Today’s Scrip-Bit   6 February 2023 Psalm 133:1.

Psalm 133:1. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.

Aw shucks friends, it’s Monday again! But you know what: ‘Today I will celebrate Monday. I will embrace the potentiality of the new week!’ Glory to God! By Jove, that’s how we ought to do it! And that bit of wisdom comes from a cutting of the comic strip ‘Between Friends’ that I recently found in my old Bible. No doubt I’ve shared it before, but it’s never too old for a rerun. But here’s the clincher, the last panel spoils it all by grumpily saying: ‘tinged by the aftershocks of the old week.’ 

And sadly that’s how many of us behave; desiring to be strong in the new week, but allowing the negatives of the past week to intrude on our good intentions. But please, let’s remember that good intentions are just that, they don’t pay the bills or cook the food. It’s only when we hook actions to those good intentions that things truly begin happening. Therefore, I’m asking us this week to secure positive actions to our good intentions, so that we can make it a great week for our Lord and Saviour Jesus, because that’s to whom all our efforts ought to be directed.  

And here’s why we must consider Jesus in all our endeavours and actions. Just before telling Peter about His upcoming denial, where Peter would deny Him thrice, before the cock crowed twice, Jesus informs His twelve main 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.’ (John 13:34-35) 

Yes friends, showing LOVE; that’s compassion, kindness, mercy and forgiveness to each other is a mighty good way for people to know that we are sincere followers of Christ Jesus. Too often though, the way we treat fellow believers doesn’t show that distinction at all. I don’t know what it will take for us to truly believe that regardless of our race, class, colour or creed, that once we hold up Jesus as Lord and Saviour, then we’re all in the same boat and we should not allow petty differences to cause us to give Christ a bad name, like the uncalled for strife and unwise disunity amongst us are currently doing. 

When you are in the same boat on a rough and tumultuous sea, any unwise behaviour will mean the ruin of all. And yuh better believe that our world right now is indeed a rough and tumultuous sea; a raging storm like we’ve probably never seen before. Consequently, if we want to ride out this raging storm and come out as the chief survivors, then unity of Jesus’ people is absolutely essential. Because we all know the enemy’s favourite tactic is to divide and conquer. 

But we have to conquer that divisive action with a strong and steadfast togetherness in Christ, despite our differences. It’s as Bruh David acknowledges in Psalm 133: ‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.’ (Ps. 133:1) And that’s the glorious truth my people! It’s one of the greatest blessings we can ever have! There’s nothing as wonderful and precious in this world as unity; people dwelling together in good faith and being kind and forgiving to each other! 

Here’s how Bruh David describes it nuh. ‘It is like the precious ointment (oil) upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts (edge) of his garments; As the dew of Hermon (Mt. Zion), and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing; even life for ever more.’ (Ps. 133:2-3) That’ how it is when people dwell in unity; God blesses them!  Remember Abraham’s wise plea to his nephew Lot when disunity disrupted their lives. ‘And Abraham said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.’ (Gen. 13:8) 

Yes my fellow believers it couldn’t be said any simpler or clearer! And let’s not forget what Bruh Paul said in his first letter to the Corinthians, re the body or church of Christ. ‘For as the body is one, and hath many members (parts) and all the members of that one body, being many are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond (slave) or free and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.’ (1 Cor. 12:12-14) 

And that’s the indisputable truth! We are indeed all a part of one body, that’s Christ church, but like our human body, the church has many members, and also like the human body, if it doesn’t work together in harmony, the whole body falls into disrepute and disrepair. That’s it in a nutshell. All aspects and parts of the church of Christ must work together in unity if it wants to stay alive and of good enough account to make a significant difference in our divided and upended world. 

Now, let’s take the bull by the horns and go to God, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn asking for His help to come together in unity and uplift Christ’s church. As one voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems.  

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

It’s obvious now that our next move is to pray and turn from our evil ways, if we want to see positive help from heaven. Much LOVE!

… let brotherly LOVE continue…for Christ is LOVE…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   12 May 2022 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. 

Come on friends, let’s see some Christ-like smiles on those faces on this beautiful spring Thursday nuh! Christ is LOVE, the Good Book says so (1 John 4:8) and the first appearance of LOVE from us should be a smile! Yes, my brethren our Christian faith walk all begins with a smile, for when we realize all the marvellous and miraculous benefits we have in and from Jesus, and they all start to flow out of us, there must be a smile of joy accompanying them, otherwise, how are people going to know that we are happy in Jesus eh? 

So, if there is true joy in our souls, then it will show on our faces through a smile. And it’s sad, pathetic really, the number of sour faced, miserable, unhappy looking supposed Christians walking about the planet! Some of them falsely believing that they are pilgrims and pilgrims suffer, so they need to look like what the cat dragged in. 

But that’s not true friends. For even if you are a supposed pilgrim and life’s rough, with all the wonderful stuff that Jesus has given us and placed in our hearts and souls, the joy, which is the strength of the Lord and the fruit of His Holy Spirit that’s been planted in us and growing beautifully like the new spring grass, must manifest itself in our behaviour, starting with a big smile and a heavenly look on our faces. 

Remember what Jesus said about the stuff that comes out of a man? ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt. 15:11) And that’s how it ought to be with believers, the good stuff of Jesus coming out of our mouths and lighting up our faces with His joy. ‘As the song says: ‘Oh happy day, oh happy day, when Jesus, when Jesus washed, when my Jesus washed all my sins away!’ 

Now, that day and that action ought to be always percolating in our souls and spirits, and cause us to live rejoicing every day. And rejoicing means letting the joy in our soul and spirit being made manifest on the outside, beginning with a glow on our faces and Christ-like actions reaching out to those with whom we come into contact. That brings us to these fateful and very crucial words of Jesus to His disciples, when he said unto them. ‘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 for another.’ (John 13:34-35) 

Yes, my fellow believers, the world will only recognize us as true disciples of Jesus if we show the LOVE He showed to us, toward each other. And sadly, that’s not happening as much as it should because many of us supposed Christians don’t even talk to one another because we are of a different religion or denomination, we have a different doctrine or some such nonsense. But the only doctrine in Jesus’ book is LOVE, and LOVE is an action-based reality, you can’t just talk it, but must show it, like Jesus said back there, if we want to be His true disciples. 

And He said it to them again later on. ‘This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you.’ (John 15:12) And I like how John sets it all out in his first epistle, when he talks about tests of true knowledge. ‘And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandment is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the LOVE of God perfected: hereby know we that are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought also to walk, even as he walked.’ (1 John 2:3-6) 

Oh my fellow saints, those words are ever so important in our walk of faith because they testify of our genuine knowledge of God, of true discipleship, which can only be accomplished by obedience to Christ’s commandments. It must be a conscious and enduring effort, for the true ‘test of knowing God’s LOVE is keeping His Word.’ And the scholars explain verse 6 thus. They say: ‘Even as he walked refers to Jesus’ earthly days. While no one can or need duplicate Jesus’ atoning ministry, His disciples are called on to imitate His devotion to God and compassion for others. See John 13:15; 1 Pet. 2:21.’ 

And just to refresh our memories, (smile) let’s look at those two scriptures. In John 13:15, Jesus says to the disciples after washing their feet. ‘For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.’ Then Peter corroborates that statement when he writes. ‘For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow in his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile (deceit) found in his mouth: Who when he was reviled, reviled not again (in return); when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.’ (1 Pet. 2:21-23) 

Oh my people, are we doing those kinds of things like Jesus did, or at least attempting to live that way? Hopefully, our answer to that will be a decisive YES! And if it’s not, then we are not living for Christ and are not His true disciples and need to change our lifestyles if we truly want to be made over in His image. And the great thing about Jesus is that when we truly desire and try to live for Him, He showers us with numerous blessings to help us do just that. We call them our Thursday Blessings, and when we declare them out loud, they serve to refuel and renew our hearts and souls, so that we can go out and do His work with new enthusiasm and LOVE. 

So, let’s declare them right now nuh, in loud and confident voice. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

Now it’s up to us to go out and generously use those blessings to serve others, just as generously as Christ shares them with us. Much LOVE!

…talk is cheap…but LOVE…that’s action…calls for sacrifice…  

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