Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 June 2021 Matthew 15:11.

Matthew 15:11.     Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man, but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

And then it was Saturday, our lazy, couch surfing day! And the nature of today is even more conducive to lazing around. Meaning that it’s a wet and windy Saturday morning. Oh yes, we had rain from yesterday afternoon straight through to the early hours of this morning. As the old people would warn; be careful what you wish for eh, because you might just get it. 

But thankfully, though we wished for rain, it was not the shower bound type we received, but just a constant drizzle. That meant the ground had time to absorb it and thus lessen the possibilities of flooding. Our God is so good and understanding! Give Him some thanks and praise nuh people! 

Now, let’s turn to our Saturday business, checking out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘It’s sad when someone you know becomes someone you knew.’ Now is that ever so true! A lot of times we are heart broken when our relationships end, especially when it was someone whom we thought we’d do a lifetime with and then they end rather nastily too. 

But that’s life friends. We have people in our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. But most of them are either for a reason or a season, very few are there for a lifetime. And until we learn that and move on, broken relationships will always cause us more heartache than necessary. 

And that brings us to the second quote which follows from the first. ‘Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.’ Yes friends, growth and change are painful, but ofttimes that’s what a broken relationship portends; it’s time for us to move on up. And those people in our lives are not the ones to move on up with us, so they have to go. As they say, the Lord closes one door, then opens another that has different people in it, with a brighter future. 

And though it’s always hard to give up the old stuff, if you stay with it, you will eventually become more frustrated and disgusted with your old situation, than if you had moved on to the new one. Sooner or later, you will feel as though you are spinning your wheels in mud, or stuck in a rocking chair, rocking vigorously but not going anywhere. Yes, change isn’t always pleasant, but sometimes it’s necessary to get our adrenaline flowing. 

Then we come to this quote. ‘Life is under no obligation to give us what we expect.’ And is that ever true! Life owes us nothing my people! In fact, it’s we who owe life. We owe it the duty of being responsible and making a positive and productive difference in it. We are not put here just to enjoy the perks of life, but to add to them. 

Entitlement is not our God-given due, as so many of us seem to think. So, unless we are making a positive difference in our everyday walk, we are shortchanging life. And that’s even more important for believers in Christ Jesus, because His desire is for us to make disciples of those we meet by telling them about the good news of His gospel and more importantly, living the way His gospel dictates. For people respond more to examples than words. 

And all of that leads us to this next quote. ‘Sometimes you’ve got to be able to listen to yourself and be okay with no one else understanding.’ Yes my brethren, though others can and will give us advice, both good and bad, in the long run, we are the ones who must make the final decision. And that’s not always easy, especially in our current mish-mash, topsy-turvy world. But it is important that we are strong enough to live with whatever decisions we make, regardless of whether others understand or appreciate them. For, in the long run, we are the ones who have to live with the decisions we make, not the other people. 

And when you are a child of the Most High God, you are enabled by His Holy Spirit to make right decisions, and to stand strong with them. No need to be wishy washy, and wavering, or fence-sitting to see what eventually happens. Yes, precious people, being able to make timely, positive decisions is definitely one of the benefits of being a child of Jehovah God! Glory be! 

That brings us to our last quote. ‘Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.’ Ah my brethren, that’s true in spades! We must all face the death of our mortal bodies at some time or the other, we cannot do anything about that, but we certainly can stop the good aspects of our lives from dying while our bodies are still alive. And we’re talking about our humanity, the thing that makes, or is supposed to make us different from the wild animals; compassion and caring for each other. 

Hn! But today, unfortunately we behave more like the wild animals than the wild animals, the inhumane and uncaring way we treat our fellow man. Most of us are born with good ideals and inclinations, despite our basic sinful nature, but the sad part happens when we refute those good inclinations and accept the bad ones that so much of our world tend to recognize as more beneficial. We are talking about things like greed, envy, taking advantage of others, and the complete renunciation of the fruit of the Spirit. That’s ‘LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), meekness, temperance (self-control).’ 

Oh my people, when any of those things die in us, while our bodies are still alive, the loss to ourselves and the world is incalculable. It means our world is about to get darker, the enemy is winning the battle, as we become less tolerant and caring, but more negative and adversarial. That’s not the kind of world we want to live in, or leave for our children to experience. And remember what Jesus said about our internal traits. ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man, but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt. 15:11) 

And that’s the gospel truth friends! What we put into our mouths doesn’t defile us, but what comes out of our mouths defiles us. That’s because the things that come out of our mouths come from our hearts, while what goes in comes out as bodily refuse. As Jesus explains: ‘For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things that defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defile not a man.’ (Matt. 15:19-20) 

So whenever the goodness of God dies in us friends, it is indeed a sad day; a day to mourn for the well-being of our world. And right now, so much of the goodness of God has died in so many of us, that it’s no wonder our world is going through a rather dark and grievous time. And for it to turn around, it means that we, the disciples of Christ must do a better job than we’re currently doing. So let’s get to it nuh. Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…                                                                            

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 May 2021 Matthew 15:11.

Matthew 15:11.     Not that which goeth into a man defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

Glory be friends! It’s lazy-day Saturday, and also the first day of the month of May! That means our world has already gone through four months of this year of 2021 ensnared in the brutal fangs of the Corona virus, racial, political and religious strife and numerous natural disasters. And we’re still locked down with no sign of relief in sight. There are vaccines aplenty, but the pandemic is still roaring ahead strong. And don’t talk about all the different kinds of strife, they seem to be proliferating daily because we keep fanning the flames around them instead of squelching them with LOVE and togetherness. 

Consequently, there will be no Labour Day marches and celebrations of the hard-won benefits that the Labour Movement have won down through the Industrial Age. Instead, our sad state of affairs have given the owners of the means of production a chance to retract and restrict some of those hard-won rights. It has always been, and will always be, an uphill fight against the greed and avarice of the owner class of society. They are not really interested in the betterment of the society as a whole, just in that of their upper crust section. 

And, unfortunately, we cannot fix the wrongs of the world in the pages of our Bit, but we can certainly offer encouragement and ideas that will help us survive, and eventually overcome. And all God’s children said a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord!’ So let’s keep that promise by checking out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Now, this first quote is the building block, the foundation of all the others. ‘Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have.’ And that’s the indisputable truth friends! You can’t have a good relationship with anyone else until you have a good one with yourself. Why do you think Jesus told us that the second greatest commandment was to LOVE our neighbours as ourselves eh? (Matt. 22:39) Because He knew that only if we had a good feeling about, or relationship with ourselves, that we could have the same with someone else. 

That means whatever is inside of us, is what we have to share and nothing else. No wonder He also said: ‘Not that which goeth into a man defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man…. But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart, and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt. 15: 11, 18-20) 

So that’s why this next quote is also very important in the life of each individual. ‘There is no sense in punishing your future for the mistakes of your past. Forgive yourself, grow from it, and then let it go.’ That’s more indisputable truth my brethren. It’s a waste of life and precious time to keep toting our baggage from the past constantly along with us. Like the quote says, it’s just ‘punishing your future for the mistakes of your past.’ And that’s certainly not wise. 

We need to leave our baggage behind, but certainly learn from it, so that we can have good energy and increased wisdom to move into the future and do better than we did before. And the best way to do that is to accept Christ’s invitation to lay it down at his feet, at the foot of His cross. He sincerely invites us: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest… For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light’ (Matt. 11:28, 30) 

You can’t do any better than giving your problems to Jesus’ friends, because He’s the problem solver, the miracle worker, the I can do anything you want me to individual! And when we do that my people, this next quote comes shining through in our lives. ‘When I accept myself just as I am, I am freed from the burden of needing you to accept me.’ 

Oh, praise be my precious fellow believers! When we give ourselves and our burdens to Christ, we don’t need to seek acceptance from anyone else, because, Christ, the Lord and Saviour is the ONLY one we truly need acceptance from! Once He accepts us, we are free and clear of the worldly burden that the enemy tries to put on us, saying we must do this or do that to be acceptable in the sight of the world! Give thanks to His holy name friends for freeing us from all the foolishness, deceit and burdens the enemy tries to lay on us through the evil world system! 

That brings us to our last quote, another beauty: ‘Confidence is the ability to feel beautiful, without needing someone to tell you.’ Isn’t that wonderful? It surely is! But then you ask, where do we find that confidence that leads to the ability to feel beautiful? From Jesus Christ of course my friends…From Jesus Christ! You can’t get than from no one, or nowhere else but the One who sacrificed His sinless life so selflessly on the cross of Calvary on our behalf! That’s what He gives us when we accept Him as Lord and Saviour and live the righteous way He desires of us. 

But unfortunately, that doesn’t happen overnight, it is a gradual process. We can’t live one way for several years and then expect to change to another completely different form in the blink of an eye. And it does take effort on our part, because it’s a partnership we enter into with Christ. There are some things we need to do and some that only Christ will do. And please believe me when I say that He won’t do the things we need to do, so our progress or regress depends quite a lot on us. 

And those things include reading, studying and meditating on His Word, the Bible, which is His Guidebook for our earthly lives. Then we not only need to know what that guidebook contains, but even more importantly, we need to practice what it says. Now that’s the major difference between a confident and non-confident Christian. The confident ones go out and do stuff, make things happen in Christ’s name, while the non-confident ones just talk and don’t do anything to grow Christ’s kingdom. 

Yes friends, please remember that’s what we are supposed to be all about on this God-given earth nuh, spreading Christ’s Word and growing His kingdom. So, let’s get out there today and do just that nuh, with the wonderful confidence that He so generously instills in us when we truly believe in Him! Much LOVE!

…in Christ we live and move…in Christ we have our very being… (Acts 17:28) 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8        

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 April 2021 Proverbs 23:7a.

Proverbs 23:7a.     ​‘For as he thinketh in his heart (mind), so is he.

Well, it’s another bright and sunshiny day in the life friends! Please thank our heavenly Father for that! But because it’s also Saturday, we’re going to add a touch of lateness and laziness to it! (smile) That makes it a bright, sunshiny, late and lazy Saturday! Praise the Lord! 

So though we’re lazing through the day, that doesn’t mean we are allowed to forget our great and wonderful God. On the contrary, today is one where we should gravitate towards Him and His Word since we couldn’t spend as much time as we wanted with him during the busy workweek. And now that we have some more time on our hands today, it’s only appropriate, and right, that we spend more unhurried time with Him; talking, praying, reading and meditating on His wise and awesome Word, so that we can get our souls and spirits renewed. 

And a note of caution here, please don’t think that we’re doing this for God nuh, but for ourselves, so that we can truly enjoy the many benefits He offers. And as we are doing that today, let’s remember to send up prayers for the safety and protection of our unfortunate friends and families on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent where the volcano La Soufriere (sulphur outlet) erupted yesterday after being dormant since 1979. People are being evacuated from the island, but like it’s doing everything else, the Corona virus is making it difficult to do efficiently and quickly. 

Let’s pray that the Lord will give my old university classmate, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and his associates wisdom and guidance to handle this most serious situation, as it will not affect only St. Vincent, but also the neighbouring islands, with the resultant ash clogging up the atmosphere, causing breathing problems and restricting air traffic. 

Now, as we do every Saturday, let’s turn to the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. And the first quote tells us to ‘Learn to let go and be clear of where you really want to head for.’ And I have no dispute with that because it makes very good sense. We must learn to let go of, to drop all the baggage from our past that is keeping us back from our destiny. However, when we get rid of the baggage, we must also know, as clearly as possible, where we want or intend to go; what’s our eventual destination. 

And why is that important? Because, if you don’t know where you’re going, you will get lost, get distracted, and go in a direction that’s leading you away from your God-given destiny, which can also be very detrimental to your health, physically, spiritually and emotionally. That’s why you need to know where you want to go before you set out on your life’s journey. And it does help to discover your destination, if you also know where you are coming from. As they say, you can’t truly know your future until you know and understand your past. 

That brings us to this next quote: ‘Owning our story and LOVING ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do.’ And that’s no lie friends! Taking responsibility for our lives and LOVING ourselves in the process, takes immense courage, especially in this hate and strife-filled world, where everybody tries to blame somebody else for their problems and consequent lack of happiness. Now, it’s true that circumstances can come against us, over which we have no say or hold, but we’re still always responsible for our attitude towards them. 

But as faithful believers in Christ Jesus, that means we must come up over those circumstances with a good attitude, although that may be extremely difficult to do. Right now, the bane of our human existence is the sad lack of responsibility in our society! Nobody wants to accept it, but we all want to prosper and succeed…how? Riding on the backs of others. But God’s economy doesn’t work like that my brethren, for we only reap what we sow. And if we sow no seed, or only negative ones, we will get no harvest, or a negative one. Please, please, let’s remember that nuh, and begin taking responsibility for our actions. 

And this next quote segues very nicely into our conversation. ‘Self-LOVE is not selfish; you cannot truly LOVE another until you know how to LOVE yourself.’ And that’s gospel truth. Remember Jesus’ words on the two greatest commandments. ‘And the second is like unto the first, thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.’ (Matt. 22:39) 

Now, to keep that commandment, we obviously need to have a strong LOVE for ourselves, because as our quote says, we can’t LOVE anyone if we don’t know how to LOVE ourselves. But in that process, it’s of the utmost importance that LOVE for ourselves doesn’t turn into a selfish, arrogant, vain, inordinate fascination, unkind, ungodly, narcissistic attitude. That comes from the story of Narcissus in Greek Mythology, where he sees himself reflected in a pool of water and falls in LOVE with himself. But when he realizes that that LOVE can never be reciprocated, he tragically goes off and commits suicide. 

Not a nice story at all, but unfortunately many of us still fall to those low levels and make life difficult for ourselves and those around us. This last quote though, will open our eyes, if we’re serious about getting to our God-given destiny. It says: ‘You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.’ 

That’s the truth right there in spades my brethren! The first thing we ought to learn to control is our mind, because that’s where all the battles in our life both begin and end. In Proverbs 23, Cousin Sol talks about not eating with a man that has an evil eye (is a miser), for though he tells you to enjoy the delicacies, he’s not sincere. ‘For as he thinketh in his heart (mind), so is he.’ (Prov. 23:7) 

And that’s more truth friends, for you can’t think evil and do good on a regular basis. What’s really inside of you will eventually come out. As Jesus said about the things that defile. ‘Not that which goes into the mouth that defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man…For out of the heart (mind) proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt. 15:11,19-20) 

Yes my fellow saints, we can’t deny it, evil begins in our minds. Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian philosopher, politician and peace maker, said it thus: ‘A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.’ Oh my people, thoughts are extremely important in shaping our personality and attitude. They can be good or bad, constructive or destructive, and eventually make us who we are. And we need to make our minds positive and productive if we intend to sincerely live for Jesus. 

And how do we do that? Let Bruh Paul tell us as he told the church at Corinth. ‘Casting down imaginations (arguments), and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.’ (2 Cor. 10:5) 

Now that basically means taking control over your thoughts; over what you think about yourself and life. It’s not easy to do with all the evil stuff that’s coming against us, but God has provided us with a way to do it, through His word and will, through His Holy Spirit that indwells us. So let’s remember that our mind is a battlefield between good and evil nuh. And Christ wants us to ‘Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:21) And there’s no better time to start practicing that than today; right now! Much LOVE!

…control what you think about…and what you think about will control you… 

P.S. Yes, it’s long and late, but that’s okay. It’s Saturday. (smile) Much LOVE! 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8