Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 June 2019 Matthew 6:19.

Matthew 6:19.    Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.

 

Well it’s wet and somewhat cloudy…but that’s nothing new! (smile) And it’s certainly not going to stop we saints of Christ from going about His business, witnessing to the unsaved, making disciples of them, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and leading lives that exemplify the glory and LOVING-kindness of Jesus! 

Oh friends, that’s what we are called on to do, and do it we must, or the world will just be more strife-filled and sink even deeper into the mire of evil and ungodliness. It’s too bad already! Can you imagine it getting worse? But that’s what will happen if we don’t stand up NOW and be counted! 

Just think about your children or grandchildren living in such an ungodly and evil world nuh. Think about them not knowing or even hearing about Jesus and the awesome stuff He’s done for mankind, and the wonderful treasures He has stored up for those who sincerely LOVE and obey Him. What kind of life would they be living eh? A satanic life of greed, selfishness, lust, envy and all the other stuff that will have them heading straight for hell and eternal damnation! 

That means you won’t be seeing them in heaven, won’t be congregating with them in better circumstances that this evil earth. Like the rich man and the beggar Lazarus, they’ll be begging you to send a drop of water to cool their burning tongues in the raging fires of Hades and you’ll be unable to help them in the least bit! So let’s think on these things nuh and try to do better in our teaching and the examples our lives portray. 

Oh, none of us are perfect, but we can all certainly improve and do better with the help of God. The problem though is that we are either too lazy, or too interested in the fancy but worthless baubles of the world…and asking God for help, well that’s definitely not in some of our proud, haughty and foolish personalities! But please remember people, in this world you got to bow to somebody, and the two main options are God and the devil himself! 

You have to choose one. You just can’t sit on the fence, as so many of us try to do, and hope that everything will work out right, because it won’t! The two powerful entities that control things want you all for themselves, don’t want to share one iota of you with the other, so they’ll both try their level best to get you fully into their camp. That means a constant struggle between the devil; your earthly and fleshly self, and the Lord; your heavenly and spiritual being! 

So whom are you going to choose eh? Remember Jesus said that no man can serve two masters; you can’t serve God and mammon too. (Matt.6:24) That means you have to make a conscious choice. And hopefully we’ll all declare like Joshua did: ‘But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ (Josh.24:15d) Yeh friends, that’s the smart thing to do, the wise move to consciously make. 

Why? Although Jesus calls on us to be more selfless, generous, LOVING and kind, sentiments that the world consider folly, the things that He has in store for us are way way more useful and important than the things Beelzebub, the prince of darkness has to offer. 

And as always, Jesus put’s it so simply and succinctly: ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt.6:19-21) Now doesn’t that sound like simple, sensible logic and wisdom? It certainly does! 

That’s because all the treasures we amass here on earth, time and insects will eventually destroy, or people will steal them. And for sure we can’t carry any with us! Oh, I know some of us will have them place some in the box with us, (smile) but they’ll be no good on the other side, neither in heaven nor in hell. That’s why listening to Jesus, and following Him is the wiser of the two options we have. For if we do that, then we’ll end up in heaven, and will have treasures stored up their for us, that will be even better than those down here on earth. 

Unfortunately though, many of us can’t see the forest for the trees, can’t see the bigger picture, always believing that a bird in the hand is better than two or three in the bush. But friends, with Jesus, we have to see it that way. And we can only do so by faith, believing for that which we don’t see. And yes, that’s not easy, especially with the kind of world we’re currently living in. 

But as Jesus taught in the parable of the rich fool, (Luke 12:13-21) who, not caring about anybody but himself, kept building bigger and better and storing up treasures here on earth. And what happened when the Lord called him home unexpectedly eh? All his earthly treasure was left behind for others to fight over, and he had none in heaven to go to. ‘So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’ (Luke 12:21) 

And it’s oh so important that we hear this explanation from the scholars. ‘6:19-21. The attention of the believer is directed toward treasures in heaven. The term treasures implies the addition or accumulation of things. The two kinds of treasures are conditioned by their place (either on earth or in heaven). The concept of laying up treasures in heaven is not pictured as one of meritorious benefits but rather of rewards for faithful service, as is illustrated elsewhere in the teaching of Jesus.’ So heavenly rewards depend more on the attitude of our hearts and service, than just what we deserve for doing good. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yes!) our Thursday Blessings. In full voice and strong belief: ‘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!’ 

And please remember, those wonderful blessings haven’t been given to us to selfishly hoard, but to go out and share with the less fortunate…generously…and with the right motive in our hearts! Much LOVE!

…in all that we do…be it good or bad…the Lord looks for the motives in our hearts…

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 March 2017 Matthew 6:19.

Matthew 6:19.   Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.

Sunday O Sunday: The day of the Lord, when we gather together to worship and fellowship and praise and give thanks to our magnificent and magnanimous God!  One who is omnipotent, all- powerful; omniscient, all-seeing and knowing; and omni-present, everywhere at the same time! 

What a thrill it is my people to be gathered in the Lord’s sanctuary, or anywhere at all, to hear His wondrous word and exalt and glorify His holy name! For all that He’s done, is currently doing, and has promised to do for us, let’s now raise our voices in joyful song, extolling not only His might and power, but also His mercy, compassion, grace and LOVING-kindness! 

And the song of praise for today is the old hymn of assurance and the joy of salvation, ‘Christ the Solid Rock.’ So as one harmonious choir, let’s raise our voices in the sacrifice of praise in heartfelt sincerity and truth. 

‘My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand. 

When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace; In every high and stormy gale My anchor holds within the veil. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand. 

His oath, His covenant, and blood Support me in the whelming flood; When every earthly prop gives way, He then is all my Hope and Stay. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand. 

When He shall come with trumpet sound, Oh, may I then in Him be found, Clothed in His righteousness alone, Faultless to stand before the throne! On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.’ 

And that’s the indisputable, gospel truth my fellow believers! Any other ground beside the foundation of Rock that’s our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is simply sinking sand! On Him and Him ALONE, are we assured of standing strong and walking tall in this misguided universe! 

But you know what friends? That last verse of the hymn is also very important: that we should be found clothed in His righteousness on His Second Coming, to stand faultless before Him. If we’re not found in that state then crapaud smoke we pipe! As simple as that. 

And the only way we can have some assurance of that situation is by living out His words of warning in our Bit. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.’ 

Yes friends, the treasures of the earth are basically worthless when your physical body is returned to the dust from which it was made. Then what is going to happen to your spiritual body that will be left, that will live on eh? You’ll endure ‘sufferation’ and eternal death with that ole fool Lucifer in Hades, or wherever God decides to discard him. 

Now to me, that doesn’t look like such a good idea, although a lot of us are unwisely clinging to it. In my humble opinion, Jesus’ suggestion seems much more profitable and amenable. ‘But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.’ (Matt.6:20)  

Ah mih people, I don’t understand why we fight so hard to accumulate the world’s riches nuh, when we know that we can’t carry any of it with us, especially when doing so just produces so much stress and strain and we don’t get to enjoy them. And it’s not like you can’t get rich in earthly wealth following Christ. There are numerous rich Christians around the world; it’s just that they don’t display it as a badge of honour and use it in a more godly way. 

Hear how James addresses the wealthy, unsaved Jews of his day. ‘Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted (have rotted), and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver is cankered (corroded); and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. 

Behold the hire (wages) of the labourers who have reaped down (mowed) your fields, which is of you kept back (you have kept back) by fraud, crieth (cry out): and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton (indulgence); ye have nourished (fattened) your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just, and he doth not resist you.’ (James 5:1-6) 

Now hear some explanations from the scholars. ‘5:1-6. Ye rich men: James’ common address “brethren,” is not found once in this section. By contrast, it occurs four times in verses 7-12. James is now addressing wealthy, unsaved Jews who have poor Jews working for them. They have mistreated the poor, so God’s judgement will fall on them.’ 

‘5:3. Ironically, they have stored up treasure for their last days (retirement), which God will use against them in the last days.’ ‘5:4. The Lord of Sabaoth, meaning the Lord of Hosts (i.e. of Armies), describes the omnipotent, avenging character of God who sees and hears this injustice.’  

Ah mih breddren, the same injustice is being meted out to the poor and needy today by the wealthy, unsaved heathen. But just as those earlier Jews were promised God’s judgement, likewise the current crop of robber barons will receive their comeuppance in God’s time. Please, let’s not be found counted amongst them. Much LOVE!

…heavenly rewards…must be accumulated from earth…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 March 2017 Matthew 6:19.

Matthew 6:19.   Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.

Welcome friends, to a winter wonderland! Hn! We all thought we were in for an early spring, but Mother Nature had other ideas; we’re in for a late winter! 

Yes, for the last couple of days severe winter storms have been raging all over the Northeastern and Central parts of North America. We seem to be rather lucky in my li’l neck of the woods with only a few inches, but parts of the U.S have two to three feet of snow, and the winds have been constantly howling. 

Now that’s why I don’t like to be in this country for March; the winds always seem to be colder and more powerful in March. And it doesn’t seem to be over yet. But that’s what you get for living in these northern climes. 

Anyway, here’s a li’l something from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional to bring us in from the cold to God’s warm and everlasting LOVE. (smile) It’s titled ‘For Renewal.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘Almighty God, it is a beautiful way to live to know that you are there with a plan for my life, and through prayer I can draw my life into harmony with your plan. I know, God, that your plan for my life calls for me to follow Christ. 

Jesus Christ, I give my life to you. I’ve never done it before. That has been my problem. That has been my hang up. O God, I give my life to you now. Take my life, Jesus Christ, and make it yours. Forgive my sins. Fill me with your LOVE. You are doing it now and I thank you. Amen!’ 

Yes my brethren, there’s nothing better than making a commitment to Jesus for the first time, or renewing it for the umpteenth time! The important thing is that we make a commitment to live the way Jesus wants us to live, for that’s the only wise and sensible way to live this earthly life. 

Lucifer and his evil world offer lots of pretty baubles, bangles and fine looking things, but they are only façades, they have no real substance and only last for a short while, and they can also get stolen. 

On the other hand Jesus offers eternal stuff, stuff with real substance and value, which will last for eternity, and there are no thieves in heaven. Glory Be!  

That brings us to our Bit, a seminal teaching of Jesus from His Sermon on the Mount. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.’ 

That’s exactly what we were just talking about friends. Concentrating on storing up earthly treasures does not bring true joy and happiness, for eventually you will die and leave it all behind for someone else to dissipate. 

Bruh Paul said it to Timothy thus: ‘For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.’ (1 Tim.6:7) 

Now that doesn’t mean we should not save or purchase nice things and try to live a comfortable earthly life. The problem occurs when we let that be the main focus of our lives, when we idolize the things of this world rather than the things of heaven. 

And Jesus continues after our Bit: ‘But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will you heart be also.’ (Matt.6:20-21) 

Oh friends, that last sentence is indeed a mighty one! Gospel truth indeed! For wherever our treasure is stored that’s where our hearts will be leaning and looking towards. You’ll notice that when we concentrate on storing up earthly treasures our hearts are constantly aimed at the earthly stuff. 

However, if we concentrate on storing up heavenly rewards, then we spend most of our time concentrating on those things that bring heavenly benefits. 

Now listen to this interesting explanation from the scholars. ‘6:19-21. The attention of the believer is directed towards treasures in heaven. The term treasures implies the addition or accumulation of things. 

The two kinds of treasures are conditioned by their place (either on earth or in heaven). The concept of laying up treasures in heaven is not pictured as one of meritorious benefits but rather rewards for faithful service, as is illustrated elsewhere in the teaching of Jesus.’ 

Ah mih breddren, as we’ve already said accumulation of earthly things should not be our main focus of this life, but rather the stocking up of rewards in heaven through godly service down here on earth. 

And anyway, when you get to heaven, all the stuff you sought down here either won’t be necessary, or they will be of better quality than the shoddy stuff we have down here. (smile) 

Now listen to these telling words from the sons of Korah, from Psalm 49 – Trust in God, not wealth. ‘Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased; For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend with him.’ (Ps.49:16-17) And that’s the ultimate truth friends! 

Now let’s go home pondering all that, while invoking our Wednesday Wail with much enthusiasm and a strong sense of purpose. 

As one now: ‘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!’ 

Yes my fellow believers, though we’re going through storms in our lives, both physical and emotional, we’re still glad to be alive and are looking forward to a glorious future with our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Now that’s wisdom for the ages! Much LOVE!

…only in and through Jesus…can we find true joy and security for ever…