Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 October 2018 John 15:13.

John 15:13.    Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
 

Looks like a gloomy, ‘riney’ day. But who knows eh? By the time I go back upstairs after writing the Bit, bright sunshine might be flooding the land. The weather is so temperamental these days; temperamental like… wisdom dictates that I not say it, else I might just have a whole horde of women on my case like a plague of locusts. (smile) 

But brother, a majestic clap of thunder echoed through the area sometime in the early hours of the morning! It resonated like a true thunderous boom – that’s the only comparison I can find. I haven’t heard one as loud and powerful as that in a long time. It sure did catch my attention though I was caught up in the throes of sleep. 

This interesting prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional also caught my attention, and I’m going to share it once again because we desperately need this kind of prayer in these desperate times in which we live. This one’s titled ‘What a Friend!’ Wow! And you should know who that friend is! 

But please pray with me. ‘You have never failed, Lord, to be my one, essential, intimate friend. When I was: Lonely in striving – you encouraged me. Lonely in struggling – you lifted me. Lonely in serving – you supported me. Lonely in suffering – you comforted me. Lonely in sinning – you forgave me. Lonely in sinking – you renewed me. Lonely in succeeding – you rejoiced with me. What a friend I have in Jesus! Thank you, Lord. Amen!’ 

Oh my people, my people, what a friend we do indeed have in Jesus! None else can compare to His everlasting friendship! And He backs that up with the words of our Bit: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ And isn’t that the awesome truth! The most valuable gift we can give to someone is our life on their behalf. 

And Jesus did just that for us! Glory to the Most High God for preparing such a wonderful plan and then bringing it to fruition! And we have to give Jesus much thanks and praise too, because if He wasn’t obedient to the Father’s wishes, we’d ALL be headed for hellfire and damnation eternally. But because of His death on the cross at Calvary, we have a second option; salvation and eternal life, but only through belief and faith in Him. 

Now let’s look at a few scriptures that deal with friendship. First off is Cousin Sol’s famous statement that: ‘A friend LOVETH at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.’ (Prov.17:17) That just happens to be the true purposes of a friend and brother; to stand by one’s side, especially in the rough times. And as the Greek philosopher Euripides said so long ago: ‘Friends show their LOVE in times of trouble, not in happiness.’ 

Oh my faithful brethren, we do have the greatest friend in the universe always by our side, that’s Jesus, but we do need a few human friends too, but not too many, as Cousin Sol wisely says: ‘A man that hath friends, must show himself friendly,’ (Prov.18:24a) meaning that if you have too many friends, you’re likely to come to ruin. 

And that’s the gospel truth, as some of us have experienced, and we still see happening in our society everyday. Those people with the large entourages never seem to last long, because when their money is gone, so are the supposed friends. However, Cousin Sol does wisely continue: ‘and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.’ (Prov.18:24b) That’s Jesus my people! 

But there are a few human friends who will stick closer than a brother, and we are certainly blessed if we can find just one of those. One like this moving bit of scripture indicates between Ruth and her mother-in-law Naomi, after their men-folk had passed into eternity and Naomi decided to return to her homeland of Bethlehem. Naomi tells Ruth to go back to her people. 

‘And Ruth said, Entreat me not (urge me not) to leave thee, or to return (turn back) from following thee: for wither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me.’ (Ruth 1:16-17) What faithfulness my brethren! 

As the scholars explain: ‘1:16-17. Ruth’s faith and faithfulness are in evidence throughout the book, as expressed here in her commitment to Naomi’s God as her own. Ruth’s own concern for Naomi is bound by a strong oath made before the Lord Himself.’ 

And yuh know what friends, our God is so wonderful and faithful and rewarding that for her kindness and steadfastness to Naomi, Ruth ended up being the great-grandmother of Bruh David, and thus of the lineage of Jesus! Wow! Imagine that nuh! A pagan woman being in Jesus ‘ lineage! Only our God could and would do such nonconformist things. (smile) And we don’t have time for that other great friendship between Jonathan, Saul’s son, and Bruh David. But you can read about it in 1 Samuel 20. 

Yes my people, let’s hope that in this lifetime we can all have at least one lasting and faithful friendship, because we all need one. Now let’s go home declaring (spelled it right) our Thursday Blessings, letting the world know what it’s like to live and work for Jesus. 

Altogether now, in sincerity and truth: ‘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!’ 

Now remember we were given those blessings to share with others, not to hoard for ourselves. So please let’s go out and faithfully do that nuh, in Jesus Name. Much LOVE!

…when we are steadfast and faithful in our friendships…the Lord reciprocates with overwhelming godly favour… 

P.S. I went upstairs a while ago, and the sun is out. Glory be! And yes, it’s long…and late, but good! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 October 2015 Ephesians 4:30‏

Ephesians 4:30.  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

And a fine good morning to you all, my Scrip-Bit Family! And it is indeed a fine day to be alive, since new, unexpected blessings and mercies are in the offing! May the God, our God of peace and LOVE bless us all this Tuesday morning as we go about doing His holy will. 

And since today is Tuesday, I guess that calls for us to recite our Tuesday Mantra. So in one strong and sincere voice let’s affirm this wonderful affirmation. (smile) 

‘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 hurry. I don’t have to worry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Yes my brethren, the most important aspect of our lives is that we are children of the Most High God Jehovah! That’s the telling characteristic that defines us!  What we do and what we have are immaterial and unimportant when matched up with the fact that we are God’s children. Please remember that. 

And to corroborate what we just said about Jesus being our Friend, listen to this poem from Gramps Schuller’s  (Dr. Robert A Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. I don’t know if I have ever shared it before, but it certainly is very apropos for today. So please pray this prayer with me titled ‘What a Friend!’ 

‘You have never failed, Lord, to be my one, essential, intimate friend. When I was: Lonely in striving – you encouraged me. Lonely in struggling – you lifted me. Lonely in serving – you supported me. Lonely in suffering – you comforted me. Lonely in sinning – you forgave me. Lonely in sinking – you renewed me. Lonely in succeeding – you rejoiced with me. What a friend I have in Jesus! Thank you, Lord. Amen.’ 

Oh my people, my people, that is gospel truth! I can testify to it, as many of you can, because in the darkest, roughest and loneliest hours of our lives, our ever-faithful Friend, Jesus, is ALWAYS there with us, and helps us to come through those unnerving times. Glory Hallelujah! 

NO ONE else is ever ALWAYS with us! And for that reason we ought to feel safe and comforted in each and every circumstance and be able to fulfill the words of our Bit. ‘And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.’ 

Yes Friends, that’s something we should always try to do, because it shows a lack of trust and character on our part. The Holy Spirit indwells us to lead and guide us aright, on the straight and narrow path that leads to God. So if we continually grieve Him, then we’re showing a terrible lack of integrity, of morality and goodness of character. 

And how do we grieve the Holy Spirit? Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the Ephesians. ‘Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath. Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil. 

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:25-32)  

Now that’s how we grieve not the Holy Spirit my brethren! Basically by letting go of all our past behaviour and putting on the new man that’s in Christ. As we keep saying, it’s not always easy to give up our former habits and friendships, but with God’s ever-present help, we certainly can move along that long and challenging continuum of maturity in Christ Jesus. 

Now here are some more detailed explanations from the scholars. ‘4:25-5:2. This section gives practical guidelines as to how “the old man” (v.22) can be laid aside and how “the new man” (v.24) can be assumed in daily living. The passage specifies five sins to be discarded, the virtues that are to replace them, and the motive for such an exchange: 

(1) Lying is to be replaced by truth-telling, since Christians are fellow members (v.25). (2) Sinful anger is to be replaced by (briefly held) righteous indignation, that the devil may not be given opportunity (vv.26-27). (3) Theft is to be replaced by honest work, in order that one may have the means to meet the needs of others, (v.28). 

(4) Foul language is to be replaced by gracious speech, that it may edify others (v.28) and not grieve the Spirit (vv.29-30). (5) Resentment and wrath are to give way to kindness and forgiveness, since God has forgiven us (vv.31-32).’ 

And there we have it in spades Friends; how not to grieve the Holy Spirit! So please, today let’s ponder all what we’ve read and, obviously with God’s help, try to improve our individual situations, re the grieving of the Holy Spirit, for that is indeed wisdom of the highest order! Much LOVE!

…what a Friend we have in Jesus…all our sins and griefs to bear…what a privilege to carry…everything to God in prayer… 

P.S. You’ll notice that the font is slightly bigger, that’s because one reader complained that it was too small for her deteriorating eyes. I wanted to tell her, well just go and get some glasses nuh. (smile) But that would have been rude and unmannerly, and we pride ourselves on not being that way. Hope it helps some others with the same problem.(smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 October 2014 John 15:13

John 15:13.   Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Aye Friends, we are alive and kicking to witness another brand new day, filled with God’s wonderful mercies, blessings and forgiveness! Wow! Isn’t that wonderful? It surely is, even though the weather in my neck of the woods is wet and chilly and miserable.
 
Hn! I guess my brother and his wife must have carried back the wonderful Tobago kind of weather we’ve had for the last couple of weeks while he was here. (smile) Anyway, regardless of the weather, let’s give our great God appropriate praise and thanks for allowing us to see another day.
 
And today we’ll be talking about Friends. I don’t know exactly how it’s all going to unfold, to pan out, since there is so much scripture dealing with subject, in good, bad and indifferent ways. But I’m going to be wise and simply put my faith in Holy Spirit to guide me into writing something sensible and useful. (smile) He’s been doing it for the last seven years, ever since I began writing the Bit, so why should He stop now eh?
 
I do know that we’ll begin with this poem from one of my favourite preachers, Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) taken from his Hour of Power Devotional. Don’t know if I’ve ever shared it before, but it’s certainly worth sharing again in this context, since it’s appropriately titled, ‘WHAT A FRIEND!’
 
 It boldly and proudly declares: ‘You have never failed, Lord, to be my one, essential, intimate friend. When I was: Lonely in striving – you encouraged me. Lonely in struggling – you lifted me. Lonely in serving – you supported me. Lonely in suffering – you comforted me. Lonely in sinning – you forgave me. Lonely in sinking – you renewed me. Lonely in succeeding – you rejoiced with me. What a FRIEND I have in Jesus! Thank you, Lord. Amen.’
 
Oh my people, I couldn’t have said it any better myself! And I’m sure that all of us can testify to the truth of those words, for we have all been befriended by God in our struggles in our pilgrim’s journey.
 
That brings us to our Bit; the overwhelming and oh so beautiful sentiments of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’
 
Wow! That’s all I can say in reaction that revolutionary statement! And the great thing about it all, my fellow believers, is that after making such a momentous and controversial statement, Jesus actually went out and died for us!
 
And all God’s children gave a joyful and grateful shout of: ‘Thank You Jesus! Thank You for dying for us on the cross at Calvary and paying our sin debt in full!’
 
Oh Friends, that’s a debt we can never repay! And Jesus doesn’t want or expect us to repay it either. All He desires of us is what He says after our Bit: ‘Ye are my friends, if ye do whatever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.’ (John 15:14-15)
 
Yes people, to be Friends of Jesus, all we have to do is believe what He’s told us, all that He’s heard from His Father, and then do what he asks us to do. But unfortunately, in these highly revolutionary and technologically advanced times, those words have fallen on deaf ears, as man boastfully beats his chest and feels superior, like he’s a god himself.
 
And sadly, we just can’t see how foolish that type of prideful behaviour really is, when with all our wealth, power and technological advances, we still cannot control the length of our days on this earth. The One who originally breathed His breath of life into us, still controls how long we spend on His earth.
 
That brings to mind Jesus’ parable of the rich man who had so much goods that he decided to build bigger barns to hold it all, then to ‘take thine ease, eat drink and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?’ (Luke 12:19b-20)
 
Yuh see mih breddren, all the wealth and power couldn’t keep him from dying that night. So doesn’t that make us look silly and stupid when we can’t control the one thing that makes us go, our very lifeblood, but we boast about everything else that flows from it, as though we are so superior?
 
Steups! Sometimes I think that man is God’s dumbest creation , rather than the brightest yes! But that’s another story for another day. (smile)
 
And we’ll close with the first verse of that old hymn that tells us so much about friendship with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Sing it with me please people, because we all know it, though we don’t all put it into actual practice.
 
As one mighty choir now: ‘What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.’
 
Oh Friends, oh Friends, that says it all! Many of our problems exist because we don’t take them to Jesus in prayer. Just imagine the amount of peace we forfeit and unnecessary pain we bear, simply because we don’t do it nuh.
 
So let’s wake up today my people, and take EVERYTHING to our omnipotent and ever-faithful, ever-caring God, because that’s what He desires of us. And furthermore, our problems and pains will definitely be lessened, we’ll also have more peace in our lives, and our God will be pleased! If that isn’t heavenly wisdom, then I don’t know what is! Much LOVE!
 
…why be a martyr…by holding on to unnecessary strife and pain…when relief can be found…simply through words sincerely floated up on high…