Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 May 2018 Ezekiel 11:19.

Ezekiel 11:19.    And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you (them); and I will take the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh.

Wow friends, it’s Friday already! A week since I had the surgery, and hopefully I’m on my way to a full recovery. But it’s going to take time.  And isn’t it strange how time seems to go by quickly when you don’t want it to, and slowly when you want it to go by quickly. 

Hn! I guess you’d call that life. But anyway, there’s not much we can do about it, but hope that it comes up in our favour and we have the patience and perseverance to bear how ever long time takes. (smile) 

Anyway, sorry about that break, a friend came to visit and we had a nice long chat. Thanks for the visit Mabel. And regardless of what I might have to say, the workingman is still going to sing his song: 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Oh people, oh people, the weekend here! Is we time now. No more work…just party and enjoy we selves… and doh care who doh like it. Heh, heh, heh! Enjoy yourself…Enjoy yourself…it’s later than you think…and yuh better believe it! Time not waiting on you. Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, as usual, the workingman does have some good points, but he just goes a tad too far out on the limb. We believers are not allowed, or rather supposed to go that far out. We have boundaries that serve to keep the enemy from getting even a toehold in our affairs. That’s why our Friday Chant is so different from the workingman’s song. So with just as much, if not more enthusiasm, let’s chant it now nuh. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Ah mih breddren, as faithful followers of Jesus, our lot is to stay within the boundaries that Jesus set. Enjoy ourselves, but don’t get too lustful and licentious. Don’t allow our flesh to control us, but rather let the Spirit of Jesus lead and guide our earthly journey. 

Oh my people, from way back when, the Lord promised that Holy Spirit. Listen to Him through Ezekiel from our Bit.‘And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you (them); and I will take the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh.’ 

Why, you wonder? ‘That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances (judgements), and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.’ (Ezek.11:20) And as always friends, the Lord kept His promise on that first day of Pentecost. 

As the Good Book tells it: On that faithful day, the apostles were all sitting together, ‘And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:3-4) 

What a faithful and awesome God we serve people! One who keeps His promises though we may have to wait on His timing for them. Under the Mosaic covenant, the Holy Spirit would fall upon individual people at certain times, and act in an external manner, but after Jesus ascended back to heaven, the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity, then was sent to dwell in the hearts and souls of each and every believer. 

The Lord took away our hearts of stone and gave us hearts of soft, pliable and malleable flesh, hearts filled with His LOVE and compassion, rather than the enemy’s hate, anger and evil purposes. Glory to our great and wonderful God my brethren! Such an awesome and ever-LOVING Deity who while we were yet sinners, sacrificed His Only Son, Jesus Christ, to pay for our abominable sins, so that we could be made sons, heirs to His kingdom. 

Mama Mia! How could we not LOVE and revere, and adore and exalt Him eh? We’d have to be the most ungrateful and selfish of creatures. And unfortunately there are way too many of us like that. And I’m not going to get into all the works and actions of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we all know them, or should by now. 

I’m just going to end with two pieces of Old Testament scripture that are still very relevant to our modern day lives. The first is a warning from Cousin Sol: ‘He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.’ (Prov.16:32) 

That means, controlling ourselves is of enormous importance, and although the Holy Spirit is there to lead and guide us, we still have to make the decision to listen to the Spirit’s guidance and accede to His wishes. And we’ll end with this beautiful bit of heart-felt scripture from Bruh David, after he acknowledges his sin with Bathsheba. 

‘Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps.51:10) Yeh friends, our magnanimous God will NEVER turn down a sincere, heartfelt plea like that. So when we feel things aren’t right with us, don’t be afraid to call out to Him for help. He’s always available to help us. Much LOVE!

…the worker bee of the Holy Trinity…Holy Spirit…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 March 2018 Matthew 6:12.

Matthew 6:12.    And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Awright friends and faithful followers of Jesus Christ, we’ve been blessed with another day on God’s great earth! So let’s take advantage of it nuh, because we don’t know how many more we will be blessed with, if any, and let’s open today by declaring like the psalmist did so long ago: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) 

Wow! What a positive opening statement friends! That sets the tone for the rest of our day. We have the opportunity now to go out and enjoy God’s favour; His mercy, grace, LOVE and forgiveness as we work with diligence and excellence to do His awesome, holy will. 

Mama Mia! It couldn’t get any better than that in this sinful and wicked world nuh mih people! Living under Christ’s umbrella is the best antidote for all that ails the world and us. 

And I have a li’l something to share from C.S. Lewis that describes our Christian walk. He says: ‘To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! God has forgiven us so greatly that it’s only reasonable and to be expected that we forgive others. 

And you know what friends? That isn’t even an individual choice we have, because our Lord and Saviour, Our Leader and heavenly King, Jesus Christ enshrined it as a decree in what is commonly known as the Lord’s Prayer, as our Bit declares: ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ 

Now what does that mean? The scholar’s offer this explanation: ‘6:12. Forgive us our debts refers to sins, which are our moral and spiritual debts to God’s righteousness. The request for forgiveness of sin is made here by the believer. In order to be saved one need not necessarily name all of his sins, but he must confess that he is a sinner.’  

A good thing too, else some of us would still be confessing. (smile) And why is forgiveness so important you wonder? Well Jesus explains a couple of verses later. ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.12:14-15) 

It’s as simple as that my brethren! Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Don’t forgive, and you won’t be forgiven. As the old people would say, ‘tit for tat.’ And would you believe, that in spite of Christ’s serious warning, forgiveness is currently one of the world’s biggest problems? And not only on the small, individual scale, but also on the large national stage. 

What do you think is causing so many small wars and skirmishes to continue to flower and flourish all over the world eh? Memories of wars and other atrocities committed by long ago descendants. But the current ones have not forgotten or forgiven, so the anger, bitterness and hatred continue, unfortunately festering the souls of legions of people who had nothing to do with the initial atrocities. 

Just look at the distrust and angst between the Japanese, Koreans and Chinese that now plays out in international affairs because of the way the Japanese ravaged the Chinese and Koreans in the recent wars. It’s the same thing in the Middle East. Thousands of years have passed and old wounds are still festering. Look at Britain, with Wales, Scotland and Ireland; the same thing is happening. 

Old injuries and slights are still playing a vibrant part in today’s scenarios. And we won’t even talk about what’s happening with the individual members of our society. Forgiveness is anathema; repugnant and odious to so many of us, as we scurry through the rat race, the dog eat dog scene that’s today’s world. 

We’re only interested in our own aggrandizement, and anyone that gets in our way, too bad for them. We want to be forgiven, but we refuse to forgive. And if yuh think that forgiving is a one-time deal, you better had think again. For when Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother ‘till seven times?’ Jesus replied: ‘I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but until seventy times seven.’ (Matt.18:21-22) 

So friends, forgiveness is an ongoing action. It never stops. Once there has been an infraction, there needs to be forgiveness. And the sad part of the matter is that forgiveness isn’t so much for the other person, but for you the forgiver. It releases your spirit from anger and bitterness and all the other negative emotions that clutter up your soul when you refuse to forgive. 

Oftimes the person who you think has done you wrong, doesn’t even know it, or care, and goes on about their business regardless, while you hold all the unforgiveness in your heart. You are the one who’s suffering because you refuse to let go of the wrong. That’s not a very wise way to live my brethren. So please, let’s raise our level of forgiveness, and see how it raises the level of the remainder of our life nuh. 

Now let’s go home shouting out to the world, our position in Jesus Christ through our Wednesday Wail. Altogether now.  ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And oh, how glorious indeed, will be that future with Jesus! I cant wait to experience it! Much LOVE!

…to forgive, forgive…and yet to forgive…that’s the message of Christ…and His cross…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 February 2018 1 Corinthians 12:14.

1 Corinthians 12:14.   For the body is not one member, but many.

Ah friends, how nice it is to get a spring-like break amidst the bone-chilling cold of winter that’s been dogging us for some time now! And this past week has certainly been like that in my area. The temps have mainly been above freezing and it might even continue like that for the next couple of days. 

But I guess you can’t get the good without the bad, for though it’s been warm, it’s been rainy and cloudy, with flooding in several areas. More rain and flooding are expected this weekend across the U.S. South and Midwest. But I’ll take the rain and whatever, over the snow any day. (smile) That’s possibly because I’m not personally experiencing any flooding. Let’s pray for those who are undergoing that kind of disaster right now my brethren. 

And since today is Saturday, it’s time to look at some of the quotes our friend, Anselm, sent us this week, in his heartfelt attempt to inspire us for a better tomorrow. The first one says: ‘You can’t knock on opportunity’s door and not be ready.’ That should be obvious. Why would you be seeking an opportunity if you were not ready and able to undertake it eh? But unfortunately, a lot of us misguidedly do it. 

And the second tells us: ‘Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.’ What glorious truth that is my people! You’re never really defeated until YOU decide to give up! How can you be defeated if you keep on fighting, keep coming back again and again eh? 

And that philosophy applies ever so much to Christians, because in our Lord and Saviour’s vocabulary there is NO GIVING UP! Why should there be, when ALL THINGS are possible through Christ? That’s a very significant aspect of the believer’s walk with God, and his ability to grow in Christ’s image. If you don’t believe that, then you’re lost from the very start. 

Now listen to this quote. ‘Instead of looking at the past, I put myself ahead twenty years and try to look at what I need to do now in order to get there then.’ Now I don’t know if you need to look so far ahead – possibly take it in smaller increments – but you do need to decide what you’re going to be all about later on in life, so that you can do the stuff that’s necessary to get you there. 

However, with the believer, it’s a li’l different. We need to discover God’s calling for our lives, so that we can walk successfully in His will. Yuh see, what we might like to do in the world, is not always what the Lord wants us to do. And as a faithful believer and follower, it behooves us to find God’s purpose and follow it as closely as possible. 

And the last quote says: ‘Success is empty if you arrive at the finish line alone. The best reward is to get there surrounded by winners.’ And that’s oh so true! You can’t really enjoy success if you’ve achieved it all by yourself. Success is meant to be enjoyed with others. 

In the first place, you will very seldom achieve success if you don’t surround yourself with positive, successful thinking people. That’s why there are clichés like ‘no man is an island’ and  ‘you can’t go it alone.’ 

And Bruh Paul took pains to point out that the church of Christ is one body, though it’s made up of individuals, hence his writing to the church at Corinth that includes our Bit. ‘For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 

For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond (slave) or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.’ (1 Cor.12:12-14) 

Yeh friends, believers are all a part of ONE BODY; that of Christ; of His Church! Regardless of colour, creed or race, once you receive Christ as your Lord and Saviour, you are baptized with His Spirit that immediately comes to dwell in you, and you become a part of that big body called Christ’s Church. 

As Bruh Paul philosophizes to the church at Rome. ‘For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office (function): So we being many, are one body in Christ, and every one (individually) members one of another.’ (Rom.12:4-5) 

Ah mih people, in every organization the members have different functions and duties, which holds that organization together. If those members don’t perform their functions in a serious and positive manner, then the organization won’t last long. It’s the same way with Christ’s church. If we, as members, don’t play our individual parts, then the body won’t function as it should. 

And that’s exactly what’s happening in Christ’s church right now. There is too much anger and resentment, too many power struggles and cliques, too much dissension and disunity, too much diversion from the original gospel, with people preaching all sorts of different things and filtering in new interpretations as dictated by the world. How can Christ’s church be successful under those conditions eh? NEVER! 

That’s why Lucifer and his evil cohorts currently have the world in a stranglehold; they are united, but Christ’s people are not. Yes my fellow believers, until we stop talking and fighting against each other and come together as one, evil will rule the world. Now let’s sit down and ponder that. Is that what we truly want? Much LOVE!

…unity and solidarity should not be mere words in Christ’s church… 

P.S. Sorry for the lateness of the Bit. It’s Saturday, so I slept in. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 February 2018 Psalm 37:7.

Psalm 37:7.    Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass.

Well friends, the rain continues to sprinkle down in my neighbourhood this Tuesday morning, marking a somewhat dark and dismal start to the day. But please remember that despite the physical darkness that might surround you, the brilliant spiritual light of Jesus is always shining forth in the lives of true believers. Glory to God! 

What would we do without Jesus eh friends? I really don’t know nuh! For He is our Be ALL and End ALL – Our Alpha and Omega! In fact, He’s EVERYTHING to us! Without Him, our lives would simply be fodder for the evil Lucifer. Thank the Lord for Jesus yes! 

And here’s a li’l insight into the situation through a Daily Bread Devotion Thought for the day. ‘The Father gave us the Spirit to make us like the Son.’ Glory be mih people! That’s our inevitable end, our very purpose for being; to become like our big brother, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! It’s God’s eternal hope for us. 

Oh, He knows that we will never be completely like Jesus, because we just don’t have all His parts, but we can certainly become more Christ-like than we currently are. And that’s something we ought to work towards, both individually and as the body of Christ, the church. 

But growing in faith and maturity in Christ, also means enduring trials and tribulations, adversity and calamity. For one does not grow that much in good times, but it’s in the rough times that we see our faith working wonders, our belly and backbone being strengthened, as we trust in and rely on God more than ever. 

And the wonderful thing about our amazing God is that He helps us in doing whatever He asks us to do. He doesn’t ask us to do something, then leave us to fend for ourselves. Absolutely not! He gives us the wherewithal to do His bidding and comes to our aid when we ask for it. 

No other supposed Deity does anything like that. Give Him much thanks and praise my people, for being such a wonderful God to us, woeful sinners that we are!  

And the problems we encounter in walking with Christ are mostly brought on by our lack of trust in God and our impatience, our failure to wait on His timing. God has promised that He will never leave nor forsake us, and we know that He NEVER reneges on a promise, so why are we so distrustful and impatient eh? 

Because we tend to live by the carnal and fleshly laws of the world, more than the spiritual laws of God. The world touts now for now happenings, but the Lord says wait on me. 

And nowhere is it said better than in Psalm 37 – the true state of the wicked- those immortal words of Bruh David that make up our Bit for today. ‘Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass.’ 

Yes we all know that passage, but we don’t practice it as much as we should.  Oh, I know that the world is always bombarding us with it’s unholy messages, but there’s no real excuse for us not following Bruh David’s wise advice more faithfully, especially as we see God’s handiwork in our lives and we grow in His grace. 

And I know that I quoted these verses from Psalm 37 not too long ago, but I’ll quote them again, because we only learn stuff through repetition; hearing or doing them again and again. And we definitely need to hear them again, if we’re ever going to stop living by the carnal laws of the world, and live by the spiritual ones of Christ instead. 

So here goes: ‘Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. 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. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgement (justice) as the noonday.’ (Ps.37.1-6) 

Yeh mih breddren, that’s what our faith is all about: trusting in the Lord and waiting patiently and eagerly for Him to do His will in our lives! Only then will righteousness and justice show forth in our lives. 

Now listen to these two verses after our Bit. ‘Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off (destroyed): but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.’ (Ps.37:8-9) 

And there we have the whole believer’s life story in a nutshell: trust in God, forsake jealousy and anger, do good, wait patiently on Him, and He will cause your life to be truly blessed. And that’s gospel truth my brethren! So let’s live up to it, as we should nuh. 

Now let’s go home faithfully and sincerely declaring our Tuesday Mantra, proudly letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In unison now: ‘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!’ 

And having faithfully declared it, let’s now go out and put it into action as Jesus so badly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…wait…hope…trust…do good…look to the Lord…are not mere words to a true believer…but a steadfast way of life…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 February 2018 Psalm 27:14.

Psalm 27:14.  Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. 

Awright friends, it’s Saturday…lazy time for some, but lots of housework for others… and then there’s disaster recovery for others. 

Yes, our good friend, natural disaster has reared it’s ugly head again, at least twice this week; earlier on when cyclone Gita, a category 4 storm, tore through the Polynesian island nation of Tonga, and yesterday when another major earthquake of some 7.2 magnitude and an aftershock of 5 point something, hit the area around Mexico City. Luckily the damages weren’t nearly as bad as the one they experienced last year. 

They say disaster usually comes in threes; and of course we had the shooting rampage at the High School in Florida earlier on this week too. And what’s heightened the anger down there is that the Sheriff’s Dept. reportedly had numerous calls about the shooter over the last few months.

The FBI also apparently had a tip on their Hot Line about him recently, and yet nothing was done by either agency to both remove and help him. And then we wonder why these things happen. Ah Lord eh! But ours is not to wonder why, but to do and hope not to die! 

Now since it’s Saturday, let’s take a look at the quotes our friend Anselm graced us with this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘The most successful people reach the top not because they are free of limitations, but because they act in spite of their limitations.’ 

And there’s a lot of truth to that, for if you look at many successful people, they overcame a whole lot of limitations to make it to the top. And if you truly want to be successful, you can’t afford to let limitations stop you, otherwise you’ll never fulfill your dream. 

And the next one says: ‘People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.’ Now that can be a bit contentious, because if you’re talking about fulfillment and happiness through the world’s carnal and evil system, then your are definitely lost! 

However, if you’re walking on the road to happiness and fulfillment with Jesus…oh my brethren, then you’re definitely on the right track! Because only through Jesus can we ever find the joy and fulfillment that lasts and earthly lifetime…and then forever… 

And the last quote is also one that provides room for some contention. All it says is: ‘Life is too short to wait.’ Well to a certain extent that’s true, but more so in the physical realm of the world, where haste and speed is everything. But in the spiritual realm of God’s world, waiting is everything my people! 

It’s essential that we wait on God’s timing, for if we don’t, our whole life can go haywire in no time at all. That’s why there are so many admonitions in the Lord’s word about waiting on Him, one of the most famous being our Bit. ‘Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.’ 

Oh friends, what marvellous advice from Bruh David! And nobody knew better than him, about waiting on the Lord. Look at how long after he was anointed to be king, and the number of trials and tribulations he went through before he finally ascended to Israel’s throne. 

He could have tried to make it happen in his own schedule, but I assure you, it would either have never come true, or been and abject failure, but definitely not the glorious reign he enjoyed under God’s timing. 

And today, I just want to remind us of a few of the many scriptures that advocate waiting on God. Let’s begin with this one from Cousin Sol, on the matter of revenge. ‘Say not thou, I will recompense (repay) evil; but wait on the Lord, and he shall save thee.’ (Prov.20:22) In the first place we should not be seeking revenge, for the Lord has said that’s His job. 

Now hear Isaiah in his song of the redeemed. ‘And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.’ (Is.25:9) 

And we all know the famous scripture from Isaiah 40. ‘But they that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.’ (Is.40:31) Plenty of us quote it, but not enough live by it. 

And then there is this astute reminder from Jeremiah in his Lamentations: ‘The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:25-26) 

And we have this command from Jesus to the disciples re waiting in Jerusalem. ‘And being assembled together with them (Jesus) commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.’ (Acts.1:4-5) 

And some fifty days later the Holy Ghost baptized them with tongues of fire on the Day of Pentecost. Yuh think if they had disobeyed Jesus and moved on they would have received the Holy Ghost and been able to set the table for the dispensation of the gospel all over the world? 

Not on your life. If they hadn’t obeyed, we would probably never have heard of Christ and His wonderful, free offer of salvation and eternal life, and thus been forced to associate with Lucifer and his evil cohorts in Hades. What an awful and frightening thought! 

And though it’s getting pretty long, (smile) I still want to throw in this gem from Bruh David, because it covers all bases. ‘Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass. 

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil (it only causes harm). For evil doers shall be cut off (destroyed): but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.’ (Ps.37:7-9) 

Yeh friends, it’s not always easy to wait on the Lord, but it is the wise and sensible thing to do. Much LOVE!

…the Lord is NEVER late…His timing is always…PERFECT…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 February 2018 1 John 3:18.

1 John 3:18.    My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

Welcome friends, welcome to another great day on God’s great earth! Wow! Both the SON and the Sun are shining brightly; the latter so bright that if you’re not careful you can be blinded by its reflection off the white snow. (smile) Is it ever a joy and a pleasure to be alive to see another day! 

Please give our wonderful God much praise and thanks for the breath we’re still drawing in these turbulent times, for without Him we’d surely be faltering in the darkness of an evil and ungodly world. 

And can you imagine the bacchanal that ‘s taking place in places like T&T and Rio right now, at the height of the carnival season? Mama Yo! Fete fuh so! Everybody’s trying to get in as much partying as possible because tomorrow is Ash Wednesday…and then all the party done! (smile) 

Enough about partying though, let’s turn our attention to something that’s much more important and oh so lacking, but ever so necessary in our world, if it’s ever to run right; we’re talking about how to ‘Practice LOVING.’ That’s the name of the poem I want to share with us today from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. 

Please pray sincerely with me. ‘It is so simple, dear Lord So pleasant and comfortable To sit in church on a Sunday morning Listening to a sermon about LOVE – Perhaps even speculating a bit On whether my LOVE surpasses the LOVE Of the person to my right Or the Person to my left. 

But to LOVE with Your LOVE To practice LOVING, dear God How uncomfortable the church pew becomes When I hear this ringing challenge When I see Your gazing eyes. Suddenly I remember the vicious remarks Of the woman who misjudged me. I remember the unscrupulous associate Who finagled my husband’s job. I remember the careless driver Who totaled our shining new car. 

So quickly, Lord, I am faced With a haunting parade Of shameful, UNLOVING attitudes. God, You know me so much better Than I know my own complex self And still You continue to LOVE me. Give me, I pray, a fresh glimpse Of Your vast, immeasurable LOVE For it is only out of gratitude for Your LOVE That I shall finally learn What it means to practice LOVING.’ 

And isn’t that the everlasting truth my brethren! Only with God’s help can we truly practice LOVE! It’s something our world desperately lacks, but so badly needs! Just look at all the strife and war, the anger, hate and resentment that’s so blatant in our current societies. How could that ever be good for us eh? 

We need to come together rather then be split apart, and ONLY LOVE, or rather the PRACTICE OF LOVE, brings people together. And yes, I know that tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and everybody will be spouting LOVE, but LOVE is not, cannot be a one Day Special, if it is to have any real and lasting effect, especially if fuelled by commercialism as Valentine’s Day is in our current society. 

Hence the command from the first epistle of John in our Bit: ‘My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.’ And as the scholars tell us: ‘3:18. In tongue refers to mere talk.’ And over the years I’ve tried to beat it into my children’s heads that you can’t talk LOVE, because LOVE is an action word! I hope you finally got the message mih LOVELIES! (smile)

Unfortunately though, when coming to LOVE, that’s all our world is about; TALK! We talk a very good talk about LOVE, but not enough of us walk the walk of true and sincere LOVE. And it’s not an easy thing to do, when we are surrounded and bombarded by all sorts of injustices and other things which don’t normally bring out the emotion of LOVE. 

Our poem above points out some of those difficult times; vicious remarks from being misjudged, unscrupulous associates, and careless drivers. Those things certainly don’t bring out LOVE in a natural manner, but our God wants us to have that sort of response, because that’s His response to our own misdeeds. 

So LOVE is something we have to actively and consciously work at, especially since our Lord and Saviour, our Leader, Jesus Christ so plainly and purposefully commanded. 

‘But I say unto you, LOVE your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully (spitefully) use you, and persecute you. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.’ (Matt.5:44-45) 

Ah friends, obviously that doesn’t sit well with our normal sinful nature, but if we’re born again and are true believers, we need to adhere to the words of our Leader. And we know that anytime we flounder, all we have to do is to cry out to Him for help, and He will help us. So nothing He asks us to do is impossible. That’s why we can go home now sincerely declaring who and who’s we are in our Tuesday Mantra. 

All together now, in strong voice: ‘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!’ 

All glory to God my people! Now let’s go out and do exactly as we just said; share Jesus’ LOVE with the world. Much LOVE!

…what the world needs now…is LOVE…sweet LOVE…something we can never have enough of…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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