Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 August 2019 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.     ​If any man will come after (desire to follow) me; let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
 

Well hello, hello, you beautiful fellow saints in Christ! Blessings and mercy and peace and forgiveness and all the other good things that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has made available and possible to us! And they are plentiful and wonderful! That’s why Bruh Paul reassured the church at Philippi after they sacrificed their own wants to send him a gift. ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:19) 

And He has, and will continue to do so my faithful believers, even for those of you who are still tired and bedraggled from the Caribana partying. (smile) And note it’s Wednesday; the hump day, so only a couple more to go till Friday. You can handle it perfectly if you just keep hanging with Jesus, our Leader extraordinaire. 

And talking about Leaders, here is a quote on the subject, reputedly from one Sam Chand, a supposed leadership guru. It says: ‘Your ability to lead is equal to your tolerance for pain. Leading is bleeding – You need to be resilient.’ No lie about any of that my brethren! That’s why Jesus was and still is such a wonderful leader. 

His tolerance for pain, both figuratively and physically are off the charts. I doubt that any of us could have withstood the pain and suffering He did with little or no complaining. And He certainly bled – literally- on our behalf to boot! And He was certainly resilient too as His awesome resurrection on Easter morning showed! Satan could not keep Him down in Hades for long! So even by man’s standards Christ was an awesome leader! Glory to God! 

And something else that a good leader also has is what we term ‘charisma.’ And there are several definitions of it. Here are a few: ‘a compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others; a divinely conferred power or talent; a personal magic of leadership arousing special popular loyalty or enthusiasm for a public figure (such as a political leader); personal magnetism or charm; a type of leadership seen as extraordinary. The term “charisma” is used to describe a particular type of leader who uses “values-based, symbolic, and emotion-laden leader signaling” Whatever that means! (smile) 

But we know that Jesus had charisma in spades, everybody wanted to follow Him, until they discovered that following Him was not exactly an easy row to hoe. And Jesus set out His terms of discipleship quite clearly and up front, as He always did. ‘If any man will come after (desire to follow) me; let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ No mincing of words there friends. 

And I like how Luke puts it; we must take up our crosses ‘DAILY’ not just when we feel like it! And that’s a major problem with many a supposed believer because they think that taking up their crosses daily is a bit too much and too hard. It’s like the young rich ruler who came to Jesus asking what He must do to be saved. Oh, he gallantly answered that he did all the easy parts found in the Ten Commandments. 

‘Then Jesus beholding him LOVED him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast; and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.’ (Mark 10:21) And we all know that he walked away sadly because he could not fathom the thought of selling all of his possessions. 

But you’ll note too that the Good Book says that ‘Jesus LOVED him;’ that is felt compassion because He knew that following Him would never be an easy task, especially for one who had much worldly wealth. But as the scholars say: ‘10:21. Jesus identifies the one area that revealed the man’s true lack of devotion to God. A clear-cut issue must be decided.’ 

Oh friends, the same thing applies to us today. We have to truly decide whether the material things and ways of the world are more important to us than doing the will of God through the leadership of Christ! Now, just ponder on this nugget for a moment nuh: Supposing Jesus had thought the same way like the rich, young ruler and so many of us today, and reacted in like fashion, refusing to give up His wealth and health and good life in heaven, what would be our state right now eh? 

Crapaud smoke we pipe for sure! We’d be hell-bound with Lucifer forever! And remember too that the Father didn’t force Jesus to take up His cross nuh. He asked Him nicely, and because Jesus LOVED the Father everlasting and didn’t want to disobey Him, He took up His cross and daily carried it while here on earth. 

And what we have to realize friends and supposed believers is that taking up one’s cross doesn’t mean giving up everything we have, and/or not desiring the good things of life, but just denying ourselves when our desires cut across or conflict with the will of God. Remember Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) So if we put God’s business first place in our lives, then He will provide the necessities of life for us. Just like Bruh Paul said at the beginning of our Bit to the Philippians. 

And remember too Jesus’ words: ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) Now that surely doesn’t mean that His followers should live broken down, poor and bedraggled. In fact He expects us to be the exact opposite, the most joyful and fun-filled people on the earth, the salt and light of the world, because of all the good things His sacrificed life and blood has provided for us! 

So let’s smarten up nuh mih people, let’s pick up that cross daily and step out strong with it, because Jesus will also give us the strength and wherewithal to bear it gallantly and joyfully. Bless His Holy Name! Now let’s go home declaring (right ho!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know our wonderful position in Christ. In strong voice with a sincere sense of purpose: 

‘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 if we keep shouldering our crosses daily, oh boy, oh boy, will that future with Christ ever be glorious! Much LOVE!

…there’s no leader like Jesus…He’s already done ALL that He now asks us to do…and He helps us to do it too…Glory be…!

Advertisements

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 1 September 2018 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.   And he (Jesus) said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Cooler days are here again! You can bet your bottom dollar on that friends! Come September, the cool weather just explodes on us. Although in these times of climate change who knows what will happen. Yesterday evening though, I noticed that some maple trees in my area have already begun turning brown in preparation for the long, dry, cold, winter months. 

Do they know something that we don’t know! It’s possible. But not to worry, once we’re walking hand in hand with Jesus, we can face anything that comes against us, remember we’re conquerors in His Name! Glory to God! 

And with it being Saturday, let’s take a look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘Throw kindness around like confetti.’ 

Mama Mia! And if you’re a sincere follower of Jesus, that is exactly what you ought to be doing, for kindness is, was, and always will be the hallmark of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and if it’s not in your repertoire of attributes, then you’re not a sincere follower. 

And this next one says: ‘It is better to walk alone, than with a crowd going in the wrong direction.’ And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! You’re certainly better off alone than with the crowd going in the wrong direction. Some of us will remember being cautioned by our parents: ‘Don’t follow the crowd!’ And that’s usually wise advice, for the crowd is usually taking the easy way out, following Lucifer, and doing what they’re not supposed to do. 

So even if you get lonely treading that wise path that leads in the right direction, remember you’re NEVER really alone, because Jesus is ALWAYS with you, faithfully keeping His promises to never leave nor forsake you! Oh, our Jesus is so wonderful! How could we not LOVE Him eh! 

And this next quote reminds us to: ‘Remember, for everything you have lost, you have gained something else. Without the dark, you would never see the stars.’ Likewise friends, if we didn’t have rain, we would never appreciate the sun and its brilliant light. So please try to not focus so much on what you’ve lost, but on what you’ve gained through the loss. (smile) 

Now hear this tongue breaker: ‘One day it just clicks. You realize what’s important and what is not. You learn to care less about what other people think of you and more about what you think of yourself. You realize how far you’ve come and you remember when you thought things were such a mess that you would never recover. And you smile. You smile because you are truly proud of yourself and the person you’ve fought to become.’ 

Glory be for that day my brethren! That’s the day when we truly discover the Lord in our hearts! When we truly surrender our lives to Him and realize that He is ALL that really matters! Wow! What an enlightening day that usually is! 

And this last quote is the basis for our writing today: ‘Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one.’ And that’s no lie my fellow believers! The right path in this life is following Jesus, but hear what He says in our Bit for those who want to follow Him. ‘And he (Jesus) said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ 

Now that’s definitely not an easy row to hoe my people! That’s a daily denial of self! Note the young ruler who came to Jesus seeking eternal life. Note his sad, despondent reaction when Jesus told him eternal life would be his, if he sold his many possessions and gave to the poor, then came back and followed him. (Matt.19:16-22)

Unfortunately too many of us feel that way about our earthly possessions. But yuh see what Jesus went through on our behalf? It wasn’t easy for Him, even though He was God in human flesh. Now we most likely won’t go through as much ‘sufferation’ as He did, but we will definitely go through some, most likely more than we desire or care for. (smile) 

And Jesus didn’t mince words on the subject. He very clearly informed the disciples, and consequently all who came after, like us: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace: In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Wow! What reassuring words my breddren! Though He tells us very clearly that we will face trouble in this evil world, we’re not to worry about it, because He has overcome the world with His sacrificial death and resurrection. And even when trials come against us, if we’re sincerely walking with Him, we’ll find peace; the peace of God, which passes all human understanding, that shall keep (guard) our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) 

Yeh friends, that peace is so special, that only true believers in Christ can experience it. Hear how Jesus explains it. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) Yeh friends, that peace is not of this world, but it comes from the Prince of Peace, so it’s a mighty tool in the lives of believers. 

And we’ll close with some more authoritative words of Jesus, re our Bit. ‘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)?’ (Luke 9:24-25) 

Now that’s a very good question friends? Do we want to have all the earthly wealth and lose our eternal soul, be separated from our Triune God in eternity? For all our sakes, I hope not. That means we have to seriously buckle down, and each and every day, pick up our cross and walk with it, the way Jesus did with His, in true obedience to His Father’s will. Much LOVE!

…earthly life might be difficult…but the rewards of eternity with God are certainly worth it…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 April 2016 Luke 9:23‏‏

Luke 9:23.   And he said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Oh friends, oh friends, it’s Thursday, another bright and sunshiny day in my neck of the woods! And on top of that, it’s also supposed to be warmer than yesterday. 

Oh, all praise and glory be to our amazing God, who bestows, who showers us with new and wonderful mercies, blessings and LOVING-kindness each and every day! 

Wow! How could I not LOVE, worship, praise, revere and glorify such a magnanimous Deity eh! 

And all God’s people declared a loud and proud, ‘Praise the Lord, for His goodness to the undeserving children of men!’ 

Yes my people, we do deserve to praise our heavenly Father for His unselfish care and compassion for us. Just wish that we could show Him and each other the same kind of care and concern. Anyway, since it’s Thursday, it’s time for us to confidently declare our Thursday Blessing… 

And with a thoughtful frown, the congregation asks: ‘What yuh talking about eh? Didn’t know we had a Thursday Blessing.’ 

Well the truth is my precious people, I didn’t know that either until a couple nights ago when I got this zeppo. (smile) 

And the story goes like this. As part of my devotions, I read an old devotional written by Bubba (Joel Osteen) in his early days of ministry. It had to be, because it’s old and beat up now, with some of the pages falling apart, and it was already old when I discovered it at my mothers place some years ago and we began reading it everyday, even when we couldn’t remember Bubba’s name. (smile) 

It’s called ’30 Thoughts for Victorious Living.’ I don’t know if Bubba even remembers that he wrote something like that, the amount of stuff he’s written over the last few years. But I like it; it serves my purposes, and I will continue to use it as long as I can. 

On a point of interest, most of my devotionals are old, but I prefer them to some of the new-fangled stuff that’s out there now. 

Anyway a couple days ago I was reading the devotions for the 11th of the month, which says ‘Declare Blessing’, and the prevailing scripture for that is the blessing instituted by our God long time ago for the Israelites. ‘Say to them, may the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favour and give you His peace.’ (Num.6:24) 

And the opening lines of the devotion are: ‘A blessing is not a blessing until it is declared! So today declare a blessing over yourself and others. Speak that blessing in the name of Jesus!’ And then he goes on to declare some blessings. 

Now the other day when I finished reading it, it suddenly occurred to me that it would make a good prayer for Thursdays. I thought about a couple of names, like ‘Thursday’s Temptation,’ or ‘Thursday’s Tantrum’ (smile) but eventually ended up with ‘Thursday’s Blessing’ as being more appropriate. 

And what I’ve done is basically taken Bubba’s general blessings and individualized them. So please declare with me now my brethren our Thursday Blessing, in a loud, proud, sincere and confident manner. 

‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Yes friends, that’s our Thursday Blessing. I like it, and I do hope you like it too. It’s basically a rework of the Lord’s blessings promised to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 28:1-14. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, some very important words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, re the terms of our discipleship. ‘And he said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ 

Yes my brethren, the number one rule in following Jesus is to deny ourselves, become selfless instead of selfish, as our world is today. That doesn’t mean we don’t look after ourselves as best we can and do stuff for ourselves, but that we are not the be all and end all of our earthly lives. 

Just as Jesus came to serve and save, we too must concentrate on serving and saving, and on a daily basis too, which isn’t always easy. But as I keep saying, with God’s help, EVERYTHING is doable! 

And we’ll end with Jesus’ words after our Bit. ‘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. But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.’ (Luke 9:24-27) 

And there we have it friends, the self-explanatory, immortal words of Jesus on how we must approach our discipleship. Please, let’s take some time today to ponder our individual relationship with Jesus, re those terms of discipleship. And as always, with God’s help, try to improve them, for that’s the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…successfully walking with Jesus…takes lots of time…lots of selflessness…lots of care and consideration for others…  

P.S. I know it’s long and late, but please be aware that the hockey playoffs have begun, which means that there’s lots of hockey every night, and thus there will be many late nights and consequently late mornings. (smile) Just bear with the ole fella nuh. He’s got to have a life too yuh know. And once he’s alive and kicking, the Bit will get there…eventually. Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 April 2016 Luke 9:23‏

Luke 9:23.   And he said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Well, well my people, it’s another bright, sunshiny day in the life! Let’s hope it’s at least a tad warmer than yesterday, as we hopefully move into true spring-like weather by the weekend. And all God’s people in the northern climes declared a loud ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Yeh friends, the crazy weather fluctuations do begin to get frustrating after a while. However, the good news is that it’s Wednesday, and therefore we are bold to confess and declare our Wednesday Wail. So as one good wailer, let’s wail nuh mih breddren, with sincerity and a true sense of purpose. 

‘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!’ 

Oh friends, that was beautiful! I could hear the sincerity in our delivery. And why shouldn’t  there be sincerity eh? We’re alive and kicking, doing our best to be Christ-like and mature more and more in our Christian walk of faith each day. 

We know what Jesus has promised and what He’s already done for us, therefore we are standing strong and steadfast in His Word, doing His will and looking forward to the wonderful future He has planned for us, not only in the many mansions in heaven, but also down here on earth. 

And yes my people, as Bruh David said, he don’t know what he would have done, had he not expected to see God’s goodness and LOVING-kindness down here. And Jesus also declared that He had come that we might have life, and have it abundantly. 

So earthly living, though it can often be rough, is not meant to be a hell on earth, but more a heaven on earth! Therefore let’s get our minds focused on God’s goodness down here nuh, not simply on the rough spells we sometimes must go through. 

Remember, life might not be fair, but God is GOOD my people, and if we live sincerely for Him, He will pour our His blessings on us. 

And in light of all of that, it is imperative that we do as our Bit dictates. ‘And he said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ 

Oh precious people, I know that sounds somewhat harsh and laborious, but it really isn’t, because the essence of taking up one’s cross daily and following Jesus is simply living in His will; trying to do what’s right, reading the Bible, praying, fellowshipping, maturing, treating others as we want them to treat us. It’s just the everyday things of Christian living and discipleship. 

Now, no one says it’s easy, but with God’s help it is doable, and yuh better believe, it’s always interesting. So please, let’s not allow the idea of taking up our cross daily, yes daily, turn us off. The important thing is to put Jesus FIRST in ALL that we do and say. For as He said yesterday, whoever puts anything or anybody before Him, is not worthy of Him. (Matt.10:36-39) 

And today, He is telling the disciples to not be afraid of what man can do to them, because our heavenly father has us covered, so much so that even the hairs on our head are numbered. Sorry for those of you who have no hair. (smile) 

So with truth, sincerity and power, Jesus declares: ‘Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered (veiled), that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the air, that preach ye upon the housetops. 

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell… 

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.’ (Matt.10:26-28; 32-33) 

Ah mih people, it couldn’t be any clearer than that nuh. Don’t be afraid! Jesus said that numerous times to the disciples, and He’s still saying it to us today. But unfortunately we don’t seem to have the faith and belief and spunk that the disciples eventually gained, because we are not standing up as strong as we ought to for Jesus. 

We are allowing the evil and ungodly world to just dismantle all that our Christian forefathers spent their lives building without a serious fight. We need to put up friends, or simply shut up! 

And we’ll close with some interesting explanations from the scholars. ’10:32-37. Confess me means “Acknowledge that you belong to Me.” In reality, secret discipleship is a practical impossibility. Jesus constantly called for an open confession of Himself by His followers. 

That our confession is to be before men clearly indicates that a public confession of true Christian faith is a virtual necessity. The warning whosoever shall deny me is a comprehensive historical aorist (no limitation) tense, referring not to one moment of denial (such as Peter’s), but to an entire lifelong resistance to Christ. 

Therefore, a single act of denial does not make one unworthy of being a disciple, but a refusal to confess Christ at all, eliminates one from being a true follower of Jesus Christ.’ 

There we have it friends, in black and white! We cannot continually deny Jesus and expect to be His disciple. We must acknowledge Him without fear of reprisals. For He has promised to never leave nor forsake us, and to be a true believer, we must accept Him and His words as gospel truth. Otherwise, we’re just fooling ourselves, and that’s a real sad thing to do. Much LOVE!

…walking sincerely with Jesus is often a hard row to hoe…but hoe it we must…and with the Lord’s help…hoe it we will…  

P.S. Late though it be, it’s value is still priceless. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 April 2016 Luke 9:23

Luke 9:23.   And he said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

And then it was a dry, warmer, sunshiny Tuesday! Glory to God! Yeh friends, Tuesday has dawned much better than Monday did, and let’s hope the remaining days of the week will do likewise. 

Oh, they are even forecasting temps up in the high teens for the latter part of the week. Let’s hope that the weather people are right, because we do need a break from this rather unseasonable weather. And all God’s people in the beleaguered northern climes shouted a loud ‘For sure!’ (smile) 

But my people, though the weather might be important to a certain extent, we cannot allow it to be a major focus in our lives. It’s not that important. Our focus must be concentrated on Jesus and doing His will here on earth. 

And to help us do that this Tuesday, spring-like morning, (smile) let’s declare, let’s confess our Tuesday Mantra with a whole lot of enthusiasm and conviction. 

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 isn’t that the glorious truth my fellow believers? Indeed it is! We are not defined by whom this evil and adulterated world says we are. No! We are defined as God’s beloved children and all the wonderful things that entails! 

All praise and glory be to our heavenly Father for His mercy and LOVING-kindness, sending Jesus to die for us, then to become our friend and most trusted confidante! Oh what an honour that is! 

Consequently, we are duty bound to share the good news of His gospel and His unconditional LOVE with all we meet, wherever we might go, for we are today’s disciples, entrusted with the sacred duty and directive, aptly named ‘The Great Commission’: 

‘Go therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always(s), even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) 

Oh friends and neighbours, are we fulfilling that mandate to the best of our ability? I don’t think so nuh, else the church of Jesus; His earthly body of followers would be much larger, more cohesive and Christ-like than it is today. The divisions and dissensions, the envy and jealousy and resentment would surely not be as great as they currently are. 

Now here is some interesting info from the scholars, termed the ‘Purpose of the Church.’ ’28:19. The controlling purpose of the local church is to make disciples of all kinds of people. Those who are evangelized and converted should then be baptized, attesting to their identification with Christ and the local body of believers. 

The final phase of the Great Commission is to train disciples in Christian knowledge and for effective service. A church cannot choose one aspect of its responsibility and neglect the others. The Great Commission is a simple command with three steps – evangelism, baptism, and education. 

Illustration: The Great Commission is the strategy by which the church at Jerusalem saturated its community with the gospel. Application: Every Christian should determine that his ministry for Christ in the church upholds God’s objective for that institution. (First Ref. Matt.16:18; Primary ref. Matt.28:19; cf. Phil.1:27).’ 

Oh my fellow believers in Christ, are we upholding all the aspects of the Great Commission in our local churches, are we saturating our local communities with the gospel? I don’t think so nuh. At least not to the extent that we should. 

Are we evangelizing and training disciples in the knowledge of Christ? Not as we ought to. The church of Christ ought to be more forceful and proactive, not fearful and reactive and divisive as it is. Unless we’re all on the same page, nothing truly constructive will be done to further God’s glorious kingdom. 

And it all begins with us at the individual and local level my people; right down at the grass roots. The church needs a solid foundation at the bottom, just as any successful organization needs to have, if it is to grow strong and prosper for an enduring length of time, and in Christ’s case, forever. 

That finally brings us to our Bit, where Jesus laid down the terms of discipleship in His organization. ‘And he said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ 

Yes my precious people, to be true disciples of Jesus, we have to take up our cross, and follow Jesus. And please note that He emphasizes a ‘daily’ taking up of our cross, not sometimes, or when we feel like, but each and every day of our lives. 

Now listen to how Matthew characterizes it in his gospel. ‘He that LOVETH father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that LOVETH son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.’ (Matt.10:37-39) 

Yeh friends, Jesus is supposed to be our NUMBER ONE LOVE! No ifs ands and buts about that! And if we LOVE anybody else or anything more than Him, then unfortunately we are not worthy of Him. 

So please, today, let’s take some time to truly ponder what position Jesus holds on the depth chart of our LOVE, and do whatever it takes nuh, with God’s help obviously, to make Him Number One, El Numero Uno! For that is true wisdom. Much LOVE!

…who is the Greatest…Jesus…who is Number One…Jesus…who is our Lord and Saviour…Jesus…who is our Advocate in heaven…Jesus…it’s ALL about Jesus… 

P.S. Please excuse the lateness, but the ole fella’s life been sort of topsy turvy these last few days. Got to bring it into balance. (smile) Much LOVE!