Today’s Scrip-Bit   18 October 2022 John 14:15.

John 14:15.         If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments. 

Well, well, well! If we haven’t opened our eyes to another wonderful day on God’s great earth! That’s always the best gift of every day! (smile) And hopefully, we’ve all given our heavenly Father thanks for that magnificent opportunity He’s so unselfishly and lavishly bestowed on us. And yes, it’s a somewhat cloudy and definitely chilly Tuesday morning in my area, but the surrounding scenery is indeed beautiful. What with all the many varied colours of the leaves in this autumn season, you can’t beat it for artistic excellence. I believe God put His best artistic talents to work when He created autumn. (smile) 

And I’m sorry for those of you who live in a constantly tropical climate, because it’s a work of God you’ll unfortunately never see and thus won’t ever totally appreciate His amazing craftsmanship. Oh, I know you’ll claim that after the beautiful autumn season comes that awful time called winter, but then again, if you’ve never experienced winter, you’re also not going to have the full experience of God’s outstanding creativity, since a winter landscape is also incredibly beautiful. (smile) Now, you don’t have to like living in the four seasons as experienced in the northern climes, but as an aficionado of art and change, they can be truly eye-opening to God’s majestic and superb powers of creativity. 

Enough though on the artistry and beauty of the seasons, listen up to this amazing sight I witnessed last Sunday morning as I came out of church. As I was about to head over to the parking lot on the far side of the church where my car was parked, I found my way blocked by a long line of Canada geese stately stepping across the parking lot in front of me, actively blocking the path to my car. And for those of you who know Canada geese, they always take their own sweet time, except when they are running you down for some infringement they believe you’ve committed. 

But here was this long line, at least a dozen of them, slowly moving along before me, behind a leader who obviously knew where he or she was going and was not in any hurry to get there. It took a couple minutes for the main party to cross over to the bank of the parking lot and totter down the side onto the paved roadway at the bottom. But thankfully, as always, there was a party of five stragglers bringing up the rear of the line, so I finally slipped between them out to my car. They didn’t seem to care much as they went about picking and checking the area for any scraps of food available. 

Some of the others had also remained on the grassy bank seeking sustenance, but along the roadway, there was still the long line of geese dutifully following their leader, in all trust and faithfulness, physically acknowledging their trust and faith in his or her leadership. And it suddenly struck me that the whole scenario was a rather appropriate simile for our faith and trust in the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Many of us acknowledge Him as our leader, and a fair amount of us follow His awesome lead, but just like with those Canada geese, some of us straggle and stray far behind, while others pick around at the edges. 

Now those two latter sets, remind me of the supposed believers, who are bent on seeking fulfillment in their own wisdom, despite the divine anointing of their leader, Christ Jesus. But please my fellow believers, let’s remember some of the comments our Lord and Saviour, our Leader, the Son of God made about not staying close to Him. And the most important is probably this first remark. ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments.’ (John 14:15) Yes friends, we cannot truly belong to an organization unless we sincerely follow the rules and regulations as set out by the leadership. 

As John in his first epistle points out. ‘For this is the LOVE of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (burdensome)’ (1 John 5:3) And that’s the gospel truth, God’s commandments are not burdensome. They just feel so because we have free will and thus believe we should do what we want. But, unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that my brethren. Here’s why not. 

After telling the disciples to keep His commandments, Jesus explicitly announces to them: ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:4-5) Oh my people, Jesus didn’t mince words there! He told it just like it is. Without Him, we are unable to live this earthly life successfully. And the sooner many of us believe that, the sooner many of us will be so much better off, physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

But such is the ‘own-way’, hard-headed and stubborn nature of mankind, that we just like to do our own thing, even if it’s not getting us anywhere. Doing our own thing seems to build our ego, despite it keeping us on the bottom rungs of the ladder of life. And it’s a strange phenomenon of life, that you are not fit to lead, until you learn to follow. Exactly what Jesus did when He came to earth. The Good Book clearly tells us, that though He was God, He didn’t behave in an arrogant, snobbish manner, but became humble and obedient, even unto death on the cross. (Phil. 2:6-8) 

So, it makes sense that we are not fit to lead our own lives until we learn to follow the leadership of Jesus. (smile) And even then, on our own, we will still be always behind the eight ball, because we just were not made to be on our own. Our Creator, Jehovah God made us to live in fellowship, in sincere communion with Him. That means He did not give us the parts that are necessary for living a good and true life on our own. And you’ll notice that regardless of the wealth and power you accumulate in this earthly life, there will always be something missing in your soul and spirit, there will always be a li’l empty pocket, a li’l empty space in our souls that can only be satisfied when it’s filled with the LOVE, compassion and power of Christ Jesus. 

Now that’s a space God left for Himself in our souls, and only when we fill it with Jesus, will our souls ever enjoy true peace and happiness. My friends, please, let’s remember that we are not our own, never were and never will be. We were first made by God for Himself, and then when we sinned and fell out of His good graces, He later purchased us back with the sinless blood of His Son, shed on Calvary’s Hill. As the Good Book says in no uncertain terms. ‘For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.’ (1 Cor. 6:20) 

And for those of us who are sincerely trying to do just that, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. As one sincere voice: ‘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 my immediate neighbours, as well as with the whole wide world! Glory be!’ 

And now my faithful brethren, let’s go out and put all those words into action nuh, by sharing the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…some of us like to play the game follow the leader…but following Jesus is no game…it’s for real…and the stakes are high…hellfire and damnation…or eternal life… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ        

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