Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 July 2019 Matthew 10:22.

Matthew 10:22.    ​And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
 

Ah friends, Saturday, the day of all days! (smile) What’s on the agenda for today eh? For most of us it’s sleeping in, then a lazy day on the couch, or fun and games, barbecuing and enjoying the summer weather. For others though it can mean a busy day at home; cleaning and washing and replenishing groceries and stuff; possibly harder work than what you get paid to do during the week. (smile) 

But that’s how life goes, and once you have Jesus walking in you and with you, then you don’t have to worry about getting whatever job it is done. Oh yes, it might be somewhat difficult, but you’re assured that with Jesus’ help, you will get it done successfully! All praise and glory to our great and wonderful God for the help He gives to us frail and mortal humans! 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s see what gems of wisdom our friend Anselm sent us this week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this one: ‘Life is too short to waste in the company of those who can’t wait to put you down. Let them say what they want. Their opinions aren’t your problem. Keep doing good, as you’ve always done. No matter what they do or say, don’t doubt who you are and what you’re doing.’ 

That’s wise advice friends! In this current mish-mash world, people are only too glad to put you down once you’re trying to improve yourself and your situation. Possibly because of jealousy, or their own laziness, they don’t want you to rise above them. But once you’re sure of who and whose you are, that you belong to Jesus, for you were bought with a high price, that of His precious blood, then you can ignore all the naysayers and go about Jesus’ business with confidence. 

And then there’s this: ‘Being quiet and calm doesn’t mean you’re weak. Such people show strength that’s under control. The most intelligent people know when to speak, know when to listen, and know when to be quiet.’ Oh what truth my brethren!

But unfortunately, with the current burst of technology that makes communication so easy, everyone has an opinion on everything and are not bashful to share it, thus the great explosion of social media and the large amount of nonsense, endless talking, false information, lies and deceit they provoke. 

Now here’s a gem: ‘You’ve been in situations where you thought you’d never make it out, but you did. You’ve lived through it, you’ve learned from it and you survived. So whatever it is that you’re currently going through right now, you can and will get through it if you are determined to push thru.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren. We’ve lived through numerous times of adversity and trouble, but with the Lord’s help we got through them all, stronger and more mature. So why worry about whatever tough situation you’re experiencing now eh? It’s a problem too many Christians face; not turning back and remembering what the Lord brought us through, and realizing and believing that if He’s done it a million times already, He’ll do it a zillion times in the future, for that’s His awesome, unbreakable and ever-faithful promise. 

And I particularly like the last two quotes, which fit together quite nicely. The first says: ‘People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.’ That’s an undeniable fact! That’s possibly because of the leader’s charisma or charm, or some sense of trust and reliability that they exude. There’s no better example of that than Jesus. Look at how He chose His first four disciples: 

‘And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers (fishermen). And he saith unto them, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets and followed him.

And going on from thence, he saw two other brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother in a ship with Zebedee their father mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.’ (Matt.4:18-22) 

Ah mih people, those fishermen must have seen something in Jesus to just drop their livelihood and follow him, the last two leaving their poor father to manage on His own. And Jesus called Matthew the same way. Matthew was sitting at his tax office, adding up his money, when Jesus passed by and said to him, ‘Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.’ (Matt.9:9) 

Now who in their right mind would give up the lucrative position that the tax man held back in those olden times to follow some itinerant preacher eh, and more importantly why? But Matthew did it, so he must have seen something in Jesus or felt some abnormal pull to just give up his lucrative tax job to become a fisher of men. 

Now the last quote says: ‘Leadership is not wielding authority — it’s empowering people.’ And that’s exactly how a true leader ought to operate. If you’re secure in yourself and your authority and power, then there’s no need to blatantly wield said power. What you need to do is raise up your followers so that they too can embrace your vision and help you bring it to fruition. 

And again, Jesus is the best example of empowering leadership. He knew who He was, and what power He had, and realized that He could not proselytize the whole world on His own, so He brought together the twelve most unlikely candidates to help Him, and over a three year period He taught them and empowered them, so that they could go out and do His work after He was gone. 

I like how He told them: ‘Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless (innocent) as doves.’  (Matt.10:16) Imagine telling your workers that nowadays nuh! I doubt you’d have too many after that. And that did happen to Jesus. When some of them saw how difficult the task was, they simply quit. 

Furthermore, He warned them thus: ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ Oh friends, those are indeed tough statements to hear and bear, and they still pertain to us today. But please note that the true disciples bought into Jesus’ vision and did withstand all the trials and tribulations they encountered to spread His Word. 

And they did such a wonderful job, that two thousand years later, despite all sorts of problems, that magnificent and true Word has come down to us, with all the same provisos and tough conditions.

Yes friends, the baton, the glowing torch of Christ’s salvation, has now been passed to us, to keep it burning, until we pass it on to the next generation. Please, I implore us, don’t let it be said that that eternal torch was extinguished on our watch! That would be such a dismal stain on our report card. Let’s stand strong and endure to the end! Much LOVE!

…to be eligible for a prize…one must finish the race…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 June 2019 Ephesians 4:26-27.

Ephesians 4:26-27.    Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil.
 

Brother does it ever look glorious outside! Thank the Lord! And a li’l rain fell yesterday afternoon and in the middle of the night, but that was just to wash away the dirt and grime and cool the temperature down. So we open with a bright clean new day, with Jesus as the one constant in our lives, the ONLY One we need, leading and guiding us in His work! 

And I know that many of us won’t see the bright new day until it gets old because we’re sleeping in on this wonderful Canada Day weekend Saturday morning. But that’s okay, you’re allowed! (smile) Anyway, since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And like this week he was all caught up in the throes of happiness, (smile) because all the quotes deal with some aspect of happiness. 

And the first thing we need to realize is that ‘Happiness is a state of mind. It’s just according to the way you look at things.’ Now there’s much truth to that because our life is basically built on our attitude towards it. Some of us can go through certain circumstances and be happy, while others go through the same things and be miserable as hell. That’s why as Christians, we’re taught that the joy of the Lord is our strength. (Neh.8:10) 

With that joy constantly running through us, it gives us a steady kind of happiness, regardless of our circumstances, because our mind is stayed on the Lord. As Isaiah says: ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee: because he trusteth in thee.’ (Is.26:3) And that’s why the enemy always tries to steal our joy, get us away from concentrating on the Lord, because he knows that’s the source of our strength. 

Now hear these next two quotes, because they run together: ‘The thing everyone should realize is that the key to happiness is being happy by yourself and for yourself.’ And ‘Happiness depends upon us.’ They simply mean that we are responsible for our own happiness. We ought not to allow others to control our happiness by their selfish machinations. 

The sad truth is that no one can make us happy unless we want to be happy, and the opposite is also true; no one can make us unhappy unless we allow them to do so. Therefore, let’s remember that when we say so and so made us happy or unhappy, we’re allowing them to control our situations, and that is definitely not the best thing for our psyche, for our well-being. 

That brings us to this quote. ‘Every day is a new day, and you’ll never be able to find happiness if you don’t move on.’ Yes friends, we have to come to each day with the attitude that we will be happy, come what may; forget the problems of the past day and move on to the golden opportunities being provided by the new one. But unfortunately, too many of us drag the past with us to the present and thus spoil the future. 

And thus we come to the last quote that so wisely informs us: ‘For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.’ Now isn’t that the gospel truth! (smile) It sounds simplistic, and it might very well be, but it is a fact of life. For however long we’re angry, we lose that much time which could have been spent in happiness. And I don’t know about you, but I like to spend as li’l time as possible being angry, and as much as possible being happy. 

But we all are different, and some souls just seem to thrive on anger, not realizing that it’s killing them both literally and figuratively. That’s because anger, like stress, manifests itself in so many different ways; emotionally, mentally and physically, and are often all tied together, indistinguishable each from the other, but all doing evil and dirty work in our lives. 

In any case, being constantly angry, or for long periods of time is not a good Christian characteristic, that’s why Bruh Paul gave this warning to the Ephesians. ‘Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil.’ 

Yeh friends, it’s okay to get angry every so often, but it should only be for a brief period, but definitely don’t take it to bed with you, because you’ll just sleep angrily, if you sleep at all, and wake up angry too, thus allowing the devil to steal your joy for much too long. Getting angry doesn’t mean you’re automatically being sinful, but the longer you hold that anger, the more liable you are to give the enemy the opportunity to creep into your soul. 

And it’s interesting some of the things Cousin Sol had to say about wrath and anger. For example: ‘A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again.’ (Prov.19:19) And how true that is! You always have to deliver the angry man from some problem he’s caused by his anger. 

And: ‘A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool’s wrath is heavier than them both. Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous (a torrent); but who is able to stand before envy (jealousy)?’ (Prov.27:3-4) Wow! Does Cousin Sol ever lay it on thick, but true! 

And because of all that intrinsic evil in those negative emotions, we need to hear and accept Bruh Paul’s warning. ‘And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 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.4:30-32) 

Oh my people, that’s my solemn prayer for us this Saturday morning. So on this Canada day weekend, as we celebrate the birth of our nation, let’s do it with those sentiments front and centre in our minds and lives nuh. It is the definite desire of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Much LOVE!

…let’s replace anger with LOVE…and evil with good…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 June 2019 2 Corinthians 5:17.

2 Corinthians 5:17.      ​Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
 

Saturday, O Saturday, how I do LOVE thee…even though I don’t get to sleep in as late as I would like to! (smile) Yes, for many of us Saturday is simply a day to sleep in as late as possible, after five early morning risings to join the rat race called going to work. But unfortunately some of us do have work to get up and do, even on a Saturday, like writing the Bit, so we don’t have that luxury. 

Aye mih big daughter, are you going to write me and sigh again, that I’m complaining? (smile) Brother! The other day when I spoke about how inconvenient it was going to the hospital everyday for the radiation therapy, the lady accused me of complaining! But to each his own yes. As the song says, ‘only he who feels it knows it.’ Still LOVES you a whole lot though mih first born! (mucho hugs & kisses) 

Anyway, enough pussyfooting, it’s Saturday and our friend Anselm has sent us a whole slate of quotes this past week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome.’ And unfortunately, that’s no lie! If you allow the expectations of others to rule your life, then it will always turn out their way, and not yours. Neither can you do the same thing all the time and expect a different result. 

Then there’s this: ‘Being positive is like going up a mountain. Being negative is like sliding down a hill. A lot of times, people want to take the easy way out, because it’s basically what they’ve understood throughout their lives.’ Yes, if you want to do something right, you have to expend time and energy, as if you’re indeed climbing a mountain. It just doesn’t happen on a lazy, negative slide downhill. 

And is our current society ever famous for taking the easy way out! Everything we do these days is about how fast and easily we can do it. ‘Now for now’ is our motto! Patience, or taking our time and putting some blood and sweat into our activities has fled from our society. So it’s not surprising that that’s all this current generation knows. 

Therefore we have to: ‘Watch out for the joy-stealers: gossip, criticism, complaining, faultfinding, and a negative, judgmental attitude.’ Especially in these current strife-filled times, for those are negative actions that are very persuasive and prevalent today! What with all the t.v shows that only feature resentment, deceit and strife! And when they are added to the sewer that’s called the social media, where negativity, falsehood and utter nonsense proliferate, what else can you expect of our society eh? 

Now listen to this quote: ‘For a really long time, I thought being different was a negative thing. But as I grew older, I started to realize we were all born to stand out; nobody is born to blend in.’ And that’s the living truth my people! Why do you think the Lord made each of us with things like different fingerprints, and that no one in this entire world is exactly the same as anyone else eh? Because He wanted us to be individuals first and foremost, not clones. 

And He also had a special and separate plan for each person He created. And that’s why, as believers, as His followers, Jesus admonished us to be the salt of the earth, and not to hide our lights under a bushel, otherwise we’d be wasting the Father’s talents and purposes that He’s placed inside each of us. He didn’t just want His followers to blend in with the crowd, but to stand out, loud and proud! 

And this last quote is a very interesting one: ‘One of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals. And so when I hear about negative and false attacks, I really don’t invest any energy in them, because I know who I am.’ 

Now that’s wisdom of much magnitude anyhow you cut it! But since this is a Christian Blog, (smile) then we ought to talk about that in Christian terms. I don’t know if the author of the quote meant it that way or not, but we can only be strong in who we are if we first know and then constantly remember who we are in Christ Jesus, because He is the ONE who gives us all that we need to live this life being true to ourselves and pursuing our God-given goals! 

And the first thing we need to know is as Bruh Paul said to the Corinthians: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ Oh friends, is it ever important that we see and think differently when we come to Jesus! We are a new creation, and therefore need to look at the world and the things of Christ in a new and different way. 

We must put aside our old habits and pick up new ones that involve Christ and His desire for our lives. We need to sincerely believe that ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) As well as ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:19) 

Yes my brethren, those are two foundational scriptures that a believer must have written indelibly in his or her heart, soul body and mind, else he or she will not be able to function wisely as an ambassador for Christ and enjoy the abundance of life He died to give us! 

And one last thing that Bruh Paul highlighted to the church at Rome: ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; the Jew first, and also to the Greek.’ (Rom.1:16) Oh my people, my people, if it’s one thing we must NEVER do is be ashamed of Christ and His saving gospel! It doesn’t make sense to claim you are a Christian then be ashamed to acknowledge the One and the actions that make you who and what you are! 

And Jesus said it very clearly: ‘Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.’ (John 10:33-34) 

So basically when we know who we are in Christ, we must believe that He will help us to do everything He calls us to do; He will also provide all that we need, if we seek Him earnestly, and we can’t ever be ashamed of Him and deny Him in public, as so many supposed believers do, else He will do the same to us in His Father’s heavenly court. So there it is in a nutshell! It’s all up to us now! Much LOVE!

…only in Christ…can we ever become…what we were created to become…

P.S. Yes, it’s long and late, but chocked full of useful info! (smile) Much LOVE! 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 June 2019 Proverbs 18:21.

Proverbs 18:21.    ​Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that LOVE it, shall eat the fruit thereof.
 

Brother, it’s Saturday and I’m up early to write the Bit so that I can go to a Pentecost Prayer breakfast at my church, though I would have liked to sleep in some. But them’s the breaks. And it’s usually a good time and well attended, so no worries really. Oh, and Alyssa is home from the hospital, doing fairly well, as well as can be expected after major surgery. She sends her thanks for all the prayers you sent up to heaven on her behalf, and wouldn’t mind some more for a speedy not so painful recovery. (smile) 

And yuh better believe that the workingman was in seventh heaven yesterday afternoon when he got home and found that it was a wonderful summer’s day! I can just imagine how he quickly threw on his short shorts and tank top, then went outside and fired up the barbecue, threw on his meats, then sat quietly, or listening to some joyful music, sipping some brewskis and contemplating life, while the meat sizzled on the grill. Now is that the life or what! 

And I’m sure the same thing will be happening all around the place today, as it seems to be another nice day in the offing. Wow! Three nice days in a row! That’s what you called blessed! (smile) But enough with the small talk, because it’s Saturday and our friend Anselm sent us a whole slew of quotes this week, and some long ones too. So let’s get to them nuh, showing our appreciation for his sincere aspiration to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And here is the first one: ‘I think it’s important to get your surroundings as well as yourself into a positive state – meaning surround yourself with positive people, not the kind who are negative and jealous of everything you do.’ And I couldn’t agree more. Jesus also agrees, because negative and jealous people only drag you down, while you are trying to build yourself up. And to be a follower of Jesus, you must be a positive thinker, because He was the most positive thinking person that ever lived. He had to be, since He was the Son of God, and in God there is no negativity. 

Then there is this related quote. ‘Spending time with negative people can be the fastest way to ruin a good mood. Their pessimistic outlooks and gloomy attitude can decrease our motivation and change the way we feel. But allowing a negative person to dictate your emotions gives them too much power in your life. Make a conscious effort to choose your attitude.’ Ah friends, all of that is so true! And a successful life is based so much on our attitude toward our situations and circumstances, we can’t give others the leeway to make us become a negative person. 

And thus we have to make a conscious effort to resist negativity, because ‘It’s not the situation, but whether we react negatively or respond positively to the situation that is important.’ Yeh mih people, many of us face the same basic situations, but our responses to them vary a lot, thus our results also vary a lot. And those who have a positive outlook, with Jesus as their anchor and foundation, usually have better outcomes. No ifs and buts about that! 

Therefore, ‘Stop saying these negative things about yourself. Look in the mirror and find something about yourself that’s positive and celebrate that!’ Oh friends, remember God spoke the world into existence, that means words are powerful, and what we say, usually comes to pass. As Cousin Sol so wisely and rightly tells us: ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that LOVE it, shall eat the fruit thereof.’ 

And as Jesus also informs us: ‘For by words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.’ (Matt.12:37) So if we keep saying negative things about ourselves it’s obvious that our lives will proliferate with negative stuff. Now we don’t have to go overboard and get narcissistic with it, (smile) but a healthy dose of self-LOVE and self-confidence goes a long way towards brightening our lives. 

And instead of celebrating our faults and failures, let’s start celebrating our good points and successes, even though they may be few. Jesus didn’t die for us to lead a miserable, negative and unhappy existence, but for us to enjoy life, in abundance, with joy and laughter uppermost in our lives. So let’s do that nuh. 

And to successfully accomplish that goal, the first thing we need to do is to think right thoughts, as our last quote reminds us. ‘I realized that if my thoughts immediately affect my body, I should be careful about what I think. Now if I get angry, I ask myself why I feel that way. If I can find the source of my anger, I can turn that negative energy into something positive.’ 

Ah mih people, that’s the answer to our many problems right there; our thoughts! We need to understand that the battle for supremacy over our lives begins right in our minds. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) calls it: ‘The Battlefield of the Mind!’ And count on Cousin Sol to have a word on it. ‘For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.’ (Prov.23:7) 

Yes friends, as we think, so are we! Whatever is uppermost in our minds, is the direction in which we will generally be led. That’s why the enemy keeps flooding our minds with all of his deceit and lies, for he knows that if we think on them, we will eventually end up going in that direction. 

And that’s why Bruh Paul admonished the Philippians, and consequently us, thus: ‘Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise (anything praiseworthy), think (meditate) on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do; and the God of peace shall be with you.’ (Phil.4:8-9) 

It couldn’t be put any clearer than that my fellow saints in Christ. As the scholars explain: ‘In order to keep God’s peace, the readers must occupy their minds with the right things (v8) and busy themselves with the right activities (v.9).’ Now it’s all up to us to integrate those attitudes into our lives. Much LOVE!

…one must make a conscious decision…to think right…and to do right…they won’t happen by osmosis…(smile)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 February 2019 Romans 4:20.

Romans 4:20.   ​He staggered not (did not waver) at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong (strengthened) in faith, giving glory to God.
 

Ah Lord eh! No rest for the righteous! (smile) A body can’t even get a chance to sleep in on a Saturday morning! That’s because I’ve got to attend an Ironmen’s Breakfast at 9.30 this morning. 

The ‘Ironmen’ is a men’s group at our church. But I have to laugh when I consider that very few, if any of the group is under three score, and several are even three score and ten and over. (smile) But nonetheless, we are the Ironmen of St. Francis, committed to good works in the church and in the community we serve! Praise the Lord!  

And since it’s Saturday, let’s check out some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week in his noble attempt to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.’ 

And that’s fairly true! Most of us would much rather like to be heaped with undeserved praise rather than shrouded in deserved criticism. But remember friends, nobody has reached anywhere without some deserved criticism, and it shows how big a person you are when you can acknowledge your faults and foibles. 

Then there’s this: ‘Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don’t have any problems, you don’t get any seeds.’ I guess there’s also some truth to that statement, because in many of our problems lie the basic solution to them. If something isn’t working our right, then I guess the best way to find out why is by going back to the beginning and checking all the steps along the way. We’ll usually find the fly somewhere there in the ointment. (smile) 

Now hear this: ‘Four things for success: work and pray, think and believe.’ That’s indisputable! Success does call for at least those four things…and sometimes even more! And then we come to: ‘Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven’t half the strength you think they have… every DAY!!!!’ And that’s no lie my brethren! 

When we stand up strong to our problems and not be wishy washy and double-minded, we’ll discover that they are not half as problematic as they first seemed. Problems have this habit of pretending that they are bigger than they really are, and when take them at face value, they tend to intimidate us and make us wary and somewhat unsure of our ability to conquer them. 

But when we come up over them, with the help of God, we discover that they are much more manageable then we originally thought. So perhaps when problems overwhelm us, it might be best to take them each with a grain of salt (smile) before tackling them. 

And the last quote says: ‘Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.’ And that’s gospel truth my brethren, for it’s only when we face difficulties, that we get strong! And that applies to all walks of life. If you want to build physical strength, then you have to lift weights or do something that will cause your muscles to work hard and eventually expand. The same goes for spiritual strength. 

If you want to develop a greater faith in God, then you have to work hard at it, because it doesn’t just come by wishing. You have to go through trials and tribulations because we only grow when we overcome hard times. That’s just a fact of life. I’m sure you’ve noticed than when everything is nice and easy, no growth, be it physical, spiritual or emotional will really take place. 

It’s only when your heart’s been broken that you can appreciate the beneficial value of things like LOVE and romance. You obviously won’t like the broken heart, but because of it, the next time around you’ll certainly be wiser and more appreciative. (smile) 

And I don’t think we can find a better example of growing in faith than Abraham. Look at how at seventy-five the Lord told him to pack up and leave his family and just go, with no idea of where he was going. And every time the Lord told him to do something he did it, oftimes without a clue as to what was happening. And check out his approach to God’s promise of a child in his old age. 

The Good Book says: ‘And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about a hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb.’ (Rom.4;19) Friends, for decades Abraham had been trying to have a child with no success. Can you imagine the disappointment in a society that took children as a reward of God? 

Then the Lord promised him one when he was around a hundred and Sarah about ninety. Abraham must have shaken his head in amazement. But the Good Book continues: ‘He staggered not (did not waver) at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong (strengthened) in faith, giving glory to God. And being fully persuaded (convinced) that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.’ (Rom.4:20-21) 

Yeh friends, it’s only because Abraham had gone through a lot of struggle, wandering all over the place and having one problem after another, but also having God bring him through them that his faith became so strong. Although he lapsed when he took his wife’s Sarah advice to go into her maid Hagar to produce the heir that didn’t seem to be coming from their own loins. (smile) And you know that caused untold problems. 

But look at how he was going to sacrifice the heir Isaac, when the Lord told him to. I’m sure he didn’t know what was happening. How could the Lord ask him to sacrifice the only child whom He had promised would give him more children that the sand of the shore? But in his heart he knew that the Lord would come through in some manner because He had kept ALL of the promises He’d made him over the many years of his nomadic existence. 

Friends, I assure us that the Lord will do the same for us, but I can also guarantee you that it won’t be all wine and roses, because we simply don’t grow unless we face some kind of difficulty in our lives. Remember that and keep the faith like Abraham did. It won’t be easy, but we’ll be well rewarded in the Lord’s time! Much LOVE!

 …you can’t appreciate the sunshine…until you have experienced the darkness…you can’t appreciate prosperity…until you have experienced serious lack…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 December 2018 Matthew 22:39.

Matthew 22:39.   ​And the second is like unto it (the first), Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.
 
And it seems like a cloudy Saturday morning, just right for sleeping in, but the ole fella is up early, couldn’t sleep in any longer. I did have a decent enough night’s rest though. The persistent cough I’ve had over the last few days seems to have eased up some, but I still can only sleep comfortably on my right side, which doesn’t enamor me to my back and right hip. (smile) And that’s what caused me to get up earlier than I desired. But that’s life! 

So what’s the action eh friends, on this Saturday two days before we ring out the Old Year and ring in the New One? Let’s hope that the LOVING and generous nature of the Christmas season is still fermenting in our souls and bodies and still being shown to all and sundry! This brings to mind an idea I recently read at the bottom of a Daily Bread Devotion, which says ‘as we put away the Christmas decorations, do not put away the Christmas spirit.’ 

Now doesn’t that sound very interesting, enlightening and Christ-like? It surely does. So let’s ponder on that statement nuh, as we begin taking down the decorations in the next week or so, and just allow the wonderful spirit of Christmas to flow over into, and all through the New Year!  Hope does spring eternal! (smile) 

Now let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm provided over the last week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one is rather interesting: ‘Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.’ And we can take that to mean that we should live extravagantly, beyond our financial means, up to our necks in debt etc. etc. 

But that is definitely not a very good way to live one’s life. One ought to live within the realm of what one can afford, and not go overboard and cause yourself more heartache and trouble than is necessary. However, the other side to statement is that one ought not to just live a comfortable life without stepping out of one’s comfort zone every so often, because that’s what really makes life interesting. 

We ought to set our goals, our caps, a little higher than we can reach on tippy toes, so that it will stretch us, cause us to put ourselves out some, and thus add some light and lustre to this dark and evil world. That’s what our Lord and Saviour expects of us when He says we are the light of the world. We are to be constantly reaching for something better and brighter in His holy name. 

Then we have this one: ‘Never let someone else decide for you whether you are going to be happy or sad.’ Now there’s some wisdom in that statement. Generally speaking, our decisions to be happy or sad should be ours, because we are the ones who have to bear the repercussions of either decision. Others can certainly tell us what they think, and we can listen to their well-intentioned advice, but only we can decide what state of mind is right or wrong for us at any particular time. 

Now here’s the last quote: ‘LOVE yourself. Stay happy. Live life to the fullest, and focus on the best things in life!’ And I guess those are things we all would certainly like to do in this earthly life. But please note that the only way we can successfully do the last three is if we are successful at the first! Very little of true worth will happen to us if we don’t LOVE ourselves. And even if it does, we won’t be happy because our spirit’s not at peace. 

And we don’t mean LOVE in a narcissistic way either, but just being comfortable with whom you are, knowing that you’re doing your best, having Jesus as your guiding light. As they say, you ought to like you, because you take you everywhere with you! And that’s gospel truth! If you don’t like you, then most likely others won’t like you either. How can they when the dislike for yourself comes through in your words and behaviour eh? 

That’s why, in talking about great commandments Jesus stipulated in our Bit: ‘And the second is like unto it (the first), Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.’ Yeh friends, we only need two commandments yes; LOVE God, and LOVE our neighbours as we LOVE ourselves! 

Please note that Jesus didn’t just say LOVE your neighbour, but as you LOVE yourself! And that means if you don’t like yourself, then you won’t be able to like your neighbour either. So friends, it all depends on how we feel about ourselves, because what we have inside is what is going to come out. 

As Jesus specified to the multitude, and the Pharisees in particular: ‘Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt.15:10-11) Likewise friends, if we don’t have true LOVE in our hearts, true LOVE won’t ever come out of us. And the only way to have true LOVE in our hearts is by making Jesus our Lord and Saviour and living by His example and desires. 

And we’ll close with these immortal words of Jesus on the subject. ‘A new commandment I give unto you, that ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) And that’s why our world is such an awful and evil place; we’re not LOVING each other the way Jesus LOVED us. It’s as simple as that friends! 

Now let’s spend some time seriously pondering the state of LOVE in our hearts nuh, and then ask the Lord to help us make the necessary changes. That’s the only way our world will improve. Much LOVE!

…it all begins and ends with LOVE…LOVE for God…LOVE for ourselves…and LOVE for our neighbours…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 October 2018 Zephaniah 3:17.

Zephaniah 3:17. The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest (quiet you) in his LOVE, he will joy over thee with singing.

 

And Saturday dawned bright and sparkling…but there had to be a fly in the ointment. Chuh! At eight o’clock in the morning I went out on the balcony to do some quiet reading, but lo and behold a man was out there mowing the lawn next to my building, making a terrible racket. Didn’t he realize that people liked to sleep in on Saturdays, and 8 o’clock was just too early to be making so much noise around the buildings? 

Obviously not! I took it for a little while then had to come back inside to the A.C. Like lawn mowers are the bane of my existence wherever I go! (smile) However, like all things do, it eventually came to an end, and we were able to open the balcony door again and allow some of the cool sea air to filter into the room. 

And since today is that blessed day of relaxation – Saturday -, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one: ‘The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters.’ 

Now the first part I can live with, because it is important to enjoy your life and be happy, since that’s why Jesus gave up His, and as He says, came so that we might have life more abundantly. (John 10:10) But the part that says being happy is all that matters is totally wrong, for what really matters is living a godly, righteous and obedient life before God: LOVING God and LOVING our neighbours and brothers! 

As we saw over the last two days, those are the two most important life principles, and if we follow them, everything else, including, especially happiness and enjoyment will flow from it. Then hear this: ‘I enjoy life when things are happening. I don’t care if it’s good things or bad things. That means you’re alive.’ 

So is it only when things are happening you can feel alive? I don’t think so, since life is never always moving, there are a lot of calm times and doldrums when it feels like nothing is happening. But be apprised that our great God is ALWAYS working behind the scenes, so when you think that nothing is going on, a lot is happening in the background. But it’s also essential to have a good attitude towards life, whether it’s rough or running smoothly. 

And this next quote tells us that: ‘Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.’ And there is a fair amount of truth to it. You can’t stand stationary in life and expect to improve, especially if you’re a serious follower of Jesus, because He expects continual growth from His people. He expects us to become more and more mature every day, as the Good Book says; moving from glory to glory, climbing higher and higher, li’l by li’l, as we mature in our faith and become more Christ-like. 

And the last quote solemnly declares: ‘The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.’ And that’s a fact my brethren. The more you praise your God and celebrate your life the more there will be to celebrate and praise! I can personally testify to that. It doesn’t mean that trials and tribulations, adversity and calamity won’t befall you, but even under those negative circumstances you will find reason to praise God and celebrate life. 

Listen to the advocacy of our Bit, when the prophet Zephaniah declared the ultimate supremacy of Israel so long ago. ‘The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest (quiet you) in his LOVE, he will joy over thee with singing.’ 

Wow mih breddren! Can there be a greater promise than that? Only that pertaining to salvation and eternal life! And since it’s God’s promise, then you know it will be kept, because NONE of His words ever come back to Him void, they ALWAYS perform the purpose they are sent forward to perform. And we can’t refute that the Lord is mighty in our midst, for so He is in the universe He created, and there is NONE as mighty as Him! 

As per ‘he will save…’ Glory Glory mih people, the Lord has indeed saved us by offering His Son, our Lord and Saviour as a sinless sacrifice in atonement for our abominable sins! Praise His holy name! And he is rejoicing over us with unbelievable joy; those who choose to come to Him humbly and reverently through His Son Jesus Christ! 

And if you believe in Christ, then you are put to rest, quieted in His awesome and unconditional LOVE! And the Lord our God is indeed joying over us with singing and glad tidings because we are His, have been sealed by the Holy Spirit as His people until the day of redemption. Mama Mia! What joy comes from believing in Jesus Christ! Nothing else can compare to it. 

And if you don’t believe Zephaniah…or me (smile) then listen to Isaiah talking about the restoration of Zion. ‘For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.’ (Is.62:5) 

And once more from Isaiah, re new heavens and a new earth: ‘And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.’ (Is.65:19) Ah friends, what a momentous and monumental day that will be, when all grief and crying, sorrow and pain will have been banished from our lives! Give the Lord thanks and praise for that promise which we all know will be kept in His time! Much LOVE!

…you have to believe it…through faith…before you see it…that’s the Lord’s way

 

 

 

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