Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2018 Matthew 7:20.

Matthew 7:20.   Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
 
Aye friends, the ole fella is somewhat listless and lethargic this Saturday morning yes! And the aches and pains not helping the situation either nuh. But yuh know what, we not giving in to the feelings today. The aches and pains might slow us down some, but we not stopping. Remember the race is not for the swift but for the sure of foot, and yuh better believe when I plant my big feet down they stay down! (smile) 

Yeh, it’s just one of those days; the weather doesn’t look good, the body doesn’t feel good, but GOD IS GREAT! That’s something we can always count on, for He has said so in the promises of His Word, and His Word does not lie! Give Him some thanks and praise my people! 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week in his noble attempt to aspire us to a better tomorrow. And this one jumps right out at me today: ‘You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.’ Wow! That’s gospel truth! For none of us can do it all ourselves. As they say, no man is an island. The Lord made us to fellowship with each other and to help each other, not to be single and all sufficient in our selves. 

And on that point, hear what the Good Book says: ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves: but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor.3:5) Now that says it all! 

And this next quote also points directly to God: ‘Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.’ You do have all of that, but only if God is sincerely in your efforts! 

Now listen to this one: ‘It is possible to become discouraged about the injustice we see everywhere. But God did not promise us that the world would be humane and just. He gives us the gift of life and allows us to choose the way we will use our limited time on earth. It is an awesome opportunity.’ 

Yes friends, it is an awesome opportunity we’ve been given to live for Jesus on this earth. And to use that opportunity properly, we need to remember these two scriptures. In the immortal words of Bruh David: ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.’ (Ps.34:8) And also: ‘The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.’ (Ps.145:9) 

It’s all about our heavenly Father my people! And this quote exemplifies that: ‘We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.’ That goes right back to the first quote, we can’t be successful on our own, for success means taking others on that journey with us, both individually and communally! That’s how the Lord designed it! 

And this last quote covers them all: ‘When we are really honest with ourselves we must admit our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines the kind of people we are.’ And today I want to focus on that last line; how we live our lives determines the kind of people we are. 

Yeh friends, we can live our lives like the Pharisees did, outwardly showy and hypocritical, or like Jesus recommended, honest and truly considerate of others. For as He says: ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.’ Yes friends, by our deeds we shall be known. And hear some deep insights of Jesus on the subject of how men live their lives. 

First off, He states very clearly: ‘A good tree cannot bring forth evil (bad) fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.’ (Matt.7:18) And that’s not rocket science, just plain, basic logic. Then Jesus lays it out in plain terms: ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt.15:11) 

Oh friends, I hope we understand that. We can’t bear good fruit unless what is in us and what comes out of us is good! What’s in our hearts determines the kind of people we’ll be! 

Hear Jesus again: ‘Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out (eliminated) into the draught (body waste)? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt.15:17-20) 

Yeh friends, that whole argument began when the Pharisees complained that the disciples were eating with unwashed hands, which they considered a big thing. But Jesus, as usual set them right. And in Matthew 23, (please read it) He really lambastes the Pharisees, who looked real good on the outside but were dirty as hell on the inside! 

And we’ll end with this description: ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres (white washed tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness).’ (Matt.23:27-28) 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ’23:27-33. Whited sepulchres: Since contact with a dead body rendered a person unclean according to the Mosaic Law, graves were customarily painted white to make them conspicuous and give the opportunity of avoiding contact with them.’ 

Oh friends, please let us live lives that will not cause those unpleasant comparisons to be said of us nuh. Instead let us be good and uncorrupted trees, so that we can bear good fruit in Jesus’ name and make a productive difference in the lives of those around us. Much LOVE!

…whatsoever is in our heart…will undoubtedly manifest itself in our outward behaviour…that’s why we need a clean heart to live for Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 January 2015 Hebrews 12:1

Hebrews 12:1. Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us. 
 

All hail my fine Friends in Jesus Christ! It’s a brand new spanking day! Yes my brethren, we’ve been granted the fabulous gift of life on a new day through the wonderful grace of Almighty God, so please, let’s rejoice and be glad in it!
 
Let’s joyfully enjoy (smile) the new mercies and blessings that have been specially prepared for us for this day. Let’s also do our best to live up to the high ideals of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, whose motto is excellence at all times.
 
And having said all of that, on this chilly Thursday morning, the 15th day of January 2015, I have this most appropriate passage for this time of year to share from the One Year Book of Promises, with writings from Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s simply titled ‘January.’
 
Read with me: ‘It’s January, Lord – The drab, dreary middle – And my thoughts are as drab As the miserable month. Does everybody hit a January slump Or am I the only one? The first week wasn’t too bad: There were Christmas thank-yous to write A few resolutions to store away The huddle of year-end sales.
 
But thank-you notes bring no returns And resolutions are quickly broken And marked-down trinkets fast lose appeal. When you said Behold, I make all things new Did you forget January, Lord? Or in January do I sometimes forget You?’
 
Oh my people, those sentiments are so true, for many of us feel that way at this time of year. I guess we can call them the ‘dog days’ of January, where we’re somewhat lost in the middle of it all. The celebrations are over and done with for the old year, and the new one hasn’t quite taken shape or hold as yet.
 
Plus we’re wondering and contemplating how we’re going to pay the bills that we’ve amassed over the Christmas season. (smile) But yuh know what my fellow believers in Christ? In this time of uncertainty, we can all hold on to the promise attached to that passage, which we’ll use as our Bit.
 
‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.’
 
Yes Friends, there are so many heroes of faith that have gone before us that we don’t lack for good and positive examples in living our Christian faith. But we need to do certain things if we’re going to be successful.
 
First of all we need to throw off any weight, both literally and figuratively, any impediment at all that is holding us back from running our race. We also need to throw off any sin, large or small, that’s entangling us, that has us struggling or keeping us back from reaching the lofty goals that Christ has planned for us.
 
And above all, we need to do those things with patience and perseverance, keep a steadfast and true pace. Yes my people, we need to be always trying to improve as we run this race of life.
 
And as the author of Hebrews so wisely and rightly continues, we ought to be: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith: who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb.12:2)
 
Oh Friends, what an encouraging and uplifting picture! Jesus is the best example of earthly living we can, and will ever have! He both began and finished the course of our faith. So we need to look to Him for proper guidance and strength to face this rat-race world that we’re currently living in.
 
We’ll never be perfect as Him, but the important thing is to try, to do our best to get as close to a Christ-like character as we can. That brings us to our New Year’s resolution of endeavouring to have a closer walk with Jesus.
 
I do hope that we haven’t already forgotten it as we get caught up again in the busyness of life. And I believe that if we’re feeling like the passage above from the Book of Promises, then we have indeed forgotten that resolution.
 
Please, let’s realign our priorities, with Jesus as NUMBER ONE, so that we can have a fruitful and successful 2015, for I firmly and faithfully believe that this will be the BEST YEAR in many of our lives!
 
Now let’s look at a scripture passage that adds weight to our Bit and empowers us in our faith. Hear Bruh Paul’s advice to the Colossians, where he’s talking about the new life in Christ. Here are some weights that we might need to throw off to lighten our load in running this race of life.
 
‘But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds. And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him. Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond (slave) nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.’ (Col.3:8-11)
 
Truly words of wisdom, my people! Now let’s close with some interesting and important notes from the scholars re those verses. ‘3:9. Seeing means “since.” The old man is all that a person was prior to salvation: his worldly thinking and sinful acts. Since all this was renounced at conversion, one should lie not. Falsehood ill becomes the person claiming to be a disciple of Him who said, “I am the…truth.”
 
3:10. The new man is the person one becomes after conversion: he possesses a new nature, values, aspirations, and a new life-style. This “new man” is constantly being renewed or developed until he attains a mature knowledge of the God who (re)created him. The more a believer knows and understands of God, the more he will be like God in character and conduct.’
 
‘3:11. Not only is the “new man” to put sin to death, he is also to put away man-made barriers that divide people and that nourish the vices of the old life. Among renewed humanity there are no national, ceremonial, cultural, or social distinctions. To the redeemed Christ is all; that is, He is everything, and He is what matters most to them. And Christ is…in all; that is, He dwells in all believers.’
 
Oh my people, it’s not easy trying to live a truly Christian life in this evil and ungodly world, but if we stick like glue to Christ, He will empower us to run this earthly race successfully, and that’s no lie! Much LOVE!
 
…just a closer walk with thee…grant it Jesus…is my plea…daily walking close to thee…let it be…dear Lord…let it be…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 July 2014 Matthew 24:13

Matthew 24:13.     But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Oh Friends, wonder of wonders, we’ve been granted another wonderful opportunity to serve Almighty God with the gift of life today! Glory Hallelujah!
 
And my people, please realize that today is today; not yesterday or tomorrow, but simply TODAY; the present time; a present from our heavenly Father! So let’s concentrate on it and no other nuh.
 
Let’s try to do our very best on this one special day, for every day that we’ve been granted the awesome privilege of drawing breath is indeed special, and ought to be treated as such. And if we just do that, treat each day as being very special and important, then it will surely satisfy the desires of yesterday, and spur on the growth for tomorrow.
 
Please note that that was what Jesus did during His earthly sojourn. He got up early, had meaningful communication with the Father, mapped out His day in accordance with the Father’s wishes and will, then He went out and worked that plan; healing and doing good.
 
He wasn’t overly concerned with what had happened yesterday, or was going to happen tomorrow, but kept His focus on, concentrated the vast majority of His energy and time on fulfilling His goals for that particular day, which is always, TODAY.
 
Therefore, in accordance with Jesus’ modus operandi, I’m asking us to please put the same perspective in our own lives; simply concentrate on what we can and have to do today.
 
As Jesus warned His listeners in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow (therefore do not worry about tomorrow): for tomorrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:33-34)
 
Yes Friends, once we’re seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness today, tomorrow will look after itself. And remember that tomorrow never really comes, it simply becomes today, so we just have to keep on doing the same thing, seeking God and His righteousness every today.
 
And that’s possibly the easiest way for us to adhere to our Bit: ‘But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.’
 
Oh mih people, as we said yesterday, the trait of endurance is a must in the believer’s life! And it’s possibly the hardest thing to do with all the pressures of life, of living, and of the world, being heaped upon us in these very sad and troubled times.
 
That’s why concentrating on just one day at a time, the day ahead of us, is so important. It frees us from all the other concerns that yesterday and tomorrow would have us pay unnecessary attention to. And just like yesterday, we’re going to look at some more of the many scripture passages that have to do with enduring.
 
And we’re going to begin with the words of Jesus, when He warns the disciples of serious persecution in their future. ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ (Matt.19:22)
 
Yes my brethren, as the saying goes, ‘the race is not for the swift, but for the sure of foot;’ the one who takes his time to see where he is going and spells himself, so that he can endure; last the entire race.
 
Then we have the author of Hebrews warning us: ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience (endurance), that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb.10:35-36)
 
Again, my people, it is all about staying strong and steadfast in the work of Christ, which we know isn’t always easy, but we’re certain of His generous help when we obey His will.
 
Meanwhile, James says this on the very real and tangible subject of temptation. ‘Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that LOVE him.’ (James 1:12)
 
And I think Friends, that it will be an excellent idea to close with some wise, interesting and important observations from the scholars on that verse.
 
‘1:12. Mankind understandably may look on tragedy as the curse of God, as Job’s friends did. Trials are, however, the means through which God’s blessings can come. One’s endurance in and victory over trials brings God’s blessings. Christians, therefore, are not instructed to seek avenues of escape.
 
God desires that they mature in the situation rather than move from it (cf. Rom.5:3-5; 1 Pet.1:6-7). He does, however, promise to provide an escape if the testing becomes unbearable (1 Cor.10:13).’
 
And I’ll break the scholars words here to show us that scripture, since I know that many of us won’t look it up if I just say to do so, and it’s very important for us to know and understand that scripture verse.
 
‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor.10:13)
 
Yeh Friends, we all run to that verse as soon as trouble shows up, expecting God to quickly deliver us. But that’s not the purpose it serves.
 
For, as the scholars continue: ‘God’s people need to meditate more on James 1:12 than 1 Corinthians 10:13. The reason for this, and why God allows trials in the lives of His people, is revealed in the Mosaic Law: ‘That he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end.’ (Deut.8:16).’
 
Yeh mih breddren, running this race of earthly life is all about ENDURANCE; about standing strong and steadfast in God’s LOVE and plan for each and every one of us.
 
So today, let’s make it our number one priority nuh, for that is indeed the wisdom of Almighty God, and we certainly can’t get any better than that! Much LOVE!
 
…when we make up our minds to endure…rather than simply escape…our heavenly Father is pleased…and gives us even more grace to endure…