Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 March 2022 Romans 5:8.

Romans 5:8.     But God commendeth (demonstrated) his (own) LOVE towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

It’s a rainy Saturday morning, most excellent for sleeping in, which I must confess that I did. (smile) Unfortunately, when one is getting on in age, it becomes much harder to burn the candle at both ends, meaning to achieve early rising with a late bedtime. But nonetheless, I’m still working to prove the naysayers wrong. (smile) Anyway, without further ado, that’s more talk, let’s turn to our usual Saturday program, that of checking out the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first quote relates quite nicely to our Christian situation. It says: ‘Don’t ever promise more than you can deliver, but always deliver more than you promise.’ Yes friends, that’s a Christian tenet that should be ingrained in all of us. However, since promises nowadays don’t hold the weight they once held, we don’t pay as much attention to them as we ought to. Currently, the prominent thought on promises is that they are made to be broken. No longer do we keep our word, as best as possible, and if we can’t, then notify the promisee of our inability to do so. 

Sadly, broken promises litter our world today like no other time in history. And why is that? Because there is so little accountability on promises, and thus, to achieve our own selfish ends, we very often make promises we know we can’t keep. Oh, hifalutin promises do look and sound good, and better yet, because of the greedy and selfish tendencies now proliferating in our society, they tend to inveigle others to believe and agree to even the most outlandish promises. That’s why broken promises, or the many tentacles of fraud are spread so wide and deep in today’s society. 

But all of that is a total repudiation of the Christian doctrine of keeping our promises. Cousin Sol, writing as the preacher in Ecclesiastes, puts it quite clearly. ‘Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.’ (Eccl. 3:5) Yes my Christian brethren, it’s always better not to promise than to make promises we know we can’t keep. And it’s even better when we can deliver more than we promised, like Jesus says regarding LOVE for enemies in the Sermon on the Mount. ‘And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain (two). ‘(Matt. 5:41). 

The scholars offer this explanation. ‘In ancient times government agents were able to compel forced service upon a subjugated people. A Roman soldier, for example, could compel a Jewish native to carry his armour or materials for one mile. Jesus now states that if someone compels you to walk a mile, go with him twain. The believer is to be willing to “go the extra mile.” Doing double our duty not only proves our loyalty to human authority, but likewise proves the spiritual intention of our heart.’ And I can hear many of us laughing at that crazy notion, since today we don’t even want to do our basic duty, much less double! 

That takes us to the next quote which also has some strong Christian content. ‘The strong-minded rise to the challenge of their goals and dreams. The weak-minded become haters.’ That’s oh so true! Strong -willed people, which Christians ought to be, always rise to the occasion. They face challenges rather than run from them. And that’s what Christ is asking of those who consider themselves His followers. As He said. ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments.’ (John 14:15) That’s simple enough to understand. 

And we know what Christ’s dream is for us; in a few words, to be the salt of the earth and light of the world. To stand up strong against the enemy and spread His gospel, the good news of His free gift of salvation. As Bruh Paul encouraged Timothy: ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ (2 Tim. 2:3) That also pertains to us my brethren, especially in these rough and tumble times, when our world is turned upside down, and many of us don’t know our A from our E. (smile) 

No, we cannot be weak minded or fearful, because that only leads to negative stuff like insecurity, resentment, anger and strife. It’s absolutely necessary that we do like Bruh Paul said: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.’ (2 Tim. 4:7) Oh my fellow saints, that should be our goal: to fight the good fight in Jesus’ name, to show forth His glorious kingdom to the unbelievers by the way we live, with LOVE and compassion for others, filled with the peace and joy, only found in Christ! 

That’s why these next two quotes should be important in our lives. The first one says: ‘Spend your time with those who LOVE you unconditionally, not with those who only LOVE you under certain conditions.’ That’s the gospel truth! For nowadays we tend to LOVE others only under certain conditions. If they behave in certain ways, or do things we approve of. But that’s not how God LOVES us, or Jesus teaches us to LOVE each other. The Good Book tells us: ‘But God commendeth (demonstrated) his (own) LOVE towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:8) 

Oh friends, that means God didn’t wait for us to become saints before He LOVED us, but showed His unconditional LOVE by allowing Christ to die for us despite our sinful condition. Now shouldn’t we show the same kind of LOVE to those around us, with no strings attached, and even though our expectations are not met? Of course! It’s not easy, because that’s how our selfish sinful nature operates. But with the true Spirit of Jesus working in and with us, we can certainly move on to higher ground, a more Christ-like kind of LOVE. 

And these words from Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth contain possibly the best explanation of unconditional, Christ-like LOVE. ‘LOVE is patient and kind; LOVE does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. LOVE bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.’ (1 Cor. 13:4-7) 

And it’s only when we come to that kind of understanding, can we become what this last quote declares. ‘Fake friends are like shadows: always near you at your brightest moments, but nowhere to be seen at your darkest hour. True friends are like stars, you don’t always see them but they are always there.’ Now we all know that to be the truth of all truths, because we have all experienced the betrayal and disappointment of fake friends. People who abandon you when troubles come, or your situation changes, and you can no longer give them what they need. 

Unfortunately, our world today is filled with many more fake than true friendships. Oftentimes too, what we call friendships are in truth mere acquaintances. For as Cousin Sol so wisely says in Proverbs: ‘A friend LOVETH at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.’ (Prov. 17:17) Or as the scholars explain: ‘A true friend has unquenchable LOVE that is not diminished by adversity.’ Now that’s the kind of stuff Jesus expects from us as His followers, His earthly agents and ambassadors. Please, let’s not disappoint Him more than we have already done nuh. Much LOVE!

…by definition…Christians…are true friends…filled with unconditional LOVE… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8         

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