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 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!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 January 23 2015 Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28.   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.
 

Well my fine Friends and neighbours, please don’t all gladly shout out at the same time, but it’s that magical day called Friday! 
 
And do you think they listened to my plea? Steups! No way! For immediately a cacophony of sound erupted in my ears.
 
‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday yes! The week’s been a li’l rough, and we need a break from the slave labour right about now! Thank the Good Lord it’s finally Friday oui, and the weekend soon here to ease up the pressure!’
 
Ah mih people, I know that some of us are tired and hurting, and just dying for the weekend to come. And nothing’s really wrong with that, because we all deserve a couple days off after several days of labouring.
 
But we shouldn’t just have this worldly attitude of living for Friday and the weekend to come around. We ought to have a higher and deeper purpose in life.
 
The message we’ve been enjoined to share as followers of Jesus Christ is one LOVE, peace, harmony, justice, equal rights, truth, trust, surrender to and faith in Almighty God through His most wonderful son, Jesus Christ! 
 
That’s the message we need to share with, reveal to the world, not just a bout of passing happiness on a Friday, because we’ve gotten a break from work. As true believers, we have to rise to a higher level than that.
 
Work should not be our enemy, but our friend, because it’s what keeps us going, gives us the broad and varied interaction with others that we need to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. And it also keeps food on our tables, as well as a roof over our heads.
 
So work should play an important part in our lives. We have to look at it not as the same old, same old, mundane way of life, that’s just a revolving circle with no end. Instead, we have to develop a bigger, brighter and better sense of purpose; one that will bring us the lasting joy that we so desperately need and desire, every day, rather than just on the weekends. 
 

Now let’s chant our Friday Chant, which helps us to have a better perspective on the use of the weekend. As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.
 
Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’
 
Yes Friends, it’s short, but to the point! Let’s hope that it will cause us to look at our individual attitudes towards work and the weekend, and encourage us to come up a bit higher in the overall scheme of things.
 
And talking about purpose Friends, there’s no better scripture to call to mind on the topic than our Bit. ‘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.’
 
And there’s no disputing that statement my people, because that’s exactly what our omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present God does! He works out everything for good to those whom He has called, and who have responded with a deep and sincere LOVE for Him.
 
And I can personally testify to that, because since He’s called me to do His work, some eight years ago, my life has improved in numerous ways. Now it’s not a bed of roses, for I still have my human and earthly ups and downs.
 
But with His assurance and faithful work in my life, I now go about with a more confident and proactive outlook. And He can do the same for you, if you’ll only look to Him with sincere trust and faith.
 
Now let’s get some explanations on our Bit from the scholars. ‘8:28. To them that LOVE God is the human perspective. God is working all things together for good, but those who LOVE God are best able to appreciate that fact because they LOVE Him no matter what. (cf. Job 13:15) To them who are the called is the divine perspective. Scripture often refers to believers as “the called” or “the elect.”
 
Yes my brethren, we are indeed “the called, the elect” who are supposed to bring a brighter and better perspective to the world, one that reflects the characteristics of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
 
But are we doing that? To some extent, I suppose. But certainly not enough, for the world’s spinning further and further out of control, getting deeper and deeper into evil and ungodliness. And we, the followers of Jesus Christ, are the only people capable of stopping and righting it.
 
And that’s our basic purpose Friends; to right this fallen world of ours. That’s what Jesus died for. He gave His sinless life as a sacrifice to bring us into His fold, so that we can have fellowship together and a wonderful relationship with Him.
 
But once we’ve found that grace, mercy and forgiveness that He pours into our hearts, we’re also supposed to tell others about it, so that they too can find the joy, the peace and LOVING-kindness that comes with being a believer. Remember Jesus’ last words to the disciples were to go and spread the good news of His salvation all over the earth. (Matt.28:19-20)
 
Now my people, that Great Commission has been passed down to us. This is our time to spread the Word. And more than any other generation before us, we have the tools to do so with the recent explosion in communications technology.
 
So please, let’s get ourselves together nuh, in peace and harmony, as Jesus desires, and live up to our purpose as “the called, the elect” of God. That’s the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!
 
…it’s time to take up our cross and follow Jesus…wherever he may lead…even to the ends of the earth…
 
P. S. It’s late because I had a bit of a struggle this morning, both physically and mentally. And just as I was about ready to send it out, the finicky computer froze on me. Ah Lord eh! But as you can see, the Lord eventually worked all things out for good as He promised. (smile) Much LOVE!