Today​’s Scrip-Bit 13 March 2019 Matthew 19:21.

Matthew 19:21.   ​Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be (want to 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.
 
What did the man say? ‘Fight one more round…just one more round…before giving up!’ Ah friends, that’s exactly what the ole fella’s doing; fighting one more round, as in going into the big city of T.O. for another medical appointment, and that’s also why he’s up so early writing the Bit! Aren’t you proud of him? I know you are! (smile) 

Yeh, it’s a pain in the rear end to be always going into the city for these medical appointments, but the long and short of the story is that they are for my benefit, not the doctors. So if I don’t go, who’s going to suffer eh? They might not even make less money since there are oodles of people lining up to see them. 

And today, in this season of Lent, where we all aspire to get more spiritual, (smile) we’ll look at an interesting situation in Jesus’ time that still holds good even today, and possibly more so than ever. It all begins with this quote from Uncle John (John Hagee), which says: ‘Your spiritual strength is measured not by what you can believe, but in what you can obey.’ Living truth that my people! Believing is easy, but obeying cuts right to the quick of our sinful hearts and desires! 

And we have a great example of that in the rich young ruler who came to Jesus asking about eternal life. The Good Book reports it thus: ‘And behold, one came and said unto him (Jesus), Good Master (Teacher), what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 

And he (Jesus) said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt (want to) enter into life, keep the commandments. He (the man) saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: And thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.’ (Matt.19:16-19) 

Now that’s standard fare for us all, the basic dictates of the Ten Commandments that the Lord gave to Moses on Mt. Sinai, for the Israelites and all those who believed in Him to follow. And the Good Book continues: ‘The young man saith unto him (Jesus), All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 

Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be (want to 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. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.’ (Matt.19:20-22) 

Ah friends, yuh see what we talking about? Spiritual strength is so much more than just believing! That young rich ruler believed, but he just couldn’t obey. Selling his many possessions and then giving away the resultant funds to the poor was just too much for him to handle. And so it is for many of us in today’s very materialistic society. We believers who are supposed to be in the world but not of the world, are too often caught up in those same very materialistic situations like that young man of old. 

And the scholars offer this insightful explanation. ‘19:18-22. This list of commands in verse 18 centres on outward duties, rather than inward nature, which was the young man’s real problem. He protests that he had kept these outward demands. His luxurious wealth and self-righteousness had blinded him to his real weakness. To expose this, Jesus orders, go and sell all your possessions and give to the poor…and come…follow me (v.21). 

This he would not do and went away sorrowful. Jesus thus shows him that he had not kept the commandments at all. He LOVED himself more than he LOVED his neighbour (the poor), and he LOVED his possessions more than he LOVED God (“me”). This passage teaches the seriousness of true discipleship, but it in no way teaches the average man that he must sell his possessions in order to be a Christian.’  

No friends, the average Joe does not have to give away all his stuff, but I’m sure that we’d all agree that there is certainly too much poverty in our society, when overall there is immense prosperity. This therefore means that too few have too much, and too many have too little. Consequently there needs to be a touch of equalization, where some of us who have a lot, give to those who don’t have much. 

And that was the original purpose of the church; to help those in need, as we see from Acts 2:44-45. ‘And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted (distributed) them to all men, as every man had need.’ 

Yes friends, I know the church was much smaller then and they could do that kind of communal living, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that the church today, meaning all of us believers, is definitely not as sympathetic and giving to the needy as Jesus would like us to be, because we are too attached to our earthly possessions. 

 Remember we are the hands and feet, the body of Jesus down here on earth, and whatever we do will reflect on Him. So for Jesus’ sake, my fellow believers, please, I implore us, let’s try and do better nuh. In this way, the world will have a much more accepting disposition to our Lord and Saviour and thus less souls will be lost to the enemy. 

Now let’s go home wailing our Wednesday Wail, telling all and sundry our sure-fire position in Christ. As one strong voice 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!’ 

Now that’s a future that none of us should  want to miss! Much LOVE!

…getting is very dependent on giving…you’ll get…as you give…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 February 2019 Colossians 3:13.

Colossians 3:13.   ​Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
 

And the snow has stopped falling – at least for the time being! Who knows what’s next eh? But what to do, nothing but grin and bear it as best you can. It’s not like we don’t expect snow to fall in winter, but yet we complain so much when it does! (smile) 

Anyway friends, we not going to talk anymore about the weather, I have to go out the street and do some stuff today, so we’ll just leave it all in the Master’s hands, to carry me and bring me back safely. I do hope though, that the fellow we’ve already paid to clean our driveway will come and do so before I’m ready to go out. End of complaining! (smile) 

Now let’s move on to the topic for the day; a rather important one in the lives of ALL believers, and one which we don’t do as well as we should, we’re talking about ‘Forgiveness.’ And that’s the title of the reading from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. 

It says: ‘Forgiveness. What does it do for us? In an amazing way it creates a fresh beginning. It lifts us out of the tangled seaweed of resentment. A miracle is performed! It may not happen in a moment or a day. We may have to forgive at six o’clock on Monday and start over again at two o’clock on Tuesday. 

There is no magic wand to simplify forgiveness. Forgiveness is a deliberate setting of our will, often with no emotional high whatsoever. But once having genuinely forgiven, our soul is washed clean. We walk in dignity again. We sense a new vitality. We’re no longer concentrating on hurts; we’re concentrating on God. If we would only forgive, our lives would undergo transformations beyond our highest expectations. 

Above all, Jesus Christ would be exalted, for it is His forgiveness that makes the difference. Forgiveness is a beautiful word. It is God’s word passed to us to use freely, joyfully. When we ask for the gift of forgiveness, God always says yes. He gave His Son to make us free, and forgiveness is the key to freedom.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth friends; we can’t be free until we’ve been forgiven…and we have forgiven! That’s just the way the Lord set it up! And the most important thing we need to know, understand and get deep down in our spirits is that forgiveness is not merely for the forgiven, who oftimes don’t even know or care, but forgiveness most of all is for the forgiver! It’s for us above all else. Because it sets us free from resentment and all the other negative emotions that can occur through a spirit of unforgiveness. 

Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the Colossians nuh, when talking about the Christian virtues. ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies (heartfelt compassion), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.’ (Col.3:12-13) 

And the scholars have an interesting explanation of that last verse. ‘3:13. The fact of believers being urged to assume the virtues of verse 12 signifies that none has yet “arrived” spiritually. As the believer is developing these virtues, he must be forbearing and forgiving toward his fellow church member. For his Christian brother is also in the process of acquiring the virtues of verse 12 and therefore retains some flaws, deficiencies, and weaknesses. Hence the need of forbearance and forgiveness.’ 

That’s simple common sense friends, all of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, therefore we need to be compassionate and forgiving of each other’s faults and weaknesses, just like Christ forgave us. And so many of us forget that oh so important fact; that Christ forgave us, that’s why our sin debts have been paid and we’re heaven bound. 

But foolishly and selfishly and arrogantly we refuse to forgive others while we go with hypocritical hearts to God crying out for forgiveness for our own deficiencies. That’s so wrong my brethren. And Jesus made that quite clear early on in His ministry. Note in the prayer that He taught, which we call the Lord’s Prayer, the second to last line says: ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ (Matt.6:12) And it means just that; as we forgive, so we will be forgiven! 

And Jesus made it even clearer a couple of verses later: ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.6:14-15) It couldn’t be any clearer than that friends! 

So let’s get some wisdom and common sense going in respect of forgiveness nuh, because we only hurt ourselves when we don’t forgive. No one says it’s always easy, but with God’s help we can ALWAYS accomplish it, no matter how long it takes! 

Now let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know our position in Christ Jesus: With sincerity, in loud voice and strong sense of purpose: ‘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!’ 

And please believe it, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…forgiveness frees the forgiver…so that Christ can forgive them… 

P.S. I just went upstairs to reheat my coffee, and looked outside…and wonder of wonders, the snow has begun falling again! So who knows what the day will bring eh? (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 January 2018 Mark 1:35.

Mark 1:35.   And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.

Ah friends, it’s one of those days when you start out behind the eight ball. I went to bed fairly early, but `woke up late with my back aching like crazy. I don’t understand it nuh. The body calls for rest, but when I rest the body for any decent length of time, I wake up with more aches and pains than I went to bed with. Chuh! It’s just not right! (smile) 

Then it looks like we’re going to have a bleak snowy day with temps in the minus something or other. Steups! And to make matters worse, I happened to glimpse the weather forecast for T&T and it was projected to be plus thirty. That’s where I ought to be! 

And I’m not worried, because I know that I’ll be there at some stage of the game, but right now, the Lord in His awesome wisdom has other plans for my life in the cold weather, so I’ll just have to grin and bear it, while keeping my eyes focused on the future promise. 

Enough of my bellyaching though, here are a couple of more important things for us to concentrate on. The first is a Daily Bread Thought for the day, which says: ‘Pray your way past the urge to do wrong.’ And the second comes from the great Christian writer, Oswald Chambers, who tells us that: ‘Prayer imparts the power to walk and not faint.’ 

Both those sayings are gospel truths my brethren and wisdom of enormous proportions. Why? Because prayer is the most powerful medium on God’s great earth! It’s the direct line of communication with the Creator of the universe! It couldn’t get any better than that. 

Our problem is that we either refuse to pray, are afraid to pray, or pray for the wrong things, and when we don’t get them, we get discouraged and curse God and give up on Him. But remember God never promised to answer every prayer right away. He answers them in His own time and if they fit the direction He wants us to go. 

Oh friends, prayer is possibly the most important aspect of a believer’s life. Because that’ how we communicate with Almighty God. Look at Jesus, who though He was God Himself, still chose to live His earthly life through strong and consistent communication with His heavenly Father. 

As the Good Book says in our Bit: ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ He never made important decisions without consulting the Father. 

Apparently on that occasion He was considering whether to continue preaching the gospel as the focal point of His ministry, which wasn’t being received too well, or to focus on the miracles aspects, which the people were lapping up. But He never left the Father out of His deliberations. And most important He ALWAYS made time to do it. 

We claim to be too busy to talk our Creator, which in reality friends is nonsense.  We find or make time to do every other worldly thing that seems important to us though. Whether we make time or not, just goes to show how important we consider communicating with the Father is to us. 

But friends, if we want to have good communication with God, we have to make time to talk to Him, regardless of what else is happening in our lives. Look at Jesus again. After He fed the five thousand with the five loaves and two fishes, (Matt.14:15-21), He sent the disciples away on a ship over the lake. 

‘And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart (by himself) to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.’ (Matt.14:23) Yuh see friends, Jesus MADE TIME to be with God. Look at this other example of Jesus’ full prayer life. This happened just before He chose the 12 disciples. 

‘And it came to pass in those days, that he (Jesus) went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom he also named apostles.’ (Luke 6:12-13) Another example of Jesus consulting His Father before making big decisions. 

But friends, the Lord doesn’t only want us to communicate with Him on big decisions, but on ALL decisions, be they big or small. That means He desires to be an integral part of our everyday lives. Whatever we’re doing, He wants to be involved in it. 

That’s why Bruh Paul in his writings talks about praying always, (Eph.6:18); praying without ceasing (1 Thess.5:17); and praying everywhere (1 Tim.2:8) The Lord wants to be in constant contact with us, and prayer is how He does it. So let’s be wise and MAKE TIME to communicate with Him nuh. It’s for our benefit, not His. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, a prayer that shows how connected we are with our God, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In one strong and sincere voice 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!’ 

And yuh know what friends, our puny minds can’t even begin to comprehend the future that really awaits us. We know it’s going to be glorious, but just how glorious, we have no true idea. But hang in there, and we’ll find out eventually. Much LOVE!

…eye hath not seen…nor ear heard…neither have entered into the heart of man…the things which God hath prepared…for them that LOVE him… (1 Cor.2:9)