Today’s Scrip-Bit   5 October 2022   1 Corinthians 13:8a.

1 Corinthians 13:8a.        Charity (LOVE) NEVER FAILETH…

Now, today being Wednesday, some of us are having the mid-week blues, while others are catching their second wind, readying themselves for the homestretch journey, down to the finish line of Friday. It’s interesting how people can have different approaches to the same work week. But I guess that’s because the Lord made us all with the same outward kind of body, but different and unique traits within it. So, although we may look the same, we don’t necessarily think or behave the same. 

However, in two important aspects the Lord expects us to be in total agreement and therefore similar behaviour. That’s in our LOVE for Him and our LOVE for our neighbours. Remember when Jesus was asked which was the greatest commandment in the law, how He broke them down to just two basic ones: ‘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 the first, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:37-40) 

Yes friends, LOVE for God, ourselves and our neighbours encapsulate all the other stuff that we’re supposed to do or not do. Meaning that true LOVE will always lead us to do what is right, so we don’t have to worry about the individual commandments like stealing, adultery, covetousness, murder, taking God’s name in vain, etc. etc. And why is LOVE so wonderful eh? Because it’s like a blanket, it covers everything we do. For as Peter says: ‘And above all things have fervent charity (LOVE) among yourselves: for charity (LOVE) shall cover the multitude of sins.’ (1 Pet. 4:8) 

Now there, Peter was quoting Cousin Sol in Proverbs, where he wisely declared: ‘Hatred stirreth up strifes: but LOVE covereth all sins.’ (Prov. 10:12) And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! LOVE is indeed a mighty tool, used first of all for not committing any wrongdoings against God, and also our fellow man. However, when that inevitably happens, (smile) LOVE should also be invoked in the forgiving of those wrongs. We go to God with repentance, asking for His forgiveness. Then we forgive those that do us wrong. That’s when we behave the most like God; when we forgive others of any wrongs they’ve committed against us. 

And believe me friends, that act of FORGIVING is just as important as LOVE. Why? Because it shows, it manifests LOVE. And Jesus made it quite clear in what we call ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ when He taught us: ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ (Matt. 6:12) Then, a couple of verses later He spelled it out in black and white, so that there could be no misunderstanding. ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt. 6:14-15) 

It’s as simple and straightforward as that my people. You forgive, and the Lord will forgive you. You don’t forgive, you won’t be forgiven. It’s not rocket science. And you won’t believe how many of us supposed believers refuse to forgive each other, but are quick to run to God for forgiveness. Hn! The Lord must shake His head in amazement whenever that happens.  

Anyway, let’s get back to how LOVE works, or is supposed to work in true believers. As John so wisely says in 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. He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE. In this was manifested the LOVE of God toward 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 also to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4: 7-11) 

Wow! What an argument for LOVE! But it makes complete sense. God LOVED us so much that He sent Christ to die for us, so that we could be saved from our sins, therefore we have a responsibility to LOVE God and each other, just the way the Father and Christ LOVE us. And Jesus said it to us in no uncertain terms. ‘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) 

So you see my fellow saints, the defining trait of discipleship is LOVE for each other. Unfortunately though, that trait is sadly lacking throughout the world, and more sadly within the church of Christ, with all its divisions, disunity and scandalous behaviour. No wonder the world isn’t taking supposed Christians seriously, and many are turning away from God because of the bad examples that we are setting. And all I can do is plead with us, that if we truly LOVE Jesus, to wake up from our slumber, or whatever is causing our blasphemous behaviour and do better. Because that’s the ONLY way others will come to Him. We are His agents and ambassadors on this earth, and as we show our colours, others will respond accordingly. 

And we can’t end this talk on LOVE without sharing this other great treatise on LOVE, this time by Bruh Paul to the Corinthians. He writes: ‘Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (LOVE), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling (clanging) cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity (LOVE), I am nothing. 

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity (LOVE), it profiteth me nothing. Charity (LOVE) suffereth long, and is kind; charity (LOVE) envieth not; charity (LOVE) vaunteth not itself (does not brag on itself), is not puffed up (arrogant). Doth not behave itself unseemly (rudely), seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil (keeps no account of evil); Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth. Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity (LOVE) NEVER FAILETH…’ (1 Cor. 13:1-8) 

Yes friends, there is more, but I chose to stop there because those two simple words, in a nutshell, tells the entire story about LOVE: it NEVER FAILS! Why? Because it is of God; it’s His greatest attribute, and our God, like His amazing LOVE, NEVER FAILS! So please, let’s remember that nuh, let’s remember the overwhelming importance of LOVE in our faith, our world, and our lives, and begin showing it more in our actions. 

And for those of us who are sincerely trying to show LOVE for God and each other, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. So, as one strong and sincere voice: ‘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!’ 

Now here’s an important reminder: if we endure right to the end with Jesus, then that future we’ve just talked about will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine. Wow! What encouragement to endure! See you then…at the end! (smile) Much LOVE!

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

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

Advertisement

Today’s Scrip-Bit   14 September 2022 John 10:11.

John 10:11.       I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

So friends, another day has dawned, one we call Wednesday, and we’re still around – no mention of us in the obits – and for that we give much thanks and praise! That’s why we are just bursting with vim and vigour to do the Lord’s work in an excellent and diligently manner, so that His name can be exalted and glorified in all the earth! And all God’s children said a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord for His goodness and mercy to the unworthy children of men! Amen!’ 

Yes friends, we’re not worthy, do not deserve the Lord’s blessings and LOVING-kindness, but He gives it to us anyway, because He LOVES us. He created us for communion and fellowship with Him, and though, down through the ages, we’ve turned away from him, been disobedient and prideful, He still LOVES us with a passion that can never be replicated, and desires that we all come home to Him, so that we can spend eternity in His amazing presence. 

Oh, I know that the idea of God’s unconditional and undying LOVE for us His disobedient and unfaithful children can sound like a fairy tale, but it’s the gospel truth. Our God has no choice but to LOVE us since His greatest attribute is LOVE! And it’s not just a talk of LOVE like so many of us do, but He’s shown that awesome LOVE by actually sending His Son Jesus Christ in the flesh, as a man, like other men, to die on the cross of Calvary so that our sins could be forgiven, and we could be reconciled back to His LOVING arms and tender mercies. 

Now why wouldn’t we accept such amazing kindness eh? I really don’t know. Perhaps, because we’re just foolish, selfish, prideful and filled with a false sense of our own importance. But please understand that whatever is keeping us away from accepting Almighty God as our heavenly Father and His awesome Son, Jesus, as our Lord and Saviour, consists of nothing but terrible lies and diabolical deceit. And if you knew and understood these true and faithful words of Jesus, the whole situation would suddenly become clear to you. 

Listen as He explains. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and he shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to (except to) steal, and kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:7-11) 

And that’s exactly what He did friends; sacrificed His sinless life, bore all the weight of our sins on His shoulders, so that we could be imbued with His righteousness! Now, does an ordinary or not caring man do something as radical and emotional as that? Obviously not! There has to be a very good reason for such unselfish and redeeming behaviour. 

And Jesus’ reason was to open the door to his sheepcote so that sinners like you and I could enter in and find life, life abundant and eternal, protection and good pasture on which to feed and grow in all goodness and honour to the glory of God the Father, who was the originator of the whole process, because of His great LOVE and compassion for us, not wanting to lose even one creation to the enemy. 

Wow! It all comes right back, full circle to the Father’s unexplainable grace and mercy towards us, His sinful, disobedient children. And if you’re a parent, you ought to understand that apparent contradiction, because ofttimes our children go astray, their decisions and behaviour anger and disappoint us, but we don’t throw them away, simply put them out – at least not the first few times. (smile) We make an effort to turn them around to the right way of thinking and behaving, so that they don’t get into deeper waters, into greater trouble. 

Now that’s exactly what our heavenly Father is trying to do; keep us away from the lies and deceits of Satan, who doesn’t LOVE us one iota, but only wants to get our souls for revenge against God, for kicking him out of heaven when he foolishly tried to overthrow Him. How foolish can one be eh? How can the created overthrow the Creator eh? But you know what, we’ve listened to so many of Satan’s lies that we now believe like he did, that it’s possible to remove Almighty God, the Creator of the universe and all therein, from His creation! What fallacy, what foolishness! 

My fellow believers, if we believe those fairy tales, then just like Satan we will suffer the ignominy, the humiliation and great disappointment of never entering the pearly gates of heaven, but being entrapped forever in the ungodly fires of hell, with his satanic majesty, suffering whatever retribution he suffers. 

And what’s truly wonderful about our great God is that He never puts us out or turns us away even when we are going down into the sorry pits of hellfire and damnation! No! Instead, that’s when He makes His most valiant effort to take us up out of the deadly mire in which Satan has us engulfed. As the true saying goes: ‘when we are at our lowest, that’s when God is at His best!’ Glory be my people! 

And just to show how sincere and desperate the Lord is for sinners to come back to Him, listen to this synopsis of three parable Jesus told when the Pharisees criticized Him for eating with sinners. Those were the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son. In each case, He said the owners of that which was lost left the rest of what they had; sheep, coins and sons, and went searching diligently, high and low until they found what was missing. And they rejoiced greatly with their neighbours over the finding of what and who were lost. (Luke 15:1-32) 

Mama oh Mama! And here’s the great reason behind those parables, as Jesus explains: ‘I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just (upright) persons, which need no repentance.’ (Luke 15:7) Remember Jesus came to save the lost, the sick, those in bondage to sin, to bring light to those living in darkness, not for the upright who need no saving. That means the Lord is on our side, and He’s done and still doing His best to bring us onside, but He won’t do it against our will. That’s why He gave us free will, so we could make the choice between life and death. 

And for those of us who have already chosen life, let’s go home declaring…chuh man!!! I spelt it right in my mind, but my fingers let me down. (smile) But be that as it may, let’s go home declaring (yayyy!!!) 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!’ 

Yes my brethren, that’s wisdom in spades! And just a li’l extra encouragement; if we endure right to the very end, then that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask for or imagine. So please let that strengthen our resolve to live for Jesus to the very end! Much LOVE!

…choosing heaven over hell…is what we call a no brainer… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 August 2022   Psalm 37:23.

Psalm 37:23.      The steps of a good man are ordered (established) by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. 

Well, it’s Wednesday, the middle day of the work week. So how are we going my dear brethren in Christ at this point in time? Let’s hope that with Christ surrounding us that we are doing pretty good, catching our second wind and moving forward with faith, despite all the confusion and evil workings that currently have our world in grip. 

And regardless of what’s happening in our lives right now, I believe it is of the utmost importance for us to believe these marvellous words promised by Bruh David on God’s behalf from Psalm 37. ‘The steps of a good man are ordered (established) by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.’ (Ps. 37:23-24) Now, if we don’t believe that promise what hope is there for us then eh? None whatsoever! 

And Bruh David drives home that amazing hope in Christ Jesus when he continues: ‘I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed (descendants) begging bread. He is ever (always) merciful, and lendeth; and his seed (descendants) is blessed.’ (Ps. 37:25-26) Oh my people, how wonderful is that statement eh? Most wonderful! Why? Because when we walk faithfully with God, it ensures the goodness of God to our families after we are gone. And who doesn’t want that assurance? 

But before it can happen, we must faithfully do certain things. Bruh David puts it simply, but it’s ever powerful in truth. ‘Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore. For the Lord LOVETH judgment (justice), and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever; but the seed of the wicked shall he cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.’ (Ps. 37:27-29) It couldn’t be put any simpler or more truthfully my people!  The Lord, as it were, bends over backwards for the righteous, while He crushes the wicked without mercy. 

And why would the Lord do that eh? Because ‘The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgement (mercy). The law of God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide (slip).’ (Ps. 37:30-31) Wow! What encouraging and reassuring scriptures! But then we talk about the ‘law of God,’ what exactly is that? Ah friends, the scholars give us a lengthy but very useful discourse on the subject. (smile) 

They say, ‘The law of God is the extension of God’s nature and expression of God’s will in His creation. God’s law is expressed in different forms, relating to different areas of His creation. The physical law of God includes the laws of nature which govern the continuous physical existence of this world (Gen. 8:22; Col. 1:17). The moral law, also called “the perfect law of liberty” (James 1:15), governs the immaterial issues of life (2 Tim. 3:17). 

The social law of God affects interpersonal relationships and can be summarized by “the royal law” (James 2:8). The spiritual law deals with a man’s relationship with God. It is summarized in “the first and great commandment” (Matt. 22:37-38). And we all know what that is: ‘LOVE the Lord with all thy heart, mind and soul…etc. etc.’ 

Illustration: The purpose of the law is to reveal the sovereignty of God (Ex. 20:2), to place a restraint on the sinner (Ps. 68:7-8), to show the greatness and reality of sin (Rom. 3:19-20), and to lead the sinner to Christ (Gal. 3:24). The purpose of the law did not change with the gospel. When the Judaizers in Galatia sought to teach their erroneous view of the law, they failed to realize that the law has never been able to save anyone. Application: As Christians, we should be concerned to live decently and orderly. (First ref. Gen. 2:17; Primary ref. Rom. 7:7-14; cf. Ex. 3:13).’ 

Glory be my people! There’s enough scripture and other info there to keep us occupied for the rest of the day! (smile) And I expect us to look up those scriptures, so that we can get a better understanding of God’s law. Why? Because how can we live a godly life, one in tune with God’s law if we don’t know and understand that law eh? 

Now, I believe there’s one thing, we need to further explain; that’s about ‘the Judaizers.” They were ‘a group of Jewish Christians who insisted that their co-religionists should follow the Mosaic Law and that Gentile converts to Christianity must first be circumcised.’ They considered that the Old Testament laws were still binding on all Christians. 

But Bruh Paul made it quite clear otherwise in his letter to the Galatians.  He begins by saying in 2:15: ‘We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,’ That was a derogatory term against Gentiles, who were considered synonymous with sinners, since they didn’t live under the Jewish law, which kept the Jews somewhat restrained in their own sinful behaviour. 

Then Bruh Paul continues: ‘Knowing that a man is not justified (declared righteous) by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of (in ) Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.’ (Gal. 2:16) 

Please remember that friends. It’s not by works we are saved but by grace, through faith in Christ Jesus. (Eph. 2:8-9) And yes, we definitely ought to do good works, but those works don’t mean anything when it comes to saving us from hellfire and damnation. They may bring us rewards in heaven, but they will NEVER get us to heaven! 

And since we began with the awesome words of Psalm 37, it only makes sense to end with some of them. (smile) And we can never go wrong when we follow this marvellous advice of Bruh David. ‘Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.’ (Ps. 37: 34) Yes, my fellow believers, waiting patiently and expectantly on our God is one of the best things we can ever do, for He will exalt us in His own time. 

And for those of us who are sincerely trying to do just that, let’s go home now declaring (oh yeahhh!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. As one confident and sincere voice: ‘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!’ 

Now my fellow saints, that means we must do whatever it takes to keep on keeping on. And don’t forget, that if we endure to the very end, that future with Christ will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Mama Mia! What an amazing life is to be had with Christ! Much LOVE

…only in Christ…can the real and true life be found… 

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

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   13 July 2022 John 17:15.

John 17:15.       I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.

And then it was Wednesday, the middle day of our workweek, when we ostensibly catch our second wind. (smile) Now that only applies to some of us, because many of us never catch a second breath, since the week is usually over by the time we do that. (smile) It’s amazing how some of us allow work, our jobs and positions to dictate all that we do and are. But it ought not to be so, for our main purpose in this world is being a grateful and productive child of God, and our jobs are only incidental to that. 

We must not allow what we do to become who we are for that’s the way of the world. In other words, the world says what you do gives you the importance, power and meaning to your life. But in God’s kingdom it’s entirely different. There you are a child of God, first and foremost, everything else is icing on the cake. That’s why Jesus advised and encouraged us to ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) 

Yes friends, if we are children of God, then our focus should always be on the things of God and not the things of the world. That brings us to the Christian saying that we are in the world, but not of the world. However, I do like how the article on the subject in the desiringgod.org website revisits that slogan. 

And they quote John 17:14-19. ‘ I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.’ 

It’s obvious that Jesus doesn’t want us to be a part of the world, however, as the article continues: ‘But notice that for Jesus being “not of the world” isn’t the destination in these verses but the starting place. It’s not where things are moving toward, but what they’re moving from. He is not of the world, and he begins by saying that his followers are not of the world. But it’s going somewhere. Jesus is not huddling up the team for another round of kumbaya, but so that we can run the next play and advance the ball down the field. 

Enter verse 18: “As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” And don’t miss the surprising prayer of verse 15: “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.”  Jesus is not asking his Father for his disciples to be taken out of the world, but he is praying for them as they are “sent into” the world. He begins with them being “not of the world” and prays for them as they are “sent into” the world. So maybe it would serve us better — at least in light of John 17 — to revise the popular phrase “in, but not of” in this way: “not of, but sent into.” 

The beginning place is being “not of the world,” and the movement is toward being “sent into” the world. The accent falls on being sent, with a mission, to the world — not being mainly on a mission to disassociate from this world.’ Now, hopefully that gives us some food for thought, (smile) and makes us realize that as disciples of Christ it’s our bounden duty to go into the world and make others want to come to Him. 

For, as the article concludes: ‘Jesus’s true followers have not only been crucified to the world, but also raised to new life and sent back in to free others. We’ve been rescued from the darkness and given the Light not merely to flee the darkness, but to guide our steps as we go back in to rescue others.’ And that’s the gospel truth my fellow believers! And I’m chuckling here because that wasn’t where I intended to go, although I’m not sure where I intended to go. (smile) But that’s the interesting thing in writing on scripture; you end up in places that often surprise you. 

Anyway, I believe the article is interesting, and the points very valid. Jesus doesn’t just want us to stay away or get out of the world, for how then would we make disciples of the world? It’s more like we are to dig deeper into it, using all our protective armour and the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit to infiltrate Satan’s kingdom and release the captives being held in the darkness there. That’s why we’ve been given all the tools we have. Not just for us to prance around like hypocritical ninnies and claim we are Christians, but to actually do the work we have been called to do! 

And I don’t know how we cannot truly live for Jesus when He and His words are ever so beautiful. Just listen to how He closes out that prayer nuh. ‘O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: But I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. and I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the LOVE wherewith thou hast LOVED me, may be in them, and I in them.’ (John 17:25-26) 

Now aren’t those extremely beautiful sentiments? Yes! And they are all in our favour, on our behalf! So how could we not LOVE and worship Jesus eh? Only if we are sinful, ungodly ingrates! But for those of us who are just the opposite and do our best to live for Christ, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘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 lest we forget, if we endure to the very end, then that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine. Now, please let that encourage and reassure us to endure to the very end! (smile) Much LOVE!

…Jesus doesn’t ask us to do anything…He didn’t or wouldn’t do… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   23 March 2022 ​Proverbs 1:7.

Proverbs 1:7.      The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and understanding.

Oh friends, like so many other things in this crazy world, the bright spring-like weather was too good to last! We had it for three consecutive days. Let’s be thankful for it and show our endurance and faithfulness by embracing the cold, wet scene out there in our neighborhood, that’s even got some white precipitation, actually ice, speckling the ground. (smile) It’s not much mind you, but at this time of year, we don’t want to see any white on the ground at all. Matter fixed! 

And that’s why, this Wednesday morning in late March of this confusing and oh so uncertain year of 2022, we are going to listen to the amazing wisdom that flowed from the pen of Cousin Sol so long ago, when he declared at the beginning of Proverbs: ‘A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain (acquire) unto wise counsels.’ (Prov. 1:5) 

And that’s the indisputable truth my faithful brethren in Christ! If one is wise, one will always pursue learning, and seek out the counsel, the wisdom and understanding of other wise persons. And that’s even truer, if possible, (smile) for believers in Christ Jesus, because He desires us to keep on learning all through our earthly lives, since we can never know enough about the kingdom of God and its righteousness, and the more we know, the better off we will be. 

Now, before we go further, let’s talk about a couple of definitions, namely that of ‘wisdom’ and ‘understanding.’ The former basically means ‘wise behaviour or living, or good sense.’ On the other hand, understanding ‘means the capability to distinguish between true and false, good and bad, what matters most and what does not matter at all.’ 

So, hopefully, when we have wisdom and understanding, we can live a full and meaningful life. However, two verses later, Cousin Sol injects one more important principle by warning that ‘The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and understanding.’ (Prov. 1:7) 

Wow! Now that’s the key to the whole matter of wisdom and understanding; having a reverential awe of Jehovah God! Yes friends, without that awesome reverence of God we can never acquire true wisdom and understanding because they come from Him, for He is the original fountain of wisdom and understanding.

 And Cousin Sol corroborates that when he says in Proverbs 3: ‘The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths (deeps) are broken up, and the clouds drop down dew.’ (Prov. 3:19-20) There you have it friends! As the scholars explain: ‘Wisdom is so important that God himself used it in creating the world.’ 

The patriarch Job, also had something to say about wisdom and understanding. While undergoing his trials and tribulation, he asked this most material question: ‘But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding. (Job 28:12) Then, after setting out many different scenarios, he ends with this magnificent answer. ‘And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.’ (Job 28:28) 

Mama Mia! What an awesome scripture! Yes friends, wisdom is God’s gift to mankind…but we must diligently seek it throughout our lives. And now, having gained some insight into the origin of wisdom and how to acquire it, let’s go back to that most important verse which talks about ‘the fear of the Lord.’ 

And the scholars give us a good explanation on it. They say that ‘The fear of the Lord means submission to the Lord and His revelation. When one is afraid of something, he either runs from it or submits to it. The latter idea is in view here. It is a healthy fear, like the fear of electricity or the fear of one’s parents, which causes one to act in an appropriate manner. The beginning does not mean that ‘the fear of the Lord’ is left behind in the course of acquiring wisdom, but that it is the controlling principle of wisdom.’ 

And so it is my people! To keep on acquiring wisdom throughout our lives, like Jesus desires of us, we must always have the reverence of God blossoming in our souls, bodies and spirits, for without it, true wisdom is not obtainable, no matter how hard we try. And please remember that we’re not talking about wisdom as the world defines it, but as God, the original source of ALL wisdom does!  

So, now that we have some understanding of true wisdom and understanding, (smile) I think we’ll end for today, because it’s already late and continuing with the second part of our Bit will make it even later and too long. And for those of us who have chosen the path of true wisdom by reverencing Almighty God, let’s go home declaring (steups!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

As one strong, sincere and confident voice: ‘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 we all know that if we endure to the end, that the future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! So please let’s concentrate on, plan on enduring to the end nuh, so that we can enjoy it. Much LOVE!

…with God’s gift of free will…we can either be wise or foolish…but each choice has consequences…for good…or for bad…  

P.S. Please accept my humble apologies for the lateness of the bit, but I had an important matter to go out and attend to. But as they say…Better late than never! (smile) Much LOVE! 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   16 March 2022 Isaiah 33:22.

Isaiah 33:22. For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.

And now that we’ve come to Wednesday, the middle of the work week, hopefully we can take a restful breath and catch our second wind, especially after the snowfall we endured yesterday afternoon that tied up the traffic and caused numerous problems, as it has the bad habit of doing. (smile) But, as believers in Christ Jesus, we are expected, hard as it might be at times, to rise above the worries and problems of this world, through the leading and guiding of Christ’s Holy Spirit that dwells within us for that very purpose. 

However, that only happens when we listen and are obedient to the Spirit’s guidance. So, to all of us, I plead, please, please, let’s pay serious attention to the Holy Spirit nuh, so that our earthly journeys can be less difficult and frustrating than they otherwise will be. End of sermon! (smile) 

And since the Lord has seen it fit to give us another day on earth to continue His important work, let’s return to those marvellous words of Isaiah that we’ve been studying for the last couple days. ‘For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king, he will save us.’ (Is. 33:22) Yes friends, our God is all of those things to His most magnificent creation. Give Him thanks and praise for His goodness to us underserving children of men! 

Now, today we will tackle the last and possibly the most important aspect of them all, ‘he will save us.’ And why is that you ask? Because God can be our judge, lawgiver and king, but if He doesn’t save our sinful souls, we’ll still be ending up in ole hades with the demonic master. So, saving us is of the utmost importance! And Jacob, the father of the twelve tribes of Israel, knew this, for when prophesying over His sons, said about Dan: ‘I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord.’ (Gen. 49:18) 

But, being the wise and wonderful Deity that He is, Jehovah God obviously had a plan for that from the very beginning, and made it clear in several passages of His Guide Book for Earthly Living: the Bible. And if you don’t believe me, then listen to these magnificent scriptures of the promise of salvation, beginning with these most encouraging and reassuring words from Bruh David from Psalm 37 – The true state of the wicked. 

He ends the psalm thus: ‘But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble. And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.’ (Ps. 37:39-40). And we know that our God doesn’t make idle promises! 

Then Isaiah, in talking about Israel’s restoration to Zion, delivers this message from God: ‘Say to them that are of a fearful heart, be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense: he will come and save you.’ (Is. 35:4) All through His word the Lord’s been reassuring His people of salvation and a good end. And Isaiah again, in The song of praise by the redeemed, confidently declares: ‘And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.’ (Is. 25:9) 

Yes, my faithful brethren, ONLY, the Lord God Jehovah can give us salvation! And He spelt it right out, so that there could be no misunderstanding, through this mighty promise of scripture from Isaiah that we all know, re the birth of the Prince of Peace, Jesus, the Messiah, the Saviour of the world. 

‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgement and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.’ (Is. 9:6-7) 

Oh, what a powerful picture that is my people of our Lord and Saviour, Immanuel! A benevolent ruler, who will eventually bring peace and LOVE to our fractured world! And that Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ was born on Christmas Day and grew into the man who declared His Sonship of God, and the fulfillment of God’s promises, His mighty plans of deliverance and salvation for His people, through these awesome words. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world ; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17) 

Game, set and match, mih bredrin! Matter done! Salvation has been provided! God’s awesome promises have been fulfilled! And it’s so simple: all we have to do is believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and truly died on the cross of Calvary to atone for our sins! John, the apostle, who walked with Christ, agrees and says it thus: ‘And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.’ (1 John 4:14-15) 

Wow! None of the other supposed gods make it that easy to come to them. They can’t, because they don’t exist. But the Lord God Jehovah can do so because He is the One True and Living God who has the omnipotent power to save with righteousness and justice! All glory be to His mighty and holy name! 

Ah friends, all I can say is that the option Jesus provides is much better than that provided by the enemy Satan. And since there are only two options, I believe, or rather I know, that Jesus is the wiser choice. However, we each have to make our own decisions. But please remember that there are serious consequences to either choice, and do take the consequences into consideration before making your personal choice. 

For those of us though, who have already made the decision to follow Jesus, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Jesus. As one confident voice 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 as we remind ourselves every Wednesday; if we endure to the end, the future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! So please let that encourage us to endure to the end nuh! Much LOVE!

…JESUS…the Saviour of the world…He defeated death…and now offers Eternal Life…to any who believe… 

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

    

Today’s Scrip-Bit   9 March 2022 Psalm 27:10.

Psalm 27:10.      When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up (take care of me).

Another bright sunshiny day on God’s great earth, with Jesus at the helm of our lives! Wow! What a mighty privilege my people! For as the song so rightly says, He’s our reason for living, He’s our source of survival, the One we look to when things and times are tough! 

That’s why we need Jesus in the morning, in the evening, in the midnight hour, in fact every minute of every day we badly need Him, because He’s the only One who can lift us up when our souls and spirits are cast down, when we are forsaken and lost without a strong and trusted guide and a safe harbour to anchor in when the storms of life batter and bruise us. 

And we cannot find a better promise than this magnificent one from Psalm 27 – The Lord is my light and my salvation – where Bruh David trustingly declares (chuh man!!!): ‘When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up (take care of me). (Ps. 27:10) 

Now does any other supposed God offer such a magnanimous promise? Obviously not! Because they are dead like doorposts and thus don’t have the power to do it! But our wonderful living Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ indeed has the awesome power to do that, as well as any other promise He’s made! All glory and honour to the One True God my faithful brethren, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

Oh friends, that most reassuring promise of never leaving nor forsaking His people, was one promise that all the prophets down through the ages knew for certain and spoke of to all who would listen. And if you don’t believe me, let’s check out a few appropriate scriptures. And the first one is this famous verse from the prophet Isaiah, where he proclaims on the Lord’s behalf. ‘Can a woman forget her suckling (nursing) child, that she should not (and not have) compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven (engraved, inscribed) thee upon the palm of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.’ (Is. 49:15-16) 

Oh what a blessed promise! For as the scholar’s say, that speaks to, ‘reveals the eternal security of the salvation of God’s people. They are inseparably united to Him.’ And we all know that inscribing of our lives in God’s palms was physically portrayed by the nail marks in Christ’s hands where He hung from the cross for our deliverance, the atonement, the payment for our abominable sins. 

Remember when Thomas, one of Jesus’ disciples doubted that his fellow disciples had seen the risen Jesus, and refused to believe, saying unto them: ‘Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.’ (John 20:25) And we all know what happens when we doubt Jesus. He will prove us wrong. 

Eight days later, He again shows up before the disciples, once more coming through the shut doors. This time Thomas is with them, and after saying ‘Peace be unto you,’ He accosts the doubting Thomas with these words. ‘Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless (unbelieving), but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen me, and yet have believed.’ (John 20:27-29) 

Yes friends, it’s all about belief; belief in Jesus Christ, that He has done what He says, and can do what He promises! And we won’t see Christ in living colour until He comes back again, but based on His Word, we know that He is the indisputable One True God, who will never leave nor forsake us, and if we are wise, having heard His Word, we will put our total trust in Him. And yes, I know we meandered some, (smile) but it was absolutely necessary to ensure that we had some physical proof of God’s enormous caring and compassion, seen through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus on our behalf. 

So, let’s go back to some of those scriptures on God’s eternal fatherly image. The prophet Malachi said it thus on the Lord’s behalf: ‘And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels (special treasure); and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.’ (Mal. 3:17) 

Please note though my people, the last part there which specifies servanthood. It’s what Christ came to do, as He said to the disciples when they were striving as to who would be the greatest among them. ‘And whosoever will be chief (first) among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto (to be served), but to minister (serve) and to give his life a ransom for many.’ (Matt. 20:27-28) 

Now that’s exactly what He also expects of His followers, and said it in plain terms after He washed the disciples’ feet. ‘For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.’ (John 13:15) And the truth is that no leader is worthy to be thus, until he or she can serve with a pure heart, or come under the authority of others without balking at the experience. 

And the last scripture on God’s non-forsaking of His people comes from Psalm 103 – Thanksgiving for God’s mercy – more marvellously reassuring words from the pen of Bruh David, where he proclaims: ‘Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame (understands our constitution); he remembereth that we are dust.’ (Ps. 103:13-14) 

Yes my fellow saints, the Lord remembers that He created us from the dust of the earth and thus we are somewhat frail and fragile, and not able to bear a whole lot of trials and tribulations on our own, so He comes to the aid of those who revere and honour Him through His One Son, Jesus Christ. It’s as simple as that! And for those of us who sincerely try to do it, let’s go home now, telling all and sundry about our blessed position in Christ Jesus, through our Wednesday Wail. 

As one strong, sincere and determined voice: ‘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 yuh better believe that if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine. So, let’s stand strong and endure to the end with Christ’s help my brethren! Much LOVE!

…only believe…only believe…that’s all it takes…sincere belief… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 January 2022 Luke 14:27.

Luke 14:27.     And whosoever doth not bear his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.    

And it’s another cloudy, frosty Wednesday morning! A little of the white stuff fell in my area last night, but not enough to make a difference, but we are still surrounded by a sea of white, although the roads are passable today, and we might have more problems with ice than snow. (smile) Oh, and by the way, the duchess’ prediction re the snow removal, did not come through, because the trucks and scoops came early in the evening to remove it, instead of late in the night as she had forecasted, and as they often do.

But that’s enough about snow and the unfortunate weather we’ve been having. It’s time to talk about something that will truly make a difference. And what’s that you ask? We’re talking about some of the many immortal words our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ spoke while on His earthly sojourn. These were spoken around the time of His triumphal entrance into Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday, when the disciples informed Him that a group of Greeks who had come to Jerusalem for the feast were desirous of talking to Him.

The Good Book relates it thus: ‘And Jesus answered them (the disciples), saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn (grain) of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth (remains) alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that LOVETH his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my father honour.’ (John 12:23-26)

Yes friends, Jesus expects a high degree of selflessness from His followers, but to be sure, they are well rewarded for it. Now let’s clear up one major point before moving on. It concerns the matter of LOVE and hate in the scriptures. The scholars offer this explanation of verse 25 above. They say: ‘Whenever we see LOVE and hate contrasted we should understand that LOVE for the one is so undivided that it may appear as hate for the other; although it is not necessarily so (cf. Luke 14:26, disciples hating mother and father; Rom. 9:13. God hating Esau.’

Oftentimes, it’s not an emotional thing, but just the Father’s will; like with Jacob and Esau. Jacob was blessed while Esau was not. So every time we see LOVE and hate in the scriptures, we need to take a moment to stop and consider the true meaning, whether it was an emotional problem or just one party being more favoured than another. And if we consider the verse referenced above in Luke, we can see exactly what they are talking about.

There Jesus counted the cost of following Him, to the multitude around Him, when He says: ‘If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren (brothers), and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.’ (Luke 14:26-27)

Oh my people, it is indeed a high price to pay to follow Jesus, but that’s just how important it is to follow Him. And He doesn’t mean we have to dislike our family or friends, just that, as the scholars put it. ‘In comparison to one’s devotion to Christ, one’s family ties must be secondary. This does not set aside Jesus’ other teachings to LOVE one’s enemies, to honour father and mother, and the like. It does highlight that absolute loyalty to Christ is paramount, even though in many societies, including the one in which Jesus taught, as well as many today, following Him involves precisely the either-or that this verse sets up.’

And that’s so sad, because Jesus never meant for us to give up our friends and families, but just to put Hm first. But in way too many cases, religiosity unfortunately, and wrongly forces us to give up one or the other. Yes, you can’t serve God and mammon or money, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have much money, because money is important in forwarding Christ’s kingdom in this sinful world.

So please, let’s not allow religion to drive us to one camp or the other, for in Christ, remember, we are all ONE! There’s no difference between the rich and the poor, the slave and the free, the Jew and the Gentile in Christ’s eyes. It’s only important that we live our lives sincerely trying to obey His will. So what’s the long and short of the story, you ask?

Well, I believe it’s spelled out in two sets of scriptures. The first is Jesus’ sincere admonishment to the disciples. ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:4-5) Now that’s Jesus telling it like it really is! In this world, we can do nothing of any consequence without Him!

And the second set of scriptures that I believe explains our purpose on this earth, is Jesus response to the question, posed by an uppity, self-righteous, hypocritical lawyer of the Jewish ruling class: ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, 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. 22:36-40)

Yes my fellow saints, from the beginning of time, that’s what the prophets been preaching; the absolute and miraculous power of LOVE! It’s marvellous ability to bring things and people together to live in harmony, with Almighty God and with each other! And that’s what our world is sadly lacking in these troubled times; a real sense of caring, of compassion, of LOVE for God and each other. So it seems that’s where our focus should be centred, be concentrated in these calamitous times, if we sincerely desire true improvement in our world. And that’s the long and short of the story! (smile)

Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to preach and practice LOVE, let’s go home declaring (chuh!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. As one loud, confident voice: ‘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 believe me people, if we endure to the end, then that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! So let’s hang in there and acclaim Christ’s name nuh, like He so richly deserves! Much LOVE!

…to God the Father…be the glory…through Christ Jesus…the Son…

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   12 January 2022 Philippians 2:14.

Philippians 2:14.      Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings:    

Well it’s Wednesday, not bright like the other days, but just as cold. And would you believe I have to go into the great city of Toronto for a medical check-up. Chuh! It’s a pain going there with all the traffic and confusion, and I would just LOVE to cancel it. (smile) But I can’t find any plausible reason to do so, and, like in most of our problems, I am the beneficiary of the check-up, not the medical people. So if I don’t go, I’m not doing them anything, I’m just putting myself in harms way.

And deep down I know that the Lord will look after me, but I guess it’s just my laziness, or desire not to have to go out into the cold. But sacrifices are a part of this life, and furthermore, it’s a sacrifice for my life, not for anyone else’s. So if you can’t sacrifice for yourself, whom are you going to sacrifice for eh? So enough with the complaining, with the hemming and hawing of whether I should go or not. And I guess, under these circumstances we should take a look at what the Good Book says about complaining. Hn, Hn!

Now Bruh Paul says it loud and clear to the Philippians. ‘Wherefore my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of (according to) his good pleasure.

Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights in the world.’ (Phil. 2:12-15)

Yes friends, complaining, grumbling, murmuring, disputing or any such negative sentiment, should not be numbered amongst the Christian’s tool kit. Why is that, you ask? I like how the gotquestions.org website explains it in an article on the subject.

‘Complaining is certainly not a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) and, in fact, is detrimental to the peace, joy, and patience that come from the Spirit. For the Christian, complaining is destructive and debilitating personally and only serves to make our witness to the world more difficult. Who, for instance, would be attracted to a religion whose adherents are dissatisfied with life and who continually grumble and complain?’

Ah mih people, It’s hard enough to get the unbeliever to respond when we’re kind and contented, much less if we’re continually dissatisfied! And the scholars’ offer this explanation re ‘2:14. Since God is producing in the Philippians the willing and doing of His good and perfect will (vs. 13), there can be no legitimate reason for murmurings and disputings. Not only are they forbidden to complain about the difficulties and persecutions that will befall them in carrying out God’s good pleasure, but quarreling among themselves is also prohibited.’

So all of the nonsense that’s going on between us, supposed believers, re the Covid-19 virus and the many other problems is totally unchristian. And that’s one of the major reasons why we can’t solve any of them; no agreement on how to handle the situations. And that will cause problems every time. For it’s only when we agree, to at least disagree, that healing can begin. And is there ever so much disagreement in our world right now!

I don’t know if there’s anything that we even agree on, and it’s causing so many unnecessary fires both literally and figuratively, to be lit and to keep burning incessantly and with much rage. In fact, rage might be the one common denominator in our world today, for we are all up in arms about something, and nobody wants to give an inch.

That means Peter’s words are continually falling on deaf ears: ‘Use hospitality one to another without grudging (grumbling).’ (1 Pet. 4:9) It’s sad, but ever so true, that the amount of infighting that’s going on between, families, organizations, societies, and nations is mind-boggling and most definitely intolerable, if we are to ever defeat our common problems. And it’s also obvious that we have not taken the immortal words of Hebrews to heart: ‘Let brotherly LOVE continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.’ (Heb. 13:1-2)

Oh friends, we never know who is going to cross our path that will eventually play a large role in our affairs, that’s why it’s so necessary to treat each other with kindness and hospitality, and the only way to bring about some much needed peace and quiet in our tormented and troubled world. Remember what the Good Book says: We are to be ‘blameless and harmless,’ that’s innocent and above rebuke, so we could shine like bright lights in an evil and misguided generation.

That means we are also undoing and disobeying Christ’s desire, when He said: ‘Ye are the light of the world…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14a, 16) And let’s remember that whomever we may be, or whatever our position, our major purpose on this earth is to glorify our heavenly Father!

Now for those of us who are sincerely trying to do that, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. So 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 my faithful brethren, let’s not forget either, that if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! That’s just a li’l something to keep us excited, strong and continually motivated to work for Christ! (smile) Much LOVE!

…unfortunately…we believers…instead of using our light to uncover the world’s darkness…we are allowing the world’s darkness to cover our light…

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

Previous Older Entries