Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 May 2019 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.    ​If any man will  (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
 
Oh isn’t it great to be alive on a sunshiny morning my faithful brethren in Christ? It surely is! And though it’s still somewhat chilly in my area, life gets even better when we realize the treasure we have in Jesus Christ being our Lord and Saviour, our Leader and Guide, etc. etc! That’s just the cat’s pajamas; (smile) the best it can get, both in this world and the next! 

So let’s not murmur and complain about the problems we have nuh, instead, let’s give thanks and praise and glory to Almighty God for the great blessings He’s bestowed on us, especially that of His Son, Jesus Christ! And since it’s Saturday, let’s get right to the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Hear this first one: ‘Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.’ And is that ever so true. This earthly life is chocked full of problems, but we can’t allow them to get us down, otherwise we’d just lead a negative and depressed life. 

And remember Jesus said that He had overcome the world and we should cheer up, be glad, in spite of the tribulations we encounter. (John 16:33) So please, let’s not allow problems to ruin our happiness. With Jesus help, they are all conquerable! 

And listen to this quote: ‘Make improvements, not excuses. Seek respect, not attention.’ More truth there friends! Our society nowadays is one of excuses and casting blame everywhere else but on ourselves, where more often than not, it truly belongs! But let’s not play the blame game nuh, because it doesn’t help, just causes more confusion and bitterness and disunity. And above all, it doesn’t show the kind of people we ought to be as followers of Jesus. 

And I like this quote: ‘The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence; the past is a place of learning, not a place of living.’ Oh is that truth in spades my people! The past is very useful, but only as a guide to the future, to show you what mistakes you should not make again. But unfortunately too many of us live in the past, that’s why we’re so unhappy and unfulfilled. We let the past colour our present and future lives too much. 

Living in the past is the worst thing we can do to our present day lives. Therefore: ‘Do not let the memories of your past limit the potential of your future. There are no limits to what you can achieve on your journey through life, except in your mind!’ So true friends so true! All the past does is limit our future and hold us back from the awesome life that God has prepared for us. So please, let’s just learn from the past nuh, but not live there in squalor and hopelessness. (smile) 

And this last quote also aligns nicely with those gone before, sort of paraphrasing them. ‘Life is about accepting the challenges along the way, choosing to keep moving forward, and savoring the journey.’ And before we even talk about the challenges, let’s remember that life is a journey, one we ought to enjoy, one in which we grow from glory to glory, meeting the challenges that this evil and ungodly world constantly throws at us with the help of the Holy Spirit of God that dwells within us. 

Some of us believe that life is just something to muddle through and be constantly depressed and negative. But remember what Jesus said, that He came that we might have life, and have it in abundance! (John 10:10) Now does that sound like we should always be down in the dumps, beaten by the challenges of life? No! Exactly the opposite! 

We talk about how Jesus has conquered, hell, death and the grave, so if He’s conquered the evil forces of this world, why should we be mired in depression and negativity, anxiety and fear eh? The victory is already ours, we just have to live it out in confidence and assurance, if we truly believe in Jesus and all that He’s said. 

But yuh know what friends, for us to successfully do all that we’ve talked about above, we have to do one basic thing, sincerely take up our cross and follow Jesus! That’s the ONLY way our lives will ever be truly worthwhile! Jesus didn’t mince words when He said it. ‘If any man will  (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ 

Oh my people, I know that many of us believe that taking up our cross and following Jesus is extremely difficult. And at times it is yes; like giving up our selfish desires to help others, facing up to challenges that we want to shy away from, going the extra mile and turning the other cheek, like Jesus desires of His followers. Yes, we are not supposed to be like the world, but show the world a different style. 

And I bypassed the most important word in Jesus’ statement on purpose; ‘daily.’ Now that’s the magic word friends. We don’t pick up our cross when we feel like, or when it’s convenient for us, but each and every day of our earthly lives, if we are truly sincere believers in Jesus! Yes, it’s hard. But nobody ever said that life would be easy. And just look at what Jesus suffered for us nuh. The least we can do is to show a li’l gratitude and gratefulness by picking up our cross and following Him daily. 

‘For whosoever will (desires to) save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose (loses) his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged (benefited), if he gain the whole world, and lose himself (is destroyed), or be cast away (lost)? For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.’ (Luke 9:24-26) 

Oh my people, it couldn’t be any plainer and clearer than that! So please, let’s wake up and smell the roses nuh, because Jesus can return at any time, and if you’re caught napping when He comes, then crapaud smoke yuh pipe! Much LOVE!

…to truly serve Jesus…one must take up one’s cross…DAILY…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 December 2017 John 15:4.

John 15:4.   Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

Ah mih people, it’s the Eve of New Year’s Eve, and I guess everybody is getting their dan-dan (finery) ready to go out and tear the house down tomorrow night. (smile) Good for them yes, but the ole fella is going to stay right here in his yard and celebrate whatever celebrations he celebrates! 

The days for going out in the cold and then having to drive back home under the watchful eyes of Babylon are done. And this year I’ll be celebrating New Year’s Eve at home, and not in the hospital. Glory to God! 

But what a bam-bam eh! To end up in the hospital on New Year’s Eve. But I guess the Lord was trying to tell me something. Let’s hope I learned whatever it was. (smile) Enough about my woes though, let’s see what our friend Anselm had to say this week. 

I only got three quotes, so I guess he must be a public servant, doesn’t work on holidays. (smile) And the first one says: ‘Never let someone else decide for you whether you are going to be happy or sad.’ And if we haven’t learned that lesson yet, then it’s high time we do. Other people should not control our happiness and sadness, but invariably many of us allow it to happen. Please stop it! 

And while you are at it, please remember to ‘LOVE yourself. Stay happy. Live life to the fullest, and focus on the best things in life!’ Remember what Jesus told us to do? LOVE our neighbours as ourselves, which means if we don’t LOVE ourselves in a healthy, non-narcissistic manner, then we can’t LOVE anybody else. 

And He also died that we could have an abundant life. So please don’t shortchange yourself of all the good things Jesus died so that we could have. Jesus was a calm, good-natured, generous, positively thinking fellow who enjoyed life, and so should we be also, if we claim to be His followers. 

And the last quote tells us: ‘There are greater things to be achieved in every new year, and each and everyone must prepare themselves to be great, not by words of the mouth, but by a lot of sacrifices.’ 

Ah friends, it is a proven fact of history, if you want to be great, you must be prepared to face sacrifices. No one has ever become great without sacrificing something to achieve that greatness. So if we desire to be great in 2018, then we’d better prepare ourselves from now to sacrifice something for that chance at greatness. 

And the best sacrifice one can ever make is sacrificing one’s own interest to follow Christ. As Jesus said to His disciples: ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.’ (Matt.16:24-25) 

Yeh friends, following Christ is the best route we can take in this life, but it also means giving up, sacrificing our selfish desires, and bringing them into sync with those of Jesus. And on top of that He declares in our Bit: ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.’ 

Ah mih breddren, only as we stay close to Christ can we bear good fruit. As the scholars explain: ‘15:1-9. Jesus explains the divine-human relationship by the analogy of a grapevine. Jesus is like the main vine. The disciples are compared with branches. The Father tends the branches like a gardener. At that time of year, branches of grapevines would be budding in Jerusalem.’ 

Yuh see mih people; it’s a family affair! It has to be, if it is going to work properly. That’s why Jesus refers to His followers as ONE BODY! Only when we all have the same interest at heart – that of Jesus – and are going in the same direction can we ever be successful. 

And that’s exactly why today’s church is not as successful as it ought to be; too many divisions, petty squabbles, selfishness, power struggles, strife, and all the other negative stuff that’s disrupting the world. Those things should not be as rampant as they are in Christ’s church. 

It’s obvious then, that as a body, we are not abiding in Christ, nor is He in us sufficiently, else the body would not be as maimed and sick as it is. We all talk a good talk, but only a small proportion of us actually walk that talk. So please, if we consider ourselves followers, disciples of Jesus, let’s plan to put on a better show this upcoming year nuh. Let’s make Him proud of us nuh. 

So when the Father complains about our complacency, compromise and lack of progress in becoming truly Christ-like, Jesus can excitedly and truthfully say: ‘Look Father! They are improving, they are getting better! There’s less compromise and complacency, and they are indeed walking their talk more than last year! Bless their souls!’ 

Yeh friends, that’s the good news we want to be giving Jesus this upcoming year of 2018. He deserves it. Much LOVE!

…as His church…we’ve let Jesus down enough…it’s time to give Him something He can be proud of…sincerely walking our talk…


Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 April 2015 Deuteronomy 31:8‏

Deuteronomy 31:8. And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

Well Friends, it’s finally Holy Thursday; the day before the Big Day, meaning Jesus’ crucifixion. It ought to be a day of heartfelt prayer and introspection, pondering exactly what Jesus and His unbearable suffering and His sacrificial death truly means to us.

Remember, Jesus wasn’t some fly by night operator. He talked His talk, but even more importantly, walked that talk! And we need to check up on ourselves to see whether we are doing the same, or simply just talking the talk and not backing it up with sincere action.

Just think about Jesus’ mental anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before he was sacrificed for our abominable sins. The Good Book tells us he prayed, prayed fervently, saying to His inner circle of Peter, James and John: ‘My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here and watch with me.’ (Matt.26:38)

He even beseeched the Father a couple times to take away the cup, relieve Him of His duty to die as the sacrificial Lamb. But please note Friends, that in each case He ended with the fateful words, ‘Thy will be done.’ (Matt.26:39,42)

Yes Friends, though Jesus’ soul was in serious agony, to the point where ‘his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground,’ (Luke 22:44) yet He never wavered from the plan the Father had set for Him.

Oh my people, are we made of such mettle, of such sterner stuff? Do we faithfully resign ourselves to God’s will, even though the circumstances are extremely difficult, and sometimes look impossible?

Oh, I know it’s not always easy to do, but it is our duty as believers to buckle down and do God’s will, forgetting our own selfish desires. And that’s the only way we will ever become true images of Christ, as God desires us to be.

Modern day life is so easy that we complain about simple set backs or difficulties. But my people, that’s not being like Jesus at all! And my Friend Anselm’s quote for today, inspiring us for a better tomorrow is a rather appropriate one for our purposes.

It says: ‘The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.’

And that’s the gospel truth Friends! Our true measure of a man, of a Christian is where we stand when the challenges and controversies face us. Do we give up, roll over and play dead? Or do we stand up strong and steadfast and fight for what we know is true and what we sincerely believe in?

You know we ought to be in the latter group, as Christ was. Look at the ‘sufferation’ He endured for our sakes, without complaining. That’s how we are expected to operate too, though we will never reach to the heights that Jesus did.

And the wonderful thing about it all my fellow believers, is that we have the sincere and faithful promise of Almighty God in our Bit to help us through whatever comes against us. ‘And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.’

Wow! How cool is that eh people! And a few verses before that, Moses told the Israelites: ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee nor forsake thee.

And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the Lord hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it.’ (Deut.31:6-7)

So Friends, in just three verses, Moses told both the Israelites and Joshua that they had to be strong, face up to their tasks like good soldiers, because if they did, the Lord their God would certainly look after them.

Oh my people, the same promise is extended to us today. Bruh Paul puts it like this: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Acts 8:28)

So when ever we are called by God, His LOVING-kindness will always be with us, regardless of the way the situation looks. We need to remember that and act on it my brethren.

Now listen to what Bruh David told Cousin Sol when he handed over the building of the Lord’s temple to him. ‘And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the Lord God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.’ (1 Chr.28:20)

Oh Friends, oh Friends, what wonderful words of advice from a father to a son! And that advice must also reverberate amongst us today. It’s also what the Lord told Joshua, as we saw yesterday. ‘Be strong and of a good courage.’ (Josh.1:6) And Bruh Paul told the Corinthians: ‘Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men (be brave), be strong.’ (1 Cor.16:13)

Oh Friends, I can’t think of a better way to end this morning than with those words of encouragement, which we so badly need in these generally rough times, and on this occasion when we remember and relive Jesus’ upcoming death.

Please be strong and of a good courage, for that’s mark of a true Christian, and also the wisdom of heaven. Much LOVE!

…let your conversation (conduct) be without covetousness…and be content with such things as ye have…for he hath said…I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee…’ (Heb.13:5)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 August 2012 James 3:13

James 3:13.         Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
 
All hail Friends! The morning sun is rising to bring its light to a dark and evil world, just like the Son rose from the grave in everlasting brilliance to bring us salvation and eternal life! Please give Him some thanks and praise for that, and let’s show our eternal gratitude for His LOVE and selfless behaviour by endeavouring to live earthly lives that truly reflect His character and His desires, for that’s what true followers do. Now that’s a sentence worthy of Bruh Paul’s stylistic manoeuvrings! (smile) And one of the very important things we have to safeguard in this life as believers, is the distinction between true and false wisdom. There is a lot of the latter going around these days, and it’s leading many people down the wrong path – that which leads to death and destruction. So how do we figure out right from wrong wisdom eh? James, in our Bit today gives us a clue: ‘Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge (has understanding) among you? let him show out of a good conversation (conduct) his works (that his works are done) with meekness of wisdom.’ That means my brethren, that whoever is blessed with knowledge and understanding ought to conduct his or herself suitably, ensuring that their works are done in humility. In other words, the wise person must have godly wisdom and then exhibit that wisdom in a practical, humble manner, with truth as their watchword. The scholars claim that ‘One cannot teach what one does not live.’ James then continues: ‘But if ye have bitter envying and strife (self-seeking) in your hearts, glory not (do not boast), and lie not against the truth.’ (James 3:14) And right there is the crux of many our problems my people. We have too much strife; anger, resentment, selfishness, jealousy and greed in our souls, which obviously causes us to be short-sighted, short circuited and thus distort the truth. So we obviously won’t be able to impart the truth in true humility as we ought to. As James informs us: ‘This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish (demonic). For where envying and strife is (self-seeking exists), there is confusion and every evil work.’ (James 3:15-16) And isn’t that the living truth Friends? It sure is, as can easily be seen by the confused, evil state of our world. That’s why in these turbulent times my people, where information, both true and false, is so readily available and can be easily manipulated to suit anyone’s purpose, we have to be very careful to whom we listen, as well as what we listen to, because we can be so unwittingly led astray by sweet-talking lying lips and guileful, snake-charming tongues. ‘But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated (willing to yield), full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is shown in peace of them that make peace.’ (James 3:17-18) Yes Friends, those are some of the attributes we have to seek in a teacher, preacher or anyone who claims to have wisdom, and/or wants to spread the Word. I guess that includes me. (smile) Now I’m certainly not perfect, not at the top of the class either, but I do believe I have most of those attributes in sufficient quantity to do what I do reasonably well. And all praise to God, I’m growing and hopefully getting better with each passing day! As Sister Joyce, Joyce Meyer likes to say, I’m not where I want to be as yet, but I’ve surely come a long way from where I began. And that’s the gospel truth Friends, as some of you who have been with me from the early days can attest to. And that’s one of the things we believers have to recognize so we don’t get too frustrated; we don’t all begin at the same point in our walk of faith, neither do we all mature at the same rate. And we cannot mature unless we read and hear the Word, study it, and fellowship with other believers. No believer can exist in a vacuum all by themselves. That’s why Christ planted His Church, so that we can get together and help each other. Ah Friends, I didn’t mean to go off on that tangent, but it just seemed appropriate. Now getting back to our theme, let’s get some explanation from the scholars. They declare that: ‘Two wisdoms are expounded by teachers. The one from God is pure and promotes peace, ending in righteousness (vv 17-18). But the other is natural and demonic; visible in the teacher as jealousy and ambition (strife, Gr. eritheia). The result of such teaching is evil living and confusion.’ Now thank the Lord that I don’t have a jealous bone in my body! (smile) Oh, I might want what you have, but I won’t begrudge you it, or wish you ill because I don’t have it. And neither is my ambition that excessive that I will manipulate the Word to suit my own purposes. So Friends, you can rest assured that whatever I say, is what I believe to be the truth. Now we’ll end with some words of Bruh Paul to the Galatians, re our topic: ‘For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove (examine) his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden.’ (Gal.6:3-5) Yes Friends, when we think ourselves above moral reproach, with no sympathy for the faults of others, then we begin to get swell-headed. As the scholars conclude; ‘Joy comes not from comparing one’s moral strengths with the weaknesses of others, but in realizing that one measures up to God’s standard by God’s help.’ Let us therefore stop judging and criticising others, as we are wont to do, and instead, help them to come up higher, as Jesus desires. Till tomorrow then, if we find favour with God, may we all go in the peace and harmony that comes from Him, and liberally blesses all who seek to serve and worship Him. Much LOVE!…please check your ego at the door…before entering the halls of God…