Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 March 2018 Matthew 6:12.

Matthew 6:12.    And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Awright friends and faithful followers of Jesus Christ, we’ve been blessed with another day on God’s great earth! So let’s take advantage of it nuh, because we don’t know how many more we will be blessed with, if any, and let’s open today by declaring like the psalmist did so long ago: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) 

Wow! What a positive opening statement friends! That sets the tone for the rest of our day. We have the opportunity now to go out and enjoy God’s favour; His mercy, grace, LOVE and forgiveness as we work with diligence and excellence to do His awesome, holy will. 

Mama Mia! It couldn’t get any better than that in this sinful and wicked world nuh mih people! Living under Christ’s umbrella is the best antidote for all that ails the world and us. 

And I have a li’l something to share from C.S. Lewis that describes our Christian walk. He says: ‘To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! God has forgiven us so greatly that it’s only reasonable and to be expected that we forgive others. 

And you know what friends? That isn’t even an individual choice we have, because our Lord and Saviour, Our Leader and heavenly King, Jesus Christ enshrined it as a decree in what is commonly known as the Lord’s Prayer, as our Bit declares: ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ 

Now what does that mean? The scholar’s offer this explanation: ‘6:12. Forgive us our debts refers to sins, which are our moral and spiritual debts to God’s righteousness. The request for forgiveness of sin is made here by the believer. In order to be saved one need not necessarily name all of his sins, but he must confess that he is a sinner.’  

A good thing too, else some of us would still be confessing. (smile) And why is forgiveness so important you wonder? Well Jesus explains a couple of verses later. ‘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 Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.12:14-15) 

It’s as simple as that my brethren! Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Don’t forgive, and you won’t be forgiven. As the old people would say, ‘tit for tat.’ And would you believe, that in spite of Christ’s serious warning, forgiveness is currently one of the world’s biggest problems? And not only on the small, individual scale, but also on the large national stage. 

What do you think is causing so many small wars and skirmishes to continue to flower and flourish all over the world eh? Memories of wars and other atrocities committed by long ago descendants. But the current ones have not forgotten or forgiven, so the anger, bitterness and hatred continue, unfortunately festering the souls of legions of people who had nothing to do with the initial atrocities. 

Just look at the distrust and angst between the Japanese, Koreans and Chinese that now plays out in international affairs because of the way the Japanese ravaged the Chinese and Koreans in the recent wars. It’s the same thing in the Middle East. Thousands of years have passed and old wounds are still festering. Look at Britain, with Wales, Scotland and Ireland; the same thing is happening. 

Old injuries and slights are still playing a vibrant part in today’s scenarios. And we won’t even talk about what’s happening with the individual members of our society. Forgiveness is anathema; repugnant and odious to so many of us, as we scurry through the rat race, the dog eat dog scene that’s today’s world. 

We’re only interested in our own aggrandizement, and anyone that gets in our way, too bad for them. We want to be forgiven, but we refuse to forgive. And if yuh think that forgiving is a one-time deal, you better had think again. For when Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother ‘till seven times?’ Jesus replied: ‘I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but until seventy times seven.’ (Matt.18:21-22) 

So friends, forgiveness is an ongoing action. It never stops. Once there has been an infraction, there needs to be forgiveness. And the sad part of the matter is that forgiveness isn’t so much for the other person, but for you the forgiver. It releases your spirit from anger and bitterness and all the other negative emotions that clutter up your soul when you refuse to forgive. 

Oftimes the person who you think has done you wrong, doesn’t even know it, or care, and goes on about their business regardless, while you hold all the unforgiveness in your heart. You are the one who’s suffering because you refuse to let go of the wrong. That’s not a very wise way to live my brethren. So please, let’s raise our level of forgiveness, and see how it raises the level of the remainder of our life nuh. 

Now let’s go home shouting out to the world, our position in Jesus Christ through our Wednesday Wail. Altogether 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!’ 

And oh, how glorious indeed, will be that future with Jesus! I cant wait to experience it! Much LOVE!

…to forgive, forgive…and yet to forgive…that’s the message of Christ…and His cross…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 December 2016 Ephesians 4:32.

Ephesians 4:32.    And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Aye friends, we all know that like oil and water, late nights and early mornings don’t mix. So please tell me why I insist on trying to make them mix eh? I guess you’ll realize by now that I had one of those extremely late nights, and the ole body refused to get up too early to write the Bit. (smile) 

But that’s life mih breddren. At least I’m alive and kicking, though somewhat late. And enough with the excuses, let’s get to a rather appropriate poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s titled ‘Slow Growth.’ 

And it says: ‘In my fretful impatience I am so often inclined to ask “Why can’t she change?” “Why is she always so slow?” “Will they ever learn from past mistakes?” And then You begin to impress me With my own slow progress upward. 

I see Your stretched-out patience. I remember how long You’ve waited for me. And I grieve that my attitude Is so often intolerant. O God, keep fresh the imprint Of my own need to grow And make me more flexible More understanding And always more LOVING.’ 

Ah mih people, how many of us fall into that trap eh? We complain about the slowness and negative attitudes of others, only to later on find out that our progress is just as slow and negative, if not slower and more negative. 

We just seem to take immense pleasure in judging others, without paying any, or sufficient attention to our own shortcomings. Now that’s definitely not right my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Instead we should have the attitude as declared by the Bible Promise for that poem, which is also our Bit for today. 

However, let’s begin with the verse before it, so that we can have a better idea of the context. Bruh Paul was here explaining to the Ephesians the new life in Christ that Christians ought to live after they are saved. 

And having given them a long list of do’s and don’ts, he finally ends up thus: ‘Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:31-32) 

Yeh friends, if there are two things we always need to remember in our dealings with our fellow man are the forgiveness and LOVING-kindness that the Lord God Almighty has shown us in our own lives, and show the same to those we come into contact with. 

Remember what Jesus said to His disciples after the withering of the fig tree. ‘Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. 

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught (anything) against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.’ (Mark 11:24-26) 

Oh precious people of Christ, I don’t see how Jesus could have made the utmost importance of forgiveness any clearer nuh! But yet we still refuse to forgive others, while seeking forgiveness from heaven. 

It’s NEVER going to work my brethren! Only as we forgive, will we be forgiven. Forgiveness begins with us! Let’s try and remember that nuh, especially in this Christmas season, one of LOVE, caring and compassion in honour of Christ’s birth. 

And in regards to tenderheartedness, let’s check out this sermon on the Christian virtues, as outlined by Bruh Paul in his letter to the Colossians. ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies (tender mercies), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; 

Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity (LOVE), which is the bond of perfectness. 

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.’ (Col.3:12-17) 

Oh my people, my people, what a wise and powerful prescription for earthly living! Can you imagine if Christians even put half of that stuff into their everyday lives, what a wonderful world we’d have? 

But as usual, we like to merely talk the talk and not walk the walk. But let me remind us friends that Christianity is an action movement, not simply a talk show. Jesus came and died for us, putting His words into actions. Now it’s up to us to do the same. 

And to help us do that, let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra with power and faith, and a strong sense of purpose. 

As one now: ‘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 as we believe those foundational truths my brethren, let’s put them into action nuh, otherwise it’s all a big waste of time. Much LOVE!

…only as we are tenderhearted and forgiving…will we receive the same…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 August 2014 Matthew 6:15

Matthew 6:15.     But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Aye Friends, it’s Monday… and the ole back is aching from too much rest. (smile) It’s also late enough that many of you are already up and out the door to begin a new week of work.
 
Luckily though, for us here in Ontario, it’s a civic holiday, so many places are closed and the Caribana celebrations are moving ahead full throttle, with all sorts of activities scheduled for today, before it finally winds down tonight.
 
That means most of you out of the province couldn’t care less, because you can’t join in the fun and frolic. (smile) But don’t feel too badly, for not all of us are participating in the festivities. I for one, will most likely spend another quiet day at home with the Duchess, hopefully catching up on some paperwork I’ve been shunning for the last few days.
 
Anyway, let’s acknowledge the concerns of the majority and sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with much enthusiasm, even you Scrip-Bit followers here in Ontario, whose eyes may be bleary and voices scratchy from too much partying over the weekend. (smile)
 
Please encourage your brothers and sisters who have to go out and labour today, while we can party like there’s no tomorrow. Don’t forget though, that our tomorrow will come tomorrow, Tuesday, when we have to get ourselves into the work arena after this long, exhausting weekend. So please be careful today, don’t overdo it.
 
Now let’s sing our song like the big harmonious choir we are: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together.
 
We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies.
 
But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle.
 
Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’
 
That was fantastic Friends! Even the bleary eyed, scratchy voiced Ontarians sounded good! (smile) Now let’s run with that enthusiasm and passion all day long, in whatever we do, and make Jesus proud.
 
That brings us to our Bit.  And it’s interesting how Matthew has Jesus tacking on these most important verses right after teaching us the Lord’s Prayer. I guess that’s because all of what went before is immaterial, if we don’t follow these dictates.
 
‘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 Father forgive your trespasses.’
 
Ah my fellow believers, those two verses are extremely important in the proper functioning of Christianity. The doctrine is so simple, and so powerful…  but yet we ignore it…obviously at our peril. What’s so difficult to understand about, ‘Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Don’t forgive, and you won’t be forgiven eh?’
 
Now it’s not always easy to forgive, but many of us REFUSE to forgive, and instead are always looking for our pound of flesh in return. However, when the shoe is on the other foot, we all are quick to cry out for mercy and forgiveness.
 
Unfortunately Friends, it doesn’t work like that. Jesus says it again in the next chapter of Matthew, though in a slightly different form. ‘Judge (condemn) not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement (condemnation) ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured to you again.’ (Matt.7:1-2)
 
And here we have some pertinent info from the scholars. ‘7:1-4. Judge not refers to an unfavorable and condemnatory judgement. This does not mean that a Christian should never exercise judgement of any kind under any circumstances.
 
The point being made here is that we are not to judge the inner motives of another. We are not to render a verdict based upon prejudicial information.
 
Nor are we to use ourselves as the standard of judgement for with what…ye mete (measure) you shall be judged. That ye be not judged refers to the ultimate judgement of God rather than our own judgement.’
 
It’s all so simple my brethren; whatever you give out, will, generally speaking, be the same that you receive. Jesus even went further, broke it down to the nitty gritty and gave us what we call ‘the golden rule. ‘Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets.’ (Matt.7:12)
 
Ah mih people, it couldn’t be put any simpler and/or clearer than that! But somehow or the other, that message is completely lost in today’s world, where selfishness and the I, myself and me principle are the prevailing standards and culture of this age.
 
Steups! How foolish can we get eh Friends? Apparently very foolish.
 
So on that most provocative and important note we’ll end today. Hopefully it will seep into our minds and consciousness, and give us cause and pause for thought.
 
Yes my people, I want us to ponder to day, consider very seriously our own reaction and behaviour to that golden rule. Do we practice it? And if so, how much, because it can easily lend itself to very selective times? However, it’s not meant to be selective, but general, to everybody, on every occasion!
 
So let’s analyze our lives today, and try to bring our lives into sync with that golden rule. For if we don’t, then we’re no better than the hypocrite Pharisees of old. And I’m sure we don’t want Jesus referring to us like how He referred to them.
 
So let’s get with it nuh, and do unto ALL others, as we would like ALL others to do unto us! That’s eternal wisdom my brethren! Much LOVE!
 
…the golden rule is the motto by which…EVERY  believer ought to live his or her life…