Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2018 Matthew 7:20.

Matthew 7:20.   Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
 
Aye friends, the ole fella is somewhat listless and lethargic this Saturday morning yes! And the aches and pains not helping the situation either nuh. But yuh know what, we not giving in to the feelings today. The aches and pains might slow us down some, but we not stopping. Remember the race is not for the swift but for the sure of foot, and yuh better believe when I plant my big feet down they stay down! (smile) 

Yeh, it’s just one of those days; the weather doesn’t look good, the body doesn’t feel good, but GOD IS GREAT! That’s something we can always count on, for He has said so in the promises of His Word, and His Word does not lie! Give Him some thanks and praise my people! 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week in his noble attempt to aspire us to a better tomorrow. And this one jumps right out at me today: ‘You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.’ Wow! That’s gospel truth! For none of us can do it all ourselves. As they say, no man is an island. The Lord made us to fellowship with each other and to help each other, not to be single and all sufficient in our selves. 

And on that point, hear what the Good Book says: ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves: but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor.3:5) Now that says it all! 

And this next quote also points directly to God: ‘Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.’ You do have all of that, but only if God is sincerely in your efforts! 

Now listen to this one: ‘It is possible to become discouraged about the injustice we see everywhere. But God did not promise us that the world would be humane and just. He gives us the gift of life and allows us to choose the way we will use our limited time on earth. It is an awesome opportunity.’ 

Yes friends, it is an awesome opportunity we’ve been given to live for Jesus on this earth. And to use that opportunity properly, we need to remember these two scriptures. In the immortal words of Bruh David: ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.’ (Ps.34:8) And also: ‘The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.’ (Ps.145:9) 

It’s all about our heavenly Father my people! And this quote exemplifies that: ‘We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.’ That goes right back to the first quote, we can’t be successful on our own, for success means taking others on that journey with us, both individually and communally! That’s how the Lord designed it! 

And this last quote covers them all: ‘When we are really honest with ourselves we must admit our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines the kind of people we are.’ And today I want to focus on that last line; how we live our lives determines the kind of people we are. 

Yeh friends, we can live our lives like the Pharisees did, outwardly showy and hypocritical, or like Jesus recommended, honest and truly considerate of others. For as He says: ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.’ Yes friends, by our deeds we shall be known. And hear some deep insights of Jesus on the subject of how men live their lives. 

First off, He states very clearly: ‘A good tree cannot bring forth evil (bad) fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.’ (Matt.7:18) And that’s not rocket science, just plain, basic logic. Then Jesus lays it out in plain terms: ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt.15:11) 

Oh friends, I hope we understand that. We can’t bear good fruit unless what is in us and what comes out of us is good! What’s in our hearts determines the kind of people we’ll be! 

Hear Jesus again: ‘Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out (eliminated) into the draught (body waste)? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt.15:17-20) 

Yeh friends, that whole argument began when the Pharisees complained that the disciples were eating with unwashed hands, which they considered a big thing. But Jesus, as usual set them right. And in Matthew 23, (please read it) He really lambastes the Pharisees, who looked real good on the outside but were dirty as hell on the inside! 

And we’ll end with this description: ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres (white washed tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness).’ (Matt.23:27-28) 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ’23:27-33. Whited sepulchres: Since contact with a dead body rendered a person unclean according to the Mosaic Law, graves were customarily painted white to make them conspicuous and give the opportunity of avoiding contact with them.’ 

Oh friends, please let us live lives that will not cause those unpleasant comparisons to be said of us nuh. Instead let us be good and uncorrupted trees, so that we can bear good fruit in Jesus’ name and make a productive difference in the lives of those around us. Much LOVE!

…whatsoever is in our heart…will undoubtedly manifest itself in our outward behaviour…that’s why we need a clean heart to live for Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 July 2018 James 1:19.

James 1:19.   Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.

Ah friends, after looking at some of the news headlines and seeing the unnecessary strife and the many natural disasters that are plaguing our once beautiful world, I decided that there was only one way to begin today’s Bit; that’s with some acclamations of our faith to bolster our courage and help us keep keeping on in the face of so much negative happenings. 

So let’s affirm with sincere heart and ongoing faith. ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it! If God be for us, who can be against us eh? NOBODY whatsoever! I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me! And isn’t that a fact, a most awesome one! And last but not least: God will supply all my needs through His riches in glory through Jesus Christ! 

Glory be mih people! That should get us going and hold us for today as we hear about and see the ungodly and disastrous things that are happening in our world. 

And it’s only fitting that with the great amount of talk and li’l action taking place in our world that we should continue with our Bit from yesterday, where James talks about hearing and doing the word. ‘Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.’ 

And he told us why?  ‘For the wrath of man worketh not (does not produce) the righteousness of God.’ (James 1:20) Therefore we should put away all evil and lustful stuff and concentrate on the Word that’s implanted in our hearts, since it is what keeps us going on the course of faith, thus helping us to mature as time goes by. 

And he continues with this warning: ‘But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding (observing) his natural face in a glass (mirror): for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (what he does).’ (James 1:22-25) 

Ah mih people, that is so reminiscent of so many of us today; we hear the word, then immediately forget it, and don’t put it into practice. And I believe it happens very much on a Sunday, where we go to church and hear God’s word preached, but as soon as we get out, we continue with our old way of living and don’t put what we heard into practice. 

That’s obviously not good enough my people, for God’s Word is a practical treatise on daily living, and needs to be actioned if it is to be useful! So what’s the point of hearing it if we don’t intend to put it to good use in our lives eh? None whatsoever! 

Anyway, listen to this explanation from the scholars. ‘1:25. The perfect law of liberty probably refers to the teachings of Christ and His apostles. This law is perfect, since Christ brought to completion the teachings and work of the Mosaic Law (cf. Matt.5:17-20; Rom.10:4) It is a law of liberty because it frees from the principles of sin and death (Rom.8:2-3; Gal.5:1,13). James also describes it as the royal law (2:8) for it is the law of the messianic King (cf. Gal.6:2).’ 

Ah precious people, what a day it was when Jesus defeated hell, death and the grave and set us free from all the terrorizing religious laws of Moses’ time, which no one could keep. And I’d like to say read those scriptures above, but I know very few of you will, but because I LOVE you all so much and care so much about your souls, I will spoon feed you with a couple of them. (smile) 

Listen to Jesus on the Law of Moses. ‘Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prohets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.’ (Matt.5:17) Yes friends, Jesus was the fulfillment of the old law! 

As the scholars tell us: ‘The New Testament Gospel is not contradictory to the Old Testament Law; rather it is the ultimate fulfillment of the spiritual intention of the law. Where the law had degenerated into legalism among the Pharisees, Jesus now takes the law beyond mere outward observance to the inner spiritual intention of God.’ God had always intended for us to end up with an inner connection, through His Holy Spirit, and that’s what Jesus came to do. 

Now hear Bruh Paul as he talks to the Roman church about life in the Spirit. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.’ (Rom.8:1-2) And we all know that whom the Son sets free is free indeed! 

So James concludes: ‘If any man among you seem to be (thinks he is) religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain (useless). Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.’ (James 1:26-27) So friends, true religion is neither mere hearing or mere doing but a timely balance of both aspects of our faith. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, proud of our position in Christ. All together 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 as always, merely thinking about how glorious that future will be, just boggles my small mind! Much LOVE!

…to be on the same page as Jesus…we must hear…as well as do…


Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 April 2016 James 1:25

James 1:25.   ‘But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).’ 

And as been happening for thousands of years friends, Saturday comes after Friday, just like night follows day and vice versa. (smile) But Saturday is the day to do the household chores and shopping after a busy week of work. Then, come the evening hours, it’s party time! 

Many of us though simply lie on the couch eating junk food, imbibing alcoholic beverages and watching the boob tube all weekend. Now that is certainly not a healthy lifestyle my people. And that is partly why our society is suffering from such a high rate of obesity; lack of exercise, too much sedentary posing and posture and too much junk food. 

A lot of that is brought on by our high degree of technology, with the ever- spreading and ever-dangerous tentacles of our social media, where we sit for hours in front of a computer screen or some little hand-held device, texting and playing games and getting ourselves in trouble by posting selfies and other garbage on the media platforms. 

And the next big thing will be robots who communicate like men.  How much longer do you think we’ll last after that eh my brethren? Not long, for we are already obese and sedentary, and sensible robots will only make us more so, when we can order them around like servants. 

Please remember what a wise man once said; ‘if you don’t use it, you will lose it.’ And friends that is exactly where we’re heading. Eventually, when life gets so easy, we’ll lose the use of our brains and our limbs because we won’t have to use them. I’m sure many of you can remember the times when children, and a lot of adults too, spent much more time doing stuff outdoors than happens now. But I guess they call that progress, so who am I to question it eh? (smile) 

So let me turn you over to someone else, our friend Anselm, who always tries to inspire us for a better tomorrow. We haven’t heard from him for some time, so we’ll share two of his brilliant insights. And the first quote says: ‘The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.’ And the second declares: ‘It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.’ 

Ah friends, both of those sayings contain oodles of truth, as many of us can attest from our own experience. But we either try to resist sensible change because it discommodes us, upsets our comfort level, and we’re not willing to pay the higher price either. 

And we all had nicknames at some stage in our lives, many of which we never liked and hopefully never responded to. And most of the time, the ones we never responded to seldom stuck. 

Now however, we are known by the fabulous name of Christian; a believer in and a follower of Christ! And that is a name to which should always proudly answer to, although many of us are ashamed of it and try to hide our affiliation. But remember friends, Christ said that if you’re ashamed of Him, deny Him and don’t own up to your affiliation with Him, He’ll do the same thing to you. (Matt.10:32-33) So it’s up to each of us to decide our own fate. 

And that falls right in line with our Bit. ‘But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).’ 

Yes my Christian people, as true followers of Christ we must be seen to be not only hearers and talkers, but even more importantly doers! Unfortunately though, the world doesn’t look upon us like that, which brings us to the last verse in Jesus’ monologue on the law. 

‘For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case (by no means) enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ (Matt. 5:20) 

Now that’s hitting way below the belt my people, but Jesus always spoke truth, and we all know that the truth often hurts quite a bit. And it just goes to show how little He thought of the Jewish rulers.  

Let’s hear now what the scholars have to say about that verse. ‘5:20. Because of the necessity of righteousness as a requirement to enter heaven, Jesus then declares that except their righteousness should exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees they could not enter heaven. 

The significance of this is seen in the fact that the Jews of Jesus’ day considered these people to be the most religious in all Israel. However, their religion was largely an outward show of self-righteousness. 

In communicating the depth of His message, Jesus used a series of contrasts between outward behaviour demanded by the law and the inner attitude of the heart desired by God. Here we discover the practical application of genuine Christian character to true spiritual living. Here we see the gospel in action:

Law                                                 Spirit                                                                                                                                       

No murder                                      No anger

No adultery                                       No lust

No divorce                                          Commitment

No oath taking                                     Speak the truth

No retaliation                                        Forgiveness

Hatred for your enemy                         LOVE for your enemy 

(tradition allowed it)                                   (commanded) 

Awright friends, enough for today. I know it’s Saturday and our minds are all played out by the hectic week of work. (smile) However you do see the comparison between the Mosaic Law and what Jesus desired spiritually. All of the old law still stood, except hatred for your enemy, which Jesus changed to LOVE. 

He basically refined them, moved them up to a higher, finer, more acute level. But the Ten Commandments still stood as the Basic law, and still do today.  So as Jesus said, He didn’t come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. And as His followers, we ought to do the same in our own little way, and thus promote the wisdom of heaven. Much LOVE!

…the coming of Jesus…didn’t change the basic intent of God’s laws…they just became more refined…moved up to a higher level…

 

                                                       

                      

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 February 2016 Matthew 17:5

Matthew 17:5.  While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye (listen) to him.  

Well Friends, it’s Sunday once again; time for us to gather in the Lord’s sanctuary and worship and praise Him with joyful voices. Hope you are either there now, have gone already, like me, or are preparing to go at some time in the day. Remember it’s where we get our weekly anointing to be able to carry out our godly duties in the ungodly world in which we now live.

Ah mih people, I certainly enjoyed the church service at my Tobago St. Francis church. Not that I don’t enjoy and appreciate the one at my Canadian St. Francis, but this one has more of a West Indian flavour, where you are a little more involved. There’s no organist or choir, that means most of it is left up to the congregation to get involved…

And do they get involved! You have to, otherwise the service will fall flat on its face. And you should hear the ole fella singing hymns and shaking his tambourine, having read the first lesson, like I usually do back in Canada, at the early morning service.

Now today is Transfiguration Sunday. Jesus was about to set off for Jerusalem to fulfill His mission, and this was a sort of reinvigoration, a strengthening of His sense of purpose. Jesus took Peter, James and John (his top men) up a high mountain. ‘And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment (clothes) was white as the light.

And behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elijah talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ (Matt.17:2-4)

Yeh Friends, it’s obvious that the disciples did not understand what was really going on, and Mark tells us that Peter was only talking because he was so afraid, he did not know what else to say (Mark 9:6)

But as our Bit states: ‘While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye (listen) to him.

And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man save (except) Jesus.’ (Matt.17:5-8)

Can you imagine the confusion and fear between the three men? One moment they see their teacher’s face and clothes change; the first glistens like the sun and the second is white as snow.

Then two long dead prophets appear from nowhere and begin conversing with their teacher. Then they are covered by a cloud and hear a voice coming from the sky, then the next there’s just Jesus alone. It’s enough to drive one crazy.

But right now, let’s get some info from the scholars on the situation. ’17:1-9. See Mark 9:2-13; Luke 9:28-36. Peter, James and John represent the “inner circle” of leadership among the disciples (cf. Luke 8:51; Matt.26:37) and serve here as ample witnesses according to Mosaic Law.

They went into a high mountain apart, meaning privately, by themselves. Tradition claims that this took place at Mount Tabor, but a more probable location would be Mount Hermon, near Caesarea Philippi.

Jesus was transfigured before them. The verb (Gr. metamorphoo) indicates a transformation of essential form, proceeding from within, but the transformation is outwardly visible. See Romans 12:2 and 2 Corinthians 3:18, where it is used of the spiritual transformation of the believer’s new nature. The witness of Peter in 2 Peter 1:17-18 verifies the testimony that this was a real experience not a vision.’

So friends, it’s clear that the transfiguration scene was not a mere vision, but reality. And I like how Mark describes it: ‘And his raiment (clothes) became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth (no launderer) can white (whiten) them.’ (Mark 9:3) You can imagine how white Jesus’ clothes must have been then!

I also like how Luke puts in his description of Moses and Elijah: ‘Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease (death) which he should (was about to) accomplish at Jerusalem.’ (Luke 9:31)

And the scholars tell us: ‘9:31. If Jesus is being reminded of His impending death, He will also have been assured of His promised resurrection. (Mark 9:9).’ And as the scholars also point out: ‘Luke 9:35. Compare the voice at Jesus’ baptism (3:22). There, however, God speaks to Jesus; here the message is to the disciples.And what is the crux of the message my fellow believers? ‘Hear, listen to Him!’

Oh friends, that’s the same message we are still getting today: Listen to Jesus! But not sufficient of us are listening to it, much less taking it to heart and seriously practicing it. That’s a large part of why our world is so evil and ungodly.

We need true believers to stand up strong, to listen and put the Word into action so that the heathen, the unbeliever will see how we live and behave, how we’re blessed by our great and bountiful God and will thus want to turn away from their sinful attitudes and embrace Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour too.

Oh friends, we are supposed to be the modern day disciples, following in Jesus’ footsteps, bringing others to Him through our example. Unfortunately, though, our examples are either not good enough or plenty enough, because the heathen isn’t coming to Jesus as he should. In many cases he is turning away from Jesus because of our hypocritical examples.

Anyway my brethren, I can only try to encourage us to do better, the rest is left up to each individual, and we’ll each have to answer to the judge on our individual behaviour.

Now listen to Peter. ‘For we have not followed cunningly devised fables. When we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.’ (2 Peter 1:16) So Peter is claiming that he was actually there at the transfiguration of Christ.

And the scholars explain that verse thus. ‘1:16. In Matthew 17 Jesus was temporarily glorified in the presence of three disciples. This was a foreshadowing of Christ’s coming in power and glory to establish His kingdom. The presence of Moses and Elijah on the mountain represented all those who enter the kingdom by death or translation.

The declaration of the Father reinforces Christ’s dominion over His kingdom. Application: Since Christians live expectantly looking forward to the return of Christ, they ought to give Him first place in their lives today, just as He will have in the kingdom.’

Yes my people, the scholars hit the nail on the head; it’s time truly give Jesus first place in our lives. That’s truly wisdom at its highest! Much LOVE!

…oh…if we all could be transfigured today…like Jesus was back then…what an awakening the world would witness…


 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 July 2014 Matthew 24:13

Matthew 24:13.     But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Oh Friends, wonder of wonders, we’ve been granted another wonderful opportunity to serve Almighty God with the gift of life today! Glory Hallelujah!
 
And my people, please realize that today is today; not yesterday or tomorrow, but simply TODAY; the present time; a present from our heavenly Father! So let’s concentrate on it and no other nuh.
 
Let’s try to do our very best on this one special day, for every day that we’ve been granted the awesome privilege of drawing breath is indeed special, and ought to be treated as such. And if we just do that, treat each day as being very special and important, then it will surely satisfy the desires of yesterday, and spur on the growth for tomorrow.
 
Please note that that was what Jesus did during His earthly sojourn. He got up early, had meaningful communication with the Father, mapped out His day in accordance with the Father’s wishes and will, then He went out and worked that plan; healing and doing good.
 
He wasn’t overly concerned with what had happened yesterday, or was going to happen tomorrow, but kept His focus on, concentrated the vast majority of His energy and time on fulfilling His goals for that particular day, which is always, TODAY.
 
Therefore, in accordance with Jesus’ modus operandi, I’m asking us to please put the same perspective in our own lives; simply concentrate on what we can and have to do today.
 
As Jesus warned His listeners in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow (therefore do not worry about tomorrow): for tomorrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:33-34)
 
Yes Friends, once we’re seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness today, tomorrow will look after itself. And remember that tomorrow never really comes, it simply becomes today, so we just have to keep on doing the same thing, seeking God and His righteousness every today.
 
And that’s possibly the easiest way for us to adhere to our Bit: ‘But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.’
 
Oh mih people, as we said yesterday, the trait of endurance is a must in the believer’s life! And it’s possibly the hardest thing to do with all the pressures of life, of living, and of the world, being heaped upon us in these very sad and troubled times.
 
That’s why concentrating on just one day at a time, the day ahead of us, is so important. It frees us from all the other concerns that yesterday and tomorrow would have us pay unnecessary attention to. And just like yesterday, we’re going to look at some more of the many scripture passages that have to do with enduring.
 
And we’re going to begin with the words of Jesus, when He warns the disciples of serious persecution in their future. ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ (Matt.19:22)
 
Yes my brethren, as the saying goes, ‘the race is not for the swift, but for the sure of foot;’ the one who takes his time to see where he is going and spells himself, so that he can endure; last the entire race.
 
Then we have the author of Hebrews warning us: ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience (endurance), that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb.10:35-36)
 
Again, my people, it is all about staying strong and steadfast in the work of Christ, which we know isn’t always easy, but we’re certain of His generous help when we obey His will.
 
Meanwhile, James says this on the very real and tangible subject of temptation. ‘Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that LOVE him.’ (James 1:12)
 
And I think Friends, that it will be an excellent idea to close with some wise, interesting and important observations from the scholars on that verse.
 
‘1:12. Mankind understandably may look on tragedy as the curse of God, as Job’s friends did. Trials are, however, the means through which God’s blessings can come. One’s endurance in and victory over trials brings God’s blessings. Christians, therefore, are not instructed to seek avenues of escape.
 
God desires that they mature in the situation rather than move from it (cf. Rom.5:3-5; 1 Pet.1:6-7). He does, however, promise to provide an escape if the testing becomes unbearable (1 Cor.10:13).’
 
And I’ll break the scholars words here to show us that scripture, since I know that many of us won’t look it up if I just say to do so, and it’s very important for us to know and understand that scripture verse.
 
‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor.10:13)
 
Yeh Friends, we all run to that verse as soon as trouble shows up, expecting God to quickly deliver us. But that’s not the purpose it serves.
 
For, as the scholars continue: ‘God’s people need to meditate more on James 1:12 than 1 Corinthians 10:13. The reason for this, and why God allows trials in the lives of His people, is revealed in the Mosaic Law: ‘That he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end.’ (Deut.8:16).’
 
Yeh mih breddren, running this race of earthly life is all about ENDURANCE; about standing strong and steadfast in God’s LOVE and plan for each and every one of us.
 
So today, let’s make it our number one priority nuh, for that is indeed the wisdom of Almighty God, and we certainly can’t get any better than that! Much LOVE!
 
…when we make up our minds to endure…rather than simply escape…our heavenly Father is pleased…and gives us even more grace to endure…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 May 2014 Philippians 4:13

Philippians 4:13.      I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
 
Aloha Friends and neighbours! It is Friday…

 
And all the people just began dancing a li’l jig and chanting: ‘Friday, oh Friday! Thank God it is Friday! The stupid work soon finish, then the fun shall begin! Friday, oh Friday! Thank God it is Friday!’
 
And then they danced off into the sunset, just chanting the chorus: ‘Friday, oh Friday! Thank God it is Friday! Friday oh Friday…’
 
Ah mih people, what a hold Fridays and the weekends have on us eh! Some of us just live for that time. Monday to Thursday isn’t important, simply doesn’t exist for some people. They put on their blinders on Monday morning then drift through the week, only taking them off on Friday.
 
But my Friends, that’s not the right way to live. We need to have some balance in our lives, not necessarily esteeming some days more important than the others, for good things as well as bad things can happen on any day whatsoever.
 
And remember too that during the work week we’re supposed to be out in the world living our lives for Christ, setting a good example, letting people see in us the wonderful benefits that can be derived from a walk of faith with Him.
 
We shouldn’t be just drifting through it, as though we don’t have a care in the world. It’s a serious time my brethren; a time to be about Christ’s business, winning souls for Him.
 
And so, to try and curb that negative attitude, (smile) let’s chant our real Friday Chant nuh. As one 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.’
 
Now doesn’t that sound a little more positive and balanced, as it should be? It surely does!
 
And don’t tell me you can’t adopt that more rational and balanced attitude, because then you’ll be negating the very power of our Bit; the affirmation of the awesome power, the omnipotence of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me!’
 
That’s a blanket power and authority in Jesus my people! And if you don’t practice it, your faith is worthless!
 
Remember, as the scholars told us yesterday, it is God who ordered Bruh Paul’s various situations and gave him the strength to be satisfied and contented in all of them, regardless of how trying and perplexing they were. And our wonderful, omnipotent and magnanimous God also does the same for each and every believer today.
 
It is through Him that we get the power to do most things here on earth. So if you don’t believe and practice that tenet, then you’re missing out on a whole lot of God’s goodness. What a shame Friends!
 
Now let’s look at some scriptures that corroborate our Bit. In 1Corinthians where Bruh Paul is talking to them about the resurrection of Christ, he declares to them: ‘For I am the least of the apostles, that I am not meet (worthy) to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
 
But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.’ (1 Cor.15:9-10)
 
So you see my brethren, although Bruh Paul wasn’t what mankind would consider worthy of being an apostle, because of his earlier brutality towards the church, God in His awesome wisdom, transformed him and used him to do His work.
 
And Bruh Paul also in his wisdom recognized that although he worked harder than the other apostles, it wasn’t his doing really, but the grace, the power, the enabling of Christ that gave him the necessary skills, patience, perseverance, backbone and belly to perform the daunting tasks he performed.
 
Oh Friends, I can’t help but say it: What a most awe inspiring and magnificent God we serve and worship!
 
Now hear Bruh Paul again, this time in his second missive to the Corinthians. Here he’s talking about ministers in the New Testament. ‘And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;
 
Who also made us able (sufficient as) ministers of the new testament (covenant); not of the letter, but of the spirit, for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.’ (2 Cor.3:4-6)
 
And the scholars explain that last verse: ‘3:6. The new testament (lit. “New Covenant”) is both new in time (not being inaugurated until Christ – Matt.26:28; Luke 22:7-23: 1 Cor.11:25; Heb.8:8) and new in quality (providing better spiritual blessings than did the old Mosaic covenant).
 
Letter, but of the spirit: This expression corresponds to the thought of verse 3 contrasting “ink” with the “Spirit.” The contrast is between the externalism inherent in the Old Covenant and the internalism inherent in the New Covenant.
 
The letter killeth: Since certain Jews in the assembly at Corinth were concerned with Paul’s defection from Moses’ law, Paul here explains his position. The best the law could do was to condemn the sinner. It is not here implied that the law of Moses was evil. On the contrary, it is holy, just, and good (Rom.7:12). This can be asserted because it brought men to the end of themselves, to Christ (Gal.3:24).’
 
Oh Friends, I hope that helps you to understand what Bruh Paul is talking about, and please check out those scripture references, for they will definitely give you greater insight into the subject. I know that many of us dislike, or rather are too lazy to check out the references, (smile) but believe me, they do help, and I try to check them before I write them down.
 
Anyway, I guess that’s enough for today. Don’t want to encroach too much on your weekend thoughts and plans. (smile) But please do ponder the stuff we’ve spoken about, and as much as possible, obviously with the Lord’s help, do get a grip on the aspects on which you are not up to scratch, for that is indeed the wisdom of heaven. Much LOVE!
 
…our godly knowledge and wisdom will not improve…until we spend more serious time in God’s Word…then put it into practice in our everyday lives…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 October 2013 Matthew 5:5

Matthew 5:5.    Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth (land).
 
Oh Friends, this is what I had planned for yesterday, until I read about the disastrous school shooting incident in Nevada. And in God’s everlasting wisdom, this project can, and will, definitely alleviate those kinds of tragedies, if we sincerely and seriously put our hands to the plough and furrow straight ahead without looking back.
 
Now it’s not a new project, but a very old one that we’re guilty of not doing properly. However, we’re starting over TODAY, in a more serious and sincere manner. So listen to the basic nature of the project, as Johnny Reid, in his drawling baritone, tells it to us in song.
 
‘Today I’m going to try and change the world. Gonna take it one day at a time. I’ve made my resolution, opened up my eyes. Today I’m going to try and change the world.’
 
That’s just the chorus people, but even that’s very eye opening and inspirational!
 
Now listen to the verse. ‘I’m gonna say hello to my neighbour. Going to greet him with a smile. And shake the hand of a stranger, sit and talk to him for a while. I’m gonna tell someone I LOVE them from the bottom of my heart. Today I’m going to try and change the world… Chorus’
 
Oh my brethren, isn’t that a wonderful project? It sure is! And the beauty is that we’ll just take it one day at a time, no rush, doing the simple things that Jesus did in his sojourn down here on earth, and now wants us to carry on in His name.
 
And the whole thing is very easy; greet our neighbours with a smile and a pleasant hello; shake a strangers hand, then spend a li’l time chatting with them; tell someone we LOVE them, with a sincere and heartfelt feeling of truth.
 
Oh my people, my people, that’s the only way we can ever change this world!
 
But to do it sincerely and successfully, we have to live according to the dictates of our Bit. ‘Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth (land).’
 
Yes Friends, we cannot do those things, or anything that Jesus requires of us, unless we’re meek, unless we’re humble. Now please remember that meek and humble don’t mean weak and afraid, like many people think, but rather strong, with an inner confidence in God, that you don’t have to huff and puff, get angry, or show off and boast.
 
Meekness and humility simple means we have a quiet, inner strength, steadfast faith, not afraid of the world or whatever it brings our way.
 
And this is the scholars’ take on our Bit. ‘5:5. The meek…shall inherit the earth refers again to those who have been humbled before God and will not only inherit the blessedness of heaven, but also will ultimately share in the kingdom of God on earth.
 
Here, in the opening statements of the Sermon on the Mount, is the balance between the physical and spiritual promise of the kingdom. The kingdom of which Jesus preached is both “in you” and is yet “to come.”
 
Solid truth that mih breddren!
 
And even before Jesus spoke those memorable words of our Bit in the Beatitudes, Bruh David solemnly declared in Psalm 37, The true state of the wicked: ‘For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider (look diligently for) his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.’ (Ps.37:10-11)
 
And as per inheriting the earth, Bruh Paul wrote this to the church at Rome. ‘For the promise that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.’ (Rom.4:13)
 
And the scholars’ explain that thus: ‘4:13. The promise: Many Jews thought that the privileges they enjoyed came from their adherence to the Mosaic Law. This is false. The promises were given to Abraham 430 years before the law was given, hence the law does not annul the Abrahamic covenant. It was merely added alongside until Christ should come to fulfill it. (cf. Gal.3:17-19)’
 
So we see Friends, it’s all based on faith, trust, and surrender to Almighty God; from the day Abraham received the promise, till the day the last trump sounds. Therefore let’s try and stop living by sight nuh, and instead live by faith, as we ought to, since it’s the ONLY WAY we can truly embrace Jesus and all that He stands for.
 
That means we continually need to ponder the strength of our faith and find ways to make it stronger. Now that’s where divine wisdom comes in. Much LOVE!
 
…if each believer tries to make a positive difference…each and every day…then we’ll soon change the world…as Jesus… so long ago, asked us to… 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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