Today’s Scrip-Bit   13 November 2021 John 15:13.

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

So, finally it’s Saturday, and no more work for two, whole, big days! Glory be! But we can’t laze on the couch too much either because there’s housework to be done; stuff that we did not get done during the workweek. So, as they say, there’s just no rest for the wicked! But that’s okay, we can handle anything we have to with the amazing help of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who enables us to do all things. And it’s that enablement I’m counting on right now, (smile) as I try to make some sense of the quotes we got this past week from our friend Anselm, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Now, the first quote says; ‘To bring anything into your life, imagine that it’s already there.’ And we know that’s one of the tenets of our Christian faith: you have to believe or imagine it before you see it. That’s what the Good Book tells us in that famous verse on faith, in Hebrews. ‘Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb. 11:1) Yes friends, faith has us waiting with eager expectations for stuff that we’ve imagined or prayed for. The only problem here is that it ought to be in God’s will, or His plan for our lives. And if it is, then we know we will receive it, in His timing, that’s why we can wait eagerly for it. 

The timing scene can ofttimes be a problem though, because waiting is not in our current playbook, we want everything now for now, and the Lord seems to wait until the very last moment. But He’s never late, although we might feel so. That’s the good things about it. That’s why we need to take these two verses from Psalm 27 to heart, where Bruh David adamantly declares: ‘I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.’ (Ps. 27:13-14) 

Oh my people, if we can plant those two verses in our hearts, then we have won most of the battle! Believe that God will be good to us down here on earth, since Christ said that He came so we could have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) And since you believe that, then you simply wait expectantly for the goodness of the Lord to show. It’s like when you’ve ordered something online that you greatly desire, and you know it’s going to come, but you’re just not sure when, but you still eagerly wait for it. The same way we must eagerly wait for God’s goodness, because it will come eventually. 

Wow! Like I got carried away there. But getting carried away with the Lord’s business is quite okay! (smile) That brings us to the next quote, which is almost the same as the first. ‘Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.’ Yes, we do need to follow our dreams as much as possible, that is if they coincide with God’s plan for us, for if they don’t our dreams will certainly get sidetracked. 

And I can give personal testimony to that since I never in my wildest dreams thought about writing scriptural stuff. Writing was one of my dreams yes, but not on the Lord’s Word. But He obviously had other ideas. So, here I am living my dream of writing, but not what I had intended to write, (smile) because it did not fall completely in line with God’s plans for my writing life. But nevertheless, I’m happy and contented, and still do some of the other writing on the side, so I can’t complain. 

And the next quote tells us: ‘A friend is one who overlooks your broken fence and admires the flowers in your garden.’ And is that ever the gospel truth! True friends are few and far between, and if you ever are blessed enough to get even one true one, then shout ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ and hold on to them for dear life! There are so many scriptures on the subject of real, good and true friends, that we need to consider some of them. And most of them obviously come from the wisest man ever, that’s Cousin Sol. 

Oh, before we go further, one other thing we need to admit and realize here that the flip side of most of these scriptures are also true; that is, we should not only be looking for a true friend, but also be working on being a true friend ourselves. Now listen to Cousin Sol from Proverbs. He writes: ‘A friend LOVETH at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.’ (Prov. 17:17) That means ‘a true friend has unquenchable LOVE that is not diminished by adversity.’ And hear this one: ‘A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.’ (Prov. 18:24) 

Now what does that all mean? The scholars tell us: ‘18:24. A man that hath friends must show himself friendly may also be translated, “A man of many friends comes to ruin.” In other words, a man must not spread himself too thin among many superficial relationships. Far better is it to have genuine friends who become like family and LOVE at all times (17:17).’ Truer words were never spoken. 

Then there’s this most timely warning: ‘Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways and get a snare to thy soul.’ (Prov. 22:24-25) Ah mih people, that simply means, ‘Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.’ And that’s the living truth, since the traits of those we associate with can easily be transferred to us. 

And this one proves what we just said. ‘He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.’ (Prov. 13:20) And the scholars explain that thus. ‘Wisdom as well as folly can be transferred by association.’ And if you haven’t found out that bit of wisdom already, please don’t try to prove it, unless it’s to walk with the wise. (smile) Oh friends, there’s good reason why Cousin Sol is described as the wisest man ever, although he didn’t live it out in his own life. But that’s the same with all of us; we give good advice but never take the same advice for ourselves. 

Now hear this magnificent word on friendship. ‘Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.’ (Prov. 27:17) And the scholars explain. ‘27:17. As the proper tool shapes and sharpens iron for its desired use, so a man sharpens his friend morally and intellectually by their personal relationship.’ 

And listen to this last one from Cousin Sol, written as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes. ‘Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow (companion): but woe to him that is alone when he falleth, for he hath not another to help him up.’ (Eccl. 4:9-10) More awesome truth friends! If you don’t have anyone beside you and you fall, then crapaud smoke yuh pipe. No wonder, the Lord, after He made Adam, said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him (a helper comparable to him).’ (Gen. 2:18) And that’s how Eve came about. 

But the greatest word ever on true friendship obviously comes from the greatest One who ever lived; our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Hear him declare to the disciples, and consequently to us: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ (John 15:13) Then He called them friends, and laid down His life for them, for all of those who would believe in Him. That’s what true friendship is all about my fellow saints! 

And the last quote simply says: ‘Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.’ And we do that by befriending someone in some form or fashion, lifting them up, being a light in their darkness, the way the Lord put a rainbow in the sky to assure Noah that He would not destroy the world by water again, (Gen. 9:8-17) and the way Jesus died to bring light to our darkened souls. Much LOVE!

…friendship…God’s eternal design between man and man…and between man and God…                                                                                                                          

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8      

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 February 2021 Matthew 5:12.

Matthew 5:12.     ​Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Oh friends, this lazy, hazy, bleak looking Saturday morning in the winter of 2021 has begun a tad rough on the ole fella. (smile) Ah the pleasures of a late night…but the travesty of an early morning. But as the ole people would say, when you do not listen you will feel, and believe me, I am feeling now. (smile) But that’s neither here nor there, God’s work needs to be done, and I know that He will give me the strength and wisdom to do it in a good and sound manner. Why? Because He has faithfully promised: ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ (2 Cor. 12:9a) 

Yes friends, that’s what the Lord told Bruh Paul after he had complained for the third time about a nagging and uncomfortable body problem. And that’s the promise He makes to all of us who are weak and pained; in our pain and weakness His strength and glory are shown forth. Please remember that in those times when you feel weak and in pain; the Lord’s grace will show out in you if you turn to Him in all sincerity. Enough preaching now though. And I know you’re thankful for that. (smile) 

Let’s see what our friend Anselm had to say in his quotes this past week. And the first one, makes this dramatic statement. ‘Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.’ Now that statement does have a lot of truth in it, but whether it’s the greatest enemy of truth, I don’t know. And we do have an exceptionally good recent example of it; the crowds of Americans who listened to the lying and deceitful rhetoric of Donald Trump and the other high up, powerful but oh so deceitful crooks around him, and blindly believed in the lies and deceits they so blatantly spouted. That is what has caused the wide, unamicable split, the hateful and resentful division we now have in the U.S. of A. 

So blind belief in authority does carry serious negative problems to overall truth. And the second quote proudly proclaims: ‘Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.’ And you really can’t find any problems with that statement nuh my people, for it’s totally true. All those characteristics are choices that one must make if you want to embrace them. 

And furthermore, they are all characteristics that the believer in Jesus Christ ought to espouse, because they are all a part of his philosophy, a part of His wonderful gospel! That means choices are an invaluable part of our life, we can’t get away from them, but the essence of the whole thing is that we must be sure to choose wisely, for unwise decisions usually cause, or bring dire consequences, even life-changing, lifetime ones. And having said that, I would be amiss not to tell us that the best choice we can ever make in this life is to believe in Jesus Christ, make him our Lord and Saviour and follow him from now until eternity! 

And interestingly enough, that last quote segues nicely into this next one. ‘When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth my fellow saints in Christ! Although we know that when the Lord closes one door He usually opens another, we get so caught up in what we might have lost, that we fail to realize and recognize the better things that the Lord is offering in the new situation. 

I guess that’s just a normal human reflex action. We miss the good things we lose, more than we look forward to the better things that are ahead. But let’s not beat up ourselves over that fact nuh because mourning and grief over the lost all takes time. But we do have to make sure that we don’t make that sad time too long since it would just break us up even further. Remember the Lord doesn’t close doors on us, unless he has better ones to open. And when those doors close in future, let’s contemplate the promise He made to His people, Israel, through the prophet Isaiah so long ago; ‘to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.’ (Is: 61:3) 

But as sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say, ‘You can’t get the beauty until you give up the ashes.’ And that’s oh so true. We have to turn away from the closed door, though it may be sad and hard, else we’ll never see the newly opened one. It’s all a matter of maturity, of growing in God’s Spirit, of being lifted up from glory to glory! 

And the last quote trumpets this eternal truth: ‘Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.’ And yes, that’s an indisputable fact! If mankind would only change its evil, wicked, inhumane and unjust ways, this world would be such a wonderful place! But I guess that’s never going to happen, at least until Jesus sets up His kingdom here on earth. 

In the meanwhile though, He expects his faithful and sincere followers to exhibit those magnificent tendencies of truth, compassion, honesty and justice, and to stand up forcefully against the powers of greed, inhumanity, injustice and all the other negative things that make life so difficult for so much of mankind. And I believe the best way to close today is with some memorable words of Jesus taken from His Sermon on the Mount., the opening of His earthly ministry. 

And it’s worthwhile to note that He began with the Beatitudes, statements that the scholars explain ‘deal with the inner state of mind and heart that is the indispensable absolute truth of true Christian discipleship. It delineates the outward manifestations of character and conduct of true believers and genuine disciples… It’s a life of grace and glory, which comes from God alone.’ 

So let’s listen to these last few Beatitudes. ‘Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matt. 5:9-12) 

Oh friends, it is tough living for Jesus, but oh so rewarding. Hear the scholars as they explain just why living for Jesus is the most glorious thing we can do in this life. ‘5:12. Rejoice is the command that grows out of the blessedness of the believer. The phrase “Rejoice and be exceeding glad,” means even more, exult (triumph, jubilation)! Great is your reward in heaven focusses attention on the eternal destiny of all things. If God is as real as He claims, if the Bible is true, if heaven is to be gained, then no temporary earthly trouble or persecution can dispossess the child of God of joy in the prospect of the eternal glory that lies ahead.’ 

Let’s think on that nuh this Saturday my precious people. Much LOVE!

…blessed are those who believe in Jesus…and follow His example… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 August 2020 Ephesians 2:6.

Ephesians 2:6.     ​And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

 

Come on friends, let’s play! It’s Saturday, and that means it’s play time! Yeh, that used to be true, but not so much again. Our world has changed up so much in the last few months, that most of us wouldn’t recognize it if we truly saw it. (smile) But it’s still our world; it’s all we have, so let’s make as good a time as we can out of it nuh! Our great God didn’t make us to be wimpy, fearful individuals, but strong, bright, courageous and adventurous persons, who are able to take the bad with the good and handle both situations with aplomb under His watchful power! 

Wow! Like the ole fella in fine fettle this Saturday morning. (smile) Ah just hope he’ll still be in fine fettle when it comes to deciphering the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. So let’s check out the first quote nuh: ‘Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is.’ And is that ever a most useful quote for these perilous, unprecedented and uncertain times in which we’re currently living! 

Yeh friends, in this pandemic and strife filled time, we cannot afford to gripe and complain about what we don’t have, our normal course of affairs, but instead we need to be thankful for what we do have and make do, be contented with it. Remember these oh so important words of Bruh Paul to the Philippians, when they sent him a financial gift. ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.’ (Phill. 4:11) 

Oh my people, that is something we need to learn so badly in these controversial times; be contented with what we have. But please note it is a learned behaviour. It doesn’t just happen automatically. We have to consciously apply ourselves to learning it. So let’s start doing so today, right now nuh. Consequently, I believe that this next quote is rather appropriate. ‘Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.’ 

And isn’t that living truth? We ought to be grateful to those who make us happy because they are the ones who cause us to rise up and do productive stuff. And I like how the quote puts it: ‘charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.’ Friends, without that kind of people in our lives, we would be simply lost and adrift in an uncaring world. And it puts me in mind of Jesus’ historic comment: ‘I am the true (genuine) vine, and my Father is the husbandman (vinedresser, gardener). (John 15:1) 

Isn’t that wonderful. Jesus is the vine to which we need to stay attached, and the Lord God Jehovah is the charming gardener who makes our souls blossom with all Hie wonderful blessings and gardening skills. I LOVE it! (smile) And this next quote fits quite nicely with the first two. ‘One man may hit the mark, another blunder; but heed not these distinctions. Only from the alliance of the one, working with and through the other, are great things born.’ Now that’s certainly gospel truth right there mih bredrin! No man is an island! 

And though we may do great things separately, we can always do greater things together. Yuh see how Christ created His church – like a human body with many different parts, but all forming together as one. Hear Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘For as we have many members (parts) in one body, and all members (parts) have not the same office (function): So we being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us…’ (Rom. 12:4-6a). 

Yes my people, our Creator gave us different individual gifts because He wanted us to work together, be one, like the Holy Trinity that we serve and worship. It’s ONE deity, divided into three parts, each part having a different function, and if the parts don’t function in sync with each other then the whole body won’t function properly. And that’s why Christ’s church is not functioning properly here on earth, we, the believers in Christ, are not working together, but against each other, as unto the world, with greed and power and pride dominating our activities. 

But hear this next quote nuh: ‘Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true.’ And if you don’t believe that, then yuh don’t know nothing about real power! The fearful, or the tyrannical think they need to strike hard and often at whatever displeases them, but the person who truly knows about power, strikes at the right place and at the right time. That’s why so many people grab power and lose it just as quickly, because they don’t know how to handle it. Just like most of those who win the lottery and are broke in no time flat. They don’t know how to truly handle money! 

And that leads us to this last quote. ‘I believe that if one always looked at the skies, one would end up with wings.’ Now in reality, that might not be true, but as a believer in Jesus Christ, there is much substance to it. When we look to the heavens, where Christ is seated, having defeated the devil in His earthly sojourn, we come to realize how blessed and triumphant we truly are. Why? 

Because Bruh Paul says it in spades. ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are (have been) saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through (in) Christ Jesus.’ (Eph. 2:4-7) 

Oh precious people of God, how can you ever beat that eh? God has not only raised up Christ to sit in heavenly places, but will do the same for us who believe and sincerely worship Him! That’s why it’s oh so important to keep our eyes on heaven, since it’s our home, the place where our real treasure, our indestructible, incorruptible treasure is stored, and we’re just pilgrims passing through here on earth, working to bring others to Christ. Much LOVE!

…for where your treasure is…there will your heart be also… (Mat.6:21) 

P.S. Oh friends, I have to testify today yes. Every Saturday when I look at the quotes, there’s a li’l trepidation as I wonder how I’m ever going to pull them together to make some sense. And I usually do, with the Lord’s help obviously. But sometimes there’s a struggle to pull it off. Today however, the usual trepidation was there, but the faithfulness of God, His awesome grace seemed to be even more prevalent than normal. 

Why do I say so? Because today’s Bit came together ever so smoothly, one thing led right into another, even the scriptures came up sort of automatically, and I did not have to pull out my hair, (smile) to put the words and thoughts together. I hope it all makes sense though. (smile) So, under those wonderful circumstances, how can I not sincerely serve and worship the Lord eh, and give Him much thanks and praise for His faithfulness? Much LOVE! 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 August 2020 Matthew 6:19.

Matthew 6:19.     ​Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal:
 

Saturday, oh Saturday! Thou lazy, lumbering but oh so beautiful day! How I do LOVE thee! And I won’t stop to count the ways, because there would be just too many! (smile) Yeh friends, Saturday is one of our favourite days because it invokes the spirit of laziness and do nothing, but also of partying… that is when we could party. I guess we can do it some now with the stage 3 ease in the current Covid-19 lockdown. Let’s hope that we don’t overdo it and spoil the good thing we have going. You know that’s one of our favourite tendencies in this age of overdoing. 

But be that as it may, today is Saturday, so let’s check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. And this first one is a doozy. (smile) ‘Don’t handicap your children by making their lives easy.’ Now isn’t that what our generation has done in spades! We’ve made life so easy for our children that they believe they are entitled to an easy life, and are the biggest whiners on the planet! They have no belly or backbone because they have not gone through any real hard times, and it’s only difficulties that build resilience and stick-to-itiveness! 

We’ve made them so soft, given them what they want, or what the advertising agencies said they needed and thus spoiled them rotten. Oh, I can understand our desire to not make their lives as difficult as many of ours were, but that difficulty is what made us strong and determined, and by removing most of the difficulty in their lives we’ve done them a great injustice, because now, when they face difficulties, many of them can’t cope. That’s why so many of them are seeing shrinks and are on psych meds at an early age and contend so much with suicidal thoughts, especially when confronted with the evil that’s found in social media. 

And the next quote wisely proclaims: ‘The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.’ Now there’s an awesome lot of truth in that saying! When we confront big problems, or that mighty mountain we desire to move, it’s advisable to begin with the small tasks, which are always present, and work our way up to the big ones. That makes our lives easier and our problems less difficult to solve. It makes no sense to try and remove the entire mountain all at once. (smile) You’d notice that even with the great earth removing equipment we have nowadays, they still remove the big mountains one shovel full, or one relatively small piece at a time, never the whole thing at once. 

Then there’s this: ‘He who is untrue to his own cause cannot command the respect of others.’ Now that ought to be pure common sense! How can you espouse a cause then not be true to it and expect others to respect you eh? But unfortunately that happens a lot in these modern times. I don’t know if the causes are never truly espoused and just being used as facades for other stuff. But there are so many varied causes being espoused nowadays, that it’s become very difficult to know whom to trust, and often wise not to trust any of them. It’s so sad that so many people are not who they say they are, or what they are about. 

Consequently there’s so much disrespect and distrust and lack of faith in our society that we have to be ever so careful of whom we deal with. That leads us to this quote. ‘Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).’ Now I’m not sure what that the author really means by that statement. For if you consider our way of life that we term democracy, basically meaning that the majority wins, then it doesn’t make sense. 

On the other hand, I guess one can consider it to mean that being in the majority is not a good thing. In some way it belittles or demeans you, because only the minority knows what’s best, are capable of ruling. I guess that’s why so many li’l cliques are ruling so many things in our world. (smile) But seriously though, I don’t know if there’s ever a bad time to reform or pause and reflect, because none of us are perfect, which means we all have room for improvement in all kinds of areas of our lives. 

And the last quote says: ‘Nothing is forever. Everything goes to 0 eventually.’ Technically speaking that’s not quite true, because eternity lasts forever. (smile) However, in the affairs of men, nothing really lasts forever; be they relationships, businesses, buildings, possessions, even societies come and go. Just look at all the great societies that have populated the planet over time. All of them eventually fell into decay and many disappeared completely, as will our current powerful one that’s now in sad decline and decay. I guess you can call it the nature of the beast. 

And that’s why Jesus gave us this all-important warning. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal:’ (Matt. 6:19) Oh friends, what great wisdom is contained in those words! The treasures of earth are those that will not last forever, they will either get stolen or naturally rust and decay, because that’s just the nature of earthly things. Even the earth won’t last forever and is in a state of constant change with things like earthquakes and volcanoes and other natural disasters constantly changing and destroying it. 

No wonder Cousin Sol also advised: ‘Labour not to be rich (do not overwork): cease from thine own wisdom.’ (Prov. 23:4) For it’s all vanity, useless in the long run. Then Jesus gives us the real truth of the matter. ‘But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves do not break through nor steal.’ (Matt. 6:20) Yes mih people, the one place that will not see any destruction and last forever is heaven! Glory be! That’s why Jesus pointed us in that direction. ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt. 6:21) And that’s the living truth. Wherever our treasure is stored, that’s where our focus will be. 

As the scholars explain: ‘6:19-21. The attention of the believer is directed toward treasures in heaven. The term ‘treasures’ implies the addition or accumulation of things. The two kinds of treasures are conditioned by their place (either on earth or in heaven). The concept of laying up treasures in heaven is not pictured as one of meritorious benefits but rather as rewards for faithful service, as is illustrated elsewhere in the teaching of Jesus.’ 

Oh friends, treasures can indeed be useful and valuable, but the sad fact of the matter is that the earthly ones don’t last or get us very far, they all leave us, or we leave them when the grim reaper comes a-calling. So we can enjoy them for a while, but should not set our hearts desires on them, but rather be more concerned with the treasures, the rewards that we can accumulate in heaven for faithful service in Jesus’ name, because those are the only real treasures that exist, that are worth working towards and the only ones which will last forever. Much LOVE!

…where’s our heart looking eh…to earth or heaven… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 July 2020 Romans 12:9.

Romans 12:9.     ​Let LOVE be without dissimulation (hypocrisy). Abhor that which is evil; cleave (cling) to that which is good.
 

Wow! Another beautiful day in the land of the living! And who says life isn’t great eh? It might not be easy, but it sure is wonderful! (smile) No wonder Bruh David could confidently write in Psalm 27: ‘I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.’ (Ps. 27:13) Yeh friends, we need to believe if we’re going to see God’s goodness in and on our lives! 

Remember, He never said that life would be easy, but faithfully promised to be with us every moment of every day and help us get through all our difficulties. The problem is that many of us seem to think that once we start walking with Christ, life will just be a bed of roses… 

Hn! But I have news for you…ofttimes it gets harder before it gets better! That’s why so many of us turn back before we can encounter the real treasure of following Christ, like the seed that’s fallen on barren ground and betwixt thorns and weeds. No backbone and/or belly! But please remember that walking with Christ is not for the faint of heart, but He does strengthen and enable you if you step out in faith! End of monologue! (smile) 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s have a gander at the quotes our fine friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Let’s hope I can do them justice. And the first one declares (awright!): ‘Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.’ And that’s generally true! Just look at all the wonderful inventions in our world; very few of them come in one piece, but are made of several, if not many small pieces melded and welded together to make one big whole. 

That’s just like the human body. How did Bruh Paul put it? ‘For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office (function): So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one (individually) members one of another.’ (Rom. 12:4-5) Yeh friends, it takes many small parts of different functionality to make a great whole, like we of many people, creeds and races are one big body of Christ! 

But the next quote is even more vital and important for great things to run properly. ‘Watch the little things; a small leak will sink a great ship.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! Comparatively speaking it wasn’t a big leak that sunk the Titanic. But sink it, it did! And it’s even more important with us, the body of Christ, His church, which is very leaky these days, with all the gossip, divisions over petty stuff, the resentment, the many li’l cliques and the vein of evil that unfortunately can be found within it. 

No wonder the body of Christ is so disjointed and not moving together as one big, great, smoothly working machine! That’s why Bruh Paul pointedly said to the church at Rome: ‘Let LOVE be without dissimulation (hypocrisy). Abhor that which is evil; cleave (cling) to that which is good.’ (Rom. 12:9) That means Christians must faithfully care for each other in spite of the circumstances and responses. The caring must be genuine and unfeigned. 

And having said all of that, we come to the next quote: ‘Worry is the most wasteful thing in the world.’ I don’t know if it’s the most wasteful thing, but I do know that it’s up there amongst the top wasteful things. Consequently we can’t worry about what’s happening in our lives, our church or our world, because worrying won’t help in the least bit. It only makes things worse by taking away what li’l positivity we have left to use on righting the ship. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say. ‘Worry is like a rocking chair, you can sit and rock in it all day and still not move anywhere!’ 

And that’s so true, since worry is a negative emotion that only keeps you back from seriously tackling your problem. It’s also why this next quote is ever so timely: ‘Focus on being productive, instead of busy.’ And isn’t that the living truth! It’s the best advice our world can have and take right now! Why? Because we all talk about being so busy – busy doing what eh? It’s the first excuse that we come up with nowadays. We’re too busy to call each other, too busy to get together, too busy to read God’s Word and spend time with Him, etc. etc. 

But what the hell are we so busy doing? Not a darm thing! Except if you want to call the anemic pandemic of texting and all the other unnecessary foolishness that goes on social media, which is our go to for all of our needs these days. Hn! Just imagine how important social media has become when the most powerful leader in the world does most of his business there, spends more time tweeting than reading his briefings. (grimace) 

But that’s the new normal…and with the current pandemic of Covid-19, with physical distancing being such a big thing, it’s become an even bigger part of our lives, and thus also a bigger and more important tool for those who wish to spread evil and lies and stir up unnecessary disturbances. 

That brings us to this last quote: ‘Excellence is a continuous process and not an accident.’ Oh so true my people, oh so true! A life of excellence is the ONLY thing that we should all aspire to. And you’ll note from the quote that it’s a continuous, life- long process, and it doesn’t happen by accident, we have to consciously seek it and pursue it. It’s like true, divine peace, and the righteousness of God. And if you are, or want to be a true follower of Jesus then you need to embrace the word ‘excellence’ and all that it stands for, because that’s Jesus watchword! While here on earth, He followed the Father’s will diligently and with excellence. 

You’ll note that He never did anything on His own, or took credit for anything, but it was always the Father’s will, and likewise the credit. As he said so plainly: ‘For I came down from heaven , not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.’ (John 6:38) And He did a bang-up, most excellent job my brethren! That’s why the Father gave Him the highest name possible, to whom all knees must bow and all voices declare that He is Lord to the glory of God the Father. 

So my fellow saints in Christ, on this Saturday morning when we are surrounded by all sorts of known and unknown predicaments and circumstances, let’s not be fearful or worried, but let’s sincerely turn to the One who died to save our spiritual selves, Jesus Christ, for He is also capable of saving our physical bodies. That’s what He’s there for: for us to cry out to Him in times of desperate need: ‘Help Lord!’ Much LOVE!

…who is the ONLY ONE that can help us…JESUS CHRIST…. 

P.S. Just to prove my point about the distracting quality of social media. The Bit is partially late because early on I was interacting with three different people at the same time. (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 July 2020 Matthew 19:26.

Matthew 19:26.     ​With men this is impossible: but with God ALL things are possible.
 

Oh mih people we finally experienced the divine power of a majestic thunderstorm yesterday evening. And was it ever a sight to behold. Around 8.30 in the evening, after supper, the duchess and I were sitting on the back deck reading, when she pointed out the sudden amassing of dark clouds on the western horizon. But knowing how the wind tends to quickly disperse the clouds nowadays, I said I’d believe it when I saw it. 

Well some fifteen minutes later, after some ominous roars of thunder, I did believe it, because I saw it. (smile) It began as a slight drizzle which caused me to come inside and head for the front porch, ostensibly to sit there and check it out. But the storm was having none of that; as I opened the front door a blaze of lightning flashed in front of me, and the wind was already blowing the rain all over the porch. Chuckling, I simply closed the door and spent the next fifteen minutes or so, just listening to God’s blessings watering His dry, parched earth. 

And we all know that there’s nothing as soothing and relaxing as being inside of an evening and hearing the rain fall outside. We obviously didn’t get as much rain or for as long a spell as Toronto did recently, but I don’t think the heavenly blessings are over as yet, because now at 8.30 in the morning, more dark clouds have so far stopped the sun from showing it’s cheery face. But since we have the cheery sunlight of Christ shining within us, we’re awright, so let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first one says: ‘Manage the cause, not the result.’ And that makes sense. Many of us try to handle the results, try to manipulate them, without even knowing what caused them to turn out wrong. But you always have to first figure out the problem, then handle it properly, before you can get the desired result. Any wishy-washy managing will only give you wishy-washy results. And sadly, that is the way our world handles a lot of its problems nowadays, that’s why it’s in such a mess. We don’t take enough time to truly figure out the problem before we try to fix it. 

In this age of entitlement and now for now everything, who has the time to really look into problems eh? And consequently, this next quote hits the nail right on the head. ‘If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing.’ And that’s gospel truth. Only the right questions will bring you the right answers! And if you don’t know how to ask them, then you will not get the info you desire. Oh, you might get a whole lot of stuff, but it most likely it won’t be relevant to what you’re trying to find out. 

So please friends, let’s take time to sit down and truly analyze our problems and our directions nuh, before we begin trying to fix them or rush out on some wrong path. That’s because, once we get the ball rolling in a certain direction, it’s often hard, if not impossible to change courses in mid-stream. So it behooves us to get it right from the very beginning. And the next quote continues in the same vein: ‘If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.’ 

That’s also the general truth! Sometimes we can get away with poor planning, but usually, unless you have a decent idea of how everything is going to work and fall into place, we won’t be able to do it right. Again, that seems to be a problem in our society; what with our short attention spans and our wanting everything not even right away, but like yesterday, who really lays out a serious process for what they want to achieve eh? Not too many of us, although it’s much easier to do than ever before with all the technology that’s available. 

But it’s regretful that the same technology that allows us to do so many things, also takes away our patience and desire to do them properly. Diligence and excellence are fast falling and failing in our modern-day society, as we totter down to ruin. However, this last quote gives us hope, when it says: ‘Everything can be improved.’ Yes friends, that’s true…but only if you are in true surrender and communication with Jesus Christ! 

Remember when He told the rich man to sell all his possessions and come and follow him and he would receive eternal life, but the young man balked at it because he owned so much stuff? (Matt. 19:16-22) Then Jesus told the disciples: ‘It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, then for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible: but with God ALL things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:24-26) 

And that’s the indisputable truth my fellow believers! Whatever our problems, our wrongs, our shortcomings, our disappointments, they are all within God’s mighty realm of change and improvement, if we sincerely take them to Him in prayer. And the prophet Jeremiah said it long before Jesus did: ‘Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is NOTHING too hard (too difficult) for thee.’  (Jer. 32:17) 

And remember too when the disciples could not heal an epileptic boy, and they came to Jesus and asked why? ‘And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove (move); and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt. 17:20-21) Yuh see friends, how with only a little faith, because a mustard seed is very small, we can move mighty mountains, though sometimes it might also take prayer and fasting. 

And as the scholars explain: ‘17:15-23. …As a grain of mustard seed: This seemingly impossible obstacle or difficulty stands in the way. Since Christ alone is the glorified Saviour, the disciples’ ability to work depends totally upon His empowerment.’ 

Now the same truth still holds today my brethren, thus our declaration (steups! can’t spell that either): ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! (Phil. 4:13) It’s up to us now to believe it, and put it work for Christ’s kingdom. Much LOVE!

…how many times must I say it eh….Jesus is the answer…to EVERYTHING…Glory be…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 May 2020 Psalm 37:4.

Psalm 37:4.    ​Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
 
And at long last it does look and feel like spring! Wow! It’s such a beautiful, sun shiny day out there, clean and bright, with most of the trees now dressed in their greenery of spring, instead of the bare, dead-like branches they’ve had for way too long! And since it’s the beginning of the long Victoria Day weekend, you know that despite the pandemic and restrictions and what not, many of us are going to be gearing up for weekend celebrations. But friends, I implore us to be careful. 

In the first place, please remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny Boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ Haven’t heard that for a long time eh? (smile) And the next thing is to remember that this Covid-19 sickness doesn’t take a holiday; it’s always on the lookout for somebody to infect. It’s like the devil, always on the prowl looking for someone to tempt and lead into deadly sin. So have some fun, more than we’ve probably had in a few months, but please, please, be careful, follow all the golden rules of this pandemic so that we can stay alive and enjoy the good and abundant life that Christ died for us to have! 

And since today is Saturday, we’ll mosey along and see what goodies our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Aw shucks! He sent us only one quote all week! Wonder what’s up with him? I hope he’s not sick, haven’t caught this virus business. And we pray that whatever the reason, the Lord will rectify it, and that he’ll be back in business this coming week. But even the one quote he sent us is an interesting one: ‘LOVE yourself enough to work harder.’ 

I don’t know about you all nuh, but I could certainly take that as my motto right now in these lazy, dreary, dispassionate days I’m now experiencing. Ah friends, what better motive can we get to work harder and better than a sincere desire to improve ourselves eh? Ofttimes we tend to work harder to please others rather than to please ourselves, but it’s ever so important for us to work towards the dreams and desires the Lord’s placed in our hearts. Otherwise what’s our purpose on planet earth eh? What good are those God-given desires if we don’t fulfill them eh? 

Bruh David puts it thus: ‘Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on His faithfulness). Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.’ (Ps. 37:3-4) Yeh friends, to truly achieve the desires of our hearts, we must first delight ourselves in the Lord our God, for He is the One who makes those desires come true! And as Bruh David said earlier from Psalm 21 – Praise for victory. ‘The king shall joy in thy strength, O Lord; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice! Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not witholden (withheld) the request of his lips.   Selah. 

For thou preventest (meeteth) him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head. He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever. His glory is great in thy salvation: honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him. For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad (joyful) with thy countenance (presence). For the king trusteth in the Lord, and through the mercy of the Most High he shall not be moved (shaken).’ (Ps. 21:1-7) 

Yuh see friends, the Lord planted desires in our hearts when He made us, and consequently only He can grant those desires, make them come true. And we turn once more to Bruh David’s writings (smile). ‘The eyes of all wait upon thee (look expectantly to you); and thou givest them their meat (food) in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfieth the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy (gracious) in all his works. 

The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. The Lord preserveth all them that LOVE him: but all the wicked will he destroy. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.’ (Ps. 145:15-21) 

Ah precious people, everything in this world boils right down to LOVE: to achieve our desires and do God’s will, there must be true LOVE in our hearts for God, for ourselves and our fellow man. Remember Jesus’ words when asked which was the greatest commandment. ‘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. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:37-40) 

Therefore my fellow believers, in these tremulous and rather turbulent times, it is of the utmost importance that we understand that LOVE must be the NUMBER ONE THING, the overwhelming factor in our lives, if we’re to successfully navigate and circumvent the calamity and exceedingly tough times that lay ahead of us. We can’t simply talk it, we need to show it in spades, for LOVE is an action word! 

And we’ll end today with these most fitting words of John from his first epistle. ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.’ (1 John 4:7) It can’t be put any plainer and clearer than that friends! Much LOVE!

…true LOVE can only inflame our hearts and souls…if God is truly ensconced therein…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 April 2020 1 Corinthians 3:7.

1 Corinthians 3:7.    ​So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
 
Well the days pass by as quickly as ever, although they seem to be taking their own sweet time, what with the huge amount of inactivity so many are undergoing through the Covid-19 fallout. But friends, if we want to make it through this disastrous situation successfully, we have to try and stay as active as possible within the narrow means that are currently available to us. That’s exercise body, mind and spirit! And you can’t use that age old excuse that you’re busy and have no time, (smile) for if it’s one thing most of us have right now is lots of idle time on our hands. 

That means we also have the magnificent opportunity to get into the Good Book and voraciously devour the Word of the Lord! Glory be mih people! Yes, getting into the marvellous Word of our great God, should be our number one priority in these idle times, so that when our world returns to whatever the new normal will be, we will all be much better versed in it, and thus better able to live it! Wow! 

Friends, most of us will never have a better opportunity to learn the Word than right now, so please, let’s not waste it, since our lack of knowing, and thus implementing the Word is probably what has brought us to our current situation. Read that as stubborn, hard-hearted rebellion and an abundance of sinful disobedience against the Lord of the universe! 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s get into those quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And he did have some very interesting ones this week, focussing on what we term progress. But listen to this first one – I just LOVE it. ‘Little by little becomes a lot.’ And isn’t that the awesome truth! As my Jamaican people would say; ‘one one cocoa full basket.’ 

Yes friends, simple consistency and satisfaction with a small amount is rather important in our lives. Or as we’d say further down south: ‘Take a li’l and live long!’ And that’s a major problem with our society these days; a lack of patience and overarching greed, wanting whatever we want right now in profusion. That’s also why we have to start saving from early, always putting aside a little for the rainy day that’s bound to come! 

And this one, I can certainly testify to it’s truth: ‘Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.’ Oh isn’t that the awesome truth my people! I’ve experienced it some in my own life. When you’re riding high, everyone wants to be your friend, but when the chips all fall down, there’s never anyone around to help you look for them. Those are what we call ‘fair-weather friends.’ 

And for some reason, when that talk comes up, I always  remember MC Hammer (Rick Stanley Burrell) the American rap artiste and dancer. He spoke to that situation. When he was popular and riding high, there were numerous so-called friends around to enjoy his largesse, but by the time he hit bankruptcy, none of those bodies could be found. So friends, please take note; look for those people who are willing to ride the bus with you, when the limo breaks down, or you can no longer afford it. 

Now hear this: ‘Progress is not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be.’ And there is some truth in that, for enhancing what we have is not always the best way to go. We need to keep our eyes steadfastly fixed on where we want to go, where it would be most beneficial for us to go, and work towards that. Just doing better in the area we’re currently in is not necessarily progress, especially if the Lord has a better and/or different plan for our lives. And that, my brethren, needs to be our number one consideration; the Lord’s plan for our earthly lives, for from that, all else ought to flow. 

And that thought segues ever so smoothly into this one: ‘You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining.’ That’s the gospel truth! But if it wasn’t…then our world would be ever so progressive since this generation has made whimpering and complaining a lifestyle of the first order! Steups! Nobody wants to put up with a li’l discomfort, or do a li’l bit of hard work, but everybody wants to live the high life; that associated with the rich and famous. 

But friends, here’s a li’l secret that we all ought to know; the initial rich and famous didn’t get rich and famous by whimpering and complaining, but by working their tails off, be it for good or evil! Yes, some of their descendants might have come into their fame and fortune rather easily because of their forefathers, but here’s another li’l gem, none of them will keep it if somebody doesn’t put some blood sweat and tears into doing so! And consequently, this quote is also rather true and wise. ‘Don’t compare your progress to that of others. We need our own time to travel our own distance.’ 

Yeh mih bredrin, just like the Lord has different plans for different people, the time we need to accomplish them also differ. And the worst thing we can ever do is compare our plan and what it entails with that of someone else, because all that does is breed frustration, jealousy, envy, dissatisfaction and resentment in our hearts, especially if the other somebody seems to be more progressive and successful than we are. Listen to Bruh Paul as he warned the church at Rome and us: 

‘For I say, through the grace given unto me. To every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office (function): So we being many, are one body in Christ, and every one (individually) members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching…’ (Rom. 12:3-6) 

Yes my fellow believers, we all have different gifts to do different things in the Lord’s cause, but they don’t all have the same result, or take the same time, but we are all members of one body, Christ, so we must not be contentious and jealous, think of ourselves too highly or lowly, just know that we will be well rewarded for whatever Christ has us to do if we do it selflessly and sacrificially,. 

Bruh Paul also touched on the subject in his first letter to the Corinthians: ‘For ye are yet carnal (fleshly, worldly): for whereas there is among you envying and strife , and divisions (dissensions), are ye not carnal, and walk as men (according to man)? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.’ (1 Cor. 3:3-7) 

So my faithful brethren, please, please, let’s stop complaining and whining and comparing ourselves to each other nuh, for if we truly believe that our God is wise, then all the parts He’s made will fit nicely and smoothly together in one plan, if we sincerely follow His blueprint; His Word. Much LOVE!

…the Lord’s blueprint for earthly living is perfect…we just need to follow it sincerely…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 April 2020 1 John 4:8.

1 John 4:8.    ​He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE.
 
Come Easter Saturday morning, me and my friends, will be heart-broken, thinking of Jesus, His beaten and battered body buried in the tomb, but whose awesome spirit is fighting the devil in hell, so that He can return triumphant on Easter Sunday! Oh glory to God my faithful brethren! He’s such a wonderful God, and LOVES us much that He gave His only Son to die to atone for our sins on that horrible but blessed day called Good Friday! 

And it is always worth noting, that though we’re sorrowful for the abuse, injustice and terrible ‘sufferation’ Jesus experienced on our behalf yesterday, without Good Friday, we would never be able to have the joyous resurrection of Easter Sunday, and thus the amazing promise of eternal life! And all God’s people gave a loud and grateful cheer of ‘Praise the Lord, for His mercy and LOVING-kindness to the children of men!’ 

And having said all of that, let’s turn now to the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says it in spades: ‘The future depends on what you do today.’ And is that ever so true my fellow believers! The seeds of our today doing will be the ones we reap henceforth. As we all know, we reap whatever we sow, and as Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘We reap what we sow, more than we sow, and later than we sow.’ 

And ain’t that the gospel truth! Have you ever noticed how much harvest we receive even though we only sow a few seed? Well that’s exactly what will happen to us, with whatever we sow today, good or evil, LOVE or hate. It will be multiplied and measured back to us several fold. So please, lets pay close attention to what we sow today, for it will certainly boomerang on us tomorrow. 

And here’s another nugget of truth: ‘Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than trying to solve them.’ That’s for certain sure! We like to give it a fancy name like procrastination, but it’s usually an act of laziness, or fear, as we just don’t want to face the problems that have come against us. I can testify to the laziness aspect. (smile) And the truth is, if we just ramp up our efforts and deal with the problems in a timely and effective manner, most of them will quickly go away, for most problems are never as insurmountable as they seem when we shy away from them. 

Therefore, this next quote is rather timely. ‘Don’t brood. Get on with living and LOVING. You don’t have forever.’ And isn’t that what many of us are finally finding out with the Covid-19 pandemic that’s clutching tenaciously at our throats? We can’t allow life to pass us by without making significant efforts to throttle it and keep it in line. We must LIVE and LOVE as though there was no tomorrow! And who knows if there will be eh? 

But still so many of us refuse to do what is necessary to survive, or at least have a reasonable chance of surviving. There is still too much doubt, denial, confusion and totally different messages prevailing amongst the top echelons in our society, so what can we expect from the lower rungs eh, but the same negative behaviour. 

Then there’s this: ‘LOVE yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to LOVE yourself to get anything done in this world.’ I don’t know how much truth there is that statement nuh, although I suspect there is some. The long and short of the story though is that Jesus said: ‘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. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:37-40) 

Yuh see friends, LOVE for God ought ALWAYS to be first place! And you’ll notice that LOVE for self runs a distant third, because we need to LOVE our neighbours after we LOVE the Lord. The only mention of LOVE for self there is in the context of LOVING our neighbours.  How much we LOVE others, will be in direct proportion to how much we LOVE ourselves! The truth being that we can’t LOVE anyone, or can only LOVE them as much as there is LOVE in our own hearts. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say on the subject: ‘You can’t give away what you don’t have.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! If you don’t have LOVE in your heart, you obviously can’t give it away! That brings us to this amazing quote: ‘Keep LOVE in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.’ And don’t I ever know that! Oh friends, LOVE is the most important thing in the world, as Jesus reminded us above. LOVE for God, our neighbours and ourselves! For LOVE is truly what makes the world go around! 

As John so clearly tells us in his epistle. ‘BELOVED, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.’ (1 John 4:7) 

But the scholars clarify that by stating: ‘In context, John is not saying that everyone who LOVES is somehow a Christian, whether they trust in Christ or not. He makes it clear elsewhere that true knowledge of God entails right belief about Christ, as well as right response to God, including LOVE of others. Mere human LOVE apart from Christ’s redeeming presence and motivation falls short of LOVE in its fullest dimension as a human response to God’s perfect and infinite compassion (cf. 1 Cor. 13).’  

Thus the LOVE we’re talking about here is that which is securely entwined with true belief in Jesus Christ. And thus John could continue: ‘He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE.’ And all God’s people declared a loud and proud ‘AMEN!’ 

And we’ll close with this reminder from the scholars, re that verse. ‘John has also recorded that “God is light” (1:5) and “Spirit” (John 4:24). LOVE is one of many attributes of God and is to be understood in relation to the others, such as holiness and justice.’ 

And that’s why sin had to be justly paid for, before forgiveness could be bestowed. Much LOVE!

…but the greatest of God’s attributes is…LOVE…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 March 2020 Hebrews 5:8.

Hebrews 5:8.    ​Though he were a Son, yet  learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.
 
Awright mih bredrin, it’s Saturday, so let’s get busy! And I hear a hoarse groan and sad chuckle, as they ask: ‘Busy doing what eh? The same boring things we’ve been doing for the last how long?’ And I have to answer: ‘I guess so. What else yuh going to do eh? Go out the street and walk around, go to work, go to the park or the supermarket? Yes and no to all of them!’ (smile) Ah friends, it’s indeed a sad time, but also a rather important time of learning; of learning to get along with ourselves, our families and the world around us. 

This time of isolation isn’t just for helping us to stay healthy, but also for learning the Lord’s most important attribute; that of LOVE! For it’s LOVE that truly keeps us going: LOVE for ourselves, our friends and families, the world, and most importantly for God! And I believe our LOVE tank was very near empty, especially in our reverence for God, that’s why we’ve found ourselves in this untenable situation. Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s proceed to consider the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first one is certainly interesting: ‘If God gives you something you can do, why in God’s name wouldn’t you do it?’ Now that’s a very good question. And I’m being the devil’s advocate here, understanding the operative words to be ‘can do.’ (smile) If you are a believer and God gives you something you can do, why not do it eh? And I guess most of us have no real, sincere, justified answer. We might have a lot of excuses, but no good reason to not do His will. It’s not like He’s given you something that seems impossible. And even then, please remember that our wise and wonderful God, NEVER gives us anything to do without the wherewithal to do it. Matter fix! 

And this next quote is tied into the first: ‘You can’t fulfill your calling in your comfort zone!’ And that’s a fact! For our calling always requires us to get up off of our fat fannies and do something that takes some effort. You can’t just lie back and expect to do what is expected without some blood, sweat and tears. Please remember these reassuring, but also galvanizing words from Jesus: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Now when you add those marvellous words of our Lord and Saviour to the facts above, that God never gives us something to do without giving us the tools to do them through the awesome power of His Holy Spirit, then we should have no hesitation in getting up and doing what we’re called to do, since we have the assurance and strength of our omnipotent Triune Deity! That leads us into this next quote: ‘If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.’ That’s gospel truth my people! 

And we not talking about Jesus’ comment that what you put in you won’t defile you, but what comes out of you. (Matt. 15:17-20) But we’re referring to the dreams and desires and plans that the Lord has put in your personal portfolio. Yes, the Lord has a special and separate plan for each life He creates, and unless we fulfill that plan, we’re doomed to an unfulfilled life that could eventually include spiritual destruction and hellfire. That’s why it’s oh so important to know, and to hold on tightly to these words spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) 

Oh friends, if we don’t know that scripture and believe it with every fibre of our being, then we have nothing to really serve as a proper foundation and give us the hope and faith to carry on regardless of whatever happens. And in effect, our lives would have been worthless. But when we accept the Lord promises and all that he has to offer then our lives blossom and good fruit is produced for His kingdom. For as the next quote tells us: ‘I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.’ 

And that’s more awesome gospel truth my believing brethren! We can only conquer this evil world when the fire in us burns brighter and hotter and longer than that of the world! And remember Jesus said that the world is full of tribulation but in Him we can find peace since he’s overcome hell death and the grave… And all His followers declared a loud and proud: ‘Thank You Jesus!’ And John reassures us of this fact when he reminds us: ‘Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them (the spirits of the antichrist): because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.’ (1 John 4:4) 

Mama Mia! That’s why the fire inside believers burns brighter than that that’s in the world: our Lord and Saviour, through his Holy Spirit dwells within us and He’s a million times stronger and hotter than Beelzebub who rules over the world! Thus we come to this last quote: ‘Grow through what you go through.’ And that’s the motto for the true believer. You can only grow when you go through something that flexes your muscles; physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally. Without a testing of our strength and endurance, there is NO GROWTH! 

So for those of us who want to grow in faith and do great things for Christ without going through some rough and struggling times, forget it. Even Jesus, though he was the Son of God went through serious ‘sufferation.’ As Hebrews so plainly puts it: ‘Though he were a Son, yet  learned he obedience by the things which he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.’ (Heb. 5:8-9) Yes my people, we can only learn obedience by going through things that challenge our sinful fleshly nature. 

And remember that Jesus though God, was also fully man, so His man side had to learn by going through tough times. And that’s why now, since He knows and has experienced the same things we experience, He is fit and capable to sit beside the Father’s throne and advocate on our behalf. Yes, living a life for Jesus is not easy, but following His obedient example and with His strength and power, we can become good and solid Christians and make this evil world a better place! Much LOVE!

…only a few of us will suffer like Jesus…but ALL of us will suffer some…

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