Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 July 2021 Matthew 19:26.

Matthew 19:26.      With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Welcome to laziness day – Saturday! Yes, after a hard work week of slogging back and forth in the rush hour traffic, many of us just want to sleep in and get up leisurely, under our own steam, not to the maddening cry of some alarm clock or radio, as happens five days a week.

Now that was the pre-pandemic picture, but what’s happened or is currently happening eh? Are we seeing a different, or new normal? Many of us had no jobs to go to during the raging storm of the virus, so we got accustomed to sleeping in late several days of the week.

But since the lifting of most of the tougher lockdown regulations, some of us have gone back to the nine to five routine. I wonder how we are handling it, after all that free time at home? It must be taking some getting used to. (smile) It’s surprising how habits formed over many years, can be unlearned or cast aside in a short space of time. And how difficult it can be to relearn them. But fear not! We are the children of the Most High God Jehovah, that means we can do anything that’s within His will, for nothing is impossible to Him! All glory to God! 

That brings us to Jesus’ interaction with the rich young ruler who came seeking eternal life. When Jesus told him to keep the commandments, he said he was already doing that, but figured he lacked something. (Matt. 19:16-20) ‘Jesus then said unto him, If thou wilt be (want to be) perfect, go and sell (all) that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.’ (Matt. 19:21) 

Now that must have been like a powerful punch to the gut of the young man. For the Good Book continues: ‘But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.’ (Matt. 19:22) And many of us supposed believers scoff at the young man, but in his position all of us would have felt the same way, because it is indeed difficult to give up wealth. But Jesus was trying to show the man that although he did the outward duties, there was a problem with his inner nature. 

Yes friends, the worldly concern with wealth seriously affects our relationship with God. As Bruh Paul wrote to Timothy. ‘For the LOVE of money is the root of all (kinds of) evil, which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.’ (1 Tim, 6:10) And is that ever the living truth my brethren! 

Money and wealth or material possessions in themselves are not terrible, but it’s the insatiable LOVE for them that gets us into trouble. So much so that our greed is usually our downfall. When we strive after the riches of this world, we usually end up in trouble, for they do not allow us to take God seriously or move in the direction of His august and awesome plan for our lives. 

No wonder Jesus made these eye-opening statements to the disciples. ‘Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ (Matt. 19:23) Meaning that it was, or is hard, extremely difficult, for a rich man to enter heaven. And the disciples most likely looked at Christ in amazement, with their tongues hanging out of their mouths, for back then it was generally understood that it was the rich who got to heaven easily because they were blessed by God and in some sense, automatically saved. 

But Jesus corrected that misunderstanding by telling them that it was very hard for the rich to be converted, born again and be saved, because of their innate affection for their material wealth, though it was not altogether hopeless. That led Him to make this statement which has caused controversy from the time He spoke it until now. ‘And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.’ (Matt. 19:24) 

Mama Yo! What a statement! And ‘When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?’ (Matt. 19:25) Now that’s a very good question my brethren? But let’s focus for a moment on what Jesus meant when He said those controversial words. 

The scholars tell us thus: ‘The illustration of a camel going through the eye of a needle has been interpreted as a camel-hair rope going through a needle; or an actual camel squeezing through a small gate, in particular, the one called “The Eye of the Needle” next to the main gate at Jerusalem, or the absolute impossibility of a literal camel actually going through a tiny needle’s eye. This last usage is most likely.’ 

And, considering Jesus’ next pronouncement, that seems to make sense. ‘But Jesus beheld them (the disciples), and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:26) I guess He was trying to bring home to them, to open up their young minds to the true and awesome power that their God possessed. So powerful was He, that He could even make a large unwieldly and ungainly camel go through the small eye of a needle. And believe me friends, our God can do it! And until we truly believe that He has such awesome power, we will continue to sell Him, and consequently our faith and ourselves short! 

Oh precious people, if God could create this magnificent universe and all therein, then make Jesus come down to earth, be born of a virgin, with no man’s help, then do all kinds of miracles while being sinless here on earth. And eventually sacrifice His sinless life on the cross for us, pay for our sins and reconcile us to Himself, then have Him ascend back into heaven, and send His Holy Spirit to dwell within us, to lead and guide us, why can’t He do such a simple thing as make a camel go through the eye of a needle eh? (smile) 

Seriously though friends, in light of all we have heard and seen our God do, we still don’t believe His omnipotence as we ought to. I guess that’s because of our small, finite minds, they are simply unable to grasp the true magnitude of our great God. But please, let’s keep on trying. The worst thing we could ever do is to stop believing in Him, to give up on Him. Much LOVE!

..our God can do…whatever needs to be done…or undone…because He is the eternal Creator…                                  

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 June 2021 John 15:13.

John 15:13.     ​Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Up, up and away friends! It’s Monday, the beginning of a brand new work week! That means there are things to do, places to go and people to see, so please, let’s get a move on, for time waits on no one! Awright, thanks for reminding me that some of you still don’t have jobs, and still can’t go to some of the places you want to go to, like the gym, hair salon and barbershop, despite the lifting of some lockdown restrictions. Yes mih bredrin, life can certainly be rough at times oui! 

But please don’t get discouraged, let’s look at the flip side of the coin instead nuh. We have life, which means there is hope, and most of all we have Jesus…Glory be mih people! That then means we have the awesome benefits of grace, mercy, LOVE and salvation! Wow! What a treasure trove of benefits! And all God’s children gave out a loud shout of gratitude and praise. ‘Thank you Jesus, for saving our sinful souls from hellfire and damnation, through your selfless sacrifice on the cross of Calvary!’ 

Oh my fellow saints, every time I sit down and ponder on Jesus, contemplate His awesome LOVE and selflessness, and the terrible pain and ‘sufferation’ He endured on our account, my heart pains me because I just can’t imagine myself suffering to that degree for someone else. And that selflessness just makes me LOVE and appreciate Him even more. That leads me to consider these heartfelt and life-giving words that He shared with the disciples as His time of sacrifice drew near. 

‘If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto (for) you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath LOVED me, so have I LOVED you: continue (abide) in my LOVE. If ye keep my commandments; ye shall abide in my LOVE; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his LOVE. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 

This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you. Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. 

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained (appointed) you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye LOVE one another.’ (John 15:7-17) 

Oh friends, just look at all the important statements in those few verses nuh. But please note they are all based on one condition: obedience to His commandments. The scholars characterize them thus: ‘abiding in His LOVE (vs.10), full joy (vs.11), LOVE for one another (vs. 12-13, 17; cf. 13:34-35), friends, not servants (vs.14-15), fruit remains (vs.16), and answered prayer (vs.16) Not forgetting that it was Christ who chose them. ‘It was by His appointment, not by their choice they were taken out of the world (vs.19) and sent out to bear fruit.’ 

But the verse I am especially interested in today is our Bit. ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ How beautiful is Christ eh, that after calling us friends, and making that statement, that’s exactly what He went out and did; lay down, sacrifice His sinless life for us, sinners, whom He considered friends, disciples, ambassadors and earthly representatives. 

No wonder Bruh Paul wrote these powerful words in his missive to the church at Ephesus, re the ways of the believer. ‘Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in LOVE, as Christ also hath LOVED us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God, for a sweet-smelling savour (aroma).’ (Eph. 5:1-2) You can’t argue with that sentiment friends, for it’s the indisputable truth! 

Furthermore, listen to John in his first epistle as he talks about LOVING each other. ‘Hereby perceive we the LOVE of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good (goods), and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion (his heart) from him, how dwelleth the LOVE of God in him? My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue (mere word); but in deed and in truth.’ (1 John 3:16-18) 

There’s nothing to argue with in those verses either my people. What we need to do, especially in these tough times of sickness, poverty and strife is put them into action; help each other, LOVE each other, the way Christ LOVED and helped us. That’s when we show the world and Christ that we are His true disciples! Now, let’s go talk to the Lord in prayer, pour out our troubles and woes to Him, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

Altogether now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

Now let’s remember the number one reason for divine help and blessings: OBEDIENCE! Much LOVE!

…plenty talk…with no action…is useless…it helps no one…                                                                        

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 June 2021 2 Timothy 4:7.

2 Timothy 4:7.     I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith:

And then it was Saturday; that beautiful, lazy, sleep in day! Although I don’t think a lot of people will be sleeping into day because some of the restrictions on the lockdown have apparently been lifted. Don’t ask me what they are, because I have stopped paying attention since they are always so confusing. (smile) 

But if yesterday was any reflection of that, with the crowded streets and plentiful traffic, more than we’ve seen for over a year, then today will indeed be crazy. Let’s hope though that people will still pay attention to some of the realities of the situation, because this thing is not over, far from it, and like we’ve had before, a relapse is still possible, especially with all the new variants out there. End of sermon! 

Let’s turn to our Saturday business now; that of checking out the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.’ Now that’s all well and good in theory, but in actual practice, it’s not so easy to do. Just look at how the nation of Japan rose to greatness by first cheaply copying the designs of other countries, and now China is doing the very same thing. So what does it say about originality eh? (smile) 

And remember that famous saying: ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.’ Meaning that it’s a compliment to do or think like someone else. The problem is that though we should all try to be original, not all of us can, or will be. Some of us will just have to settle for making the original things better. (smile) 

And the next quote says: ‘There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed.’ Now that’s no lie, for some people are just scared to take a risk, to step out on a limb, just want to always play it safe, but you can never succeed by playing it safe. And the other type is the jealous ones. Those who don’t want to see you get ahead of them, who desire you to be just as unsuccessful as they are. But it’s up to you to decide what you truly desire and don’t listen to the naysayers, regardless of the reason they have for saying nay. 

But that means you must also pay close attention to the following quote: ‘Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.’ Now that certainly has a ring of truth to it. For the only way to succeed is to move on from your failures, and though it’s difficult to always have enthusiasm after a failure, it’s important that you do have it, since that’s the only way you will ever get fully into your next attempt at success. And the next quote segues very nicely into that one: ‘Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.’ 

That first part is gospel truth: to be successful you have to do certain things that most people will not do; like getting up and trying again, and working long, tough hours, although you are not seeing any daylight on the project. Not to mention doing all sorts of menial and supposedly low-life jobs, just to forward the project. And yes, most of wish our tasks were easier, that’s the normal human attitude. But then, as they say, nothing good, or worth accomplishing is ever easy. And that’s generally true, no wonder our society today is so listless and lazy, with so many of us just satisfied to sit on our laurels and enjoy the easy life. 

But when a society gets lazy and listless and stops being creative and productive that’s when it begins to die, for a worthwhile life is only achieved through continual improvement and productivity. Consequently, this upcoming quote describes what a person or a society has to be about to not only survive but to prosper. ‘It’s not about standing still and becoming safe. If anybody wants to keep creating, they have to be about change.’ 

Yes, friends, we have to be in a continually creative frame of mind and accept that some change is necessary to move on up. But please, let’s not do like so many of us in our society are doing today, just embracing change for the sake of change, for not all change is productive, necessary or improves one’s life. And the advent of social media with its countless tentacles spread all over the world is just such one bad influence, for it gives the evil and wicked an even greater chance to spread their evil influence. 

True, it also gives the good and righteous a chance to spread their beliefs, but it so happens that because of our natural sinful nature and the broad way of the evil stuff, it is spreading more than the good stuff, which seeks the narrow path. And if we, the good and righteous want to have more influence in this world, we have to start doing much better than we currently are, and using the many tools available to us much more intently and purposefully. 

Remember some of Christ’s last words to His disciples: ‘All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and earth. Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:18-20) Now, as followers of Jesus, His disciples and earthly representatives, that’s our life-long mission! We refer to it as the Great Commission, and it is indeed a great commission, as it comes directly from our Lord and Saviour, and it is a big, though very worthwhile task. 

And this explanation from the scholars is excellent. ‘The closing promise, though given to the apostles, is transmitted by every generation of believers (cf. John 17:20). Christ’s promise of His presence, I am with you always, guarantees the success of the church’s mission because it is really His mission carried out by His called-out disciples. The phrase unto the end of the world means until the end of the “age.” 

Therefore Christ’s empowerment of the church to evangelize the world is available in every age, even unto the end of the church age. In comparing the Great Commission with Jesus’ promise to continually build His church (Ch. 18), we must conclude that He intended His church always to be spiritually militant and evangelistically aggressive as we take His claims of Lordship to the entire world of our generation.’ 

Now my fellow believers, the important question is, are we being spiritually militant and evangelistically aggressive in our earthly walk? Now, if we are truthful, we will admit that we are definitely not as engrossed and purposeful in Christ’s work as we ought to be. So what’s the answer? It’s simple! To retake the world, we must become more spiritually militant and evangelistically aggressive, and at least match the efforts of the evil doers, until we eventually overpower them! 

That’s it in a nutshell my fellow saints. And it’s now up to us to rise up, with a strong sense of purpose and do our job, so that at the end, like Bruh Paul, we can truthfully say: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith:’ (2 Tim. 4:7) Yes friends, unless we can all truthfully say that at the end of our earthly days, then our lives would have been worthless in the cause of Christ! Much LOVE!

…it’s time for believers to rise up…to be bold and aggressive…in spreading the good news of Christ…                                                                    

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 May 2020 2 Timothy 1:7.

2 Timothy 1:7.     For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.

And then it was Friday, the last day of the normal workweek; a week of heightened calamity and tension, hatred and overflowing resentment around the world… all of that within the current upheaval caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. Oh friends, our world is now in a state ripe for exploding, and if we don’t lessen the tension soon, it will certainly explode. At one stage the pandemic seemed to be bringing us together, but with all the divisive rhetoric spouted on it, highlighting differences of opinion on what it is and where it came from and how to cure it, the obvious and nasty casting of blame and if it’s even true, the stage is set for a lot of national and international disagreement. 

But faithful saints of Christ, please let us remember who created this universe; our omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God! And let’s not forget that He is still in complete control of it and whatever goes on therein, and He is not an absentee or weak-kneed ruler, but He’s very present on His throne and has the reins of His universe well in hand. And that means He knows what is happening and why He’s allowing it. It’s all happening according to His divine plan. Remember His thoughts and ways are higher than ours so we’ll not understand all that happens. 

Therefore we must not let fear, worry, anxiety and all the other negative emotions bury us under their heavy yoke and cause us to lose faith, for faith in Almighty God is the only thing that will successfully see us through all the current problems we’re facing. Remember that majestic and most assuring verse of scripture from Bruh Paul to Timothy and now to us: ‘For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ 

Well NOW IS THE TIME for us to put that verse into steadfast action; to stand strong and faithful in the reverence, assurance, wisdom and LOVE of our great and faithful God! Remember, in His Word, He also says that he who survives to end will receive a crown of glory. So please let’s fight the good fight, run whatever race we have to run with diligence and excellence and the utmost faithfulness, so that we can prevail in the end. And no, I haven’t forgotten that today being Friday, many of you are looking forward to what the ordinary workingman has to say. 

And as always, he opens – though somewhat less energetically than usual – with this proclamation: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And thank God the weekend is here at last too. It’s the second week of work since some of the lockdown restrictions lifted…the first full one, since last week Monday was Queen Vic holiday. And am I ever glad to see the weekend, because after such a long time off work, the body’s gotten soft and flabby and thus the work’s become physically harder. And I still need to get back accustomed to waking up so early in the morning. 

But what a crazy world we live in eh Dr. Jack? Like they let some of us out from the zoo, the way we behaving like wild animals with no responsible physical distancing and such, although we still in the throes of the pandemic! Steups! Mankind is something else yes! That’s why they say we’re our own worst enemy…and that’s the gospel truth! No other animal quick to destroy themselves as we humans are. And sadly my views doh make any difference to anybody nuh. All I could do is my best yes…and hope and pray that people soon wake up and realize how bad the situation is oui… Otherwise crapaud certainly smoke we pipe!’ 

And there’s no doubt whatsoever about it friends, if we don’t wake up very soon, there will be pure pandemonium around our world; pandemonium like we’ve never seen before, or might ever see again! And as individuals, there’s not much we can do about the situation, but together, as the Church, as Christ’s body in this confused world, we can stand together and make our voices heard, and behave in a right and responsible manner, and hope and pray! So let’s start with the praying part right now nuh, our Friday Chant. 

As one now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…some of it from work, as many of us are now back to work in varied ways, but most of our anxiety still comes from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus still causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. But with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat this virus. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who have to go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways.

It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Yes friends, we’ve fulfilled the praying part of the solution, let’s now turn our attention to the hope and responsible behaviour that must be done if we’re to be successful in defeating this virus and bringing some desperately needed stability to our world! Much LOVE!

…talk is cheap…especially when action is what’s needed…