Today’s Scrip-Bit   14 September 2021 John 13:35.

John 13:35.      By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.

So mih bredrin, a warm and wonderful Tuesday to all you who treasure Christ Jesus as Lord and Saviour! May His light and LOVE shine through us today, as we go about doing His awesome earthly work, encouraging others to come to Him and enjoy the amazing benefits of being in His blessed organization, His church, and also having a most splendiferous personal relationship with Him! 

What could be better than that eh mih people; belonging to Christ’s body of followers, but also having a personal friendship with him? Absolutely nothing! Yes friends, in Jesus we have the best of ALL worlds! Never forget that! So let’s stop selling both Jesus and us short by thinking and consequently acting like He is not enough, for He surely is…and much more too! 

Ah friends the ole fella’s just getting excited, as I usually do when I talk about the goodness and mercy of Jesus, because I’ve experienced so much of it during my long life, even when I didn’t know what it was. Yes, in hindsight, I can now see and realize that it was indeed the goodness and mercy of God that kept me going through some serious situations before I fully gave my life to Him. 

And since I’ve done that…Brother! I’ve seen so much of His undeserved grace and mercy, that I can’t even count or remember half of them! That’s why I can confidently tell you that Jesus is an awesome friend and Saviour. His work is demanding, but His yoke is light and easy to bear, while His rewards are outstanding! Glory be my faithful brethren! 

And all Jesus really desires of us is to show that most worthy and amazing attribute of LOVE in our everyday lives. When you break it down it looks like this: to LOVE the Father, LOVE Him, and LOVE ourselves and each other. Now that should not be as hard to do as we make it seem, since it’s basically showing kindness and goodness to those we meet. But unfortunately, it seems that the opposite and very negative emotion of hate, found in things like anger, bitterness, resentment, strife and unkindness, are much easier for us to propagate, since it’s that negative stuff that’s now holding our world hostage. 

How sad it is my people, that goodness and mercy can’t seem to outweigh hate and its evil companions. And it’s only when we receive Jesus and hold on tightly to Him and what He stands for that we can ever hope to defeat the enemy and His wicked ways. That’s why Jesus said to the disciples: ‘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) 

Yes, my fellow saints, that’s the big difference between the followers of Christ and the non-followers; the followers are supposed to have LOVE for each other in words and deeds, not just meaningless talk, nor as He blasted the Pharisees. ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres (whitewashed tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outside, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness).’ (Matt. 23:27-28) 

And sadly, that’s how too many of us supposed believers and followers of Jesus behave nowadays. That’s basically why the unbelievers don’t pay more attention to us, because we don’t truly walk our talk, that LOVE for each other is most definitely not shown in our daily dealings. Just think about all the divisions in the church of Christ nuh, with umpteen religions, sects, denominations etc., which only breed petty differences, resentment, anger and the whole host of negative emotions amongst supposed Christians. 

How can that sad state of affairs draw others to Jesus eh? The enemy is more together, more as one, than we believers are. No wonder they are in the ascendance right now, while we believers are running a far second place because of our many differences and lack of togetherness. 

And in his own way, John repeated Jesus’ invocation to the disciples in his first epistle. ‘And hereby we do know that we know him (Jesus), 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 himself also so to walk, even as he walked.’ (1 John 2:3-6) 

Yes friends, as the scholars so rightly inform us: ‘The test of knowing God’s LOVE is keeping His Word… While no one can or need duplicate Jesus’ atoning (earthly) ministry, His disciples are called to imitate His devotion to God and compassion for others. See John 13:15; 1 Peter 2:21.’ Those are indisputable facts, but unfortunately, our devotion to God and compassion for others is sadly lacking in these terrible times. And I believe it’s my bounden duty to highlight those two passages the scholars referred to above there. 

Listen to Jesus after He had washed the disciples’ feet. ‘If I then, your Lord and Master (Teacher), have washed your feet; ye ought also to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.’ (John 13:14-15) It couldn’t get any clearer than that friends! Jesus is the example we ought to follow. Granted, we can’t do all that He did, but we surely can have much more reverence and devotion to the Father and show more simple compassion for each other. 

And Peter tells it to us thus: ‘For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow in his steps.’ (1 Pet. 2:21) Don’t know what else to say nuh. So, for those of us who sincerely try to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, let’s go home declaring (yeah!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, telling the whole world who and whose we are; to whom we truly belong. 

Altogether now: ‘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!’ 

Now, it’s our duty to go out into the world and share that amazing LOVE and friendship of Jesus with the many who don’t know it! Much LOVE!

…it’s time for Christians…to play a strong and true game of…follow the Leader…                                                                                                           

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 August 2013 Acts 9:16

Acts 9:16.     For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
 
Oh Friends, as the old people would say, what hasn’t met you, hasn’t passed you. And that’s the truth in spades!
 
Now why am I saying that? Listen to this incident. Yesterday evening, around 7.15 p.m, I was out walking in my neighbourhood. On my way back home, along the busiest thoroughfare in the area, a black SUV – I believe it was a Jeep brand – went barrelling by me in the opposite direction. I merely glanced at it as it went by and saw three young white men riding in it, but paid them no real heed.
 
However, as the vehicle passed by me, one of the occupants shouted out ‘Nigger!’
 
It took a couple seconds for the word to register on my mind, and then realize that they were referring to me, as I was the only person walking along that part of the road. And by the time I realized what had happened and looked back, the vehicle had already sped through the intersection.
 
At first I chuckled to myself, but then the importance of the situation dawned on me. Didn’t these young white fools realize that they were stoking serious fires in their land? And even here in Canada spouting that word to the wrong people could get them killed? Obviously not.
 
It was also the first time that I had ever been called that our loud, though not to my face. And I’m not so naive to think that I haven’t been called that behind my back. That foolish act just proves that racism is still alive and kicking in good ole Canada, although so many take such great pains to prove otherwise.
 
And yuh know what? Over the last few years the racism has gotten and is getting worse, not better. Part of that is simply due to the fact that more dark skinned people are now living in the country, and the white population is running scared because their ilk will soon become a minority here.
 
The whole skin colour thing has always amused and amazed me, for as far I can see it all boils down to basic ignorance and fear. For when you don’t know or understand something, then you tend to get your back up very easily. And you also tend to take in front before in front takes you; meaning trying to make dark skinned people believe that they are inferior just because of the colour of their skin. 
 
And sadly too too many have been brainwashed into thinking such foolishness. And unfortunately, those young white fools still have those negative ideas in their heads, and no doubt will pass them on to their children, as somebody obviously passed it on to them, thus perpetuating the myth.
 
And have you ever realized that when a white person is displeased with a black person, the first word that automatically comes out of their mouths is ‘nigger?’
 
And please don’t tell me no nonsense about the ‘n’ word! Steups! What hogwash! Do you thinks that stops anything? Not on your life, for racial prejudice is alive and kicking very strong in North America. Even saw something earlier on where the Klu Klux Klan was reportedly recruiting members in some part of the U.S.A.
 
Now if the powers that be were truly intent on rooting out racism, their first action would be to ban the Klan, label them terrorists, or rather sadistic murderers and outlaw their racist activities. But no, they’re still going strong.
 
And what really amuses me about white people, despite their supposed dislike for people of darker hues, and their supposed superiority because of their skin colour, they spend billions of dollars every year in the tanning industry to get their skins darker. They even have to pass laws now, banning young people under certain ages from going to the tanning machines and salons that are spreading like the cancer that they are causing.
 
Hn. hn! Everybody LOVES to sport a tan, and they show off too, about who’s got the darker tan. Now how does that convince me that white skin is superior to dark skin eh? It really proves the opposite. And physically speaking that’s the awesome truth, because dark skin can handle all the elements of God’s earth much better than the fair skin can. It also ages much better, without all the wrinkles and blue veins showing up.
 
Anyway Friends, that’s my take on the situation. And believe you me, I’m very, very happy in my skin, the colour and all that it entails! I wouldn’t want it any other way, because I’ve seen from sixty something years of experience that it’s the best of all worlds!
 
Now, turning to our Bit: ‘For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.’
 
Those were words from Jesus to the disciple Ananias in Damascus, after the heavenly light on his way to Damascus to terrify the Christian brethren had blinded Bruh Paul. The Lord was sending Ananias to heal Bruh Paul’s blindness, but Ananias was scared because of Bruh Paul’s reputation as a destroyer of the faith under his given name of Saul.
 
But the Lord told Ananias in no uncertain terms. ‘Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.’ (Acts 9:15)
 
‘And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him, said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales (something like scales): and he received sight forthwith (at once), and arose and was baptized.’ (Acts 9:17-18)
 
Oh Friends, yuh see how Jesus can change us in the twinkling of an eye, how we can become a new creation almost instantaneously! Saul, the great destroyer of the faith, eventually became Paul, the great builder of the faith. But little did he know the horrors he would have to undergo to do that.
 
Likewise Friends, all believers have trials and tribulations to undergo on behalf of Jesus. But yuh know we can handle anything that Lucifer and his cohorts can throw at us, because we have several great affirmations and promises to stand on namely: ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) That means we can stand up to anything because of Christ’s power working in us.
 
And then, ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33b)
 
And don’t ever forget Friends, that great promise of our ever-faithful God. ‘I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.’ (Heb.5:13b)
 
And last but not least Jesus’ promise to the disciples: ‘and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen’ (Matt.28:20b) 
 
Yes my people, we can always count on our God to always be beside us, and when we’re too sick or tired to carry on our earthly journey, then He puts us on His burly, never-weary shoulders and carries us until we are healed and rejuvenated. So please stand strong in the faith.
 
And I have to chuckle here as I consider the affirmations we spoke about yesterday, then the Lord sends that small test with the racist remark, which hopefully I passed with flying colours. Our God truly is amazing! Much LOVE!
 
…through faith in Almighty God…we shall do very well…and that’s a proven fact…