Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 February 2018 1 John 3:18.

1 John 3:18.   My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

Ah Lord, when is it going to stop eh? When are we going to learn eh friends? By now most of you would have heard of the deadly shooting spree at a Florida High School yesterday afternoon by a 19 year old ex-student. He mowed down 17 people and put another dozen or so in the hospital, some with life threatening injuries. So this morning the death toll might even be higher. 
 
Sadly, it’s not the first, and most likely will not be the last shooting rampage, but what amazes me is why it’s being done so often in schools, and by students too? I won’t even bother to talk about the various government agencies, both State and Federal, doing nothing to alleviate the situation. That’s because the NRA, the Gun Lobby has it all locked up tight in a barrel. Steups! 
 
Now no one is saying that a whole set of laws will stop the shooting, but in the U.S. it’s definitely too easy to acquire a firearm, and of the most dangerous varieties too. And overall, instead of gun laws becoming tighter, they are becoming looser. There are a whole lot of places where you can now walk around legally with an exposed firearm, like the days of the good ole West. 
 
Well then, it stands to logic that if firearms are as prevalent and open as in the West, then you can expect to have many shootings like they supposedly had back then. Meanwhile, the firearms manufacturers are laughing all the way to the bank, because they are not only making a killing in the U.S, but they are also the world’s biggest arms dealers. So which politician is going to want to mess with them eh? 
 
Apparently the shooter bought the assault rifle legally some months ago, and furthermore, it’s been alleged that he had a social media page where he boasted about and showed off his personal armoury. And nobody complained to the police about it. Hn! What does that say about our society eh?  
 
And unfortunately it also happened when Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day fell on the same day. Ash Wednesday, a day for turning to God to begin seeking spiritual cleansing, and Valentine’s Day, a day when LOVE is supposed to have a small grip on our normally hateful world. It obviously didn’t have that grip on one young man yesterday. 
 
I really don’t know what to say nuh friends, except to keep promoting LOVE, because that’s the ONLY thing that will truly bring an end to the pandemic violence that’s currently strangling our world. That’s why I turned again to our Bit of the last two days: ‘My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.’ 
 
What else can I do, but plead for LOVE, that wonderful attribute of our great God to be our guiding light and not the evil sentiments and actions of Beelzebub. Consequently, today I’m just going to quote some of the attributes of LOVE, from the LOVE Chapter of the Good Book, 1 Corinthians 13, in the hope that it will soften our hearts and bring us back to our true selves. 
 
Listen as Bruh Paul expounds on the way of LOVE. ‘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 (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.’ (1 Cor.13:1-7) 
 
Yeh friends and fellow believers, that’s just a brief synopsis (smile) of what LOVE is all about. And regardless of what else you have, if you don’t have LOVE, you are NOTHING! 
 
Oh, I know that some of it is very difficult to practice in real life, but as children of God, it is our bounden duty to put LOVE into action as best we can. And with God’s help, doing a good job is very possible. So let’s take a moment today and ponder all those things that LOVE embodies and embraces nuh, see where we are lacking and ask the Lord to help us in those places. It will be of such benefit to all of us. 
 
Now, for those of us who sincerely try to action LOVE, let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, reminding ourselves that when we live with LOVE for God and others, He showers us with extraordinary blessings. 
 
In strong voice now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 
 
I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 
 
Let’s remember too that blessings are meant to be shared, so our next step is to go out and share them with the less fortunate, as Jesus so greatly desires. Much LOVE!
 
…And now abideth faith, hope and charity (LOVE), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE)… (1 Cor.13:13)
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 February 2018 1 John 3:18.

1 John 3:18.   My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

Oh boy, it’s another bright, sunshiny day in the neighbourhood! Thank You Lord! If we have to put up with the snow and cold, then we should at least have some sunshine to brighten up the gloom those things produce in our spirits. (smile) 

And I’m in a quandary here; don’t know what to write on; Ash Wednesday or Valentine’s Day, as both of them fall on the same day. Hn! The former begins the season of Lent for believers; a serious time of introspection, fasting and prayer. 

On the other hand, the latter is a time of joy and celebration and the time of the biggest display of LOVE in our hate-filled, angry and resentful society. And even though it smacks of a lot of insincerity and commercialism, how can you write off any kind of LOVE at all eh, when we so badly need it? 

I guess in one sense you can say that the bacchanal of Carnival is over now, and we begin the season of Lent with a fiery burst of LOVE! Oh how wonderful that would be if the LOVE went a li’l deeper and was more sincere and lasting! But beggars can’t be choosers, so if we get even a small amount of LOVE in this LOVELESS world we have to be grateful and say, ‘Thank You Lord!! 

Meanwhile, on the Lenten side of the ledger, we need to get serious about our walk with God and delve into what it truly means to be walking in sincere tandem with Him. We need to empty our spirits, as Jesus did when He was led into the wilderness to suffer forty days of temptation at the hands of the evil Lucifer. 

He spent His days in prayer and contemplation with fasting, a way of building His belly and backbone to withstand the rigours of His upcoming ministry. He knew that His ministry would not be easy, and that was the Lord’s way of strengthening Him. 

And in this season of Lent we ought to try and be strengthened in like manner my faithful and believing brethren. If we want to be like Jesus, to grow in Christ-likeness, then we have to do some of the things He did, follow in His footsteps as much as possible. And tuning out more of the world than usual, in these next forty days, is something we can do, and ought to embark on. 

I guess you can call it the yearly cleansing of our spirits. But however we do it, the important thing is to get closer to God, by putting aside some of the worldly things that usually occupy our time, and giving Him more of our time, studying His word more closely and meditating on it, so we can discover its true meaning for our lives. 

And yuh know what friends? As we spend more time in serious reflection, we will understand God better, and His most wonderful attribute, that of LOVE, will seep into our hearts and souls even more. Wow! How amazing that would be if we could get the majority of the world to reflect on God’s Word and discover His awesome and unconditional LOVE! 

And on this Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day, I believe the most appropriate Bit for today, is the same one we had yesterday. ‘My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.’ 

Yeh mih people, please, please, I implore us to bring out true LOVE in our daily lives, show it to our fellow man in living colour, in sincere actions, because that’s the only way we will truly make this world a better place. Not to mention that it’s only true, sincere actions of LOVE, that anyone will truly want to come to Christ. If we keep preaching that Christ is LOVE, and don’t show true LOVE, then we’re making a mockery of Christ and all that He stands for. 

As John says earlier on: ‘For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should LOVE one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew (murdered) his brother (Abel). And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.’ (1 John 3:11-12) 

Now listen to the scholars’ explanation of that last verse. ‘3:12. See Genesis 4:8. Of that wicked one refers to a child of the Devil (v.10). Cain killed Abel because their conflicting allegiances (Cain’s to Satan, Abel’s to God) were plain to see by their respective actions. 

John seems to be saying: “If even wicked Cain could see that a man’s character is revealed ultimately, not in what he says he believes, but in what he does, should not Christians be able to see this as well?” 

Of course we should my brethren! As we said yesterday, LOVE is an action word, and only through our actions can we outwardly manifest it. But sadly, so many of us lack LOVE in our souls, that we obviously can’t show it. We can’t give what we don’t have. 

However, if we’re serious about giving LOVE, then all we have to do is go to God and sincerely ask Him to fill us with it. But then that means spending time with Him, something that so many of us unfortunately shy away from. 

Anyway friends, this Ash Wednesday/Valentine’s Day is the right time for us to come to the trough and drink of God’s grace, mercy, LOVE and forgiveness. Remember, it did not just happen by chance, but God programmed it that way, to accomplish His purpose. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our blessed position in Christ. All together 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!’ 

Now that’s truth and wisdom of everlasting proportions! Much LOVE!

…if one is consistently hanging with Jesus…then one’s future can only get brighter and brighter…