Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 March 2019 Mark 14:38.

Mark 14:38.   ​Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
 

Well it’s Saturday, March break Saturday, and the airports are still full of people trying to get away from this cold weather for a few days. Some of us though are not so blessed so we have to stay and stick it out. And I hear the groaning and grumbling: ‘Chuh man! why me eh?’  

But let me remind us of this one very important fact; wherever we are right now is where Jesus wants us to be, and wherever He plants us, that’s where He’ll help us to handle all that comes against us, and we’ll even grow in our adversity and discomfort through His evergreen gardening thumb! And that’s no lie! What a Lord and Saviour we have my people! 

And since today is Saturday it means we ought to check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Unfortunately, this week though, I’ve only received one quote from our friend Anselm, but it’s an interesting one, so let’s check it out. 

And it says: ‘Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you.’ And that’s all gospel truth my brethren! It’s one of the ways the devil tries to steal our joy in Jesus, simply by letting little things offend us. 

But we have to be strong and watchful and don’t allow resentment and other negative emotions to take root and grow in our souls, else our joy in Jesus will be completely destroyed. The enemy knows that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh.8:10) that’s why he goes after it. And sadly, so often, so many of us allow him to steal it, which throws us into depression, resentment and not being able to focus positively on our God. 

And this Lenten season, when we are all wrapped up in getting closer to God is exactly when the devil is at his most rampant, because he obviously doesn’t want us to get closer to our Maker! That’s why Jesus warned the inner circle of His disciples, who were supposed to be praying with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, but were instead sleeping: ‘Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.’  

And nothing has changed since then friends, except possibly our spirit getting weaker as we go after the enticing things of the world more than we ought to. And if you don’t believe what Mark says, then hear it from Luke. After telling the disciples the parable of the fig tree, Jesus cautioned them thus: 

‘And take heed to your selves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged (weighed down) with surfeiting (carousing), and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.’ (Luke 21:34-35) 

Yes friends, too much carousing and good times can make us miss out on Jesus’ coming. The scholars put it thus: ‘21:34. Surfeiting means “to indulge one’s appetitive excessively.” No believer is beyond the temptation to fall into sin. Jesus warns against slackness and lack of daily readiness in the Christian walk.’  

And sadly again, too many of us are not getting and staying ready for whenever Jesus reappears. And how do we not fall into that very unpleasant situation? Jesus gives us the answer: ‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.’ (Luke 21:36) 

And here is what the scholars have to say about that verse. ‘21:36. Prayer is the better part of valour when persevering for Christ under pressure. Prayer alone will enable one to stand before the returning Son of Man, when those all around are falling, whether in condemnation before Christ or to the temptation to deny Christ under the trials of the hour.’  

So there you have it my faithful brethren, prayer is the anchor, the foundation stone on which we must build our daily lives, otherwise we’re liable to fall into temptation rather easily and damage our reputation with Christ. And yes we all know that our Christian walk is not an easy row to hoe, for even that great man of God, Bruh Paul, had a hard time fighting the lures of his flesh. 

Listen to his testimony. ‘For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal (fleshly), sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not (understand): for what I would do (want to do), that do I not; but what I hate, that I do. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto (agree with) the law that it is good. 

Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would (want to do) I do not: but the evil which I would not (want to do), that I do. (Rom.7:14-19)  

Yes friends, even Bruh Paul had problems with the sinful nature of his flesh, versus the spiritual nature of his mind. So we ought not to feel too badly when we experience the same struggle between out two natures, it’s a part of our earthly walk.

And we’ll end with Bruh Paul’s handling of the matter. ‘O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the (this) body of death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.’ (Rom.7:24-25) 

Ah friends, there’s not much we can do about out two natures, except to try and let the spiritual law of our minds outwork the carnal and sinful nature of our flesh. And the best way to do that is through constant prayer. Much LOVE! 

…rejoice evermore…pray without ceasing…in everything give thanks…for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you…quench not the Spirit… (1 Thess.16-19)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 February 2019 Colossians 3:13.

Colossians 3:13.   ​Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
 

And the snow has stopped falling – at least for the time being! Who knows what’s next eh? But what to do, nothing but grin and bear it as best you can. It’s not like we don’t expect snow to fall in winter, but yet we complain so much when it does! (smile) 

Anyway friends, we not going to talk anymore about the weather, I have to go out the street and do some stuff today, so we’ll just leave it all in the Master’s hands, to carry me and bring me back safely. I do hope though, that the fellow we’ve already paid to clean our driveway will come and do so before I’m ready to go out. End of complaining! (smile) 

Now let’s move on to the topic for the day; a rather important one in the lives of ALL believers, and one which we don’t do as well as we should, we’re talking about ‘Forgiveness.’ And that’s the title of the reading from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. 

It says: ‘Forgiveness. What does it do for us? In an amazing way it creates a fresh beginning. It lifts us out of the tangled seaweed of resentment. A miracle is performed! It may not happen in a moment or a day. We may have to forgive at six o’clock on Monday and start over again at two o’clock on Tuesday. 

There is no magic wand to simplify forgiveness. Forgiveness is a deliberate setting of our will, often with no emotional high whatsoever. But once having genuinely forgiven, our soul is washed clean. We walk in dignity again. We sense a new vitality. We’re no longer concentrating on hurts; we’re concentrating on God. If we would only forgive, our lives would undergo transformations beyond our highest expectations. 

Above all, Jesus Christ would be exalted, for it is His forgiveness that makes the difference. Forgiveness is a beautiful word. It is God’s word passed to us to use freely, joyfully. When we ask for the gift of forgiveness, God always says yes. He gave His Son to make us free, and forgiveness is the key to freedom.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth friends; we can’t be free until we’ve been forgiven…and we have forgiven! That’s just the way the Lord set it up! And the most important thing we need to know, understand and get deep down in our spirits is that forgiveness is not merely for the forgiven, who oftimes don’t even know or care, but forgiveness most of all is for the forgiver! It’s for us above all else. Because it sets us free from resentment and all the other negative emotions that can occur through a spirit of unforgiveness. 

Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the Colossians nuh, when talking about the Christian virtues. ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies (heartfelt compassion), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.’ (Col.3:12-13) 

And the scholars have an interesting explanation of that last verse. ‘3:13. The fact of believers being urged to assume the virtues of verse 12 signifies that none has yet “arrived” spiritually. As the believer is developing these virtues, he must be forbearing and forgiving toward his fellow church member. For his Christian brother is also in the process of acquiring the virtues of verse 12 and therefore retains some flaws, deficiencies, and weaknesses. Hence the need of forbearance and forgiveness.’ 

That’s simple common sense friends, all of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, therefore we need to be compassionate and forgiving of each other’s faults and weaknesses, just like Christ forgave us. And so many of us forget that oh so important fact; that Christ forgave us, that’s why our sin debts have been paid and we’re heaven bound. 

But foolishly and selfishly and arrogantly we refuse to forgive others while we go with hypocritical hearts to God crying out for forgiveness for our own deficiencies. That’s so wrong my brethren. And Jesus made that quite clear early on in His ministry. Note in the prayer that He taught, which we call the Lord’s Prayer, the second to last line says: ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ (Matt.6:12) And it means just that; as we forgive, so we will be forgiven! 

And Jesus made it even clearer a couple of verses later: ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.6:14-15) It couldn’t be any clearer than that friends! 

So let’s get some wisdom and common sense going in respect of forgiveness nuh, because we only hurt ourselves when we don’t forgive. No one says it’s always easy, but with God’s help we can ALWAYS accomplish it, no matter how long it takes! 

Now let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know our position in Christ Jesus: With sincerity, in loud voice and strong sense of purpose: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And please believe it, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…forgiveness frees the forgiver…so that Christ can forgive them… 

P.S. I just went upstairs to reheat my coffee, and looked outside…and wonder of wonders, the snow has begun falling again! So who knows what the day will bring eh? (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 October 2018 2 Corinthians 5:17.

2 Corinthians 5:17.    Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (new creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

 

Ah, a rainy Saturday morning, just right for sleeping in! Yeh, woke up to find showers, or rather drizzles of blessings watering the land. And I know that many of you are going to take this opportunity to sleep in this morning, as the mind is saying: ‘Chuh! Forget all the household chores yes! Forget the groceries yes! There’s enough stuff in the fridge for another day!

Snuggle up next to your significant other and enjoy their human warmth, which is like no other warmth in the universe! Just pamper yourself today; rest and relax and smell the coffee gurgling away in the coffee-maker downstairs.’ 

And that ties in quite nicely to our first quote from our friend Anselm, whose quotes we review each Saturday, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow.  He says: ‘You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.’

Yeh friends, that’s absolutely true! Earthly life is very short in comparison to eternity, so we don’t need to get all uptight and worried, just mosey along confidently and enjoy all the stuff the Lord has placed down here for us to enjoy. 

And that leads us to this next interesting quote: ‘I think being in LOVE with life is a key to eternal youth.’ No doubt about that my brethren! When we LOVE life, it keeps us young and sparkling! We smile a lot, are contented a lot and have much less resentment than those who struggle with life. For it’s really the negative emotions we harbour and display that really drag us down and make us old before our time. (smile) 

Now listen to this quote: ‘You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.’ I don’t necessarily agree with that, because the changes needed are sometimes small and very doable within the existing model. And just look at our current situation, where everyday we have a new model of something; oftimes they are no better than the old one, but inevitably they make the old ones obsolete. 

And look at the amount of different models we have of human societies! People are trying to change them from both inside and outside, but they’re not getting any better. Some of the old models worked much better than the new ones. Look at the French Revolution, and the Communist Revolution in Russia. Neither made life any better. In fact both were more cruel and inhumane than the previous models. 

And there’s much truth in this next quote: ‘People can cry much easier than they can change.’ For sure, for sure! Crying comes much easier than changing because ‘Our dilemma is that we hate change and LOVE it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.’ What insight into our human nature! 

We all want things to change for the better, but we hate to go through the tough changes that change always brings. As the quote says, we want it to get better while staying the same. That’s because change takes us out of our comfort zone, into one we don’t know, and might not like. But friends, change, whether for good or bad, always means changing something in our lives. 

Look at the butterfly nuh, look at its metamorphosis; how it creeps along like a snail for a while, then sheds its reptile-like skin and suddenly transforms itself into a beautiful butterfly! I’m sure it’s no easy task to shed that skin, but it knows the rewards that will come from making such a painstaking change. 

And so it is with us friends, we all are changed, go through our own metamorphosis, when we come to know, LOVE, and work for Christ. As Bruh Paul says to the Corinthians in our Bit: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (new creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ And that’s gospel truth my people! 

When we accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour we just become entirely different people! We stop living by the carnal lusts of the flesh, by the evil and sinful ways of the world. We are first changed on the inside by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in us, then others gradually see those changes manifested on the outside as the Holy Spirit begins to work Christ-like ways in us. We embrace a totally new way of life; a Spirit filled life. 

As Jesus told the disciples once when they were murmuring about His teaching: ‘It is the spirit that quickeneth (gives life); the flesh profiteth nothing: the words I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.’ (John 6:63)

Yes friends, the flesh is basically worthless, because it eventually dies and returns to the dust from which it was made. However, the spirit lives on forever; either in hell fire and damnation, or in heaven with our Triune God. 

But that distinction can only be made by an earthly decision to accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour. Believe me people, it’s the wisest decision you can ever make in this earthly life, because failure to do so, will bring the worst fate possible to a human soul; eternal separation from Almighty God for ALL of eternity! 

And believe me, that’s a long, long, long…exceedingly long time! So please make that oh so wise decision today nuh; right now, because the Grim Reaper can come calling at any time. And once He comes, it’s too late! Much LOVE!

…don’t put off for tomorrow…what you can do today…it can mean hell fire…instead of heavenly bliss…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 March 2018 1 Chronicles 28:9.

1 Chronicles 28:9.   And thou, Solomon  my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off forever.

Well friends, we’ve gotten through the horror of Good Friday, where we saw Jesus crucified to pay for our abominable sins. It wasn’t easy, but we understood the reason why it had to happen: No sacrificial death, no salvation. For the price of sin had to be paid in sinless blood, and Jesus’ blood was the ONLY one that met the full criteria. 

Now it’s time to wait for His awesome resurrection; His victory over hell, death and the grave, where He dangles the keys to the gates of hell before an awestruck, defeated Lucifer. (smile) 

Yes my fellow believers, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ gave us the victory over the enemy by His sacrificial death on the cross. The least we can do now is show a fair amount of appreciation by living and working diligently and excellently in His name, to spread the good news of His gospel around the entire world. 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here’s the first one: ‘Being happy doesn’t mean everything’s perfect. It means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.’ Now that’s something a lot of us perfectionists need to understand. Perfection is not possible, and if we don’t rise above our imperfections, we’ll never be happy. 

Then there’s: ‘Be gentle with yourself, you’re doing the best you can.’ That’s something else many of us need to learn and do, because we keep beating ourselves up unnecessarily. Remember we can’t be perfect, so once we’re really trying, there’s no need to abuse ourselves. And what’s so foolish and unfair about that is we give a lot of leeway to others, but not enough to ourselves. 

So what then? ‘Focus on the good.’ ‘That’s elementary, my dear Watson,’ you reply. Not really nuh, because if most of us were constantly focused on the good, our world would not be in such a sorry state. It’s because we’re NOT focused on the good that life in this realm of plenty is so rough for so many. 

And we’ll end with this quote: ‘Rule your mind, or it will rule you.’ And is that ever so true my brethren, for it all takes place in the mind, or as Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) refers to it, ‘The battlefield of the mind.’ That’s where all our wars and battles take place. And that’s why when we allow the enemy to control our thoughts, he can therefore control our lives. Because as a man thinks, so is he. We become what we think about most. 

So if we think about the things of the world more than those of Jesus, then we’ll become more like the world, and vice versa. That’s why it’s necessary to have good and positive thoughts above all else. They will lift you up, while negative emotions will only drag you further down to Hades. (smile) And we don’t want that now, do we? Of course not! 

That’s why some of the best advice ever given to a son was that of Bruh David to Cousin Sol in our Bit. ‘And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off forever.’ 

Yeh friends, if we want to live godly and righteous lives, we have to keep our minds focused on stuff that’s godly and righteous. And remember that God looks deep into our hearts and minds to find our true purpose and motives before considering our outward show. So if what’s in our minds and what’s in our actions are different, then the Lord will discover them and act accordingly. 

For as Jesus said: ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth that defileth a man.’ (Matt.15:11) And what comes out of us is what we have focused in our minds. So if our thoughts are evil, then our deeds will most likely be evil too. No wonder Jesus also warned us thus: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you.’ (Matt.11:33) 

Fellow believers, our omniscient and all powerful God knows what we need to function on this earth, and He has promised to give it to us if we keep Him first place in our minds, bodies and actions. If you think primarily on the things of the world, they will be of no avail in the long run. 

For as Jesus says: ‘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) 

Words of everlasting wisdom my people, from the creator of all wisdom! Now are we going to be wise and follow them, or foolish and think on the wrong things? That’s up to each individual, but please remember that there are consequences for each line of thought, and before you decide, it would be wise to consider the consequences of each. Much LOVE!

…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him… (Charles Stanley)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 March 2018 Matthew 6:12.

Matthew 6:12.    And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Awright friends and faithful followers of Jesus Christ, we’ve been blessed with another day on God’s great earth! So let’s take advantage of it nuh, because we don’t know how many more we will be blessed with, if any, and let’s open today by declaring like the psalmist did so long ago: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) 

Wow! What a positive opening statement friends! That sets the tone for the rest of our day. We have the opportunity now to go out and enjoy God’s favour; His mercy, grace, LOVE and forgiveness as we work with diligence and excellence to do His awesome, holy will. 

Mama Mia! It couldn’t get any better than that in this sinful and wicked world nuh mih people! Living under Christ’s umbrella is the best antidote for all that ails the world and us. 

And I have a li’l something to share from C.S. Lewis that describes our Christian walk. He says: ‘To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! God has forgiven us so greatly that it’s only reasonable and to be expected that we forgive others. 

And you know what friends? That isn’t even an individual choice we have, because our Lord and Saviour, Our Leader and heavenly King, Jesus Christ enshrined it as a decree in what is commonly known as the Lord’s Prayer, as our Bit declares: ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ 

Now what does that mean? The scholar’s offer this explanation: ‘6:12. Forgive us our debts refers to sins, which are our moral and spiritual debts to God’s righteousness. The request for forgiveness of sin is made here by the believer. In order to be saved one need not necessarily name all of his sins, but he must confess that he is a sinner.’  

A good thing too, else some of us would still be confessing. (smile) And why is forgiveness so important you wonder? Well Jesus explains a couple of verses later. ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.12:14-15) 

It’s as simple as that my brethren! Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Don’t forgive, and you won’t be forgiven. As the old people would say, ‘tit for tat.’ And would you believe, that in spite of Christ’s serious warning, forgiveness is currently one of the world’s biggest problems? And not only on the small, individual scale, but also on the large national stage. 

What do you think is causing so many small wars and skirmishes to continue to flower and flourish all over the world eh? Memories of wars and other atrocities committed by long ago descendants. But the current ones have not forgotten or forgiven, so the anger, bitterness and hatred continue, unfortunately festering the souls of legions of people who had nothing to do with the initial atrocities. 

Just look at the distrust and angst between the Japanese, Koreans and Chinese that now plays out in international affairs because of the way the Japanese ravaged the Chinese and Koreans in the recent wars. It’s the same thing in the Middle East. Thousands of years have passed and old wounds are still festering. Look at Britain, with Wales, Scotland and Ireland; the same thing is happening. 

Old injuries and slights are still playing a vibrant part in today’s scenarios. And we won’t even talk about what’s happening with the individual members of our society. Forgiveness is anathema; repugnant and odious to so many of us, as we scurry through the rat race, the dog eat dog scene that’s today’s world. 

We’re only interested in our own aggrandizement, and anyone that gets in our way, too bad for them. We want to be forgiven, but we refuse to forgive. And if yuh think that forgiving is a one-time deal, you better had think again. For when Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother ‘till seven times?’ Jesus replied: ‘I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but until seventy times seven.’ (Matt.18:21-22) 

So friends, forgiveness is an ongoing action. It never stops. Once there has been an infraction, there needs to be forgiveness. And the sad part of the matter is that forgiveness isn’t so much for the other person, but for you the forgiver. It releases your spirit from anger and bitterness and all the other negative emotions that clutter up your soul when you refuse to forgive. 

Oftimes the person who you think has done you wrong, doesn’t even know it, or care, and goes on about their business regardless, while you hold all the unforgiveness in your heart. You are the one who’s suffering because you refuse to let go of the wrong. That’s not a very wise way to live my brethren. So please, let’s raise our level of forgiveness, and see how it raises the level of the remainder of our life nuh. 

Now let’s go home shouting out to the world, our position in Jesus Christ through our Wednesday Wail. Altogether now.  ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And oh, how glorious indeed, will be that future with Jesus! I cant wait to experience it! Much LOVE!

…to forgive, forgive…and yet to forgive…that’s the message of Christ…and His cross…

 

 

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