Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 July 2020 John 13:34.

John 13:34.     ​A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another.
 

Top o’ the morn my people! And wonderful greetings from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who’s also our Comforter and Provider! And He’s asked me to convey these most faithful and worthy assurances this Tuesday morning at the end of July 2020, when our world is in a most turbulent and unrighteous state. ‘Fear Not: For, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ 

Wow! What reassuring sentiments from the One who sacrificed His sinless life on the cross at Calvary so that we could be reconciled to God, justified, sanctified, made righteous and all the other wonderful things His death and resurrection accomplished. Mama Mia! How can we not LOVE and honour, praise and reverence and sincerely worship such a mighty and faithful entity eh? 

That brings me to these momentous words of His to all who believe in Him. ‘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) 

Oh my people, those words are ever so important on at least two levels. The first is that the attribute of LOVE, God’s highest, strongest and most pervasive attribute should also be very strong and pervasive amongst us. But then too, by us showing that wonderful thing called LOVE to each other, mankind will see and know that we are truly disciples of Jesus! 

Yes friends, our showing LOVE to each other is the surest way to point out, to manifest to the world, that we are real and true ambassadors of the Son of God; the One who’s name is above every other in the universe, except the Father’s, and to whom every knee must bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord to the glory of the Father. 

Unfortunately though, that attribute of LOVE is not being displayed enough amongst the supposed followers of Christ, much less amongst those who deny Him. And that’s why our world is in such a divided, disunited, strife-filled and topsy-turvy state! The LOVE of God is almost non-existent in our current society. But then how can we expect it to be when God Himself doesn’t hold much sway in it. He’s been placed on the back burner, or simply kicked out of many of our lives and activities. 

But the truth of the matter is that the LOVE of God is what’s so badly needed in our society to stop it from further crumbling and sinking right down into the evil mire that it’s currently headed towards at break-neck speed. But each of us supposed disciple must get up, get up NOW, and perform the actions of discipleship, particularly the showing of LOVE for each other if we’re to reclaim the world for our Lord and Saviour. 

Listen to these most informative words of Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians on the subject nuh. ‘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 all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more.’ (1 Thess. 4:9-10) 

Yeh friends, we’ve all been taught by God to LOVE, and many of us are trying our best to do it, but in these most trying and uncertain times, we desperately need to ratchet up that effort so that our world won’t fall apart. It’s as Jackie DeShannon’s popular song of some fifty five years ago, written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach, so rightly says: 

‘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.’ It was appropriate then when we were in the throes of the Vietnam War, and it’s ever so appropriate now when we are in the throes of a pandemic clothed with serious political strife. 

And John explains what the true test of knowledge, of discipleship is. ‘And hereby we do know that we know him, 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 also to walk, even as he walked.’ (1 John 2:3-6) 

Yes my people, the only way to know if we truly LOVE God and He is in us, is if are walking in His will, keeping His commandments, of which the most important is that we walk in LOVE! So please, let’s check our LOVE walk nuh, and see if it can hold up to close scrutiny. And whether it can or cannot, let’s do as Bruh Paul asks, and improve it, with God’s help obviously. We all have room for improvement, that’s for sure! 

Now let’s; go home telling the world who and whose we are, as we declare (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, 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!’ 

And that’s what true discipleship is; trusting our friend Jesus and sharing His wonderful, amazing and unconditional LOVE with the world. So let’s show some true discipleship nuh! (smile) Much LOVE!

…LOVE… the ONLY epoxy…the only glue…that can hold our world together… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 May 2019 Matthew 6:24.

Matthew 6:24.   ​No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and LOVE the other; or else he will hold (be loyal) to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (earthly riches).
 
And yes, it’s a cloudy, foggy Thursday morning in my li’l part of the world, but hopefully the sun will push through and decimate all the fog and cloud in a short while. But even if it doesn’t, if the sun doesn’t shine, we must remember that we have a friend, a Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ who controls the calm and the storm alike and He can decimate whatever ills, or storms that are blowing through our lives with one single, simple touch of His favour, mercy, grace and/or LOVING-kindness! Give Him the thanks and praise He so well deserves my faithful brethren! 

Ah mih people, our Jesus is so wonderful that there are no words in any language that can truly describe Him! We try, but all our man-made descriptions fall far short of the ideal, of the magnificent Deity that He is! Only Deity like Himself might be able to find language to truly describe Him. 

But until we get to heaven and hear the Father and the Holy Spirit describe Him, we’ll have to settle for insufficient terms like: ‘Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Rose of Sharon, Lily of the Valley, Emmanuel, A name above every other Name, to whom ALL knees must bow, Heavenly Advocate, High Priest, Son of God, Saviour of the World, ‘Uniter’ of Jews and Gentiles, He of the Immaculate Conception and of Virgin Birth…etc. etc.’ 

Yes friends, those are only some of the many names we use to describe Jesus, but the great thing about it is that ALL of them are true and reflect some aspect of Jesus’ great and godly character and the extensive list of jobs that He performs with such grace and majesty! How can we not LOVE and revere Him eh? And if we LOVE and revere Him, then we ought to be delighted to do His bidding, be obedient to His Word and His dictates! 

But unfortunately that’s where too many of us draw the line! Yes, we all claim to LOVE Jesus and spout a good talk, but when it comes right down to the nitty gritty, doing as he says, that’s an entirely different subject. We hem and haw about giving up our independence, about surrendering completely to the One who LOVES us so much that He sacrificed His sinless life for our sinful ones. He took our sin and gave us His freedom, His sinless character. 

But friends, there can only be one driver of a vehicle or ship or plane at any one time, and it’s either we surrender our lives completely to Jesus and let Him run them as He sees fit, or we don’t. There’s no halfway or in-between measure! You can’t sit on the fence and hope one side or the other will work out. With Jesus, it’s either ALL or NOTHING AT ALL! 

As He says so vividly in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and LOVE the other; or else he will hold (be loyal) to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (earthly riches).’  

Yes my people, that’s gospel truth! In this world you have to serve somebody, but you can only truly serve ONE somebody at a time, and the choices we have are simply Jesus Christ or the riches of this world controlled by the evil Satan himself. And today I just want to look at a few scriptures that promote serving Jesus as opposed to the evil one and his lure of earthly wealth and power. 

First up is Bruh Paul in his first missive to Timothy, where he warns. ‘Charge (command) them that are rich in this world (present age), that they be not highminded (haughty), nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute (to give), willing to communicate (share). Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.’ (1 Tim.6:17-19) 

Yes friends, nothing is basically wrong with being rich, God gives earthly riches to many of us, but we need to be generous and godly with those blessings. As the scholars explain: ‘6:19. When wealthy believers generously share (v.18), they secure an assurance (laying up in store for themselves a good foundation) that in the future (against the time to come) they will indeed enter heaven (lay hold on eternal life). 

Salvation is not purchased by the giving of money, but generosity demonstrates the reality of one’s faith. Since the believer trusts God and not money, he gives. This giving shows where his heart is and that he views his wealth in light of eternity.’  

Now James says it thus: ‘Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of (with) the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be (makes himself) a friend of the world is (makes himself) the enemy of God.’ (James 4:4) Yes my people, we cannot be both LOVERS of God and the world at the same time, as John says so clearly in his epistle. 

‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.’ (1 John 2:15-17) 

Ah friends, please pay particular attention to the part that says the things of the world pass away, but he who does the will of God abides forever, because it’s gospel truth. End of sermon! (smile) Now let’s go home declaring (right ho!) our Thursday Blessings, which the Lord has rained down on us to assist us in doing his earthly work. 

All together now with sincere hearts, in loud voice: ‘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!’ 

Oh true believers in Christ, how blessed we are! Now let’s go out and share those wonderful blessings as Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…all that we’ve been given…is meant to be generously shared…not selfishly hoarded…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 March 2018 Matthew 5:20.

Matthew 5:20.   For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case (by no means) enter the kingdom of heaven.

One more day friends! Yes one more day; that’s what we’ve been given, and that’s why it’s called a present, a gift, as well as the present, because it’s all we have to work with.  

Yesterday has gone by for ever, and tomorrow has not come as yet, if it ever will.  Therefore, we need to do all that we can in this present day to exalt the ONE and ONLY, True, Living God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as best we can. 

And all God’s children said a loud, proud and grateful, ‘Praise the Lord! Thank Him for all His goodness and LOVING-kindness to the undeserving children of men. Amen! 

And as the li’l thought from the Daily Bread Devotional tells us: ‘Jesus gave His ALL; He deserves our ALL.’ I couldn’t have put it any better my brethren. Jesus did not penny-pinch and play the scrooge when He sacrificed His sinless life for us. He gave it everything He had, put His whole heart and soul into what He was doing for us. 

Now, after He died for us, then rose from the grave, from the dead, so that we too can rise eventually, given us salvation, and is interceding for us at the Father’s right hand in heaven, while His Spirit lives in our souls, leading and guiding us in all truth, don’t you think the least we can do in return is to work tirelessly and faithfully to bring His wonderful church to fruition? 

Wow! What a mouthful my people! (smile) But it is the living truth. We’re definitely not doing as much as we ought to grow Jesus’ church. And WE ALL KNOW IT! We’re still letting the evil world and it’s evil associates control too much of our time and our actions. We talk a good talk, but don’t walk a good walk. 

That’s why the unbeliever looks at us askance, with a knowing smirk on their faces. They know that many of us are just a bunch of ole hypocrites, like the scribes and Pharisees of bygone days. That’s why Jesus declares so definitely in our Bit: ‘For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case (by no means) enter the kingdom of heaven.’ 

What a bam bam my people! Imagine that nuh; the most righteous, or supposedly righteous people of Jesus time could not get into heaven. And I know that we’ve used this scripture as our Bit fairly recently, but the Lord just put it on my heart to do it again today, possibly because He knows that we need the warning badly. So don’t get vex with the messenger. (smile) 

Now listen to the scholar’s explanation, once again. ‘5:20. Because of the necessity of righteousness as a requirement to enter heaven, Jesus then declares that except their righteousness should exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees they could not enter heaven. 

The significance of this is seen in the fact that the Jews of Jesus’ day considered these people to be the most religious in all Israel. However, their religion was largely an outward show of self-righteousness. In communicating the depth of His message, Jesus used a series of contrasts between the outward behaviour demanded by the law and the inner attitude of the heart desired by God. 

Here we discover the practical application of genuine Christian character to true spiritual living. Here we see the gospel in action.

                 Law                                                                  Spirit

            No murder                                                          No anger

            No adultery                                                         No lust

            No divorce                                                          Commitment

            No oath-taking                                                 Speak the                                                                                                          truth

            No retaliation                                                   Forgiveness

            Hatred for your enemy                                  LOVE for                                                                                                        your enemy 

  (tradition allowed it)                                            (commanded)

And there you have it friends! As Christians we need to come up higher in the spiritual realm than in the law of the world, if we are to be sincere believers. And I’m pleading with us today to stop giving Christ a bad name with our hypocritical behaviour. If we can’t live up to what He expects of us, then let’s stop talking the high talk we talk, and walk whatever low walk we can. Let’s not talk more than we can do. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, blessings that the Lord has specially prepared for us who sincerely try to do His will. As one 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!’ 

Oh friends, doesn’t it make you feel bad when you enjoy all those heavenly blessings and don’t at least try to reciprocate as best we can? It ought to. Much LOVE!

…righteousness is simply…the LOVE of Jesus…in action

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 September 2017 Luke 18:1.

Luke 18:1.   And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint. 

So friends, like fall has finally fallen! (smile) Yes, it’s still dark out at 7 a.m, it’s somewhat chilly, only 13 degrees, and yesterday I finally saw a set of fallen dry leaves merrily dancing in my driveway! That alone indicates to me that the weather has changed, or is changing. 

Anyway, North Carolina is still feeling the wind and water effects of hurricane Maria with plenty shoreline flooding, as she makes her way northward and out to sea. Ah Lord eh friends, it certainly has been a devastating couple of months in so many places from so many forces! 

And so much disaster has befallen us in the south and east, that we have forgotten that out in the west, where the devastation first began, they are still daily battling wild fires. Please, let’s continue to pray for them and help in any way we can, as we try to recover and rebuild on this side of the continent. 

And my biggest prayer is that this set of calamitous circumstances will truly bring us close together, as we help each other. Also, that it will eventually lead to us realizing that God is our ONLY true help in this uncertain world, which will further lead us to wisely embracing His LOVING-kindness once more, as the Sovereign Ruler over our society. 

In other words, we will purge the evil from our midst and go back to trying to live righteous lives, under His merciful and forgiving umbrella. That’s the ONLY thing that makes sense in this topsy-turvy world my brethren!  

Right now we need the biggest LOVE Revolution our planet has ever seen if we’re to make any serious and sensible headway in our society. Just look at the number of wars, rumours of wars and bitter strife that’s taking place in our world, despite the overwhelming disasters in almost every part of the planet. 

One would think getting together to alleviate those disasters would be the prime target of all nations. Hn! But no, feuding, warmongering, greed, religious intolerance and lust for power still seem to be our major preoccupations! 

What a foolish people we are! And yet we boast about mankind being God’s greatest and wisest creation! Steups! What a joke! 

Anyway, let’s turn to our Bit, which tells us the basic thing we need to do in this life, if we’re to succeed and prosper. ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.’ 

Yeh my fellow believers, that’s the wise advice of our Lord and Saviour, our Redeemer and heavenly Advocate, the ONE who sacrificed His sinless life for us. So if we say that we believe in Him, then we ought to do what He says. 

And John tells us right up front: ‘He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (1 John 2:4) 

Unfortunately my people, that means we have a whole lot of liars in our society since so many of us don’t keep Christ’s commandments, although we claim to be believers! But that’s another story for another day! (smile) 

Today we’re concerned with prayer and praying. And in Jesus’ most strenuous and difficult moments, in the Garden of Gethsemane, the night before His crucifixion, what was he doing? Praying to His heavenly Father. So Jesus knew the power of prayer and consistently practiced it. 

On that momentous night, He also uttered another serious warning on the subject. His inner circle of disciples were supposed to be watching and praying with Him: ‘And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ (Matt.26:40-41) 

That’s oh so true friends, but not too many, or not enough of us consider those words today, and that’s a major reason why our society is so awash in evil and ungodliness. So please, let’s consider them more than we do right now nuh. It’s all for our benefit, not God’s!

And if we sincerely believe and trust in Jesus, then let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings. Remember there is power in the word, and speaking it only enhances that power. 

So in unison, emphatically and enthusiastically: ‘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!’

Glory be mih people! Now let’s go out and share those blessings as Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…to be safe and not sorry…watch and pray…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 October 2016 Romans 8:37.

Romans 8:37.    Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.

Well hello there my fellow travellers on the glory train that’s bound for heaven! I do hope that this short (smile) missive finds you in good health and hope and that you are enjoying the journey towards the greatest destination ever – HEAVEN! 

Oh yes, we are meant to enjoy the journey too, that’s why our Lord and Saviour sacrificed his sinless life for us. 

Now, no long journey is ever easy, but we’ve been given the wherewithal to also enjoy this one; things like hope and faith, LOVE and peace, blessings and mercies, care and compassion, as well as the Holy Spirit of God that dwells within us to lead and guide us along the right path. 

Why do you think our Creator and heavenly Father ensured that we had all that good stuff eh? So that we could enjoy life here on earth! We don’t have to wait until we reach heaven to enjoy life, heaven begins right here on earth. 

He knew that earthly life wouldn’t always be easy and fun, but He’s given us enough tools to make the overall journey enjoyable. 

So please let’s start using those tools and begin enjoying our little bit of heaven right here on earth, else we’d just be disappointing our Father, Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit that’s working so hard to encourage and fill us with joy. 

Please remember that the joy of the Lord is our strength. (Neh. 8:10) So if we lose our joy, as the enemy desires, then we’ll also lose our strength in Almighty God. Sermon done! (smile)  

And since today is Wednesday, let’s declare our Wednesday Wail with the appropriate enthusiasm, passion and JOY! 

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!’ 

Yes friends, therein lies the joy that we’re supposed to have and show to this evil and ungodly world! We’re alive, and as true believers ought to be steady in our ploughing, concentrating on the wonderful future that Jesus has planned for us in the mansions in heaven, not our rough and cruddy past. 

Remember what Jesus said: ‘No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:62) 

As the scholars explain. ‘9:62. Fit, occurring elsewhere only in 14:35 and Hebrews 6:7, means “suitable” or “usable.” One who makes life’s lesser matters of greater priority than God’s work is of little use to Him.’ 

And remember too what happened to Lot’s wife when she looked back, as fire and brimstone were pelting down on Sodom and Gomorrah, she turned into a pillar of salt. (Gen.19:26) Nuff said. 

Let’s get into our Bit, perhaps for the last time. ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ 

Oh friends, that is such a wonderful scripture! It ensures of us the power we’ve been granted through God’s everlasting and unconditional LOVE for us! Wow! Are we ever blessed! 

And we’ll continue today with John’s treatise on LOVE. ‘There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.’ (1 John 4:18) 

Now, before we go any further, please listen to this explanation of that verse by the scholars. ‘4:18. Fear hath torment: Abject fear of God is based on dread of punishment. But God’s LOVE for us renders such dread obsolete. 

Fear is still part of the Christian walk in the sense of profound reverence, the unwillingness to violate God’s trust in us (see Acts 10:35; 13:26; 2 Cor.7:1; Eph. 5:21; Phil.2:12; 1 Pet.1:17). 

Believers need not fear eternal rejection as a result of God’s judgement (John 5:24), but this does not mean a Christian’s approach to God is to be casual and flippant.’ 

Please pay serious attention to that explanation my people, because it can make or break our Christian walk. 

And John continues: ‘We LOVE him, because he first LOVED us. If a man say, I LOVE God, and hateth his brother, 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? 

And this commandment have we from him, That he who LOVETH God LOVE his brother also.’ (1 John 4:19-21) End of story my people! 

And the scholars have this to offer. ‘4:19-21. Our LOVE, if it exists and mirrors God’s LOVE at all, is not our own but God’s doing. The epitome of hypocrisy is the claim to LOVE God while withholding LOVE from others. For Jesus Himself commanded that he who LOVES God is to demonstrate this through LOVING others.’ 

So my fellow believers, when we’re bandying around the word ‘LOVE,’ as is our wont today, please let’s remember its true meaning and give it its rightful due, for that is wisdom of untold proportions. Much LOVE!

…only the true LOVE of Jesus…can truly make the world go round…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 October 2015 Colossians 2:4.

 Colossians 2:4.   And this I say, lest any man should beguile (deceive) you with enticing (persuasive) words.

Well Friends, it’s Saturday… and in these northern climes the cold winds of autumn are now blowing steadily, with daytime highs of around 12 or 13 and nighttime lows down to 3 and 4 Celsius. That’s not a wonderful situation at all, because it means that the nighttime now calls for heat, and in the day time sweaters and coats and scarfs etc., for though the sun might be shining brightly its heat is negligible. 

But all praise to God that the Son is ALWAYS shining brightly and His LOVE and spiritual warmth never dissipates, regardless of our earthly seasons! Oh Glory to God my people, for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who sacrificed His sinless life on the cross of Calvary so that our sins could be forgiven and our souls reconciled to our heavenly Father! 

Please, let’s NEVER FORGET the awesome price He paid for our deliverance! He paid it so that we could have life abundantly, that we could be conquerors, that we could run this race of earthly life and be sure winners. And though we may fail often in this life, that’s absolutely no reason to give up. 

As our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us, says in a recent quote: ‘Failure defeats losers, failure inspires winners.’ And that’s gospel truth my people! When losers fail, they give up, but when winners fail, they get right back up and keep on trying, until they eventually succeed. 

And here are a couple of other quotes from two men who met with a lot of failure early on in their careers but never gave up. And we all know the results of their persistence and perseverance, for down through the years we have enjoyed the phonograph, the motion picture camera and the practical light bulbs of Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931), and the affordable motor car coming off the assembly line of Henry Ford (1863-1947), though now all in more modern forms. 

Edison is reputed to have said: ‘Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.’ 

Meanwhile Henry Ford apparently declared: ‘You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.’ And so saying he went out and developed the assembly line that built cars quicker and cheaper. And the same things apply to us Christians; we can’t give up, since giving up doesn’t exist in our vocabulary, neither can we build a solid Christian reputation on just talk. But we still try to do it anyway. (smile) 

Our lives ought to reflect that of Jesus Christ as much as possible, according to whatever stage we’re at in our race. But in this day and age of so much ungodliness, fraud and discontentment, where almost instant communication is available, and lots of out and out crooks, charlatans and false teachers abound, the believer has to be very selective in whom or what he or she reads, watches or listens to. 

Bruh Paul would have cried in dismay if he could see the amount of falsehood and deceit that’s been perpetrated in our current world. That’s why his words to the Colossians found in our Bit, are still so vital and necessary today. ‘And this I say, lest any man should beguile (deceive) you with enticing (persuasive) words.’ 

Yes my brethren, it so easy to be led astray today, especially if we don’t have personal knowledge of God’s Word. That’s why it’s ever so important for EACH and EVERY BELIEVER to read their Bibles; to study, to meditate on its contents, so you can have a good foundation and not be easily led astray by any and every nefarious doctrine that’s preached. 

Listen to how Bruh Paul puts it to the Roman church in his personal greetings. ‘Salute one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you. Now I beseech you, brethren, mark (note) them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good (smooth) words and fair (flattering) speeches deceive the hearts of the simple (innocent). 

For your obedience is come abroad (reported) unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace shall bruise (crush) Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.’ (Rom.16:16-20)  

And the scholars offer these explanations on those verses. ’16:17. Words of warning concerning danger threatening the church. Paul does not want the unity implied in verses 3-16 to be broken, marred, or impaired. Paul delivers the command to mark them who are the source of divisions and stumbling blocks in the assembly, because they cause divisions and offenses (cf. 14:13b). They are to avoid them or “turn away” from them. They are not to try to argue with or convert them (cf. 14:1).’ 

‘16:18. Serve not our Lord: Anyone who mars the unity or harmony of the local church does not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, regardless of his claim. He puts his interest above the welfare and interest of the local church.’ 

Oh Friends, oh Friends,  you don’t need me to tell you that ‘divisions and offenses’ as spoken by Bruh Paul are rampant and unceasing in today’s church, both local, national and international. It seems that politics, bureaucracy, greed, selfish pride and ego, along with an insatiable hunger for power are at the forefront of today’s church. That’s why nobody is taking us seriously anymore. 

But if the church cannot be trusted to do the right thing, who can be eh? I admire Pope Francis’ down to earth attitude and his desire to turn the church around to where it is truly a conduit to Christ, but he is only one man, and an old one at that, and some of the unrighteousness is so deeply built into the church and its bureaucracy, that it will take more than him to root it out. 

Anyway my people, enough for today. There’s a lot for you to consider, to ponder on, so please do, and then let’s try and improve Christ’s church, one day, one brick at a time. With His help, we can certainly do it. Much LOVE!

…oh how good and pleasant it is…when brethren dwell together… in peace and unity…