Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 August 2019 Matthew 7:14.

Matthew 7:14.    ​Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth to life, and few there be that find it.
 

Well it’s the first of August, that means the summer is almost done, one more month, then any number can play. But that’s okay, we can handle it, with Jesus’ help. But today we going to get into a serious concoction in the Bit. Yuh know like in the olden days when you had a cold and fever and your mother just boiled up a whole lot of different bushes and made tea for you, bad, horrible tasting stuff…Ugh! 

And she also mixed up a whole lot of different medicines and rubbed your chest and back and forehead with them, and put some coconut oil in your head – will make the cold run down? Hn, hn! We didn’t like it, but it worked. Well that’s what we making here today: a concoction of scripture and good advice. And let’s hope that that will work for us today too. (smile) 

Now let’s begin with this most appropriate ingredient from one Joseph Addison (1672-1719), an English essayist, poet, playwright and politician. And he reputedly said that ‘There is nothing which we receive with so much reluctance as advice.’ And that’s gospel truth friends! For there is nothing we dislike more than advice because it suggests that we don’t know what we’re doing. 

And even when it’s given with the best interests at heart, and we know it’s the best advice we can get, something though still sticks in our craw, and we don’t really treasure it as we should. I guess though that’s just man’s independent nature showing up, where we don’t like anybody telling us what to do, even though it’s right. 

And the next choice ingredient comes from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller), from his Hour of Power Devotional, where he sincerely and wisely advises us to: ‘Choose the best, shun mediocrity. Mediocrity has a way of shrivelling up enthusiasm. But commitment to excellence taps an incredible source of energy. Elect the best, no matter what the price tag.’ Wow friends! Pure words of wisdom and mucho good advice and also what Jesus desires of His followers. 

But are we going to take it? Hn! Who knows? Because though it’s true and good and wise and of Jesus, there’s just something that sits wrong with us in taking advice. But then I’m only here to bring you wise words and wise, godly advice, so please don’t blame or get annoyed at me, for I’m only the messenger. (smile) 

And the last ingredient of our concoction comes from an old Devotional of Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) called ‘Starting Your Day Right.’ Could barely make out the name because it’s so old and faded, and the pages are falling apart, so I keep it together with a rubber band, (smile) because I like it’s simple, down to earth style. Can’t take all this new-fangled stuff. 

Anyhow, Sister Joyce gives this wonderful advice at the end of one of the devotionals. ‘The way to victory is a narrow path that requires discipline regardless of our feelings. Sometimes it may look too narrow to even squeeze through. But victory comes by obeying God’s Word to us, in spite of our feelings. Follow faith, not feelings today.’ 

Mama Mia!  What wonderful advice! What godly advice! And are we going to take it my brethren? I surely hope so, because as she so rightly says, we can only get victory by obeying God’s Word, and it takes a strong and sincere faith to do so, not wishy-washy feelings, like so many of us live by. 

And that’s why, Jesus, in His immortal wisdom, knowing that too many of us live by our wishy-washy feelings, directed us to ‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.’ (Matt.7:13) 

Oh my people, how true that is in these ungodly times. People are just ‘LOVERS of pleasure,’ as Bruh Paul told Timothy. (2 Tim.3:4) And like foolish sheep without a shepherd, are all blindly headed for the precipice of damnation! But thankfully precious people, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is a good, kindly and caring shepherd and he takes wonderful care of His own. But His own also have to listen to His voice, else they too will go astray on the wide and destructive path. 

And He says to us: ‘Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth to life, and few there be that find it.’ Yes friends, those are words we have to pay serious attention to, because if we want to live and work for Jesus and eventually gain eternal life with Him, then we can’t go the way of the world. We have to follow the straight and narrow path that calls for obedience, discipline and excellence. 

And we all know those are things against which our human flesh naturally rebel, which means calling forth a superhuman effort if we have to do it alone. But thankfully we don’t have to do it alone! Jesus Christ foresaw our problems and wisely gave us the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in His ways! Glory to God! We’re not alone…will never be alone once we stay in Jesus’ fold! 

And let’s remember friends, that Jesus is both the way that leads to life, and also the life. As He said to doubting Thomas: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) Please my people, let’s write those words indelibly in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, because they are ever so important for our life-long journey. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeh!) those Thursday Blessings the Lord has so generously lavished on us nuh so we can do His work. In strong and sincere voice: ‘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!’ 

Oh my people, what a generous God we serve and worship! Now let’s go out and share those blessings with the less fortunate as Jesus intends for us to do, and not selfishly hoard them for ourselves. Yes, I’ve got to remind us, else we tend to forget. (smile) And let’s hope that the concoction we made up today also works, because we all need it badly! Much LOVE!

…the best way to live life…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him… (Uncle Charles – Charles Stanley)

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 February 2019 Matthew 7:14.

Matthew 7:14.   ​​Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult, confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
 

And then it was Friday…another gloomy winter’s day? Most likely! But who knows…and who cares eh? Not us believing Christians! We have Christ Jesus our Lord and Saviour constantly looking over us, so we don’t let li’l things like the weather bother us, or keep us from doing His will! We get up and decide, whatever the weather or our circumstances: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ Wow! What confidence we have in our Saviour! 

And if that doesn’t do the trick, then we continue: ‘The Lord will provide all my needs through His riches in glory!’ And furthermore: ‘If God be for me, who can be against me eh?’ Not a single soul! And since we are overcomers, the head and not the tail, above and not beneath, through Christ who gives us the strength to do all that He calls us to do, then we can be steadfast and strong, and conclude that ‘As for me and my house, we WILL follow the Lord!’ 

Oh friends, if you all didn’t need that li’l pick me up this morning, good for you, but the ole fella certainly needed it! But with the Lord’s help, we back on track now…praise His holy name! 

So let’s hear what the workingman has to say this gloomy Friday morning. And I just LOVE his undaunted enthusiasm! ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…La la la la la la! It might be winter…and cold and miserable, but why should that make me miserable too eh? Especially when is Friday and the weekend upon me…when is my time to do as I please. I’d be real chupid to let a li’l bad weather stop me from enjoying the couple days off I have from the slave driver’s work yes! 

So who want to let that bother them or stop them from eating and drinking and partying, that is their business, but it not going to stop me, because I just live for the weekend and the li’l chance to karay mih body to some sweet music, and full mih belly with good food and drink, especially in them kinda cold weather here! I need strength, energy and enthusiasm to handle them oui! So thank God for Fridays and the weekends and them yes!’ 

Yes mih people, the workingman is certainly off and running today. And I know that plenty of us supposed Christians think like him, and would like to behave leggo beast like him, but Jesus doesn’t like that kinda behaviour in His organization, so we cool it down, and instead chant we Friday Chant, a somewhat more controlled song, with narrower boundaries. So let’s chant up a storm now nuh! 

As one chanter: ‘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.’ 

Ah mih breddren, a li’l restraint never hurt nobody yet nuh, but when you let it all hang out, yuh liable to get bite, as the long time calypso did say. (smile) And that’s all Jesus is trying to do yes with His narrow way; preventing us from getting bite! It’s all for our benefit, because yuh know how the enemy always lurking in the background ready to snap and bite at any chance we give him, so he could get a foothold in we souls and just spoil everything. 

Remember, it does only take one bad apple to spoil the whole basket! And Jesus doesn’t want that to happen to us, that’s why He advocates the narrow, less travelled way. ‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult, confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ (Matt.7:13-14) 

And that’s the gospel truth friends! But we don’t even need Jesus us to tell us that, because logically speaking, the wider or broader your field of vision or your endeavours, the more problems you’re liable to have, just because so much more is involved. 

But getting back to Jesus, who wants to suffer destruction by being eternally separated from Him eh? Nobody in their right minds! So if we’re wise and sensible, although I know common sense isn’t in vogue these days (smile) we will choose the strait and narrow way which is through Jesus as He so sweetly and graciously enlightens us: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but my me.’ (John 14:6) End of story friends! 

If you want to get to the Father, then you have to go through His Son Jesus! That’s all there is to it! It’s just like our earthly set up; to get to the boss, you have to go through His secretary. (smile) So just consider Jesus the Father’s Administrative Assistant, and if you don’t deal with Him, you won’t get a chance to deal with the Father! Clear as noonday my brethren! 

So let’s take a few moments today and ponder which road we’re currently travelling on nuh, because it’s so easy to get sidetracked in this evil, ungodly world, that we need to constantly be on our p’s and q’s so we stay on the straight and narrow with Jesus. Much LOVE!

…only two options available…the strait and narrow with Jesus…and enjoy eternal life…or the broad and busy highway…and end up on the outside looking in…dead to Jesus…be wise…choose life…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 March 2018 Matthew 7:14.

Matthew 7:14.   Because strait (narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult, confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

‘Enough now…enough of this spring-like break nonsense yes!’ said the snow. ‘This is supposed to be the winter season, and that means snow…lots of it…!’ So we’ve reverted to the white stuff being on the ground. 

Yeh friends, the spring break is over, we got some snow overnight, and a serious winter storm of rain and snow is scheduled for the North Eastern side of North America. Let’s hope and pray that it doesn’t do too much damage and cause any loss of life. 

But none of that prevents the workingman from singing His Friday song with much gusto and gratefulness. ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! Whoopee! No more work for a couple days! Spit in the massa eye! Is my time now to do whatever I want to do. And come rain or snow I’m going to do it. 

And ah going to start by partying like there’s no tomorrow…for who knows if there’ll be a tomorrow…And if I don’t show up for work Monday morning…then let the greedy, stupid massa fire me nuh. Ah going to get another job. Thank God for Fridays and the weekends and them yes!’ 

Ah friends, sometimes it would be nice to have that attitude, and get away from all the Christian responsibility, but unfortunately our Leader Jesus Christ does not cotton to that kind of behaviour. He wants a high level of responsibility and some tighter boundaries in His organization, and if we intend to be a part of it, then we have to meet those levels. 

No two ways about it. That’s why our Friday Chant is so different to the workingman’s song. Let’s chant it now with a strong sense of purpose. ‘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.’ 

Yeh mih people, in Jesus’ organization we need to keep a balanced outlook on life and the things He calls us to do. We can’t afford to go overboard, otherwise we’ll give the enemy a chance to infiltrate the organization, and with his deceitful, lying self, do untold damage to Christ’s body. 

That’s why we need to walk the straight and narrow path that doesn’t offer as many enticements as the broad highway that the world favours. And that’s why, amongst the many warnings Jesus gave in His Sermon on the Mount this one containing our Bit, was included. 

‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. Because strait (narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult, confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ (Matt.7:13-14) 

Yes friends, there are only two ways to live this life; like the workingman, letting it all hang out, or like the believer, keeping within certain circumspect boundaries. Listen to the scholars on those two verses. ‘7:13-14. The closing section of the Sermon on the Mount presents two choices to the listener. 

These are presented in a series of contrasts: two ways (vs.13-14); two trees (vs.15-20); two professions (vs.21-23); and two foundations (vs.24-29). This was a common method of teaching in both Jewish and Greco-Roman thought. Enter ye in at the strait gate (narrow) means that one must come through the narrow gate in order to reach the path that leads to eternal life. 

Though many are on the broad…way, that leadeth to destruction (eternal separation from God) the gate that leads to life is so narrow that few there be that find it. Christ Himself is both the gate and the way (cf. John 14:6), and God enables men to find that gate (cf. John 6:44).’ 

Oh my fellow believers the gate to the eternal life path is indeed narrow, that’s why so few people find it. First you must sincerely want to find it, and then look very closely and search diligently for it. But I’ll be so kind and generous as to show you both the gate and the way. (smile) And His name is JESUS! 

Yes people, as Jesus Himself said: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) Yes friends, JESUS IS EVERYTHING! Please remember that. 

And just in case you don’t know the verse that the scholars refer to about God enabling men to find the narrow gate, here it is. Oh, I’m being so generous this morning, I can’t stand it. (smile) ‘No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up in the last day.’ (John 6:44) 

Yuh see, we can’t even get to Jesus, unless the Father points us to Him. However, the Father IS pointing and directing all creation to His Son, it’s just left up to the creation to decide whether or not he’ll accept the directive. And if we’re wise, we’ll run to Him, and accept it with open arms. Much LOVE!

…Jesus said…come unto me…that’s an offer too generous and worthwhile to refuse…