Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 July 2021 John 13:35.

John 13:35.      By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.

Saturday, oh Saturday! Another blessed day in the life! Thank You my heavenly Father, for it is only with Your divine help and protection, your awesome grace and mercy, that I awoke this morning and can put one foot in front of the other! Without You, I’d just be like burnt toast, without any good use, only waiting to be thrown in the garbage. But when You proclaimed Your amazing and unconditional LOVE for me, life just blossomed, like an early morning flower gracefully and gratefully opening to the sun, like an ugly crawly caterpillar being miraculously transformed into a beautiful, colourful butterfly! 

Oh Father God, with such a blessed, secure and comforted life, how can I not LOVE You with all my heart, mind body and soul eh? That’s why Your most wonderful Son, Jesus, when asked ‘Master which is the great commandment in the law?’ quoted the words of the Old Testament Covenant. ‘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 prophets.’ (Matt. 22:36-40). 

And that’s the indisputable truth my fellow saints! LOVING our heavenly Father, our Most High God Jehovah is the number One action that’s called for in our lives! And then we need to LOVE those around us in the same manner that we LOVE ourselves. That obviously means that the action, emotion and mindset of LOVE is ever so important in our lives. So important that Jesus, before His crucifixion said to the disciples: ‘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) 

Oh my people, once again Christ reiterated the utmost importance that LOVE ought to play in our lives, especially those who claim to be His disciples, His followers, His ambassadors and agents! And as one commentary on the Great Commandment from the LoyolaPress Website explains: ‘Jesus teaches that the moral life can be summed up in terms of LOVE of God, self, and neighbor. 

The New Testament understanding of LOVE is based on the Old Testament understanding of covenant LOVE, which is that God’s steadfast LOVE will never waver. The Christian who cooperates with the Holy Spirit will not waver in his or her LOVE for God. This is a LOVE of commitment and action to a better personal relationship with God. It shows a true appreciation of how much God LOVES the person as an individual — as well as the person’s willingness to serve the neighbor.’ 

Yes my brethren, the three most important words there are ‘commitment and action.’ Those are the backbone of LOVE! We have to be committed and then put that commitment into action, because LOVE is not merely a spoken word, but even more importantly an ACTION word! For you cannot say that you LOVE and don’t have action to back it up. But that’s just how many of us in this evil and ungodly world do it, even supposed Christians. We talk a good talk, but our actions don’t show any real LOVE! 

Remember Jesus said that people would know us as His disciples if we showed LOVE to each other. But you can check out any Christian congregation and the amount of dislike and resentment you’d find would be unbelievable. And John in his first epistle reminded us of that godly action that’s necessary amongst believers. ‘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 towards 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 to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4:7-11) 

Oh friends, we couldn’t have a better reason for LOVING God, than His action of showing how much He cares for us by sending His One Son to die for us. And the thing is that God cared for us so much, as Bruh Paul states to the church at Rome: ‘But God commendeth (demonstrated) his (own) LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:8) Imagine that nuh! We did not have to change first before He LOVED or saved us. But the Lord stepped out first. He showed that He was seriously in LOVE with us by acting on His words and sending Christ to die for us. 

So why is it so hard for us to treat each other decently eh? And yes, LOVING each other doesn’t necessarily mean dying for each other, although that’s a possibility, but simply being thoughtful of and caring for others, especially those of the faith. And that’s why the heathen laughs at us and consider us such amazing hypocrites when we talk about LOVE, because we don’t treat each other in a Christlike or LOVING manner. So why would they want to be like us eh? We ourselves are the biggest detriment to Christ’s church by the evil and ungodly way so many, too many of us behave. 

And I want to close with this important explanation from the scholars, re 1 John 4:7. They say: ‘In context, John is not saying that everyone who LOVES is somehow a Christian, whether they trust in Christ or not. He makes it clear elsewhere that true knowledge of God entails right belief about Christ, as well as right response to God, including LOVE of others. Mere human LOVE apart from Christ’s redeeming presence and motivation falls short of LOVE in its fullest dimension as a human response to God’s perfect and infinite compassion (cf. 1 Cor. 13).’ 

That means you can have all the LOVE in the world, as the world defines it, and don’t have Christ, then you’re still lacking in true LOVE! And I guess you all have realized by now that once again I did not receive any quotes this past week from our friend Anselm. Please, let’s pray that he is all right, and will soon resume his task of aspiring to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Much LOVE!

…regardless of how many gifts you possess…if you don’t have the LOVE of Christ…you’re nothing…                                                                                                   

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