Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 January 2018 1 John 4:17.

1 John 4:17.   Herein is our LOVE made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is, so are we in this world.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, for His bountiful kindness to the sinful children of men! Bless Him for the indescribable mercy that’s new every morning to undeserving men! Bless the Lord, O my soul, for the saving grace, the reconciliation He has provided for us through the awesome sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ, so that we can believe on His Son and be called the children of God! 

Oh bless His holy name people, for the breath of life that He breathed into us when He so tenderly formed us from the clay of the ground! That was His awe-inspiring LOVE that He placed in us. And even though we’ve turned away from Him, He has not turned away from us, because that LOVE is unconditional and eternal, needing nothing from us, but to come to Him, just as we are, in whatever shape we’re in, and we’ll receive, with no questions asked, His fatherly care and all the comforts of home. 

And finally, bless the Lord, O my soul, for that amazing thing called forgiveness! That miraculous situation where the Lord forgives and washes away my awful sins numerous times per day, once I sincerely confess them and try not to repeat them. Oh bless the Lord, O my soul for the wonderful God we serve! The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! The God who made heaven and earth, and all therein! Bless His holy name, and serve Him with a wholesome heart, for therein lies true and eternal wisdom! 

Ah friends, whether you like it or not, that is how I was guided to open today’s Bit. (smile) And it’s all true! No other faith has anything that comes even close to our Christian way of life. And if you add them all up, you’ll see what a treasure trove of blessings we enjoy, even though we don’t deserve them. So for the life of me, I can’t see why we so steadfastly refuse to faithfully serve and worship the ONE true and living God of this universe! 

But friends, all I can do is give you the truth, we each have to make up our individual minds on the path we’re going to follow. Let’s hope that like Joshua, we all sincerely declare: ‘but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ (Josh.24:15) 

And our Bit for today just reassures and convinces us that when we follow the Lord we don’t need to fear anything. ‘Herein is our LOVE made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is, so are we in this world.’ 

And the scholars tell us: ‘4:17. Herein points back to verse 16 (dwelling in LOVE). By dwelling in LOVE, and thus having God dwelling in him, the believer gains the priceless assurance that he need not fear the coming judgement. This is our assurance, IF we LOVE in this world as He does.’ 

Please notice that big ‘IF’ there mih people! At some stage of the life hereafter we WILL be judged, whether we believe it or like it. However, ‘IF’ we live in LOVE in this world, we won’t have to fear that judgement. And John explains further. ‘There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.’ (1 John 4:18) 

Yeh friends, if we sincerely live in LOVE, then there’s no need to be afraid, because there’s NO fear whatsoever in LOVE. Listen to the scholars: ‘4:18. Fear hath torment: abject fear of God is based on dread of punishment. But God’s LOVE for us renders such dread obsolete. 

Fear is still part of the Christian walk, in the sense of profound reverence, the unwillingness to violate God’s trust in us. (See Acts 10:35; 13:26; 2 Cor.7:1; Eph.5:21; Phil.2:12; 1 Pet.1:17). Believers need not fear eternal rejection as a result of God’s judgement (John 5:24), but this does not mean a Christian’s approach to God is to be casual and flippant.’ Please read the references, I just did, and they are interesting. (smile) 

Yes my faithful breddren, not because we don’t have to be afraid of God’s judgement, means we have to live like leggo-beasts. We still need to reverence Him, give Him the honour and glory He deserves. For as John tells us: ‘We LOVE him, because he first LOVED us. 

If a man say, I LOVE God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that LOVETH not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he LOVE God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who LOVETH God LOVE his brother also.’ (1 John 4:19-21) 

And the scholars declare: ‘4:19-21. Our LOVE, if it exists and mirrors God’s LOVE at all, is not our own, but God’s doing. The epitome of hypocrisy is the claim to LOVE God while withholding LOVE from others. For Jesus Himself commanded that he who LOVES God is to demonstrate this through LOVING others.’ 

Unfortunately though friends, that hypocrisy is very rampant throughout Christ’s church. We talk the LOVE but don’t walk it. That’s why so many unbelievers just look at Christians, shake their heads, laugh and declare ‘Hypocrites!’ But this year we going to change that my fellow believers, because 2018 is the year of real and true godly LOVE! 

And to cement that promise, let’s go home by letting the world know our sincere and secure position in Christ, as we declare our Wednesday Wail with strong conviction, in loud voice. All together now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. 

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ And since all God’s promises are true, we know that the future with Jesus will indeed be glorious! Much LOVE!

…to truly know Jesus…is to certainly LOVE Him…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 June 2016 Psalm 40:4

Psalm 40:4.   Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

Well friends, it’s a brand new day called Monday! Mama yo! (smile) 

And we all know what means; time to rise and shine and get to work. Now we can either do that in a sour, miserable, complaining state, or we can do it filled with the peace and LOVE and good cheer of Jesus. It’s your choice. But believe me the latter way is the best way. 

One way or the other you have to go to work, so who are you hurting if you go there whining and complaining eh? Most likely yourself. 

What I don’t understand about human beings is that we have to go to work, that’s a given, so why constantly grouse and complain when the work day rolls around, especially when, as Christians we have God’s peace and LOVE and otherwise that will enable us to overcome our natural resistance? 

Anyway, that’s for each of us to figure out individually. Right now let’s try to help the situation by singing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with much enthusiasm and positive conviction. All together now, harmoniously and in strong voice. 

‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh friends, that was excellent! Or as Nuculer, a long ago friend would say ‘most excellent man, most excellent!’ And Jesus, our choir director thought so too, going by the big smile on His face and His energetic working of the director’s baton. 

That means mih people, that we’re getting off on the right foot, with plenty enthusiasm and adrenalin coursing through our bodies, so let’s get out there in the ungodly world and show them what’s what nuh! 

Show them the true LOVE and affection of Jesus, so that they can envy us and want to come to Him too to receive the salvation and eternal life that we possess through His sacrificial death on the cross, which banished our sins forever! 

Ah mih breddren, I’m chuckling here as the Spirit moves me, and the brain is thinking faster than the pen can write. (smile) But enough fooling around, let’s get to our Bit, the same one as yesterday: ‘Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.’ 

Oh friends impeccable truth and wisdom for all of us to live by! If we would only truly trust in God and live a decent, humble, truthful life, this world would be such a wonderful place, instead of the deep, dark and evil quagmire that it now is! 

The sad part about it all is that only we Christians can do anything positive with it. That’s why we have to do things like go out to work on Monday mornings with a joyful and peaceful attitude, and thus set a good example. That’s the only way the heathen will come to heel and seek Jesus. 

Let’s move on now to some scriptures that corroborate our Bit. Listen to Bruh David from Psalm 34 – The Lord hears the righteous. ‘Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate (condemned, found guilty). The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate (condemned, found guilty).’ (Ps.34:21-22)

What wonderful words of promise and encouragement my brethren! And as we always note, Bruh David isn’t speaking from hearsay nuh, but from personal experience. That means we can trust his words without fear of falsehood. And listen to Bruh David once again, this time from Psalm 5 – A prayer for protection. 

‘But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that LOVE thy name be joyful in thee. For thou Lord wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass (surround) him as with a shield.’ (Ps. 5:11-12)  Friends, Bruh David certainly knew what he was talking about. 

And we’ll end at the beginning; (smile) Psalm 1- Blessed are the righteous – which clearly spells out the kind of life the righteous can expect. ‘Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly (wicked), nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate (ponder) day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers (channels) of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.’ (Ps.1:1-3) 

Oh friends, oh friends, what more encouragement do we need to live a righteous and godly life eh? I certainly don’t need anymore, for me to at least try and live right. So I’ll leave us to ponder those thoughts today, to decide whether you want to live a godly or ungodly life. It’s all up to you. Please make the wise decision. Much LOVE!

…choose you this day…whom ye will serve…but as for me and my house…we will serve the Lord. (Josh.24:15) 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 May 2016 Joshua 24:14

Joshua 24:14.    Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (The Euphrates River), and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.

Oh my beautiful believers in Jesus Christ, it’s the first day of May, as well as the Lord’s Day, better known as Sunday! 

That means it’s time for church; time for praise and worship, for thanksgiving and fellowship, for rejuvenation of spirit, encouragement and steadfastness of purpose, plus all the other good things that our magnanimous God pours out on those who LOVE Him, diligently seek Him and obediently do His will! 

Now I’m not going to harangue or lecture us about going to church today. That shouldn’t be at all necessary, for if you’re a true believer, then you’ll know that’s your bounden duty, so I’ll just leave that up to you and your heavenly Father. (smile) 

What I’ve been guided to do though, is to share a prayer which I shared a long time back, so many of you would not have heard it, but it’s one of my favourite prayers. From the first time I found it in my mother’s Bible after she died, something about it just touched me, and I’ve prayed it almost every day after that.  

It’s a special prayer prepared by the Life Study Fellowship, Noroton, Connecticut.  It’s titled ‘Lord, Please Accept My Heartfelt Thanks!’ And the sub-title is ‘Praise the Lord for His Goodness.’  – Psalm 107:8’ 

Now please pray with me: ‘Dear Lord, You are so good to me! And I thank You sincerely for the many blessings You send me! I’m very glad to have You in my life day in and day out – whatever I do and wherever I go! You are the One who always does what is best for my happiness! 

How grateful I am to be able to turn to You for guidance and comfort when troubles come my way! If any situation arises that makes me feel discouraged, You let me know I can lean on You for support! And because of Your LOVE for me, somehow I seem to find the strength to keep going – even through the most difficult times! 

I’m grateful too, for peaceful moments like these when I’m all alone with You in prayer! Talking with You never fails to reassure and uplift me! Nothing I say to You goes unheard. You listen with great concern to everything I confide in You! For You truly care about me! 

As I look to 2016 (or whatever year) I pray that You will continue to watch over me – and grant me even more of Your wonderful blessings! And may I serve You well in my every word, my every deed! Be my Guide hour by hour; I pray! Amen.’  

Oh friends, I do hope that prayer touched you all! I guess what I like about it is that it covers all the bases, it’s so all encompassing, plus everything it says is true and relevant. Some of you may not like it, but that’s okay; it’s your choice. As they say, different strokes for different folks! (smile) Anyway, that’s my contribution for today. 

Now let’s turn to our new Bit, a part of Joshua’s farewell address to the Israelites. He had just finished reminding them about all the good things the Lord had done for them, giving them houses they didn’t build, vineyards they didn’t plant etc. 

Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (The Euphrates River), and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.’ 

Ah mih people, that verse is even more appropriate and relevant in this New World Order than it was thousands of years ago when Joshua spoke those fateful words. That’s because the worshipping of other gods, plus basic ungodliness is so rampant in our current society. 

Unfortunately, the ONE and ONLY TRUE and LIVING God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is not held in respect nor reverence by a rather large part of the world. Many people know of and about Him, but yet they steadfastly refuse to honour and obey Him. How sad that is my people, for our world could be truly such a beautiful place if more of us sincerely worshipped and revered the Most High God Jehovah. 

Now why the blatant refusal to accept the God of heaven eh? I believe there are two main reasons. First of all, the pull of the material, lustful and sinful world is rather strong. We feast our eyes on all the supposed glitz and glamour and possessions available, and our hearts clamour for them, and the evil one just makes it so easy for us to fall into his sinful trap.  

And the second reason is that we believers, supposed ambassadors and disciples of Jesus, who have been assigned the Great Commission (Matt.28:19-20) to teach and baptize and spread the wonderful gospel of Jesus all over the world, are not doing as good a job as we should. The hypocritical examples of our lives are turning people away from Jesus instead of drawing them closer to Him. 

So there we have it; Lucifer and his evil cronies are doing a good job on selling sin, while the followers of Jesus are not doing a good job of selling righteousness. No rocket science involved at all friends. 

So what are we doing, or going to do to change this rather unpalatable situation eh my believing breddren? All I can say is that we need to pull up our britches and do a better job of spreading the good news of Jesus, and backing it up with perfect, well not quite perfect, but much better examples of true Christian living. 

Remember friends, examples speak more forcibly than words, and we can talk all the talk in the world, if we don’t walk that talk, then it’s useless, just wasted talk. And we’ll close with these precious and fateful words of Joshua, declared after our Bit. 

‘And if it seems evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood (The Euphrates River), or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ (Josh.24:15) 

Yes friends, that’s the big and serious decision we all have to make. And like Joshua, I surely hope that we will all decide, with our families, to serve the Lord God Jehovah, for that is indeed the wisdom of the ages! Much LOVE!

…until more believers get truly serious about the Great Commission…both talking and living it…the good news of Jesus will be sadly lacking in this ungodly world…