Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 February 2017 John 3:16.

John 3:16.   For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Oh friends, welcome to another day of spring in the midst of February! This past week has been something else yes; spring like temps in a time when it’s the white stuff that’s usually falling. Hn! But I’ll take the rain that’s coming down out there now, any day over the white stuff. 

And it’s Friday to boot, so the workingman is happy, as he mouths his Friday song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! That means the weekend is here too! Glory Hallelujah! No work for two whole big days! Take that massa! I can do whatever I want for the next two days and you can’t say a word! Bleh! (Longing out his tongue at the massa). 

So we going to eat and drink and party, and carry on like there’s no tomorrow…for who knows if there’ll be a tomorrow anyway! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah mih people, I know that’s a very tempting way to spend our weekends, but it’s not a very wise one, for instead of helping to solve our problems, that kind of bacchanalian behaviour will only compound them. 

Our Friday Chant is much more subdued but nonetheless still free and friendly enough to allow us to enjoy the comforts and blessings of life, while keeping our heads about us. So let’s chant it now in unison nuh, so that we can prep ourselves for the upcoming weekend. 

‘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.’ 

Yes friends, that way we both enjoy the benefits of the time off, as well as rejuvenate ourselves for the upcoming week, which are the only things that make sense under the circumstances. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, that awesome statement that changed the whole world, set it on its ear, some two thousand years ago. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ 

Wow! What a momentous, world changing statement, out of the mouth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! The world has never been the same since then friends! 

And you know the most important words in that scripture are simply, ‘God so LOVED…’ Yes my fellow believers, it all began with God’s LOVE! If He hadn’t LOVED, then we’ll all be toast at the end of our lives. 

But because He LOVED, many of us will be living forever with Him in heavenly circumstances when our earthly bodies crumble back to the dust from which they were formed. So let’s have a look at this miraculous word called LOVE nuh. 

The scholars have this to say about it. ‘3:16. LOVE is both an attribute of God and a description of His being. He alone is the epitome of divine LOVE and the source of all true LOVE. His LOVE is unconditional and consistently demonstrates the highest good of the one who is LOVED. 

Illustration: God’s LOVE was clearly demonstrated at Calvary when Jesus died for all our sins (1 John 3:1). Application: Because God first LOVED us, we ought to LOVE others as well (1 John 4:11). (First Ref. Gen.2:16-17; Primary Ref. John 3:16; c.f. James 1:17).’ 

Ah mih people, LOVE is what gave us life in the first place, and what is also keeping us alive now, and giving us hope for the future. So how can we be so callous about it eh? 

Listen to Peter and the other apostles when they were brought before the Jewish Council for continuing to preach Christ crucified, after being told to stop. ‘Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. 

Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.’ (Acts 5:29-32) 

Oh my people, please let’s take the LOVE of God seriously nuh, instead of just taking it for granted. As I said yesterday, LOVE is the most lethal weapon in existence. Listen to Jesus’ teaching from the Sermon on the Mount. 

‘Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 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 the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust. For if ye LOVE them which LOVE you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans (tax collectors) the same? 

And if ye salute (greet) your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’ (Matt.5:43-48) 

Please note friends, that perfect here doesn’t mean sinless, but as the scholars say, ‘complete, that is, possessing a complete LOVE that, like God’s (v.45), embraces those who LOVE you as well as those who do not.’ 

So please my fellow believers, let’s just do what Jesus desires of us nuh, for that’s the ONLY way we’ll ever be successful. Much LOVE!

…without true LOVE…the world will eventually sink into the mire of hate and deceit that currently has it in grip…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 December 2016 1 Peter 4:12.

1 Peter 4:12.   Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.

Aloha friends, and family, Aloha! Is Friday one more time… And as expected, the place is already hopping in expectation of a wild and wicked weekend, especially with Christmas time in the air. 

Yeh, mih people, all around the place yuh hearing the usual ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Thank God for the weekend in this Christmas season, where we going to eat and drink and party fuh so…and even fall down drunk sometimes too! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend, come Christmas time!’ 

And believe me, this time when we celebrate the birth of Christ, is used to cover a lot of debauchery and licentiousness. But thankfully, we believers know better, we know the true reason for the season; the birth of Christ, and we celebrate it in a much more godly manner, don’t just use it as an excuse to party. 

Anyway, since it’s Friday let’s chant our Friday Chant, which shows a better standard of behaviour in the use of the weekend. As one now: ‘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.’ 

Yeh friends, that’s a much better way to spend the weekend, getting some balance and restoration in our souls, without which we won’t be able to do Christ’s work in the excellent manner that He expects from His followers. 

Now let’s get to our Bit, which a lot of believers still can’t fathom. (smile) ‘Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.’ 

Ah mih people, working for Jesus does not come easy, for at times, much of them unexpected, we are put through the fire to test our mettle, to see how our faith matches up with the words we speak and the behaviour we display. And it’s never easy to welcome these unexpected trials with the joy that is required of us. 

However, as we grow in faith, as we stay in close proximity to Almighty God, taking all our problems to Him, finding joy in tribulation becomes easier. We have to go through it several times before we can truly appreciate the truth and the vitality contained therein. 

Now we’ve heard James’ and Peter’s take on the subject, but no word on trials and tribulations will be worth its salt if it doesn’t contain these fiery words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. 

‘Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience (produces perseverance); And patience, experience (character); and experience, hope: 

And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint); because the LOVE of God is shed abroad (has been poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.’ (Rom.5:1-5) 

So friends, since we have been justified through Christ, through God’s doing, not man’s, and thus have right standing with Him through reconciliation, we can therefore rejoice in whatever befalls us, because we are sure of God’s deliverance. 

Hn! Hope that makes sense. (smile) That’s why Bruh Paul says we can glory, can boast in all the negative stuff that comes upon us, since they only grow us, make us stronger in our faith, bring us closer to God and more Christ-like, which is our end-goal. 

Now here is the crowning glory of it all, found in the words of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ that He delivered in the Sermon on the Mount. This is the last of the Beatitudes, and I don’t know if Jesus had a special reason for putting it last, possibly because He knew that it would be the hardest one to live by. 

Nonetheless, please listen closely my brethren. ‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matt.5:11-12) 

And the scholars give us this interesting and uplifting explanation. ‘5:12. Rejoice is the command that grows out of the blessedness of the believer. The phrase Rejoice, and be exceeding glad means even more, exult! 

Great is your reward in heaven focuses attention on the eternal destiny of all things. If God is as real as He claims, if the Bible is true, if heaven is to be gained, then no temporary earthly trouble or persecution can dispossess the child of God of joy in the prospect of the eternal glory that lies ahead.’ 

Oh friends, we know that our wonderful God is real, He is who He claims to be, plus the Bible is true, so no earthly trouble should take away our joy in the salvation of Christ Jesus! 

So let’s go out today and just exult nuh; exult in the glory of God, knowing that our place in heaven is safe and secure! That’s what it means to be a true and mature Christian! Much LOVE!

…mourning may last for a night…but joy comes in the morning…because our faith is strong…and Christ’s salvation is real… 

P.S. I visited our bubba Scotty yesterday afternoon. He is doing much better. He says he’s alive but can’t kick too hard just yet. (smile) So let’s keep on praying for him to make a full recovery very soon. Much LOVE!