Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 January 2019 Matthew 22:37-38.

Matthew 22:37-38.   ​Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.

 

‘Winterlicious winter…lots of cold and snow. Winterlicious winter…why don’t you go…back to where you came from and leave us all alone eh?’ Now that’s a question that many of us in my area will be asking this morning as they struggle through the mucho snow left by the major snowstorm yesterday. 

I remember looking out the window after lunch yesterday and there was just the residue from the day before, but by mid afternoon when I looked out again, it was all white, and the flimsy flakes were falling down from heaven like rain! Hn! Hn! But that’s what winter is all about. 

We thought we were getting a nice, snow free winter, but that was just a fantasy, a figment of our imagination. As the repairman in the ad used to say: ‘You can pay me now, or pay me later.’ It’s the same thing with the snow, we can get it early or late, or even in between, but we will get it. End of story! 

Now having said, that here is something to counteract the negative concerns. It’s a quote from Gordon W. Allport (1867-1967) a pioneering American psychologist and Harvard professor. It’s said that ‘He rejected two of the dominant schools of thought in psychology at the time, psychoanalysis and behaviorism, in favor of his own approach that stressed the importance of individual differences and situational variables.’ 

Consequently, he was able to come up with this gem: ‘LOVE received and LOVE given comprise the best form of therapy.’ Mama Mia! What awesome words of wisdom! Friends, there’s nothing better in this land of the living than giving and receiving LOVE! That’s because it’s the greatest emotion in the world, the supreme attribute of our great God, and the one that caused Him to send His Son to die on the cross for us at Calvary to pay our sin debt in full! Glory Be! 

So how could it be anything but great eh, since its effects are ever so wonderful? I know many of us, including believers, shrug off or shirk away from LOVE because we’re afraid of the hurt it can bring and the vulnerability that it imposes on our souls. But just think for a moment, if our heavenly Father had thought about the hurt it would bring Him, do you think He would have sent His Son to die for a bunch of miserable, ungrateful sinners? Definitely not! 

And think again, if Jesus had considered the severe pain and vulnerability His LOVE for the Father and us would bring Him, He would have willingly gone to the cross on our behalf? No way Jose! That’s why, as believers in and followers of Jesus, we ought to embrace that wonderful attribute of LOVE as our watchword and guiding light! 

Remember Jesus’ answer to the hypocrite Pharisee lawyer who tried to trick Him by asking: ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.’ (Matt.22:36-38)

Yes friends, LOVE for God should be…no not should be, but IS our number One priority in this fallen world! And it’s not like the Pharisee didn’t know that, because all Jesus was doing there was quoting from the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 6:5. The foolish Pharisee even got more than he bargained for, because Jesus continued: ‘And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thy self. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:39-40) 

Oh my people, my people, from day one, when the Lord made us, it was all about LOVE! And when He sent Jesus to save us, it was still all about LOVE! And when Jesus comes a second time, to take us home to heaven with Him, it will still be all about LOVE! Some of us claim to abide by the first commandment, LOVE for God, but can’t get our heads around the second; LOVING our neighbours as ourselves. 

But friends, we can’t have one without the other. For as John so rightly says: ‘If a man say, I LOVE God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that LOVETH not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he LOVE God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who LOVETH God LOVE his brother also.’ (1 John 4:20-21) 

That’s as plain as night and day my brethren! Yet we foolishly try to have one without the other. Perhaps it’s because we DON’T LOVE OURSELVES, that we can’t LOVE our brothers! That’s something for us to check up on as soon as possible, because that might just be what’s hindering our LOVE walk. 

Oh friends, Jesus’ teaching was ALL based on LOVE and so should our lives ALL be based on it. Listen to this heart-opening directive as He wound down His earthly ministry. ‘A new commandment I give unto you. That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) 

Yuh see that friends, the distinctive recognition of our discipleship on Christ’s behalf must be that mankind sees our LOVE for each other! And I won’t even get into a discussion on whether we’re showing that distinctive difference, because we all know that we’re not showing it as much as we ought to. But yuh know what friends, come the judgement day, we’ll each have to answer as to why we did not keep that commandment. So nuff said! 

Let’s go home now declaring (got it right) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are – even though we’re not as good as we ought to be. (smile) As one voice, in all sincerity and truth: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And if we are sincere about that, then let’s indeed go out and spread the friendship and LOVE of Jesus with the world! Much LOVE!

…it’s so sad…that the evil emotion of hate…is so much easier to come by in this world…than the godly attribute of…LOVE…

 

 

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