Today’s Scrip-Bit   4 October 2021 Matthew 6:24b.

Matthew 6:24b.     Ye cannot serve God and mammon (riches).

The grace and peace of Christ Jesus be unto you, my fellow believers, on this wet and windy Monday morning in early October of this confusing and crazy year of 2021! And the universe is moving along as it should, under the ever-watchful eye of its magnificent and majestic Creator, Almighty God! We know that nothing happens in the universe unless He sets it in motion, or allows it, for whatever reason He sees fit. 

So, ours is not to reason or wonder why, but just to do His bidding and hope not to die without receiving Christ Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. That says it all friends: our earthly responsibility is to believe in Christ and live a life that is worthy of Him. When we do that, when we make it our first priority, then everything else falls into place. Like Jesus said: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) 

That’s a faithful promise. Anytime you concentrate on living for Christ, the Lord will take care of all your needs. Bruh Paul emphasized that in his letter to the Philippians. ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:19) Yes, my faithful brethren, when we are faithful to God, He is also faithful to us. He sees the sacrifices and hardships we endure for His name’s sake and will meet our need according to His riches. 

The scholars tell us: ‘that is, in proportion to His unlimited resources. He will meet our needs in glory, that’s ‘gloriously, in a splendid manner, by Christ Jesus.’ What more can we ask for eh? Not a whole lot! However, with that scripture, we must remember that the Good Book is speaking primarily of needs, of the necessities for living, not our fleshly and lustful wants or desires. 

There can be a big difference between needs and wants, especially in this ever so materialistic and ungodly world. And that’s why Jesus also made it clear that ‘No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and LOVE the other; or else he will hold to (be loyal to) the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (riches).’ (Matt. 6:24) And that’s just a simple fact of nature, of logic, my brethren. You cannot run after two things with the same intensity at the same time, one of them will inevitably suffer. 

Now hear the scholars explain that verse. ‘6:24. This kind of spiritual double vision causes one to believe that he can serve two masters. Total loyalty to God cannot be divided between Him and loyalty to one’s own material possessions. A master is a lord or an owner. That God claims total lordship over His own is obvious in this passage. Therefore, Jesus rightly proclaimed, Ye cannot serve God and mammon. The term ‘mammon’ is derived from the Aramaic term for possessions or wealth. Jesus is not condemning money or possessions in and of themselves, but the improper attitude of enslavement toward wealth.’ 

And sadly, our world today, is maximizing the promotion of total enslavement to wealth and possessions, causing us to strive after money as the goal of life. That’s why these times are so ungodly. No wonder Bruh Paul cautioned Timothy. ‘For the LOVE of money is the root of all (kinds) of evil; which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith (for which some in their greediness have strayed from the faith), and pierced themselves through with many sorrows (caused themselves to be ruined).’ (2 Tim. 6:10) 

Remember, Ye cannot serve God and mammon. So, if we are serving mammon to such a great extent, it’s obvious that God will be left far behind, in the lurch, in the dust. And where does that leave us eh friends? In a tough situation. But, as strong and confident Christians, ambassadors of Christ, we will not give up, but keep fighting to get others to come to Jesus, by living godly and righteous lives, and letting His awesome light shine through us, as we cover the earth with His salt. (smile) 

For isn’t that how He referred to us? ‘Ye are the salt of the earth… Ye are the light of the world… Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:13a, 14a, 16) And that takes us right back to what we said at the beginning; ours is just to receive Christ and do the Father’s bidding. But unfortunately, we are not doing that as much as we ought to, and that’s why the enemy is in ascendance right now in the world; why the LOVE for money, power and material possessions is so great, and the desire for the things of God way down on the totem pole. 

However, today is as good a day as any other to take the bull by the horns and begin to turn things around. And prayer is where we begin; it’s always the place to start. So, let’s go confidently to the throne of grace for help, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, in this our desperate time of need. Altogether now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. 

We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

And please remember my fellow saints, that the answers to our prayer all hinge on our sincerity, humility, repentance and truly seeking God’s face. Much LOVE!

…it’s much wiser to store treasure in heaven…where it cannot rot or be stolen…than down here on earth…where it rots and is continually stolen… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 July 2021 Matthew 19:26.

Matthew 19:26.      With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Welcome to laziness day – Saturday! Yes, after a hard work week of slogging back and forth in the rush hour traffic, many of us just want to sleep in and get up leisurely, under our own steam, not to the maddening cry of some alarm clock or radio, as happens five days a week.

Now that was the pre-pandemic picture, but what’s happened or is currently happening eh? Are we seeing a different, or new normal? Many of us had no jobs to go to during the raging storm of the virus, so we got accustomed to sleeping in late several days of the week.

But since the lifting of most of the tougher lockdown regulations, some of us have gone back to the nine to five routine. I wonder how we are handling it, after all that free time at home? It must be taking some getting used to. (smile) It’s surprising how habits formed over many years, can be unlearned or cast aside in a short space of time. And how difficult it can be to relearn them. But fear not! We are the children of the Most High God Jehovah, that means we can do anything that’s within His will, for nothing is impossible to Him! All glory to God! 

That brings us to Jesus’ interaction with the rich young ruler who came seeking eternal life. When Jesus told him to keep the commandments, he said he was already doing that, but figured he lacked something. (Matt. 19:16-20) ‘Jesus then said unto him, If thou wilt be (want to be) perfect, go and sell (all) that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.’ (Matt. 19:21) 

Now that must have been like a powerful punch to the gut of the young man. For the Good Book continues: ‘But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.’ (Matt. 19:22) And many of us supposed believers scoff at the young man, but in his position all of us would have felt the same way, because it is indeed difficult to give up wealth. But Jesus was trying to show the man that although he did the outward duties, there was a problem with his inner nature. 

Yes friends, the worldly concern with wealth seriously affects our relationship with God. As Bruh Paul wrote to Timothy. ‘For the LOVE of money is the root of all (kinds of) evil, which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.’ (1 Tim, 6:10) And is that ever the living truth my brethren! 

Money and wealth or material possessions in themselves are not terrible, but it’s the insatiable LOVE for them that gets us into trouble. So much so that our greed is usually our downfall. When we strive after the riches of this world, we usually end up in trouble, for they do not allow us to take God seriously or move in the direction of His august and awesome plan for our lives. 

No wonder Jesus made these eye-opening statements to the disciples. ‘Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ (Matt. 19:23) Meaning that it was, or is hard, extremely difficult, for a rich man to enter heaven. And the disciples most likely looked at Christ in amazement, with their tongues hanging out of their mouths, for back then it was generally understood that it was the rich who got to heaven easily because they were blessed by God and in some sense, automatically saved. 

But Jesus corrected that misunderstanding by telling them that it was very hard for the rich to be converted, born again and be saved, because of their innate affection for their material wealth, though it was not altogether hopeless. That led Him to make this statement which has caused controversy from the time He spoke it until now. ‘And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.’ (Matt. 19:24) 

Mama Yo! What a statement! And ‘When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?’ (Matt. 19:25) Now that’s a very good question my brethren? But let’s focus for a moment on what Jesus meant when He said those controversial words. 

The scholars tell us thus: ‘The illustration of a camel going through the eye of a needle has been interpreted as a camel-hair rope going through a needle; or an actual camel squeezing through a small gate, in particular, the one called “The Eye of the Needle” next to the main gate at Jerusalem, or the absolute impossibility of a literal camel actually going through a tiny needle’s eye. This last usage is most likely.’ 

And, considering Jesus’ next pronouncement, that seems to make sense. ‘But Jesus beheld them (the disciples), and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:26) I guess He was trying to bring home to them, to open up their young minds to the true and awesome power that their God possessed. So powerful was He, that He could even make a large unwieldly and ungainly camel go through the small eye of a needle. And believe me friends, our God can do it! And until we truly believe that He has such awesome power, we will continue to sell Him, and consequently our faith and ourselves short! 

Oh precious people, if God could create this magnificent universe and all therein, then make Jesus come down to earth, be born of a virgin, with no man’s help, then do all kinds of miracles while being sinless here on earth. And eventually sacrifice His sinless life on the cross for us, pay for our sins and reconcile us to Himself, then have Him ascend back into heaven, and send His Holy Spirit to dwell within us, to lead and guide us, why can’t He do such a simple thing as make a camel go through the eye of a needle eh? (smile) 

Seriously though friends, in light of all we have heard and seen our God do, we still don’t believe His omnipotence as we ought to. I guess that’s because of our small, finite minds, they are simply unable to grasp the true magnitude of our great God. But please, let’s keep on trying. The worst thing we could ever do is to stop believing in Him, to give up on Him. Much LOVE!

..our God can do…whatever needs to be done…or undone…because He is the eternal Creator…                                  

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