Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 January 2018 1 John 4:17.

1 John 4:17.   Herein is our LOVE made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is, so are we in this world.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, for His bountiful kindness to the sinful children of men! Bless Him for the indescribable mercy that’s new every morning to undeserving men! Bless the Lord, O my soul, for the saving grace, the reconciliation He has provided for us through the awesome sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ, so that we can believe on His Son and be called the children of God! 

Oh bless His holy name people, for the breath of life that He breathed into us when He so tenderly formed us from the clay of the ground! That was His awe-inspiring LOVE that He placed in us. And even though we’ve turned away from Him, He has not turned away from us, because that LOVE is unconditional and eternal, needing nothing from us, but to come to Him, just as we are, in whatever shape we’re in, and we’ll receive, with no questions asked, His fatherly care and all the comforts of home. 

And finally, bless the Lord, O my soul, for that amazing thing called forgiveness! That miraculous situation where the Lord forgives and washes away my awful sins numerous times per day, once I sincerely confess them and try not to repeat them. Oh bless the Lord, O my soul for the wonderful God we serve! The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! The God who made heaven and earth, and all therein! Bless His holy name, and serve Him with a wholesome heart, for therein lies true and eternal wisdom! 

Ah friends, whether you like it or not, that is how I was guided to open today’s Bit. (smile) And it’s all true! No other faith has anything that comes even close to our Christian way of life. And if you add them all up, you’ll see what a treasure trove of blessings we enjoy, even though we don’t deserve them. So for the life of me, I can’t see why we so steadfastly refuse to faithfully serve and worship the ONE true and living God of this universe! 

But friends, all I can do is give you the truth, we each have to make up our individual minds on the path we’re going to follow. Let’s hope that like Joshua, we all sincerely declare: ‘but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ (Josh.24:15) 

And our Bit for today just reassures and convinces us that when we follow the Lord we don’t need to fear anything. ‘Herein is our LOVE made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is, so are we in this world.’ 

And the scholars tell us: ‘4:17. Herein points back to verse 16 (dwelling in LOVE). By dwelling in LOVE, and thus having God dwelling in him, the believer gains the priceless assurance that he need not fear the coming judgement. This is our assurance, IF we LOVE in this world as He does.’ 

Please notice that big ‘IF’ there mih people! At some stage of the life hereafter we WILL be judged, whether we believe it or like it. However, ‘IF’ we live in LOVE in this world, we won’t have to fear that judgement. And John explains further. ‘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) 

Yeh friends, if we sincerely live in LOVE, then there’s no need to be afraid, because there’s NO fear whatsoever in LOVE. Listen to 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 read the references, I just did, and they are interesting. (smile) 

Yes my faithful breddren, not because we don’t have to be afraid of God’s judgement, means we have to live like leggo-beasts. We still need to reverence Him, give Him the honour and glory He deserves. For as John tells us: ‘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) 

And the scholars declare: ‘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.’ 

Unfortunately though friends, that hypocrisy is very rampant throughout Christ’s church. We talk the LOVE but don’t walk it. That’s why so many unbelievers just look at Christians, shake their heads, laugh and declare ‘Hypocrites!’ But this year we going to change that my fellow believers, because 2018 is the year of real and true godly LOVE! 

And to cement that promise, let’s go home by letting the world know our sincere and secure position in Christ, as we declare our Wednesday Wail with strong conviction, in loud voice. All together now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. 

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ And since all God’s promises are true, we know that the future with Jesus will indeed be glorious! Much LOVE!

…to truly know Jesus…is to certainly LOVE Him…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 June 2015 Psalm 103:8

Psalm 103:8. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness).

Well Friends, welcome to a wet and windy Sunday morning in my area of the universe! In fact it’s been wet and windy since yesterday around noon, and will probably remain the same until sometime tomorrow morning. 

So much heavenly blessing is expected that flood warnings have been issued to the low lying areas and those around rivers and creeks. Let’s hope that no serious damage occurs, although it’s always good to be prepared, just in case. However, a little water from heaven should not stop most of us from going to church this morning, though we are always ready to use it as an excuse.

I wonder how we would feel if when we cry out to God for help, He says: “Sorry I can’t offer any help right now nuh because the rain’s falling, or the snow is coming down in a blizzard, and in any case I’m just too busy, lazy or tired to help you right now. Check me back later, I might be able to do something then.’

No doubt we’d all be up in arms, criticizing God, but we feel it’s quite okay for us to make simple-minded excuses to stay away from His sanctuary and miss giving Him the praise, thanks and worship that are His due, as well as fail to receive the spiritual upliftment and encouragement that comes from believers in Jesus fellowshipping together.

Remember Friends, what’s good for the goose is also good for the gander. (smile) We can’t ignore God, then get annoyed and upset if He ignores us. But it’s a marvellous and wonderful thing that we don’t have that kind of God; one with a tit-for-tat personality and attitude, where whatever you mete out to Him, He has to necessarily meet back the same thing to you.

On the contrary my brethren, we have such a forgiving God, that it makes me sit and ponder in awe of His majesty and righteousness. Listen to how Bruh David describes our awesome God in our Bit that comes from Psalm 103 – Thanksgiving for God’s mercy. ‘The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness).’

Wow mih people! Can that be said of any other supposed deity? Obviously not! Because none other than the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are real, true and living gods. And nobody would know that better than Bruh David since he was a constant recipient of God’s LOVING-kindness despite his many wrongdoings.

Now hear how he continues after our Bit. ‘He will not always chide (strive): neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy (LOVING-kindness) toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame (understands our constitution); he remembereth that we are dust. As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more (not remember it). But the mercy (LOVING-kindness) of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;’ (Ps.103:9-17)

Oh my brethren, how can we not LOVE and revere such a wonderful Deity eh? We’d certainly be very foolish not to do so! He isn’t always chiding us for our mistakes, and His anger doesn’t last for very long. Most importantly, He has not given us our just desserts for the abominable sins we have committed. If He did, none of us would be alive to tell the tale, that’s for sure, since we have all sinned and come short of His glory. (Rom.3:23)

And even better yet, all those abominable transgressions have been removed from us as far as the east is from the west. He even treats those of us who worship and reverence Him like a father. He also knows our fragility, because He’s the one who created us from the dust of the earth and made our days comparatively as short as the flowers and grass that bloom in the fields.

Now why wouldn’t I be glad and rejoice and give thanks and gratefully appreciate all that eh? Hn! Unfortunately though, a lot of us, way too many, don’t believe it, neither do we appreciate God’s goodness to the sinful children of men. How sad and foolish my people.

It is indeed a very unwise move we are making, for we are playing with the eternal destiny of our souls, which could lead to death, damnation and everlasting separation from God. And as I keep reminding us, that is the worst fate that can ever befall a human being.  

Now listen to those same sentiments expressed by the Lord Himself, when He passed before Moses on Mt. Sinai, the second time he went up there to receive the Ten Commandments.

‘And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him (Moses) there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,

Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.’ (Ex.34:5-7)

Ah Friends, those were the words of the Lord God Jehovah Himself! And nothing much has changed since then. He is still the same faithful, forgiving, merciful, ever-LOVING, gracious, wise, compassionate and understanding God that He has always been.

Consequently, I urge us all to smarten up, to get our acts together and sincerely and reverently worship, praise, give thanks and glorify the Holy One of Israel; the ONLY TRUE AND LIVING GOD! For that is the ultimate in wisdom! Much LOVE!

…only fools run from the presence… and therefore the blessings of Jehovah God…