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 20 July 2017 Psalm 86:11.

Psalm 86:11.   Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart (give me singleness of purpose) to fear (have reverential awe for) thy name.

Aye mih people, this is an exceedingly good day to rejoice and be joyful! Why you ask? Well I’ll just give you two reasons. The first is that you haven’t seen your name in the obits this morning, (smile) that means you are alive and kicking. Glory to God! 

And the second is that we serve a great God who’s so kind and LOVING and generous to us to grant us salvation and eternal life when we believe in His Son, our Lord And Saviour Jesus Christ, and walk in His will. Consequently, we just can’t help but LOVE Him back with all our hearts, minds, bodies and souls. 

Now, I think those are two excellent reasons to rejoice. So let’s declare it nuh, in the words of the psalmist: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made; we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) 

Ah friends, we Christians are the most joyful people on planet earth! And to help us stay that way, here is some encouragement from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional, titled ‘My Walk.’ I believe I’ve shared it before, possibly a year ago, but these prayers never get old or stale and can be shared again and again. 

Please declare it with me. ‘O God, I’m inspired. For you have just impressed this truth into my mind. The most powerful force in the world is a positive idea in the mind of a believer who is walking in your will! I now reach forth my life and say; “God, put my life into the centre of your will.” Amen.’ 

Oh my faithful brethren, there isn’t a wiser move we can ever make in this ungodly and evil world than to put our life in the centre of God’s will! He is the Creator of this universe and all therein, the fountainhead of all power and energy, so with whom else should we align ourselves eh? NOBODY else…if we are wise! 

And what I LOVE about our heavenly Father is, not only does He desire us to come to Him in EACH and EVERY circumstance, but He also helps us to do so through the leading and guidance of His word. 

As Bruh David puts it in our Bit. ‘Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart (give me singleness of purpose) to fear (have reverential awe for) thy name.’ Yeh friends, without the Lord’s help, we cannot draw near to Him the way He desires. 

And I like what Bruh David says after our Bit. ‘I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest (the depths of) hell.’ (Ps.86:12-13) And that is certainly the right response to the Lord’s LOVING-kindness and mercy! 

Oh supposed saints of God, the Lord has also bestowed great mercy on us, and taken us from the depths of hell by the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ, are we grateful and thankful, and praising and glorifying and exalting Him with all of our faculties? 

I certainly do hope so, otherwise we’d just be a bunch of ungrateful hypocrites like the overly religious, but heartless Pharisees in Jesus’ time. What did Jesus say to them? In Matthew 23 He thoroughly denounces them, and you can read it for yourselves, but now listen to this one verse 

‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted (neglected) the weightier matters of the law, judgement (justice), mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.’ (Matt.23:23) 

Ah friends, unfortunately a lot of us Christians do the same things nowadays; conveniently comply with the small matters, which include outward show, but neglect the more important precepts of God’s word and will. 

On a point of interest here, most of us don’t even tithe, for sadly it is not preached in many of our churches, but it is a most important aspect of God’s word. That’s why so many churches are going under for lack of financial support. Moses declared the law of the tithes to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 14:22-29. Please take a few minutes and read it sometime soon. 

In the meanwhile, listen to what the prophet Malachi declared on God’s behalf: ‘Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat (food) in mine house, and prove (test) me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.’ (Mal.3:10) 

Oh my brethren, God’s house cannot survive and do His work on stingy offerings. Remember the basic principle of God’s economy is you reap what you sow. So if we only sow a little, we’ll also reap a little. 

And I have to chuckle at the unintended direction this Bit has taken. But I guess that’s where the Lord wanted me to go. And now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings in strong voice and heartfelt sincerity. 

‘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!’ 

Now let’s go out and bless others, including God’s church, with the prosperity that He’s bestowed on us. That’s biblical wisdom! Much LOVE!

…God’s largesse isn’t bestowed on us to store or hoard it… but to generously share with others…

P.S. Yes friends, it’s a li’l bit late and a li’l bit long….but still beautiful! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 October 2016 Isaiah 53:7.

Isaiah 53:7.    He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought (was led) as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 

‘Oh friends, I, I am blessed, Yes, I want to tell the world that I, I am blessed!’ Sing it with me: ‘Oh we. We are blessed! Let’s tell the world, that we, we are blessed!’

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! For as children of the Most High God Jehovah, followers of Jesus Christ, and fertile soil in which the Holy Spirit dwells, then we must be blessed! Only thing is that a lot of the time, many of us don’t behave as though we are blessed. Instead, we moan and groan and complain about insignificant stuff. 

And yuh know what friends, a lot of the things we consider problems, are things that most of the world would only be too glad to have, along with the many benefits that we take for granted.

We are just too spoiled and complacent, expecting everything to be handed to us on a silver platter. But that’s not real life friends, for in this world serious problems abound, many of which fortunately don’t touch or concern us. 

Most of us have a job, a roof over our heads, food on table and we are reasonably healthy, and if not, we have the opportunity to go to a doctor. Meanwhile, billions of people around the world have none of those amenities, or rather necessities. But yet, we complain about petty stuff. 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s check out a couple of quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this week’s quotes are both short and to the point. The first says: ‘Don’t expect people to listen to your advice and ignore your example.’ 

And that’s one of the biggest problems in our Christian faith! We talk a good talk, but don’t walk the necessary walk. Consequently we acquire a reputation as hypocrites, like the Jewish leaders, the Pharisees of Jesus’ day.

Oh mih people, that hypocritical aspect of our earthly pilgrimage is hurting our cause so badly that Jesus’ church has now become something of a laughingstock among unbelievers. Sad but true. And it’s our own fault too. 

My fellow believers, we badly need to clean up our act on that front, otherwise all our efforts to mobilize the heathen to join Jesus’ LOVE Revolution will fall on deaf ears, and we’ll be laughed to scorn.

Now is that the result we desire for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross? NO WAY! So let’s get serious and start practicing what we preach nuh, if we truly want to represent Jesus in the best manner possible. Remember, actions work more forcibly on the mind than precepts, mere words.  

And the second of Anselm’s quotes declares: ‘Instead of complaining–contribute.’ Now that’s what we were talking about earlier on. We are a society that complains way too much about petty stuff, when we should be contributing to the solutions of the numerous problems we have.

And yuh know mih people, complaining is a sin! Too much complaining doesn’t sit right with our heavenly Father. He wants us to be giving thanks and praise, regardless of our difficult situations. 

Just look at Jesus, whom we are supposed to be the mirror image of. He had real serious problems down here on earth. But He never complained. The Good Book tells us in our Bit: ‘He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought (was led) as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.’ 

And in yesterday’s Bit, we saw where it said that Jesus ‘endured the cross, despising the shame….’ He certainly put up with a lot of affliction and rejection for our sakes without a whole lot of complaining. Now I know that we all can’t be as stoic and uncomplaining as Jesus, but we can surely do much better than we’re currently doing. 

And when we have problems, the best way to resist the temptation to complain and carry on is to help others with their problems. It works wonders friends! It not only takes our minds off of our own troubles, but it also pleases and glorifies our heavenly Father! 

Now here are a couple of situations where Isaiah’s prophecy about Jesus not speaking came to pass. First up is His interrogation before the high priest, where two false witnesses stated. ‘This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness (testify) against thee? But Jesus held his peace (remained silent). (Matt.26:61-63a) 

However, shortly after, when the high priest said unto Jesus, ‘I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said (it is as you said): nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.’ (Matt. 26:63b-64) 

Possibly Jesus should have kept quiet then too because that only caused the high priest to throw a tantrum, rent his clothes and declare that Jesus’ statement was blasphemous for which the council found Him guilty and began to abuse him, physically and emotionally.  (Matt.26:65-68) 

But I guess Jesus had to say something like that, otherwise they would not have had a case against Him, because it’s that charge of blasphemy for which they finally brought Him before the Roman authorities, seeking His death.  

That brings us to the other time when Jesus remained silent. He was before Pilate the Roman governor. ‘And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness (testify) against thee? And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.’ (Matt.27:12-14)

Oh friends, I know it’s difficult, but sometimes it’s best for us too to keep quiet when we are being wrongfully accused. It throws off our accusers, gives us time to think and also time for God to act on our behalf. 

Well enough for us to chew on today. Please take your time, chew slowly, and ponder while you chew. (smile) Much LOVE!

…silence is usually golden in most situations…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 January 2014 Matthew 12:8

Matthew 12:8.   For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.

And the snow fell…which left a blanket of white over everything…Then the rains came… that caused a slushy mess…Then it got colder…and all the slushy mess froze up.

Hn! It’s a good thing that today is Sunday yes and there won’t be a whole lot of traffic on the roads. Let’s hope that by Monday morning the situation will have positively resolved itself and the roads won’t be that treacherous.  But that’s the price we pay for living in the northern climes.
 
Anyway my brethren, it’s Sunday, the Lord’s day, that means it is time to get out and fill the Lord’s sanctuaries, to fellowship with other believers, to praise, worship and give thanks to our wonderful God for His unfailing kindness, His tender mercies and His undying LOVE!
 
Oh Friends, going to church is a very important element, an integral part of our Christian faith! However, unfortunately too many so-called believers place it at the bottom of their priority list, thinking that because they pray and read their Bibles at home, there’s no need to go to church too. But my people, that’s a serious fallacy, in fact a fool’s wisdom.
 
Remember Jesus talks about the church being ONE body, and how can we be ONE if we don’t get together as a rule, rather than as the exception; if we don’t congregate on a regular basis to hear the Word, to be encouraged, exhorted and shepherded in the right direction eh? That’s why I’m encouraging us all, right at the start of this new year of 2015, to make going to church a regular occurrence, a top priority in our lives, in addition to praying and reading our Bibles on a daily basis.  
 
Please put aside all the negative ideas, such as there are too many hypocrites in the church. Now that may be true to a certain extent, but why don’t you just come out anyway and make it one more hypocrite eh (smile) because we are all hypocrites, the only difference being the matter of degree.
 
And on that note, we will turn to our Bit, where Jesus summarily informs the hypocrite Pharisees: ‘For the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath day.’
 
Yes Friends, Jesus is the Lord of any and every thing! Please remember that. Now Jesus made that proclamation after an incident with the Pharisees. The Good Book reports it thus: `At that time Jesus went on the Sabbath day through the corn (grain fields); and his disciples were an hungered (hungry), and began to pluck the ears of corn (heads of grain), and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the Sabbath day.
 
But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungered (hungry), and they that were with him; How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the showbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the Sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath (treat it as common), and are blameless? But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.
 
But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have (desire) mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.’ (Matt.12:1-7)  Then He ended with our Bit.
 
Oh my brethren, isn’t it wonderful how Jesus used to put the hypocrite Pharisees in their place!
 
And the scholars have this explanation for those verses. ’12:1-9. The Pharisees had burdened the Sabbath with a multitude of detailed observances that were not laid down in the Mosaic Law. In responding to their legalistic traditions, Jesus always referred to the Scripture. Have ye not read? The passage referred to is 1 Samuel 21:1-6. The Lord makes the point that in the case of necessity the ceremonial law might be overruled.
 
He uses the illustration of David eating the showbread. These loaves were placed on the table in the holy place of the tabernacle each Sabbath. They were to be eaten only by the priest and his family (cf. Lev.24:5-9; Num.28:9) The priests prepared the sacrifices on the Sabbath in spite of the general prohibition of work. If the necessities of the temple worship permitted the priests to profane the sabbath, there was all the more reason why the service of Christ would allow a similar liberty.’
 
Ah mih people, yuh see how the supposed authorities can turn the laws and rules to their advantage! It was okay for the priests to make the bread on the Sabbath, but some hungry men couldn’t pluck a few grains of wheat or corn, or whatever to fill their empty stomachs.
 
And sadly, that hasn’t changed to this day. In fact, I believe it’s worse, for the authorities now do their evil and wrong deeds more blatantly than ever. They consider themselves so powerful and above reproach that they no longer seem to care who knows that they are doing wrong. They even try to justify their wrongdoing. Just look at all the fraud and embezzlement that’s being perpetrated by the elite class with no sense of shame or remorse nowadays nuh!
 
Ah fellow believers in Jesus, the only hope for our lost and fast fading world is us. Jesus gave us the job to proselytize the entire world, (Matt.28:19-20) please let’s get off our fat fannies and do it nuh. Let’s throw away the fear, anxiety or whatever it is that’s holding us back and get on with job of bringing the unbelievers to Jesus. That is our most important job here on earth right now.
 
And we can start doing all of that by going to church today and getting renewed, refreshed and revitalized in the wonderful Spirit of Jesus! That is wisdom at its very best. Much LOVE!
 
…to do Jesus’ work…you must be filled with His Spirit…and the encouragement and enlightenment received through regular fellowship…