Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 October 2019 Matthew 16:24.

Matthew 16:24.     If any man will come after (follow) me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.
 

It’s a somewhat damp and foggy Tuesday morning in my neck of the woods, so please be careful all you who have to get out on the road, because you know the kind of craziness that exists on our roadways these days. If you can wait until the fog lifts, please do so. And today we’re going to look at a very interesting quote from one of the leading Protestant Theologians of our age, Jurgen Moltman (1926) of the German Reformed Church. And the quote says: ‘The more passionately we LOVE life, the more intensely we experience the joy of life.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth friends! When we’re passionate about life, or anything really, we enjoy the experience that thing brings more than if we’re not passionate about it. And there’s nothing to be more passionate about than the LOVE of God and the LOVE of life! Unfortunately though, too many of us have lost the passion we once had for real life and for God, and instead have embraced the unrealistic, soul destroying, short-lasting and unproductive passion for worldly stuff. We have to remember that life is not, and will never be completely smooth sailing, but a combination of storms and calms, highs and lows, and ‘choosing to live life on its terms brings enthusiasm and passion into our experiences. Our decision to LOVE life – despite the highs and lows – allows us to delight in the highs and to accept the lows as unavoidable, but momentary setbacks.’ 

Yeh friends, as someone once said, ‘setbacks are only opportunities in disguise.’ Therefore, though we may not like them, and they may prove to be difficult and frustrating, we still need to embrace them as important aspects of our lives, because we know that it is only through setbacks and adversity that we truly grow. We can’t hide from the difficult things, or those we don’t like, else we’ll never know or experience the true fullness and joy of life. Those who are passionate and enthusiastic about life, despite its many shortcomings, are the ones who rise to the top of the enjoyment heap. (smile) 

And the BEST way to handle life’s ups and downs is through the acceptance of Jesus Christ in our everyday lives! If you didn’t know that before, then you know it now! (smile) Oh my people, with Jesus as the mainstay, the mainmast, the pilot of our lives, we can remain calm through every storm, and handle every high and low with equanimity. But only the LOVE and acceptance of Jesus enables us to have those wonderful qualities! And why is that eh? Because when Jesus enters into our hearts and lives He puts the power of His Holy Spirit to dwell within us, and it’s that Holy Spirit that leads and guides, teaches and convicts, comforts and LOVES us, so that we can handle whatever comes against us with a good and sane attitude. 

Now, before we go any further, let’s make one thing real clear; following Jesus is wonderful, but it’s not always easy! And unless you’re ready to truly hunker down and do what He asks, then you’ll find yourself frustrated and unhappy from the very get go. So let’s look at some of the important but difficult stuff that Jesus laid out for His followers. The first and most important, but also most difficult requirement is laid down in these words of our Lord and Saviour to the disciples. ‘If any man will come after (follow) me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.’ That statement there usually stops many of us right in our tracks! The idea of denying ourselves and taking up a cross doesn’t sit well with any of us, but to follow Jesus they are necessary prerogatives. 

And here’s what the scholars have to say about it. ‘16:22-28. Deny himself, that is, refuse his own claims upon himself. Take up: The meaning is “lift up.” It is a stronger word than that used in 10:38, and implies a lifting up of the cross on high, so that all may see it. This is the strongest statement in the New Testament about the disciple’s need to crucify himself, by yielding to the claims of Christ’s lordship over him.’ Ah mih people, although it seems like we’re asked to give up so much for Christ, the reality is that we get back much much more than we give up when we’re steadfast and sincere. 

Now here’s what I LOVE about Jesus; He can give you comfort at the same time as promising adversity. Listen to Him to the disciples, and consequently to all His future followers. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Oh glory be my faithful brethren! What a mighty promise! The world is full of trials and tribulation, but when we embrace Jesus, we can have His peace! And what kind of peace is that? Listen to Jesus again: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

And hear how Bruh Paul describes that peace to the Philippians nuh. ‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) And what kind of peace is all of that? The scholars explain: ‘4:7. The peace of God is that tranquility of mind freeing the believer from fear and worry. “Peace” which passeth all understanding means (1) peace divinely bestowed in times of anxiety, so wonderful that it exceeds one’s ability to understand it; and (2) God’s peace far surpassing one’s own understanding of the problem, and his ability to cope with and solve it.’ 

Yeh friends, when you walk sincerely with Jesus, ALL bases are covered! That’s not say you won’t have problems and face adversity, but you will be able to handle them with the awesome help of the Holy Spirit! Wow! Now, for those of us who truly believe and try to be faithful, let’s go home lifting up our crosses high, so the whole world can 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!’ 

So let’s go out and do exactly that nuh my faithful brethren, as it behooves us as true followers of Christ. Much LOVE!

…to walk with Christ…is to walk in true peace…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 May 2019 Philippians 1:10.

Philippians 1:10. That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ.

 

Blame it on the rain! Yes friends, we can blame my late arising on the rain…well partly, because I went to bed around 3 a.m and could not fall asleep for a little while. But I was up earlier on…and then I heard the soothing sounds of the rain falling outside, and entranced by it, I rolled over – mind you, just for a minute more, to enjoy its delicious flavour… And wonder of wonders, it lulled me back to sleep! Now that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it! (smile) 

And since we’re already late, let’s get straight to our Saturday theme, looking at quotes our friend Anselm sent us during this past week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘Well-being can only happen from within you.’ 

That’s a fact! Regardless of our outer circumstances, be they good or bad, that sense of satisfaction, of happiness, if you will, can only come from within us. Just look at all the wealthy and powerful people who lack inner contentment nuh. And then there are so many poor who have it. It’s all because of how we view our circumstances and handle them. And obviously with Jesus as your Guiding Light, you’ll do even better. 

Then there’s this: ‘Are you riding the wave of life or are you being crushed by it?’ Now that’s a very good question my people! Are we handling life like an animal trainer handles unruly animals; with confidence and strength, but also with some compassion? I assure you that if you don’t take a tight hold on the reins of life, it will take a tight hold on you, for life is advantageous, and will never miss a chance to put you down. 

So it’s our responsibility to do like Portia, and stand up strong and face life. And there I’m talking about an old radio drama from way back when, called ‘Portia Faces Life.’ And unless you’re up there in age, and possibly come from T&T, most of you won’t know it, but in the days before television down there, it was real popular, like the soaps we have nowadays, and it just became a cliché for standing up and facing life head on. 

Consequently, ‘If you have a strong purpose in life, you don’t have to be pushed. Your passion will drive you there.’ That’s true to a great extent. Usually your passion will push you forward if it’s in agreement with your purpose. But for many of us, our purpose and passion often don’t gel. Let’s say the Lord calls you to do one thing, but you have a passion for something else. 

And I’m a perfect example of that! My passion was never to write scriptural stuff, to write yes, but not write on the scriptures. However God seems to have made that my purpose and so I had to develop a passion for it. Now it comes almost naturally. We’ve got to get our ying and yang lined up before we can make real progress. 

And let’s not forget those memorable words attributed to Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933), the 30th President of the U.S.A, serving from 1923-1929. He reputedly said: ‘Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.’ Take from that what you will, but it’s gospel truth! (smile) 

And our final quote from our friend Anselm wisely advises us to ‘Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.’ And is that ever so true, especially in this new world, where mediocrity is seen as something so great, where you have so many superstars! We use the word super for every li’l foolishness or person doing really mediocre stuff nowadays. 

The age of celebrity attention is hard upon us, and the sad fact is that most of these supposed celebrities and supposed superstars don’t know their ‘A’ from their ‘E.’ They have no class whatsoever! Yuh see how they dress? Sloppy and dirty! But that’s style! Utter Foolishness! And they don’t know how to behave either. Just look at the sad, uninviting spectacles of so many of their lives! 

And sadly these are the very people that we have our very culpable children looking up to as heroes and mentors! Steups! And then we wonder why our children turn out so wishy washy and spineless! Ask any of them about any of the new fads on social media, or about social media itself, and they can answer you in an instant! But ask them anything about God, and they don’t have a clue! 

And who’s to blame? We the parents because we have given up our God-given responsibility to train up our children in a godly atmosphere and have allowed the world and all its evil perpetrators to bring them up instead. And then we wonder why we have so many li’l demons and devils on our hands! And if you don’t believe me, then go take a look in the mirror! (smile) 

But this sad state of affairs is very near and dear to my soul, and it just hurts my heart to see the way our society, our young people are falling lower and lower in everything. What use to be a ‘C’ mark in our days, is now and ‘A’, so how can our society be improving eh, if our standards keep falling eh? 

However, when we sincerely decide to partner with Jesus, then our behaviour, etc, etc, has to be excellent, because that’s all He deals in! Listen to what Bruh Paul told the Philippians in talking to them about thanksgiving and prayer. ‘That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.’ (Phil.1:10-11) 

Yeh friends, as true believers we have to pay serious attention to things that really matter, the vital and worthwhile things in Jesus’ realm, not the trivial things of the world! That means we need to have diligence and excellence as our goals, because that’s what Jesus expects of us! 

Hear how Cousin Sol puts it nuh as he calls us to wisdom. ‘O ye simple, understand wisdom (prudence): and, ye fools, be of an understanding heart. Hear; for I speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things. For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing forward (crooked) or perverse in them.’ (Prov.8: 5-8) 

Now, if the wisest man ever said that, who are we to doubt him eh? (smile) Oh my people, there is much truth in the saying that while there is life, there is always hope, so please, I implore us, let’s never give up trying to right our wrong world nuh! We’ve already made a mess of it, but we can’t afford to let it fall any further into the mire of evil and despair. So with Jesus’ help, let’s stand up strong and do some cleaning up nuh! It will benefit everybody! Much LOVE!

…it warms the cockles of Jesus’ heart…when He sees us…exhibiting diligence and excellence…in His name…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 20 April 2019 John 3:3.

John 3:3.   ​Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (or from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.
 
Rain, rain go away, come again some other day! Chuh! I like rain, but after experiencing it for my last three days in Tobago then coming back home to it, it’s become a tad much. And the warnings of extensive flooding don’t help. But how to keep us happy eh? 

When we have a lot of sunshine, and it’s hot, we complain. A lot of cold and snow also cause bitter mutterings. And we don’t like it much when it rains on our parade either. (smile) And when you’re sick and feeling lousy, like I am, that state of affairs doesn’t help matters either. So I guess there’s just no pleasing us and we just have to learn to live with whatever Mother Nature supplies. End of story! (smile) 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. But first let me apologize for a typo in yesterday’s Bit. I talked about Peter cutting off the high priest’s ear; it was actually the servant of the high priest’s ear he cut off. 

I knew that very well and it was what I intended to write, but somehow or the other didn’t write that. And you can imagine my disgust when a friend wrote and pointed it out to me because I don’t like to make mistakes in the Bit. But I guess that only shows I’m human and thus not infallible. (smile) 

And the first quote says: ‘If you have a strong purpose in life, you don’t have to be pushed. Your passion will drive you there.’ I guess there is much truth to that statement as passion is usually a driving force in our lives.

However, passion alone will not bring us to our destiny, we need other things like wisdom, knowledge, help and perseverance. In other words, blood, sweat and tears must be combined with our passion to provide success! (smile) 

And that segues in nicely to this other quote: ‘You’ve been given the innate power to shape your life…but you cannot just speak change, you have to LIVE change. Intent paired with action builds the bridge to success. You can’t just want it; you have to do it, live it…BE it! Success isn’t something you have; it’s something you DO!’ 

Ah friends, we see there it’s all about the doing, the living, the action! We just can’t sit on our fannies and expect things to change or our lives to be good because we wish it or talk about it. Yes, there is power in our words, but that power needs to drive us to action, to actually doing something to bring about the changes we desire! 

But then we come to this quote that appears to throw a spanner in our wheel: ‘Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.’ So true, so true my people! Whatever we try to do, be it good, bad, or indifferent, things rarely run as smoothly as they should, or as we expect them to. 

But that’s just life! Life that seems to take pleasure in mucking up our best efforts! But that’s where things like patience, perseverance, ‘stick-to-it tiveness,’ and don’t give up come in! And as true believers in Christ, we all know that giving up is not in our vocabulary.

Remember Jesus said that we’d have problems in this evil and ungodly world, but we can handle them with grace and a smile, because He’s already overcome the world. (John 16:33) 

Now here is the last quote: ‘We all have two lives. The second one starts when we realize we only have one.’ And isn’t that the awesome truth my fellow believers? We have one life when we’re born of our mother’s womb, and then a second when we’re born of the Holy Spirit which brings us into serious communication and an intimate relationship with Almighty God! 

Jesus said it quite plainly to the Pharisee Nicodemus who came by night to enquire about Jesus’ awesome power and works. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (or from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ 

Yes friends, to be included in the heavenly realm we all need to be born again of the Spirit as Jesus also told Nicodemus, when, in his confusion, he asked about entering his mother’s womb a second time.

‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.’ (John 3:5-7) 

And the scholars provide this interesting explanation: ‘3:3. Verily, verily (lit. “amen, amen”) occurs only in John’s gospel, and then always for emphasis. Born again may be translated either “again” or “from above.”

Perhaps both ideas should be combined here, to indicate the repetition of an act from another source. John might have said “again” had he wished to indicate repetition of an act from the same source. Only John uses this expression in the gospels. 

This concept of the New Birth includes these implications: (1) It undercuts Jewish dependence on being sons of Abraham (cf. 8:39). (2) It reveals that there must be a work of God “from above” since the Jews considered children (new births) to be God’s blessing. (3) It teaches the necessity of a new beginning.’ 

Yes my brethren, to be able to enter God’s kingdom a spiritual rebirth is absolutely necessary. But it’s also very simple. All we have to do is to believe that Christ died for us on Good Friday, as we commemorated yesterday. And then that He rose triumphantly from the dead and the grave, as we will celebrate tomorrow on Easter Sunday! 

Oh my people, there’s no better time to give our lives to Christ than RIGHT NOW! So let’s BE BORN AGAIN nuh, at this most exciting and emotional time of Easter, as we celebrate Christ’s total victory, His complete annihilation of the evil enemy Satan, ruler of hell, death and the grave! All Heaven will rejoice if we do! Much LOVE!

…eternal spiritual life…calls for spiritual rebirth today…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2018 Matthew 7:20.

Matthew 7:20.   Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
 
Aye friends, the ole fella is somewhat listless and lethargic this Saturday morning yes! And the aches and pains not helping the situation either nuh. But yuh know what, we not giving in to the feelings today. The aches and pains might slow us down some, but we not stopping. Remember the race is not for the swift but for the sure of foot, and yuh better believe when I plant my big feet down they stay down! (smile) 

Yeh, it’s just one of those days; the weather doesn’t look good, the body doesn’t feel good, but GOD IS GREAT! That’s something we can always count on, for He has said so in the promises of His Word, and His Word does not lie! Give Him some thanks and praise my people! 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week in his noble attempt to aspire us to a better tomorrow. And this one jumps right out at me today: ‘You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.’ Wow! That’s gospel truth! For none of us can do it all ourselves. As they say, no man is an island. The Lord made us to fellowship with each other and to help each other, not to be single and all sufficient in our selves. 

And on that point, hear what the Good Book says: ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves: but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor.3:5) Now that says it all! 

And this next quote also points directly to God: ‘Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.’ You do have all of that, but only if God is sincerely in your efforts! 

Now listen to this one: ‘It is possible to become discouraged about the injustice we see everywhere. But God did not promise us that the world would be humane and just. He gives us the gift of life and allows us to choose the way we will use our limited time on earth. It is an awesome opportunity.’ 

Yes friends, it is an awesome opportunity we’ve been given to live for Jesus on this earth. And to use that opportunity properly, we need to remember these two scriptures. In the immortal words of Bruh David: ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.’ (Ps.34:8) And also: ‘The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.’ (Ps.145:9) 

It’s all about our heavenly Father my people! And this quote exemplifies that: ‘We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.’ That goes right back to the first quote, we can’t be successful on our own, for success means taking others on that journey with us, both individually and communally! That’s how the Lord designed it! 

And this last quote covers them all: ‘When we are really honest with ourselves we must admit our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines the kind of people we are.’ And today I want to focus on that last line; how we live our lives determines the kind of people we are. 

Yeh friends, we can live our lives like the Pharisees did, outwardly showy and hypocritical, or like Jesus recommended, honest and truly considerate of others. For as He says: ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.’ Yes friends, by our deeds we shall be known. And hear some deep insights of Jesus on the subject of how men live their lives. 

First off, He states very clearly: ‘A good tree cannot bring forth evil (bad) fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.’ (Matt.7:18) And that’s not rocket science, just plain, basic logic. Then Jesus lays it out in plain terms: ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt.15:11) 

Oh friends, I hope we understand that. We can’t bear good fruit unless what is in us and what comes out of us is good! What’s in our hearts determines the kind of people we’ll be! 

Hear Jesus again: ‘Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out (eliminated) into the draught (body waste)? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt.15:17-20) 

Yeh friends, that whole argument began when the Pharisees complained that the disciples were eating with unwashed hands, which they considered a big thing. But Jesus, as usual set them right. And in Matthew 23, (please read it) He really lambastes the Pharisees, who looked real good on the outside but were dirty as hell on the inside! 

And we’ll end with this description: ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres (white washed tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness).’ (Matt.23:27-28) 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ’23:27-33. Whited sepulchres: Since contact with a dead body rendered a person unclean according to the Mosaic Law, graves were customarily painted white to make them conspicuous and give the opportunity of avoiding contact with them.’ 

Oh friends, please let us live lives that will not cause those unpleasant comparisons to be said of us nuh. Instead let us be good and uncorrupted trees, so that we can bear good fruit in Jesus’ name and make a productive difference in the lives of those around us. Much LOVE!

…whatsoever is in our heart…will undoubtedly manifest itself in our outward behaviour…that’s why we need a clean heart to live for Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 October 2018 Matthew 5:13a & 14a.

Matthew 5:13a & 14a.     Ye are the salt of the earth… Ye are the light of the world…
 
And Saturday has dawned somewhat cloudy, chilly and damp from early evening drizzle. And in Mother Nature’s eccentric way, a lot of the trees that only two days ago I said were surprisingly still green, are now almost all golden yellow. She’s delivered the final message; it’s time to buckle down for the cold winter months ahead. And we, people of God, should also be heeding Mother Nature’s missive, because I believe we’ll be in for some rather tough times in the near future. 

And talking about tough times, I was negligent in mentioning Hurricane Michael that devastated parts of Florida a couple days ago. It came up suddenly, did, it’s dirty work and was gone again. Please let’s pray for those unfortunate people, and do whatever else we can to help them. But that might just be the pattern of natural disasters, or really any kind of disaster that might soon befall us. 

You’ll notice how disasters of all kinds have happened all over the world this year with surprising regularity. I don’t want to read too much into it, but friends, if we are wise, we will at least suspect the hand of our omnipotent God somewhere about in them, sending us a warning, to repent from our sinful ways. 

I don’t know if the world has ever been this evil, adding to the fact that we’re trying so desperately to oust God from our society. Do you think He’ll just sit quietly by and let it happen? I doubt it. But that’s just a word of warning to the wise. 

And since today is Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And first up is this: ‘All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.’ I’m not so sure about that nuh. 

Yes, life is indeed experimental; you have to try stuff to see if it works for you. But I truly wonder if the more experiments we try, the merrier, or better off we are? I think at some stage, when we find our true calling, that the experimenting must either cease or slow down. 

Then there is this: ‘A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.’ Now that’s basically true, but some will need a definition of wasting time before they agree, since to them doing nothing, is not always a waste of time, sometimes it can be a means of refreshing and renewing oneself. But generally speaking, just letting time fly by, and it does fly by, without doing positive and productive stuff, even if it’s simply regenerating oneself, isn’t a wise way to use it. 

Now hear this quote: ‘All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low.’ That makes sense. We can’t afford to be moving too often from top to bottom, because that just saps the energy and spirit of our souls. We need to try and establish a nice balance between the good times and the rough times, plus don’t stay down too long, or fly too high before we develop wings. (smile) 

And the last quote says: ‘My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.’ 

Now that is gospel truth my brethren! We were not placed down here to merely survive, to go about like ‘poor me ones,’ but to be salt and light and magnificent examples to the unbeliever: in other words to be excellent ambassadors of Christ. As Jesus so adamantly stated in His famous Sermon on the Mount: ‘Ye are the salt of the earth… Ye are the light of the world…’ 

Yes friends, that’s what Christ’s followers are expected to be; full of vim and vigour, showing their excellence in all matters, leading the parade in His name! Now are we leading the parade in Jesus’ name, my fellow believers? I don’t think so nuh, otherwise the evil-doers would not be having the upper hand in the world today, and we’d not be trying like hell to kick Christ out of our society. 

That just shows we’re not on top of things. We seem to be more like how Christ described flavourless salt: ‘but if the salt has lost his savour (flavour), wherewith (by what) shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden underfoot of men’ (Matt.5:13b) Likewise: ‘A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt.5:14b-15)  

Now if those two negative situations Jesus describes are true of us in these trying times, then it doesn’t speak well of us my believing brethren. And sadly, there is a whole lot of truth to it! Our efforts for Christ are simply not up to scratch; there are too many divisions, too much petty resentment and feuding between so-called believers, plus too much compromise with the heathen, and too much of just sitting on our laurels and figuring everything will just work itself out for good. 

No friends, winning souls for Christ, and the world for His LOVE Revolution WILL not happen without our saltiness and light blaring forth, dazzling the entire world! 

Now listen to Jesus final words on the subject. ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.5:16) 

Yes friends, that’s how true believers ought to be behaving, so that God can be glorified! Remember that’s our chief mission here on earth! So let’s pull up our socks and go out and do better for Jesus nuh mih breddren! Don’t you feel bad that we’re letting the world blaspheme His holy name and kick Him around like a bloody football, after all He’s done for us? We ought to! Much LOVE!

…if you’re not flavouring the world with your saltiness…and dazzling them with your light…then you’re a poor ambassador for Christ…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 October 2017 John 10:10.

John 10:10.   The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

And then the rains fell – soft and gentle upon the thirsty land. Oh friends, what a joy it is to see and hear the rain falling gently, especially when you’re lying in bed with your special someone beside you! (smile) 

Oh yes, the rain fell in my neighbourhood most of yesterday afternoon and last night. And thankfully it wasn’t a great flood-like outpouring of water, but a constant, steady drizzle that resembled a gentle caress rather than a fierce bear hug. 

And I believe both the land and its inhabitants benefit more from that type of rainfall than big, gushing streams of water all at once. 

Now here is a quote attributed to Jürgen Moltmann (April 8, 1926 -) a Reformed German theologian and Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at the University of Tübingen, Germany. 

He is most noted as a proponent of his “theology of hope” and for his incorporation of insights from liberation theology and ecology into mainstream Trinitarian theology. Whatever that means. (smile) 

But he is obviously a man of some learning and some importance in the church, and thus we should pay some attention to what he writes. ‘The more passionately we LOVE life, the more intensely we experience the joy of life.’ 

And that my people is gospel truth! The more we LOVE life, and throw ourselves into it, the greater joy we receive from it. It’s all about the passion we bring to whatever we do, especially the living of life itself! We can’t always hide from life, for that’s unhealthy. 

But as the devotion from our One More Day Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness tells us. It’s better to ‘live the drama, LOVE it, cry with it, and at times even hate it. Choosing to live life on its terms brings enthusiasm and passion into our experiences. 

Our decision to LOVE life – despite the highs and lows – allows us to delight in the highs and to accept the lows as unavoidable, but momentary setbacks. Although hiding from reality can sometimes insulate us from the pain, it also blinds us to the joys and wonderment of living fully.’ 

Now we all know that the basic philosophy of our Christian faith is to live life to the full, as Jesus our leader declares in our Bit. ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ 

And the only way to have a truly abundant life is by getting passionately involved with it, whether it be for good or for evil. 

Obviously it’s much better to live a passionate life entrenched in goodness, by being fully yoked to the aims and desires of Jesus Christ, so that we can enjoy all the good things, the wonderful rewards He has in store for those who sincerely believe in and work for Him. 

Unfortunately though my brethren, that passion for Christ that we’re talking about seems to be sadly lacking in His church these days. 

A handful of us might be showing such passion, but most of us are simply just plodding along, taking life as it comes, which we sometimes need to do, but generally speaking, not responding with the energy and enthusiasm we need to overcome it. 

Please note that Jesus didn’t just give us abundant life, He had to painfully earn if for us, by sacrificing His sinless self on the cross. So who are we now to just expect to go through life without any problems eh? 

Remember what Job said to his wife in the middle of his calamity? She said to him: ‘Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? Shall we receive (accept) good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil (accept calamity)? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.’ (Job 2:9-10) 

Yeh friends, it’s not easy to accept calamity with a smile, but when we look at the overall picture, sometimes we need to do it. We just cannot afford to let life dig us into a hole in both our circumstances and our emotions, because that’s a hole from which it is often very difficult to get out of. 

Now here’s an interesting explanation from the scholars on those two verses from Job. ‘2:9. Job’s wife suggested that Job do what Satan had predicted: curse God. After all she had been through, it is no wonder she was ready to give up all hope. 

But Job recognized that both good and evil come from God’s hand, though one by His active will and the other by His permissive will. God can permit evil things to happen for good ends (cf. Gen.50:19-20). In all this did not Job sin is proof enough that Satan was wrong and was sorely defeated. Satan does not appear in the book again.’ 

Good riddance! So friends, in general, what we bring to life, is what life gives to us. But at times, life can be quite contrary, so as believers, we need to stand strong and with the help of Jesus, fight life on our terms, not on his. And we can only do that when we bring a strong and passionate LOVE for Christ to the table. 

Now let’s go home declaring that passion we have for Jesus in our Tuesday Mantra. ‘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 that LOVE…with passion. Much LOVE, my faithful brethren in Christ!

…from today…I will be enthusiastic about life…regardless of what it brings…

 

 

 

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