Today’s Scrip-Bit   12 May 2022 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. 

Come on friends, let’s see some Christ-like smiles on those faces on this beautiful spring Thursday nuh! Christ is LOVE, the Good Book says so (1 John 4:8) and the first appearance of LOVE from us should be a smile! Yes, my brethren our Christian faith walk all begins with a smile, for when we realize all the marvellous and miraculous benefits we have in and from Jesus, and they all start to flow out of us, there must be a smile of joy accompanying them, otherwise, how are people going to know that we are happy in Jesus eh? 

So, if there is true joy in our souls, then it will show on our faces through a smile. And it’s sad, pathetic really, the number of sour faced, miserable, unhappy looking supposed Christians walking about the planet! Some of them falsely believing that they are pilgrims and pilgrims suffer, so they need to look like what the cat dragged in. 

But that’s not true friends. For even if you are a supposed pilgrim and life’s rough, with all the wonderful stuff that Jesus has given us and placed in our hearts and souls, the joy, which is the strength of the Lord and the fruit of His Holy Spirit that’s been planted in us and growing beautifully like the new spring grass, must manifest itself in our behaviour, starting with a big smile and a heavenly look on our faces. 

Remember what Jesus said about the stuff that comes out of a man? ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt. 15:11) And that’s how it ought to be with believers, the good stuff of Jesus coming out of our mouths and lighting up our faces with His joy. ‘As the song says: ‘Oh happy day, oh happy day, when Jesus, when Jesus washed, when my Jesus washed all my sins away!’ 

Now, that day and that action ought to be always percolating in our souls and spirits, and cause us to live rejoicing every day. And rejoicing means letting the joy in our soul and spirit being made manifest on the outside, beginning with a glow on our faces and Christ-like actions reaching out to those with whom we come into contact. That brings us to these fateful and very crucial words of Jesus to His disciples, when he said unto them. ‘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 for another.’ (John 13:34-35) 

Yes, my fellow believers, the world will only recognize us as true disciples of Jesus if we show the LOVE He showed to us, toward each other. And sadly, that’s not happening as much as it should because many of us supposed Christians don’t even talk to one another because we are of a different religion or denomination, we have a different doctrine or some such nonsense. But the only doctrine in Jesus’ book is LOVE, and LOVE is an action-based reality, you can’t just talk it, but must show it, like Jesus said back there, if we want to be His true disciples. 

And He said it to them again later on. ‘This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you.’ (John 15:12) And I like how John sets it all out in his first epistle, when he talks about tests of true knowledge. ‘And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandment 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 are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought also to walk, even as he walked.’ (1 John 2:3-6) 

Oh my fellow saints, those words are ever so important in our walk of faith because they testify of our genuine knowledge of God, of true discipleship, which can only be accomplished by obedience to Christ’s commandments. It must be a conscious and enduring effort, for the true ‘test of knowing God’s LOVE is keeping His Word.’ And the scholars explain verse 6 thus. They say: ‘Even as he walked refers to Jesus’ earthly days. While no one can or need duplicate Jesus’ atoning ministry, His disciples are called on to imitate His devotion to God and compassion for others. See John 13:15; 1 Pet. 2:21.’ 

And just to refresh our memories, (smile) let’s look at those two scriptures. In John 13:15, Jesus says to the disciples after washing their feet. ‘For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.’ Then Peter corroborates that statement when he writes. ‘For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow in his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile (deceit) found in his mouth: Who when he was reviled, reviled not again (in return); when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.’ (1 Pet. 2:21-23) 

Oh my people, are we doing those kinds of things like Jesus did, or at least attempting to live that way? Hopefully, our answer to that will be a decisive YES! And if it’s not, then we are not living for Christ and are not His true disciples and need to change our lifestyles if we truly want to be made over in His image. And the great thing about Jesus is that when we truly desire and try to live for Him, He showers us with numerous blessings to help us do just that. We call them our Thursday Blessings, and when we declare them out loud, they serve to refuel and renew our hearts and souls, so that we can go out and do His work with new enthusiasm and LOVE. 

So, let’s declare them right now nuh, in loud and confident 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 every day! Amen!’ 

Now it’s up to us to go out and generously use those blessings to serve others, just as generously as Christ shares them with us. Much LOVE!

…talk is cheap…but LOVE…that’s action…calls for sacrifice…  

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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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