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 7 November 2015 1 John 4:18

1 John 4:18.   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!

Well my brethren, our little summer fling is over! Chuh! And I was just beginning to enjoy it; going out the street in shirtsleeves, sitting out on my porch in the early morning hours, quietly communing with my heavenly Father and releasing all the day’s anxieties and stress. 

Yes, Friends, this past week where we experienced temps in the mid to high teens all week was certainly a wonderful blessing. Glory to God! But it’s all over now, we’re reverting back to normal temps like ten and lower. Anyway, as long as that cold, white stuff is not flying around, I am happy.

 Once it starts making a mess on the roads, then I get miserable. I don’t even mind if it’s packed up on the banks and shoulders of the road, but not on the road itself which makes driving even more treacherous than it already is, with so many cars and bad drivers out there nowadays. Sometimes it can be really fearful to drive on the dry roads, much less the snow filled ones. 

However, since you all are such wonderful patrons, and I’m in such a generous frame of mind, (smile) I will offer two of our Friend Anselm’s quotes from this past week, which speak rather appropriately to our topic. 

The first one says: ‘If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.’ And that’s very true. The only way to conquer fear is to rise up over it; to do the thing(s) of which you are afraid, with God’s faith and trust in your heart, standing on His promise that He won’t let us go through more than we can handle. 

And the second quote declares that ‘Most of us have far more courage than we ever dreamed we possessed.’ And that’s no lie either my people! I am sure all of us have come upon situations at some stage of our lives where we thought we did not have the wherewithal to handle them, but once we decided to step out in faith, we realized that we actually had the parts to deal with the situations. 

Sometimes we need God to pour down some extra courage on us, but at other times we discover that what we already have is quite sufficient. And once we consider the assuring words Bruh Paul spoke to young Timothy, our fears should subside. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.7) 

So technically speaking, we’re not suppose be afraid of anything. But we all know that is easier said than done. And I like how Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) puts it: just do it afraid. (smile) But she does have a point, we can’t allow fear to ruin our lives. And the only way to conquer fear is rearing up over it with faith! 

And our Bit today hits the nail right on the head of the subject. ‘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!’ What a powerful verse of scripture my fellow believers! 

Now here is how the scholars explain that verse. ‘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 flippant and casual.’ 

Of course not! Our attitude towards our heavenly Father should be one of reverence, respect, awe and joy that we have such a wonderful God! 

Now, since I know that very few of us will bother to check the scriptures noted in the scholars explanations, I will quote a few of them for our benefit. Aren’t I nice? (smile) We will begin with Acts 13:26, where Paul and Barnabas are talking to the people of Antioch. 

Bruh Paul says to them: ‘Men and brethren, children (sons) of the stock (family) of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.’ (Acts 13:26) 

And in 2 Corinthians, Bruh Paul opens Chapter 7 thus: ‘Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.’ (2 Cor.7:1) 

And to the Ephesians, Bruh Paul writes: ‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:20-21) 

Oh Friends, you see it’s all about the reverential awe of God, about putting Him first in our lives, not being afraid to talk to Him. We have that right to confidently approach Him on the basis of Jesus’ work at the cross. That work reconciled us to Him, and we are once more His beloved children. So there is absolutely nothing to fear if we are children of the Most High God! 

As John states after our Bit: ‘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.’ (1John 4:19-21) 

There we have it Friends; a sermon… sorry, (smile) a teaching on fear, LOVE and reverence. Please, let’s carve it into the depths of our souls, so that we can always have it for our timely reference. That’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…the only antidote for fear…is faith…backed by the unconditional LOVE of Almighty God…

 

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