Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 April 2021 Matthew 22:39.

Matthew 22:39.     ​And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.


Moving on…Moving on! Thank God we’re moving on! Yes friends, we’re moving on with Jesus through another marvellous day in the annals of our lives! Wow! And what a joy and pleasure it is to be moving through life with Jesus! A body couldn’t ask for a better companion, a better Lord and Saviour, a better friend, a better neighbour than Jesus! And it’s that last accolade, the topic of neighbours that I want to discuss with us today, because it’s a very important part of our faith, and I don’t think we are being as neighbourly as we ought to. 

So, I guess our first question should be, who is our neighbour? Now what did Jesus have to say about that eh? Remember when the foppish, arrogant lawyer tried to test Jesus by asking: ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:36-40) 

That’s Matthew’s version. However, Luke tells it thus. (smile) The lawyer asked Jesus, ‘Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He, (Jesus) said unto him, what is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said’ – exactly what Jesus said above. ‘And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he (the lawyer), willing (wanting) to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? 

And Jesus answering’, told them the parable of the Good Samaritan, which we all know. At the end of the parable, Jesus asks the lawyer, ‘Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among thieves (robbers)? And he said, He that showed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go and do likewise.’ (Luke 10:25-37) 

Yuh see that friends, being neighbourly is basically showing mercy, kindness, LOVE and all the other fruit of the spirit to those around us. But no, it’s not easy with all the negative, angry and cantankerous people that we encounter. But it does get a tad easier if we have the first commandment truly embedded in our hearts, since all LOVE flows from revering our heavenly Father. 

And I like how the scholars explain it. ‘10:37. The lawyer cannot even bring himself to say “the Samaritan.” That’s because of the deep racial hatred between the two groups, although they were related by blood; the Samaritans being Jews who intermarried with Gentiles. ‘However, Jesus shows that racial considerations are utterly transcended by God’s commands to LOVE Him, and thus to LOVE others as He does, without prejudice or partiality.’ Hn! I truly wish that somebody or bodies could get that message across to our world right now yes; a world that’s so inundated with prejudice and partiality, that it’s behind almost every action we take! 

Now, before we get to the meat of our topic, I want to point out one other important aspect of being neighbourly, and that’s Jesus’ warning on the way His Father’s kingdom works. ‘Judge (condemn) not, that ye be not judged (condemned). For with what judgement (condemnation) ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured to you again.’ (Matt. 7:1-2) That’s just to remind us that what we sow we will reap, or as Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘You reap what you sow, more than you sow and later than you sow.’ That means we can’t sow negative seed and expect to reap a positive harvest. 

And all of that finally brings us to the wise and wonderful words of Cousin Sol on the treatment of neighbours from Proverbs. Just a bit more practical advice to help us handle all the cerebral stuff we’ve been talking about. (smile) Cousin Sol begins thus: ‘Withhold not good from them to whom it is due (the owners), when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and tomorrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.’ (Prov. 3:27-28) Oh my people, how often do we do that eh! Holding on to what rightfully belongs to others, until we are good and ready to give it to them is ever so rampant in our current society; which means selfishness and greed are too prevalent. 

And Cousin Sol continues: ‘Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by (in safety with) thee. Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.’ (Prov. 3:30-31) And I don’t know if our world has ever seen such unnecessary animosity and strife between people who live close to each other, even between families and so-called friends, as we are seeing today. The petty squabbles that occur over unimportant things is mind blowing, And the courts are full of foolish litigation over petty peeves. The divorce rate is sky high, possibly higher than it’s ever been! We’ve become so adversarial and antagonistic to each other that it’s causing our world to fall apart. 

But listen further to Cousin Sol. ‘Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways. For the froward (the perverse person) is abomination to the Lord: but his secret (secret council) is with the righteous. The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation (dwelling) of the just. Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly (humble).’ (Prov. 3:31-34) 

Yes friends, I know we all envy the prosperous wicked some, but it’s unwise to follow in their footsteps, for it’s said in so many places of the Good Book that the wicked and their evil deeds will eventually be destroyed and what they have given to the righteous. So please, please, let’s not live merely for today’s pleasures and aggrandizement nuh, but seriously contemplate what will most profit us in the long run, what will put us in good stead with Jesus. 

And this last word of warning from Cousin Sol is indeed precious. ‘The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion (the legacy) of fools.’ (Prov. 3:35) And the scholars break it all down this way. ‘3:27-35. The needy neighbour is to be helped (vs. 27-28); the innocent neighbour is to be respected and left alone (vs. 29-30); and the wicked neighbour is not to be envied (vs. 31-35).’ That makes it oh so simple my brethren! So please let’s be wise nuh, so that we can inherit the glory that’s Jesus! 

And for those of us who have made that momentous and wise decision, let’s go home now proclaiming our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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 in these tough and trying times, we need to be reminded that if we endure to the end, our future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Wow! What an awesome promise mih people! So let’s hang in there till the end nuh! Much LOVE!

…it is much better to give…than to receive…wise men seek to give…but fools crave to receive… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 August 2019 Matthew 22:37.

Matthew 22:37.    Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.

Oh what a beautiful morning! Oh what a beautiful day! It’s somewhat windy and chilly… But everything’s still going our way!’ And for that we have to give much thanks and praise to our heavenly Father for allowing us to enjoy another joyful day down here on planet earth! Praise His holy name friends! Exalt Him to the very ends of the earth, for He is indeed worthy to be praised and exalted!

And having paid our respects to our God, Creator, Provider, etc. etc. let’s see what bits of wisdom our friend Anselm has to offer us this Saturday morning. Hear this first one: ‘Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.’

Now I don’t know if I agree with all of that nuh. Granted, you can’t be open to the slightest of offences, and people do project their own ideas on you, but you shouldn’t be immune to their opinions and action, because ofttimes, though their motives might be selfish, some of their ideas might be sound and thus beneficial. You need to have a tough character, so to speak, but also an open mind, for pearls of wisdom can come from even the most unlikely sources.

And the next quote wisely advises: ‘To avoid a breakdown, take a break for rest and prayer.’ And is that ever so true! There’s so much meltdown and breakdown in our society today because we live in a fast paced, dog-eat-dog, rat race where there’s never enough time for rest and prayer.

That’s because we don’t make time for it, being too busy trying to keep up with the world and all it’s distractions. And that’s especially true of believers! Oh precious people of God, please, let’s slow down, let’s make time for rest and for God nuh. That’s the only way we can truly enjoy this earthly life!

Then there’s this: ‘Be Impeccable With Your Words. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.’ How true my friends, how true all of that is! But unfortunately nowadays most of that has gone out the window, into the trash can of history, especially in these times of all-pervasive social media and all the talking that’s going on.

We no longer think about what we say, before we say it, we just gush everything from the lip, regardless of the possible consequences. Sorry, no one considers consequences anymore, even though there are a lot of sad and tearful ones occurring each and every minute of each and every day!

And don’t talk about integrity nuh! What’s that eh? That’s what a lot of us might ask when posed with that quote. There’s no longer any integrity in our sad and sorrowful world. And that’s basically being of true and sound character, your word being your bond, given to trust and being trusted, fulfilling obligations as agreed upon, etc. etc. Even supposedly lawful contracts are being reneged on every day, so who’s going to stand on their word eh?

Christians ought to! True believers in Christ Jesus are supposed to stand by their promises, just like Jesus did and still does by His. None of us would be happy if Jesus broke any of His promises. We’d be ever so quick to pull Him down, to make a mockery of Him. But it’s okay for us to do it. Ah friends, as they say, what’s good for the goose, is also good for the gander.

Remember these immortal words of Jesus: ‘Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured you again.’ (Matt.7:1-2) Those are words of great truth friends, for whatever you give out, you will eventually get back; like a boomerang, all your deeds will eventually come back to haunt you, or what you sow, you will eventually reap.

As Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘More than you sow, and later than you sow.’ That’s why we have to adopt the principles mentioned in this last quote as quickly and thoroughly as possible, and also spread them world wide so that our world can be greatly improved. ‘More smiling, less worrying. More compassion, less judgment. More blessed, less stressed. More LOVE, less hate.’

Mamacita! What a wonderful world we’d have if those things played a larger role in our lives! And yuh know what my people? I believe that all of that quote falls under these simple but far-reaching words of Jesus, which He answered to the Pharisee lawyer who tried to tempt Him, by asking:

‘Master (Teacher), which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.’ (Matt.22:36-38)

And so it is indeed my fellow believers. The first and most important thing for mankind to do is to LOVE our Creator with all that we have! That sets the tone and direction for everything else in our lives. But the interesting thing in this session is that the man asked about the great commandment, and Jesus gave it to him, but He didn’t stop there. He continued: ‘And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt.22:39-40)

And our Lord and Saviour and Leader and God, Jesus Christ would never lie to us! So therefore it must be of the uttermost importance that we concentrate in this life on LOVE for our great and wonderful heavenly Father, then LOVE for ourselves, and also LOVE for our neighbours.

But friends, please pay attention to Jesus’ words, ‘LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.’ That means we can only LOVE our neighbours as much as we LOVE ourselves. And we’re not talking in a narcissistic way. But unfortunately, in these trying and troublesome times, too many of us don’t LOVE ourselves, that’s why we can’t LOVE our neighbours. Remember, we can only give what and as much as we have!

And that’s a major reason why our world is in such turmoil. So please, today, let’s ponder the state of our self-LOVE nuh. And whatever state it might be in, let’s ask the Lord for His grace and mercy to bring it up higher, so that we can also LOVE others more, and fulfill His commandment, and thus make our world a much better place for our children and future generations! Let’s let out legacy be one of LOVE! Much LOVE!

…the basic Christian motto…do unto others…as you would have them do unto you…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 December 2018 Matthew 22:39.

Matthew 22:39.   ​And the second is like unto it (the first), Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.
 
And it seems like a cloudy Saturday morning, just right for sleeping in, but the ole fella is up early, couldn’t sleep in any longer. I did have a decent enough night’s rest though. The persistent cough I’ve had over the last few days seems to have eased up some, but I still can only sleep comfortably on my right side, which doesn’t enamor me to my back and right hip. (smile) And that’s what caused me to get up earlier than I desired. But that’s life! 

So what’s the action eh friends, on this Saturday two days before we ring out the Old Year and ring in the New One? Let’s hope that the LOVING and generous nature of the Christmas season is still fermenting in our souls and bodies and still being shown to all and sundry! This brings to mind an idea I recently read at the bottom of a Daily Bread Devotion, which says ‘as we put away the Christmas decorations, do not put away the Christmas spirit.’ 

Now doesn’t that sound very interesting, enlightening and Christ-like? It surely does. So let’s ponder on that statement nuh, as we begin taking down the decorations in the next week or so, and just allow the wonderful spirit of Christmas to flow over into, and all through the New Year!  Hope does spring eternal! (smile) 

Now let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm provided over the last week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one is rather interesting: ‘Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.’ And we can take that to mean that we should live extravagantly, beyond our financial means, up to our necks in debt etc. etc. 

But that is definitely not a very good way to live one’s life. One ought to live within the realm of what one can afford, and not go overboard and cause yourself more heartache and trouble than is necessary. However, the other side to statement is that one ought not to just live a comfortable life without stepping out of one’s comfort zone every so often, because that’s what really makes life interesting. 

We ought to set our goals, our caps, a little higher than we can reach on tippy toes, so that it will stretch us, cause us to put ourselves out some, and thus add some light and lustre to this dark and evil world. That’s what our Lord and Saviour expects of us when He says we are the light of the world. We are to be constantly reaching for something better and brighter in His holy name. 

Then we have this one: ‘Never let someone else decide for you whether you are going to be happy or sad.’ Now there’s some wisdom in that statement. Generally speaking, our decisions to be happy or sad should be ours, because we are the ones who have to bear the repercussions of either decision. Others can certainly tell us what they think, and we can listen to their well-intentioned advice, but only we can decide what state of mind is right or wrong for us at any particular time. 

Now here’s the last quote: ‘LOVE yourself. Stay happy. Live life to the fullest, and focus on the best things in life!’ And I guess those are things we all would certainly like to do in this earthly life. But please note that the only way we can successfully do the last three is if we are successful at the first! Very little of true worth will happen to us if we don’t LOVE ourselves. And even if it does, we won’t be happy because our spirit’s not at peace. 

And we don’t mean LOVE in a narcissistic way either, but just being comfortable with whom you are, knowing that you’re doing your best, having Jesus as your guiding light. As they say, you ought to like you, because you take you everywhere with you! And that’s gospel truth! If you don’t like you, then most likely others won’t like you either. How can they when the dislike for yourself comes through in your words and behaviour eh? 

That’s why, in talking about great commandments Jesus stipulated in our Bit: ‘And the second is like unto it (the first), Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.’ Yeh friends, we only need two commandments yes; LOVE God, and LOVE our neighbours as we LOVE ourselves! 

Please note that Jesus didn’t just say LOVE your neighbour, but as you LOVE yourself! And that means if you don’t like yourself, then you won’t be able to like your neighbour either. So friends, it all depends on how we feel about ourselves, because what we have inside is what is going to come out. 

As Jesus specified to the multitude, and the Pharisees in particular: ‘Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt.15:10-11) Likewise friends, if we don’t have true LOVE in our hearts, true LOVE won’t ever come out of us. And the only way to have true LOVE in our hearts is by making Jesus our Lord and Saviour and living by His example and desires. 

And we’ll close with these immortal words of Jesus on the subject. ‘A new commandment I give unto you, that ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) And that’s why our world is such an awful and evil place; we’re not LOVING each other the way Jesus LOVED us. It’s as simple as that friends! 

Now let’s spend some time seriously pondering the state of LOVE in our hearts nuh, and then ask the Lord to help us make the necessary changes. That’s the only way our world will improve. Much LOVE!

…it all begins and ends with LOVE…LOVE for God…LOVE for ourselves…and LOVE for our neighbours…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 October 2018 Matthew 22:39.

Matthew 22:39.​    And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.

Sorry that the Bit is so late mih breddren, but the circumstances were all out of my control. It started right after breakfast, about nine something, I didn’t even have time to get my after-breakfast nap when I was told to get ready, for a family member was coming to pick us up to go to his place where his wife was preparing goat head and goat belly soup especially for me. Hn! 

Glory be! How could I refuse that eh, when one of the major reasons I’m in J.A is to eat healthy local food to try and reinvigorate my old bod. And this is family I haven’t seen for about ten years? Then after downing a big bowl of goat head soup, they took me down to Doctor’s Cave beach, where I enjoyed a good swim in beautiful deep salt water, drank a Guinness, then was taken through the heart of Mo Bay at rush hour time. 

And if you think the big cities are bad, well downtown Mo Bay at rush hour is something else! What with the narrow street and narrow sidewalks, but numerous cars and people, all hustling in different directions at the same time. And the driving…Bubba! As crazy as ever, with people cutting in and out, taxis picking up and dropping off. It’s a good thing that the family member who was driving us through town was a tour bus driver himself, so he was familiar with it all and behaved just like them. 

I didn’t get back home to the hotel until minutes to six. I obviously had to rest some from all that exerting activity… Oh, I just heard that somebody was coming to pick us up to take us out again later. Brother! Don’t they know that I came here to rest and not gallivant all over the place? (smile) But that’s what happens when you have a lot of good and LOVING family around. Oh how I hope that most families could live more LOVING than they normally do. It would warm the cockles of the Lord’s heart so much and put such a broad smile on His face. 

But we going to get back to that just now, first let me apologize for forgetting to declare Thursday’s Blessings yesterday. I was too busy trying to get the Bit written before it was too late. Wonder if anybody noticed eh? And though we’re going to forego the workingman’s song this evening, we not going to leave out our Friday Chant though. 

So please chant along with me in enthusiastic manner and strong voice: ‘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!’ 

Now remember our Bit from yesterday, where the Pharisee lawyer was trying to trap Jesus by asking which was the greatest commandment, and Jesus’ replied: ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.’ (Matt.22:37-38) But Jesus wasn’t done with the upstart Pharisee, He added His own addendum or corollary. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.’ 

Yes friends, there are two basic requirements asked of believers in Jesus Christ: LOVE the Lord thy God, and LOVE thy neighbour as thyself! And once we do those two things, everything else will flow smoothly from them. Unfortunately though, we’re not doing either commandment as fully as we should. And even when we do, it’s mostly a halfhearted excuse for LOVING God and our neighbour. Plenty of us claim to LOVE God, but we treat our neighbours like garbage. 

And John strongly refutes that claim when he declares: ‘If a man say I LOVE God, and hateth his brother (neighbour), he is a liar: for he that LOVETH not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he LOVE God whom he hath not seen?’ (1 John 4:20) Good question that my fellow believers. How can we LOVE somebody we’ve never seen, but hate someone we’ve seen? That just doesn’t sound very logical. 

And John concludes that bit of scripture with these words that paraphrases Jesus’ two commandments. ‘And this commandment have we from him, That he who LOVETH God LOVE his brother also.’ (1 John 4:21) It couldn’t get any clearer than that nuh my people! So what I’d like to find out is why we aren’t LOVING both God and our brothers and neighbours so much more than we are currently doing? Hate seems to be the emotion that’s currently ruling the world, when LOVE should be the emotion that makes the world go around. 

And all I can do from my li’l corner is to cry out to us to try and change the situation as Jesus desires of us. Remember if we don’t do it, the evil doers won’t. They like the status quo. So please mih breddren, let’s get a move on nuh, and try to bring real LOVE into our lives, both towards our great God, who first LOVED us and gave His life for us, and also to our human brothers and sisters, our God’s greatest creation! That’s wisdom and obedience at the highest level! Much LOVE!

…when earthly LOVE is real and true…God smiles down from heaven…and bestows blessings untold…