Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 February 2020 John 15:13.

John 15:13.   ​Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
 
Sunday morning…time for church! Don’t let the inclement weather we have going in the G.T.A, or for that matter, good weather wherever you are, keep you away from darkening the doors of the Lord’s sanctuary this morning. (smile) Yes, good weather ofttimes can deceive us into not going to worship with our fellow believers, makes us feel we’d be better off doing something supposedly more enjoyable. 

But pray tell me people, what can be more enjoyable than meeting with a number of people who share our beliefs, who encourage us, then join with us to sing, praise, and dance before the Lord our God, to hear His magnificent and uplifting Word, and consequently leave His sanctuary refreshed, renewed, and full of the joy, peace and confidence that only He can give! Nothing friends…Nothing! So let’s get the show on the road nuh, beginning as usual with the singing and praising and dancing. 

And today’s song of praise is a fairly new Christian song that’s become quite popular over the years. It’s aptly titled: ‘In Christ Alone.’ The website Godtube tells us that the song was written in 2002, by Christian  songwriters Stuart Townend and Keith Getty. According to Townend “The song came about in an unusual way. Keith and I met in the autumn of 2000 at a worship event, and we resolved to try to work together on some songs. 

A few weeks later Keith sent some melody ideas, and the first one on the CD was a magnificent, haunting melody that I LOVED, and immediately started writing down some lyrical ideas on what I felt should be a timeless theme commensurate with the melody. So the theme of the life, death, resurrection of Christ, and the implications of that for us just began to tumble out, and when we got together later on to fine tune it, we felt we had encapsulated what we wanted to say.” 

And did they ever encapsulate a whole lot of stuff about Jesus! So let’s sing it now like we really mean it nuh, letting heaven know that we’re truly grateful for our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Let our voices convey the sacrificial praise our hearts feel, in sweet, soulful harmony. 

‘In Christ alone my hope is found; He is my light, my strength, my song; This cornerstone, this solid ground, Firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of LOVE, what depths of peace, When fears are stilled, when strivings cease! My comforter, my all in all— Here in the LOVE of Christ I stand. In Christ alone, Who took on flesh, Fullness of God in helpless babe! This gift of LOVE and righteousness, Scorned by the ones He came to save. Till on that cross as Jesus died, The wrath of God was satisfied; For ev’ry sin on Him was laid— 

Here in the death of Christ I live. There in the ground His body lay, Light of the world by darkness slain; Then bursting forth in glorious day, Up from the grave He rose again! And as He stands in victory, Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me; For I am His and He is mine— Bought with the precious blood of Christ. No guilt in life, no fear in death— This is the pow’r of Christ in me; From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny. No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man, Can ever pluck me from His hand; Till He returns or calls me home— Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand…Till He returns or calls me home— Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand… Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand….’ 

And that’s for certain sure friends! In the amazing and awesome power of Christ we must ALL stand, because there has never been, and will never be another as magnificent and magnanimous as Him! As I keep saying He is indeed our EVERYTHING! Our hope, our light, our strength, our song, the cornerstone on which our faith is built, the ONE  who walks beside and guides us through the worst times of drought and storm… 

And don’t talk about LOVE…His is the greatest. As He said so simply and sincerely: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man that this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.’  (John 15:13-14) And then He went out and laid down His sinless life, sacrificed it ever so selflessly for us, with the expectancy and anticipation that we would be His friends and do what He commanded us. Yes my fellow believers (steups!), Jesus didn’t just talk the talk, He walked the walk…on our behalf. He died that we could be alive and be reconciled to the Father; took our sins and gave us His righteousness…and so much more. 

That’s why when Bruh Paul talks to us about the ways of the believer (steups!), we ought to listen and obey. ‘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 as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor (aroma).’ (Eph. 5:1-2) That’s exactly what He did my people, and as followers of His, He expects us to be obedient to His commands, do our best to adopt His character traits, because you know the Father’s ultimate plan is to have us all become like His Only Son…well as close as our human flesh and nature will allow. (smile) 

And we don’t even have time and space to touch on all the topics the songwriters touch on in our song. So we’ll just look at these last two; peace and comfort. Oh my my, Jesus is the Master of Peace: the peace that passes all human understanding! Here Him to the disciples nuh: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

And Bruh Paul describes Him thus: ‘For he (himself) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition (division) between us;’ (Eph.2:14) No doubt about that! He mashed up the old order and destroyed the enmity between Jews and Gentiles and made them to exist in One body, His church. 

And when yuh talking about comfort friends, there’s no better place to find it than in Jesus! Here these extraordinary words from His Great Invitation. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest…For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28, 30) No one else can make that promise and keep it! That’s why I keep saying that Jesus is the ANSWER, for He has everything that you will ever need, both for this life and the hereafter! Please be wise and lean confidently, faithfully and reassuringly on Him! He won’t let you down! Much LOVE!

…The Prince of Peace…of Comfort…and of LOVE…Jesus Christ…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 October 2017 John 15:13.

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

Oh friends, what a sick, crazy, evil and ungodly world we’ve become eh! Everyday is some new disaster, either man-made or natural! 

And the latest is the killing of some 59 persons in the glitzy tourist town of Las Vegas, and the injuring of hundreds more participating in a country music festival across from the Mandalay Bay Hotel on the Vegas Strip. 

The killer, a supposed quiet, retired, ex-accountant apparently had numerous weapons in his room on the 32nd floor of the hotel and just began firing indiscriminately through the window at the crowd. Obviously the crowd of over 20 thousand stampeded, which only made matters worse. 

And the sad part of the matter is that Isis, the Islamic State terrorists, boldly claimed responsibility for the attack, although no association or any other grounds for the claim could be justified. That just goes to show how sick our society really is, when we claim other people’s destructive behaviour as ours, without a shred of evidence. 

But enough of the bad news, here is some good news; good news about a wonderful friend we have, His name is Jesus. This comes from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. We’ve prayed it before, but we need to be reminded of it again, especially in these rough and anxious times. 

It’s titled ‘What a Friend!’ Please pray with me. ‘You have never failed, Lord, to be my one, essential, intimate friend. When I was: Lonely in striving – you encouraged me. Lonely in struggling – you lifted me. Lonely in serving – you supported me. Lonely in suffering – you comforted me. Lonely in sinning – you forgave me. Lonely in sinking – you renewed me. Lonely in succeeding – you rejoiced with me. What a friend I have in Jesus! Thank you, Lord. Amen.’  

And those words are ever so true my fellow believers! There is no greater and more faithful friend in this world that our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Wow! What a majestic and mighty individual He is! He died for us, paid our sin debt in full, when He didn’t have to. That alone makes Him the greatest friend ever! 

And as he philosophized in our Bit: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ Then my brethren, He went out and proved it, enduring some of the worse ‘sufferation’ known to man, all on our behalf. So how can He not be our greatest and best friend eh? 

However, there is a proviso, as He stated after our Bit. ‘Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.’ (John 15:14) Yeh mih people, if we don’t do what Jesus desires, if we’re not obedient to His will, then we’re no friends of His. To be His friend, means to do what He requires of us. As simple as that. 

And hear this verse following those other two. ‘Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.’ (John 15:15) 

And right there you have a couple of the main definitions of the word friend; sharing and trusting. Jesus so trusted His disciples, that He shared all the information that His Father had told Him. Consequently, He’s also sharing that info with us today, my fellow believers. 

He’s telling us all about the life God has planned for each and every one of us through His death, resurrection and ascension.  Right now he’s sitting at the Father’s right hand, advocating, pleading our cases to Him. How much more friendship can we need or deserve eh? 

But Jesus is so wonderful, that He doles out even more, through His Great Invitation. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek (gentle) and lowly (humble) in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Ah mih people, what a glorious invitation! That from a sinless man who died so that we could live eternally, then sits in heaven pleading for us. Hn! We’d be rather foolish not to accept His friendship and His invitation to join Him in the magnificent and joyful halls of heaven! 

And to round it off in fine style, let’s end by declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are – believers in, and friends of Jesus. 

With much gusto and sincerity 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!’ 

Now let’s go out and tell the good news story of Jesus and share His LOVE with the world, as He desires of us. Much LOVE!

…oh how wonderful it is…to have Jesus as our best friend…there’s none more faithful…trustworthy…kind and LOVING than Him…

P.S. Please pray for the ole fella this morning as he goes into the city to do a heart biopsy procedure. It’s a fairly safe and common procedure, but a li’l prayer never hurts and oftimes helps. (smile) Much LOVE!