Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 July 2019 Matthew 25:40.

Matthew 25:40.    ​Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
 

Ah well, another glorious summer Saturday in the year of 2019! So, whenever you rise and shine, please enjoy it as though it was your last day on planet earth, for who knows, it just might well be. (smile) A lot of people who went to bed hale and hearty last night, did not get up this morning, for one reason or another. And the Lord died that we could have joy and peace right down here on this conflicted earth, not wait until we get to heaven. 

So despite our circumstances, let’s all give a shout of joy and declare: ‘All praise and glory be to the Most High God, our heavenly Father, who dearly LOVES us and looks after us like His own beloved children; who has promised never to leave nor forsake us and to see us through whatever troubles come our way in this earthly life!’ Give Him much thanks and praise for His awesome faithfulness, LOVE, mercy, grace and forgiveness my believing brethren! 

Ah friends, when you really get to know our heavenly Father, you’ll be amazed at how wonderful He is! But it takes time and serious commitment to get to that point; things that not too many of us are willing to spend or give, but we still want to receive all of His blessings. It doesn’t work that way though. 

As Moses told the Israelites so long ago: ‘But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.’ (Deut. 4:29) And in all those years, that hasn’t changed one iota my people! So let’s all seek Him sincerely nuh, starting Right Here and Now! 

And enough palavering, (smile) let’s see what words of wisdom our friend Anselm had to share with us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one: ‘Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.’ And that’s ever so true! 

A lot of us sit around and expect others to make us happy, but that’s not very realistic, since all of us have different agendas, and very few of them in this selfish and greedy world are to make others happy. They are more self-centred and concentrate on making I, me and myself happy. So if you want to be happy, you’ve got to get out there and do it for yourself! Nobody’s going to do it for you. 

And then there’s this: ‘Just remember: The people that say, ‘your dreams are impossible’ have already quit on theirs.’ More likely than not yes! Yeh friends, in this world there seem to be many more negative thinking people than positive thinking ones, even amongst our Christian community…

Brother! I can’t spell for hell this morning! I made more spelling mistakes in that last sentence than I’ve made in the rest of the Bit. Even spelled brother wrong! (smile) But moving along. Too many of us tend to discourage others from pursuing their dreams. But what’s a dream eh? Basically something that seems impossible in the naked light of day. Remember though, that with Jesus on our side, any and everything is possible! 

Consequently, ‘There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.’ And is that ever so true! For once you think you’ll fail, you most likely will, because you introduce into your psyche a negative, self-defeating idea, which then tends to manifest itself in your attitude and the level of work you’re willing to put into making the dream a reality. 

Like a li’l mole, it just keeps eating away at your creativity and you end up not putting in the amount of work really need to make the project a success. So don’t listen to the naysayers…listen to Almighty God! That means, the first thing to do is to find out from God, whether the dream fits His will and purpose for your life, for if it doesn’t, then it won’t ever succeed, no matter how much effort and elbow grease you put into it. 

Now here’s this very interesting quote: ‘Are you living out things that will affect your résumé or your eulogy? How would your life change if you lived each day with your eulogy in mind?’ That’s a very good question! One we should all take a moment or two to ponder. It’s basically asking are we living our lives to please man or God; to meet the world’s standards or God’s? 

And it’s strange, but I heard a preacher ask that very question recently, just in a different form: ‘What would we like our eulogy to be: praise for wealth and power, worldly things, or praise for being godly and Christ-like?’ I suggest the latter is the more worthwhile, but it doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a process, which means you have to start living it NOW! 

And the final quote asks very significantly: ‘What needs around you touch your heart? What’s one thing you can do to help others—even if it seems insignificant?’ Right there friends is the heart of our Christian ministry; helping others. Remember Jesus said that He came to seek and to save those who were lost. (Luke 19:10) 

But even more importantly listen to His words re when He comes back to set up His kingdom and He sets the sheep on His right hand and the goats on His left and invite the sheep to live with Him for ever after, while condemning the goats to hellfire and eternal damnation. Why? Because the sheep, true believers, helped those who were sick and suffering, lost and lonely, while the goats did not. 

‘For I was an hungered (hungry), and ye gave me meat (food): I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison and ye came unto me.’ (Matt.25:35-36) And when the righteous ask when they did all of that, He will reply: ‘Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’  

Yes friends, our earthly job includes helping the poor, the lost and the unfortunate, just like Jesus did. So let’s get with it nuh, and stop concentrating solely on ourselves and our friends and families, because there is so much unmet need out there in today’s crazy world, that even the most insignificant help we can give will be joyfully looked upon by heaven and in due time, well rewarded. Much LOVE!

…you can’t call yourself a Christian…and don’t help anybody in need…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 April 2018 James 1:2.

James 1:2.    My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials).

At last friends, at long last, some of the ice that’s covered the ground from the ice storm a week ago has finally melted…Yay! And we can now see some of Mother Earth’s dirtyish brown grass with specks of green thrown in for good measure. Glory be! 

But not all of the ice has melted, there are still several patches of it all around. And from my kitchen window I can see about three or four solid boulders of ice lying at the side of the road, and the big lump of ice that clogged the entrance to my lane when they cleaned the main road last week is still there, blocking traffic and making it difficult to enter the lane. 

But God is good! Let’s remember that, and a few weeks from now when spring has finally sprung and the leaves and beautiful blossoms are out in all their glory, we’ll look back and laugh at this inconvenience. Hn, hn! Yeh mih people, it’s a good thing the Lord blessed us with short memories. 

However, it’s Saturday, so let’s turn our attention to some of this week’s quotes from our friend Anselm, as he aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘Learn to value yourself, which means fight for your happiness.’ 

Oh my people, too many of us don’t value ourselves highly enough, we have a poor self-image, thus others take advantage of us. Therefore we need to raise our self- image through Bible study and assertive action if we want to control our lives and thus our happiness. And the next quote is basically about the same thing; taking control of our lives. 

‘Don’t let other people decide whether you are going to have a fantabulous or bad day, make that decision yourself.’ Again, too many of us allow others to run our lives and decide what kind of day we’re going to have. That is counter productive friends. We have to learn to stand on our own two feet and make those kinds of decision for ourselves, otherwise we’ll always be at the mercy of others. 

And the final quote says: ‘If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.’ In other words, take a chance! And that is gospel truth! If you never take chances and just stay with the tried and true, the same old, same old, then the same old, same old is all you’ll ever get. 

Our society and our Christian faith was built on our forefathers and the early Christians taking chances, even when it meant running afoul of the authorities and thus possible loss of life. And as we Christians know, whenever we step out to do something for Christ, the enemy will most likely come against us and try to prevent us from doing it. 

But because of Christ’s promises and His power to enable us to do anything, we don’t have to shy away, but press on regardless. And we do that through faith. But faith doesn’t just come like by wishing it. On the contrary it’s something we have to build, through constant hard work and adversity. 

And Cousin Bobby (Bobby Schuller- Hour of Power) says that ‘Faith is not a leap, but an enduring daily trust that God can do the impossible in your life.’ And that’s no lie! Each and every day we awaken we have to learn to keep the trust in God we earned the day before, and to build on it, so that tomorrow it will be even stronger. That’s how we build faith my brethren – from day to day, through whatever trial comes our way. 

That brings us to our Bit, some rather interesting words from James, Jesus’ brother, in his epistle to the Christians dispersed around the world. ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials).’ Now who wants to find trials joyful eh? Nobody! But friends, that’s the only way we’ll grow in faith. 

As James continues: ‘Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.’ James 1:3-4) Yeh friends, as long as we are believers, our faith will always be tested, and we need to stand fast so that we can grow. 

And the scholars got it right: ‘1:4. The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’ Oh, we certainly know it’s rough, and do try to escape, but much to our dismay, that’s just part of the life of faith we’re trying live. 

The scholars further tell us: ‘1:2-3. In this epistle on Christian living, James opens with a most crucial topic: the trials of life. These verses describe the various testings – whether from the world and Satan, or from God – into which godly Christians fall (Gr. peripipto). 

These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing….It is not merely one’s presence in such trials but one’s victory over them that brings spiritual growth and maturity. Those Christians whom God can use the most are those whom God has bruised the most.’ 

Unfortunately mih people growing in spiritual faith is not easy, as can be seen from the lives of all great men of faith, especially Jesus. But they all kept constantly looking to the heavenly Father for the strength to carry on, and He gave it to them. Likewise, if we look to our heavenly Father for strength and wisdom to carry on in tough times, He WILL give it to us. 

So friends, whatever is coming against us right now, let’s try and think of it in joyful terms nuh, (smile) believing that God is allowing it for a greater purpose than we can imagine, and lean on Him for the help to come through it successfully. He will not disappoint us. That’s His faithful promise! Much LOVE!

…spiritual growth…is based on fleshly suffering…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 October 2014 Psalm 118:28.

Psalm 118:28. Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee.

Oh Friends, it’s a brand new day! Glory Hallelujah! A brand new day filled with new mercies, new blessings, and new forgiveness! Wow! And to make matters even better, we’re alive to enjoy it all! What a most wonderful Deity we serve and worship my people: the ONE and ONLY TRUE LIVING God!
 
So let’s give Him some thanks and praise, as we loudly and boldly proclaim these wise words of the psalmist in thanksgiving for the Lord’s salvation. Please declare with me: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made; we WILL rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24)
 
Yes my people, let’s enjoy the goodness and LOVING-kindness of our magnificent and magnanimous God today and everyday, as long as the breath of life is flowing through our mortal bodies. That is simply wisdom and common sense, for if He grants us all those things, we’d indeed be foolish not to enjoy them.
 
And believe me, for whatever reason(s), some of us are indeed foolish enough not to enjoy the blessings of God, thinking it wrong and sinful to enjoy what the Lord has provided. Nothing could be further from the truth my people!
 
Why would the Lord provide all that wonderful stuff if He didn’t intend for us to enjoy it eh? And why would Jesus, our great Lord and Saviour declare that He had come to earth, so that we could have life, and have it more abundantly eh, if He didn’t mean for us to be joyful, even in the rough times? (John 10:10)
 
So Friends, I implore us to stop having these foolish ideas and thoughts about enjoying life nuh. We’re supposed to have heaven right here on earth; standing steadfast and strong while doing God’s work – and enjoying it too, not living beggarly and miserable.
 
And believe me again, if we are truly doing God’s work, with the peace of mind that He provides, then we will truly enjoy this earthly life, regardless of the many dangers, disappointments and troubles with which it is fraught. End of sermon! (smile)
 
Ah mih breddren, it never ceases to amaze and amuse me how the Holy Spirit will give me a starting idea, then let me run with it, or rather, help to let it flow smoothly! I would therefore be wrong, foolish and disobedient, if I didn’t enjoy and appreciate that blessing.
 
And you know there’s no greater tragedy for a writer than writer’s block! Thankfully, the Lord doesn’t allow me to suffer from it too often and for too long. Then I’d really be up heifer dust creek. (smile)
 
And Friends, our Bit this morning comes from that same Psalm 118, where the psalmist is giving thanks for the Lord’s salvation. And it’s a rather appropriate Bit too; highlighting what our behaviour ought to be, as it boldly and rightly declares: ‘Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee.’
 
Oh Friends, what words of joy, LOVE, obedience and truth! If we do that sincerely, on a continuous basis, then our lives will be forever enriched and blessed!
 
And it’s mostly because we’re not fully and sincerely embracing that bit of gospel truth that our lives and our world are in such a disastrous mess. We are trying desperately to remove God from all aspects of our society, but that’s a fool’s wisdom my people.
 
We claim to have been redeemed by the spilled blood of Christ, through His sacrificial death on the cross at Calvary, so why aren’t we more thankful and moving closer to Him eh, instead of being obnoxious, ungrateful and trying to distance ourselves from Him?
 
If we truly believe that we are indisputably redeemed, then we ought to be singing praises like redeemed people; praises like Isaiah’s declaration: ‘O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.’ (Is.25:1)
 
Yes Friends, those are the kinds of words that ought to be emanating from our hearts, souls and mouths. Not the simpleton, worldly foolishness that we’re now spewing forth in this oh so talkative age, when we really have nothing much to talk about because our lives are dull, bland and miserable.
 
As 3 Canal would say, we have no real business, so we keep on minding the business of others, glorifying man with his Achilles heel, putting him on a flimsy pedestal instead of Almighty God. Oh my brethren, it’s high time we got some business of our own, by turning to our mighty God for help, and start glorifying Him, rather than mortal, worthless, fickle, feckless, untrustworthy man!
 
We should be singing the Lord’s praises like His obedient servant Moses did: ‘The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him a habitation (praise Him); my father’s God, and I will exalt him.’ (Ex.15:2)
 
And we’ll end with more worthy words of praise, this time from Bruh David, another of God’s obedient servants. And just as I was about to write those last few words in my rough draft, the lights flickered out for a couple seconds.
 
Chuh! It’s a good thing I wasn’t on the computer, then I might have lost some stuff and be sorely disappointed. Consequently, I’ll take it as a positive sign, (smile) and continue in God’s direction. Therefore, please declare with me, my Friends and fellow believers, these words of thanksgiving for deliverance, as Bruh David saw it.
 
‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength (lit. my rock), in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold). I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps.18:1-3)
 
Now that’s wisdom from on high, my brethren! So let’s go out today and put it into practice, put it to the test nuh; praise and magnify our most worthy God, and see if our lives don’t improve substantially. Much LOVE!
 
…a believer’s faith is only as strong as…the sincere thanksgiving in his heart…