Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 December 2019 John 3:16.

John 3:16.    ​For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
 

And then it was Tuesday…Christmas Eve! Wow! One more day to the Big One! And the preparations are certainly in full swing now; the food is plentiful – too plentiful, the decorations are plentiful – too plentiful, with Christmas trees and stockings and all the other whatnots that show up at Christmas time. Yes, the house seems more congested than ever…too much stuff – not enough room for the people who are supposed to be celebrating. 

And NO, I’m not a grinch or some such negative Christmas person, but I think we tend to overdo the physical and worldly aspects of the season and don’t pay enough attention to the spiritual side. But that’s just my humble opinion… so who’s paying any attention to it eh? (smile) And to help us get a li’l more into the spiritual aspect of the season, let’s get into something interesting from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. It’s aptly titled ‘A Christmas Prayer.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘You lead me, Jesus Christ, to thoughts of God. I see you in a manger (food trough) carved from a tree. I see you as a young man with hands that reach to touch hearts that hurt. Your caring reaches out like the strong and kind branches of a gentle tree reach out to invite road-weary and travel-worn wayfarers to quiet rest. I see you again hanging on a tree with outstretched arms taking in the whole world. From your cross, you show me that God will stop at nothing to save my soul. 

So, I celebrate God’s LOVE today as I celebrate your birth around a twinkling Christmas tree. I pray my life, like yours, O Lord, may be tall and upright as a pine tree pointing, reaching, sharing, sparkling, life-giving, solid, sturdy, strong-rooted in God’s LOVE, a beautiful soul, evergreen forever. Amen!’ Oh my fellow believers, what beautiful Christian sentiments, so appropriate for not only this festive Christmas season, but for all the year, for all our lives! 

And yuh know friends, the whole thing is so simple, but through our foolish pride and stupid disobedience we make it seem so complicated. Yes mih people, it’s all simply about LOVE; about the LOVE of God! And consequently our LOVE for Him and for our fellow man. And if you don’t believe me, let’s look at some relevant scripture that proves my point. First off is this momentous declaration (steups!) by none other than Jesus Himself, re the purpose and reason for His coming to earth as a man. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ 

Oh my people, we all know that monumental scripture, and mouth it often, but do we ever take a moment to truly think about it, and how it ought to affect our lives? I don’t think so. Or if we do, not nearly enough, because it’s only the LOVE of God that caused Jesus to come to earth at Christmas, so He could eventually save our sinful souls by dying on Calvary’s sacrificial cross; nothing else but LOVE my brethren!  And how should this wonderful and marvellous emotion be played out in our own lives? 

Listen to Jesus again, as the foppish, hypocrite Pharisee lawyer asked Him: ‘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. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:36-40) Yuh see mih breddren, EVERYTHING, from day One, right to the end of time, has to do with LOVE!  

And the apostle John puts it all so beautifully in his first epistle. ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God. He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE. In this was manifested the LOVE of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4:7-11) 

That’s it in a nutshell people! God first LOVED us, that’s why we’re celebrating the birth of Christ in this Christmas season. And furthermore, He requires His followers to both LOVE Him and our fellow human beings. That’s not a desire or a wish; it’s His command! So please, in this time of over-the-top celebrations, when there’s still so much, sickness, poverty, homelessness, hatred, strife and war in our rather prosperous world, please, I implore us, as true believers in Christ, let’s sincerely show the LOVE of God to those around us nuh, especially the less fortunate, for that’s when we’re most Christ-like. 

Now let’s go home this Christmas Eve day declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. Altogether now in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ Now let’s go out and walk that talk, like we ought to. Much LOVE!

…and now abideth…faith, hope, LOVE…these three…but the greatest of these is…LOVE… (1 Cor. 13:13)

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