Today​’s Scrip-Bit 13 March 2019 Matthew 19:21.

Matthew 19:21.   ​Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be (want to be) perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
 
What did the man say? ‘Fight one more round…just one more round…before giving up!’ Ah friends, that’s exactly what the ole fella’s doing; fighting one more round, as in going into the big city of T.O. for another medical appointment, and that’s also why he’s up so early writing the Bit! Aren’t you proud of him? I know you are! (smile) 

Yeh, it’s a pain in the rear end to be always going into the city for these medical appointments, but the long and short of the story is that they are for my benefit, not the doctors. So if I don’t go, who’s going to suffer eh? They might not even make less money since there are oodles of people lining up to see them. 

And today, in this season of Lent, where we all aspire to get more spiritual, (smile) we’ll look at an interesting situation in Jesus’ time that still holds good even today, and possibly more so than ever. It all begins with this quote from Uncle John (John Hagee), which says: ‘Your spiritual strength is measured not by what you can believe, but in what you can obey.’ Living truth that my people! Believing is easy, but obeying cuts right to the quick of our sinful hearts and desires! 

And we have a great example of that in the rich young ruler who came to Jesus asking about eternal life. The Good Book reports it thus: ‘And behold, one came and said unto him (Jesus), Good Master (Teacher), what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 

And he (Jesus) said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt (want to) enter into life, keep the commandments. He (the man) saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: And thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.’ (Matt.19:16-19) 

Now that’s standard fare for us all, the basic dictates of the Ten Commandments that the Lord gave to Moses on Mt. Sinai, for the Israelites and all those who believed in Him to follow. And the Good Book continues: ‘The young man saith unto him (Jesus), All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 

Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be (want to be) perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.’ (Matt.19:20-22) 

Ah friends, yuh see what we talking about? Spiritual strength is so much more than just believing! That young rich ruler believed, but he just couldn’t obey. Selling his many possessions and then giving away the resultant funds to the poor was just too much for him to handle. And so it is for many of us in today’s very materialistic society. We believers who are supposed to be in the world but not of the world, are too often caught up in those same very materialistic situations like that young man of old. 

And the scholars offer this insightful explanation. ‘19:18-22. This list of commands in verse 18 centres on outward duties, rather than inward nature, which was the young man’s real problem. He protests that he had kept these outward demands. His luxurious wealth and self-righteousness had blinded him to his real weakness. To expose this, Jesus orders, go and sell all your possessions and give to the poor…and come…follow me (v.21). 

This he would not do and went away sorrowful. Jesus thus shows him that he had not kept the commandments at all. He LOVED himself more than he LOVED his neighbour (the poor), and he LOVED his possessions more than he LOVED God (“me”). This passage teaches the seriousness of true discipleship, but it in no way teaches the average man that he must sell his possessions in order to be a Christian.’  

No friends, the average Joe does not have to give away all his stuff, but I’m sure that we’d all agree that there is certainly too much poverty in our society, when overall there is immense prosperity. This therefore means that too few have too much, and too many have too little. Consequently there needs to be a touch of equalization, where some of us who have a lot, give to those who don’t have much. 

And that was the original purpose of the church; to help those in need, as we see from Acts 2:44-45. ‘And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted (distributed) them to all men, as every man had need.’ 

Yes friends, I know the church was much smaller then and they could do that kind of communal living, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that the church today, meaning all of us believers, is definitely not as sympathetic and giving to the needy as Jesus would like us to be, because we are too attached to our earthly possessions. 

 Remember we are the hands and feet, the body of Jesus down here on earth, and whatever we do will reflect on Him. So for Jesus’ sake, my fellow believers, please, I implore us, let’s try and do better nuh. In this way, the world will have a much more accepting disposition to our Lord and Saviour and thus less souls will be lost to the enemy. 

Now let’s go home wailing our Wednesday Wail, telling all and sundry our sure-fire position in Christ. As one strong voice 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!’ 

Now that’s a future that none of us should  want to miss! Much LOVE!

…getting is very dependent on giving…you’ll get…as you give…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 December 2013 Psalm 89:1

Psalm 89:1.   I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.
 
Oh Friends, at last my neck of the woods has received its first big snowfall of the season! Granted, it’s not as big as some of those experienced up north, or in places like Dallas and Philly recently, but it’s certainly big enough to get me going. (smile)
 
You know we’ve become so spoiled over the last few years with comparatively small quantities of snow in the winter time, that when we do get a fairly large amount, some of us get sort of traumatized. (smile) But we need to remember that this is the North Country, good old Canada, where in these days of climate change, anything is possible.
 
And though the snow made the roads slippery and icy, people were still driving as though they were clean and dry. I guess there will always be the impetuous, impatient and foolish amongst us.
 
I drove my wife’s car instead of mine because hers has on snow tires and mine doesn’t, but I don’t know if that was any better, because I feel more comfortable in mine, and on two stretches of relatively clean, clear, straight road, not going very fast, I still had two small skids, possibly meaning that there was black ice on the road, although it looked okay.
 
And the amazing thing is that there were still oodles of vehicles on the road. One would think because it was Saturday, with not as many people having to go to work, and the snow still falling, the roads would be fairly empty. I was only out there because I had to be.
 
Anyway, enough of my rambling about the snow, for it’s still out there, it’s still mucho cold, and nothing I say or do will change that. (smile) So let’s turn to something that we have some say in, our Bit; most likely on its last legs today.
 
‘I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.’
 
Now that my Friends, is something we have much control over! And isn’t it just great to praise and worship our wonderful God, and tell others about Him? It sure is, especially on a Sunday when many of us gather in church to fellowship and sing His endless praises.
 
Oh my people, today when we raise our voices in praise and worship, let’s make it something extremely special nuh, let’s raise the roofs on our sanctuaries! Let the feeling of acclamation come truly from the depths of our souls!
 
Let’s get in agreement with the psalmist, Ethan the Ezrahite, as he proudly proclaims: ‘And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O Lord: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints. For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord?
 
Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord? God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had (held) in reverence of all them that are about him.’ (Ps. 89:5-7)
 
And in total agreement, all God’s people shouted a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord!’
 
Yes my Friends, there is NONE mightier or more worthy of praise than the ONE TRUE GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Creator and Controller of this mighty universe!
 
And there’s absolutely no doubt about that, for as John so wisely puts it: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.
 
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended (apprehended) it not.’ (John 1:1-5)
 
Ah mih breddren, what a magnificent description as it refers to Jesus and His relationship to Almighty God! No other supposed deity can lay claim to such fame, to such distinction! So please, my people, please let’s start paying Him the proper respect and reverence He so awesomely deserves nuh.
 
Not the wishy washy way too many of us currently behave towards our wonderful Lord and Saviour, who gave up His sinless life for us, so that we could be reconciled to the Father. That fact alone deserves undying gratitude and LOVE! 
 
And we’ll end with further proof and justification of His glorious majesty, through the words of His staunch disciple, Peter, as He calls for true and serious Christian dedication.
 
‘Seeing that ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned (sincere) LOVE of the brethren, see that ye LOVE one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible (perishable) seed, but of incorruptible (imperishable), by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
 
For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the Word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.’ (1 Pet.1:22-25)
 
Oh Friends, I can’t put it any better than that, so I won’t even try to clarify it. I’ll just say that it would be such a pleasure, such a motivating force, if more of us could truly rise up and give Jesus His just desserts; put Him first in ALL we do, with the awe and veneration that’s His rightful due. 
 
Then His church and His LOVE Revolution would surely grow by leaps and bounds, and consequently, our world would be a much better place to dwell.
 
Let’s ponder that today Friends, and for our children’s sake, put it into action, as soon as possible. Much LOVE!
 
…to all believers…this Christmas season…let’s truly show our LOVE and adoration for Jesus…let’s truly make Him NUMBER ONE…on all the earth…as well as in heaven…