Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 October 2018 Matthew 5:13a &14a.

Matthew 5:13a & 14a.    Ye are the salt of the earth…Ye are the light of the world…

So now it’s Saturday…. But don’t quote me on that nuh! (smile) Oh isn’t it nice when you don’t have to know what day of the week it really is, and they can just freely flow into each other, and all you’re concerned about is whether it’s night or day?  I’m certainly enjoying it! 

And I finally got home from Kingston around 8.pm last night, after a long and unsatisfying four hour bus ride. The youngster driving figured he was handling a toy bus, just twirling away round the corners. However, on arrival in Mo Bay, some good goat belly soup at a family member’s yard, revived my sagging energy and spirit, (smile) then I came home and just rested quietly. 

But on a more serious note, here is a prayer that I found in my mother’s Bible after she died, and I’ve shared it before, but I’ve been moved to share it again today. It’s simple but all-encompassing, and it has become one of my favourites over the last few years. Please pray with me: ‘The light of God surrounds me. The LOVE of God enfolds me. The power of God protects me. The presence of God watches over me. Wherever I am, God is… And ALL is WELL!’ 

Oh friends, if all those things are true, then ALL must be WELL with us! And if you’re a true believer in Christ, then all those things ARE true, so you can draw the logical conclusion. But since it’s Saturday, we need to turn to some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Hear this first one: ‘Life is short, and it is up to you to make it sweet.’ And is that ever true! Only you, and you alone can truly make your life sweet…Sorry, I forgot to say in conjunction with Jesus, because if He is not in your life, then try as you want, your life will NEVER be truly sweet. Jesus is the key, the honey that sweetens life! 

And this next quote complements that last one. ‘The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed.’ No my brethren, we certainly don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, and though life’s not always a crazy ride, for sure nothing is guaranteed, except salvation and eternal life if Jesus dwells sincerely in your soul. 

Then there’s: ‘I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.’ Oh isn’t life truly complex! But the best way to live it is with an optimistic outlook. As they say, hope for the best, but come what may. That’s all we can do, though with Jesus as the guiding light of our life lots of sunshine will surely filter in to it. 

And this next quote tells us: ‘Life doesn’t require that we be the best, only that we try our best.’ Gospel truth my fellow believers! Our Lord and Saviour knows that we are not perfect specimens, and knows our weaknesses better than us, so He doesn’t expect perfection, just that we try to be diligent and excellent representatives of His, by always putting our best foot forward. 

And finally the last quote: ‘Positive thinking is more than just a tagline. It changes the way we behave. And I firmly believe that when I am positive, it not only makes me better, but it also makes those around me better.’ And that’s more gospel truth friends! Positive, Christ-like thinking is the best way to live this earthly life. And when you do so, obviously some of your good attitude will rub off on others. 

That’s what Jesus is all about. That’s why He highlighted our Bit in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘Ye are the salt of the earth…Ye are the light of the world…’ Yes my fellow believers, when we behave like salt and light, then we exude the properties of Jesus. And we can’t hope to be Christ-like, raised from glory to glory, unless we give off the same properties. 

We need to be worthy citizens of our society, involved in worthwhile causes, setting a good example, shining our lights, so that others can see the true way, that hard to find hidden path that leads through Jesus to the Father. But unfortunately I don’t think that we’re really doing our best in that respect, else the world would not have been overtaken by the evil enemy and his evil cohorts.  

If we were showing up our salty flavour and shining our bright light in the darkness of this evil world, Jesus’ LOVE Revolution would have had the upper hand on the world stage by now! But since we apparently have lost our salty, tasty flavour, we don’t seem to be good for anything now, and are just being trampled underfoot. 

It’s the same thing with our light. It seems like we’re hiding it under a bushel or basket, and no light’s getting out to those around us. Remember what Jesus said: ‘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.’ (Matt.5:14b-15) 

Oh friends, I know some of us are tired of hearing this sermon, but we need to hear it until we get it right! The evil enemy is running away with the world, and we are the only ones who can take it back. So let’s get serious and become true ambassadors of Christ nuh, and truly exemplify the diligence and excellence He expects of us, by making His wish come true. ‘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) 

That, in a nutshell is our earthly job my people. Please, I implore us, let’s go out and do it nuh, so that Jesus and the Father can be glorified. Much LOVE!

…salt and light…the major qualifications for a Jesus ambassadorship…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 July 2018 Lamentations 3:22-23.

Lamentations 3:22-23.   It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Ah mih Scrip-Bit breddren another hot summer’s day is in the offing… But what do we expect eh? It’s summer! It’s supposed to be hot! We’re just a bunch of pampered, selfish people, who only want it to be the way we want it! It’s a good thing though that our God thinks differently. (smile) 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s get going with some really interesting quotes this week from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.’ And that’s no lie friends, for all the material wealth in the world cannot be compared to the figurative wealth, talking about wisdom and experience and simple joy that one gets from living a full and productive life. 

That brings us to this next quote that’s tied up with the first. ‘Life is short and the older you get, the more you feel it. Indeed, the shorter it is. People lose their capacity to walk, run, travel, think, and experience life. I realize how important it is to use the time I have.’ 

And is that ever so true! When we’re young, energetic and supple, we feel like time is there waiting on us, like we have oodles of it. But the older we get, the more restricted our bodies become and we realize that time’s not waiting on us, and we need to use whatever we have left in a big way. The old fogies like me, will recognize the ultimate truth in that statement. (smile) 

Therefore, one has to ‘Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.’ That also relates back to our first quote, because we all know that a life lived on the safe side does not produce any real joy and excitement, just a bland, so-so existence, and that’s not the kind of life that Jesus died for us to have. 

We were put down here to experience life, not merely go through the motions. That means we need to step out of our comfort zone and take some risks every so often; for that’s the only way we will ever grow, both in Christ and in the living world. 

And the last quote is rather eye opening: ‘Empathy begins with understanding life from another person’s perspective. Nobody has an objective experience of reality. It’s all through our own individual prisms.’ 

Yes friends, if we could only see life through another’s eyes, we would not be as judgemental and cynical and repulsive and repugnant as we are. And only when we try to understand another’s position or circumstance can we have that wonderful trait called empathy, which is just another name for compassion. 

That brings us right to our Bit. ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ 

h mih people, it’s the Lord’s empathy towards us that has us breathing and experiencing another day in His world! That’s what Jesus had for us, that’s why he came and died to pay for our sins, and it’s the same thing we need to have for others, even though they may be different in many or all respects from us. And I want to finish the scriptures on compassion today, so let’s get right to it. 

And the first scripture comes from a parable of Jesus, one we all know and talk about but don’t practice nearly as much as we ought to, else life would not be as bad as it is. (smile)  That’s the parable of the Good Samaritan. The Levite and the priest, supposedly good and religious people, passed by the wounded man on the ground with nothing but a mere glance. 

Regardless of what excuses they might have had for their behaviour, in Jesus’ eyes, they were heartless, unsympathetic people. ‘But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him.’ (Matt.10:33) And we all know the story of how he looked after him, took him to an inn and paid for his recovery. 

And the scholars offer a good explanation of the situation surrounding the parable. ‘10:33. Jews and Samaritans were bitter rivals (John 4:9). The Samaritans were despised for having at least partially Gentile ancestry (due to Assyria’s conquest of Samaria in 721 (B.C) and for having a different worship centre (Mount Gerizim; John 4:20). 

Thus Jesus’ parable was highly provocative. Samaritan was to Jesus’ hearers automatically a term of reproach. To portray a Samaritan as fulfilling the commandment (see v.27) (LOVE thy neighbour as thyself), but Jews as circumventing it, would be a supreme insult to the listening lawyer (v.25) and to the rest of the audience.’ 

Unfortunately though my brethren, that’s exactly how a lot of us supposed believers behave, while unbelievers offer more empathy, sympathy and compassion to their fallen brethren. And just like it shone a poor light on the priest and the Levite, it likewise shines a poor light on us. So let’s try and be more supportive of others nuh, regardless of their race, creed or class, because that’s what Jesus asks of, and expects of His followers. 

And we’ll end this series of messages on compassion with the most important scriptures of them all on the subject; Jesus’ Great Invitation to a suffering mankind. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Oh my people, my people, what a magnificent offer! No one else has ever offered such an invitation besides Jesus, because NO ONE else had, or has the ability to keep it! So please, I implore us, in these crazy times, let’s turn to Jesus and accept His invitation nuh, it’s the wisest decision we can ever make. And furthermore, let’s also try and get others to do the same, for it’s our bounden duty as followers of Christ! Much LOVE!

…the Christian life is all about…compassion…compassion…compassion…as per Jesus’ example…



Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 March 2018 Luke 12:15.

Luke 12:15.   And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. 

Come on friends, it’s a beautiful morning, so let’s go outside for a ride nuh! Oh, I forgot that it’s still somewhat chilly in my neighbourhood. (smile) But when the Sun and the SON are both shining forth so brilliantly it detracts from the freezing cold and you don’t even notice it. 

Hn! And I hear some of you mutter in the background: ‘Good for you! You might not notice the cold, but I certainly will.’ Ah mih people, life is short, so why not enjoy as much of it as possible eh? A li’l cold never kill anybody yet! ‘That’s what you say,’ comes the reply. 

Anyhow, we won’t argue over such trivial things on such a beautiful day. (smile) Let’s simply agree that it’s a beautiful Saturday morning, and therefore time to check out what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, in his attempt to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Hear this first one: ‘You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.’ And that’s gospel truth my friends and fellow believers! Regardless of how strong we become, we’ll ALWAYS need the help of others, simply because we can’t do it all on our own. So please, don’t ever get so proud that you refuse to ask for help, because that’s what family, friendship and fellowship are for. 

And the second quote says: ‘There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.’ More gospel truth my brethren! For in the seed of every failure lies a part of the answer to our improvement. As they say; we must learn from our mistakes. And it only makes sense. If we do something one way, and it fails, why do it the same way again eh? 

And as Christians, we know that we only learn, mature and grow under the umbrella of adversity. When times are good we don’t grow or mature as much because everything is fine and there’s nothing much to tax our mental, spiritual and physical well-being. But when times are rough, we need to hunker down and figure out how to make them smooth again. 

Now here comes the last quote: ‘Learn to be thankful for what you already have, while you pursue all that you want.’ More gospel truth people! But unfortunately, in our current society; too many of us are not thankful for what we have. We keep on wanting and seeking for more worldly stuff, without ever considering being thankful for what we already have. 

And don’t be surprised, it’s not only the ungodly who do that, many Christian brethren do it too. We simply hunger after things, then quickly forget them once we possess them. That’s a sad state of affairs. The problem might just be that we simply have too much. I’m sure if we had half as much as we do, and it was incredibly difficult to get any more, like how it is for the greater portion of our world, we’d certainly be thankful for the little that we had. 

But prosperity and plenty in today’s world, just doesn’t seem to lead to thankfulness, as it should. Thus Jesus’ warning in our Bit, from His parable of the rich fool. ‘And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.’ 

Ah friends, that’s oh so true, but too many of us don’t seem to realize it, as we continue to run down the world’s wealth, despite the inherent problems contained therein. As Jesus described the rich fool who had so much and only thought of himself, wallowing in his worldly wealth and contemplating how to increase it. 

‘And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’ (Luke 12:19-21) 

Now the scholars offer an interesting explanation of all that. ‘12:21. Here Jesus brings out the meaning of verses 16-20. Notice that what Jesus calls for follows quite logically out of his own example (2 Cor.8:9), as well as out of God’s graciousness toward all who seek Him (Rom.10:12). Jesus is not speaking of a pay-as-you-go faith, but of participation in a relationship in which God already provides what He wishes His people to give back to Him.’ 

Meanwhile, to clarify that explanation, I’ll quote those verses listed above. The first one talks about Jesus’ example. ‘For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.’ (2. Cor.8:9) 

And the next one refers to God’s graciousness to all men. ‘For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.’ (Rom. 10:12) Yes friends, God is rich and generous to all who come to Him in sincerity and truth, and we don’t need to run down the world’s fallible wealth, because God will provide sufficient to meet all our needs when we honour and obey Him. 

And you know what happens when we die and leave great wealth? Some of the worst fights erupt over their dispossession. That’s when the real nasty nature, the evil and greed of mankind truly comes out, and the lawyers end up getting most of what we left behind. So please let’s be wise and seek God’s kingdom first, and lay up treasure in heaven rather than down here on earth nuh. Much LOVE!

…be thankful…and covet not …

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 August 2013 John 13:35

John 13:35   By this shall men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another. 
 
Well hello there my fine Friends in Christ! Unfortunately, this Thursday morning at the end of August, in the summer of the year 2013, the ole fella has nothing to say…
 
And immediately a great cry of joy rose up to heaven. ‘Wow! Is that really possible? But thank the Lord for it anyway!’ (smile)
 
Yes Friends, some of you will consider that rather fortunate, but as I keep reminding us, we can do any and all things with the help of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. So please remember this is not my word I’m writing about, but the Lord’s, so my not having anything personal to say is of no account, for the Lord’s Spirit will lead and guide me to what HE wants me to say.
 
Got all yuh eh! (smile) Oh Friends, life is so short, we need to have some occasional fun in it. And remember yesterday we spoke about mixing and matching the daily ingredients of life at our disposal? Well everyday we should endeavour to put useful ingredients like joy, peace and LOVE in the mix, because those things will benefit us the most in this already rough and trouble-filled life. No sense in making it harder than it already is.
 
But again, unfortunately that’s what a lot of us do to ourselves and consequently to those around us. We interject things like hate, resentment and other evil doings into our souls, which eventually flow from us to others. Now with stuff like that seething and raging in our spirits, how can we enjoy life eh? No way Jose!
 
Jesus says in our Bit that we ought to live in and by LOVE. ‘By this shall men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ 
 
But sadly, for one reason or another, we seem to find that difficult to do on a regular, constant and sustained basis. But it’s that regularity and sustainability that truly makes it LOVE!
 
And furthermore, it’s even sadder when the place that LOVE should be the most evident and palpable, in the family, the smallest and most important unit of our society, that’s where it’s least evident these days.
 
Oh my brethren, too many families live in turmoil and hate, dissension and disunity, as well as emotional distance and separation in this information age!
 
And if the LOVE doesn’t begin at home, where it ought to, where else will it crop up eh? If all we take from home is resentment and bitterness, how will we find joy and LOVE? Obviously we’ll end up looking for them in all the wrong places, like so many of us are doing today, and thus find ourselves in even deeper, unfathomable, negative waters.
 
Now the LOVE that Jesus is talking about here is not the romantic, hugging and kissing thing, but what the Greeks term ‘agape.’ That’s simply being decent with and showing concern for others, helping and serving one another, forgiving each other’s faults, but also trying to live a righteous life, so that there won’t be too many faults to forgive.
 
Oh my brethren, if we could just treat each other with a little more civility and a modicum of appreciation, you wouldn’t believe the great difference and positive change that would bring about in our much too troubled and tumultuous world.
 
And here’s an interesting, but also very practical quote from St.Therese, the patron Saint of the Little Flower Society. She declares, that ‘To live by LOVE is to go through life sowing peace and joy in hearts.’
 
Oh Friends, that’s as gospel truth as we can get outside of the gospel! (smile) And that’s exactly what showing and living in LOVE should bring forth; joy and peace in your heart, as well as those with whom you interact. If we’re not providing things like joy and peace and righteousness in our hearts and those with whom we come into contact, then we’re NOT living in LOVE, and we’re not being true disciples of Christ!
 
That’s the long and short of the story my brethren. There’s no getting around it. Anything that truly bears the name of LOVE, MUST HAVE attributes like peace, joy, understanding, help, service and understanding emanating from its work! And if those essential elements are missing, then it’s NOT TRUE LOVE! 
 
And now that we’ve understood the essence of LOVE, let’s look at some scriptures that fortify that reasoning… sorry, that fortify those eternal truths. (smile)
 
Hear Bruh Paul as he encourages the Roman church to walk in LOVE. ‘LOVE worketh no ill (does no harm) to his neighbour: therefore LOVE is the fulfilling of the law.’ (Rom.13:10)
 
More gospel truth my brethren! For true LOVE doesn’t have wrong, harmful or evil intents and thoughts in its bosom or spirit.
 
And yuh know what Friends? I think we’ll end here for today, because I just looked at my notes and the rest of stuff I’d planned to say would definitely make it too long. And I don’t want to turn us off, since we have these busy schedules and short attention spans, and we also have to get in our own Bible Study time.
 
Now mih people, I surely hope that you’re doing your own reading of the Word and not just relying on the Bit. For how else would you know if I’m simply talking lies, nonsense, or the gospel truth eh?
 
So as I’ve being saying from day one, reading the Bit is great, because it gets you thinking, activates your mind, but in the long run it’s still only a catalyst for turning your mind to God. Therefore, it is still ESSENTIAL THAT EACH AND EVERY BELIEVER, READS HIS OR HER BIBLE, PREFERABLY EVERY DAY!
 
And Friends that is indeed the height of wisdom and the very kernel of everlasting truth!
 
Some of you must be wishing now that I had something to say at the beginning eh? (smile) But Friends, I’m just giving it to you as it should be. So until tomorrow, our great God in favour, please, let’s walk in lockstep with Jesus as best we can nuh, and that means walking in LOVE! Much LOVE!
 
…the song’s not wrong…for LOVE is truly…what makes the world go round