Today’s Scrip-Bit   21 January 2023 Romans 12:17a.

Romans 12:17a.       Recompense to (repay) no man evil for evil…

‘Sunshine, lollipops and roses!’ Well, a half out of three isn’t bad. (smile) We’ve got a touch of sunshine. And the truth is, it’s not even true sunshine, but less cloud cover. But we’ll take it over some sort of precipitation and thoroughly dark clouds. And having lazed away my part of this lazy-Saturday morning, I’ll reluctantly turn my attention to the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And we’ll jump right into this first and ever so important one: ‘Forgive people in your life, even those who are not sorry for their actions. Holding on to anger only hurts you, not them.’ And sadly, that’s the bane of so many of us in this weak, fearful and ungodly world. We refuse to forgive those who have hurt us, thinking that we can do them something by withholding our forgiveness. 

But friends, the last laugh will always be on us. Why? Firstly, because those whom we refuse to forgive will most likely go about their business unconcerned, while we will be stewing in our hate, anger and resentment, making ourselves physically, emotionally and mentally sick. We must realize that basically, forgiveness is not for others, it’s for us, for our well-being. 

And the second foolish aspect of unforgiveness is what happens with God, when we don’t forgive. How did Jesus put it in His sample prayer: ‘Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ (Matt.6:11-12) Yes friends, that’s what we’re praying, for God to forgive us as we forgive others. 

So what does that mean eh? Jesus explains: ‘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 heavenly Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt. 6:14-15) That says it all right there my brethren. So please let’s forget this worldly nonsense about holding grudges and not forgiving, because we are only afflicting ourselves. 

Then there’s this quote: ‘Sometimes Those Trying To Bring You Down Don’t Know You’re Part Of The Reason They’re Still Standing.’ And isn’t that sometimes the awesome truth! So often our associates want to drag us down, or usurp our positions, but don’t realize that it’s because of us they are where they are, and without us they’d be nothing. 

And I guess the greatest example of that is the religious leaders of Israel who refused to accept Jesus and tried to railroad Him to His death, because they figured He would spoil the good thing they had going in the bowels of the Roman Empire. They didn’t realize that He was really the good thing that they needed, and He had come to save them. 

And unfortunately, it’s the same way with many of us; we resent and reject Jesus, but He’s the ONLY thing standing between us and eternal death and damnation. Please remember these ever so important words of Jesus: ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:17) And Jesus is indeed the ONLY reason why we are still standing! Please, let’s acknowledge that hard and true fact and behave accordingly. 

That leads us to the following quote: ‘A wise man once said, “Be careful who you let on your ship, because some people will sink the whole ship just because they can’t be the captain.’ Now isn’t that a glorious truth! And I can attest to that through personal experience over the years. The things some people would do for a li’l power is ofttimes surprising and unbelievable. They’d even torpedo their own livelihood just to be the boss. How foolish. But that’s the chain of foolishness and ignorance that Satan has some of us tied up in. 

Therefore,re we have to be very careful who we let into our lives, especially in these days of so many lies, deceit and fraud. Fraud is possibly the biggest crime going right now. And I just had one of those phone calls from one of the many current schemes that try to defraud you. And when you look at the missed calls, they are the same fraudulent schemers every day. They don’t seem to give up. Now, if they would just use that same persistence and perseverance in a legitimate job, they could do ever so much better. But for some reason or other, they choose the life of crime. 

However, having said that, this next quote shows us a better way. It says: ‘If you ever get the chance to treat them the way they treated you, I hope you choose to walk away and do better.’ Yes, that’s the right way, if you are a follower of Jesus, who expressed these sentiments. ‘Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, LOVE your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully (spitefully) use you, and persecute you; 

That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and unjust. For if ye LOVE them which LOVE you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans (tax collectors) the same? And if ye salute (greet) your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans (tax collectors) so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’ (Matt. 5:43-48) 

The long and short of the story my fellow saints is that as followers of Jesus we are supposed to rise above the norm, not just do what others do but more and better. That’s the philosophy Jesus desires to espouse in His kingdom. And Bruh Paul encapsulates it so nicely in his letter to the church at Rome, by saying: ‘Recompense to (repay) no man evil for evil… Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:17a, 21) 

And this last quote is self-explanatory. ‘When a flashlight grows dim or quits working, do you just throw it away? Of course not. You change the batteries. When a person messes up or finds themselves in a dark place, do you cast them aside? Of course not! You help them change their batteries. Some need AA…attention and affection; some need AAA…attention, affection, and acceptance; some need C….compassion; some need D…direction. And if they still don’t seem to shine…simply sit with them quietly and share your light.’ 

Oh my people, in this sad, confused, evil and ungodly world there are way too many of us who are suffering from a dim bulb or weak battery. Too many of us are flailing around in the darkness, and it needs us believers to attend to them with the LOVE of Jesus, so that they can be set free, to walk out of their darkness into the marvellous and miraculous light of Jesus! 

And the only way that can happen is if we shine our light in their darkness. Like our Saviour so wisely recommended: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid… Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14, 16) Now, as true believers, let’s go out and do just that, today and every day nuh. Much LOVE!

…the goodness of God…is the only thing that will overcome…the evil of this world… 

 Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZ   

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   29 November 2022 Luke 6:27.

Luke 6:27.        But I say unto you which hear, LOVE your enemies, do good to them which hate you.

Well, we’ve finally relegated that disturbing day called Monday to the annals of History and are now on a more pleasant day termed Tuesday! And many of God’s children said a grateful, ‘Thank the Lord!’ (smile) Ah friends, it’s good and thankful to note that we’ve been granted life to see another blessed day on God’s earth, possibly so that we can learn some more about the oh so important fruit of the Spirit called ‘self-control.’ 

Now yesterday we looked at several scriptures that highlighted its importance, and today we’ll look at a few more. But before we do that, let’s read what a commentator, Merry, said in reply to some verses highlighting self-control on the website https://www.notconsumed.com/36-bible-verses-about-self-control/

‘Self-Control, a part of inhibitory control, is the power to regulate one’s feelings, thoughts, and behaviour in the face of strong urges and temptations. As an organizational function, self-control is a necessary cognitive mechanism for regulating one’s behaviour in order to reach certain objectives in the workplace. With the advancement of technology, it has been easier to access the world around us on the internet. This accessibility has increased the number of people with poor self-control who are not only at work but also at home, on the internet, and even while driving or when shopping. The result is that there are a large number of people with poor self-control and low self-esteem who are not able to make wise choices in regards to their own self and that of others. 

There are two schools of thought about self-control. Some believe that self-control prevents against certain kinds of evil such as stealing and violence, whereas others think that it promotes harmony and increases happiness. According to the latter group of experts, self-control helps increase happiness because it helps participants control their desire to be successful, and this desire results in them being willing to work towards achieving these goals. Self-control is achieved by regulating the following four aspects: impulse control, intrinsic desire, external influence, and motivation. 

Although all of these are important, it is the desire to do well that ultimately makes a difference between a good person and a bad person. Executive function is related to the other factors mentioned above in that the absence of self-control can create problems in the workplace and at home. While the absence of self-control can also create problems in interpersonal relationships, the degree of the problem will depend upon the individuals involved. Whether the problem is with respect to impulse control, external influence, or motivation, executive dysfunction is an important problem that can have a major impact on health, wellness, happiness, and achievement.’ 

Now that should certainly help in our understanding of that very important fruit of the Spirit, and in our ongoing fight with the enemy, who’s avowed purpose is for us to have NO self-control. So, let’s check out a few of those scriptures that we spoke about. And the first one that pops up is this verse from the prophet Jeremiah, when he informed his people of Judah about an upcoming famine because of their ungodliness. ‘Thus saith the Lord unto this people, Thus have they LOVED to wander, they have not refrained (restrained) their feet, therefore the Lord doth not accept them; he will now remember their iniquity, and visit (punish) their sins.’ (Jer. 14:10) 

And yuh know what friends? That description of Judah sounds just like our current society. We have not restrained our feet and have wandered far away from God and have thus become a very rebellious and sinful society. What else can we expect from Almighty God now but punishment for our sins eh…unless we repent, turn from our evil ways and once more acknowledge His sovereignty over our frail and feeble lives. 

And the scholars offer this interesting explanation of the situation. ‘14:7-10. Jeremiah had been advised not to intercede for his people (11:14), yet he cannot help pleading for them despite their wrongdoing of him (11:18-23) He prays for God’s mercy on the basis of their being called by thy name (vs. 9). However, God rejects Jeremiah’s request (vs. 10), reminding him that it is useless to pray for this obdurately sinful people (vs. 11-12)’ 

Oh my people, you must know that things are really bad when the Lord twice tells a prophet not to pray for his people! And no doubt He would say the same thing to any prophet who had the chutzpah to pray for us today. Then there’s this verse from 1 Peter, where, in talking about the suffering of Jesus as an example, he tells his readers: ‘For what glory is it, if when ye be buffeted (beaten) for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with (commendable before) God.’ (1 Pet. 2:20) 

Yes friends, that’s what Jesus did; suffered for us without a word of complaint, because He knew His purpose and controlled His emotions. Likewise, we ought to know our purpose in Christ and take the good with the bad, like He did. We all know it’s not easy, but with His help we can achieve it. And the last scripture we’ll peruse today is some more tough stuff, this time from Jesus Himself, as He talks about LOVE for enemies. 

‘But I say unto you which hear, LOVE your enemies, do good to them which hate you. Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully (spitefully) use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other, and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat (tunic) also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.’ (Luke 6:27-30) 

Now if that isn’t an extremely tough row to hoe, then I don’t know what is nuh! But that’s what Jesus did, and at great cost to Himself. And it’s also what He expects from His followers. But to do those very unnatural things, we need to be very self-controlled. That’s why I keep mentioning how important self-control is in every aspect of our lives. Now, let’s hope that the scriptures and explanations we’ve gone through over these past two days will help us immeasurably in our walk of faith. 

And for those of us who are sincerely trying to live for Jesus, let’s go home now declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong lock, stock and barrel. As one strong voice: ‘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 my immediate neighbours, as well as with the whole wide world! Glory be!’ 

And now, in keeping with those sentiments, let’s go out and share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to LOVE and serve Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…without self-control…it is impossible to live for Christ… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ