Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 January 2018 1 John 4:11.

1 John 4:11.   Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.

And then it was Tuesday, the 2nd day of January 2018, and the festivities have been abruptly curtailed! Hn! It’s time to get back to the common task and daily grind, or however they say it. Reality has finally hit home! 

It’s time to go back to work and consider how we’re going to pay the enormous bills we’ve run up over the holiday season. Some of us are liable to drop down dead when we see the bills. But not to worry, whatever foolishness we’ve done can be rectified if we take it to Jesus. 

Remember His awesome 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 and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Oh my people, no one in this great wide world has ever offered such a sincere invitation, with the power to back up every word. So if this morning you’re straining under any kind of pressure at all, the wisest thing you can do is take it to Jesus in humble prayer and supplication. 

He will NOT, will NEVER turn you away, for He’s also faithfully promised: ‘I’ll never leave nor forsake you.’ But He can’t do anything for you until you turn to Him and ask for His help. 

Now He might not just wave away your problems, although He has the power to do so, but He’ll surely show you a way to handle them without a backbreaking effort and give you the grace and mercy to see it all through. That’s His promise and He doesn’t renege on any of His promises. 

Remember too friends, that we’ve dedicated 2018 to be the Year of LOVE…and where does true LOVE come from, where is its fountainhead? Jesus Christ! And we’ve also declared that we only need ONE New Year’s Resolution; that of following Christ more closely than ever. 

Therefore, using all that simple logic, (smile) no rocket science involved, it’s easy to deduce that ALL wise roads lead to Christ, for He is the ONLY One who’s inviting us to bring our problems to Him, and the ONLY One who has the power to solve them, and/or take us safely through them. 

Oh, and don’t forget our motto: EACH ONE LOVE ONE! Yeh mih breddren, each and every day, we’re supposed to LOVE at least ONE person. But please don’t just stop at one, the more the merrier. That brings us to our Bit. ‘Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.’ 

Oh my fellow believers no greater truth has ever been spoken. Remember all the LOVE began with God! He first LOVED us, and so much, that He sent Jesus to die for us. And as the scholars tell us: ‘4:10. No human LOVE is the standard for understanding God’s great compassion, but God’s own action on man’s behalf.’ 

And here is some interesting reasoning from John, as he continues after our Bit. ‘No man hath seen God at any time. If we LOVE one another, God dwelleth in us, and his LOVE is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the LOVE that God hath to us. God is LOVE; and he that dwelleth (abides) in LOVE dwelleth (abides) in God, and God in him.’ (1 John 4:12-16) 

Oh precious people of God, that scripture is so rich in nutrients, that I doubt we have time and space to pull them all out. But let’s see what nuggets we can get in what time we have nuh. Hear the scholars: ‘4:11-13. God’s character, through His Spirit, is to shape and progressively dominate the character of the believer. The Spirit of God imparts the will to LOVE.’ 

Yeh friends, all this LOVING business presupposes that you are a believer in Christ, and have received the life changing and saving gift of His Holy Spirit to dwell in you. Otherwise NONE of this will work. The Holy Spirit is the catalyst that raises up our LOVE quotient. 

‘4:15. This helps provide the context for rightly understanding verse 7 (our Bit from yesterday). Trust in Christ as the incarnate Son of God makes genuine, God-wrought LOVE possible’ Oh people, only through a sincere trust in Jesus Christ can we ever achieve the LOVE that comes from God. 

‘4:16. John, like Paul (1 Cor.13:13), stresses the supremacy of LOVE as a characteristic of God and therefore as a dominant characteristic of the true believer.’ 

And unfortunately my brethren, although we might talk a lot about LOVE, it just doesn’t dominate the Church of Christ and its followers as it should. That’s why we’re talking about it and trying to build our knowledge and thus sincere participation in it, for only as the true LOVE of God is present far and wide in our individual societies and our world, will they be any good.  

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, telling the world who and whose we are. In strong, sincere voice 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!’ 

And the next step is to go out and action that last statement. Much LOVE!

…without the LOVE of Jesus in our hearts…mankind is just another mindless wild animal…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 November 2016 Psalm 139:1.

Psalm 139:1.    O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.

 HAPPY  THANKSGIVING  U.S. OF A !

Well a Happy Thanksgiving to our friends and neighbours in the U.S. of A! I do hope that a lot of true thanks will be given today and thus de-escalate some of the divisive tension that’s been caused by the recent elections. 

It’s definitely not an easy situation to deal with, but unless it’s dealt with, and wisely too, more turmoil will ensue. It’s the biggest holiday in the U.S. with lots of travelling and family gatherings taking place all over the country. 

Let’s hope that all the celebrations, both familial and national will go off smoothly, because there is still a lot to be thankful for in the U.S. and as they go, most of the world goes. So let’s pray that the nation will be healed somewhat by the thanksgiving celebrations. 

And for you Scrip-Bit family members down there, please remember Granny’s advice: ‘Drunk or sober, mind yuh business.’ (smile) 

Plenty partying will be going on this weekend, so please be careful not to give Lucifer and his evil cohorts any openings in your souls and spirits, because you know that they are on the serious prowl on occasions like these. 

And yuh know what friends, the ole fella has a special reason to give thanks today too; it’s his birthday. ‘Happy Birthday Ole Fella!’ (smile) I haven’t reached my allotted three score and ten as yet, but I am drawing close. 

And I will try not to let Beelzebub and his buddies get into my soul either, although the celebrations will be minimal, just a small family gathering. 

Now let’s declare our Thursday Blessings over our lives, for remember, a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been declared. In unison now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Oh friends, with all those wonderful blessings spoken over our lives, how can we ever lose eh? No way Jose! 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.’  Yes my people, it’s the same as yesterday, because there’s much to discover and talk about in this Psalm 139. 

And we’ll share this enthusiastic opinion of the scholars. ‘Psalm 139. Certainly one of the grandest psalms in all of the Psalter, it is also one of the richest theologically. It combines an exposition of the greatness of God’s character with the reality of human experience. 

From verses 19-22 we find that David wrote the psalm during a time of opposition. It therefore contains truths that were meaningful to him during these troublesome times. They may be summarized under four key thoughts as David addresses the Lord: You know me (vs.1-6), You are with me (vs. 7-12), You created me (vs.13-16), and Your cause is my cause (vs.19-24).’ 

Yes my fellow believers, our great and wonderful God plays all those roles in our lives! And today I want to touch on the aspect of His being with us. So let’s read Bruh David’s words on that subject. 

‘Whither shall (can) I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall (can) I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell (Sheol), behold thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. 

If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover (fall on me): even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee (is not dark to thee); but the night shineth as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.’ (Ps.139:7-12) 

Oh what great and true statements my brethren! Our God is always around us, we can’t hide from Him anywhere at all! It’s His world, His creation, and He knows all the nooks and crannies in which to look for and find us. 

Now over the last few years, those words of verses 7-12 have taken on a special significance to me. Every time I read or hear them, I remember Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) pontificating them (smile) from the pulpit of the Crystal Cathedral some years ago. 

The way he acted them out, you know his penchant for theatre, just made a huge impact on me. It was the first time that I really paid any attention to the Psalm, now it’s one of my favourites. 

And we’ll end today with similar words of Bruh David from Psalm 17 – A prayer for protection against oppressors. ‘Thou hast proved (tested) mine heart; thou hast visited me (searched me out) in the night; thou hast tried (examined) me, and shalt find nothing (nothing evil): I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.’ (Ps.17:3) 

Yes precious people of God, those are words of faith and truth that each of us must be able to come to God and confidently declare, if we are to be true sons and daughters of His. 

Now let’s go out, buoyed by all that we’ve heard and said, and have an excellent day, blessed and protected as we work diligently on Christ’s behalf, for that’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…passion…the Christian needs lots of passion to sincerely do God’s will…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 October 2016 Romans 8:37.

Romans 8:37.    Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.

One more day; one more day to be alive and kicking and enjoy God’s expansive favour! Oh what a joy that ought to be my people! Just to know that our names will not be read in today’s obituaries should bring forth a glorious song of thanks and praise to our heavenly Father. 

Consequently, our mouths should be uttering joyful and thankful words like the psalmist did: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24)

Yes friends, the Lord has kept us alive for a purpose; to continue the good work He has planned for our lives, and also to enjoy the fruits of our labour. 

Now here’s a wise li’l secret from my ‘P.S. I LOVE YOU’ Poster: ‘Dreams come true for those who work while they dream.’ 

Yes my brethren, in this life we ought not to just sit and wait for things to happen, for God to just bring them to pass, but we must also do our part in the wonderful partnership we share with Almighty God. 

Remember it’s a two way street; we do what we can, and wait patiently, enthusiastically and expectantly for God to do His part. We don’t just rest on our fannies and expect it to fall into our laps. 

Now let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with sincere enthusiasm and thankfulness because the reality of the situation is exactly what it deserves. 

As one 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!’ 

Oh my people, my people, what a glorious truth! We aren’t what the world says or thinks about us, but we are God’s beloved, and Jesus’ friend! Wow! That means the world cannot beat or defeat or do us any real harm, because we are God’s people! 

Oh what a triumphant blessing! But please remember the last part of that declaration; we need to share the LOVE of Jesus with the rest of the world. That’s our bounden duty. 

And it all rolls right into sync with our wonderful Bit: ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ 

Ah friends, how much more favoured can we be eh? Not much more really. We are God’s flock, and He LOVED us so much that He sent His only son Jesus to die on the cross at Calvary so that we could be reconciled unto Him. How wonderful is that eh! 

And today we’re going to continue looking at the portion of our Bit that deals with LOVE. And John the apostle deals with it wonderfully in His first epistle. Let’s listen some to him. 

‘No man hath seen God at any time. If we LOVE one another, God dwelleth in us, and his LOVE is perfected in us. Hereby we know that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 

And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.’ (1 John 4:12-15) 

Now here are some thoughts from the scholars. ‘4:11-13. God’s character, through His Spirit, is to shape and progressively dominate the character of the believer. The Spirit of God imparts the will to LOVE.’ 

Yuh see that friends? If we don’t have the Spirit of God within us, then we won’t have the capacity to truly embrace the emotion of LOVE. 

‘4:15. This helps provide the context for rightly understanding verse 7. Trust in Christ as the incarnate Son of God makes genuine, God-wrought LOVE possible.’ 

And if we don’t remember what verse 7 says, let’s refresh our memories. ‘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) 

That means friends, that only those who truly believe that Jesus is the Son of God, can possess the LOVE of God. Now let’s continue with John’s theorizing. 

‘And we have known and believed the LOVE that God hath to us. God IS LOVE; and he that dwelleth (abides) in LOVE dwelleth (abides) in God, and God in him.’ (1 John 4:16) 

And hear the scholars explain that. ‘4:16. John, like Paul (1 Cor.13:13), stresses the supremacy of LOVE as a characteristic of God and therefore as a dominant characteristic of the true believer.’ 

Is LOVE a dominant characteristic of our lives my people? I surely do hope so, otherwise we’re just being hypocrites like the pseudo-religious Pharisees of old. 

And we’ll end with this very important verse. ‘Herein is our LOVE made perfect (LOVE made perfect among us), that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is, so are we in this world.’ (1 John 4:17) 

Yes friends, when true LOVE exists among us, then our confidence rises to its zenith! 

The scholars explain that verse thus. ‘4:17. Herein points back to verse 16. 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.’  

Oh friends, the importance of LOVE, within each individual believer, and consequently between all believers can never be overstated, for it’s the supreme characteristic by which the true believers in Almighty God and true followers of Christ are known. 

Please, let’s critically examine ourselves today, and see how our own characteristic of LOVE shapes up, and then, ask God to help us do better, for we can all do better. Much LOVE!

…and now abideth…faith, hope, LOVE…these three…but the greatest of these is LOVE… (1 Cor.13:13)

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 October 2013 Psalm 135:15

Psalm 135:15.    The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.
 
Oh my wonderful Friends in Christ, in light of something I have to share, I thought it would be an excellent idea to open with this hymn of praise.
 
So please sing with me. ‘What a Friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry, Everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry, Everything to God in prayer.’  
 
And yuh better believe my people, that that’s the God-awesome truth! We suffer so much pain and grief because of our reticence, for whatever reason to take our problems to the ONLY PERSON who can truly handle them – Almighty God.
 
And on reading this poem from Dr. Robert H. Schuller’s Hour of Power Devotional, I just had to share it. It’s titled, quite appropriately ‘What a Friend!’
 
And it so rightly and encouragingly declares: ‘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.’
 
Oh mih people, mih people, doesn’t that just hit the right spot this morning! Because as Dr. Schuller so wisely and rightly says, Jesus is our one, essential, intimate Friend, who’s never yet failed us! And the glorious thing is that He never will!
 
The problem though is that too many of us refuse to believe it, and instead look to the foolish things of the world for guidance and solace. But Friends, please remember what our Bit so wisely says: ‘The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.’
 
And there is definitely no doubting that! For what can man do that God cannot change or do even better eh? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! So it’s quite time we wake up and smell the roses and stop allowing the things of the world to control our lives.
 
And I’m going to make some of us happy by announcing that this is definitely the last day for this particular Bit. (smile) And hopefully, by now, the truth contained therein, will have sunk into our hearts, heads and souls and brought us to the reality of the ineptitude of the world situation, and the fact that only Jesus can alleviate it.
 
So let’s get into this last scripture which comes from Jeremiah, as expected, speaking of God and the idols. ‘Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen (Gentiles), and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
 
For the customs of the people are vain (futile): for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck (decorate) it with silver and gold; they fasten it with nails and hammers, that it move not.
 
They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good. Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O Lord; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.’ (Jer.10:1-5)
 
Oh mih breddren, what invaluable words; words of wisdom, power and truth! Nothing that man makes can get us to heaven, not even close! So why do we insist on hankering and running after the worthless and valueless things of the world eh, when the things of heaven are so much more important and worthwhile?
 
Let’s hope that this series of messages on the foolishness of worshipping idols has really hit home, and has at least lessened, if not completely cut out our idol worship.
 
Now here’s a word from the scholars. ’10:1-16. Considering the impotence of the false gods and the emptiness of false religion, men surely ought to worship the omnipotent Lord and King of the nations. God’s name, which is great, reveals His character and reputation. The term ‘name’ became a title for God (cf. Dan. 9:18-19; Amos 2:7; 9:12) and was applied in the New Testament to Christ (Acts 4:12; 5:41; 3 John 7).’
 
And as always Friends, it’s in our best interest to check out the references provided by the scholars, since they only improve our understanding of the Word. And we’ll close with this invigorating and uplifting scripture, which ably supports the scholars’ note.
 
‘But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens.
 
He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.’ (Jer.10:10-12)
 
And all God’s people declared a long, loud and sincere: ‘Praise the Lord! Amen! And again we say, Amen!’ Much, much LOVE, my fellow believers in Christ!
 
…please remember…whatever keeps us away from God…that’s an idol…and its influence should either be completely eliminated…or at least greatly reduced…so that we have more time for God…