Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 October 2014 John 15:13

John 15:13.   Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Aye Friends, we are alive and kicking to witness another brand new day, filled with God’s wonderful mercies, blessings and forgiveness! Wow! Isn’t that wonderful? It surely is, even though the weather in my neck of the woods is wet and chilly and miserable.
Hn! I guess my brother and his wife must have carried back the wonderful Tobago kind of weather we’ve had for the last couple of weeks while he was here. (smile) Anyway, regardless of the weather, let’s give our great God appropriate praise and thanks for allowing us to see another day.
And today we’ll be talking about Friends. I don’t know exactly how it’s all going to unfold, to pan out, since there is so much scripture dealing with subject, in good, bad and indifferent ways. But I’m going to be wise and simply put my faith in Holy Spirit to guide me into writing something sensible and useful. (smile) He’s been doing it for the last seven years, ever since I began writing the Bit, so why should He stop now eh?
I do know that we’ll begin with this poem from one of my favourite preachers, Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) taken from his Hour of Power Devotional. Don’t know if I’ve ever shared it before, but it’s certainly worth sharing again in this context, since it’s appropriately titled, ‘WHAT A FRIEND!’
 It boldly and proudly declares: ‘You have never failed, Lord, to be my one, essential, intimate friend. When I was: Lonely in striving – you encouraged me. Lonely in struggling – you lifted me. Lonely in serving – you supported me. Lonely in suffering – you comforted me. Lonely in sinning – you forgave me. Lonely in sinking – you renewed me. Lonely in succeeding – you rejoiced with me. What a FRIEND I have in Jesus! Thank you, Lord. Amen.’
Oh my people, I couldn’t have said it any better myself! And I’m sure that all of us can testify to the truth of those words, for we have all been befriended by God in our struggles in our pilgrim’s journey.
That brings us to our Bit; the overwhelming and oh so beautiful sentiments of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’
Wow! That’s all I can say in reaction that revolutionary statement! And the great thing about it all, my fellow believers, is that after making such a momentous and controversial statement, Jesus actually went out and died for us!
And all God’s children gave a joyful and grateful shout of: ‘Thank You Jesus! Thank You for dying for us on the cross at Calvary and paying our sin debt in full!’
Oh Friends, that’s a debt we can never repay! And Jesus doesn’t want or expect us to repay it either. All He desires of us is what He says after our Bit: ‘Ye are my friends, if ye do whatever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.’ (John 15:14-15)
Yes people, to be Friends of Jesus, all we have to do is believe what He’s told us, all that He’s heard from His Father, and then do what he asks us to do. But unfortunately, in these highly revolutionary and technologically advanced times, those words have fallen on deaf ears, as man boastfully beats his chest and feels superior, like he’s a god himself.
And sadly, we just can’t see how foolish that type of prideful behaviour really is, when with all our wealth, power and technological advances, we still cannot control the length of our days on this earth. The One who originally breathed His breath of life into us, still controls how long we spend on His earth.
That brings to mind Jesus’ parable of the rich man who had so much goods that he decided to build bigger barns to hold it all, then to ‘take thine ease, eat drink and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?’ (Luke 12:19b-20)
Yuh see mih breddren, all the wealth and power couldn’t keep him from dying that night. So doesn’t that make us look silly and stupid when we can’t control the one thing that makes us go, our very lifeblood, but we boast about everything else that flows from it, as though we are so superior?
Steups! Sometimes I think that man is God’s dumbest creation , rather than the brightest yes! But that’s another story for another day. (smile)
And we’ll close with the first verse of that old hymn that tells us so much about friendship with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Sing it with me please people, because we all know it, though we don’t all put it into actual practice.
As one mighty choir now: ‘What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.’
Oh Friends, oh Friends, that says it all! Many of our problems exist because we don’t take them to Jesus in prayer. Just imagine the amount of peace we forfeit and unnecessary pain we bear, simply because we don’t do it nuh.
So let’s wake up today my people, and take EVERYTHING to our omnipotent and ever-faithful, ever-caring God, because that’s what He desires of us. And furthermore, our problems and pains will definitely be lessened, we’ll also have more peace in our lives, and our God will be pleased! If that isn’t heavenly wisdom, then I don’t know what is! Much LOVE!
…why be a martyr…by holding on to unnecessary strife and pain…when relief can be found…simply through words sincerely floated up on high…