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…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 February 2019 James 4:3.

James 4:3.   ​Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (pleasures).

 

Different day, friends, but the same khaki pants! Hn! Ah have to laugh yes, because it seems like more inclement weather is forecasted for today. Steups! Yuh just can’t win with this weather nuh! But you can’t let it keep you locked up indoors forever either. So if you have to go out, just go out and be damned the consequences! 

Just take Jesus’ hand and let Him guide you! He’ll take you out and back safely; that’s His promise! But then again, if you don’t have to go, don’t just go for the sake of going! (smile)  

And today we’re going to talk a li’l about the most powerful tool of communication in our world…it’s called prayer! We know of it, talk a lot about it, but for whatever reason, don’t use it sufficiently. And the first words on it come from the celebrated German writer, philosopher, dramatist and art critic Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781), one of the bright lights of the German Enlightenment era. 

And he said way back then: ‘A single grateful thought toward heaven is the most perfect prayer.’ And so it is my brethren. We don’t have to have long, gushing, ornate prayers to be praying right, but just a heartfelt thank you and request is sufficient. And not only that, it’s possibly more quickly answered than the long, overflowing, flowery words prayer. 

The important thing though my Christian brethren is that we pray, and pray sincerely, whether they be long or short, they must be constant and sincere, because remember, God looks at state of our obedience and the motives of our hearts and not our outward show, before He replies to our prayers. 

Now hear these awesome words from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) on the subject of prayer, from His Hour of Power Devotional. He starts out by making this true and most incredible claim: ‘The greatest power in the world today is the power of people to communicate with Almighty God. 

Prayer is not a scheme whereby we can move God into our lives, but rather a spiritual exercise through which we draw ourselves toward God until we are a part of His plan and His purpose. The purpose of prayer is not to give you what you want when you want it, but to make you the kind of person God wanted you to be when He put you on the planet earth.’ 

There you have it friends, the true purpose of prayer; to draw closer to God and to become what He wants us to be! Not to merely be asking Him for stuff that we desire, most of the time to be applied to our fleshly lusts and desires. Now it’s not wrong to ask for stuff that we need, and even our hearts desires, but they must fall under the will of God, be somewhere in His plan for our lives. 

As James castigates us when he talks about worldliness and pride: ‘Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (pleasures).’ And most of us can’t find fault with that statement, especially in today’s sinful and ungodly world! 

But listen to Job’s discourse on the hypocrite’s hopelessness: ‘For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul? Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him? Will he delight himself in the Almighty? Will he always call upon God?’ The most likely answer to all of that is a simple ‘NO!’ 

For as the psalmist declares (right ho) plain and straight: ‘If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.’ (Ps.66:18) And that’s the gospel truth; anytime the Lord discovers improper motives in our hearts, He won’t answer our prayers!

That brings us to these most important questions of Jesus: ‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’ (Matt.17:26) And the answer to the first question is ‘ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!’

And the psalmist answers the second one this way: ‘They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul is precious (costly), and it ceaseth for ever.’ (Ps.49:6-8) That ought to teach us friends to trust absolutely in God, and not in wealth! 

And Job’s supposed friend, Elihu, adds his two cents worth, as he talks about the results of Job’s sins: ‘Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away with his stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee. Will he esteem thy riches? No, not gold, nor all the forces of strength.’ 

Again we see my people, that nothing that the world possess is sufficient to ransom our immortal souls, only the word of God and belief in His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ can keep us from the hell fires of death and destruction! 

Now, enough of all that negative talk (smile), let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Thursday Blessings that the Lord has so magnanimously poured down on us nuh, for being such good followers of His Son Jesus Christ! (smile) 

All together now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline!

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life!

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And He didn’t grant us all that because we were so sweet and obedient, but also to share it with others less fortunate. So let’s go out now and do just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…as Jesus shared the Father’s LOVE and benefits with us…so must we share His LOVE and benefits with others…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 September 2018 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.   And he (Jesus) said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Cooler days are here again! You can bet your bottom dollar on that friends! Come September, the cool weather just explodes on us. Although in these times of climate change who knows what will happen. Yesterday evening though, I noticed that some maple trees in my area have already begun turning brown in preparation for the long, dry, cold, winter months. 

Do they know something that we don’t know! It’s possible. But not to worry, once we’re walking hand in hand with Jesus, we can face anything that comes against us, remember we’re conquerors in His Name! Glory to God! 

And with it being Saturday, let’s take a look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘Throw kindness around like confetti.’ 

Mama Mia! And if you’re a sincere follower of Jesus, that is exactly what you ought to be doing, for kindness is, was, and always will be the hallmark of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and if it’s not in your repertoire of attributes, then you’re not a sincere follower. 

And this next one says: ‘It is better to walk alone, than with a crowd going in the wrong direction.’ And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! You’re certainly better off alone than with the crowd going in the wrong direction. Some of us will remember being cautioned by our parents: ‘Don’t follow the crowd!’ And that’s usually wise advice, for the crowd is usually taking the easy way out, following Lucifer, and doing what they’re not supposed to do. 

So even if you get lonely treading that wise path that leads in the right direction, remember you’re NEVER really alone, because Jesus is ALWAYS with you, faithfully keeping His promises to never leave nor forsake you! Oh, our Jesus is so wonderful! How could we not LOVE Him eh! 

And this next quote reminds us to: ‘Remember, for everything you have lost, you have gained something else. Without the dark, you would never see the stars.’ Likewise friends, if we didn’t have rain, we would never appreciate the sun and its brilliant light. So please try to not focus so much on what you’ve lost, but on what you’ve gained through the loss. (smile) 

Now hear this tongue breaker: ‘One day it just clicks. You realize what’s important and what is not. You learn to care less about what other people think of you and more about what you think of yourself. You realize how far you’ve come and you remember when you thought things were such a mess that you would never recover. And you smile. You smile because you are truly proud of yourself and the person you’ve fought to become.’ 

Glory be for that day my brethren! That’s the day when we truly discover the Lord in our hearts! When we truly surrender our lives to Him and realize that He is ALL that really matters! Wow! What an enlightening day that usually is! 

And this last quote is the basis for our writing today: ‘Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one.’ And that’s no lie my fellow believers! The right path in this life is following Jesus, but hear what He says in our Bit for those who want to follow Him. ‘And he (Jesus) said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ 

Now that’s definitely not an easy row to hoe my people! That’s a daily denial of self! Note the young ruler who came to Jesus seeking eternal life. Note his sad, despondent reaction when Jesus told him eternal life would be his, if he sold his many possessions and gave to the poor, then came back and followed him. (Matt.19:16-22)

Unfortunately too many of us feel that way about our earthly possessions. But yuh see what Jesus went through on our behalf? It wasn’t easy for Him, even though He was God in human flesh. Now we most likely won’t go through as much ‘sufferation’ as He did, but we will definitely go through some, most likely more than we desire or care for. (smile) 

And Jesus didn’t mince words on the subject. He very clearly informed the disciples, and consequently all who came after, like us: ‘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) 

Wow! What reassuring words my breddren! Though He tells us very clearly that we will face trouble in this evil world, we’re not to worry about it, because He has overcome the world with His sacrificial death and resurrection. And even when trials come against us, if we’re sincerely walking with Him, we’ll find peace; the peace of God, which passes all human understanding, that shall keep (guard) our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) 

Yeh friends, that peace is so special, that only true believers in Christ can experience it. Hear how Jesus explains it. ‘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) Yeh friends, that peace is not of this world, but it comes from the Prince of Peace, so it’s a mighty tool in the lives of believers. 

And we’ll close with some more authoritative words of Jesus, re our Bit. ‘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)?’ (Luke 9:24-25) 

Now that’s a very good question friends? Do we want to have all the earthly wealth and lose our eternal soul, be separated from our Triune God in eternity? For all our sakes, I hope not. That means we have to seriously buckle down, and each and every day, pick up our cross and walk with it, the way Jesus did with His, in true obedience to His Father’s will. Much LOVE!

…earthly life might be difficult…but the rewards of eternity with God are certainly worth it…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 November 2017 Proverbs 24:1.

Proverbs 24:1.   Be not thou envious against (of) evil men, neither desire to be with them.

And then it was Thursday – the penultimate day of our workweek… And everybody gave a small sigh of relief, while muttering: ‘Wish it was Friday though.’ (smile) That’s just the nature of the beast. We’re grateful, while being ungrateful. 

That brings us to this quote ascribed to Louise Heath Leber, although there are naysayers who claim that it was already well known when she reputedly said it. ‘There is always room for improvement, you know – it’s the biggest room in the house.’ 

And regardless of who said or didn’t say it, is the gospel truth! We all have plenty room for improvement in many things in this life. But today I want to focus particularly on us Christian folk, because right now we are not living up to Christ’s ideal of true followers. 

Oh we talk the talk, but don’t sincerely walk it, and thus are regarded more or less as big time hypocrites. That certainly paints a bad picture of Jesus and His supposed LOVE Revolution. 

And I know many of us are bristling at that criticism, but if we look deeply and sincerely at what’s happening in Christ’s body, His church, you will see that it is definitely not functioning, as it ought to. 

There are too many divisions, too many religions, too many little cliques and groups who want to run it the way they want to, with envy and jealousy, resentment and anger very prominent in Christ’s body. And very often the leadership also leaves much to be desired, with everybody preaching their own version of the truth, or slanted to their personal benefit. 

That’s why the powers of evil and darkness are running the show. We don’t have a united enough front to challenge them, and apparently neither the will, thus they are picking us off one by one with the lures of their evil world, in the truly cunning manner of divide and conquer. 

Friends, we’re falling for the things of the world way too much and too often. Remember we’re supposed to be IN the world, but not OF the world. And yes the things of the world look wonderful on the surface, but deep down they have no real eternal values. 

So what’s our answer to these questions of Jesus eh: ‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’ 

Oh my fellow believers, there is absolutely nothing to be gained by selling our souls for the trivial, valueless stuff that the world tries to foster on us. The world is evil…and wicked…and greedy…deceitful, envious, hateful and jealous… all the negative things that Jesus dislikes. 

That’s why our Bit warns us so sternly: ‘Be not thou envious against (of) evil men, neither desire to be with them.’ For if you look enviously at what the evil people have or do, at how they prosper in their wickedness, you won’t ever be a true believer. 

You will be like the seed that fell among the thorns in Jesus’ parable about the sower. ‘He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word, and the care (cares) of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.’ (Matt.13:22) 

And sadly, that is what is happening to too many supposed Christians today: we are too concerned with the cares of this world, thus we have less time, energy and appetite to do Jesus’ work, like we should. 

Now there are many scriptures in the Good Book which remind us of that fact and also point the way to the straight and narrow path, but this one is definitely the most colourful and thought provoking. Listen to Psalm 1 – Blessed are the righteous. 

‘Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly (wicked), nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate (ponder by talking to oneself) day and night. 

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in due season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. 

Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.’ (Ps.1:1-6) 

There it is right in a nutshell my brethren – the way to prosperity in God’s kingdom! The next move depends on us, whether we believe and practice it or not. It would be a grave mistake if we didn’t, for then, eternal separation from our Creator will be our eventual lot in life…the spiritual one that is. 

And for those of us who believe, and at least try to practice our convictions, lets go home declaring the wonderful blessings that our magnanimous God has so generously bestowed on us this glorious Thursday. 

With sincerity and true sense of purpose: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And now, after the talk…the action! Much LOVE!

Christian folk…we are richly blessed…so that we can SHARE our blessings…remember that…