Today’s Scrip-Bit   23 November 2021 Proverbs 14:12.

Proverbs 14:12.     There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death.

And now it’s Tuesday! We aced Monday, so Tuesday should be like a Sunday evening walk in the park. (smile) Yes, but my walk in the park began with scraping up a pile of leaves in my driveway, so that the garbage people could take them away. Hope that’s the last time for that exercise. (smile) Now my ole back is aching from so much bending down. 

What really hurts though, is that I look around the other driveways, and not even one single, solitary leaf litters any of them, but mine is littered with hundreds, if not thousands. But with the Lord’s awesome help, I picked up most of them, and with His help I’ll handle the backpain and whatever else comes against me on this wonderful day of being alive in Christ Jesus! 

One can’t have anything better than that in this crazy world. Jesus is the one, solid, sure thing we can depend on in this ever-changing and unfaithful world! He NEVER changes. He’s the same yesterday, today and forever! LOVING, merciful, compassionate and kind to all who call upon His name for comfort and eternal life! 

And for the life of me, I cannot fathom why so many people refuse to accept His Great Invitation. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly (gentle and humble) in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) 

And yuh better believe that there are millions of people on this groaning and falling apart earth who are labouring and heavy laden, who could use the rest He provides. But yuh think they will even consider coming to Him and getting rest for their souls? No! Because they think that they know better than the One who created the world and all therein and still controls all aspects of their lives. 

It’s like the prophet Jeremiah declared on the Lord’s behalf, re the destruction of Judah. ‘Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls, But they said, we will not walk therein.’ (Jer. 6:16) 

Oh how foolish and hard ears were the people of Judah back then, just like we are today. Instead of running to God to alleviate our problems, we are running away from Him, trying to solve them on our own, which is only creating a messier, more dangerous, cruel and evil world! And the scholar’s explanations on that verse is so true of today also. 

They say: ‘6:16. The people’s stubborn refusal to walk in the traditional ways of true righteousness is often mentioned by Jeremiah (12:16; 18:15; 23:12; 31:21). Moving in their own paths and following their own way could only lead to Judah’s destruction (cf. Prov. 14:12). The contrast of the way of righteousness and life with the way of the ungodly and death is often made in the Scriptures (e.g. Ps. 1; Matt. 7:13-14).’ 

Oh my brethren, the very same thing applies to us today; our world is facing destruction because we are trying to move in our own paths and not the paths of righteousness. And Cousin Sol hit the nail right on the head when he wrote in Proverbs: ‘There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death.’ (Prov. 14:12) Yes, that’s the verse the scholars referenced above. 

And Cousin Sol found it so important that he wrote it once again as Prov. 16:25. And it’s so important and necessary for us to realize, to acknowledge to ourselves, that the way which seems right to us may not always be the best or right way. Until we come to that understanding, we will face the critical and unfortunate situation of being led along the wrong path, that of unrighteousness and wickedness which only lead to death and destruction. 

The psalmist said it thus: ‘Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly (wicked), nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate (ponder on) day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers (channels) of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 

The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.’ (Ps. 1:1-6) 

Yes friends, as the scholars explain: ‘Blessed or happy is the righteous man, the one who avoids evil influences, deeds and attitudes, but delights in God’s word (vs. 2), and God causes him to prosper (vs.3). On the other hand, the ungodly is worth no more than chaff (vs. 4), and his destiny is judgement (vs. 5). Finally, the evaluation by the Lord Himself is described (vs. 6) The Lord knows the way of both the righteous and the ungodly. He will bless the former, but the latter shall perish.’  

And if you don’t believe what the psalmist says, then listen to Jesus tell it again. ‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. Because strait (how narrow)  is the gate, and narrow (difficult) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ (Matt. 7:13-14) 

Oh my people, there are ONLY two ways to live this life; one is righteous and godly, while the other is unrighteous and ungodly. The latter is wide and open, but also leads to destruction and eternal separation from God. Meanwhile, the former which leads to eternal life is narrow and difficult to navigate, but with Jesus’ help it is readily attainable. However, we need to want it badly enough to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve it. 

That’s the whole crux of the matter; whether we want it badly enough to believe and trust and surrender our lives to Jesus, so we can spend eternity with Him. Now, for those of us who have made the wise decision to follow Jesus’ lead, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, telling the whole world who and whose we are, shouting out loudly to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. (smile) 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘In God’s eyes, 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 having said all of that so boldly, we now have to go out and walk the talk, sharing the awesome LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to LOVE and serve Him like we do. Much LOVE!

…the road to eternal life might be narrow and difficult…but with Jesus as our guide…we’re sure to make it home…                                                                                                                                   

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 October 2021 Matthew 11:28.

Matthew 11:28.     Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 

Come on down my fellow believers in Christ Jesus, it’s time to get together and worship on this the Lord’s Day! And today we have a wonderful song to open our praise and thanksgiving session. It’s an old favourite titled ‘CRYING IN THE CHAPEL.’ The story goes that Artie Glenn wrote the song in 1951 for his son Darrell but left it in a drawer for two years, until Darrell recorded it while still in high school in 1953, along with Artie’s band the Rhythm Riders. After some rejection, it finally became a local hit and was then picked up by other artists. 

There have been numerous versions over the years, but my favourite has always been Elvis Presley’s, that is until yesterday when I was listening to some other versions and came upon one by the Norwegian singer Sissel Kyrkjebo, simply known as Sissel. Her version blew me away with its simplicity and the uniqueness of her voice, as she is supposedly one of the world’s best sopranos. 

And it seems like I’m not the only person who’s been impressed by her version, for in the comments section of the video, Cliff Glenn, Artie Glenn’s oldest grandson writes: ‘Sissel.  I have never heard this beautiful lady sing Crying in the chapel till just now. Wow! my grandfather would have loved her version. My grandfather actually wrote this song in 1951, stuck it in a drawer for 2 years, until my dad, Darrell Glenn recorded it in 1953. I’ve heard an unbelievable amount of different versions in my life, including my own. but never one soooo beautiful, “sorry dad, and Elvis. is this lady single by any chance, lol!’ 

Unfortunately, she is not Cliff. (smile) And please don’t think that Sissel is a newcomer to music, although her version was recorded sometime in the 1990’s, since then she’s sold some 10 million albums of all kinds of music. And just one more accolade before we sing, this from another admirer. ‘Angelic. The sweet siren like sound I had only previously heard from Elvis’s back-up singer- Kathy Westmorland.’ (smile) 

So now that we know Sissel is easy on the eyes and can also sing, let’s do her version. Unlike Elvis’s soulful but dark version, hers is soulful but joy-filled and bright, like a sparkling spring morning, as opposed to a dark winter evening. Therefore, without further ado, let’s fill the fall morning air with sacrifices of praise to heaven. 

‘You saw me crying in the chapel The tears I shed were tears of joy I know the meaning of contentment Now I am happy with the Lord. Just a plain and simple chapel Where humble people go to pray I prayed the Lord that I’ll grow stronger As I live from day to day I searched (I searched) and I searched (I searched) but I couldn’t find No way on earth to gain peace of mind 

Now I’m happy in the chapel Where people are of one accord (One accord) Yes, we gather in the chapel Just to sing and praise the Lord You’ll search and you’ll search but you’ll never find No way on earth to gain peace of mind Take your troubles to the chapel Get down on your knees and pray Then your burdens will be lighter And you’ll surely find the way (and you’ll surely find the way)…yes, you’ll surely find the way.’ 

Yes friends, it’s short but sweet and soulful, touches you right down in the very depths of your being! And that’s because it’s oh so true. We can find peace, contentment and the lightening of our burdens in God’s house, in prayer, since that’s what He invites us to do. Please note Jesus’ Great Invitation. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) 

Oh my people, it could not get any better than that…but it does! (smile) Listen to Jesus again, as He offers even more incentive to accept His way of life, when He proclaims: ‘I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.’ (John 6:35) Yes, Jesus is the bread that gives life, spiritual and eternal life. You can’t get those from anywhere or anybody else, for He also lets us know with supreme confidence: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) 

So what is left that Jesus can’t give, or doesn’t provide eh? And what about peace and comfort and good cheer you ask? Oh, He has all of that covered too. Hear these marvellous words of encouragement. ‘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) And if you still desire more encouragement, then listen up as our Lord and Saviour gives it. ‘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) 

And indeed He has, by taking away the keys of hell from Satan, through His death on the cross, His resurrection and ascension to heaven, where He now sits at the right hand of the Father, interceding on our behalf. Wow, mih bredrin! What more can you ask eh? Nothing! 

But our Saviour Jesus is ever so generous that He offers us even more than that, as He faithfully promised the disciples, and consequently us. ‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. The Spirit of truth… I will not leave you comfortless (as orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:16-18) And that promise was fulfilled on Pentecost Day when the Comforter, the Holy Ghost fell upon, baptized all the believers in the upper room, and thereafter indwells ALL believers. (Acts 2:2-4) 

So you can see Jesus has all the bases covered. He’s left nothing to chance. It’s just for us now to accept His Invitation to come to the Father through Him, to receive salvation and eternal life. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity my people, so please, please, let’s not waste it nuh, for the only other option available is eternal separation from the Holy Trinity, and that’s the worst mistake we can ever make, for the wages of sin is death…eternal death! Much LOVE!

…and…lo…I am with you always…even unto the end of the world… (Matt. 28:20) 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   2 October 2021   1 Corinthians 12:14.

1 Corinthians 12:14.    For the body is not one member, but many.

And then it was Saturday, that day when we breathe a huge sigh of relief because there is no work to go to. No need to get up early and face the rush hour traffic, or rather the highway parking lots, as happens both morning and evening during the work week. Today is just a day to awaken late, then simply lie on the couch and relax some more. (smile) That’s why we call it, lazy Saturday. 

Unfortunately though, some of us don’t have that luxury, we still must get up and work; like me. On a Saturday morning, I have to take the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week and try to put them in some sort of biblical context. However, since we have such a wonderful and faithful God, I do have some divine help to accomplish it. In fact, I could not do it without that help from on high. 

So, let’s invoke that help right now nuh, (smile) as we look at the first quote, which tells us: ‘You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.’ Now that seems like a fair comment, for our eyes do play tricks on us according to the focus of our imagination. It’s like the thirsty man in the desert who believes he sees and oasis in the distance, but it’s only a figment of his imagination, a mirage. He’s concentrating on water, and his eyes reflect that concentration. So sometimes we have to be careful about what we perceive with the eyes, for as they say, all that glitters is not gold. (smile) 

Then there’s this quote: ‘Create your future from your future, not your past.’ Now that’s a tough one. We always say not to let our past dictate our future, but that’s much easier said than done. However, we can never assemble a good present or future until we understand our past. That’s the purpose of our past; to understand our present and prepare our future along better lines. 

We obviously should not let an unfortunate past stop us from having a good future, but we need to learn from that past, see our mistakes and don’t repeat them. Bring them to Jesus and lay them at the foot of His cross, so that He can help us to do better. As He so sincerely offers in His Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ (Matt. 11:28) And if we have had a wonderful past, why change it up much eh? Just tailor it, obviously with Jesus’ help, to make it fit our better future! (smile) 

That brings us to this quote: ‘You want to set a goal that is big enough that in the process of achieving it you become someone worth becoming.’ Now there’s some truth to that, but my query is to become someone worth becoming isn’t necessarily a factor of size. Yes, we always ought to set worthwhile goals, desire to reach higher, but worthwhile doesn’t mean it always has to be big. They must get us out of our comfort zone, but they must also be realistic given our circumstances and level of achievement. 

And in Jesus’ kingdom size doesn’t always mean more important. The lowest worker is just as important as the highest, the one who does a lot as the one who does little. In Matthew chapter 20, Jesus tells the parable of the workers in the vineyard. Some began working early and others much later, but they all received the same pay. Obviously those that worked harder and longer thought it unfair. At the end of the parable, Jesus tells them: ‘So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.’ (Matt. 20:16) 

And I like how this article from the gotquestions.org explains it. ‘The most direct interpretation, based on the content of the parable, is that all believers, no matter how long or how hard they work during this lifetime, will receive the same basic reward: eternal life. The thief on the cross (Luke 23:39-43), whose life of service was limited to a moment of repentance and confession of faith in Christ, received the same reward of eternal life as did Timothy, who served God for years. Of course, Scripture also teaches that there are different rewards in heaven for different services, but the ultimate reward of eternal life will be given to all equally, on the basis of God’s grace in Christ Jesus.’ 

So, size of goal, or seat of power doesn’t really matter in Jesus’ kingdom. And His kingdom is the only one that really matters. Remember this world and all therein will eventually pass away, when the new heaven and the new earth of Jesus comes. And that leads us to the following quote: ‘You’ve got to think about big things while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.’ 

There we go again, that emphasis on big things! Oh, we must have good ideas at the back of our minds and work on the small things that will eventually lead us in the direction of those ideas. But I seem to have this problem with big, because big or bigger isn’t always good or better. What we as believers in Christ need to do is find out God’s plan and purpose for our lives. That’s where we should all begin, because not all of us are destined to have big goals or big ministries, but all the jobs are just as important. 

It’s like you need a janitor to clean a building where others who might seem higher and better can work. But the janitor’s job is just as necessary in the overall scheme of things, for the supposedly higher and better ones can’t work if the place is dirty. It’s also like how Bruh Paul describes the body of Christ in terms of the human body. The different parts all have different jobs, but they are all essential for the survival of the body. 

He tells the Corinthians: ‘For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, and are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Sprit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond (slaves) or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.’ (1 Cor. 12:12-14) 

And likewise, within the body of Christ different members have been assigned different gifts, that cause them to do different jobs. And as Bruh Paul explains earlier in that chapter: ‘Now there are diversities (various kinds) of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations (ministries), but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations (activities), but it is the same God which worketh all (things) in all.’ But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal (all).’ (1 Cor. 12:4-7) 

So in the long run, the size of what you do for Christ isn’t as important as how you do it. You can have a big ministry and do it woefully, as so many are doing these days, or a small one and doing it well. Christ will certainly appreciate the last more than the first. And then there’s this last quote, which I think wraps up things very nicely. ‘No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see the possibilities – always see them, for they’re always there.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth if you are a true believer in Christ Jesus! Regardless of how dark or bad things might look, with Jesus beside you and His Holy Spirit dwelling within you, there are always opportunities for improvement. There is always the proverbial light at the end of the dark tunnel, for Jesus is the Way Maker! He always makes a way where there seems to be no way. That’s why our sights should always be set on heaven, be looking up to Jesus! As Bruh Paul declared in his epistle to the church at Philippi: ‘I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:14) 

Yes friends, whatever God has called us to do, be it seemingly high or low, let’s do it with diligence and excellence, for that’s what He expects of us. Much LOVE!

…let’s ignore all that is past…and instead…reach forward to Christ…who is the Way…                                                                                                                                

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