Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 May 2018 Matthew 10:16.

Matthew 10:16.   Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless (innocent) as doves.

Beautiful! Beautiful! Beautiful! That’s the only way I can describe yesterday friends. It was more of a summer than a spring day, with the heat from the sun radiating somewhere in the mid-twenties, suitably accompanied by a cool, brisk breeze. And today seems like it’s going to be more of the same. Glory be! 

Oh I know you folks who live in the tropics are accustomed to that kind of weather all the time, but we poor northerners have to be thankful and celebrate when we get it, especially after the strange winter weather we’ve just had. (smile) 

But unfortunately all is not wine and roses, for it seems that two misguided men went into a Bombay Bhel Indian Restaurant in my city of Mississauga last night around 10.30 p.m and exploded a crude bomb of projectiles injuring about 15 people, some of them critically. Ah Lord eh! They were obviously well covered from head to foot, so that the video surveillance couldn’t detect them. 

Obviously they had no manly parts, injuring innocent people for whatever foolish reason. I don’t know exactly where this particular restaurant of the chain is located, but it certainly doesn’t feel good when these sorts of things begin happening close to home. We can’t allow those fools to have us live in fear though, so let’s keep on going with God and hope the powers that be catch them soon. 

Now it’s Friday and the workingman is out there lustily singing his lustful song. (smile) ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! And it come quickly this week because was only four days of labour for that greedy and unfair massa. And I know how it burn him to pay us for that holiday, but we do get a break here and there. 

But enough about massa, is the weekend and we time, so let’s get on with enjoying it nuh. And the good weather is providing so many more options for doing that. So eat, drink and party like leggo beasts’ mih people! For who knows whether you’ll be around tomorrow! Hn, Hn! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

So what do we believers have to say to that eh? Too much leeway, not enough boundaries! It’s only allowing Lucifer to get into our souls and destroy them. And we counter with our Friday Chant: ‘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.’ 

Yeh friends, we always have to be on our p’s and q’s when we live and work for Jesus because there is nothing the enemy likes more than to get into our souls and spoil our witness. That brings us to our Bit, a strange but interesting pronouncement of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to His disciples. ‘Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless (innocent) as doves.’  

Oh my brethren, to be wise but innocent is not an easy task to accomplish in this evil, very wolfish world! But if Jesus says to do it, then it must be doable and He will give us the wherewithal to do it. 

But Jesus does warn: ‘But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against (to) them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up take no thought how or what (do not worry about) what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 

For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ (Matt.10:17-22) 

Yes faithful believers, we’re living in a very deceitful world and thus need to be very careful of whom we pick as our associates. Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘10:17-22. Take no thought means “Do not be anxious.” (See Mark 13:9-13; Luke 12:11-12; 21:12-19) It shall be given you promises that the inner prompting of the Holy Spirit would tell them what to say in each situation they would face. 

For my name’s sake: They would endure great persecution because of their identification with Jesus Christ. But he that endureth to the end shall be saved is a promise of perseverance, not a teaching that salvation may be lost. Rather, it indicates that those who are truly saved will indeed endure to the end.’  

There we have it friends: We will face persecution and discrimination because of our association with Jesus. But we need not worry about what to say or do, because the Holy Spirit that dwells within us will advise us. And we just need to hang in, to truly believe, to persevere in His name right to the end. 

Remember, Jesus has promised never to leave nor forsake us once we stay true to Him, and if we believe, we’ll grab hold of that promise so tightly we’ll never loose it. Much LOVE!

…all we do…must be all for Jesus…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 January 2015 Matthew 10:16

Matthew 10:16.     Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless (innocent) as doves.

Well Friends, it’s a Saturday morning that’s calling for snow and rain and freezing rain! Wow!

Over these next two days like we’re going to run the whole gamut of weather problems. We really can’t complain too much though, because we’ve been fairly snow and rain free for at least a couple of weeks now. And besides that, we’re God’s children and a little bad weather doesn’t deter us from doing Jesus’ work. (smile)

Of course it could get fairly rough, like the ice storm we had last year, but even then, we brave the elements like true soldiers of God’s army. What wonderful designations we embrace my people; a child of God, and a soldier in His army! His army of pioneers and pilgrims, going forth to spread His holy Word all over the universe He’s created.

And in the remarkable words of our Bit, Jesus sends us forth, just like He did the first disciples, to do just that: ‘Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless (innocent) as doves.’

And the scholars tell us, re ‘Wise as serpents (cf. Gen.3:1). In the ancient Near East, the serpent was considered the wisest of beasts. A cautious wisdom was necessary to deal with the fierce opposition that the disciples would face.’

Yes my people, it is a wonderful honour to work for Jesus, winning souls for Him, or rather causing lost souls to come to Him for comfort and succour, salvation and eternal life! But unfortunately it is a job that can also entail severe repercussions. That’s why Jesus warned the disciples, and has the same warning for us.

‘But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues. And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against (to) them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought (do not worry about) how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you, in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, ye shall not have gone over (through) the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.’ (Matt.10:17-23)

Oh my fellow believers, working for Jesus can indeed be a dangerous job. All the stuff that Jesus spoke about befell the disciples. They suffered serious persecution on Jesus’ behalf, and so will we, possibly not to the death, as they did, and some are still experiencing in some parts of the world, but serious enough to cause us to consider our options.

But when times do get rough, just remember Jesus’ advice: ‘Don’t worry about what you’ll say, for the Holy Spirit will tell you what to say.’ Yes Friends, the Holy Spirit is our guide and director, and He will not leave us helpless and defenceless when we stand up strong for Jesus!

And then we come to the most important part of His message; that those who endured, who withstood the trials and tribulations in His name would be saved. And all God’s children shouted a lusty ‘Glory Hallelujah! Blessed is the Lamb that was slain for us!’

Yeh mih people, we can shout all sorts of niceties now, but when the time of persecution comes, will we still sing that song? For all our sakes, I do hope so. It’s just that in these spoiled, selfish and easy living times, most of us have lost our belly and backbone, and cave in and give up under the smallest of trials.

But remember too, that we’ve promised that this year of 2015 will be one in which we will rise, without fear and anxiety, to each and every occasion to promote Jesus and His lifestyle.

Now let’s take a gander at some explanations of the scholars for those verses. ‘!0:17-22.  Take no thought means “Do not be anxious.” (See Mark 13:9-13; Luke 12:11-12). It shall be given you promises that the inner prompting of the Holy Spirit would tell them what to say in each situation they would face.

For my name’s sake: They would endure great persecution because of their identification with Jesus Christ. But he that endureth to the end shall be saved is a promise of perseverance, not a teaching that salvation may be lost. Rather, it indicates that those who are truly saved will indeed endure to the end.’

And that’s the gospel truth my people! If we persevere to the end, great shall be our rewards in heaven!

And I want to close with a very true and enlightening quote that’s rather appropriate to our situation. It’s attributed to Margaret Mead (1901-1978), the world renowned American anthropologist. And it says: ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.’

And she doesn’t lie Friends, for look at what a small group of twelve men started. It changed the world! And we are proud and grateful recipients of their commitment. Now let’s go out and do likewise, even though we Christians are in the minority, for with Jesus in the mix, anything and everything is possible. Much LOVE!

…today is all we have…so let’s use it wisely…