Today’s Scrip-Bit   17 September 2022 Matthew 19:26.

Matthew 19:26.       With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

Well it’s lazy Saturday again friends! But the ole fella wasn’t lazy this morning, he was up bright and early and moving around. (smile) I guess that was possibly because he went to bed fairly early last night, or this morning. That’s one of the disadvantages of going to bed too early, you can’t have a good excuse to lie around in bed all day. In any case the Lord’s work is always waiting to be done, so lying around is not an option, we have to get up and shake a leg, have a look at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Unfortunately though, this past week our friend must have been a bit confused because he sent us three quotes that he had just sent us the previous week. And out of the new two ones, I struggled to understand one of them, as they say, couldn’t make head nor tail of it, so I’m leaving it alone, rather than make a mess of it. That leaves us with only one quote for this week, but it’s a good one, and we ought to be able to do it justice. (smile) And here it is: ‘There is nothing impossible to those who will try.’ 

Now, we all know the mantra of success is try, try, try and try again, until you succeed. And that’s true to a certain extent, but some things are just impossible to man regardless of how often he tries. And that’s because he wasn’t made by the Creator to accomplish all that he desired in his own strength. The truth is that one needs to be a believer in and follower of Jesus Christ to be able to do certain things. 

And we all know, or ought to know (smile) the story of the rich young man who came to Jesus asking what he could do to gain eternal life. And though he had kept the basics of the Ten Commandments, Jesus told him: ‘If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.’ (Matt. 19:21) 

Oh, that was obviously difficult for the young man to do since he had many possessions, so he went away sad and disappointed. But we should not look down on him, because most of us would have done, and right now would probably do the same thing if Jesus told us to sell what little we had and come and follow Him. That led to this very controversial statement of Jesus to the disciples. ‘Verily I say unto you that a rich man shall hardly enter (it is hard for a rich man to enter) into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.’ (Matt. 19:23-24) 

Now there are a few things we must clear up before moving on. Jesus’ response to the rich young man was simply to show how hard it is to be a true disciple. As the scholars explain: ‘This passage teaches the seriousness of true discipleship, but in no way teaches the average man that he must sell his possessions in order to be a Christian.’ At that time, it was thought that the rich were blessed and would automatically be saved, no wonder the disciple’s shock at Jesus’ statement. But He was showing them the human difficulty for the rich to be converted, because wealth just brings out a selfish and greedy aspect of our human nature. 

It was indeed difficult, but not hopeless. Otherwise, people like Abraham and His children, Job, Bruh David, Cousin Sol and other filthy rich people wouldn’t have had a snowball’s chance in hell of entering heaven. (smile) The things that seemingly disqualify the rich from heaven are firstly what they do with their wealth, and secondly if they believe in Christ Jesus as Lord and Saviour. If you sincerely believe, and use your wealth to help build the kingdom, then there should be no problem. 

Remember too that it is God who allows us to get wealth, and there’s no call for Christians to be poor and needy, since Jesus came that we might have life and enjoy it to the full, until it overflows. You can’t do that if you’re destitute. So, finally moving on, we come to Jesus’ reply to the shock the disciples felt at hearing that it was easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter heaven. He said to them: ‘With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:26) 

Yes friends, that’s the clincher! It’s what we need to sincerely believe if we are to journey through this earthly life successfully. Remember, none but Jesus is perfect and thus we cannot live a blameless life, and some things just need the impossible power of God to make them happen in our lives. A perfect example of that is God’s gift of grace that gives us eternal life. Without it, eternal life would be impossible for us to achieve. In fact, without a personal relationship with Almighty God, health, wealth and whatever else are of no real benefit to us. 

And I like what Candice Lucey states in her article on the subject on the website Christianity.com. She says: ‘Throughout the Bible, God’s people accomplish unfathomable tasks. God is most glorified by bringing an event to pass which seems impossible.’ And then she points out ‘3 Things to Remember about “With God All Things Are Possible” 1. Power to accomplish the impossible comes from God. 2. The impossible is accomplished for God’s glory. 3. The impossible is accomplished for our good.’ 

Now those are extremely good points for us to contemplate. The impossible can be done only through God’s power, like how Moses brought water forth water from a rock. He didn’t’ do it through His own power, but that of God. Likewise barren women, Elizabeth and Sarah and Hannah didn’t eventually have children through their own power, but through God’s. And what about Abraham impregnating Sarah when he was a hundred and she ninety years old eh? That certainly had nothing to do with their power, but all with God’s. And then the virgin birth, the incarnation of Christ! Mary gave birth to a child without knowing a man! That could only happen through God’s majestic power! 

And then we need to realize that God usually does the impossible to display His glory. Oh, does he ever like to display His glory and power so that men could wise up and see that there’s none like Him! He is the ONE and ONLY ONE to whom all honour and glory belongs! And we only learn that by getting a task that seems impossible in our own strength, but completing it successfully through God’s omnipotent help. And God’s ‘showing off’ is never just to show off, but always for some useful purpose, like the examples we quote above. 

And finally my people, until we realize that ALL God does is for our good, we’ll miss out on a lot of wonderful things, our lives will never be as rich and full as they could be. That’s simply because God LOVES us so completely, we are the apple of His eye, and He wants nothing bad to happen to us. And though we can never be perfect, and this sinful world is filled with problems, we need to put our entire and ultimate trust in His hands so that He can lead and guide us safely along the narrow path that leads through His Son Jesus Christ and ends up at Him! 

My fellow saints, the Lord created us because He wanted fellowship and communion with us, and only when we believe that and do our best to put it into practice, can we ever enjoy life to the fullest, with the joy of the Lord flowing through us! So please, let’s make that our number one purpose and goal nuh! It’s wisdom and common sense to the max! Much LOVE!

…to truly know God…is to truly LOVE Him… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 December 2015 Luke 2:33

Luke 2:33.   And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him.

Oh my people, this Sunday morning, the first after Christmas Day is the perfect opportunity for us to sing and ponder this song, sung by several artists. It’s titled ‘Mary Did You Know?’ 

Please sing along with me: ‘Mary did you know that your baby boy Will one day walk on water? Mary did you know that your baby boy Will save our sons and daughters? Did you know that your baby boy Has come to make you new? This child that you’ve delivered Will soon deliver you? Mary, did you know that your baby boy Will give sight to a blind man? 

Mary, did you know that your baby boy Will calm a storm with his hand? Did you know that your baby boy Has walked where angels trod? And when you kiss your little baby You’ve kissed the face of God. 

Oh, Mary did you know   Ooh…  The blind will see, the deaf will hear, The dead will live again The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, The praises of the lamb? Mary did you know that your baby boy Is Lord of all creation? Mary did you know that your baby boy Will one day rule the nations? Did you know that your Baby Boy Is Heaven’s perfect Lamb? This sleeping child you’re holding Is the great I am?’ 

Oh Friends, I don’t know how many of those things Mary knew, but I am sure she knew that her baby boy was very special, especially from the manner in which He was conceived! Then there were so many signs and wonders along the way, how could she not know that He would indeed be a mover and a shaker. 

As our Bit so pointedly puts it:  ‘And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him. 

Now let’s look at some of the signs and wonders. First off is the manner in which she was apprised of the situation by the sudden appearance of the angel telling her that she had found favour with God and would conceive and bring forth a son to be called JESUS, who would be great and called the Son of the Highest (Most High) and the Lord God shall give him the throne of his father David. And the angel went on to explain how it would all come to pass. (Luke 1:27-38) 

Now if that didn’t give her some indication that something important was going to happen, then I don’t know what would have. And by the way, Mary was no simpleton, so her unhesitating agreement, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to thy word,’ was more a matter of faith, rather than a lack of understanding. 

After that Mary went to visit her cousin Elisabeth, who previously considered barren, was then some six months pregnant with John the Baptist. And when she entered Elisabeth’s house and greeted her, John jumped for joy in his mother’s womb. (smile) 

‘And Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: and spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me (why is it) that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance (fulfillment) of those things which were told her from the Lord.’ (Luke 1:41-45) 

Then Mary declared the awesome words we now call the Magnificat. ‘My soul doth magnify (exalt) the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate (lowly state) of his handmaiden (maid servant): for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.’ (Luke 1:46-48) You can read the rest of it for yourselves my people. It runs up to verse 56. 

And according to the scholars: ‘1:46-56. This passage is called “the Magnificat,” based on the first word of the Latin translation (the Vulgate). It is rich in Old Testament imagery: Jesus’ coming was in fulfillment of Old Testament promises.’  

So even if Mary wasn’t too sure of the situation, once she heard Elisabeth’s pronouncement and spoke the immortal words of the Magnificat, then spending three months with Elisabeth, she must have been aware that an event of great importance was going to take place in her life. 

I am sure too that Mary was quite relieved when most likely, she very anxiously told Joseph about her situation, because the consequences of adultery or fornication were great in those days, even leading to the stoning of the woman. 

But the Good Book tells us: ‘Then Joseph, her husband, being a just (upright) man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily (secretly). 

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.’ (Matt.1:19-21)  

Now all of that was done to fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy re the virgin birth of a child called Immanuel, God with us. (Is.7:14, 9:6) 

‘Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife. And knew her not (kept her a virgin) till she brought forth her first-born: and he called his name JESUS.’ (Matt.1:24-25) 

And the scholars explain: ‘1:19-20. Because Joseph was a just man, he decided to put her away (divorce her) privately (“privily”). The Jewish betrothal had to be legally broken. Joseph’s merciful attitude gives an insight into his true nature as a man.’ 

Yes friends, it wasn’t an easy row for either Mary or Joseph to hoe with the Saviour of man placed in their laps, but hoe it they did, with strength, wisdom, faith and obviously the Lord’s help. May we go forward on our own row today doing the same thing, of course with Jesus’ help. 

And we’ll continue Mary’s story tomorrow, God willing. Till then may we rest in the peace, comfort, joy and LOVE of our heavenly Father. Much LOVE!

…it’s Sunday…and still the Christmas season…so please let’s fill the churches with people…giving thanks and praise to God…as we ought to…