Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 May 2020 John 14:2.

John 14:2.    ​In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so; I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
 
At last friends, at long last, yesterday I was able to sit on my front porch and enjoy the welcome the heat of the noonday sun in just an ordinary spring jacket, no big, bulky coat! Glory be! And I mean actually feel the heat gloriously exuding from the sun’s rays, as I turned my bare face up to it and said a most grateful ‘Thank You Lord!’ Yes mih people, those of you living in the tropical climes can laugh as much you want, but I know a good thing when I experience it, and am extremely grateful for whatever it is. Is how many months now we haven’t really felt the sun’s heat up here eh? Too many! So let’s be grateful for whatever little we might receive. 

But sadly, as Job so wisely said, you can’t expect to get the good without the bad, and thus there was also the bad with the good yesterday; the annoying sounds of lawnmowers, and the grass isn’t even green and growing properly yet, plus the whining sounds of electric drills and saws, with motorcycles and cars loudly revving their engines in anticipation of summer, although this one might not have the ‘ownwayness’ usually associated with the season because of Covid-19 restrictions. So let’s hope that yesterday was the first of many such days, and that I will soon be able to go out on my porch at two in the morning in just shorts and a T-shirt! A body can certainly dream eh! (smile) 

But since it’s Saturday, let’s come back down to earth and check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this first one is not only interesting but totally true: ‘Improvement begins with I.’ Oh friends, if only more of us would recognize that truth! Improvement does begin with the letter ‘I’ as well as at the person, ‘I, me, myself!’ Any improvement in our lives must begin and end with us personally. Nobody else can really do it for us. Yes, they can encourage or even help us, but the basic desire and overall effort must come from us. 

We will never improve unless we want to do so, and then put that desire into blood, sweat and tears action, for it’s only those characteristics that bring about any real and true improvement in our lives. That takes us to this next quote: ‘My life is constantly under construction. There’s always something to improve.’ And isn’t that the indisputable truth? It surely is, since once we’re still alive, even in our old age, there are always areas in which we both need improvement and can also carry out the improvement. Now they might just be small things, but you’ll be surprised at the huge differences small changes or improvements in our lives can bring. 

That’s why we’re told to never stop learning, it not only makes us wiser, but also keeps us alive longer. (smile) And then there’s this: ‘All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.’ That’s another indisputable truth! You cannot improve or make any real progress when you’re comfortable. It’s just a fact of life. As we said above, it’s only in actions that bring out blood, sweat and tears can true improvement or progress be made. And if you don’t believe me, just try it and see nuh. Try to improve without any real effort, and see how far you get. 

Now this next quote is also the gospel truth, as no doubt many of us have eventually found out. ‘If you continuously compete with others, you become bitter, but if you continuously compete with yourself you become better.’ Ah friends, some competition is healthy and useful to drive us along, but when that competition becomes all there is, all that you’re living for, then you lose the whole beauty and essence of whatever you’re doing, and eventually your soul just becomes more negative, especially if you’re not winning those things for which you compete. You begin to resent and even hate those against whom you’re competing, get irrational and angry and begin doing illegal or unlawful things just to win. 

And this doesn’t hold true only in the outside world, but also in the church, where there is a lot of unnecessary competition for whatever reason, which leads to many cliques and much jealousy amongst the saints of Christ. Please remember Bruh Paul’s warning to the church at Corinth when those believers were arguing about whom they belonged to, Paul or Apollos. Christ’s church is one body, and like the human body it has many different parts with each part playing a different role, performing a different function, just like our hands, feet and eyes perform different functions, but are all important to the proper functioning of our bodies. 

Likewise, Christians are co-labourers, and it doesn’t matter who’s planted and whose watered, Paul or Apollos, because in the long run it is God that gives the increase. The most important thing is for us to do what we’ve each been called to do, but to all build our work on the strong and stable foundation that’s Christ our Lord and Saviour! (1 Cor. 3:1-15) And this last quote exemplifies all that we’ve said, but it also helps and encourages us to improve and accomplish. ‘When everything seems like an uphill struggle, just think of the view from the top.’ 

Oh my my my! That view from heaven is certainly breathtaking! Yes friends, when life seems to be giving us a rough time, we need to stop for a moment and think on, truly consider the goal we’re working towards, how we will feel when we’ve accomplished it, and let that view from the top energize, encourage and reassure us. For remember life is nothing but a bully-boy, and if it discovers it can beat you down continually, it will do so. But please remember these awesome and encouraging words of Christ: 

‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so; I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) And if you believe in Jesus, then you know that He is faithful to keep His promises. And the scholars offer us this marvellous explanation of what we have to look forward to.

’14:2. Heaven is a place and the eternal hope of the saved. Scripture describes it as a beautiful city where the redeemed will live for eternity. The activities include singing (Rev. 15:3), worship (Rev. 5:9), serving Rev. 22:3), ruling (2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 22:5), fellowship with others (Matt. 17:3), and eating (Rev. 2:17). 

Illustration: The quality of existence in heaven is a life of fellowship with God (Rev. 22:4), a life of rest (Rev. 14:13), a life of service (Rev. 22:3), a life of growth (Rev. 22:2), and a life of worship (Rev. 19:1). Application: The glories of heaven belong only to those who have personally trusted Christ for their salvation. Christians who work to win souls are gathering friends who will spend eternity with them in heaven (First Ref. Gen. 1:1; Primary Ref. Rev. 21:1-5; cf. Matt. 24:33).’ 

Now friends, please, let’s take a moment today out of our busy, lockdown schedules (smile) and sincerely peruse those scriptures nuh, and if they don’t raise up the joy, the anticipation that heaven offers, then I really don’t know what else to say. Much LOVE!

…when life becomes a struggle…look up…and remember…the awesome and faithful promise of heaven…

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