Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 August 2019 John 13:34-35.

John 13:34-35.    ​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.
 

Oh friends, please forgive me for the lateness of the Bit, but the last two days have been pretty hectic, and I’m no longer a spring chicken…not yet old though. (smile) I’ve been trying to burn the candle at both ends, going to bed late, getting up early to write the Bit, then getting out and about for the whole day. Well it’s finally caught up to me. 

Thursday was a cricket match in the neighbouring city of Brampton, and then yesterday, Friday, was a funeral in the eastern city of Ajax, on the other side of Toronto. The turnout was so overwhelming that the big chapel was packed to overflowing and we had to sit in a holding area downstairs and watch the proceedings on close circuit t.v. 

The overlong glowing tributes of our friend made him sound like the perfect man. (smile) But I guess that’s how it is when we bid our friends a final adieu. We don’t recall their faults, just their strong points, like the Lord does in His wonderful forgiveness, casting away our wrongs as far as the east is from the west. 

After the hour and half ceremony we spent another hour in the cemetery, this time in the hot sun. Then we went south to another part of the city for the repast. That was a wonderful time, with good Jamaican fare; curry goat, rice and peas and jerk chicken. But the best part was the renewal of several friendships, with people whom we haven’t seen in ages. 

We were all a part of the young, well-educated West Indian Diaspora who migrated to Canada in the early seventies and changed the face of Toronto, adding vibrancy and colour, both literally and figuratively to a staid, old white town. (smile) People with whom we worked and partied in those long ago, cold, long winter days, but with whom we’d lost touch as the area expanded and we all became immersed in our building our new lives. That’s just the way it is with the big city. 

Unfortunately though, the duchess and I had to eat and run, because there were people back in our town waiting for us to come and pick them up to go to the Pan Competition in the heart of Toronto. So we left there around four, got on the toll road and hustled back home, changed, then hit the road again. Luckily though, for some unknown reason, on a Caribana Friday evening, the traffic into T.O. wasn’t bad, and we made it in time for the seven o’clock start of the pan event. 

That was good too, and better organized than in earlier years, though I don’t understand why they allowed some bands to play two songs and others only one. But the music was excellent. However, it finished around midnight and the duchess and my friends were tired, so we didn’t stick around to hear the results, which I’m sure, caused much dissent, as it usually does. 

But that’s the nature of pan competitions, everybody rooting for their own side, though knowing deep down that they weren’t good enough to win. The long and short of the story though, is that by the time I dropped everybody home, I didn’t get home till after one. And it was close to two before I finally went to bed. So it’s obvious I was late getting up. So that’s my story…and I’m sticking to it. (smile) 

Now let’s see if we can get in some quotes from our friend Anselm, who sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘There’ll be two dates on your tombstone and all your friends will read ’em but all that’s gonna matter is that little dash between ’em.’ That’s certainly interesting and true, because the day you were born and the day you died, don’t really matter. What matters most is what you did in the time period between those two days. And I guess a good example of that are the glowing tributes my friend Linton had at his last celebration yesterday. 

Now listen to this one: ‘Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.’ That should be a no- brainer my people, because it’s exactly what Jesus came to help us do; right wrongs, stamp out inequality and injustice, help the weak and fight the strong. So as a believer those things are expected of us. 

Then this quote speaks for itself: ‘When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.’ Ah mih people, I won’t call not giving thanks for all that we have, the good life we’re living, a fault nuh, but utter stupidity! You didn’t give yourself the ability to rise and see a new day, or the breath that’s still flowing through you. 

Remember Bruh Paul’s words to the Ephesians: ‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Eph.5:20) And to the Thessalonians: ‘In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:18) Yes friends, even though our circumstances may be difficult or unpleasant, it’s our bounden duty to give thanks at ALL times! 

And this last quote says it all: ‘Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in LOVE.’ Oh mih people, LOVE is the transcendent power of the universe! John said it thus: ‘Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation (atonement) for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we also ought to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4:10-11)  

And Jesus not only gave us a living example of our quote, but also clearly made it known that He expects the same of His followers. ‘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.’ 

Oh friends, it couldn’t get any clearer or plainer than that! And I’ll leave it there; just let those words speak to our hearts, and let the Holy Spirit convict us as it will, in regards to our LOVE Walk! That’s what it’s there for! Much LOVE!

…hatred stirreth up strifes…but LOVE covereth ALL sins… (Prov.10:12)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 January 2019 Matthew 22:37-38.

Matthew 22:37-38.   ​Jesus said unto him, 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.

 

‘Winterlicious winter…lots of cold and snow. Winterlicious winter…why don’t you go…back to where you came from and leave us all alone eh?’ Now that’s a question that many of us in my area will be asking this morning as they struggle through the mucho snow left by the major snowstorm yesterday. 

I remember looking out the window after lunch yesterday and there was just the residue from the day before, but by mid afternoon when I looked out again, it was all white, and the flimsy flakes were falling down from heaven like rain! Hn! Hn! But that’s what winter is all about. 

We thought we were getting a nice, snow free winter, but that was just a fantasy, a figment of our imagination. As the repairman in the ad used to say: ‘You can pay me now, or pay me later.’ It’s the same thing with the snow, we can get it early or late, or even in between, but we will get it. End of story! 

Now having said, that here is something to counteract the negative concerns. It’s a quote from Gordon W. Allport (1867-1967) a pioneering American psychologist and Harvard professor. It’s said that ‘He rejected two of the dominant schools of thought in psychology at the time, psychoanalysis and behaviorism, in favor of his own approach that stressed the importance of individual differences and situational variables.’ 

Consequently, he was able to come up with this gem: ‘LOVE received and LOVE given comprise the best form of therapy.’ Mama Mia! What awesome words of wisdom! Friends, there’s nothing better in this land of the living than giving and receiving LOVE! That’s because it’s the greatest emotion in the world, the supreme attribute of our great God, and the one that caused Him to send His Son to die on the cross for us at Calvary to pay our sin debt in full! Glory Be! 

So how could it be anything but great eh, since its effects are ever so wonderful? I know many of us, including believers, shrug off or shirk away from LOVE because we’re afraid of the hurt it can bring and the vulnerability that it imposes on our souls. But just think for a moment, if our heavenly Father had thought about the hurt it would bring Him, do you think He would have sent His Son to die for a bunch of miserable, ungrateful sinners? Definitely not! 

And think again, if Jesus had considered the severe pain and vulnerability His LOVE for the Father and us would bring Him, He would have willingly gone to the cross on our behalf? No way Jose! That’s why, as believers in and followers of Jesus, we ought to embrace that wonderful attribute of LOVE as our watchword and guiding light! 

Remember Jesus’ answer to the hypocrite Pharisee lawyer who tried to trick Him by asking: ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, 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.’ (Matt.22:36-38)

Yes friends, LOVE for God should be…no not should be, but IS our number One priority in this fallen world! And it’s not like the Pharisee didn’t know that, because all Jesus was doing there was quoting from the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 6:5. The foolish Pharisee even got more than he bargained for, because Jesus continued: ‘And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thy self. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:39-40) 

Oh my people, my people, from day one, when the Lord made us, it was all about LOVE! And when He sent Jesus to save us, it was still all about LOVE! And when Jesus comes a second time, to take us home to heaven with Him, it will still be all about LOVE! Some of us claim to abide by the first commandment, LOVE for God, but can’t get our heads around the second; LOVING our neighbours as ourselves. 

But friends, we can’t have one without the other. For as John so rightly says: ‘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 4:20-21) 

That’s as plain as night and day my brethren! Yet we foolishly try to have one without the other. Perhaps it’s because we DON’T LOVE OURSELVES, that we can’t LOVE our brothers! That’s something for us to check up on as soon as possible, because that might just be what’s hindering our LOVE walk. 

Oh friends, Jesus’ teaching was ALL based on LOVE and so should our lives ALL be based on it. Listen to this heart-opening directive as He wound down His earthly ministry. ‘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) 

Yuh see that friends, the distinctive recognition of our discipleship on Christ’s behalf must be that mankind sees our LOVE for each other! And I won’t even get into a discussion on whether we’re showing that distinctive difference, because we all know that we’re not showing it as much as we ought to. But yuh know what friends, come the judgement day, we’ll each have to answer as to why we did not keep that commandment. So nuff said! 

Let’s go home now declaring (got it right) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are – even though we’re not as good as we ought to be. (smile) As one voice, in all sincerity and truth: ‘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 the world.  Amen!’ 

And if we are sincere about that, then let’s indeed go out and spread the friendship and LOVE of Jesus with the world! Much LOVE!

…it’s so sad…that the evil emotion of hate…is so much easier to come by in this world…than the godly attribute of…LOVE…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 March 2018 John 13:34.

John 13:34. A new commandment I give unto you, that ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another.

Well my friends and fellow believers it’s Friday, but a special Friday, one that only occurs once a year. And we call it Good Friday! I know some of us must be wondering how can we call a terrible Friday like that good, where our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was horribly crucified, shamed and violated without remorse.

But it’s not what happened, so much as the reason for the happening and the resultant consequences. Christ was crucified, gave His life for us, so that we could have eternal life. He took ALL our sins on His shoulders, so that we could have the option to return to a right relationship with Almighty God. That’s what’s good about it friends!

The once and for all sacrifice, the once and for all payment for our sins, that’s what makes it good! Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, the Lord washed clean all our sins, forgave us of our disobedience and welcomed us back as His children. Wow! How can we not call such an event good eh?

True, it resulted in the terrible abuse and violence toward Jesus, but that was the only way for our sins to become paid up; forgiveness called for a blood sacrifice. And today, as we flock to the Lord’s house to sing His praises and glorify His holy name, let’s remember the significance of this day.

And as always, before we hear the word, let’s offer up some praise and worship with sacrificial voices to our heavenly Father. And today we’ll sing one of my all time favourites, one that I cherished since I was a boy growing up in Tobago.

It appropriately describes the scene that took place at Calvary, two thousand years ago. The words apparently were written by Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895) and the music by John H Gower (1855-1922) and it was based on the scriptural texts of John 19:16-20 and Hebrews 13:12.

Please sing with me: ‘There is a green hill far away, outside a city wall, where our dear Lord was crucified who died to save us all. We may not know, we cannot tell, what pains he had to bear, but we believe it was for us he hung and suffered there. He died that we might be forgiven, he died to make us good, that we might go at last to heaven, saved by his precious blood.

There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin, he only could unlock the gate of heaven and let us in. O dearly, dearly has he LOVED! And we must LOVE him too, and trust in his redeeming blood, and try his works to do.’

Yeh friends, the story’s told simply and tenderly, but the reality of it all is oh so heart wrenching and tear jerking! Just imagine an innocent man nuh, being crucified; one of the worse methods of death and punishment ever subscribed to by man, to pay for the sins of a motley, unappreciative group of people.

And the beauty of the story is that He underwent that gruesome ordeal without a word of complaint, because He knew that He was the ONLY person who could pay for the transgressions of the entire world, and besides, that was what His heavenly Father required of Him. As the Good Book says: He was ‘obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil.2:8)

Ah mih people, yuh see what Jesus did for us, for you and I? But how many of us are obedient to the Lord’s doing nowadays eh? Not as many as there should be. But let me point out the most important part of our hymn above: ‘O dearly, dearly has he LOVED! And we must LOVE him too, and trust in his redeeming blood, and try his works to do.’

Yes precious people of God, that’s all Jesus requires of us in return for His sacrificial death on this day so long ago: LOVE as He LOVED; trust in His redeeming blood; and do the work He wants us to do!

Oh, my fellow believers, it does look simple and sounds good on paper, but from personal experience I know that it’s not easy to do. However, if we are serious about living and working for Christ, we can do it with His help, because we know that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. (Phil. 4:13)

Now let’s turn to our Bit: ‘A new commandment I give unto you, that ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another.’ Yes friends, I purposely stayed away from the story of the cross, because we all know it and rehashing it isn’t going to make much difference at this stage of the game.

What we truly need to know and recognize is why Christ died for us; and the simple answer is that He LOVED us. And His earthly ministry was one of sincere LOVE. Plus the only new thing He told us is that we must LOVE each other as He LOVED us. And that LOVE is just treating each other and ourselves in a decent, pleasant manner, not necessarily going overboard in our attentions.

But unfortunately, in today’s cruel, crazy and godless society, those pleading words of Jesus have fallen on deaf ears. However friends and fellow believers in Jesus, I’m pleading with us, today, as we recognize Jesus’ immense sacrifice on our behalf, let’s learn that the lesson the cross really teaches us, is not one of death, but of LIFE and LOVE.

Jesus died because He LOVED us, and wanted us to have life eternal. Let’s show our appreciation by living the way He wants us to nuh. Much LOVE!

…living for Jesus…means living in LOVE…

P.S. Yes I know we didn’t sing the workingman’s song, or our Friday Chant, but this was a special Friday. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 November 2016 John 15:13.

John 15:13.    Greater LOVE  hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Well friends, it’s Friday, and many of us are singing our Friday jig: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! At last it’s our time to do as we please. No more massa looking over we shoulder to see what we doing. It’s our time to fly, as high as we want to; to touch the sky even. Thank God for Fridays and the weekend!’ 

But as always, that jig is a little too expansive with room for things that ought not to be indulged in. And we have our Friday Chant that offers a much better, healthier and godlier perspective. 

So let’s chant it now nuh. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yes my Christian brethren, that’s a much better way to use the weekend. Behaving like leggo beast, with all sorts of licentiousness and ungodliness isn’t appropriate behaviour for a child of God, a follower of Jesus Christ. So as Jeeves would say, let’s moderate our behaviour with a modicum of circumspection nuh. (smile) 

Now this Friday is a special and somewhat melancholy one in man’s memory, as we celebrate Remembrance Day, in honour of all those brave people who died in the Great Wars, especially the First World War. We remember those who gave their most precious possession, their lives, so that we could have a basic freedom in our lives. 

Now unlike what some think, freedom isn’t just granted, more times than not it has to be fought for. And those brave men and women did just that for us. So it’s essential that we remember them and give many thanks for their Christ-like behaviour, as least one day in every year. 

And in their honour, I’d like to share the world’s most famous War Memorial Poem, ‘In Flanders Fields,’ written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae on the morning of May 3 1915, at the battlefront during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium. 

Please read with me: ‘In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place: and in the sky The larks still bravely singing fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the dead: Short days ago, We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, LOVED and were LOVED: and now we lie In Flanders fields! 

Take up our quarrel with the foe To you, from failing hands, we throw The torch: be yours to hold it high If ye break faith with us who die, We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.’ 

Oh my people, the many wasted lives created by that war eh! Young people died by the thousands. We claimed there’d never be another war like that, yet some thirty years later we’re fighting another World War, and several smaller ones after that. 

Steups! Mankind just seems to like war yes; innately he is a warmonger, rather than a peacemaker. 

And on this Remembrance Day of 2016, I believe that our Bit serves as a most appropriate reminder of all those deaths. Listen to Jesus, as He talks to His disciples about LOVE and friendship. Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ 

And that’s indisputable, irrefutable, gospel truth! Yes my precious people of God, those soldiers laid down their lives for us, so that we could have the opportunities we now have and to continue their efforts to have a free world. They have passed the torch to us. 

It’s just like Jesus laid down His life so that we could have salvation and eternal life and show others the way to Him. 

However, though we seem to appreciate to some extent the loss of lives back in the war, we don’t seem to particularly like or adopt Jesus’ words before our Bit. ‘This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you.’ (John 15:12) 

Now, if friends give up their lives for us, because they LOVED us, in keeping with Jesus’ commandment, we ought to LOVE and cherish those who remain. But unfortunately, in these times of worldwide anger and strife, the true meaning of the word LOVE is still eluding us. 

We tend to talk it a lot, but seldom do the acts required of it. How can we call ourselves true Christians then eh my brethren, when we are not following the commandment of Jesus? 

Now hear how John puts it in his first epistle. ‘Hereby perceive we the LOVE of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good (goods), and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion (heart) from him, how dwelleth the LOVE of God in him?’ (1 John 3:16-17) 

That’s a very good question, friends! And the scholars offer this explanation of those verses. ‘3:16-17. The standard for our LOVE is God’s LOVE in Christ, who died for us. LOVE that observes need, and does not act to minister to it, is NO LOVE at all. Bowels of compassion in modern English would be “heart,” proceeding from our inward core of awareness and action.’ 

Ah mih people, sadly that does not happen in our poverty-stricken and sickly world as much as it ought to. That means we are falling down as Christians. Anyway, let’s close with the words of Bruh Paul while explaining to the Ephesians, the ways of a believer. 

‘Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in LOVE, as Christ also hath LOVED us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour (aroma).’ (Eph.5:1-2) 

I couldn’t have said it any better, so please friends, let’s see if we can’t ramp up, improve the incidence of true LOVE in our lives and our societies nuh. It’s the ONLY thing that will stop our world from the current free-fall that it’s currently in. Much LOVE!

…true LOVE is the motor that should drive our lives…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2016 John 15:12‏‏

John 15:12.    This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you.

Well mih people, it’s another bright and bountiful day in God’s great world! Glory Hallelujah! 

Oh I know that many of us are facing all kinds of persecution and problems and it might not seem like a bright or bountiful day, but the essence of the situation is that we’re alive, and thus have the HOPE and assurance that things can and will change, once we keep on walking steadfastly with Jesus! 

Therefore, let’s all loudly and proudly declare, like the psalmist did: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) 

Yes friends, regardless of what the day holds, let us endeavor to rejoice and be glad in it. Let us not allow the enemy to steal our joy by filling our heads with nonsense. Life might be rough, but remember that our God is good! Glory be! 

And since today is Tuesday, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra or Prayer of the Beloved, right off the top to get us set on firm footing. All together now: ‘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 the world.  Amen.’ 

Yes my people, we are not defined by any of the world’s standards; our true definition is simply, children of God, and thus LOVED by Him. Nothing else really matters. 

All we need to do is trust Jesus, our Friend, Saviour, Lord, Brother, Master, etc. etc. and share His overwhelming LOVE with the world, as He so simply but eloquently declares in our Bit. ‘This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you.’ 

Ah friends, it’s such a simple but profound statement! One which we are not following as strongly and steadfastly as we should, thus we are not getting the results that we ought to get, so that we can further the LOVE Revolution of Jesus. 

Jesus is all about LOVE yuh know! It’s His greatest attribute; an attribute that encompasses everything else, and if we truly have it, we will be in the best place that we can be. 

And today I want to share a passage from my One More Day Devotional for People with Chronic Illness. The quote is from one Jacques Maritain (1882-1973), a French Catholic philosopher of much renown, who was apparently raised a Protestant, then became an agnostic before converting to Catholicism. 

He reputedly said: ‘We don’t LOVE qualities, we LOVE persons…’ 

And that’s how it ought to be. But instead we tend to qualify our LOVE for others by their behaviour, events or other actions and things. That’s not right my brethren. Our God LOVES us just for who we are, not because of anything we do or say. 

And the devotional goes on to say: ‘No matter what happens to us in our lifetime, regardless of whether we are rich or poor, strong or weak, ill or well, we ALWAYS HAVE ROOM FOR LOVE. Unqualified LOVE and caring cost nothing. Despite out financial position, allowing ourselves to LOVE, allowing ourselves to be LOVED strengthens and lends greater value to our lives.’ 

And that my fellow believers in Christ is indisputable truth! When LOVE becomes the most important factor in our lives, we are raised up to another level, a level to which only LOVE can bring us. 

Now listen closely to this next part of the devotional, which corroborates what I’ve said above. ‘In LOVING others and being LOVED, we are reminded that people, not events or even characteristics, are the important elements of our lives. 

We don’t look for perfection in our LOVED ones, and we’re freed of the notion that we must earn another’s LOVE. LOVE balances our lives; it helps us to keep sight of our values and priorities.’ 

And that’s all gospel truth my brethren! The Lord would certainly not LOVE us if He was looking for perfection, because we are not perfect. So why do we try to put others in certain situations or force certain characteristics and traits in them before we LOVE them eh? 

Please, let’s stop doing that and just LOVE others for who or whom they are nuh; creations of God. That’s the only way to truly LOVE! 

And as John so wisely reminds us in his first epistle: ‘For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that ye should LOVE one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew (murdered) his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.’ (1 John 3:11-12) 

Oh friends, ofttimes that’s why we don’t LOVE people; because our deeds or intentions are evil and theirs are not. But hear these poignant and ever so true words from the end of the Valentine’s Day writing in our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. 

‘LOVE knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen.’ 

Glory Hallelujah my people! Yes, LOVE will always be left standing when everything else fails! Let’s truly believe that and work it into all aspects of our lives nuh. 

And we’ll end this series of messages on LOVE with the timely words of John. ‘Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation (atonement) for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4:10-11) 

That’s the wisdom for the ages! Much LOVE!

…I will remember today…that I LOVE people for themselves…not for their potential…the LOVE I receive…is given just as freely…  (From the One More Day Devotional).

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 February 2016 John 15:12‏

John 15:12.   This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you.

And then it was Monday friends; time for laboring again; time to continue the daily grind and common task. And I know that some of you are ‘chuhing’ and ‘steupsing’ and complaining because you have to go to work, but by now we should all realize that it’s a part of life, and the sooner we get accustomed to it and accept it, the better off we will be. End of sermon. 

So to help us all, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with great enthusiasm, in perfect harmony, as our conductor Jesus leads us in song. 

As one voice now: ‘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 my people, that was only a mediocre rendition! Jesus wasn’t really displeased, but He certainly expected more from us. 

Anyway, having boosted our spirits, let’s go out this first Monday in Lent and do our bounden duty nuh as specified by our Bit. ‘This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you.’ 

Yes my brethren, it’s all about LOVE! If we live in LOVE, then all will be well! 

Listen to what the Good Book says on the subject. ‘Charity (LOVE) suffereth long, and is kind; charity (LOVE) envieth not; charity (LOVE) vaunteth not itself (doesn’t boast), is not puffed up (arrogant), Does not behave itself unseemly (rudely), seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil (keeps no account of evil); 

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity (LOVE) never faileth….’ (1 Cor.13:4-8a) 

Oh my fellow believers, I must admit that according to Bruh Paul’s words, real LOVE is indeed a hard row to hoe, but hoe it we must, as true followers of Christ. Christ did it for us, and we are expected to do it for each other, as our Bit directs. 

Now something here amazes me; yesterday we celebrated Valentine’s Day, a day supposedly of LOVE, now why can’t we just continue that attitude eh? Why do we have to revert to our less than LOVING selves eh? 

It certainly defies my understanding…unless what we show on Valentine’s Day is not real LOVE, just an outward show of gifts per the world, who treats it like just another big shopping day, a day to make money, to boost the economy. 

Oh I’m not that naïve to believe that we all share true LOVE on days like those, but even then why stop the generous giving afterwards? 

As Bruh Paul encourages us in Romans 12, when speaking about the service of LOVE to all. ‘Let LOVE be without dissimulation (hypocrisy). Abhor that which is evil; cleave (cling) to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned (affectionate) one to another with brotherly LOVE; in honour preferring (giving preference to) one another.’ (Rom.12:9-10) 

And as the scholars tell us: ‘12:9. Without dissimulation (lit. “without hypocrisy”). The Christian’s conduct in the local church toward fellow believers is to be a volitional caring for others, LOVING faithfully in spite of the response received. The LOVE is to be genuine and unfeigned.’ 

I certainly can’t argue with that friends! And as John tells us in his first epistle: ‘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?’ (1 John 4:20) 

Now friends, that is the million-dollar question. We all claim to LOVE God, whom we’ve never seen, but yet hate our brethren, whom we have seen. It just doesn’t sound logical, but it’s a problem that we will all have to deal with, individually and as the church of Christ, as soon as possible, if we want to remain right with God. 

Now enough preaching for the day, (smile) you all will do whatever you want anyway. On a practical note, the duchess and I went to the Goat races yesterday in Buccoo. Yes you read right, ‘goat races!’ 

Usually it’s only held during the Easter weekend, but what with a new, good-looking facility, just built for goat racing, they need to have them more often, both to encourage the locals and to provide entertainment for the visitors. 

And believe you me, it’s organized just as a horse race; an approximately hundred yard running lane, with starting gates and jockeys, who don’t ride, but run behind the goats to guide them. 

The goats are equipped with numbers, the jockeys with whips, and they are divided into classes, with owners and trainers, and a commentator on the race, and no doubt betting on the sly. The only thing they lack is a camera at the finish line. Only in sweet Tobago! 

After watching about four races, we came home and rested, then later in the evening I took the duchess out for dinner to an exquisite, expensive restaurant she had been wanting to go to all along. I must say though that the food was good and the service excellent, so it was not a waste of time or money. 

And above all it kept the duchess happy. For remember, a happy wife, usually leads to a happy life. (smile) And on that note of wisdom, we’ll end for today. 

So friends, let’s try and boost the LOVE quotient in our lives nuh, for it is indeed the desire of Jesus, and the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…only genuine and consistent LOVE on our part…will boost Jesus’ LOVE Revolution…and eventually bring it to fruition…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 February 2016 John 15:12

John 15:12.   This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you.

HAPPY  VALENTINE’S  DAY !

Well friends and neighbours, a Happy Valentine’s Day to all! 

Let me start by apologizing for the Bit being this late, but after I came from church this morning, I had breakfast, some good tasting bake and saltfish that I bought at church, then feeling tired because I didn’t sleep too well last night and was still up early, I decided to have nap, which seems to have turned into more than just a nap. Hn, hn!  Anyway, that’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it. (smile) 

Now, a few days ago, while playing a CD in the car this tune suddenly came up, and I remembered sharing it sometime aback, then got this zeppo – yuh know how I get my zeppos (smile) – that it was time to share the song again because it was still relevant, possibly even more so, to the troubling times that we are currently going through. 

The song I’m talking about is one called ‘Streets of Fire,’ sung by Dobie Grey, a Black American R&B singer off the album ‘The Very Best of Dobie Grey.’ Some of you might remember him with hits like ‘Drift Away’ and ‘The In Crowd’ way back in the late 70’s and early 80’s. 

When I first shared the song, it must have been about twenty years old at least, and I just discovered that I shared it way back in October of 2008, so that adds another 7 years to the age. 

But brothers and sisters in Christ, it is still a powerful song and one that is ever so appropriate on this Valentine’s Day of 2016, when the word, and hopefully the actions we’re sharing are based on LOVE! 

Now listen to these momentous and heart-stopping words, and let them resonate with us as we hear them. 

‘Have you heard the song of silence, filling up the night? Have you watched the flames of anger burn? Something isn’t right. But you and I can stop the madness. Doesn’t matter who’s to blame. No. Together we can change, Streets of fire, to peaceful roads. Cease all the violence, let the healing waters flow. The veil of hatred can be lifted from our eyes, when the mighty gates of LOVE open wide. 

Well in the heartless feud and violence, oh the many stand to lose. We can rise above indifference, or all stand accused. Faith can move mountains, but the faithful must be strong, along the way, as we journey on, Streets of fire, to peaceful roads. Cease all the violence, let the healing waters flow. The veil of hatred, can be lifted from our eyes, when the mighty gates of LOVE open wide. 

There will always be someone, who just won’t agree. But your LOVE and my LOVE, can take us down, these Streets of fire, to peaceful roads. Why can’t we cease all the violence, and let the healing waters flow? The veil of hatred can be lifted from our eyes, O when the mighty gates of LOVE open wide…when the mighty gates of LOVE open wide. Streets of fire…to peaceful roads…Streets of fire…to peaceful roads.’ 

Yes Friends, it’s disconcerting that words written so long ago, are still so applicable and relevant today. Nothing much has changed. We’re still fighting each other, for no good reason; The veil of hatred hasn’t been lifted, we only talk peace, but never do much about bringing it to pass. 

The world is possibly more strife filled and warlike than it’s ever been, but today my fellow believers, we have the golden opportunity, through OUR LOVE, to lift that veil, to rise above all the indifference, because if we don’t, we’re all going to lose. 

We need to stop the madness, all the senseless violence, regardless of who’s right or wrong, and open those mighty gates of LOVE, so that our descendants can walk peaceful roads instead of streets of fire. 

And as the song so poignantly declares: ‘Faith can move mountains, but the faithful must be strong, along the way, as we journey on.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren! It’s one of our biggest problems in these trying times; the faithful are not standing up strong and steadfast as we ought to. 

That brings us to our Bit for today; more poignant and heart stopping words, this time from Jesus, our own very Lord and Saviour, as He prepares the disciples to continue His earthly ministry. ‘This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you.’ 

How much simpler and straightforward can it get eh my people? Not much. But strangely enough, we tend to look askance at simple things and consider them unimportant, just because they are so simple. But our Lord and Saviour was a simple man, giving simple advice and as His followers it is our duty to follow it. 

Unfortunately though, we are not doing it as well as we should. Where is there more strife and turmoil than in Christ’s church eh, with all the different religions and denominations, all claiming to be the right one, etc. etc? 

And truthfully friends, I don’t know how to get us to show more LOVE to each other than by reiterating the words of Jesus Christ. ‘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) 

So tell me my supposed brothers and sisters in Christ, is the world seeing and knowing that we are disciples of Christ? Only to a rather small extent, because we are not showing that high degree of LOVE to each other that we are supposed to show. And you can’t really blame the world for not wanting to come to Jesus after they see how we behave and treat each other. 

Ah friends, sometimes it seems like we’re fighting a losing battle, but the good news is that Christ has already overcome the world. However, we still have to do our part in the partnership; live and talk like we are truly Jesus’ disciples, otherwise His great sacrifice would have all been in vain. 

So my people, on this first Sunday in Lent, when Jesus went to the wilderness to fast, to prepare Himself for ministry, which also happens to be Valentine’s Day, when the world celebrates a form of LOVE, I implore us to sincerely get with the programme; that of truly living in LOVE, the way Jesus desires us to, not the way we think we should. I can’t say more than that. Much LOVE!

…it’s definitely time to let the healing waters flow…on the numerous problems that are dragging down our world…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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