of sin and evil as dictated by Satan, but when Jesus came, He came to set us free from that darkness of sin and ungodliness. Listen up, as He once again emphasizes His role as a shining beacon in a dark world. ‘I am come a light into the world that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.’ (John 12:46) 

And just before that He expounded thus to the people. ‘Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have the light, believe in the light, that ye may be (become) the children of light.’ (John 12:35-36) 

It’s therefore obvious that light through belief in Jesus, was a major aspect of His ministry and teaching in opposition to the darkness and slavery to sin that Satan espoused. And we see it also in His ground-breaking, revolutionary statement to the disciples: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) In other words, Jesus is everything: the way, the truth, the life, the light – the whole reason for living! 

But since Jesus knew that His sojourn on earth would be relatively short, hence His saying to the people earlier on, ‘walk while ye have the light with you,’ it behooved Him to make other arrangements for light, His light to stay here and overcome the darkness on the entire earth. And the arrangement He made was that His believers, His followers, would take His place and do the marvellous job of spreading His light in every nook and cranny of the earth. And He said it loud and clear in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.’ (Matt. 5:14) 

And that’s the gospel truth! If you build a city on a hill, it is impossible to hide its light from the surrounding area. That means He desires His followers to be like cities built on hills, like shining beacons, to all and sundry around them. And that’s why lighthouses in olden times were built on hills, because their light could be seen for much further distances from a hill. And Jesus continued: ‘Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lampstand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt. 5:15) 

Yes my people, light is not meant to be hidden, but shone around as much as possible. It doesn’t make sense then, that so many of us are hiding our candles, our lamps, under baskets and not allowing them to give light to all that are around us. But that’s exactly what the song is telling us: We are all lights of Jesus, and His Holy Spirit operates in all of us, so let’s get our candles burning brightly and go seek out the ‘hopeless, confused an torn… the frustrated brother, the abused sister, be a beacon’ in these dark and sinful times, for Jesus didn’t come to save the whole and the righteous, but the sick and the lost (Matt. 18:11) 

And we’ll close with these heartfelt and most meaningful words of Jesus on the subject. ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:16) Yes friends, as faithful believers, let’s take our candles and go light the world as Jesus so desperately desires of us, and the world so badly needs.. Much LOVE!

…followers of Jesus…must have hearts that are blazing…so we can light up the sky… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   18 June 2022 Proverbs 20:13.

Proverbs 20:13.      LOVE not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.

Oh brother, did we ever have some savage winds blow yesterday… all day and into the night. It seems like they wanted to blow away everything, and it did do some damage, but the strange part is that through it all, the sun shone brightly with not a cloud in the sky and people went about their business as usual. And that strong wind looks like it wants to continue today as the trees outside are still having a rough time of it. 

This makes me think that it’s just another factor in the climate change scenario, because I don’t remember ever having so many strong windstorms, especially in the summertime, until the last few years. But recently an intense wind system has become the norm. Anyway, as Cousin Sol says so wisely in Ecclesiastes. ‘To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven… He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.’ (Eccl. 3:1, 11:4) 

So, let’s not observe the wind or regard the clouds, but do what it’s time for under the heaven this Saturday morning, (smile) that’s checking out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. The first one tells us that ‘In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. That means we have 1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact.’ Yes, there are 1440 minutes in a day, and when you put it like that, it appears like we have plenty time available to make a good impact for Christ. 

However, in reality, it doesn’t work that way because we need time to sleep and do other functions that aren’t conducive to making positive impacts on others. That means, to be a good ambassador of Christ, we have to use the time left very wisely, we can’t afford to waste even a minute of it, because every minute lost, means a soul possibly lost to Christ. That’s why we have wise sayings like ‘make hay while the sun shines,’ and Cousin Sol’s words from Proverbs; ‘LOVE not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.’ (Prov. 20:13) 

In other words, don’t be lazy or procrastinating, but be up and about, actively producing a positive impact in the world for yourself and Christ. And the next quote says: ‘There is no advertisement as powerful as a positive reputation travelling fast.’ Now that’s very true, but not very easy to do, especially in a slanderous, evil, greedy and strife-filled world like that in which we currently live. But thankfully our friend Anselm has given us some useful pointers in the other quotes that he’s sent us this week, so we’ll just use them to paint a beautiful picture…all for Jesus Christ. 

Before we get to those quotes though, we must make one definite pronouncement, remembering that we can’t do anything worthwhile without Christ in our lives. He said it as plainly as it can be said. ‘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 15:5) And if the Son of God, who is the way the truth and the light, the only way to the Father, says that, then it must be true. So the basic foundation of creating a positive and fulfilling reputation is by having Christ in our lives. 

Then, as Anselm says in the next quote: ‘It’s most important that you surround yourself with positivity always, and have it in your mind at all times.’ Yes friends, we can’t do positive things if we are not filled with positive thinking, but positive thinking based on the word of Christ. That’s the crucial aspect of it all. Christ is the most positive thinker there’s ever been, therefore, to think like Him, His word must always be uppermost in our minds. That brings us to the next quote, the next step in the building process. ‘I surround myself with positive, productive people of good will and decency.’ 

Now, that’s possibly the most essential part of the whole building process! Why? Because, although we personally have all the parts necessary for the purpose, we can’t build anything strong and worthwhile by ourselves, without good material, without good folks around us. And though we might prefer them to be Christian like ourselves, they don’t have to be, since there are good, decent hard-working folks out there who are not believers in Christ, and likewise, plenty supposed believers whom you don’t want around you at all. If you get my meaning. (smile) 

That’s how Christ desires us to build our lives and consequently His church; first on the strong foundation of His word, and then with good, positive, productive helpers, for nothing good is ever constructed with poor, negative, lazy help. And I like this last quote, because it is the sum of all that we’ve spoken about so far, it brings all those things into a Christ-like fulfillment. It says: ‘When you are joyful, when you say yes to life and have fun and project positivity all around you, you become a sun in the center of every constellation, and people want to be near you.’ 

Oh my people, that’s the gospel truth! When we’ve taken what Christ has given us, the fruit of the Spirit, and used it wisely, there’s a heavenly joy that rises up in us that nothing or no one can take away from us, and people see and recognize it and want to be continually around us; ‘like a sun in the centre of every constellation!’ Wow! I like that analogy because it blends in beautifully with what Jesus asks and expects of His followers. 

Remember these poignant words of His in the Sermon on the Mount? ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lampstand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 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 my fellow saints, that is what Jesus expects of us, especially in these times of so much fear and confusion! He expects us to be the ones showing a positive outlook to the world since we have all the good things that He’s bequeathed to us, that He’s died for us to have, like forgiveness of sins, peace, LOVE, joy, salvation and eternal life! 

But we are not doing such a good job, because, if we were, the enemy, the purveyor of darkness would not have the death-like grip he currently has on the world. Instead, the harbinger of light; that’s Jesus, would have been in the ascendancy. So please, let’s get to work nuh. Since we claim to be true believers, it’s high time we do as Jesus desires of us, to bring forth much good fruit. We have all the tools, all the necessary credentials…so what’s holding us back eh?  Much LOVE!

…wherefore…by their fruit…ye shall know them… (Matt. 7:20)   

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   29 March 2022 John 8:12.

John 8:12.      I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Oh friends, it’s a bright sunshiny morning in my neighbourhood! This Tuesday morning in early spring, there’s nary a dark cloud in the sky! It’s so bright that I had to put on my dark glasses as I went to put out the garbage just now, else it would have blinded me! (smile) And it doesn’t even feel as cold as it did yesterday afternoon when I went out to the mailbox! 

Wow! That gives us the reassurance to confidently acclaim: ‘This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it! And don’t forget that something good is going to happen to us today, and something good is also going to happen through us today! That’s because we can do all things through Christ who strengthen us! And furthermore, our great and wonderful God will provide all of our needs according to His riches in glory through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Mama Yo! That’s why it’s such a joy and a pleasure to live for Jesus. No one else provides the benefits and faithful promises that He does. That’s why He reassures in His word: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) And don’t forget this other magnificent upliftment for our souls: ‘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 6:33) 

And that’s the gospel truth, because our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has indeed overcome the world by dying and rising from the dead, thus defeating hell, death, Satan and the grave! Glory Hallelujah! What a wonderful warrior is our Jesus! That’s why one of His favourite terms and words of advice while here on earth was ‘Fear not!’ But we still fear, despite all His entreaties and reassurances. 

And truthfully, we can’t ever stop fear from coming upon or against us, but we can certainly stop it from consuming us. This morning though, I want to share a poem on that malicious word ‘fear’ that I found stuck up on the bedroom wall of my young daughter. There’s no title attached to it, so we’ll just call it ‘FEAR!’ I am sure that I’ve shared it before, but in these fearful and turbulent times, it’s certainly worth hearing again. 

So please read with me: ‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. 

We are born to make manifest the Glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone, and as we let our own light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.’ 

Ah mih people, I couldn’t put it any better! And there’s a lot of truth in that poem, because many of us fear to open up ourselves not wanting to overshadow those around us. But that’s not supposed to be a problem, since when we shine our lights, we give others the encouragement to rise up and shine theirs too. Why do you think Jesus made such a fuss over us being shining lights in this evil world? Because it’s of the utmost importance. We cannot be afraid of this dark and evil world or what it threatens to do to us, because the light of Jesus is greater than any darkness that’s in the world. 

Remember John’s contention: ‘And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not (could not overcome it).’ (John 1:5) Yes friends light always opens up darkness, and the light of Jesus is the most powerful light in the world. Please remember the promise the Lord made through Isaiah, as he talks about the birth of the Prince of Peace. ‘The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.’ (Is. 9:2) 

That light was Jesus. And that prophecy was considered fulfilled, as it’s recorded in Matt. 4:15-16, when Jesus began His ministry in Capernaum, along the sea coast of the afflicted regions of the northern tribal areas of Israel, like Zebulun and Naphtali which suffered greatly under the Assyrian invasion. Remember too, the prophecy of John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah at his birth, when he got back his speech. ‘Through the tender mercy of our God: whereby the day-spring (dawn, Messiah) from on high hath visited (will visit) us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.’ (Luke 1:78-79) 

And how can we ever forget Jesus’ great pronouncement to the Pharisees; and consequently to us, and to all the world: ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) And let’s not forget what Jesus said to the people when they questioned His words on His resurrection and ascension. (John 12:30-34) ‘Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children (become sons) of light.’ (John 12:35-36) 

Now that’s what we ought to become when we accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour; the children, the sons of light, because Almighty God is the Father of light, and Jesus is His bright and shining star. But He can’t shine individually to everybody, that’s why He desires to use us, His supposed ambassadors, agents and followers. And that’s why He commanded us thus: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket) but on a candlestick (lampstand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 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) 

Jesus says it there loud and clear my people! If we are his followers, then our lights should be blazing forth to a dark and evil world, lighting it up like a Christmas tree! But unfortunately we are not doing that. Our lights are barely pouring forth, flickering like that which comes from a dying battery or a lamp low on oil, or a candle that’s at its end. And that is certainly not acceptable, not if we consider ourselves true believers in Christ Jesus! And sadly, we all know we can do better, but for whatever reason we refuse to make the effort it requires. 

Please friends, for a moment, let’s consider the ‘sufferation’ Jesus bore so that we could be set free and forgiven of our sins nuh, and in a moment of shame, let our resolve rise up to be better purveyors of His light in this dark world. That’s the only remedy that will suffice for our poor showing. Now, for those of us who are already trying to shine our light, let’s go home declaring (chuh!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘In God’s eyes, 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!’ 

Now let’s go out and walk that talk; share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE him like we do! Much LOVE!

…when our light shines forth…then peace, joy and LOVE…come to our world… 

P.S.  And yes, it’s long, but I think it’s very good; a good reawakening! (smile) Much LOVE! 

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   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! 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   2 November 2021 Matthew 5:16.

Matthew 5:16.     Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Oh my people, on this bright and sunny but chilly Tuesday morning, let me greet you as Bruh Paul liked to greet his fellow believers. ‘Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.’ And I believe that’s one of the best greetings we can ever get, for what’s greater, more important and soul-satisfying than grace, mercy and peace from our Creator and our Saviour eh? Nothing! Absolutely nothing…well except for salvation and a place in heaven with them. (smile) But then, we only get that through His free gift of grace anyway. 

Oh what a wonderful God we serve my faithful brethren! And with His marvellous breath of life still flowing through us on another brand new day, means that He expects big things from His marvellous children! Ah friends, I think I’m getting excited here, and likely to be carried away on the wings of that excitement, so I guess had better handle it with a modicum of circumspection. (smile) But that’s what happens when the goodness and grace of God gets into your spirit. 

And that’s as it should be too, otherwise, what’s the use of those goodies eh, if not for us to live the abundant, excited life in Christ? Like He so faithfully promised in that famous verse. ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) And that doesn’t mean only eternal life when we die and go to heaven, but a good life right here on earth too. And we ought to be excited about it, otherwise Christ’s death was in vain. 

And I believe that this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, appropriately expresses how our excitement in living for Christ, ought to show out. It’s aptly titled ‘You Cannot Be Hid.’ Please read with me: ‘Lord, I’ve discovered that it’s never a secret When You live in a home For You simply cannot be hid. The neighbours soon know You are there Even strangers learn of Your presence. 

When You are the Great First in a home There is a radiance that speaks of joy There is gentleness, kindness Laughter and LOVE. There is commotion mixed with contentment There are problems mixed with prayer. Lord, Your own Word says it so vividly: ‘It was known that He was in the house.’ 

And that’s how every Christian home should be reflecting Christ! People shouldn’t have to ask if we’re believers in Christ Jesus, they should be able to see it from our behaviour, from the acts of LOVE, prayer and kindness that exist in our homes. Unfortunately though, too many supposed Christian homes do not show these attributes, so others don’t know that Christ lives there. Remember what Christ said, that those who reject Him before humans, He would reject before His heavenly father. (Matt. 10:33) 

And not being able to see Christ in us, in the way we live our earthly lives, is indeed tantamount to rejecting Him before men. For some of His most important words to us was in the Bible Promise on which our poem above was based. Namely: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (a lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (a lampstand); and it giveth light unto the whole house. 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) 

And right there lies the crux of our problems friends: unbelievers are not seeing our light that comes from having Jesus within us, they are not seeing our good works, meaning that we are not doing enough of them to make a difference in this evil and ungodly world, otherwise it would not be so evil and ungodly. There’s no way for us to dispute the less than satisfactory Christ-like walk that we supposed Christians are taking in the world. Too many of us are either ashamed or afraid of showing out to others that Christ is a major, if not the most important person in our lives. 

Therefore, if our light isn’t shining in Jesus’ name, then it’s obvious we cannot do a good job for Him down here on earth. However, that’s our essential mission as believers in Christ. As the scholars explain. ‘The Christian is the condition (salt) to meet the world’s needs and he has a mission (light) to the world. His light is to clearly shine forth into the darkness of human depravity. He is to set his light upon a candlestick, not hide it under a bushel, that is, a basket. Darkness is the absence of light, and darkness alone cannot dispel the light, but the smallest light can dispel the greatest darkness.’ 

Glory to God my people! And that last sentence says a lot about our incompetence and lack of shown excitement for Jesus. I mean that if we had shown even a little light, there would not be as much darkness in the world today as it is. And please note the recently completed Halloween celebrations, where it was all about darkness and ugliness and evil accoutrements! That ought not to be in a world full of Christ’s light. 

Anyway, we will all answer individually for our actions and non-actions come the judgement day, but please, it is not too late for us to step up our Christian activities and try to do better in whatever time is left to us down here on this troubled earth. And I’m asking that we do just that. Remember that we don’t have a spirit of fear, but of power, LOVE and a sound or disciplined mind, so let’s put them to work in God’s behalf, like we are supposed to nuh! It would be to the benefit of all mankind. 

Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to do our best for Christ, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, blissfully letting the whole world know who and whose we are, to whom we most definitely belong. As one, strong voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And having said that so vociferously, (smile) it is now our bounden duty to go out and actively and joyfully share that awesome LOVE and amazing friendship of Christ with all those we meet. Much LOVE!

…Christ gave up everything for us…why can’t we shine a little for Him eh… that isn’t too much to ask…

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