Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 January 2018 Luke 19:10.

Luke 19:10.   For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Saturday, oh Saturday! What shall we say about thee eh? You relieve us from the pressures of going to a job outside the home, but then have us working harder there, with all the household chores that we could not do during the workweek. But it’s a day off, you complain! A day off from what? Not your family, or household duties. You don’t have days off from those, especially if you have young children. 

And though the amenities make it somewhat easier, you still have to load and unload the washer, the dryer and the dishwasher, fold the clothes and put them away. Well you don’t necessarily have to go to the grocery any longer, for you can order on line and have your stuff delivered. But for some reason we seem to be busier than we’ve ever been.

Is that just a figment of our imagination, or is it real? An interesting thought for us to ponder this Saturday morning as we sit or lay daydreaming about being a couch potato. (smile) 

But now, let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this first quote is a gem. ’The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you LOVE to do, be the best at doing it.’ 

That’s oh so true my brethren. We must not be afraid to take chances, especially if we’re truly and sincerely walking with Jesus. And not trying is indeed the greatest failure you can ever have, because you’ll never know what you might have accomplished, had you tried. Then excellence is a must in whatever you like to do, otherwise you’re just wasting your time. 

Now I’m not so sure about this next quote. ‘I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you LOVE than to be a success at something you hate.’ My thinking is why would you want to be a failure in anything at all? 

And then there is: ‘Every day we choose who we are by how we define ourselves.’ Unfortunately many of us define ourselves in different ways, and thus show ourselves in different lights. However, there is only ONE true way to define yourself; as a believer in Jesus Christ, and a child of the Most High God Jehovah! And everything else in your life should follow from that. 

So what about this quote: ‘You are not a product of your circumstances. You are a product of your decisions.’ Yes, our decisions play a great part in what we become, but I think that’s cutting the argument a bit fine, because we make so many of our decisions based on our circumstances.  

And then there is this last quote. ‘People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.’ 

Ah mih people, that might be true in the world’s opinion, but for believers in Jesus Christ, if you’re not with me on the straight and narrow road that leads to Jesus, to salvation and eternal life, then you are indeed lost! Oh friends, that’s why Jesus had such heavy emphasis on the lost in His ministry.

As he steadfastly declares in our Bit: ‘For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.’ That was His sole purpose of coming to earth people! To save us from our abominable sins which would cause us to be eternally separated from Almighty God! 

And our heavenly Father LOVED us so much that He couldn’t stand the thought of losing even one of His most precious creations. Thus Bruh Paul could truthfully declare to the Romans: ‘But God commendeth (demonstrated) his LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom.5:8) Imagine that nuh people; Christ died in place of our lost souls. He took our death and gave us His life instead. What a hero! One of extraordinary proportions! 

Now let’s look at a couple of instances where Jesus harped on the lost idea, and the importance of saving those who are lost. But first hear these explanations from the scholars on our Bit. ’19:10. The words, seek, save, and lost all appear elsewhere in Scripture in a shepherd context. This verse may be taken as a kernel statement of the central theme of Luke: Jesus is the compassionate, searching Herdsman who seeks to save those who can by no means save themselves.’ 

And that is exactly who Jesus is! Just check out His parables on the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son, Luke 15:3-32. If a shepherd had a hundred sheep and one got lost, he wouldn’t just forget about it, but he’d leave the ninety nine and go diligently looking for that one lost animal.

And when He found it, he’d throw it over his shoulders rejoicing, then go home and call his friends and neighbours to rejoice with him over the lost sheep that was found. ‘I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just (upright) persons. (Luke 15:7) 

The same goes for the woman who has ten pieces of silver and loses one in her house. She’ll put on the brightest lights and sweep the area clean to find it. And when she finds it, she calls her friends to rejoice with her. ‘Likewise I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.’ (Luke 15:10) 

And we all know the parable of the prodigal son who returns home after wasting his life and fortune in a foreign country. He comes to offer himself as a servant to the father, but the father would have none of it. And he joyfully declares: ‘For this my son was dead, and is alive again, he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.’ (Luke 15:24) 

Oh my faithful brethren, that’s the exact reaction our heavenly Father has when we’re saved, and all heaven rejoices with Him. So please, let’s be wise and get on that straight and narrow road that leads to Jesus before it’s too late nuh. Much LOVE!

…he who is lost…and doesn’t want to be found by Jesus…needs his head examined…

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 April 2017 Psalm 97:10.

Psalm 97:10.   Ye that LOVE the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.

So friends, what have you got planned for your Saturday eh; housework and errands, or just lazily floating through the day, doing much of nothing, trying to get your ying and yang back into some kind of sync, after a hard week at work? 

To be honest, I believe the last option is the preferable one, although the first might be the smarter and wiser of the two, since you’ll most likely have to do that housework and run those errands at some later date. But not to worry, rest and relaxation are absolutely necessary to renew your energy, so that you are able to do those household tasks and run the many errands without any problems. (smile) 

Anyway, since it’s Saturday, let’s see if we can’t provoke some thought in our lazy minds by turning to a few quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Listen to this beauty nuh: ‘Welcome every morning with a smile. Look on the new day as another special gift from your Creator, another golden opportunity to complete what you were unable to finish yesterday. Be a self-starter. Let your first hour set the theme of success and positive action that is certain to echo through your entire day. Today will never happen again. Don’t waste it with a false start or no start at all. You were not born to fail.’ 

Oh friends, I couldn’t give any better advice than that! And the sad part is that a lot of us know that advice quite well, but we simply don’t implement it. That leads to this quote: ‘Being positive or negative, are habits of thoughts that strongly affect your actions and your life.’ More indisputable truth my brethren! 

And that brings up this gem: ‘Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.’ 

That is the positive aspect of life speaking there again, which brings us to this last quote. ‘Positive and negative are directions that lead to different outcomes. Which direction do you choose?’ 

And that’s the all-important question we must ask ourselves this Saturday morning: will we spend our lives being positive or negative, looking ahead with hope and faith, or with fear and despair?  Unfortunately friends, no one can answer that question for us, we have to make a conscious decision for ourselves. 

And I’d just like to add my two cents worth here: choosing the positive aspect of life is much better, especially if you are a believer in, and a follower of Jesus because that’s what His whole ministry is based on; positivity! 

Not fearing, not looking back, trusting and surrendering, being obedient to one’s Creator, having faith in Jesus Himself, since He sacrificed His life on the cross so that you might have the option to be reconciled with the Father and receive the free gift of salvation and eternal life. Glory Be! And all you have to do is get positive and BELIEVE! 

Now let’s look at our Bit, although I’m not sure how much time and space we have to devote to it. But here goes: ‘Ye that LOVE the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.’ 

Now that’s positivity in spades my brethren! One can’t be more positive than surrendering one’s life to the Lord and putting all one’s trust in Him, based on those words of immortal truth! 

Yesterday we looked at some corroborating scripture for the first section; ‘Ye that LOVE the Lord, hate evil:’ Now I have one more significant scripture to add to those, this from Bruh Paul as he talks to the Romans about the service of LOVE to all. ‘Let LOVE be without dissimulation (hypocrisy). Abhor that which is evil; cleave (cling) to that which is good.’ (Rom.12:9) And that’s exactly how a true Christian ought to behave! 

Hear this explanation from the scholars. ‘12:9. Without dissimulation (lit. “without hypocrisy”). The Christian’s conduct in the local church toward fellow believers is to be a volitional caring for others (making a purposeful decision to do so), LOVING faithfully in spite of the response received. The LOVE is to be genuine and unfeigned.’ 

Hn! I wonder how much genuine and unfeigned LOVE there is in the church today eh?  Definitely not as much as there ought to be, otherwise there wouldn’t be so much disunity, resentment and bad blood amongst Christ’s supposed saints. 

And this statistic is going to floor you, it certainly did when I heard Sister Joyce, (Joyce Meyer) recently declare that she looked up the number of denominations in Christianity and found some 33 thousand. Yes friends, thirty three thousand, broken down in all forms and fashions, and with various doctrines too! And then we wonder why Lucifer and his evil buddies are ruling the world. 

Ah mih breddren, the long and short of the story is that until supposed believers learn to live together in harmony and unity, leaving all selfishness and ego behind, Christ’s church will not be as successful as it needs to be. 

So please, let’s ponder that situation this morning nuh, and let’s all make a serious and binding decision to improve it in whatever way we can. That is, if we truly desire our children’s children to have a half decent life here on earth. Much LOVE!

…no organization can grow successfully and last for any length of time…unless there is unity and harmony amongst its members…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 November 2016 Isaiah 41:10.

 Isaiah 41:10.    Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Well top o’ the morn to you my Scrip-Bit family! Hope this missive finds you alive and kicking on this lazy, hazy Saturday. (smile) Life is short so we might as well enjoy it. We know not when our time will be up, so here is the first of two quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us to greater heights. 

And first off he tells us: ‘Make each day count. We don’t have all the time in the world. So focus on today and do the things you really want to do.’ That’s exactly what I was saying above. It is imperative that we make hay while the sun shines! 

And the second quote is also inspiring. ‘Reprogram your information intake. Program out negative and cynical thoughts from the media and society. Reduce your information intake. Then program in positive news and entertainment, more of your own thoughts and useful information such as personal growth tapes and books. Be selective and keep it positive.’ 

Ah friends, a lot of us certainly need to do that in this age of so much information and misinformation! Our world is going crazy with the wealth of information that’s now available. The problem though is that too much of it is negative and we can’t easily tell what is truth from prevarication to out and out lies. Therefore our minds are filled with lots of unnecessary and unproductive stuff, that’s why Anselm’s advice is so worthwhile. 

We desperately need to clean up our minds; purge what’s not useful and negative, and then replace it with only useful, positive, godly stuff. Give the television and social media a break; spend more time with God, your family and yourself.  That way we won’t be bombarded with all the nonsense that’s out there, seeking to invade our minds and spirits. 

And last but not least, seek to raise our faith and trust in the God of our fathers. Believe what our Bit says: ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’ 

Oh my people, why are so many of us supposed Christians still walking in deep fear of the world around us, when we have such awesome promises from our awesome God eh? We know He’s faithful to keep those promises and that He will work out everything for our good in the end, so why are we still so fickle and feckless? 

As Job says, we have to learn to take the good with the bad. (Job 2:10) We can’t be fearful of every little hiccup in our lives. And this morning I want to bombard us with some ‘Fear nots’ in the hope that it will encourage us to stand steadfast and strong in the power of God’s Word.  

Listen to Moses on the occasion of the biggest miracle of the time, when the departing Israelites were caught between the army of Pharaoh and the deep Red Sea.  ‘And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation (deliverance) of the Lord, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever.’ (Ex.14:13) 

And as promised, Moses stretched out his hand over the Red Sea which parted and allowed the Israelites to cross over on dry land, but when the Egyptians followed, the two halves came together again and drowned Pharaoh’s army. Now one would think that after such a mighty miracle, the Israelites would have been trusting and steadfast forever. Hn! But in the wilderness, three days later, at the bitter waters of Marah they were complaining, wanting to return to Egypt. 

Now hear Isaiah, as he talks about Israel being restored to Zion. ‘Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you.’ (Is.35:4) 

And now, listen to these words of Bruh David that we all know and claim to LOVE and believe. ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the day so my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.’ (Ps.23) 

Yeh mih people, if we believe all that Bruh David says there, then we should not be afraid of the vicissitudes of life. Then there’s Jesus to his disciples: ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both body and soul….Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.’ (Matt.10:28,31)  

Yes friends, ONLY the Lord can destroy body and soul, and we are much too valuable in His sight, for Him to destroy us, that’s why He sent Jesus to save us. 

And we’ll close with a simple, but powerful statement of Jesus. ‘Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ (Luke 12:32)  

How much more do we need eh my brethren, before we can truly stand strong and steadfast on the solid foundation of God’s eternal LOVE and ever-faithful promises eh? Steups! God alone knows yes! Much LOVE!

…it’s high time for those of us who call ourselves Christians… to FEARLESSLY stand up and be counted….

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 August 2016 Philippians 4:11.

Philippians 4:11.   Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Ah friends, it’s Saturday, which spells sleeping in and rest for some, while for the unlucky others, household chores will take up most of their day. But not to worry it’s all good. (smile) 

Yeh, tell that to the mothers who are up and busy while the fathers lay about in bed or slouch on the living room couch in front of the t.v watching some sporting event like the Olympics.  Hn! To each his own; the important thing is that you’re well-rested, bright and fresh to go back out on Monday morning and do the work thing all over again. 

In the meantime let’s check out some quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us. Now this week it was kind of hard to pick just two, so I chose the easy way out and picked three. (smile) They are short anyway, so they won’t take up much space. 

The first one says: ‘Life is raw material. We are artisans. We can sculpt our existence into something beautiful, or debase it into ugliness. It’s in our hands.’ 

And that’s very true, for we basically hold the canvas of our lives in our own hands and to a great extent can make of it whatever we desire. We have the ability to paint a beautiful picture with our lives or just make it dark and ugly. Oh there will be problems and roadblocks, whatever path we choose, but technically speaking, our lives are ours to build as we see fit. 

And the second of Anselm’s quotes tells us: ‘One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.’ 

Now that’s definitely gospel truth my people! Life is not easy and there are many pitfalls, etc. that can get us down and discouraged, but that’s never the wise or smart way to go, especially if you are a believer in Jesus Christ. Now optimism doesn’t necessarily mean that everything will work out the way you want, but at least you’ll be able to handle the negative situations in a positive manner; staying encouraged, not giving up, leaning on and looking to Jesus for His faithful promise of help in rough times.  

And last but not least, Anselm declares: ‘If you keep on saying things are going to be bad, you have a good chance of being a prophet.’ That also rings out with truth my brethren because our words have power, awesome power, and whatever we keep saying, be it positive or negative, usually comes to pass. And somehow or other, the negatives in our speech seem to come to pass more than the positives. So it’s extremely important that we stick to positive speech. 

That brings us to our Bit, some positive speech from Bruh Paul the Philippians. ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.’ Yes friends, that is a very necessary lesson for every Christian to learn. 

Then Bruh Paul goes on to make one of the immortal statements in the Bible. ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) And that’s the basis on which he is able to be contented in whatever situation he finds himself. 

Hear the scholars: ‘4:13. The apostle’s ability of knowing how to live skillfully on little or in prosperity does not mean that he is a spiritual superman. The reason that he can live in such extremes is not owing to his own ability. Rather he can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth him, thus enabling him to adapt to his various, ever-changing circumstances. God orders Paul’s various situations, and God gives him the strength to be content in them all, trying and perplexing though they may be.’ 

And nobody went through as many harrowing and dangerous experiences as Bruh Paul. Oh my fellow believers, the same thing applies to all of us! God sets us where He wants us and then gives us the wherewithal to stand; to stand strong and steadfast regardless of the circumstances. That’s why we Christians are able to bear up under pressure that non-believers can’t handle: our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ enables us to handle it through the help of His Helper, the Holy Spirit. 

So though times might look dark and disturbing, you are exactly where the heavenly Father desires you to be, and if you stick to Him like glue, (smile) He will enable you to bear whatever adversity you are currently encountering. 

Now let’s check out some scriptures that jive with our Bit. Listen to Bruh Paul again, this time to Timothy in his warning against false teachers. ‘But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment (clothing) let us therewith be content.’ (1 Tim.6:6-8) 

Hear the scholars. 8:8. This verse prevents the wrong understanding of verse 7, that material possessions have no place in the Christian’s life. By figure of speech food and raiment stand for all of life’s basic necessities. These are all the believer needs, and having these he can be content.’ 

Let’s turn to the words of Agur now in Proverbs as he talks to God ‘Two things have I required (requested of thee); deny me them not (deprive me not) before I die. Remove far from me vanity (falsehood) and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient (you prescribe) for me. Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take (profane) the name of the Lord in vain.’ (Prov.30:7-9)  

And we’ll end with these interesting words from the scholars. ’30:7-9. Agur’s prayer is for a convenient and lifelong integrity, accompanied by a rejection of lies and riches. His resting in God’s provision for him (v.8) anticipates the words of our Lord. (Matt.6:11).’ 

What more can I say eh friends, except that that is a worthwhile and godly way to live. So let’s emanate him if we can nuh. Much LOVE!

…give us this day our daily bread… (Matt.6:11)