Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 July 2018 Lamentations 3:22-23.

Lamentations 3:22-23.   It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Ah mih Scrip-Bit breddren another hot summer’s day is in the offing… But what do we expect eh? It’s summer! It’s supposed to be hot! We’re just a bunch of pampered, selfish people, who only want it to be the way we want it! It’s a good thing though that our God thinks differently. (smile) 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s get going with some really interesting quotes this week from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.’ And that’s no lie friends, for all the material wealth in the world cannot be compared to the figurative wealth, talking about wisdom and experience and simple joy that one gets from living a full and productive life. 

That brings us to this next quote that’s tied up with the first. ‘Life is short and the older you get, the more you feel it. Indeed, the shorter it is. People lose their capacity to walk, run, travel, think, and experience life. I realize how important it is to use the time I have.’ 

And is that ever so true! When we’re young, energetic and supple, we feel like time is there waiting on us, like we have oodles of it. But the older we get, the more restricted our bodies become and we realize that time’s not waiting on us, and we need to use whatever we have left in a big way. The old fogies like me, will recognize the ultimate truth in that statement. (smile) 

Therefore, one has to ‘Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.’ That also relates back to our first quote, because we all know that a life lived on the safe side does not produce any real joy and excitement, just a bland, so-so existence, and that’s not the kind of life that Jesus died for us to have. 

We were put down here to experience life, not merely go through the motions. That means we need to step out of our comfort zone and take some risks every so often; for that’s the only way we will ever grow, both in Christ and in the living world. 

And the last quote is rather eye opening: ‘Empathy begins with understanding life from another person’s perspective. Nobody has an objective experience of reality. It’s all through our own individual prisms.’ 

Yes friends, if we could only see life through another’s eyes, we would not be as judgemental and cynical and repulsive and repugnant as we are. And only when we try to understand another’s position or circumstance can we have that wonderful trait called empathy, which is just another name for compassion. 

That brings us right to our Bit. ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ 

h mih people, it’s the Lord’s empathy towards us that has us breathing and experiencing another day in His world! That’s what Jesus had for us, that’s why he came and died to pay for our sins, and it’s the same thing we need to have for others, even though they may be different in many or all respects from us. And I want to finish the scriptures on compassion today, so let’s get right to it. 

And the first scripture comes from a parable of Jesus, one we all know and talk about but don’t practice nearly as much as we ought to, else life would not be as bad as it is. (smile)  That’s the parable of the Good Samaritan. The Levite and the priest, supposedly good and religious people, passed by the wounded man on the ground with nothing but a mere glance. 

Regardless of what excuses they might have had for their behaviour, in Jesus’ eyes, they were heartless, unsympathetic people. ‘But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him.’ (Matt.10:33) And we all know the story of how he looked after him, took him to an inn and paid for his recovery. 

And the scholars offer a good explanation of the situation surrounding the parable. ‘10:33. Jews and Samaritans were bitter rivals (John 4:9). The Samaritans were despised for having at least partially Gentile ancestry (due to Assyria’s conquest of Samaria in 721 (B.C) and for having a different worship centre (Mount Gerizim; John 4:20). 

Thus Jesus’ parable was highly provocative. Samaritan was to Jesus’ hearers automatically a term of reproach. To portray a Samaritan as fulfilling the commandment (see v.27) (LOVE thy neighbour as thyself), but Jews as circumventing it, would be a supreme insult to the listening lawyer (v.25) and to the rest of the audience.’ 

Unfortunately though my brethren, that’s exactly how a lot of us supposed believers behave, while unbelievers offer more empathy, sympathy and compassion to their fallen brethren. And just like it shone a poor light on the priest and the Levite, it likewise shines a poor light on us. So let’s try and be more supportive of others nuh, regardless of their race, creed or class, because that’s what Jesus asks of, and expects of His followers. 

And we’ll end this series of messages on compassion with the most important scriptures of them all on the subject; Jesus’ Great Invitation to a suffering mankind. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Oh my people, my people, what a magnificent offer! No one else has ever offered such an invitation besides Jesus, because NO ONE else had, or has the ability to keep it! So please, I implore us, in these crazy times, let’s turn to Jesus and accept His invitation nuh, it’s the wisest decision we can ever make. And furthermore, let’s also try and get others to do the same, for it’s our bounden duty as followers of Christ! Much LOVE!

…the Christian life is all about…compassion…compassion…compassion…as per Jesus’ example…



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Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 July 2013 Luke 10:33

Luke 10:33.   But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him.
 
‘Monday, Monday! Oh how we believers LOVE that day! No Friends, it’s not a typo. I know that many of us would rather say: ‘Oh how I LOVE to hate that day!’
 
But that’s not even worldly wisdom my brethren, much less wisdom of the godly type. For even worldly wisdom dictates that we do something constructive and productive with our time, so that we can get ahead in the material aspects of life, and godly wisdom adds the winning of souls for Jesus to the mix.
 
So, all in all, Monday is a very important day in the life, whether you’re a believer or not, since if you don’t work at a worldly job, you most likely won’t eat, and if you don’t work for Jesus, your rewards in heaven would be minimal or even non-existent.
 
And having said all of that, which hopefully won’t fall on deaf ears, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with great conviction, to reassure Jesus that we’re up and about and ready to join the battle on His behalf against the evil Lucifer and his band of evil cohorts. So let those vocal chords loudly declare in sweet harmony, our convictions, re Jesus and His Holy and most worthwhile cause.
 
As one now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together.
 
We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour.
 
We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’
 
And you can see that if we adhere to what we just sang, then we’d not be like the priest and the Levite, who both passed by on the other side, but be as Jesus desires of us, like the Samaritan in our Bit. ‘But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him.’
 
Ah my brethren, that word compassion is a mighty word, and a defining one in the lexicon of the believer. But before we get into that, let’s get some historical background from the scholars on the basic situation. ‘Jews and Samaritans were bitter rivals (John 4:9). The Samaritans were despised for having at least partial Gentile ancestry (due to Assyria’s conquest of Samaria in 721 B.C) and for having a different worship centre (Mount Gerizim; John 4:20).
 
Thus Jesus’ parable was highly provocative. Samaritan was to Jesus’ hearers automatically a term of reproach. To portray a Samaritan as fulfilling the commandment (see v.27), but Jews as circumventing it, would be a supreme insult to the listening lawyer (v.25) and the rest of His audience.’
 
Now that gives us some insight into the true meaning and importance of the parable. It also reminds us of one of Jesus’ many other provocative and unorthodox but wise teachings; LOVE your enemies, of which He reassures us thus: ‘Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, LOVE your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully (spitefully) use you;
 
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye LOVE them which LOVE you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans (tax collectors, sinners) the same? and if ye salute (greet) your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’ (Matt.5:43-48) 
 
Oh my people, I never intended to use all of that scripture, but after reading it, I realized that I had to since one part was no good without the others. And now I’ve seen some interesting info from the scholars that brings greater understanding to it.
 
‘The law of LOVE, sometimes called “law of Christ,” summarizes the ethical principle of the Sermon on the Mount. “LOVE thy neighbour” summarizes the entire second table of the law (cf. Lev.19:18-34). But the unscriptural addition “hate thine enemy” was a popular concept in Jesus’ day. 
 

The admonition LOVE your enemies is one of the greatest statements Jesus ever made. The LOVE enjoined in this passage is LOVE that originates from God Himself. Man is not commanded to attempt to LOVE his enemy on the basis of mere human affection but rather on the basis of a LOVE that comes from God.
 
The quality of LOVE commanded here is expressed by giving. Bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that persecute you. LOVING an enemy involves doing good toward that enemy in order to win him over to Christ.’
 
Oh Friends, there’s a lot for us to ponder on and meditate today, so let’s get to it nuh. Let’s consider the Good Samaritan and LOVING our enemy aspects of lives, and if we’re falling short in these areas, then let’s come to the Father and ask for His gracious forgiveness and His awesome strength to get with the program. For that my Friends, is heavenly wisdom. Much LOVE!
 
…to reciprocate kindness is natural…but to truly serve Jesus…we must take it one step further…be kind to those who are not kind to us…