Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 November 2019 Matthew 28:19.

Matthew 28:19.    ​Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples) of ALL nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
 

And hopefully we’ve made it through Black Friday in one piece… not having spent too much unnecessary money, or gotten into too much unnecessary debt! (smile) And hopefully there weren’t any violent episodes to endure. Haven’t heard of any so far, but man’s nature being what it is, I’m sure there were some tete a tetes! Couldn’t get the accentuation right. (smile) But you know what I mean; some close encounters of the human kind, literally head to heads. Anyway, Black Friday is history now, so let’s concentrate on Saturday, whatever colour it may be. That means turning to some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And I like this first one: ‘If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.’ We’ve got to realize that not all of us can be doers of great things; that’s left for only a small percentage. But if we’re not included in that august lot, it doesn’t mean we can’t be great. We just need to do the small things that come our way in a great and excellent manner! That’s what Jesus asks of His followers; diligence and excellence in all we do! And believe me, the greatness that the world thrusts upon us is not all it’s really cracked up to be; for once it’s found our Achilles heel, with even greater speed than it lifted us, the world can tear us back down again. But when Jesus lifts us up in our small doings, it’s for keeps! 

Then there’s this: ‘Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.’ And is that often ever so true! Like we were saying earlier in the week ‘Someday we will…!’ But if we keep putting things off, someday might never come. We do have to check out the Lord’s take on the situation before jumping in though; that’s what they call wisdom, (smile) and if He doesn’t set up any obvious roadblocks, then it should be all engines full ahead! Remember what they say about procrastination: it is the thief of time. And time is not something we have an inordinate or never-ending amount of. So ofttimes we just have to go for it! 

And that’s the text of our next quote: ‘You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go, and see what happens.’ Now that’s true too. But one word of caution; please, please make sure you check it out with the Lord first; it only takes a few seconds to do that! Have no fear. If it’s totally wrong, He’ll let you know. And if He doesn’t say anything, it might just be that He has a lesson for you to learn. (smile) And we can paraphrase all of those quotes with this one: ‘Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.’ 

Sadly though people that’s a major failure and fault of our current world; we’re always telling each other what they can and can’t do from our puny and limited human imaginations. Just think of all the great strides we’ve made in our society, I’m sure that many of them were unthinkable until some brave, gifted and daring soul decided to seriously knuckle down and do them despite the negative voices of the doubting Thomas’s shouting ‘you can’t do that’ in their ears. But you know the One we limit the most, it’s our great God! 

We claim that He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omni-present; meaning that He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever-present, but the truth is that our faith is still sadly lacking when we need Him to do big, seemingly impossible things for us. Remember Jesus said that ALL things were possible with the Father! And if we’re true believers, then we ought to let that show up in our everyday lives, through faith in His power and grace and mercy, through belief in miracles! Yes, He still does those; not necessarily as big as He once did, but I know He does many small ones in each and every life, we’re just not looking for them, or thinking of them as such. 

How yuh think we woke up this morning eh? Just by chance? Certainly not! It was the Lord’s compassion and mercy; His miracle that kept us alive through the night and then opened our eyes to a beautiful day. So please let’s stop selling ourselves and our great God short. Remember we can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us! 

And as always, we try to save the best for last. (smile) ‘No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.’ And that’s gospel truth friends! We just have to look at all the different types of societies that exist, or once existed in our world; communism, democracy, socialism, dictatorship. All of them began as ideas and were reinforced by words until they became reality. But the greatest change ever brought about by ideas and words is our own Christian faith. 

Mama Yo! Just look at what the words and ideas of Jesus wrought in our world nuh! Hear Him to the disciples before He went back to heaven: ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples) of ALL nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) 

Wow mih people! What a splash that Great Commission has made in our world! Twelve men believed; took Jesus’ words and commission to heart and went out and changed the world! That’s the sterling power of words and ideas. And as true believers in Christ, we’ve also been given that Great Commission, for the WHOLE WORLD has not yet been converted, or heard of Him. So please let’s take the baton, the flaming torch from those who have gone before us, and go out and help change the world! That’s our Great Commission too! Much LOVE!

…Jesus doesn’t want to come back…until EVERY living soul on earth…has had a chance to hear His words and ideas…and be saved…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 March 2018 John 13:34.

John 13:34. A new commandment I give unto you, that ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another.

Well my friends and fellow believers it’s Friday, but a special Friday, one that only occurs once a year. And we call it Good Friday! I know some of us must be wondering how can we call a terrible Friday like that good, where our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was horribly crucified, shamed and violated without remorse.

But it’s not what happened, so much as the reason for the happening and the resultant consequences. Christ was crucified, gave His life for us, so that we could have eternal life. He took ALL our sins on His shoulders, so that we could have the option to return to a right relationship with Almighty God. That’s what’s good about it friends!

The once and for all sacrifice, the once and for all payment for our sins, that’s what makes it good! Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, the Lord washed clean all our sins, forgave us of our disobedience and welcomed us back as His children. Wow! How can we not call such an event good eh?

True, it resulted in the terrible abuse and violence toward Jesus, but that was the only way for our sins to become paid up; forgiveness called for a blood sacrifice. And today, as we flock to the Lord’s house to sing His praises and glorify His holy name, let’s remember the significance of this day.

And as always, before we hear the word, let’s offer up some praise and worship with sacrificial voices to our heavenly Father. And today we’ll sing one of my all time favourites, one that I cherished since I was a boy growing up in Tobago.

It appropriately describes the scene that took place at Calvary, two thousand years ago. The words apparently were written by Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895) and the music by John H Gower (1855-1922) and it was based on the scriptural texts of John 19:16-20 and Hebrews 13:12.

Please sing with me: ‘There is a green hill far away, outside a city wall, where our dear Lord was crucified who died to save us all. We may not know, we cannot tell, what pains he had to bear, but we believe it was for us he hung and suffered there. He died that we might be forgiven, he died to make us good, that we might go at last to heaven, saved by his precious blood.

There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin, he only could unlock the gate of heaven and let us in. O dearly, dearly has he LOVED! And we must LOVE him too, and trust in his redeeming blood, and try his works to do.’

Yeh friends, the story’s told simply and tenderly, but the reality of it all is oh so heart wrenching and tear jerking! Just imagine an innocent man nuh, being crucified; one of the worse methods of death and punishment ever subscribed to by man, to pay for the sins of a motley, unappreciative group of people.

And the beauty of the story is that He underwent that gruesome ordeal without a word of complaint, because He knew that He was the ONLY person who could pay for the transgressions of the entire world, and besides, that was what His heavenly Father required of Him. As the Good Book says: He was ‘obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil.2:8)

Ah mih people, yuh see what Jesus did for us, for you and I? But how many of us are obedient to the Lord’s doing nowadays eh? Not as many as there should be. But let me point out the most important part of our hymn above: ‘O dearly, dearly has he LOVED! And we must LOVE him too, and trust in his redeeming blood, and try his works to do.’

Yes precious people of God, that’s all Jesus requires of us in return for His sacrificial death on this day so long ago: LOVE as He LOVED; trust in His redeeming blood; and do the work He wants us to do!

Oh, my fellow believers, it does look simple and sounds good on paper, but from personal experience I know that it’s not easy to do. However, if we are serious about living and working for Christ, we can do it with His help, because we know that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. (Phil. 4:13)

Now let’s turn to our Bit: ‘A new commandment I give unto you, that ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another.’ Yes friends, I purposely stayed away from the story of the cross, because we all know it and rehashing it isn’t going to make much difference at this stage of the game.

What we truly need to know and recognize is why Christ died for us; and the simple answer is that He LOVED us. And His earthly ministry was one of sincere LOVE. Plus the only new thing He told us is that we must LOVE each other as He LOVED us. And that LOVE is just treating each other and ourselves in a decent, pleasant manner, not necessarily going overboard in our attentions.

But unfortunately, in today’s cruel, crazy and godless society, those pleading words of Jesus have fallen on deaf ears. However friends and fellow believers in Jesus, I’m pleading with us, today, as we recognize Jesus’ immense sacrifice on our behalf, let’s learn that the lesson the cross really teaches us, is not one of death, but of LIFE and LOVE.

Jesus died because He LOVED us, and wanted us to have life eternal. Let’s show our appreciation by living the way He wants us to nuh. Much LOVE!

…living for Jesus…means living in LOVE…

P.S. Yes I know we didn’t sing the workingman’s song, or our Friday Chant, but this was a special Friday. (smile) Much LOVE!