Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 November 2019 Matthew 5:19.

Matthew 5:19.    ​Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal:
 

‘Sunshine makes me feel so happy…Sunshine makes me feel so sad…’ Yeh friends, sunshine has the ability to do both those things. When we see it in the early morning hours, it lifts our spirits, but when it gets too hot, or too cold, as it is now in my neck of the woods, it deflates the spirit somewhat. But let’s be thankful for small mercies nuh, be thankful that there’s a bright sun shining in God’s beautiful sky, instead of any negative precipitation like the rain we’ve been recently having, or the snow that’s in our immediate future. And the ordinary workingman reminds us of just that in his weekend song. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday, and the weekend is upon us! Boy, is that ever the best time of the week! And the sun’s shining to boot…and no snow not falling…not yet anyway. Wow! As Brother James Brown would say: ‘Get on the good foot baby!’ Yes, I’m certainly going to do that, come rain, snow or shine, cause life’s too short to allow the vagaries of the weather to control it. And who doesn’t want to do that, that’s their business, their loss. They don’t know what a good time they passing up nuh. To some of us, it’s okay to work all week, then don’t enjoy the weekend. Well not me nuh! I’m starting right now to enjoy it oui! Come hell or highwater, my weekend going to be a blast! Yes sir! Thank God for Fridays and weekends!’ 

And so should we all, my precious people of God! Because it’s only through His grace and mercy that we can enjoy the fruits of our labour in fairly peaceful surroundings. Unfortunately, a great proportion of humanity are unable to do that, due to strife and wars and other public upheavals. So let’s give some sincere and heartfelt thanks as we declare our weekend song, our Friday Chant.

All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

And as I like to remind us each week, Christianity is an action oriented, outgoing association, but not one that just runs hither, thither and yon without a sensible sense of purpose. (smile) That is to say, our Leader, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ has instituted borders and boundaries that we should not cross over since they would just allow the ever-lurking enemy to get a foothold in our lives, something we need to avoid at all cost. So, unlike the ordinary workingman, we don’t rush out and do whatever we want, or whatever feels good, we need to examine our actions in the context of Christ’s boundaries before we do stuff. 

Now sometimes that’s difficult, or it seems to detract from what we’d naturally consider a joyful time. But friends, it’s better to be safe than sorry, for once we get into certain activities or circumstances, they will certainly come back to haunt us, possibly for the rest of our lives. Please, please, let’s remember that all that glitters is not gold, especially in the enemy’s camp. His stuff is not even gold plated, just covered with a thin veneer of gold paint, and gets rusty real quickly! (smile) That’s why Jesus went to such great length to warn us in His Sermon on the Mount: ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal:’ What life changing, world beating advice my brethren! 

And it’s not like we don’t know, or have not experienced the theft and/or fraudulent gain of our earthly treasure by others, yet we continue to kill ourselves in order to accumulate earthly wealth and possessions that can be so easily violated. And Jesus doesn’t leave us hanging, He shows us where to store our treasure. ‘But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal.’ (Matt. 6:20) That’s ageless wisdom people! If you have treasure, the best place to store it is where it’s the safest from thieves and rust…and that’s heaven. 

And furthermore, Jesus reminds us: ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt.6:21) Gospel truth friends! Just think about your earthly valuables right now, wherever you have them stored, your mind is always on them wondering if they are safe; in the bank, or under your mattress, or if they are making you more money, increasing in value, in places like the stock exchange. And in these oh so turbulent times, we’re thinking about our earthly treasure more than ever, since matters totally out of our control can cause us to lose it all. 

Listen to the scholars: ‘6:19-21. The attention of the believer is directed toward treasures in heaven. The term treasures implies the addition or accumulation of things. The two kinds of treasures are conditioned by their place (on earth, or in heaven). The concept of laying up treasures in heaven is not pictured as one of meritorious benefits but rather as rewards for faithful service, as is illustrated elsewhere in the teaching of Jesus.’ Oh friends all the wealth in the world won’t get us into heaven. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong to have earthly wealth, but it’s how we use it. 

Hear Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘Charge (command) them that are rich in this world (present age), that they be not highminded (haughty), nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute (give), willing to communicate (share); Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.’ (1 Tim. 17-19) Yeh friends, once we believe in Christ, we must use our earthly treasures to help others, to further God’s kingdom, thus we will store up rewards, treasures in heaven…and you can’t beat heavenly treasures! Much LOVE!

…labour not to be rich…do not overwork…cease from thine own wisdom… (Prov.23:4)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 August 2019 Luke 12:15.

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

 

Welcome to another sunny summer’s day friends! Yes, I know it’s been going on for a little while now, but if a body can’t sleep in some on the last day of the week, what’s the purpose of being alive eh? (smile) 

But nonetheless, let’s give our wonderful God much thanks and praise for allowing, for enabling us to see it nuh! Because it’s only because His breath of life is still flowing through our bodies that we can see and enjoy it. He hasn’t pulled the plug on us, at least not yet, and for that we need to be eternally grateful! 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s see what words of wisdom our friend Anselm imparted to us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And our friend waxed somewhat political and patriotic this week. Listen up to this first one: ‘I would just like to say something, ladies and gentlemen. Something that I think is very important. It is that, you, we – we own this country. We – we own it. It is not you owning it, and not politicians owning it. Politicians are employees of ours.’ 

Mama Yo! And he’s perfectly right. The citizens of a country own it. However, just like Adam and Eve ceded power to the devil when they listened to his deceitful words and ate of the forbidden fruit, likewise we citizens have forfeited ownership of our countries by allowing the politicians to bamboozle us with their sweet talk that’s only full of lies and deceit. We’ve allowed the crazy inmates to take over the madhouse. And once you’ve ceded power, it’s awfully hard to get it back. 

But here’s how it can be won back: ‘A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.’ Yes friends, once the inmates are in control of the institution, the only way to dislodge them is to fight, fight tooth and nail against them, because they will not give up their power voluntarily. 

The unfortunate problem nowadays though is that not too many of us are not willing to fight tooth and nail to recover anything, much less the running of our countries. We’ve become so enthralled and complacent by the good life we’re living, that we just can’t bear to give it up, and fighting for anything has the distinct possibility of losing stuff that we cherish. The whole point here is what do we cherish most, and what are willing to fight for? 

And this next quote continues the political discourse: ‘ Corruption is worse than prostitution. The latter might endanger the morals of an individual, the former invariably endangers the morals of the entire country.’ So true my people! But again, unfortunately, that’s the vibe that’s running the world now. Corruption is so rampant and deep in so many countries of the world that it’s easier to list which ones aren’t corrupt, if any, than to list those that are corrupt. 

And there too, corruption will only cease when the godly, righteous and decent citizens of a country get fighting mad and decide to actually fight back against it, remove the numerous corrupt people in power and replace them with godly, righteous and trustworthy ones. 

But sadly we will need to replace almost all the people in power to do that, because corruption has become another name for politician, and most of our citizens don’t want to disturb their lives, especially when many of them are also recipients of corrupt favours and money. And that’s the end of the political quotes! (smile) 

But this one is just as important: ‘What can’t you live without? Why? Is it something that lasts forever, or just for a moment?’ Good question that my people! Remember Jesus’ advice: ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin, destroy), and where thieves break through and steal: 

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt.6:19-21) That advice goes for anything we want or hunger for friends! Technically our wants should have a godly basis, but that’s not very easy to accomplish in this world full of ungodly distractions. 

That brings us to the last quote: ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.’ And Jesus spelled that out in spades in the parable of the rich fool. When a man in a crowd said to Jesus, ‘Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me.’ Jesus replied: ‘Man, who made me a judge or a divider (an arbitrator) over you?’ (Luke 12:13-14) 

And the scholars declare: ‘12:14. Jesus will not be a part of furthering someone’s selfish interests. He calls for people to serve the Lord and others, not themselves.’  So true! Then Jesus spoke these immortal words of wisdom: ‘Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of things which he possesseth.’  

Oh friends, there again, our world today, under the evil, ungodly and corrupt rule of Satan and his demonic followers, is so filled with greed and covetousness that it’s truly difficult not to get caught up in the foolishness. But Jesus warned us about the man who had so much that he had nowhere to store it, and foolishly decided to tear down everything and build bigger and better and then rest on his laurels thereafter. 

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

And we see that happening a lot in our current world, where people who were seeking the earth’s riches suddenly die and there estates become a free-for –all fight between their descendants, with the greedy lawyers oftimes getting the most substantial portion for their efforts to divide it. 

Please, I implore us not to seek the world’s wealth above the work we need to do for God, because that’s just a fool’s wisdom. And the Lord has promised to provide all we need when we put His kingdom first. (Matt.6:33) So let’s take Him up on that nuh, since He never breaks His promises! Much LOVE!

…earthly things are only temporary…but the things of heaven…of God…are forever…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 June 2019 Matthew 6:19.

Matthew 6:19.    Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.

 

Well it’s wet and somewhat cloudy…but that’s nothing new! (smile) And it’s certainly not going to stop we saints of Christ from going about His business, witnessing to the unsaved, making disciples of them, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and leading lives that exemplify the glory and LOVING-kindness of Jesus! 

Oh friends, that’s what we are called on to do, and do it we must, or the world will just be more strife-filled and sink even deeper into the mire of evil and ungodliness. It’s too bad already! Can you imagine it getting worse? But that’s what will happen if we don’t stand up NOW and be counted! 

Just think about your children or grandchildren living in such an ungodly and evil world nuh. Think about them not knowing or even hearing about Jesus and the awesome stuff He’s done for mankind, and the wonderful treasures He has stored up for those who sincerely LOVE and obey Him. What kind of life would they be living eh? A satanic life of greed, selfishness, lust, envy and all the other stuff that will have them heading straight for hell and eternal damnation! 

That means you won’t be seeing them in heaven, won’t be congregating with them in better circumstances that this evil earth. Like the rich man and the beggar Lazarus, they’ll be begging you to send a drop of water to cool their burning tongues in the raging fires of Hades and you’ll be unable to help them in the least bit! So let’s think on these things nuh and try to do better in our teaching and the examples our lives portray. 

Oh, none of us are perfect, but we can all certainly improve and do better with the help of God. The problem though is that we are either too lazy, or too interested in the fancy but worthless baubles of the world…and asking God for help, well that’s definitely not in some of our proud, haughty and foolish personalities! But please remember people, in this world you got to bow to somebody, and the two main options are God and the devil himself! 

You have to choose one. You just can’t sit on the fence, as so many of us try to do, and hope that everything will work out right, because it won’t! The two powerful entities that control things want you all for themselves, don’t want to share one iota of you with the other, so they’ll both try their level best to get you fully into their camp. That means a constant struggle between the devil; your earthly and fleshly self, and the Lord; your heavenly and spiritual being! 

So whom are you going to choose eh? Remember Jesus said that no man can serve two masters; you can’t serve God and mammon too. (Matt.6:24) That means you have to make a conscious choice. And hopefully we’ll all declare like Joshua did: ‘But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ (Josh.24:15d) Yeh friends, that’s the smart thing to do, the wise move to consciously make. 

Why? Although Jesus calls on us to be more selfless, generous, LOVING and kind, sentiments that the world consider folly, the things that He has in store for us are way way more useful and important than the things Beelzebub, the prince of darkness has to offer. 

And as always, Jesus put’s it so simply and succinctly: ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt.6:19-21) Now doesn’t that sound like simple, sensible logic and wisdom? It certainly does! 

That’s because all the treasures we amass here on earth, time and insects will eventually destroy, or people will steal them. And for sure we can’t carry any with us! Oh, I know some of us will have them place some in the box with us, (smile) but they’ll be no good on the other side, neither in heaven nor in hell. That’s why listening to Jesus, and following Him is the wiser of the two options we have. For if we do that, then we’ll end up in heaven, and will have treasures stored up their for us, that will be even better than those down here on earth. 

Unfortunately though, many of us can’t see the forest for the trees, can’t see the bigger picture, always believing that a bird in the hand is better than two or three in the bush. But friends, with Jesus, we have to see it that way. And we can only do so by faith, believing for that which we don’t see. And yes, that’s not easy, especially with the kind of world we’re currently living in. 

But as Jesus taught in the parable of the rich fool, (Luke 12:13-21) who, not caring about anybody but himself, kept building bigger and better and storing up treasures here on earth. And what happened when the Lord called him home unexpectedly eh? All his earthly treasure was left behind for others to fight over, and he had none in heaven to go to. ‘So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’ (Luke 12:21) 

And it’s oh so important that we hear this explanation from the scholars. ‘6:19-21. The attention of the believer is directed toward treasures in heaven. The term treasures implies the addition or accumulation of things. The two kinds of treasures are conditioned by their place (either on earth or in heaven). The concept of laying up treasures in heaven is not pictured as one of meritorious benefits but rather of rewards for faithful service, as is illustrated elsewhere in the teaching of Jesus.’ So heavenly rewards depend more on the attitude of our hearts and service, than just what we deserve for doing good. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yes!) our Thursday Blessings. In full voice and strong belief: ‘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 please remember, those wonderful blessings haven’t been given to us to selfishly hoard, but to go out and share with the less fortunate…generously…and with the right motive in our hearts! Much LOVE!

…in all that we do…be it good or bad…the Lord looks for the motives in our hearts…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 March 2017 Matthew 6:19.

Matthew 6:19.   Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.

Ah mih people, the ‘confuffling’ day called Saturday is upon us once again. It’s ‘confuffling’ in the sense that for some it signifies sleeping in and a couch potato existence. However, for others it entails numerous household chores as well as grocery shopping and other running around. 

That means some people work harder on Saturdays at home, than they do all week at their place of employment. What an ironic side to our modern-day, have all the gadgets to make life easier society! 

Anyway, enough of my snide comments, let’s turn to some of our friend Anselm’s quotes of this past week. You know he always aspires to inspire us with his quotes. Listen to this first one: ‘To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing.’ And there’s much truth to that, for we often sit down and ponder doing something for so long, that we end up not doing it. 

That leads us to this second quote. ‘Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the ‘someday I’ll’ philosophy.’ 

Oh friends, I don’t know if that’s the real reason people procrastinate nuh, although I’ve had that experience with someone sometime aback. I wondered why they didn’t accept the opportunity that I was giving them to do something at which they were good at. I found out later from a close relative that it was because they were afraid of succeeding, and the added responsibility that would bring. I don’t think I procrastinate because I’m afraid of success nuh, I think I procrastinate because I’m just downright lazy. (smile) 

And I like this last quote because it’s so appropriate to our faith. ‘You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.’ That’s ever so true when it comes to following Jesus! It’s like the staircase; once you know that it’s there, you don’t need to see all the steps at once, since some of them wind out of sight. So you just climb it, expecting that there will be another step, and another one until it reaches to the top of wherever it is going. 

Following Jesus involves the same action, we just call it faith. Once you’ve accepted Him as your Lord and Saviour, you know that He will always be there for you because of the promises He’s made in His word. The problem in trusting Him in our early faith walk comes from our fear of failure. 

But like climbing the staircase, until you take that first step of faith, you’ll never know whether He’ll be there for you and keep His promises. We just have to step out in faith my people. And after you’ve stepped out a few times and seen His awesome promises fulfilled, each step becomes a little easier. 

Consequently, we ought also to listen to His words of wisdom and warning in our Bit. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.’ 

Now Jesus must know what He’s talking about since He’s been to both heaven and earth. But many of us still doubt His warning, much to our detriment.  So let’s get some commentary on the subject from someone else, Bruh Paul, in his first letter to Timothy. 

‘Charge (command) them that are rich in this world (present age), that they be not highminded (haughty), nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute (give), willing to communicate (share). Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.’ (1 Tim.6:17-19). 

That’s Bruh Paul’s recommendation for those who have much earthly possessions. So it doesn’t mean if you are rich you can’t go to heaven. You have to use those riches in a good and godly manner. 

Now hear these explanations from the scholars. ‘6:17-18. Paul charges wealthy believers (1) not to be proud and look down on those who are not rich, (2) to confide in God rather than in unstable riches, (3) to be rich in good works by generously sharing their surplus of financial resources with the needy. To be ready to distribute is to be generous in sharing. To be willing to communicate is to be liberal in giving.’

‘6:19. When wealthy believers generously share (v.18), they secure an assurance (laying up in store for themselves a good foundation) that in the future (against the time to come) they will indeed enter heaven (lay hold on eternal life). Salvation is not purchased by the giving of money, but generosity demonstrates the reality of one’s faith. Since the believer trusts God and not money, he gives. This giving shows where his heart is and that he views his wealth in light of eternity.’  

So friends, this Saturday morning, let’s ponder our wealth and what we are doing with it nuh. Are we giving generously, or frugally? Remember the Lord LOVES a generous giver! And there is so much need in our crazy, disjointed and selfish world, that only through generous giving will it ever be lessened. So as true believers, let’s try and give even a li’l more than we’re currently giving nuh. You’ll be amazed at what it will do for your heavenly rewards. Much LOVE!

…to give…from our hearts…and yet to give…that is the message of Jesus…