Today’s Scrip-Bit   20 September 2022 John 8:42a.

John 8:42a.        If God were your Father, ye would LOVE me:

It’s Tuesday, another glorious late summer’s day… and we’re still around. Thank the Lord! And you know what that means? We still have work to do down here in God’s great plan for our lives. So please, let’s get ourselves together and do what we need to do, be it big or small, significant or insignificant in our sight, because every little cog is important in God’s eyes and plans. 

And that goes sort of double for me this morning, because I was very late to bed and thus was somewhat tardy in rising, (smile) and then some other things got in the way, as things always do when you’re late and behind schedule, so I’m only now, almost noon, getting to writing the Bit. But even in that unfortunate circumstance, there are a couple lessons to be learnt; like get to bed early if you want to get up early, and give yourself some extra time to do the unlikely things that are likely to happen every day. And all God’s people, said a loud and sincere ‘Lesson learnt!’ (smile) 

Ah friends, there are so many lessons for us to learn, especially in these grievous times, these times of so many unexpected storms, both literal and figurative. But unfortunately, we don’t seem to be learning them at all, because we’re still exhibiting the ungodly, angry and divisive actions that have brought us to this desperate point. One would think that because we’re the Lord’s most magnificent creation, with minds capable of wisdom, understanding and reason, that we’d wake up and realize that continual division and dissension would only breed further disillusionment, anger, hate and warfare amongst brothers and sisters, all creations of the One True God Jehovah. 

But it seems like our selfish, warlike human nature has taken over, while wisdom, understanding and reason have conveniently fled the coop. In other words, the enemy is winning this current round of warfare; ungodliness is trumping godliness. And we all know that’s just a recipe for total disaster and destruction! For all the enemy does is come to steal, to kill and destroy, to reap havoc amongst God’s people. No wonder Jesus berated the Pharisees thus, when they spoke of God being their Father. 

‘If God were your Father, ye would LOVE me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts (desires) of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode (stands) not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own (from his own nature): for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.’ (John 8:42-45) 

Yes friends, the devil, the author of lies and deceit is still around today and is even more powerful than ever, as the great turmoil engulfing our world readily shows. That turmoil can only be the work of the enemy, not of God. For God does not deal in such upheaval and deceit. He is not a warmonger like the enemy. That simply means we are listening to the devil more than we are listening to God. 

And John corroborates this in his first epistle, when he writes: ‘He that committeth (practices) sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit (practice) sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that LOVETH not his brother.’ (1 John 3:8-10) 

Now what does all of the mean? The scholars tell us that ‘John is not speaking of sinless perfection (see 1:8,10; 2:2). He speaks here of habitual practice of known sinful acts. The true believer’s actions will conform to the character of his true father, either God or Satan. The person born of God will reflect this in his behaviour.’ And furthermore, ‘For John, a mere “profession of faith” in Christ was insufficient if not accompanied by the outward marks of divine parentage.’ And on top of that, ‘He links LOVE for other Christians closely with righteous living. (see John 13:35) 

Yes, we all know that scripture, or ought to know it, and have it stenciled indelibly in our hearts, souls and minds. For they are the defining words of a true disciple of Christ, as He said it. ‘By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples; if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:35) But it’s oh so obvious by the ungodly turmoil in our world that LOVE for each other is not paramount amongst our concerns, but rather the things of the devil; hate, anger, deceit, lies and unnecessary destruction. 

Instead of building, we seem bent on destroying what has taken us so long to build. It’s rather unfortunate that what has taken years, even centuries to build, can be totally destroyed in the blink of an eye. And that’s what the human animal seems hell bent on doing in these turbulent and ungodly times. The devil must be in his glee with all the destructive stuff that’s happening these days. 

But yuh know what my faithful brethren, we need to totally realize and fully believe that good is more powerful than evil, and LOVE than hate. And don’t think the devil doesn’t know that, he knows it better than us, that’s why he’s fighting tooth and nail to have our sinful natures come to the forefront and not our godly ones. 

So what’s the answer? Believers have to come together and show that we are true disciples of Christ, by LOVING each other, and working together to build Christ’s kingdom, instead of working against each other and thus tearing it down like the devil desires. 

Jesus said it this way. ‘But I say unto you which hear, LOVE your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully (spitefully) use you.’ (Luke 6:27-28) And Bruh Paul put it even simpler than that: ‘Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:21) And that my fellow saints in Christ should be our simple motto for these trying and troubled times, because LOVE indeed makes the world go round! 

So, for those of us who are truly trying to live for Christ, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong lock, stock and barrel. As one strong and sincere voice: ‘In God’s eyes, 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 having made that commitment, lets’ now go out and share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with all those we meet, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do. Much LOVE!

…the most powerful weapon…LOVE…but it must be used…if it is to work… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   20 July 2022 John 13:35.

John 13:35.      By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE to one another.

Come get to Wednesday friends, the leveller of our work week. Yes, by Wednesday we ought to be in full swing, in total work mode, going great guns! (smile) Ah, but how many of us really get into full work mode these days eh, with the broken work system caused by the pandemic and all the other problems we’re currently facing? 

Not as many as it ought to have, for the fairly steady world that we knew a few years ago, no longer exists. Everything is now in upheaval, fragmented, one isn’t sure whether one is coming or going., we’re all trying to figure out where our future lies. Some of us are even standing still, notwithstanding those of us who have disastrously fallen through the many holes and cracks in the system. One thing is sure though; our world will never be the same again. 

And what’s interesting and very disturbing is that throughout the worldwide pandemic, greed, selfishness and warfare never took a break, in fact they have intensified. The rich keep getting richer, the poor keep getting poorer, our world keeps falling apart, and more power-hungry dictators are being exalted every day! Instead of the pandemic bringing us together, it sadly forced us apart, brought out some of our worst traits. 

I tell you friends, the devil is strong in this world, and if we don’t get up and fight him mano-a-mano, with all the tools, all the armour of our Christian faith, he will eventually have all of us eating out of his hands. Now, that’s not to frighten us, but to warn us. For when all over the world we have the same basic problems and we keep drawing further apart, rather than coming closer together to try and solve them, when supposed Christians are fighting supposed Christians, then things surely are in bad shape. 

Note, I said supposed Christians, for if we are constantly fighting each other then we don’t belong to Christ and don’t deserve His name. We obviously have forgotten, or simply chosen to ignore His very important words. ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments.’ (John 14:15) And what was His commandment, you ask? ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have loved you, that ye also LOVE one another.’ (John 13:34) 

Yes my people, those who LOVE each other aren’t constantly at war with each other. And some of us might be wondering why Jesus even bothered to give us that commandment, but it was very important, because as He further says: ‘By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE to one another.’ (John 13:35) 

It’s simple friends, Jesus’ trademark is LOVE, and if His supposed followers don’t show LOVE, especially to each other, then they are not truly His followers. We’re just a bunch of ingrates, hypocrites and iniquity workers, parading, or rather masquerading under the façade of Christ! And that’s totally unacceptable. 

Oh my bredrin, not only did Jesus teach us that LOVE for God and each other are the main priorities in our lives, but so did others. Like Bruh Paul and John. In Bruh Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, when talking about immoral conduct and the purity necessary in a Christian’s walk, he said: ‘For God hath not called us unto uncleanness,  but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth (rejects), despiseth (rejects) not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his Holy Spirit. 

But as touching (concerning) brotherly LOVE ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to LOVE one another. And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; And that ye study to be quiet (aspire to live a quiet life), and to do (mind) your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly (properly) toward them that are without (outside), and that ye may have lack of nothing.’ (1 Thess. 4:7-12) 

Yuh see there mih people, although the Thessalonians were doing a decent enough job of showing LOVE in action, Bruh Paul was still encouraging them to get even better at it. To mind their business and develop a work ethic that would allow them to earn a decent living. All of those virtues are sadly lacking in today’s society. With the advent of almost instantaneous communication, we’ve become the biggest liars and gossipmongers the world has ever seen. And don’t talk about the work ethic aspect, because that’s almost non-existent. But yet we claim to be Christians! Heifer Dust! 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to John in his first epistle. He writes: ‘And hereby we do know that we know him (Jesus), if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the LOVE of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also to walk, even as he walked.’ (1 John 2:3-6) 

And how did Jesus walk, you ask? Listen to Him. ‘If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my LOVE; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his LOVE.’(John 15:10) Jesus only did what His Father commanded. And if by now you have not realized that the master template of LOVE is basic obedience, then let me tell you, IT IS! 

Now listen to John from his second epistle, where he writes to a lady and her family: ‘And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we LOVE one another. And this is LOVE, that we walk after (according to) his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.’ (2 John 5-6) 

And I like how the scholars explain that last verse. ‘For some, LOVE has little to do with obedience. Yet John, following Jesus, stresses that to LOVE is to obey. As one of Jesus’ closest disciples, John would have heard the Master raise the question, “And why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46)’ 

Now that’s a very good question. Why call Jesus Lord when we don’t do as He desires of us eh? I’ll leave that for us to ponder and answer in our own time and manner though. (smile) Instead, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And if by chance you’ve forgotten, let me remind you that if we endure to the very end, then that promised future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine. So please, let’s hold on to that nuh, and endure right down to the very end! The rewards will be well worth it! Much LOVE!

…no group of God’s creations…be they man, beast or organism…can survive chaos…without obedience to a central tenet…   

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 July 2022 Lamentations 3:26.

Lamentations 3:26.       It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.

Ahhhh!  We open our eyes to a bright sunshiny day with a grateful sigh and say ‘Thank You Lord, it’s Tuesday! Monday’s gone bye bye, and a brand new day is here with all Your new mercies and compassions, which Your Word assures us are new every morning because of Your everlasting faithfulness to those who sincerely LOVE and serve You.’  Lam. 3:22-23) And that’s no lie friends, for the Good Book also assures us that ‘The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.’ (Lam. 3:25) And why wouldn’t He be eh, if He’s such a wonderful and generous God? 

Now Isaiah said it a long time ago when he appealed to his people Israel to turn to the Lord for help. ‘And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgement (justice); blessed are all they that wait for him.’ (Is. 30:18) 

Oh my fellow believers, I would like to say the same thing to us today. In this time of dire need and trouble, the Lord God Almighty is the ONLY One who can save us from the hurtling fall down to the depths of hell in which we’re currently enveloped. And there are so many scriptures that warn, advise and encourage us to wait on the Lord. Let’s look at a few of them today nuh, and hopefully it will brighten and enlighten our day. (smile) 

And this first one from Psalm 37 – The true state of the wicked, we all know. Bruh David says it loud and clear. ‘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. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. 

And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgement (justice) as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off (destroyed): but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.’ (Ps. 37:3-9) 

Now my brethren, that says it all! Once we read those wise and inspiring verses our spirits ought to be lifted right back up, soar to the highest point possible. But since I know how stubborn and hard-headed we are, we’ll continue with some more verses on the subject, for some of us can only be moved by a bombardment of scripture. (smile) So listen to Cousin Sol from Proverbs. ‘He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.’ (Prov. 16:20)  

Meanwhile Jeremiah, when talking about the blessedness of trusting the Lord, emphatically declared: ‘Blessed is the man that trusted in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see (fear) when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful (anxious) in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.’ (Jer. 17:7-8) 

Wow! What more can we ask for eh my bredrin? We get it all when we put our sincere trust in the Lord God Almighty and wait for Him to lead and guide us in His wonderful plan to give us a hope and a future! And all God’s people said a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord for His unceasing and faithful goodness to the undeserving children of men!’ Yes, we don’t deserve any of what He blesses us with, but because of His marvellous LOVE and compassion for us, He nonetheless bestows on us the blessed fruit of His Holy Spirit. That’s just the kind of God He is! 

But by the same token, He does expect some common sense and reverence from us. He’s not just a doting grandfather that does or gives us whatever we want. We have a part to play, and if we don’t play it, then we’ll suffer the consequences. And believe me, some of those consequences can be downright painful and long-lasting. 

Now Jesus, in His ultimate wisdom, said it quite simply but in no uncertain terms. ‘If you LOVE me, keep my commandments.’ (John 14:15) There’s nothing to dispute in that simple but very powerful statement. If you claim to LOVE me, then I expect you to do as I say. That’s how you will show if your LOVE is truly true! 

And again, Jesus said in very plain and simple but serious and powerful language to the disciples: ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) It’s oh so simple friends: we can’t just talk the talk; we must also walk the walk. 

How did James, Jesus’ brother put it? ‘Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.’ (James 2:17-18) Yes my people, we can’t only claim to believe and trust in the Lord God Jehovah, but we must even more importantly show that we do, for remember actions speak louder than words. 

So, as Jeremiah says so poignantly in his Lamentations: ‘It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam. 3:26) But that hoping and waiting doesn’t mean just sitting on our laurels and doing nothing! No, it means doing what we can, doing our part, while eagerly and expectantly waiting for the Lord to do His. 

And with all those enlightening and reassuring words (smile) let’s go home now declaring (Yess!!!) our Tuesday Mantra letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. As one strong and sincere voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

Now, let’s go out and share that awesome LOVE and friendship, so that others can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…there is only one option for life…heaven…for hell is not life…but death… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   14 September 2021 John 13:35.

John 13:35.      By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.

So mih bredrin, a warm and wonderful Tuesday to all you who treasure Christ Jesus as Lord and Saviour! May His light and LOVE shine through us today, as we go about doing His awesome earthly work, encouraging others to come to Him and enjoy the amazing benefits of being in His blessed organization, His church, and also having a most splendiferous personal relationship with Him! 

What could be better than that eh mih people; belonging to Christ’s body of followers, but also having a personal friendship with him? Absolutely nothing! Yes friends, in Jesus we have the best of ALL worlds! Never forget that! So let’s stop selling both Jesus and us short by thinking and consequently acting like He is not enough, for He surely is…and much more too! 

Ah friends the ole fella’s just getting excited, as I usually do when I talk about the goodness and mercy of Jesus, because I’ve experienced so much of it during my long life, even when I didn’t know what it was. Yes, in hindsight, I can now see and realize that it was indeed the goodness and mercy of God that kept me going through some serious situations before I fully gave my life to Him. 

And since I’ve done that…Brother! I’ve seen so much of His undeserved grace and mercy, that I can’t even count or remember half of them! That’s why I can confidently tell you that Jesus is an awesome friend and Saviour. His work is demanding, but His yoke is light and easy to bear, while His rewards are outstanding! Glory be my faithful brethren! 

And all Jesus really desires of us is to show that most worthy and amazing attribute of LOVE in our everyday lives. When you break it down it looks like this: to LOVE the Father, LOVE Him, and LOVE ourselves and each other. Now that should not be as hard to do as we make it seem, since it’s basically showing kindness and goodness to those we meet. But unfortunately, it seems that the opposite and very negative emotion of hate, found in things like anger, bitterness, resentment, strife and unkindness, are much easier for us to propagate, since it’s that negative stuff that’s now holding our world hostage. 

How sad it is my people, that goodness and mercy can’t seem to outweigh hate and its evil companions. And it’s only when we receive Jesus and hold on tightly to Him and what He stands for that we can ever hope to defeat the enemy and His wicked ways. That’s why Jesus said to the disciples: ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) 

Yes, my fellow saints, that’s the big difference between the followers of Christ and the non-followers; the followers are supposed to have LOVE for each other in words and deeds, not just meaningless talk, nor as He blasted the Pharisees. ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres (whitewashed tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outside, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness).’ (Matt. 23:27-28) 

And sadly, that’s how too many of us supposed believers and followers of Jesus behave nowadays. That’s basically why the unbelievers don’t pay more attention to us, because we don’t truly walk our talk, that LOVE for each other is most definitely not shown in our daily dealings. Just think about all the divisions in the church of Christ nuh, with umpteen religions, sects, denominations etc., which only breed petty differences, resentment, anger and the whole host of negative emotions amongst supposed Christians. 

How can that sad state of affairs draw others to Jesus eh? The enemy is more together, more as one, than we believers are. No wonder they are in the ascendance right now, while we believers are running a far second place because of our many differences and lack of togetherness. 

And in his own way, John repeated Jesus’ invocation to the disciples in his first epistle. ‘And hereby we do know that we know him (Jesus), if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the LOVE of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.’ (1 John 2:3-6) 

Yes friends, as the scholars so rightly inform us: ‘The test of knowing God’s LOVE is keeping His Word… While no one can or need duplicate Jesus’ atoning (earthly) ministry, His disciples are called to imitate His devotion to God and compassion for others. See John 13:15; 1 Peter 2:21.’ Those are indisputable facts, but unfortunately, our devotion to God and compassion for others is sadly lacking in these terrible times. And I believe it’s my bounden duty to highlight those two passages the scholars referred to above there. 

Listen to Jesus after He had washed the disciples’ feet. ‘If I then, your Lord and Master (Teacher), have washed your feet; ye ought also to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.’ (John 13:14-15) It couldn’t get any clearer than that friends! Jesus is the example we ought to follow. Granted, we can’t do all that He did, but we surely can have much more reverence and devotion to the Father and show more simple compassion for each other. 

And Peter tells it to us thus: ‘For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow in his steps.’ (1 Pet. 2:21) Don’t know what else to say nuh. So, for those of us who sincerely try to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, let’s go home declaring (yeah!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, telling the whole world who and whose we are; to whom we truly belong. 

Altogether now: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

Now, it’s our duty to go out into the world and share that amazing LOVE and friendship of Jesus with the many who don’t know it! Much LOVE!

…it’s time for Christians…to play a strong and true game of…follow the Leader…                                                                                                           

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 July 2021 John 13:35.

John 13:35.      By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.

Saturday, oh Saturday! Another blessed day in the life! Thank You my heavenly Father, for it is only with Your divine help and protection, your awesome grace and mercy, that I awoke this morning and can put one foot in front of the other! Without You, I’d just be like burnt toast, without any good use, only waiting to be thrown in the garbage. But when You proclaimed Your amazing and unconditional LOVE for me, life just blossomed, like an early morning flower gracefully and gratefully opening to the sun, like an ugly crawly caterpillar being miraculously transformed into a beautiful, colourful butterfly! 

Oh Father God, with such a blessed, secure and comforted life, how can I not LOVE You with all my heart, mind body and soul eh? That’s why Your most wonderful Son, Jesus, when asked ‘Master which is the great commandment in the law?’ quoted the words of the Old Testament Covenant. ‘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 prophets.’ (Matt. 22:36-40). 

And that’s the indisputable truth my fellow saints! LOVING our heavenly Father, our Most High God Jehovah is the number One action that’s called for in our lives! And then we need to LOVE those around us in the same manner that we LOVE ourselves. That obviously means that the action, emotion and mindset of LOVE is ever so important in our lives. So important that Jesus, before His crucifixion said to the disciples: ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) 

Oh my people, once again Christ reiterated the utmost importance that LOVE ought to play in our lives, especially those who claim to be His disciples, His followers, His ambassadors and agents! And as one commentary on the Great Commandment from the LoyolaPress Website explains: ‘Jesus teaches that the moral life can be summed up in terms of LOVE of God, self, and neighbor. 

The New Testament understanding of LOVE is based on the Old Testament understanding of covenant LOVE, which is that God’s steadfast LOVE will never waver. The Christian who cooperates with the Holy Spirit will not waver in his or her LOVE for God. This is a LOVE of commitment and action to a better personal relationship with God. It shows a true appreciation of how much God LOVES the person as an individual — as well as the person’s willingness to serve the neighbor.’ 

Yes my brethren, the three most important words there are ‘commitment and action.’ Those are the backbone of LOVE! We have to be committed and then put that commitment into action, because LOVE is not merely a spoken word, but even more importantly an ACTION word! For you cannot say that you LOVE and don’t have action to back it up. But that’s just how many of us in this evil and ungodly world do it, even supposed Christians. We talk a good talk, but our actions don’t show any real LOVE! 

Remember Jesus said that people would know us as His disciples if we showed LOVE to each other. But you can check out any Christian congregation and the amount of dislike and resentment you’d find would be unbelievable. And John in his first epistle reminded us of that godly action that’s necessary amongst believers. ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God. He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE. 

In this was manifested the LOVE of God towards us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4:7-11) 

Oh friends, we couldn’t have a better reason for LOVING God, than His action of showing how much He cares for us by sending His One Son to die for us. And the thing is that God cared for us so much, as Bruh Paul states to the church at Rome: ‘But God commendeth (demonstrated) his (own) LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:8) Imagine that nuh! We did not have to change first before He LOVED or saved us. But the Lord stepped out first. He showed that He was seriously in LOVE with us by acting on His words and sending Christ to die for us. 

So why is it so hard for us to treat each other decently eh? And yes, LOVING each other doesn’t necessarily mean dying for each other, although that’s a possibility, but simply being thoughtful of and caring for others, especially those of the faith. And that’s why the heathen laughs at us and consider us such amazing hypocrites when we talk about LOVE, because we don’t treat each other in a Christlike or LOVING manner. So why would they want to be like us eh? We ourselves are the biggest detriment to Christ’s church by the evil and ungodly way so many, too many of us behave. 

And I want to close with this important explanation from the scholars, re 1 John 4:7. They say: ‘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).’ 

That means you can have all the LOVE in the world, as the world defines it, and don’t have Christ, then you’re still lacking in true LOVE! And I guess you all have realized by now that once again I did not receive any quotes this past week from our friend Anselm. Please, let’s pray that he is all right, and will soon resume his task of aspiring to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Much LOVE!

…regardless of how many gifts you possess…if you don’t have the LOVE of Christ…you’re nothing…                                                                                                   

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 March 2021 John 13:35.

John 13:35.     ​By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.

Well, it’s another day, the one we call Monday; in another new work week, with many of the same problems we had yesterday! But the big difference is that today, there is hope that things will improve in one, many, or all areas of our lives, because we have the faithful promise of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour who laid down His sinless life on our behalf. And with that going for us, there’s nothing that can truly depress or disappoint us, because we can do all things, through Christ who strengthens us! 

Please let that be our motto for today friends, as life and whatever else comes against us. And even when we are weak, and feel like we can’t make it any further, let us not allow the enemy to dissuade us from banking on Jesus, from putting all our hopes and dreams on Him, because He cares for us! And as He so rightfully says: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ (John 14:6) So, if we want to get to the Father in heaven, it means we have to go through Jesus. Simple as that! 

And now, we are also into what we call Holy Week; that ends with Jesus’ crucifixion on Good Friday and His triumphant resurrection on Easter Sunday! Glory be my people! That’s two thirds of what our Christian faith is based on; the other third being Jesus’ incarnate birth at what we call Christmas. And if all of that isn’t a very strong platform to stand on, then I really don’t know what else is nuh! 

So please, let’s not give up, or get weary as we encounter difficulties on our earthly journey, for Jesus encountered many on His earthly journey too, that’s why He can now empathize with us in ours. And He didn’t give up, but overcame His problems with the help of His heavenly Father. And in like manner, He has promised to help us overcome ours, if we place our sincere faith and trust in Him. Listen to His promise: ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.’ (John 14:1) 

Yes friends, it’s all about sincerity of heart; believing what we say, and then putting it into practice. If we sincerely believe in Jesus, then we can’t go around preaching one thing, then practicing something else, like the religious people of His time, the Pharisees did, and like so many of us are still won’t to do in these very troubled times. And that’s why so many people have no respect for Christians; our hypocrisy turns them off. So here are some scriptures that ought to clear up that problem. And they are all the words of Jesus. 

‘No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one , and LOVE the other, or else he will hold to (be loyal to) the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (earthly riches).’ (Matt. 6:24) And that’s not rocket science, just simple logic. Yet too many of us try to sit astride the fence and serve both God and the evil that earthly riches tend to lead us to. 

Now hear this bombshell Jesus dropped on the disciples, as He was explaining how things were going to unfold. ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) He could not have said it any clearer than that my brethren. 

And do we follow that commandment? Not on your life! The body of Christ, the church, has just as much animosity, dissension and division as the world around it. And yuh know what? If even the Christians alone obeyed Christ’s commandment to LOVE each other, our world would not be in the total mess it’s in! Because the unbelievers would see how good it is for brethren to dwell in LOVE and inity (unity). 

And the sad part is that although we are all suffering from the same problems, the pandemic, the many kinds of strife and natural disasters, you would think those common denominators would bring us together. But no, they are creating more turmoil and more animosity, with each trying to outdo the other to solve their own problems, instead of working together to solve them all. Please remember, that two together are stronger than one, and all of us together are better than each on his own. 

So what does all of that tell us eh friends? That we desperately need to turn down the rhetoric, lessen the noise and the strife and begin working together if we want to come up over our problems. And there is ONLY one right way to begin changing, and that’s with prayer. So let’s go to the ONLY One who answers prayer and confess our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive and standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the many natural disasters that now seem more prevalent than ever. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction to bring our problems under control. 

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

It’s now up to us to do what we’ve promised, so God can see our sincerity and positively answer our prayer. Much LOVE!

…when are we going to learn…that God made us for community…not disunity… 

   

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