Today​’s Scrip-Bit 13 March 2019 Matthew 19:21.

Matthew 19:21.   ​Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be (want to be) perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
 
What did the man say? ‘Fight one more round…just one more round…before giving up!’ Ah friends, that’s exactly what the ole fella’s doing; fighting one more round, as in going into the big city of T.O. for another medical appointment, and that’s also why he’s up so early writing the Bit! Aren’t you proud of him? I know you are! (smile) 

Yeh, it’s a pain in the rear end to be always going into the city for these medical appointments, but the long and short of the story is that they are for my benefit, not the doctors. So if I don’t go, who’s going to suffer eh? They might not even make less money since there are oodles of people lining up to see them. 

And today, in this season of Lent, where we all aspire to get more spiritual, (smile) we’ll look at an interesting situation in Jesus’ time that still holds good even today, and possibly more so than ever. It all begins with this quote from Uncle John (John Hagee), which says: ‘Your spiritual strength is measured not by what you can believe, but in what you can obey.’ Living truth that my people! Believing is easy, but obeying cuts right to the quick of our sinful hearts and desires! 

And we have a great example of that in the rich young ruler who came to Jesus asking about eternal life. The Good Book reports it thus: ‘And behold, one came and said unto him (Jesus), Good Master (Teacher), what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 

And he (Jesus) said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt (want to) enter into life, keep the commandments. He (the man) saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: And thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.’ (Matt.19:16-19) 

Now that’s standard fare for us all, the basic dictates of the Ten Commandments that the Lord gave to Moses on Mt. Sinai, for the Israelites and all those who believed in Him to follow. And the Good Book continues: ‘The young man saith unto him (Jesus), All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 

Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be (want to be) perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.’ (Matt.19:20-22) 

Ah friends, yuh see what we talking about? Spiritual strength is so much more than just believing! That young rich ruler believed, but he just couldn’t obey. Selling his many possessions and then giving away the resultant funds to the poor was just too much for him to handle. And so it is for many of us in today’s very materialistic society. We believers who are supposed to be in the world but not of the world, are too often caught up in those same very materialistic situations like that young man of old. 

And the scholars offer this insightful explanation. ‘19:18-22. This list of commands in verse 18 centres on outward duties, rather than inward nature, which was the young man’s real problem. He protests that he had kept these outward demands. His luxurious wealth and self-righteousness had blinded him to his real weakness. To expose this, Jesus orders, go and sell all your possessions and give to the poor…and come…follow me (v.21). 

This he would not do and went away sorrowful. Jesus thus shows him that he had not kept the commandments at all. He LOVED himself more than he LOVED his neighbour (the poor), and he LOVED his possessions more than he LOVED God (“me”). This passage teaches the seriousness of true discipleship, but it in no way teaches the average man that he must sell his possessions in order to be a Christian.’  

No friends, the average Joe does not have to give away all his stuff, but I’m sure that we’d all agree that there is certainly too much poverty in our society, when overall there is immense prosperity. This therefore means that too few have too much, and too many have too little. Consequently there needs to be a touch of equalization, where some of us who have a lot, give to those who don’t have much. 

And that was the original purpose of the church; to help those in need, as we see from Acts 2:44-45. ‘And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted (distributed) them to all men, as every man had need.’ 

Yes friends, I know the church was much smaller then and they could do that kind of communal living, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that the church today, meaning all of us believers, is definitely not as sympathetic and giving to the needy as Jesus would like us to be, because we are too attached to our earthly possessions. 

 Remember we are the hands and feet, the body of Jesus down here on earth, and whatever we do will reflect on Him. So for Jesus’ sake, my fellow believers, please, I implore us, let’s try and do better nuh. In this way, the world will have a much more accepting disposition to our Lord and Saviour and thus less souls will be lost to the enemy. 

Now let’s go home wailing our Wednesday Wail, telling all and sundry our sure-fire position in Christ. As one strong 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!’ 

Now that’s a future that none of us should  want to miss! Much LOVE!

…getting is very dependent on giving…you’ll get…as you give…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 December 2018 Matthew 22:39.

Matthew 22:39.   ​And the second is like unto it (the first), Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.
 
And it seems like a cloudy Saturday morning, just right for sleeping in, but the ole fella is up early, couldn’t sleep in any longer. I did have a decent enough night’s rest though. The persistent cough I’ve had over the last few days seems to have eased up some, but I still can only sleep comfortably on my right side, which doesn’t enamor me to my back and right hip. (smile) And that’s what caused me to get up earlier than I desired. But that’s life! 

So what’s the action eh friends, on this Saturday two days before we ring out the Old Year and ring in the New One? Let’s hope that the LOVING and generous nature of the Christmas season is still fermenting in our souls and bodies and still being shown to all and sundry! This brings to mind an idea I recently read at the bottom of a Daily Bread Devotion, which says ‘as we put away the Christmas decorations, do not put away the Christmas spirit.’ 

Now doesn’t that sound very interesting, enlightening and Christ-like? It surely does. So let’s ponder on that statement nuh, as we begin taking down the decorations in the next week or so, and just allow the wonderful spirit of Christmas to flow over into, and all through the New Year!  Hope does spring eternal! (smile) 

Now let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm provided over the last week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one is rather interesting: ‘Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.’ And we can take that to mean that we should live extravagantly, beyond our financial means, up to our necks in debt etc. etc. 

But that is definitely not a very good way to live one’s life. One ought to live within the realm of what one can afford, and not go overboard and cause yourself more heartache and trouble than is necessary. However, the other side to statement is that one ought not to just live a comfortable life without stepping out of one’s comfort zone every so often, because that’s what really makes life interesting. 

We ought to set our goals, our caps, a little higher than we can reach on tippy toes, so that it will stretch us, cause us to put ourselves out some, and thus add some light and lustre to this dark and evil world. That’s what our Lord and Saviour expects of us when He says we are the light of the world. We are to be constantly reaching for something better and brighter in His holy name. 

Then we have this one: ‘Never let someone else decide for you whether you are going to be happy or sad.’ Now there’s some wisdom in that statement. Generally speaking, our decisions to be happy or sad should be ours, because we are the ones who have to bear the repercussions of either decision. Others can certainly tell us what they think, and we can listen to their well-intentioned advice, but only we can decide what state of mind is right or wrong for us at any particular time. 

Now here’s the last quote: ‘LOVE yourself. Stay happy. Live life to the fullest, and focus on the best things in life!’ And I guess those are things we all would certainly like to do in this earthly life. But please note that the only way we can successfully do the last three is if we are successful at the first! Very little of true worth will happen to us if we don’t LOVE ourselves. And even if it does, we won’t be happy because our spirit’s not at peace. 

And we don’t mean LOVE in a narcissistic way either, but just being comfortable with whom you are, knowing that you’re doing your best, having Jesus as your guiding light. As they say, you ought to like you, because you take you everywhere with you! And that’s gospel truth! If you don’t like you, then most likely others won’t like you either. How can they when the dislike for yourself comes through in your words and behaviour eh? 

That’s why, in talking about great commandments Jesus stipulated in our Bit: ‘And the second is like unto it (the first), Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.’ Yeh friends, we only need two commandments yes; LOVE God, and LOVE our neighbours as we LOVE ourselves! 

Please note that Jesus didn’t just say LOVE your neighbour, but as you LOVE yourself! And that means if you don’t like yourself, then you won’t be able to like your neighbour either. So friends, it all depends on how we feel about ourselves, because what we have inside is what is going to come out. 

As Jesus specified to the multitude, and the Pharisees in particular: ‘Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt.15:10-11) Likewise friends, if we don’t have true LOVE in our hearts, true LOVE won’t ever come out of us. And the only way to have true LOVE in our hearts is by making Jesus our Lord and Saviour and living by His example and desires. 

And we’ll close with these immortal words of Jesus on the subject. ‘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) And that’s why our world is such an awful and evil place; we’re not LOVING each other the way Jesus LOVED us. It’s as simple as that friends! 

Now let’s spend some time seriously pondering the state of LOVE in our hearts nuh, and then ask the Lord to help us make the necessary changes. That’s the only way our world will improve. Much LOVE!

…it all begins and ends with LOVE…LOVE for God…LOVE for ourselves…and LOVE for our neighbours…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 October 2018 Matthew 22:39.

Matthew 22:39.​    And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.

Sorry that the Bit is so late mih breddren, but the circumstances were all out of my control. It started right after breakfast, about nine something, I didn’t even have time to get my after-breakfast nap when I was told to get ready, for a family member was coming to pick us up to go to his place where his wife was preparing goat head and goat belly soup especially for me. Hn! 

Glory be! How could I refuse that eh, when one of the major reasons I’m in J.A is to eat healthy local food to try and reinvigorate my old bod. And this is family I haven’t seen for about ten years? Then after downing a big bowl of goat head soup, they took me down to Doctor’s Cave beach, where I enjoyed a good swim in beautiful deep salt water, drank a Guinness, then was taken through the heart of Mo Bay at rush hour time. 

And if you think the big cities are bad, well downtown Mo Bay at rush hour is something else! What with the narrow street and narrow sidewalks, but numerous cars and people, all hustling in different directions at the same time. And the driving…Bubba! As crazy as ever, with people cutting in and out, taxis picking up and dropping off. It’s a good thing that the family member who was driving us through town was a tour bus driver himself, so he was familiar with it all and behaved just like them. 

I didn’t get back home to the hotel until minutes to six. I obviously had to rest some from all that exerting activity… Oh, I just heard that somebody was coming to pick us up to take us out again later. Brother! Don’t they know that I came here to rest and not gallivant all over the place? (smile) But that’s what happens when you have a lot of good and LOVING family around. Oh how I hope that most families could live more LOVING than they normally do. It would warm the cockles of the Lord’s heart so much and put such a broad smile on His face. 

But we going to get back to that just now, first let me apologize for forgetting to declare Thursday’s Blessings yesterday. I was too busy trying to get the Bit written before it was too late. Wonder if anybody noticed eh? And though we’re going to forego the workingman’s song this evening, we not going to leave out our Friday Chant though. 

So please chant along with me in enthusiastic manner and strong voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Now remember our Bit from yesterday, where the Pharisee lawyer was trying to trap Jesus by asking which was the greatest commandment, and Jesus’ replied: ‘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.’ (Matt.22:37-38) But Jesus wasn’t done with the upstart Pharisee, He added His own addendum or corollary. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.’ 

Yes friends, there are two basic requirements asked of believers in Jesus Christ: LOVE the Lord thy God, and LOVE thy neighbour as thyself! And once we do those two things, everything else will flow smoothly from them. Unfortunately though, we’re not doing either commandment as fully as we should. And even when we do, it’s mostly a halfhearted excuse for LOVING God and our neighbour. Plenty of us claim to LOVE God, but we treat our neighbours like garbage. 

And John strongly refutes that claim when he declares: ‘If a man say I LOVE God, and hateth his brother (neighbour), he is a liar: for he that LOVETH not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he LOVE God whom he hath not seen?’ (1 John 4:20) Good question that my fellow believers. How can we LOVE somebody we’ve never seen, but hate someone we’ve seen? That just doesn’t sound very logical. 

And John concludes that bit of scripture with these words that paraphrases Jesus’ two commandments. ‘And this commandment have we from him, That he who LOVETH God LOVE his brother also.’ (1 John 4:21) It couldn’t get any clearer than that nuh my people! So what I’d like to find out is why we aren’t LOVING both God and our brothers and neighbours so much more than we are currently doing? Hate seems to be the emotion that’s currently ruling the world, when LOVE should be the emotion that makes the world go around. 

And all I can do from my li’l corner is to cry out to us to try and change the situation as Jesus desires of us. Remember if we don’t do it, the evil doers won’t. They like the status quo. So please mih breddren, let’s get a move on nuh, and try to bring real LOVE into our lives, both towards our great God, who first LOVED us and gave His life for us, and also to our human brothers and sisters, our God’s greatest creation! That’s wisdom and obedience at the highest level! Much LOVE!

…when earthly LOVE is real and true…God smiles down from heaven…and bestows blessings untold…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 July 2018 Mark 12:29.

Mark 12:29.   And Jesus answered him, The first (foremost) of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is One Lord:

                                  HAPPY  BIRTHDAY  CANADA !

Yeh friends, today is officially Canada’s 151st birthday, but we’ll talk about it tomorrow, when the Big Bang really happens. (smile) But just remember to follow Granny’s advice: Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business. Words of absolute wisdom my brethren! 

And my humblest apologies for the Bit being this late, but as the old people would say, what ent meet you, ent pass you. (smile) Now thank the Lord, I don’t usually have headaches, but I had a truly disgusting one this morning. I couldn’t even move my head without it feeling like it wanted to explode. I haven’t had anything like that in years. 

Steups! And I definitely didn’t want to venture writing the Bit under those less than positive circumstances. So I just took a couple of extra strength Tylenol and went to lie down. I didn’t even go to church. But I do have a new empathy for those who suffer with constant headaches, especially migraines. I guess the Lord felt I was having things a li’l too easy nuh. (smile) 

Anyway, enough pity party chatter, let’s get on with our Sunday morning, or rather afternoon proceedings. And as usual we’ll open with a song of praise to soften our stone hard hearts and make them more receptive to God’s word. And today’s ditty is taken from the old musical Godspell (1971), supposedly based on the Gospel of Matthew. 

It’s a song composed by Stephen Schwartz, one we’ve heard a thousand times down through the ages, but really haven’t paid much attention to – at least I haven’t, until I heard it this past week on commercial radio and had to check it out to see if the lyrics I heard were truly true. And by gosh, they were! 

That’s why we can now belt out the song ‘Day by Day’ with much gusto and heartfelt sincerity. As one earthly choir, sounding like a heavenly one though, (smile) let’s sing: ‘(Slow) Day by day, Day by day, oh, dear Lord, three things I pray: To see thee more clearly, LOVE thee more dearly, Follow thee more nearly, day by day 

(Chorus (fast) Day by day, day by day Oh, dear Lord, three things I pray: To see thee more clearly, LOVE thee more dearly, Follow thee more nearly, day by day Day by day, day by day, by day, by day. (Slow) Day by day, Day by day, oh, dear Lord, three things I pray: To see thee more clearly, LOVE thee more dearly, Follow thee more nearly, day by day (Chorus (fast)… Day by day, day by day, by day, by day…. Day by day, day by day, by day, by day…’ 

Yes friends, the words aren’t plentiful, and are somewhat repetitive, (smile) but you can’t find a better prayer than that anywhere! We’re only asking for three things: to see the Lord more clearly, LOVE Him more dearly, and follow Him more nearly… Wow! If we could only get those three things, we’d be in seventh heaven, doing exactly the things the Lord desires of us, the things He created us for! Would there ever be great joy and peace on earth! Hn! 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘And Jesus answered him, The first (foremost) of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is One Lord: And thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first (foremost) commandment.’ (Mark 12:29-30)  

Yes my brethren, that was Jesus’ answer to the question one of the scribes asked Him, one day when He was holding forth on the topic of resurrection, trying to trip Him up, and thus find reason to accuse Him of blasphemy or some other foolish crime. 

But Jesus, as usual was too much for those hypocritical fools. If they had believed Him, they would have realized that He wrote the Good Book and thus knew all the answers. But such is man’s foolish pride, that he figures he knows everything, when in actual fact he knows nothing whatsoever! 

And as the scholars explain: ‘12:29. See Deuteronomy 6:4. These are the opening words of the Shema, the Jewish call to worship. They establish the basis of LOVE for God in the fact of God’s being the Lord our God, the God who has covenanted to redeem us to Himself.’ 

Yes my brethren, those were the words Moses spoke unto Israel when he gave them the Great Commandment, warned them that they were to worship ONE absolute God!  Logically speaking, there couldn’t be more than one, Supreme Being, else there would be no absolute, and thus oodles of confusion. 

And please notice the meaning of the word ‘Shema’, the first word in Hebrew: ‘HEAR!’ That’s what Moses was trying to drive home to the people when he gave them that message. And it’s what I am trying to drive home to us today my faithful followers of Christ: ‘Hear! Listen!’ so that we too can obey it, as well as the continuation of Moses’ message. 

‘And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.’ (Deut.6:6-9) 

And NOTHING has changed since then friends and fellow believers: we are still supposed to do all those things…as well as the Second Great Commandment that Jesus added: ‘And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.’ (Mark 12:31) 

And to tell the truth, that wasn’t even Jesus invention at that time, because Moses had already told the Israelites in Leviticus: ‘Thou shalt not avenge (take vengeance), nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.’ (Lev.19:18) 

What more can I say eh friends…nothing really. It’s all spelt out there for us. We must now use wisdom and accept and action it. Much LOVE!

…only two things are really asked of us in this earthly life…LOVE the Lord our God…and our neighbours as ourselves…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 February 2017 John 3:16.

John 3:16.   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.

Ah my fellow believers, that wonderful day, Sunday – the Lord’s Day, is here again! And you know what that means? Gathering together in His sanctuary to fellowship with each other, to worship, praise, exalt and glorify Him, as well as receive strength and direction to do His will in the upcoming week.  And I do hope we are all declaring like Bruh David did: ‘I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ (Ps.122:1) 

Yeh friends, we can’t be true believers unless we are happy to go into God’s house. I know many of us just go because we think we should go to church since we claim to be Christians, but we’re not really joyful about going. We don’t expect, or look forward to good vibes or joyful feelings or even good relationships happening there. 

But that’s not the right attitude my brethren. How can you be a true believer if you are not happy in the Lord’s sanctuary eh? But we won’t belabour the point, we’ll just open the celebrations with the singing of this old but glorious hymn: ‘O God our help in Ages Past.’ So, offering up the sacrifice of praise from our lips, let’s belt it out like there was no tomorrow. 

‘O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home: Under the shadow of your throne, your saints have dwelt secure; sufficient is your arm alone, and our defense is sure. Before the hills in order stood or earth received its frame, from everlasting you are God, to endless years the same. 

A thousand ages in your sight are like an evening gone, short as the watch that ends the night before the rising sun. Time, like an ever-rolling stream, soon bears us all away; we fly forgotten, as a dream dies at the opening day. O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, still be our guard while troubles last, and our eternal home!’ 

Yes friends, that was most excellent! And it brings us to our Bit; possibly the most important verse of scripture in God’s Word, that pertains to us, for from it, everything else flows. ‘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.’ 

Ah mih people, such awesome, exciting and life-giving words! And today I’m just going to continue sharing scripture passages that talk about LOVE and reveal its true nature. Now let’s begin with Jesus as He sets the stage for all that follows. 

Listen to Jesus’ response to a tempting question from a lawyer -they haven’t changed, still tempters: (smile) ‘Master (Teacher), 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 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) 

It’s so simple friends. That’s the beauty of Jesus’ teachings; they are very simple and straightforward! And I won’t theorize on why so many of us DON’T LOVE the Lord, but I will do so on why we DON’T LOVE our neighbours? Because we simply DON’T LOVE ourselves. If we did, it would not be so difficult to show kindness and mercy, compassion and understanding to others. And you’ll understand why I say that when you read some of Bruh Paul’s exhortation on ‘The way of LOVE’ to the Corinthians. 

‘Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not LOVE, I am become as sounding brass, or 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 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 LOVE, it profiteth me nothing. LOVE suffereth long, and is kind; 

LOVE envieth not; 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 recounts of evil); Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, endureth all things. LOVE never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail (cease); whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away… And now abideth faith, hope, LOVE, these three; but the greatest of these is LOVE.’ (1 Cor.13:1-8; 13) 

Ah mih Christian breddren, what else can we say about LOVE and its awesome power eh? Nothing really, except hope and pray that we will all embrace it even a li’l more in our lives, because it’s such a big substance and emotion, that even a li’l bit goes a long way. (smile) 

And we’ll conclude today with this passage from Revelation, where John greets the seven churches. ‘And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten (born) of the dead, and the prince of (ruler over) the kings of the earth. Unto him that LOVED us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (Rev.1:5-6) 

Now please, let’s ponder all that we’ve said today my people, because it’s ever so important for us to get the spirit of LOVE joyfully moving and grooving in our hearts, souls, bodies and minds, if we are to achieve any success for Jesus. Much LOVE!

…what the world needs now is…LOVE, LOVE, LOVE…not just for some…but for everyone…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 April 2016 James 1:25

James 1:25.   But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).

Aye mih breddren, it’s Tuesday; Monday has been relegated to the annals of History, so let’s not procrastinate and put off nuh, but use this present day to do what needs doing, above all, glorifying our wonderful, amazing, awesome God! Yes friends, for that’s the number One reason we were so wonderfully made. 

And I believe we can truly say that spring has finally sprung in my area, because for the second consecutive day, there’s a soft rain falling gently on the land, the grass is green, and there are buds on the branches of the trees. 

And more importantly, a few trees are even brave and bold enough to have some leaves already budding out. Oh glory to God, that winter has finally gone back to wherever it came from – for at least another few months! (smile) 

So since our great God is still on His throne, and everything is right in our world, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with true sincerity and godly enthusiasm nuh. 

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

Oh my people, my people, what beautiful words of encouragement and assurance! When we sincerely believe that mantra, then we have absolutely nothing to worry about. Oh, there will be trials and tribulations, Jesus promised that, but deep down we will be assured that they will be properly taken care of in God’s time and in His own particular way. That’s the beauty of our faith! 

So please, let’s not allow the wily enemy to deceive us into thinking otherwise. As I said last week, using Cousin Bobby’s (Robert Schuler 111) testimony, if you’re not sure, not convinced, then please repeat the mantra everyday, several times a day, until you can feel truly assured in your soul. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, which I hope to conclude today – no promises though. (smile) ‘But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does). And that’s a sincere promise from our ever-faithful God! 

And as we’ve been doing, we’ll continue looking at the references the scholars gave about the perfect law of liberty. ‘It is a law of liberty because it frees from the principles of sin and death.’ 

And today’s reference comes from Galatians, where Bruh Paul gives forth on Living by faith. ‘Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.’ (Gal.5:1) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘5:1. The verse could be rendered: “For freedom Christ freed us. Therefore stand fast and do not again be subject to a yoke of bondage.” The “freedom” in view is freedom from the law, here called “a yoke of bondage.” Paul wants the Galatians to “stand fast,” that is, retain their spiritual freedom.’ 

And I’m asking us today to do the same thing my fellow believers: let’s not fall back, lapse back into the bondage of the law, but continue truthfully and vibrantly in the spiritual freedom that Christ died for us to have. 

And later on in that same chapter, Bruh Paul further advises the Galatians: ‘For brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by LOVE serve one another.’ (Gal.5:13) 

And the scholars explain thus: ‘5:13. Having shown freedom from the law to be proper protection from legalism (vv.1-12), Paul now demonstrates it to be a proper antidote against unrestrained license to sin (vv.13-26). 

Believers are not to abuse their liberty from the law for an occasion (opportunity) to the flesh (sinful nature). That is, don’t think freedom from the law means you can indulge in sin; it means instead that you are free to serve God by serving one another.’ 

Now that’s something we all seriously have to work on friends, since many of us falsely believe that because of that very freedom, plus the overwhelming forgiveness and mercy of our magnanimous God, we have a licence to willfully sin. 

But that’s the furthest thing from the truth my brethren. When we truly come to God and truly have Him ensconced in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, then because of the great LOVE we bear Him, willfully falling to sin and temptation should not even enter our consciousness. It ought to make us strive not to sin. 

And the last part of the explanation re the law of liberty is: ‘James also describes it as the royal law (2:8) for it is the law of the messianic King.’ 

And pertaining to that, James 2:8 says: ‘If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well. But if ye have respect to persons (show partiality), ye commit sin, and are convinced (convicted) of the law as a transgressor.’ (James 2:8-9) I felt that last verse was necessary to show the true context of verse 8. 

And that brings us to Galatians again, where Bruh Paul is talking about applications of new principles. ‘Brethren, if a man be overtaken (caught) in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness (gentleness), considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.’  (Gal.6:1-2) 

Yeh friends, if we deliberately overstep those divine boundaries and fall into sin, those of us who walk by the Spirit, whose life shows the fruit of the Spirit, ought to talk to the Christian believer who has gone astray and try to bring them back to their normal moral condition. 

And we need to do it all in LOVE, handle it delicately, while all the time making sure that we aren’t caught up in the same carnality, which is so easy to do. 

And per verse 2, the scholars explain: ‘6:2. Contextually, the burdens are the moral faults of verse 1, but can have wider application to other kinds of burdens. The law of Christ is the sum of all Jesus’ teachings and desires; it is Christianity itself.’ 

And here endeth the lesson for today friends. (smile) We have indeed concluded the last message in the perfect law of liberty series. I do hope that we now have a much better understanding of what it means and how it applies to us, both as individuals and as the church, the body of Christ. 

Please, let’s put all that we have learned into proper use nuh, so that we can advance the gospel of Christ, which is our bounden duty as believers. Much LOVE!

…Christianity…the law of Christ…is not as burdensome as legalism…the law of man… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 May 2015 Matthew 22:37

Matthew 22:37.  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.

Aye Friends, the word for this terrific looking Thursday morning is LOVE!   Selah.

Yes my people, please thing about that marvellous word for a few moments nuh…

And when you do, you’ll quickly realize that our world is surely and sadly lacking in that wonderful, godly emotion termed LOVE! And because of that sad and severe lack, our world is faltering on the brink of destruction; it’s down on its knees, fighting for its very life.
 
Oh Friends and neighbours, our world is definitely enveloped in too much negativity. That’s why I’ve brought this simple prayer on the subject from the back pages of my departed mother’s Bible to share with us. I’ve shared it before, but like so many other things in our lives, apparently it needs sharing again.
 
Please pray with me: ‘Father, we confess that we do not always respond to your LOVE as we should. By the power of your Spirit living in us, teach us to LOVE you as we ought. In Jesus name. Amen.’
 
Oh Friends, oh Friends, the basis of that prayer is ever so true! We, and I’m talking about supposed Christians here, don’t LOVE the Lord our God, and therefore ourselves and others, as we should. And you just have to look at the way a lot of us behave, spewing hatred, vengeance, resentment, selfishness, etc. etc; all the negative things that the world now favours.
 
Oh my brethren, in light of all that negativity, we do badly need the Holy Spirit to come amongst us and raise the level of LOVE in our souls, both for God and ourselves. For if we don’t have a high level of LOVE, respect and esteem for God and ourselves, then we’re much worse than the wild animals of the earth, who do have no thinking powers, and thus simply do things instinctively.
 
What a crying shame my people! It’s obvious that we’re not paying sufficient, if any heed, to Jesus’ reiteration of Deuteronomy 6:5, which constitutes our Bit for today. ‘ 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.’
 
Yes Friends: ‘This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt.22:37-40)
 
Oh my Christian brethren, that’s gospel truth, because Jesus spoke it!. But we are obviously not doing it to the best of our ability, otherwise our world would not be in such a disastrous state. For as Cousin Sol tells us in Proverbs 10: ‘Hatred stirreth up strifes: but LOVE covereth all sins.’ (Prov.10:12) 
 
That simply means Friends, that if there was more LOVE in our world, there would not be as much strife. And believe me, I don’t know if at any other time in man’s history, that the world has been strife-riddled and ridden as it currently is.
 
And Cousin Sol holds LOVE in such high esteem, that later on he declares: ‘Better is a dinner of herbs (vegetables) where LOVE is, than a stalled ox (fatted calf) and hatred therewith.’ (Prov.15:17)
 
And Bruh Paul chimes in with his two cents worth to the Romans about walking in LOVE. ‘LOVE worketh no ill (does no harm) to his neighbour; therefore LOVE is the fulfilling of the law.’(Roms. 13:10)
 
Yes Friends, if we walk in LOVE, as Bruh Paul advises, then we will fulfill the two great commandments as laid down by Jesus. And that fact alone would change the entire look and demeanour of our world. Oh my people, what a glorious place our world would be if we would just choose to actively live and walk in LOVE!
 
Oh Friends, oh Friends, we are so lacking in true LOVE, that I thought I’d refresh our memory with this most appropriate song, with lyrics by the renowned composer and lyricist, Burt Bacharach. Please listen to it my people, hear it in our mind’s eye being sung by somebody like Jackie DeShannon or Dionne Warwick, or whoever you want, and let it refresh our hearts, souls and minds.
 
‘What the world needs now is LOVE, sweet LOVE. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of. What the world needs now is LOVE, sweet LOVE, No, not just for some, but for everyone. Lord, we don’t need another mountain, There are mountains and hillsides enough to climb. There are oceans and rivers enough to cross, Enough to last, till the end of time.
 
What the world needs now is LOVE, sweet LOVE. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of. What the world needs now is LOVE, sweet LOVE, No, not just for some, but for everyone. Lord, we don’t need another meadow, There are cornfields and wheat fields enough to grow. There are sunbeams and moonbeams enough to shine.
 
O listen, Lord, if you want to know. What the world needs now is LOVE, sweet LOVE, It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of. What the world needs now is LOVE, sweet LOVE, No, not just for some, but for everyone. No, not just for some, oh, but just for everyone.’
 
Ah Friends, if that doesn’t touch a sad note in our souls, then we’re not true Christians. It was written some fifty odd years ago, and has been recorded by numerous artists, and gotten oodles of airplay, but unfortunately it’s just as relevant and necessary today, as it was back then, possibly even more so now, with our world fast heading to some type of serious, irreversible holocaust, if we don’t turn things around very very soon.
 
So my fellow believers, let’s allow that song to seep into our consciousness, sub-consciousness nuh, or wherever it will bear the best witness and testimony for Almighty God, as we go out to do His bidding today, and every single day of our earthly pilgrimage. That’s wisdom at its highest and its best. Much LOVE!
 
…beloved…let us LOVE one another…for LOVE is of God…and everyone that LOVETH…is born of God…and knoweth God…  (1 John 4:7)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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