Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 November 2019 Matthew 5:19.

Matthew 5:19.    ​Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal:
 

‘Sunshine makes me feel so happy…Sunshine makes me feel so sad…’ Yeh friends, sunshine has the ability to do both those things. When we see it in the early morning hours, it lifts our spirits, but when it gets too hot, or too cold, as it is now in my neck of the woods, it deflates the spirit somewhat. But let’s be thankful for small mercies nuh, be thankful that there’s a bright sun shining in God’s beautiful sky, instead of any negative precipitation like the rain we’ve been recently having, or the snow that’s in our immediate future. And the ordinary workingman reminds us of just that in his weekend song. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday, and the weekend is upon us! Boy, is that ever the best time of the week! And the sun’s shining to boot…and no snow not falling…not yet anyway. Wow! As Brother James Brown would say: ‘Get on the good foot baby!’ Yes, I’m certainly going to do that, come rain, snow or shine, cause life’s too short to allow the vagaries of the weather to control it. And who doesn’t want to do that, that’s their business, their loss. They don’t know what a good time they passing up nuh. To some of us, it’s okay to work all week, then don’t enjoy the weekend. Well not me nuh! I’m starting right now to enjoy it oui! Come hell or highwater, my weekend going to be a blast! Yes sir! Thank God for Fridays and weekends!’ 

And so should we all, my precious people of God! Because it’s only through His grace and mercy that we can enjoy the fruits of our labour in fairly peaceful surroundings. Unfortunately, a great proportion of humanity are unable to do that, due to strife and wars and other public upheavals. So let’s give some sincere and heartfelt thanks as we declare our weekend song, our Friday Chant.

All together now: ‘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.’ 

And as I like to remind us each week, Christianity is an action oriented, outgoing association, but not one that just runs hither, thither and yon without a sensible sense of purpose. (smile) That is to say, our Leader, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ has instituted borders and boundaries that we should not cross over since they would just allow the ever-lurking enemy to get a foothold in our lives, something we need to avoid at all cost. So, unlike the ordinary workingman, we don’t rush out and do whatever we want, or whatever feels good, we need to examine our actions in the context of Christ’s boundaries before we do stuff. 

Now sometimes that’s difficult, or it seems to detract from what we’d naturally consider a joyful time. But friends, it’s better to be safe than sorry, for once we get into certain activities or circumstances, they will certainly come back to haunt us, possibly for the rest of our lives. Please, please, let’s remember that all that glitters is not gold, especially in the enemy’s camp. His stuff is not even gold plated, just covered with a thin veneer of gold paint, and gets rusty real quickly! (smile) That’s why Jesus went to such great length to warn us in 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:’ What life changing, world beating advice my brethren! 

And it’s not like we don’t know, or have not experienced the theft and/or fraudulent gain of our earthly treasure by others, yet we continue to kill ourselves in order to accumulate earthly wealth and possessions that can be so easily violated. And Jesus doesn’t leave us hanging, He shows us where to store our treasure. ‘But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal.’ (Matt. 6:20) That’s ageless wisdom people! If you have treasure, the best place to store it is where it’s the safest from thieves and rust…and that’s heaven. 

And furthermore, Jesus reminds us: ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt.6:21) Gospel truth friends! Just think about your earthly valuables right now, wherever you have them stored, your mind is always on them wondering if they are safe; in the bank, or under your mattress, or if they are making you more money, increasing in value, in places like the stock exchange. And in these oh so turbulent times, we’re thinking about our earthly treasure more than ever, since matters totally out of our control can cause us to lose it all. 

Listen to 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 (on earth, or in heaven). The concept of laying up treasures in heaven is not pictured as one of meritorious benefits but rather as rewards for faithful service, as is illustrated elsewhere in the teaching of Jesus.’ Oh friends all the wealth in the world won’t get us into heaven. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong to have earthly wealth, but it’s how we use it. 

Hear Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘Charge (command) them that are rich in this world (present age), that they be not highminded (haughty), nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute (give), willing to communicate (share); Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.’ (1 Tim. 17-19) Yeh friends, once we believe in Christ, we must use our earthly treasures to help others, to further God’s kingdom, thus we will store up rewards, treasures in heaven…and you can’t beat heavenly treasures! Much LOVE!

…labour not to be rich…do not overwork…cease from thine own wisdom… (Prov.23:4)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 August 2019 Luke 12:15.

Luke 12:15.    ​Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of things which he possesseth.

 

Welcome to another sunny summer’s day friends! Yes, I know it’s been going on for a little while now, but if a body can’t sleep in some on the last day of the week, what’s the purpose of being alive eh? (smile) 

But nonetheless, let’s give our wonderful God much thanks and praise for allowing, for enabling us to see it nuh! Because it’s only because His breath of life is still flowing through our bodies that we can see and enjoy it. He hasn’t pulled the plug on us, at least not yet, and for that we need to be eternally grateful! 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s see what words of wisdom our friend Anselm imparted to us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And our friend waxed somewhat political and patriotic this week. Listen up to this first one: ‘I would just like to say something, ladies and gentlemen. Something that I think is very important. It is that, you, we – we own this country. We – we own it. It is not you owning it, and not politicians owning it. Politicians are employees of ours.’ 

Mama Yo! And he’s perfectly right. The citizens of a country own it. However, just like Adam and Eve ceded power to the devil when they listened to his deceitful words and ate of the forbidden fruit, likewise we citizens have forfeited ownership of our countries by allowing the politicians to bamboozle us with their sweet talk that’s only full of lies and deceit. We’ve allowed the crazy inmates to take over the madhouse. And once you’ve ceded power, it’s awfully hard to get it back. 

But here’s how it can be won back: ‘A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.’ Yes friends, once the inmates are in control of the institution, the only way to dislodge them is to fight, fight tooth and nail against them, because they will not give up their power voluntarily. 

The unfortunate problem nowadays though is that not too many of us are not willing to fight tooth and nail to recover anything, much less the running of our countries. We’ve become so enthralled and complacent by the good life we’re living, that we just can’t bear to give it up, and fighting for anything has the distinct possibility of losing stuff that we cherish. The whole point here is what do we cherish most, and what are willing to fight for? 

And this next quote continues the political discourse: ‘ Corruption is worse than prostitution. The latter might endanger the morals of an individual, the former invariably endangers the morals of the entire country.’ So true my people! But again, unfortunately, that’s the vibe that’s running the world now. Corruption is so rampant and deep in so many countries of the world that it’s easier to list which ones aren’t corrupt, if any, than to list those that are corrupt. 

And there too, corruption will only cease when the godly, righteous and decent citizens of a country get fighting mad and decide to actually fight back against it, remove the numerous corrupt people in power and replace them with godly, righteous and trustworthy ones. 

But sadly we will need to replace almost all the people in power to do that, because corruption has become another name for politician, and most of our citizens don’t want to disturb their lives, especially when many of them are also recipients of corrupt favours and money. And that’s the end of the political quotes! (smile) 

But this one is just as important: ‘What can’t you live without? Why? Is it something that lasts forever, or just for a moment?’ Good question that my people! Remember Jesus’ advice: ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin, destroy), 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 and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt.6:19-21) That advice goes for anything we want or hunger for friends! Technically our wants should have a godly basis, but that’s not very easy to accomplish in this world full of ungodly distractions. 

That brings us to the last quote: ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.’ And Jesus spelled that out in spades in the parable of the rich fool. When a man in a crowd said to Jesus, ‘Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me.’ Jesus replied: ‘Man, who made me a judge or a divider (an arbitrator) over you?’ (Luke 12:13-14) 

And the scholars declare: ‘12:14. Jesus will not be a part of furthering someone’s selfish interests. He calls for people to serve the Lord and others, not themselves.’  So true! Then Jesus spoke these immortal words of wisdom: ‘Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of things which he possesseth.’  

Oh friends, there again, our world today, under the evil, ungodly and corrupt rule of Satan and his demonic followers, is so filled with greed and covetousness that it’s truly difficult not to get caught up in the foolishness. But Jesus warned us about the man who had so much that he had nowhere to store it, and foolishly decided to tear down everything and build bigger and better and then rest on his laurels thereafter. 

‘And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’ (Luke 12:19-21) 

And we see that happening a lot in our current world, where people who were seeking the earth’s riches suddenly die and there estates become a free-for –all fight between their descendants, with the greedy lawyers oftimes getting the most substantial portion for their efforts to divide it. 

Please, I implore us not to seek the world’s wealth above the work we need to do for God, because that’s just a fool’s wisdom. And the Lord has promised to provide all we need when we put His kingdom first. (Matt.6:33) So let’s take Him up on that nuh, since He never breaks His promises! Much LOVE!

…earthly things are only temporary…but the things of heaven…of God…are forever…