Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 May 2019 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.    ​If any man will  (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
 
Oh isn’t it great to be alive on a sunshiny morning my faithful brethren in Christ? It surely is! And though it’s still somewhat chilly in my area, life gets even better when we realize the treasure we have in Jesus Christ being our Lord and Saviour, our Leader and Guide, etc. etc! That’s just the cat’s pajamas; (smile) the best it can get, both in this world and the next! 

So let’s not murmur and complain about the problems we have nuh, instead, let’s give thanks and praise and glory to Almighty God for the great blessings He’s bestowed on us, especially that of His Son, Jesus Christ! And since it’s Saturday, let’s get right to the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Hear this first one: ‘Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.’ And is that ever so true. This earthly life is chocked full of problems, but we can’t allow them to get us down, otherwise we’d just lead a negative and depressed life. 

And remember Jesus said that He had overcome the world and we should cheer up, be glad, in spite of the tribulations we encounter. (John 16:33) So please, let’s not allow problems to ruin our happiness. With Jesus help, they are all conquerable! 

And listen to this quote: ‘Make improvements, not excuses. Seek respect, not attention.’ More truth there friends! Our society nowadays is one of excuses and casting blame everywhere else but on ourselves, where more often than not, it truly belongs! But let’s not play the blame game nuh, because it doesn’t help, just causes more confusion and bitterness and disunity. And above all, it doesn’t show the kind of people we ought to be as followers of Jesus. 

And I like this quote: ‘The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence; the past is a place of learning, not a place of living.’ Oh is that truth in spades my people! The past is very useful, but only as a guide to the future, to show you what mistakes you should not make again. But unfortunately too many of us live in the past, that’s why we’re so unhappy and unfulfilled. We let the past colour our present and future lives too much. 

Living in the past is the worst thing we can do to our present day lives. Therefore: ‘Do not let the memories of your past limit the potential of your future. There are no limits to what you can achieve on your journey through life, except in your mind!’ So true friends so true! All the past does is limit our future and hold us back from the awesome life that God has prepared for us. So please, let’s just learn from the past nuh, but not live there in squalor and hopelessness. (smile) 

And this last quote also aligns nicely with those gone before, sort of paraphrasing them. ‘Life is about accepting the challenges along the way, choosing to keep moving forward, and savoring the journey.’ And before we even talk about the challenges, let’s remember that life is a journey, one we ought to enjoy, one in which we grow from glory to glory, meeting the challenges that this evil and ungodly world constantly throws at us with the help of the Holy Spirit of God that dwells within us. 

Some of us believe that life is just something to muddle through and be constantly depressed and negative. But remember what Jesus said, that He came that we might have life, and have it in abundance! (John 10:10) Now does that sound like we should always be down in the dumps, beaten by the challenges of life? No! Exactly the opposite! 

We talk about how Jesus has conquered, hell, death and the grave, so if He’s conquered the evil forces of this world, why should we be mired in depression and negativity, anxiety and fear eh? The victory is already ours, we just have to live it out in confidence and assurance, if we truly believe in Jesus and all that He’s said. 

But yuh know what friends, for us to successfully do all that we’ve talked about above, we have to do one basic thing, sincerely take up our cross and follow Jesus! That’s the ONLY way our lives will ever be truly worthwhile! Jesus didn’t mince words when He said it. ‘If any man will  (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ 

Oh my people, I know that many of us believe that taking up our cross and following Jesus is extremely difficult. And at times it is yes; like giving up our selfish desires to help others, facing up to challenges that we want to shy away from, going the extra mile and turning the other cheek, like Jesus desires of His followers. Yes, we are not supposed to be like the world, but show the world a different style. 

And I bypassed the most important word in Jesus’ statement on purpose; ‘daily.’ Now that’s the magic word friends. We don’t pick up our cross when we feel like, or when it’s convenient for us, but each and every day of our earthly lives, if we are truly sincere believers in Jesus! Yes, it’s hard. But nobody ever said that life would be easy. And just look at what Jesus suffered for us nuh. The least we can do is to show a li’l gratitude and gratefulness by picking up our cross and following Him daily. 

‘For whosoever will (desires to) save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose (loses) his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged (benefited), if he gain the whole world, and lose himself (is destroyed), or be cast away (lost)? For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.’ (Luke 9:24-26) 

Oh my people, it couldn’t be any plainer and clearer than that! So please, let’s wake up and smell the roses nuh, because Jesus can return at any time, and if you’re caught napping when He comes, then crapaud smoke yuh pipe! Much LOVE!

…to truly serve Jesus…one must take up one’s cross…DAILY…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 July 2016 John 14:27

John 14:27.   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.

So it’s Friday! And all over God’s great earth, working people are celebrating! They are ecstatic that the weekend is upon them, and are joyfully singing: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! When this working day is done, my time will be my own! No more slave master to drive me crazy, to keep my nose to the grindstone! I’ll be free! Doing my own thing! Glory Be! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, we all know how important the weekend is for most of us, trying to get things done that we couldn’t do during the work week. But we can’t afford to encumber ourselves with too much of our own activities either, for we’ll just continue the stress of the workweek. The weekend is a time when we must recapture some semblance of balance in our lives. 

So let’s chant our Friday Chant which gives us a better idea of how to achieve that balance. All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yes my brethren, we must find some way to get rest, relaxation and fellowship into our weekends if we want to be able to function at a high level the following week. And in keeping with that philosophy, here’s an interesting quote from one Robert H Davies. In checking though, there were so many people with that name, I couldn’t figure out which one said it. 

Nonetheless here it is. ‘One of the signs of maturity is a healthy respect for reality – a respect that manifests itself in the level of one’s aspirations and in the accuracy of one’s assessment of the difficulties which separate the facts of today from the bright hopes of tomorrow.’ 

Yes friends, a healthy dose of reality is what a lot of this world needs right now, especially with all the huge emphasis we’re currently placing on what is called virtual reality. Today, if true reality hits some of us in the face we won’t even recognize it! (smile) 

But we do need to be more mature and sensible about what has gone before, what’s happening today, and our prospects for the future. We must stop living in the past, learn to accept the present, and refrain from painting too bright a future, which when it doesn’t come to pass will only drag us down into the depths of despair. 

Goals and dreams are great to have, but we must temper them with a modicum of circumspection, of reality, otherwise they can mess up our lives. Essentially what we need in our lives, especially in these trying times, these rush and push days, is a proper sense of balance. 

And you know what my people, that can only be accomplished with a big, wonderful dose of Jesus: of His LOVE, His peace, His care and compassion! And nowhere is that more readily seen and available than in the words of our Saviour, as highlighted in our Bit. 

‘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.’  

Ah friends, what encouraging and reassuring words! Jesus was there telling His disciples of the necessity for Him to go away so that the Holy Spirit, our Guide and Comforter could be sent to us. 

Now obviously it takes some maturity in the Christian faith to accept those words of Jesus at face value. But it’s the only way that we can truly handle the vicissitudes of this life, our changing circumstances and fortunes. Only through the peace and harmony gained by associating with Jesus, can we ever successfully navigate the stormy seas and strong winds of this life. 

And please note the priestly benediction that the Lord gave Moses for the children of Egypt way back when. ‘The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee (look on you with favour), and give thee peace.’ (Num.6:24-26) 

Yeh friends, without the peace and favour of our wonderful God moving in our beings, our lives will never be stable and successful. 

Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the Philippians. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful (anxious) for nothing: but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’  (Phil.4:4-7) 

Oh precious people of God, what a moving and encouraging set of scriptures! Through constant prayer and thanksgiving we are able to invoke the wonderful peace of God, that’s always close by, through the Holy Spirit! A peace that our finite minds can’t even understand, but we can surely feel it. 

And we’ll end with these reassuring and triumphant words of Jesus. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Friends, as true believers in Christ, let’s therefore go forth today, and everyday, holding those words of enduring truth in our hearts, souls, minds and bodies, so that we can successfully navigate our way through this evil and ungodly world, for that is wisdom to the nth power! 

Much LOVE!…Jesus is the blueprint for successful earthly living…so let’s copy as much of His style as possible…