Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 September 2018 Hebrews 12:2.

Hebrews 12:2.​     …who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame…

I don’t understand it nuh people. I went to bed around one this morning feeling fairly decent, but got up at seven with pains raging through the ole bod. Steups! I thought sleep and rest were the panacea for such ills, not the ‘bringer on’ of them. (smile) But what can you do eh, but grin and bear it? I guess it’s all a part of our earthly faith walk. The Lord doesn’t want us to get too relaxed and contented, so He tests us as soon as we get up. 

And yuh know what mih breddren? We going to pass that test; pass it with flying colours to boot! And with the Lord’s help too! Because that’s the wonderful kind of God He is: He not only gives us the tests, but also gives us the wherewithal to pass them! Glory to our Most High God! There’s none other like Him! And it looks like the wicked windstorm that rampaged through Southern Ontario yesterday has now quietened down. 

Oh friends, all day yesterday, into the late hours of the night, the wind just raced through the place, causing damage and power outages in several areas. Up around the capital city of Ottawa, they even had a tornado. Hn! I sat down on my bed and watched the wind just tear through the poor trees all day long. Had them dancing a merry, tiresome jig. But the trees were strong. Many times I thought they would fall, but they stood up strong, and this morning they seem none the worse for wear. 

Now that’s the way we Christians ought to be my brethren; stand up strong and steadfast to all the adversity that comes against us, especially when we have the Creator’s faithful promise to stand with us through thick and thin! 

And since it’s Saturday, it means we have to look at the quotes sent to us this week by our friend Anselm, who sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. I don’t know what’s happening with him, but this week, we only got one quote from him again. However, it is an interesting quote, which says: ‘Shame hates to have words wrapped around it. If we talk about it, it loses its grip on us.’ And that’s generally true. 

But friends, shame is possibly the second biggest problem we believers face, except for fear. The enemy uses fear and shame to quench our brightly burning lights that are supposed to shine in God’s favour. And way too many Christians fall prey to the falsehood of shame. 

And here is a perfect example of it. I know a Christian family that is going through some relational problems. One member of the family is acting up, his addiction causing him to behave very wild and irrational. I went to visit them earlier this week, but unfortunately what I took away from the talk and the visit is that shame over the family member’s behaviour is overwhelming. 

And though they talk about praying and all the other believer’s tools, they are still in too much of a feeling sorry for themselves mood, thinking too much about what will happen to them. Their faith hasn’t risen to the top like it should. Oh I know you must consider those things, but your faith is supposed to help you come up over them. And yes, your family member is making a fool of himself, and you deeply regret it, and are concerned, but you didn’t do anything to be ashamed of. 

What others think seems to be of paramount importance. But who really cares what others think eh? They have the same problems and sometimes worse! I have always been somewhat irked at that behaviour. If I didn’t do something, why should I clothe myself in shame eh? It’s just the devil’s work! But hear the worst part of the story, in my opinion. 

Now I know they are short on money, and they know that I know that, but yet when I offered some to help tide them over, the mother refused it. And when I asked why, she claimed that it made her ashamed. And that with a disabled child to look after and only one family member working. Chuh! It hurt my heart. And though I argued some about it, with words like you can’t eat shame or pay your bills with it, I quickly realized that it was a matter best left alone. 

Oh my people, how can you turn down a few dollars from a close friend when you are in dire straits because of that foolish and senseless word called shame eh? I know what it is to be hungry and in need, and sometimes it’s an affront to refuse a friend’s help in those situations. But you can’t legislate the behaviour of other folks. 

And to end we’ll just highlight two instances where shame played a great role in the Good Book. The first is the first instance of it in the world, with Adam and Eve after they ate the forbidden fruit. ‘And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons (girding coverings).’ (Gen.3:7) Then when the Lord came looking for them later on, they were afraid and hid. Why? ‘…because I was naked…’ (Gen.3:10) 

Yuh see friends, before their eyes were opened, there was no shame, no reason to hide from God, but once the enemy intervened, they became ashamed of their nakedness. And then there is this magnificent verse from Hebrews containing our Bit: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith: who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb.12:2) 

Yes friends, there couldn’t be anything more shameful to a Jewish man than being crucified butt naked in front of the whole world! If he had seriously considered the shame involved in His crucifixion, He wouldn’t have done it. But for our sake, and the wonderful rewards that awaited Him, Jesus threw out the thing called shame and went to the cross like it was nothing. 

Likewise friends, we ought to get rid of, overcome the twin deaths of fear and shame and take up our crosses as positively as Jesus did, and march on to victory in His awesome and holy name! That’s what being a true believer in, and follower of Christ means! Much LOVE!

…shame is just fear in disguise…

 

    

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 June 2018 Hebrews 13:1-2.

Hebrews 13:1-2.   Let brotherly LOVE continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Well mih breddren, it is one of those nice peaceful, quiet, rainy mornings, a Saturday to boot, in my neck of the woods. Oh what a joy it is to simply lie in one’s bed and listen to the mesmerizing riddim of the falling rain! It is possibly the best natural inducement to sleep that we have. And believe me, it had me so induced and mesmerized this morning that I had to force myself to get up and come down to write the Bit. (smile) 

And I hate to spoil the mood now with this bit of news from you know where, the U.S. Reuters reports thus: ‘Nev. He styles himself as America’s best-known pimp, a strip-club owner who runs multiple brothels and looks set to win a seat as a Republican in the Nevada legislature with the blessing of many conservative Christian voters.’ 

Ah Lord eh! What’s wrong with us eh friends? Have we lost our minds or something? It just doesn’t seem right or sensible. But who am I to say anything eh? He might just turn out to be a better legislator than the ridiculous crew now in place. 

But it’s Saturday and we need to turn to some interesting quotes from our friend Anselm, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one: ‘A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering.’ 

I wouldn’t go that far to say that a disciplined mind ALWAYS leads to happiness, and vice versa, since there are some very disciplined people who are definitely not happy. But in most cases it should, since discipline is a by-product of happiness…or the other way around. (smile) 

And hear this next one: ‘Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.’ Ah friends is that ever so true! Remember that rule that was prodded into our heads as youths? Silence is golden! 

And it is often more powerful than words. It says so much more than even sincere words sometimes, because we sometimes just need an appreciative and comforting and quiet presence and not a sermon. I just wish that our current society could see it that way and cut out so much of the unnecessary and insincere talk that’s now so prevalent. But that’s where plenty hope and faith comes in. (smile) 

And then there is: ‘Give the ones you LOVE wings to fly, roots to come back, and reasons to stay.’ Is that one ever so true my people! It’s not always wise to restrict the movement of those we LOVE for fear that they might go away and not come back, because that very behaviour can make our fear come true. However, if we have given them the proper grounding, that should not be a problem. 

None of us like to be too restricted in our movements, though sometimes we need to be. It’s like the old saying; if you LOVE something or someone, let it or them go. And if you’ve given them sufficient reason; LOVE, nurture, comfort, understanding, appreciation, respect, then they will keep on coming back, sometimes possibly more than you like. (smile) 

And this last quote ought to be a mantra that ALL we Christians live by. ‘Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.’ Yes friends, remember that other old saying; kindness is next to godliness. And is that ever so true. How I wish that our world was just a li’l kinder…what a big difference it would make. 

I can also tell you that I wouldn’t even be around now except for the kindness of many others, complete strangers too. And our Bit says that in spades: ‘Let brotherly LOVE continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.’ 

Ah friends, I don’t know if we still entertain angels like Abraham (Gen.18:1-3) and Lot (Gen.19:1-2) did way back in olden times, but it is necessary for us to be kind and generous to those in need, since it will be beneficial to both parties when done unto the Lord. 

And Jesus did preach on our need to be kind to each other, especially strangers. ‘For I was an hungered (hungry), and you 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)  

Then the righteous shall look puzzled and ask Jesus when they did all of that to Him? (Matt.25:37-39) ‘And the King shall answer and say unto them, 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.’ (Matt.25:40) 

Yes friends, however we treat others, in effect that’s how we’re treating Jesus. So please let that be an invaluable lesson to us nuh, because it will stand us in good stead come the day when Jesus separates the sheep from the goats. 

And we’ll close with these similar, and oh so familiar words from Bruh Paul from his missive to the church at Rome. ‘Recompense (repay) to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in (depends on) you, live peaceably with all men… Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom.12:17-18, 21) 

No need to read and spell there for us my brethren, because that says it all in plain and simple language! Much LOVE!

…God shows us His LOVING-kindness…so that we can show ours to our fellow man…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 March 2018 Revelation 3:15.

Revelation 3:15.   I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert (wish you were) cold or hot.

Awright mih breddren, another wonderful day on God’s great earth is upon us! Give Him thanks and praise! And you know what? I just checked the obits and none of our names or pictures are listed there! Wow! That must mean that we’re alive, alive and kicking, alive and kicking butt for Christ! (smile) I like that. 

It sounds like something we were meant to do. But are we doing it? To a certain extent yes, but definitely not as much as we ought to. The problem with our brand of Christianity these days seems to be that we are doing a lot of right things, but we are not doing them sufficiently. 

You know, you can give, volunteer, help, pray, whatever, show Christian attributes, but with a lacklustre attitude, no real passion for what you’re doing. It doesn’t seem to come from the heart, but from the mind. Like I’m supposed to do so and so, so I’ll do it, but not with any real zeal; a more legalistic approach than a heart-felt one. 

But Jesus calls for excellence, passion, and diligence in His followers. That reminds me of what He said to the church in Laodicea, through John’s vision in Revelation, our Bit for today. ‘I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert (wish you were) cold or hot.’ 

Ah friends, that’s exactly how Christ’s church is today. The zeal and passion for growing it, for enhancing Christ’s LOVE Revolution doesn’t’ seem to be present in sufficient quantity amongst its believers. We still seem to be too taken up with the matters of the world and not enough with those of heaven. 

And as Jesus continues after our Bit: ‘So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew (spit, vomit) thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods (have become wealthy), and have need of nothing: and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.’ (Rev.3:16-17) 

Yes my people, if we look at ourselves in truth, we will see that we are still too taken up with the things of the world and not those of God, thus Jesus’ reproach. 

Listen to these explanations from the scholars. ‘3:15-16. The church is likened to lukewarm water, or as being virtually worthless. Christ says He will “spew them out,” or eject them from His company. The hot waters of nearby Hierapolis were known for their medicinal qualities, whereas Colossae was known for its cold, pure water. 

But Laodicea was forced to receive water by aqueduct from other areas. By the time it arrived at Laodicea it was lukewarm and provoked nausea. The works of the Laodicean church were as worthless as the city’s lukewarm water. The description does not refer to a backslidden condition, but rather to their lack of genuine faith.’ 

Ah friends, although I don’t think our contributions to Christ’s church are totally useless, I do believe that they are not worthwhile enough because our faith is not strong enough. Too many of us are too scared, lazy and lackadaisical about our faith. We don’t stand up steadfast and strong enough for what we believe in. 

There is too much fence sitting and compromise in our behaviour and actions. And both those things lessen the strength of anything. We talk a good talk, but we don’t walk a good enough walk. 

That’s why Jesus commanded the church at Laodicea: ‘I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried (refined) in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment (garments), that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear (may not be revealed); and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.’ (Rev.3:18) 

I have to chuckle there friends, because nobody can turn a phrase like Jesus, can admonish you the way He does. And the scholars have this to say about that scripture. ‘3:17-19. Laodicea was famous for its wealth, its bankers, its medical school, its popular eyesalve, and its textile industry. 

Christ says that spiritually the people of the church are poor, blind, and naked. True wealth is found only in God’s grace. This church had no spiritual value (gold), virtue (white raiment), or vision (eyesalve). He urges the Laodiceans to repent of their lack of genuine faith and of spiritual understanding.’ 

Fellow believers in Christ, I believe that admonition of Jesus will also stand us in good stead today. Please, I implore us to stop running after the things and wealth of the world, because they will avail us nothing in the time to come. It’s time we raise the level of our faith and actions and concentrate on sincerely growing Christ’s church as personified by His LOVE Revolution. Why do you think He blessed us with our Thursday Blessings eh? So that we can lift Him up. 

Now let’s declare those blessings with a sincere heart 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 if we truly believe, it, then let’s go out and share it with others as Christ desires, for a blessing is not a blessing until it’s declared. Much LOVE!

…Christ wants His followers to be either hot or cold…not in between…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 January 2018 Psalm 143:8.

Psalm 143:8.   Cause me to hear thy LOVING-kindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.

Awright friends, it’s Tuesday…and we happy! Why? Because we’ve gotten past Monday. (smile) Poor Monday takes so much blame and abuse in our society because it is the first working day of the week, and everybody breathes a sigh of relief after it’s over. 

But we have the whole thing wrong yes. Monday is supposed to be the best and easiest day of the week because we’re coming off of two days rest. Every day after that is supposed to get harder rather than easier. The problem is that we don’t rest over the weekend, therefore it’s difficult to get the body and spirit moving for work on Monday, and we end up blaming it for all our many woes. (smile) 

But be that as it may, listen to this take from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that admirably describes so many of us. It’s titled ‘Another Year.’ 

Please read with me. ‘Another new year! How did it steal in so silently? How did it arrive so quickly? So many things I determined to do in January of last year are still completely undone. So many notes and letters still unwritten. Friends I planned to entertain were never invited. 

The books I planned to read haven’t been opened. The cupboards and drawers I hoped to clean are still cluttered with things I don’t need or use. Clothes I no longer wear still crowd my closet. I planned to have coffee with our neighbours, but often I managed no more than a quick wave between errands. 

If only I could have held on to the old year a little longer! But the old year is gone. I must put it away with all its failures and broken resolves. There is no way I can reclaim even one week of last year. I see that the road to good intentions is wide and circular. I’ve walked around it until I am utterly exhausted. 

I confess my failures, my procrastination. I know God, in his graciousness will forgive me. I have one more request. I pray for God’s power to keep my forgiveness up-to-date.’ 

Yes friends, good intentions are great, if we put them into action, otherwise we just keep aimlessly going round the same mountain, like the Israelites in the wilderness. And way too many of us are guilty of all those things we read above, basically a combination of laziness, procrastination and busyness. And it’s not hard to do in the extra busy society in which we now live, where everything is go, go, go. 

But the only way we’re going to overcome those failures and disappointments is by sincerely turning to God and putting the leading of our lives in His most capable hands. For once He is in control of our lives, we won’t be as busy-oriented as the world wants us to be, and He definitely won’t put more on our plate than we can handle. And whatever He puts there, we are assured we can handle it, because He gives us the wherewithal to do so! Glory Be! 

That’s the beauty of sincerely partnering with Almighty God; He controls it all! And the Bible Promise for that writing is also our Bit for today. ‘Cause me to hear thy LOVING-kindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.’ 

Oh my people, what beautiful words of prayer from Bruh David! Just right for every time we open our eyes to a new day. What better decision is there to start a day than to ask God for His LOVING-kindness and direction so we can do His will, because we have placed our entire trust in Him? None my brethren! None! 

And Bruh David continues: ‘Deliver me, O Lord, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me (I take cover in thee) Teach me to do thy will: for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. Quicken (revive) me, O Lord, for thy name’s sake: for thy righteousness sake bring my soul out of trouble. And of thy mercy cut off (put an end to) mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul; for I am thy servant.’ (Ps.143:9-12) 

Yeh friends, excellent words, but of no use unless we show the action that comes with that last, all important line: ‘for I am thy servant.’ Until we are involved in real servant hood to Christ, all our words are useless, for that’s where the truth of our faith shows up. 

That’s how and why Jesus came the first time: to save and to serve. He came humbly, helping the poor and downtrodden, the sick and needy, and until we begin doing the same, with right hearts and motives, we won’t be classified as servants of God. 

Remember what Jesus said about separating the sheep and the goats: ‘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…And the king shall say unto them, 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.’ (Matt.25:35-36,40) 

Yes my faithful followers of Christ, until we begin helping the least, we will never be the most in Christ’s kingdom. And there are a whole lot of needy out there to be helped, so please let’s make this Year of LOVE, also one of servant hood nuh, for you can’t truly have one without the other. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In sincerity and strong voice: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Now let’s go out and action those statements. Much LOVE!

…oh how beautiful…how heartwarming it is…to share Christ’s LOVE with others…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 December 2017 Hebrews 4:12.

Hebrews 4:12.   For the word of God is quick (living), and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of (is able to judge) the thoughts and intents (intentions) of the heart.

Ten more days friends, ten more days to the Big Day of Christmas! Then the celebrations will erupt in volcanic fashion, as in all parts of the world we give thanks and praise to Almighty God for the miraculous birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, born two thousand years ago on a wintry night in Bethlehem of Judea, to grow to manhood, and eventually save mankind from sin and eternal damnation.

Exalt His holy name my people, for it’s the best gift mankind has ever received! And on this chilly Friday morning, the ordinary workingman is also out there singing his song of freedom. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! The weekend here! At long last mih li’l time of freedom come! And as is Christmas time to boot, the partying going to be even greater than usual.

We going by everybody to eat up deh food and drink up deh liquor! When the lime buss so, people wouldn’t know what hit them! And please, doh tell me nothing about partying too much nuh, because if I could work for five days straight, then I could at least party hearty for two. So just leh we thank the Lord for Fridays and weekends yes!’

And believe me friends, that is exactly what’s happening in some parts of our world. (smile) But as Christians, as believers in Jesus Christ, that is just simply too much leeway for us, as it gives the enemy too many opportunities to get a foothold in our lives and thus mess with our relationship with Jesus.

And we certainly don’t want anything to mess with that, the most important and wonderful relationship ever! That’s why we have certain boundaries and limits that we try not to cross over, and why our Friday Chant is so different to that of the ordinary workingman. So let’s declare it now nuh, with suitable enthusiasm and sincerity.

‘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.’

Yes my people, it doesn’t prohibit us from having fun, but it also emphasizes the necessity to get ready for next week. And, as believers, we should always be ready: readiness should be a constant state of our lives, especially being ready for the Second Coming of Jesus, which can occur at any time, like the proverbial thief in the night.

Now it’s time to check out our Bit; such a mighty piece of scripture, than when you read it, it just takes your breath away. ‘For the word of God is quick (living), and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of (is able to judge) the thoughts and intents (intentions) of the heart.’

Ah mih bredden, that just shows that we cannot fool with the Word of God, for it’s all-seeing and knowing and more powerful than any man-made instrument! And Bruh Paul adds this addendum after our Bit which corroborates our statement. ‘Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in (hidden from) his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do (must give account).’(Heb.4:13)

Yeh friends, you can run, but you certainly can’t hide from your Creator! So those of us who are trying to get away from Him, please, let’s stop the foolishness nuh, for He knows your every move before you even think them. It’s so much easier, and wiser, to just give in to Him and say, ‘Lord, here I am, take me, I’m yours, now and forever more! Amen!’

Now here is some info from the scholars re our Bit and the succeeding verse. ‘4:12-13. For the word of God: The reason given for one’s careful scrutiny of his life involves the reality that God is intently scrutinizing it. His word is quick (living). This word is first in the Greek and is the emphasis. God’s word is not old or archaic; it is alive.

It is not inept or inactive; it is powerful (active). It reaches into the inner secrets of man’s mind to discern even his thoughts and intents. Likewise, God’s eyes sees man as though he were naked, unable to hide behind excuse or pretense.’ 

What more can I say eh friends? Not a whole lot. Our whole lives are open unto the One who created us from the dust of the earth, then breathed His breath of life into our frail and fragile bodies, so trying to hide anything from Him is a total waste of time.

What’s much better is going to Him with EVERYTHING! That’s what He wants and desires, so He can be an integral, or rather the most important part, closest friend, redeeming Saviour, merciful and LOVING God in our lives. That’s who He is friends! And the sooner we realize it and accept Him, the better off we shall be. Much LOVE!

…you can’t fight God’s word…because it’s All-Powerful…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 May 2017 James 2:14.

James 2:14.   What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

So friends, it’s Tuesday! What’s new and exciting in our lives eh? And most of us say nothing really; just the same old, same old daily grind and common task. Hn! 

And that’s the way it’s always going to be my brethren, because we really couldn’t handle something new and exciting every day. We are just not made that way. 

And our U.S brethren are going back to work today after the Memorial Day Holiday – hope they’re not too tired and bedraggled after all the celebrations. 

But friends, it hurts the ole fella’s heart to see all the pomp and ceremony that both the U.S and Canada put on in respect to celebrating their fallen brethren, while the majority of the ones who participated in the conflicts and are still alive are suffering immensely from government abuse, mismanagement and simply being ignored. Steups! 

So many of them suffer from mental and physical problems and either can’t get any help, or find it extremely difficult to get help for the wounds suffered for the freedom of our countries. 

Financially, they and their families are also suffering great need, but our governments only make feeble, if any attempts to help them. Yet on those days, those days of remembrance, they can find money to honour the dead, while the living suffer so seriously. 

Steups! What a hypocritical society we are! But that’s all a story for another day. Today though, I want to share some words of wisdom attributed to John Maxwell (1947), the celebrated American author, speaker and pastor. 

And here John talks about dreams. ‘A dream without a positive attitude produces a daydreamer. A positive attitude without a dream produces a pleasant person who never makes any progress. A dream together with a positive attitude produces a person with unlimited possibility and potential. ‘ 

Mama Mia! How true is that eh my friends? How many of us dream big but do nothing about it eh? And how many of us have positive attitudes but no dreams to be positive about? Too many of us I declare! 

It’s just like Christianity that calls for both faith and works. One without the other is of no use. And I guess that’s why a lot of us aren’t growing in Christ either; because we have either faith or works and not both. 

But friends, to be good, solid and true Christians we need to believe sincerely, and then work that belief to the glory of God through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Otherwise we’re just empty vessels without any real use. And all of that leads us to our Bit. ‘What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?’ 

Ah mih people, that’s a passage of scripture that has caused controversy down though the ages. Now according to the scholars, Bruh Paul’s doctrine teaches of ‘salvation by faith alone.’ 

For him ‘faith practically equals salvation. James, however, sees two kinds of faith: saving faith and professing faith (much like the usage today). For Paul, justification is by faith (Rom.4:5). For James, justification is by a faith that works – by a genuine faith that manifests itself in post conversion works.’ 

Oh friends, what unnecessary confusion! It’s obvious that we can only be saved by faith, but that faith ought to lead us to work the works of Jesus which He so clearly commanded us to do; teaching and making disciples of others, helping the sick and needy, etc. etc. 

And as the scholars quote the famous Protestant Pastor, John Calvin: ‘Faith alone saves, but a faith that saves is never alone.’ Gospel truth that my brethren! 

Therefore as James continues: ‘If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food. And one of you say unto them. Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body, what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.’ (James 2:15-17) 

The sad truth of the matter friends is that our faith these days is sadly lacking works. Oh we will go to heaven with our faith, but where will be our rewards? When the Lord asks us ‘what have you done with the talents and blessings I gave you,’ what will we reply? 

Will our reply be like the fella with one talent who buried it? Or will we declare like the one who had five talents: ‘Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.’ (Matt.25:20) 

Now that’s what we ought to be saying on that judgement day my people! So that the Lord can say to us: ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.’ (Matt.25:21) 

Yes friends, the quintessential aim of all Christians should not just be going to heaven, but receiving a joyful welcome to eternal life by our heavenly Father! 

And with all of that in mind, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with sincere belief and enthusiastic enthusiasm! (smile) ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And having said that, let’s now go out and put it into action, as Jesus desires nuh. Much LOVE!

…true faith…ought to make us want to do…plenty good works…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 May 2017 Matthew 25:35.

Matthew 25:35.    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.

Ah mih people, our favourite lazy day, Saturday, is here at last! God bless Saturdays! And I see some big smiles and hear some sweet sighs as we just plan on lazing through Saturday, doing as little as possible. 

But don’t worry, that’s your entitlement. You are allowed at least one day each week to just commune with yourself and your Maker, while just rolling along with the tumbling tumbleweeds. (smile) 

So as we laze along this blessed Saturday morn, let’s check out some of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. I like this week’s quotes because they are simple and practical. 

Hear this first one: ‘It’s supposed to be hard. If it were easy, everyone would do it.’ Now isn’t that the very truth? It surely is, because in these whatever you may call them times, nobody wants to do anything that’s difficult. Easy living is the name of the game! 

And that goes for our Christian faith too. As soon as a lot of believers’ come upon adversity, they are quick to think about giving up. They don’t realize that it’s the adversity that builds our faith. And that’s why our standards are continually falling.  

And the second quote says: ‘How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.’ Oh so true my people! It’s just another way of warning us that we’ll reap what we sow, and we need to treat others the way we want to be treated. 

This next one sounds like something Granny would say: ‘As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.’ Ah friends, where has that sense of purpose, that commitment to helping others gone eh? 

Nowadays it’s predominantly each man for himself, and let the other one get by as best he can. I remember the days when the world wasn’t as prosperous, but there also wasn’t as much hunger and poverty, for we shared whatever little we had with the unfortunates. But today, in a world filled with plenty, hunger and poverty are rampant, pandemic to say the least. 

Steups! The Lord must look down from His high heaven and sadly shake His head sometimes, asking Himself, just where did He go wrong. But it wasn’t Him that went wrong it was us, we had too much free will and evil had a stronger pull on us than good. 

But hopefully this last quote will help us. ‘Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.’ It’s as simple as that friends, we can’t do better until we know how to do better. So I guess our quest now is to learn how to do better. 

And I have to laugh here at the philosophical stuff than Anselm’s quotes bring out every week. But it does the soul a lot of good, gets us thinking a little more than we normally might. It also brings us to our Bit, Jesus immortal words on the topic. 

‘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) 

Yeh friends, that’s the kind of stuff that Jesus is looking for from His followers. If we do those things, then when Jesus comes into His kingdom, we’ll be like the sheep, on His right hand, and not goats on His left. ‘Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’ (Matt.25:34) 

Oh my brethren, we seem to forget that Jesus came to save the lost, the sick, the hungry, the poor; in other words, those who were having a hard time making it in life. If we go back to Isaiah, where he describes true religion, we’ll see where the Lord rags on Israel for their hypocritical fasting in the first 5 verses of chapter 58. 

Then He says: ‘Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal (share) thy bread to (with) the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out (wandering) to thy house? 

When thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health (healing) shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee: the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward ( rearguard). 

Then shalt thou call, and the Lord will answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of these the yoke, the putting forth (pointing) of the finger, and speaking vanity (wickedness).’ (Is.58:6-9) 

Oh friends, that’s what true religion is supposed to be about, not the hypocritical rules and regulations that pass for it today. And you’ll see that it’s not only when Jesus came that caring for the poor and downtrodden became a part of our faith. 

So let’s get serious about what we’ve said here this morning nuh, and try to do what we know is right, so that at the coming of Jesus’ kingdom, we’ll end up on His right hand and be called blessed. Much LOVE!

…unless we sincerely try to help others…we can’t truly say…we have a heart for Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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