Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 September 2020 Matthew 6:19.

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

So it’s Saturday! What’s new with the world eh? Nothing nuh! Just more of the same old, same old; overwhelming evil, violence, hate and strife, with not enough peace, LOVE, forgiveness and godly attitudes to quell those negative enemy traits. But if there’s one thing we believers know, is that there’s a righteous, graceful and merciful God sitting on His throne in the high heavens watching down on us, and contrary to popular opinion He IS in control of ALL things, and in His time, in His own inimitable style, will right ALL that’s wrong with this world, working ALL things out for good to those who LOVE Him! 

And that’s the gospel truth friends, so let’s just hang in there in strong faith and blessed assurance, knowing that ALL promises will be fulfilled in due course of time. Now let’s see what goodies our friend Anselm sent us this week nuh, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. Hear this first one, which is simple logic. ‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.’ Now that’s obvious isn’t it. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say, ‘You can’t do the same thing all the time and expect to get a different result.’ 

But that’s exactly what a lot of us do. We keep going round the same mountain with the same attitudes, but expect things to change. That’s impossible friends! And it leads us nicely into this next quote: ‘Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them.’ And isn’t that the unfortunate truth! That’s why we keep going around the same old mountain, with the same old results. Things will only change when we fess up to our problems, face them squarely in the face and get to work on them! 

Good example is the Israelites wandering in the wilderness for forty years because they were afraid to go into the Promised Land when the Lord told them to. And when they said they were ready, He said no, it’s not your timing but mine. So He let them continue wandering, allowing the old ones to die, while He built up the courage and strength of the younger ones. So that only Joshua and Caleb of those who came out of Egypt ever set foot in the Promised Land. But please note that during all that time, their clothes nor shoes never wore out, and He fed them continually with manna! Such is the magnanimity of our God, even when He’s trying to teach us a lesson. 

Then there’s this: ‘If you don’t ask the right questions, you don’t get the right answers. A question asked the right way often points to its own answer. Asking questions is the ABC of diagnosis.’ Again, that’s simple logic. But sadly, logic is something that’s being constantly levered out of our society. We’re now been barraged by things and people called ‘influencers’ paid to influence us with their lifestyle, regardless of how foolish or distasteful and useless it is. And too many of us don’t ask questions as to why these things are being done. We just follow them blindly! 

Ah the pull, the power of social media to dictate our lives! Steups! What a foolish, gutless, monkey see, monkey do society we’ve become. Yes friends, we can’t see or understand what’s happening unless we ask questions, and the right ones at that! Let’s wake up and start doing that nuh, instead of merely accepting whatever social media and the supposed experts say nuh! Let’s start charting our own God-led paths, instead of those the world is setting out for us. And here’s one way to do that: ‘A relentless barrage of “why’s” is the best way to prepare your mind to pierce the clouded veil of thinking caused by the status quo. Use it often.’ 

Not foolishly though. Don’t just ask questions for the sake of asking questions, but develop a strategy of asking sensible and to the point questions on matters that interest you. Nobody likes a body who just keeps pestering them, asking questions willy nilly, without any good or apparent reason. Questions though, wisely asked and with proper timing can lead to a well-spring of growth and phenomenal understanding of the ‘whys’ and ‘wherefores’ of this world and our earthly existence. 

That brings us to the last quote: ‘Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.’ Well how could they eh, when they inherently pertain to growth and progress? The problem though is what we consider growth and progress. Is it the world’s version, or God’s version? I suggest that God’s version is the much better one! Here’s why in a nutshell. This from Jesus, the Son of God, and if He doesn’t know the truth, then who knows it eh? (smile) 

‘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 and steal.’ (Matt. 6:19-20) 

Wow! What wonderful advice my brethren! So if that’s a fact – and if Jesus says so, then it is so – why would I want to have the worldly version of growth and progress eh? Then all my treasures would be liable to theft and ruin by rust and moth. But when I desire the godly version of growth and progress, then all that I achieve is safely stored in heaven. As Peter says so awesomely: ‘To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that faded not away, reserved in heaven for you.’ (1 Pet. 1:4) 

Oh my people, nothing bad or evil can touch anything we store away in heaven, there is never any loss or lessening of our treasures stored there. However, to be able to store away stuff in heaven we need to follow this golden rule – from Jesus again, which means it must be true. ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) That means we need to have Almighty God as our Number ONE priority!And just like He looked after the Israelites for forty years in the wilderness, He will look after us, granting us ALL the necessities we need for earthly living and also storing up some for us in heaven! 

Now how does the world’s version of growth and progress compare to that eh? Not very well, because all the wealth and power you may amass under the world’s evil prince, can be lost in the bat of an eye, like the parable of the rich fool in Luke 12:16-21, where the rich, greedy man decided to break down and build bigger storehouses for his wealth, but that same night the Grim Reaper came calling as he generally does rather unexpectedly. And what did the rich fool leave with eh? Nothing! 

And neither did he have anything stored in heaven, because in his earthly life, he was not rich towards God. So all his earthly work, progress, growth and possessions turned out to be of absolutely no use to him. My people, please let’s learn from his story nuh, and be wise and be rich towards God in our earthly lives. That’s wisdom to the nth degree!Much LOVE!

…earthly things are nice…but heavenly ones look better and last longer… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 August 2020 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.     ​If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

And it looks like it’s going to rain… Yeh it looks like it’s going to rain today… Oh my brethren, have you ever realised that even if our circumstances are good, when you awaken to a dark and cloudy, rain-like morning, like today, that your soul sort of automatically goes in to a ‘saddish’ sort of mood? But when you awaken to a bright and sunshiny day, even when your circumstances are not the best, your soul seems to react more positively, it sparkles and is joyfully uplifted! (smile) 

I think that’s because the Lord created our souls to process light positively, not darkness and gloom. And that’s why He sent His only Son Jesus Christ to sacrifice His sinless life for us; that despite all the darkness of this evil world, we could always have sunshine in our souls, as our sins are forgiven, we’ve become reconciled to the Father once again and heaven is our future home, with eternal life guaranteed. Let’s remember that today friends as we voyage out into the world to do Jesus’ work. And that’s my penny’s worth for this morning. (smile) 

So since it’s Friday… and I do hope that the fellow who didn’t want to rejoice yesterday because it was Thursday, is still alive and kicking and rejoicing today, the day he believes ought to be celebrated, and that the Lord didn’t call him home during the night, like He did the rich fool who only wanted to build his barns bigger so he could store more, and was not rich towards God. ‘But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee:’ (Luke 12:20) So when will you rejoice again eh? (smile) 

Yeh friends, it only means that we should never forget to be rich towards our great God, refusing at no time to rejoice and give Him the thanks and praise to which He’s due. Now how did we get here eh? (smile) Oh, there’s nothing wrong with a li’l levity, especially in disturbing times like these. But before we run out of space and time, let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say this morning nuh. 

And he waxes philosophical: ‘Well, well, well! If it isn’t Friday! Now I can truly shout, TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the restful weekend is here at last! There’s no day in our society like Friday! We look forward to it with a sense of rejoicing. Yes, because it promises a glorious two days away from hard labour; two days of rejoicing or sleeping or just doing nothing; two days when you can take control of your own life – that’s to the extent that that’s possible in the autocratic society in which we live. 

But gee…is the populace ever happy when Friday comes! And I remember hearing when it wasn’t so at all, when you had to labour seven days straight without a day off! Hn! And if you give the greedy slave masters and them the chance, they’d likely go right back to that. But over my dead body…and those of my fellow workers! Man wasn’t born to be slaves to work, but to enjoy the fruit of his labour, and how can you enjoy the fruit of your labour when you don’t have any time off to enjoy it eh? That’s why we’ll keep on joyfully shouting: ‘Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

And is the ordinary workingman ever full of surprises! You never know what gems of wisdom he’ll come up with each week from his humble position. Now why can’t we saints of Christ have that same joyful, do or die attitude as we step out each day to do Jesus’ work eh? And not the attitude like it’s oh so hard, like pulling teeth without anaesthetic, like making fire in cold weather from two pieces of dry sticks. Ah mih people, what’s our Saviour Jesus going to do with us eh?  Let’s remember the terms of our discipleship nuh. ‘If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ (Luke 9:23) 

Please note the importance of that word ‘daily’ – meaning ‘every day’ – not when we feel like! Are we doing that to the best of our ability my people? I doubt it, else our world would not be in the unrighteous and unholy mess that it’s in. Let’s not forget these words of Christ either. ‘For whosoever will (desires to) save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose (loses) his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged (benefitted), if he gain the whole world, and lose himself (is destroyed), or be cast away (lost)? (Luke 9:24-25) Those are just some good questions for us to ponder this weekend my fellow saints in Christ. 

Now let’s turn to our wonderful God in sincere prayer, releasing our Friday Chant in strong voice, with humble hearts. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And having prayed that prayer, we now need to go out and indeed show that we are faithful believers, and stand strong and steadfast in trusting faith! Much LOVE!

…whosoever doth not bear his cross…and come after me…cannot be my disciple… (Luke 14:27)  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 February 2020 Proverbs 27:1.

Proverbs 27:1.    ​Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring.

 

And yuh see how life could turn back and bite yuh! Yes, for all of you in the G.T.A, who were crowing yesterday morning because you didn’t have to go to work, yuh see the dangerous and messy conditions you have to go out in today…the white enemy all over, after a heavy snowfall last night! Serve yuh right for lording it over those who had to go and labour yesterday! (smile) 

Ah friends, it’s just another winter’s day in the northern climes, and as you valiantly forge through it, you must have a good attitude, laugh and chuckle, hope for and think of the sunshine and good weather that soon come, otherwise it’s just going to drive you crazy, as you slip and slide through it. You might not like the snow, but the wise thing to do is to mentally embrace it, with Jesus’ help of course, so you’re not always flustered and bothered when you encounter it. 

Yes, that can be easier said than done, but like everything else in this world, we have been endowed with the parts to live a pleasant and abundant life, we just have to put our best foot forward in Jesus’ name. And all of that brings us to this ever so important principle of scripture and life in general. Hear these immortal, truthful and wise words of Cousin Sol. ‘Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring.’ 

And Jesus described it ever so well in the parable of the rich fool, who had so much wealth and not enough space to store it, that he decided to tear down all and build bigger and better… ‘and there will I bestow (store) all my fruits (crops) and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.’ (Luke 12:18-19) Yes my brethren, that’s how too many of us behave, believers included. We live too much for the world’s wealth and pretty but worthless possessions. 

And Jesus continued His parable with these words of everlasting wisdom. ‘But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?’ Yeh friends, for the lawyers and other professionals involved in the tremendous and foolish litigation that will follow his death! We see that played out everyday in the lives of the rich and famous: somebody is never satisfied with their portion of the estate, or unhappy that they didn’t get any. 

And the warning is also in the Old Testament. In 1 Kings 20, when Ben-hadad, king of Syria, threatened Ahab, king of Israel to destroy Samaria unless he gave up his wealth and power voluntarily, Ahab answered: ‘Tell him, let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off.’ (1 Kin. 20:11) Yes my people, we never know what’s going to happen in between time. And Ben-hadad in his righteous anger was defeated by Israel, obviously with God’s help, when he finally came against them. 

But getting back to Jesus’ parable of the rich fool. Here is how He ended it. ‘So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’ (Luke 12:21) And the scholars explain: ‘12:21. Here Jesus brings out the meaning of verses 16-20. Notice that what Jesus calls for follows quite logically out of His own example (2 Cor.8:9), as well as out of God’s graciousness toward all who seek Him (Rom.10:12). Jesus is thus not speaking of a pay-as-you-go faith, but of participation in a relationship in which God already provides what He wishes His people to give back to Him.’ 

Oh my people, remember all that we have belongs to God, and we’re just stewards of His belongings, so it’s rather boldfaced of us to think that we’re giving Him our things. (smile) Anyway, we have space to highlight those two scriptures the scholars quote above. ‘For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.’ (2 Cor. 8:9) Yes, when coming to sacrificial LOVE, Jesus is the poster child for that, the mightiest example to be ever found! 

And the next verse declares (yeah!): ‘For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.’ (Rom.10:11-12) I put in verse 11 so that the context could be better understood, that our God is rich in mercy, grace, forgiveness, what ever have you, towards all and any that call on Him, in sincerity of heart, be they Jew or Gentile! So it doesn’t make sense for us to become so attached to the things of the world, as so many of us are. 

Now hear James theorize on the subject: ‘Go to (come) now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain (make a profit): Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this or that. But now ye rejoice (boast) in your boastings (arrogance): all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.’ (James 4:13-17) 

And the scholars offer a couple of explanations. ‘4:15. This, or that: This verse teaches that God does have something for Christians to do and that they should plan accordingly. James condemns only elaborate planning that omits God (cf. Prov. 16:9).’ ‘4:17. To do good here requires including God in one’s plans. Omitting God is not merely bad planning; it is sin.’ Now if all of that doesn’t grab our attention and teach us not leave God out of any of our business, then I don’t know what will. (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are! In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, 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 the end goal is to now go out and share that wonderful friendship and amazing LOVE with those who don’t know Him! Much LOVE!

…a man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way…but the Lord directeth his steps… (Prov.16:9)

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now let’s go home declaring (yes!) our Thursday Blessings. In full voice and strong belief: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And please remember, those wonderful blessings haven’t been given to us to selfishly hoard, but to go out and share with the less fortunate…generously…and with the right motive in our hearts! Much LOVE!

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