Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 September 2018 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.   And he (Jesus) said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Cooler days are here again! You can bet your bottom dollar on that friends! Come September, the cool weather just explodes on us. Although in these times of climate change who knows what will happen. Yesterday evening though, I noticed that some maple trees in my area have already begun turning brown in preparation for the long, dry, cold, winter months. 

Do they know something that we don’t know! It’s possible. But not to worry, once we’re walking hand in hand with Jesus, we can face anything that comes against us, remember we’re conquerors in His Name! Glory to God! 

And with it being Saturday, let’s take a look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘Throw kindness around like confetti.’ 

Mama Mia! And if you’re a sincere follower of Jesus, that is exactly what you ought to be doing, for kindness is, was, and always will be the hallmark of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and if it’s not in your repertoire of attributes, then you’re not a sincere follower. 

And this next one says: ‘It is better to walk alone, than with a crowd going in the wrong direction.’ And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! You’re certainly better off alone than with the crowd going in the wrong direction. Some of us will remember being cautioned by our parents: ‘Don’t follow the crowd!’ And that’s usually wise advice, for the crowd is usually taking the easy way out, following Lucifer, and doing what they’re not supposed to do. 

So even if you get lonely treading that wise path that leads in the right direction, remember you’re NEVER really alone, because Jesus is ALWAYS with you, faithfully keeping His promises to never leave nor forsake you! Oh, our Jesus is so wonderful! How could we not LOVE Him eh! 

And this next quote reminds us to: ‘Remember, for everything you have lost, you have gained something else. Without the dark, you would never see the stars.’ Likewise friends, if we didn’t have rain, we would never appreciate the sun and its brilliant light. So please try to not focus so much on what you’ve lost, but on what you’ve gained through the loss. (smile) 

Now hear this tongue breaker: ‘One day it just clicks. You realize what’s important and what is not. You learn to care less about what other people think of you and more about what you think of yourself. You realize how far you’ve come and you remember when you thought things were such a mess that you would never recover. And you smile. You smile because you are truly proud of yourself and the person you’ve fought to become.’ 

Glory be for that day my brethren! That’s the day when we truly discover the Lord in our hearts! When we truly surrender our lives to Him and realize that He is ALL that really matters! Wow! What an enlightening day that usually is! 

And this last quote is the basis for our writing today: ‘Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one.’ And that’s no lie my fellow believers! The right path in this life is following Jesus, but hear what He says in our Bit for those who want to follow Him. ‘And he (Jesus) said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ 

Now that’s definitely not an easy row to hoe my people! That’s a daily denial of self! Note the young ruler who came to Jesus seeking eternal life. Note his sad, despondent reaction when Jesus told him eternal life would be his, if he sold his many possessions and gave to the poor, then came back and followed him. (Matt.19:16-22)

Unfortunately too many of us feel that way about our earthly possessions. But yuh see what Jesus went through on our behalf? It wasn’t easy for Him, even though He was God in human flesh. Now we most likely won’t go through as much ‘sufferation’ as He did, but we will definitely go through some, most likely more than we desire or care for. (smile) 

And Jesus didn’t mince words on the subject. He very clearly informed the disciples, and consequently all who came after, like us: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace: In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Wow! What reassuring words my breddren! Though He tells us very clearly that we will face trouble in this evil world, we’re not to worry about it, because He has overcome the world with His sacrificial death and resurrection. And even when trials come against us, if we’re sincerely walking with Him, we’ll find peace; the peace of God, which passes all human understanding, that shall keep (guard) our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) 

Yeh friends, that peace is so special, that only true believers in Christ can experience it. Hear how Jesus explains it. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) Yeh friends, that peace is not of this world, but it comes from the Prince of Peace, so it’s a mighty tool in the lives of believers. 

And we’ll close with some more authoritative words of Jesus, re our Bit. ‘For whosoever will (desires to) save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose (loses) his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged (benefited), if he gain the whole world, and lose himself (is destroyed), or be cast away (lost)?’ (Luke 9:24-25) 

Now that’s a very good question friends? Do we want to have all the earthly wealth and lose our eternal soul, be separated from our Triune God in eternity? For all our sakes, I hope not. That means we have to seriously buckle down, and each and every day, pick up our cross and walk with it, the way Jesus did with His, in true obedience to His Father’s will. Much LOVE!

…earthly life might be difficult…but the rewards of eternity with God are certainly worth it…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 July 2018 John 10:11.

John 10:11.   I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Ah friends, it’s Saturday and some of you are sleeping in, some of you have been up bright and early to do your household chores; as they say no rest for the wicked. (smile) Meanwhile, others are mourning the passing of their dear departed ones, like my friends and family back in Tobago, mourning the passing of their mentor, teacher and pastor, father and friend, Finbar Sebro. 

But yuh know what? It’s all a part of life, and we just have to go with the flow, and once we have Jesus as our helpmeet and guiding light, we WILL make it through, though not always as easily as we desire. (smile) Yeh, we always want the easy way out, but that’s not how God operates. 

Sometimes He desires us to feel the lash, so that we can reach our wits end and turn to Him, or to grow us in the likeness of his Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. But know this, that whatever He allows to come against us, He WILL NEVER allow to conquer us! What an awesome and wonderful God we serve my brethren! 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to some quotes from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first quote: ‘Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway.’ And isn’t that living truth! Whatever we do, somebody or some group will criticize us. We’ll never be able to satisfy everybody. However, we have to make sure that’s what’s in our heart is also what’s in the Lord’s heart for us. 

And this next quote sort of runs on from the last one: ‘Do the best you can until you know better, and when you know better do better.’ Yeh friends, that’s all the Lord asks of us; to do the best we can. And as He moves us along from glory to glory and we get more mature in the faith, He does expect us to do better than we did before in the lower class. (smile) 

Then there’s this: ‘Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.’ And I’ll say Amen, to the first two aspects. However, to the last one, I’d like to add, ‘define yourself in respect to God’s will for you.’ If you don’t bring Almighty God into the equation, then you’ll still be a victim. For as they say, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything, especially in these deceitful and untrustworthy times. 

And the last quote tells us: ‘The people who follow the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The people who walk alone are likely to find themselves in places no one has been before.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth friends! You see it happening all the time, especially in these days of a prevailing and pervasive social media. It’s all about how many followers you have. Steups! And the followers are no brighter than you! 

Now why would I spend so much of my time following the lives of others, to the detriment of mine eh? It’s obvious that the time you spend following others is time lost on your own. Following the crowd, for the sake of merely following the crowd, never benefits the individuals’ involved. It only benefits the leader. 

That’s why it’s always better to be a leader rather than a follower, even though leading is a hard task in and of itself, and it very often causes you to walk down a long and lonely road. But in the end, you will go places that being a mere follower will never take you. 

Friends, the ONLY person we should be followers of, and very avid followers at that, is of Jesus Christ, for He is the ONLY Leader who will NEVER lead us astray. He came down from heaven to be a man like us, He died so that we could be set free from the bondage of sin, and is now interceding for us at the right hand of the Father in heaven… So why would He do all of that and then lead us astray eh? No reason whatsoever! 

Hear His immortal words in our Bit: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ Yes my faithful brethren, the good shepherd looks after His flock with LOVE and tender care, even to the point of dying to save them! Oh precious people, that is exactly what Jesus did on our behalf! Glory to God! 

So why is it so difficult to follow Him eh? Why is it like pulling teeth to bow to His kingship? I guess because we want to do our own thing, and surrendering our lives to Him means giving up our independence and no longer dabbling in the things of the world. 

And Jesus continues imploring us: ‘But he that is an hireling (hired man), and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is a hireling, and careth not for the sheep.’ (John 10:12-13) 

Yeh friends, all the other leaders in the world are mere hirelings, working for money and power, and don’t really care about you or I. It’s all about them. And we see it so blatantly in these end times, there are so many dictators and would be dictators. But Jesus is not like that. He truly cares about us, that’s why He died for us. Glory to God! 

So let’s end with this most pertinent statement of His on the topic. ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.’ (John 10:14) What confident words my brethren! The question now is, do you know Jesus, and does He know you? Let’s hope the answer to that is a resounding ‘YES!’ Much LOVE!

…only the sheep in the Good Shepherd’s fold…will be saved…come the end time…