Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 October 2018 John 15:13.

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

Looks like a gloomy, ‘riney’ day. But who knows eh? By the time I go back upstairs after writing the Bit, bright sunshine might be flooding the land. The weather is so temperamental these days; temperamental like… wisdom dictates that I not say it, else I might just have a whole horde of women on my case like a plague of locusts. (smile) 

But brother, a majestic clap of thunder echoed through the area sometime in the early hours of the morning! It resonated like a true thunderous boom – that’s the only comparison I can find. I haven’t heard one as loud and powerful as that in a long time. It sure did catch my attention though I was caught up in the throes of sleep. 

This interesting prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional also caught my attention, and I’m going to share it once again because we desperately need this kind of prayer in these desperate times in which we live. This one’s titled ‘What a Friend!’ Wow! And you should know who that friend is! 

But please pray with me. ‘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, my people, what a friend we do indeed have in Jesus! None else can compare to His everlasting friendship! And He backs that up with the words of our Bit: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ And isn’t that the awesome truth! The most valuable gift we can give to someone is our life on their behalf. 

And Jesus did just that for us! Glory to the Most High God for preparing such a wonderful plan and then bringing it to fruition! And we have to give Jesus much thanks and praise too, because if He wasn’t obedient to the Father’s wishes, we’d ALL be headed for hellfire and damnation eternally. But because of His death on the cross at Calvary, we have a second option; salvation and eternal life, but only through belief and faith in Him. 

Now let’s look at a few scriptures that deal with friendship. First off is Cousin Sol’s famous statement that: ‘A friend LOVETH at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.’ (Prov.17:17) That just happens to be the true purposes of a friend and brother; to stand by one’s side, especially in the rough times. And as the Greek philosopher Euripides said so long ago: ‘Friends show their LOVE in times of trouble, not in happiness.’ 

Oh my faithful brethren, we do have the greatest friend in the universe always by our side, that’s Jesus, but we do need a few human friends too, but not too many, as Cousin Sol wisely says: ‘A man that hath friends, must show himself friendly,’ (Prov.18:24a) meaning that if you have too many friends, you’re likely to come to ruin. 

And that’s the gospel truth, as some of us have experienced, and we still see happening in our society everyday. Those people with the large entourages never seem to last long, because when their money is gone, so are the supposed friends. However, Cousin Sol does wisely continue: ‘and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.’ (Prov.18:24b) That’s Jesus my people! 

But there are a few human friends who will stick closer than a brother, and we are certainly blessed if we can find just one of those. One like this moving bit of scripture indicates between Ruth and her mother-in-law Naomi, after their men-folk had passed into eternity and Naomi decided to return to her homeland of Bethlehem. Naomi tells Ruth to go back to her people. 

‘And Ruth said, Entreat me not (urge me not) to leave thee, or to return (turn back) from following thee: for wither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me.’ (Ruth 1:16-17) What faithfulness my brethren! 

As the scholars explain: ‘1:16-17. Ruth’s faith and faithfulness are in evidence throughout the book, as expressed here in her commitment to Naomi’s God as her own. Ruth’s own concern for Naomi is bound by a strong oath made before the Lord Himself.’ 

And yuh know what friends, our God is so wonderful and faithful and rewarding that for her kindness and steadfastness to Naomi, Ruth ended up being the great-grandmother of Bruh David, and thus of the lineage of Jesus! Wow! Imagine that nuh! A pagan woman being in Jesus ‘ lineage! Only our God could and would do such nonconformist things. (smile) And we don’t have time for that other great friendship between Jonathan, Saul’s son, and Bruh David. But you can read about it in 1 Samuel 20. 

Yes my people, let’s hope that in this lifetime we can all have at least one lasting and faithful friendship, because we all need one. Now let’s go home declaring (spelled it right) our Thursday Blessings, letting the world know what it’s like to live and work for Jesus. 

Altogether now, in sincerity and truth: ‘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!’ 

Now remember we were given those blessings to share with others, not to hoard for ourselves. So please let’s go out and faithfully do that nuh, in Jesus Name. Much LOVE!

…when we are steadfast and faithful in our friendships…the Lord reciprocates with overwhelming godly favour… 

P.S. I went upstairs a while ago, and the sun is out. Glory be! And yes, it’s long…and late, but good! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 October 2016 Psalm 66:4.

Psalm 66:4.   All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name.   Selah.

And then it was Wednesday… another glorious day to be alive and kicking! All thanks and praise be to our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who selflessly sacrificed His sinless life so that we could be reconciled to the Father, and thus enjoy sincere communion with Him once again! 

And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful ‘Praise be to Jesus the Son for being obedient to the Father’s wishes! May He be glorified forever and ever. Amen!’ 

And the Father did just that by making His name higher than every other name, and having every knee bow to Him and call Him Lord, to the glory of God. (Phil.2:10-11) 

But you know what my fellow believers, Jesus is more than just our Lord and Saviour, He is also our best friend. Listen to this poem from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional, titled ‘What a Friend!’ I’m sure I’ve shared it before, but as we say, once it’s nice, we can share it twice, and even thrice. (smile)  

Please read with me: ‘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.’ 

And all of that is gospel truth my people! There is no better friend in the entire universe than Jesus! Please remember that so you can take ALL your concerns to Him and be received with comfort and LOVING-kindness. He will NEVER turn you away, regardless of the evil you’ve done. 

Remember His Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Oh friends, what a marvellous invitation! Please don’t let it go to waste! Now let’s wail our Wednesday Wail, confirming our great appreciation, LOVE, trust and faith in Jesus. 

Wailing: ‘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!’ 

Oh my fellow believers, we need to be ever thankful for the wonderful breath of life that God has blessed us with! We must also stop allowing the past to control us, but instead stay strong and steadfast in our duties and look to the beautiful future Jesus has promised us. Remember He NEVER reneges on a promise. 

Consequently, with all wonderful mercies and blessings and grace that God has undeservedly showered down on us, we ought to honour Him by acclaiming our Bit. ‘All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name.   Selah.’ 

Yes friends, the Lord our God certainly deserves all the honour, praise and glory that we can give, for He is a most awesome, gracious and merciful Deity! Now hear what the prophet Zechariah has to say, re the glorious time when Zion shall reign supreme, with Jesus as the Judge. 

‘And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of the tabernacles.’ (Zech.14:16) Oh mih breddren, everybody will be trekking to Jerusalem to worship King Jesus! What a pilgrimage!

And the scholars offer this explanation. ’14:16-21. The feast of tabernacles is the joyous feast of ingathering, rest, and thanksgiving. Israel celebrated it when they returned from the Exile (in Babylon). (Neh.8:14-18). The millennial reign of the Messiah is the realization of the Feast of Tabernacles. No other feast will be observed because the realities they foreshadowed will have been realized.’ 

Ah my faithful brothers and sisters in Christ, what a time of celebration that will be! Now let’s end with Isaiah’s take on the subject of Israel’s deliverance. ‘And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt; and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount of Jerusalem.’ (Is.27:13) 

Yes my fellow believers, ALL roads lead to Jerusalem, where Christ will sit on the throne of His forefather, Bruh David, and rule the world! And all God’s children gave a loud shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to enact justice in the world, now and forever more. Amen!’ 

So friends, yuh see what a wonderful life and time we have to look forward to when we sincerely hook up with Jesus and obediently do His bidding? Please, let’s not be foolish and pledge our loyalty to any other, for there is truly NONE like Jesus! Much LOVE!

…oh what a friend we have in Jesus…all our sins and hopes to bear…