Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 November 2019 John 14:2.

John 14:2.    ​In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
 

Yes mih people…we’ve been granted one more day of God’s tender mercies and inexhaustible compassions! And though we may not know why, we can be assured that there’s an important reason, because the Lord does have a plan and a purpose for every life He creates and leaves breathing here on earth. 

So let’s accept His largesse with a good attitude nuh, and joyfully declare like the psalmist did so long: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) And that is wisdom personified, for as the ole people would say, you can’t look a gift horse in the mouth, and we all know that our God would never grant us bad stuff. So let’s get out there and enjoy the day, be it rain, sun, sleet, or shine! 

And you’ll also notice that although it’s Saturday, the ole fella is up rather early. Chuh! I went to bed late but got up a couple hours later and could not go back to sleep, so after turning and tossing for about forty-five minutes, I decided to just get up and begin enjoying the day. (smile) And a part of that is reviewing the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better and brighter tomorrow. 

Listen to this first one: ‘Life changes very quickly, in a very positive way, if you let it.’ Now I accept the first part without reservations, but not the second, because like many of us, I’ve learned from personal experience, that if you leave life to do its own thing, then it will more often take you downhill than up. And that’s because life in this fallen world is basically a negative implication rather than a positive one. Simply notice how hard you have to try and formulate and keep positive thoughts and actions, whereas the negative aspects come in droves, completely unbidden. And if the evil and negative Satan is the prince of this world, then that’s to be expected! 

But hear this: ‘Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.’ Now that I have to chuckle at, because I’ve found that happiness more often sneaks out of the door you’ve left open than it sneaks in. In the first place, happiness is such an ephemeral and intangible thing that it’s here today and gone tomorrow. And when you’re happy, you tend to leave doors open, rather than close them, because life is so wonderful…and that’s when happiness escapes, like a thief in the night! 

And that leads us to this quote: ‘Happiness is not by chance, but by choice.’ Now that’s more like the truth! You certainly can’t leave happiness to the whim of chance, or it will have you up and down like a yo-yo! You have to grab happiness by the horns and keep it under heavy manners, because as soon as you’re not looking, it’s liable to slip away unnoticed. So happiness is a state of mind you consciously acknowledge that you will embrace. 

And this next one tells us: ‘We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.’ And is that ever true my faithful brethren! That’s because, as we said at the beginning, God has a plan and a purpose for every life He creates, and usually that doesn’t mesh with the one we desire to have. And I can personally testify to that. 

Yuh think the Bit you’re reading now is my idea? Definitely not! I never envisioned myself as a writer of scriptural stuff, but apparently that was the Lord’s plan, and though I fought it, He eventually won the battle. And here’s a li’l secret; He’ll always win, if He really desires to. 

So please, don’t do like I did. When He comes to you with some idea that you don’t like, don’t laugh because you consider it implausible, or fight it too hard, because He won’t give up, but will make life so miserable and unbearable that you will eventually give in. But the wonderful thing about our God is that He’s faithful to a fault. Anything He asks you to do, He WILL enable you to do it. Just look at my example; when I began writing the Bit, I didn’t know anything, now I know too much. (smile) 

And I always try to leave the best for last. ‘Some people look for a beautiful place. Others make a place beautiful.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! That’s also how it ought to be with followers of Christ? And there’s no more beautiful promise in the scripture than that found in these wonderful words of Jesus. ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

Jesus was there comforting His disciples, assuring them that all He said would come to pass, and He would be back to take them with Him some day to a beautiful place, an eternal home, He called heaven. Now hear the scholars’ thoughts on that marvellous place: ‘14:2. Heaven is a place and the eternal hope of the saved. Scripture describes it as a beautiful city where the redeemed will live for eternity. The activities in heaven include singing (Rev.15:3), worship (Rev.5:9), serving (Rev.2:17), ruling (2 Tim.2:12; Rev.22:5), fellowship with others (Matt.17:3), and eating (Rev.2:17). 

Illustration: The quality of existence in heaven is a life of fellowship with God (Rev.22:4), a life of rest (Rev.14:13), a life of service (Rev.22:3), a life of growth (Rev.22:2), and a life of worship (Rev.19:1). Application: The glories of heaven belong only to those who have personally trusted Christ for their salvation. Christians who work to win souls are gathering friends who will spend eternity with them in heaven. (First Ref. Gen.1:1; Primary Ref. Rev.21:1-5; cf. Matt.24:33.)’ 

Oh friends, in light of all that wonderful info, please, let’s make a serious and solemn pact, that we’ll all meet in heaven one day to celebrate with, praise and worship our great and Triune God. Much LOVE!

…only two options in eternity…heaven…or hell…you choose…by whom you believe in…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 November 2015 2 Peter 1:8

2 Peter 1:8.  For if these things be in you (are yours), and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren (useless) nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Aye Friends, this going to bed early is truly for the birds yes! Steups! I tried it last night and what a fiasco it turned out to be. 

Chuh! I was up almost every hour on the hour, then couldn’t find a comfortable position to go back to sleep, and thus kept turning and tossing. 

Then I was finally forced to get up by my aches and pains. It surely seems like they have all come out of the woodwork this morning, and have me doddering around like a real old man. (smile) 

Don’t know how people lie in their beds for 8 to 10 hours nuh. I could not even make seven comfortably. After about five, if so much, things begin to go awry with me. 

But you know what Friends, I will take those aches and pains any day over the more serious problems that more than half the world has. I at least have a roof over my head, food on my table and a comfortable bed to sleep in, I just can’t spend too much time in it. (smile). 

However, a lot of our brothers and sisters around the world, don’t have those luxuries, and may never have them throughout their entire lives. What a sad tale in a world of plenty! 

At least I know that as the day goes along and I move around, my aches and pains will gradually diminish, but there are too many unfortunates in this rich world whose lives will never change without help, and it is our bounden duty to help them in whatever way we can. 

We have to be people of excellence, of LOVE, care and compassion, as Jesus desires us to be, and share our good fortune with the less fortunate. That’s how people will know that we are true disciples of His. 

And while we’re on the subject of excellence, listen to this quote attributed to the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C). It says that ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.’ 

And that’s very true my people. You just don’t develop excellence overnight; you have to work at it continually. That means that excellence can only be achieved through repetition. And that is why we practice and practice and practice yet again, at the things we want to be excellent in. 

Nowadays everybody wants to be a supposed superstar, but unfortunately they don’t want to put in the effort and work necessary to become one. I think it’s the same with our Christian faith. We all want to be mature and righteous and otherwise, but we don’t want to do the things it takes to become such. 

Those Christian attributes don’t come overnight nuh mih people. Like everything else, they do take a lot of toil and time, effort and energy, misfortune and suffering. But the beauty of our situation though is that we have the powerful help of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in becoming excellent Christians, provided we’re willing to do what it takes. 

No other faith has that divine body continually with them, and I’m sure it disappoints Jesus when we don’t use His Spirit to the max, or in the best ways possible. 

Now let’s turn to our guidebook, the Bible, where we have this passage from 2 Peter that exemplifies all that we’ve been speaking about. ‘Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like (the same kind of) precious faith with us through the righteousness of (our) God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: 

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through (in) the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this (but also for this very reason), giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 

And to knowledge temperance (self-control); and to temperance patience (perseverance); and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (LOVE). 

For if these things be in you (are yours), and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren (useless) nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.’(2 Pet.1-8) 

Yes Friends, we already have everything we need to live fruitful lives, we just have to raise them up and work continuously at them. That’s the only way we can grow in spiritual maturity, which Peter is encouraging us all to do. 

And Peter doesn’t stop there, he also shows us the other side of the coin. ‘But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off (is shortsighted), and hath forgotten that he was purged (cleansed) from his old sins. 

Wherefore the rather brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall (stumble): For so an entrance shall be ministered (supplied) unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.’ (2 Pet.1:9-11) 

There we have it Friends; to become excellent in the knowledge and glory of Christ, we have to work diligently at it. And a large part of becoming mature in Christ is that as we grow, we also put our knowledge, faith, virtue, godliness, brotherly kindness etc. to work. 

For we ALL need to remember that our faith, Christianity, is not merely a lot of talking, but even more importantly, plenty, plenty action. So today, as we grow in faith, let’s also grow in our actions nuh, so that others may see our worthwhile fruits and desire to come to Jesus, and get what we have. Much LOVE!

…wherefore…by their fruits ye shall know them…  (Matt.7:20)