Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 May 2020 Psalm 37:4.

Psalm 37:4.    ​Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
 
And at long last it does look and feel like spring! Wow! It’s such a beautiful, sun shiny day out there, clean and bright, with most of the trees now dressed in their greenery of spring, instead of the bare, dead-like branches they’ve had for way too long! And since it’s the beginning of the long Victoria Day weekend, you know that despite the pandemic and restrictions and what not, many of us are going to be gearing up for weekend celebrations. But friends, I implore us to be careful. 

In the first place, please remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny Boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ Haven’t heard that for a long time eh? (smile) And the next thing is to remember that this Covid-19 sickness doesn’t take a holiday; it’s always on the lookout for somebody to infect. It’s like the devil, always on the prowl looking for someone to tempt and lead into deadly sin. So have some fun, more than we’ve probably had in a few months, but please, please, be careful, follow all the golden rules of this pandemic so that we can stay alive and enjoy the good and abundant life that Christ died for us to have! 

And since today is Saturday, we’ll mosey along and see what goodies our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Aw shucks! He sent us only one quote all week! Wonder what’s up with him? I hope he’s not sick, haven’t caught this virus business. And we pray that whatever the reason, the Lord will rectify it, and that he’ll be back in business this coming week. But even the one quote he sent us is an interesting one: ‘LOVE yourself enough to work harder.’ 

I don’t know about you all nuh, but I could certainly take that as my motto right now in these lazy, dreary, dispassionate days I’m now experiencing. Ah friends, what better motive can we get to work harder and better than a sincere desire to improve ourselves eh? Ofttimes we tend to work harder to please others rather than to please ourselves, but it’s ever so important for us to work towards the dreams and desires the Lord’s placed in our hearts. Otherwise what’s our purpose on planet earth eh? What good are those God-given desires if we don’t fulfill them eh? 

Bruh David puts it thus: ‘Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on His faithfulness). Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.’ (Ps. 37:3-4) Yeh friends, to truly achieve the desires of our hearts, we must first delight ourselves in the Lord our God, for He is the One who makes those desires come true! And as Bruh David said earlier from Psalm 21 – Praise for victory. ‘The king shall joy in thy strength, O Lord; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice! Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not witholden (withheld) the request of his lips.   Selah. 

For thou preventest (meeteth) him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head. He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever. His glory is great in thy salvation: honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him. For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad (joyful) with thy countenance (presence). For the king trusteth in the Lord, and through the mercy of the Most High he shall not be moved (shaken).’ (Ps. 21:1-7) 

Yuh see friends, the Lord planted desires in our hearts when He made us, and consequently only He can grant those desires, make them come true. And we turn once more to Bruh David’s writings (smile). ‘The eyes of all wait upon thee (look expectantly to you); and thou givest them their meat (food) in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfieth the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy (gracious) in all his works. 

The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. The Lord preserveth all them that LOVE him: but all the wicked will he destroy. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.’ (Ps. 145:15-21) 

Ah precious people, everything in this world boils right down to LOVE: to achieve our desires and do God’s will, there must be true LOVE in our hearts for God, for ourselves and our fellow man. Remember Jesus’ words when asked which was the greatest commandment. ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:37-40) 

Therefore my fellow believers, in these tremulous and rather turbulent times, it is of the utmost importance that we understand that LOVE must be the NUMBER ONE THING, the overwhelming factor in our lives, if we’re to successfully navigate and circumvent the calamity and exceedingly tough times that lay ahead of us. We can’t simply talk it, we need to show it in spades, for LOVE is an action word! 

And we’ll end today with these most fitting words of John from his first epistle. ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.’ (1 John 4:7) It can’t be put any plainer and clearer than that friends! Much LOVE!

…true LOVE can only inflame our hearts and souls…if God is truly ensconced therein…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 April 2020 1 John 4:8.

1 John 4:8.    ​He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE.
 
Come Easter Saturday morning, me and my friends, will be heart-broken, thinking of Jesus, His beaten and battered body buried in the tomb, but whose awesome spirit is fighting the devil in hell, so that He can return triumphant on Easter Sunday! Oh glory to God my faithful brethren! He’s such a wonderful God, and LOVES us much that He gave His only Son to die to atone for our sins on that horrible but blessed day called Good Friday! 

And it is always worth noting, that though we’re sorrowful for the abuse, injustice and terrible ‘sufferation’ Jesus experienced on our behalf yesterday, without Good Friday, we would never be able to have the joyous resurrection of Easter Sunday, and thus the amazing promise of eternal life! And all God’s people gave a loud and grateful cheer of ‘Praise the Lord, for His mercy and LOVING-kindness to the children of men!’ 

And having said all of that, let’s turn now to the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says it in spades: ‘The future depends on what you do today.’ And is that ever so true my fellow believers! The seeds of our today doing will be the ones we reap henceforth. As we all know, we reap whatever we sow, and as Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘We reap what we sow, more than we sow, and later than we sow.’ 

And ain’t that the gospel truth! Have you ever noticed how much harvest we receive even though we only sow a few seed? Well that’s exactly what will happen to us, with whatever we sow today, good or evil, LOVE or hate. It will be multiplied and measured back to us several fold. So please, lets pay close attention to what we sow today, for it will certainly boomerang on us tomorrow. 

And here’s another nugget of truth: ‘Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than trying to solve them.’ That’s for certain sure! We like to give it a fancy name like procrastination, but it’s usually an act of laziness, or fear, as we just don’t want to face the problems that have come against us. I can testify to the laziness aspect. (smile) And the truth is, if we just ramp up our efforts and deal with the problems in a timely and effective manner, most of them will quickly go away, for most problems are never as insurmountable as they seem when we shy away from them. 

Therefore, this next quote is rather timely. ‘Don’t brood. Get on with living and LOVING. You don’t have forever.’ And isn’t that what many of us are finally finding out with the Covid-19 pandemic that’s clutching tenaciously at our throats? We can’t allow life to pass us by without making significant efforts to throttle it and keep it in line. We must LIVE and LOVE as though there was no tomorrow! And who knows if there will be eh? 

But still so many of us refuse to do what is necessary to survive, or at least have a reasonable chance of surviving. There is still too much doubt, denial, confusion and totally different messages prevailing amongst the top echelons in our society, so what can we expect from the lower rungs eh, but the same negative behaviour. 

Then there’s this: ‘LOVE yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to LOVE yourself to get anything done in this world.’ I don’t know how much truth there is that statement nuh, although I suspect there is some. The long and short of the story though is that Jesus said: ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:37-40) 

Yuh see friends, LOVE for God ought ALWAYS to be first place! And you’ll notice that LOVE for self runs a distant third, because we need to LOVE our neighbours after we LOVE the Lord. The only mention of LOVE for self there is in the context of LOVING our neighbours.  How much we LOVE others, will be in direct proportion to how much we LOVE ourselves! The truth being that we can’t LOVE anyone, or can only LOVE them as much as there is LOVE in our own hearts. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say on the subject: ‘You can’t give away what you don’t have.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! If you don’t have LOVE in your heart, you obviously can’t give it away! That brings us to this amazing quote: ‘Keep LOVE in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.’ And don’t I ever know that! Oh friends, LOVE is the most important thing in the world, as Jesus reminded us above. LOVE for God, our neighbours and ourselves! For LOVE is truly what makes the world go around! 

As John so clearly tells us in his epistle. ‘BELOVED, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.’ (1 John 4:7) 

But the scholars clarify that by stating: ‘In context, John is not saying that everyone who LOVES is somehow a Christian, whether they trust in Christ or not. He makes it clear elsewhere that true knowledge of God entails right belief about Christ, as well as right response to God, including LOVE of others. Mere human LOVE apart from Christ’s redeeming presence and motivation falls short of LOVE in its fullest dimension as a human response to God’s perfect and infinite compassion (cf. 1 Cor. 13).’  

Thus the LOVE we’re talking about here is that which is securely entwined with true belief in Jesus Christ. And thus John could continue: ‘He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE.’ And all God’s people declared a loud and proud ‘AMEN!’ 

And we’ll close with this reminder from the scholars, re that verse. ‘John has also recorded that “God is light” (1:5) and “Spirit” (John 4:24). LOVE is one of many attributes of God and is to be understood in relation to the others, such as holiness and justice.’ 

And that’s why sin had to be justly paid for, before forgiveness could be bestowed. Much LOVE!

…but the greatest of God’s attributes is…LOVE…