Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 March 2018 Romans 8:31.

Romans 8:31.    What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Ah friends, as Prince Buster, the famed Jamaican singer said in his song so long ago; ‘It was a rough night last night…’ but not in the sexual way that he meant it. (smile) I spent the night in the Toronto General Hospital in preparation for doing a heart assisted implant today, that would help the ole ticker operate more functionally than it’s currently doing. 

Everything else was okay except the bed. Chuh! These new-fangled hospital beds are so expensive and can do everything except give you a restful night’s sleep. I found it too hard to lie on and very difficult to get up from. And brother…it just kills my back! 

But there’s always a good and bad side to every story…Hn! The good side is that the Lord might have intervened miraculously on the ole fella’s behalf. Yeh friends, if the findings are true, then heavenly intervention was indeed involved. And you must be wondering what I’m being so obtuse and obscure about. (smile)

Well there seems to be something called ‘ejection fraction’ that shows how the heart is pumping the blood and my figures were low to begin with and over the past year haven’t improved a whole lot which necessitated implanting the device. 

However, yesterday, when they did the usual tests, my figures shot up so remarkably that they had to stop and review the situation. That’s why I’m talking about miracles. 

Hold down now people, hold down… there’s a new twist to the story now. I just spoke to the doctor about the surgery and they have decided to postpone it, to err on the side of caution, until they do some other tests that will give them a clearer picture. Only problem is it takes months to get that done. 

But per his reasoning, if my heart has really improved, then I should be okay. Seems though that there are two different implants for the situation and until they are sure of what’s happening it doesn’t make sense to do any surgery which could complicate matters later on. 

Ah Lord eh! When it’s not one thing, it’s certainly another. Life is always full of surprises, and who knows when they will crop up. But when you’re walking with Almighty God, He gives you the ability to handle all that comes against you. 

Hence the awesome and always encouraging words of our Bit. ‘What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?’ Not a single soul, for our God will fight them off on our behalf! 

Glory to God my fellow believers! Though He allows us to go through all sorts of stuff, ultimately, He uses everything for our good, as Bruh Paul says a few verses earlier. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8:28) We couldn’t ask for more than that. 

And furthermore, Bruh Paul clarifies our Bit by reassuring us. ‘He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?’ (Rom.8:32) Yeh friends, if the Lord went to that length to sacrifice His only Son for us, why wouldn’t He freely give us lesser things eh? None whatsoever! 

Thus, Bruh Paul continues later on: ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom.8:35-37) 

Oh my people, we are so blessed to have the Lord God of Hosts as our Guide and Protector, that we need nothing or no one else to advocate for us. No wonder Bruh Paul ends this remarkable chapter with these wise, wonderful and reassuring words. ‘For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, not things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom.8:38-39) 

Yes precious people of God, NOTHING in this world can separate us from God’s LOVE! Why? As the scholars explain. ’38-39. We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated, because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is His purpose (cf. v.28).’ 

So friends, with all that reassurance let’s go home with bountiful feelings, on this rainy morning in Toronto, heartily declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In full voice 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.’ 

Now let’s go out and do just that. Much LOVE!

…with God on our side…we should be afraid of nothing…    

P.S. Oh friends, sorry the Bit is so late, I never got to finish it at the hospital and I’m just getting home. It’s just been one of those days. Hope it makes some kind of sense. (smile) Much Love!

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 March 2018 2 Peter 3:18.

2 Peter 3:18.   But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever.

And then it was a snowy Tuesday morning…not a whole lot of the white stuff, but certainly sufficient to cover everything and remind us that it’s still winter. Yeh, though we’ve been having some fairly mild temps recently, Ole Man Winter thought it necessary to remind us that spring has not yet sprung. (smile) 

And talking about winter; they say things happens in threes, and in the case of the North Eastern U.S. they are probably right, because for the third time in two weeks another winter storm is bludgeoning the area. Ah Lord eh! 

Let’s pray for them friends, and do whatever we can to help them otherwise, even if it’s just calling or texting or somehow communicating with those in the affected areas to find out how they are doing. For we never know when we’ll be affected by some disaster and need their help. 

And today I want to share something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that points out some of the trauma and drama in our spiritual growth. It’s titled, ‘Worth the Waiting.’ 

Please read with me: ‘Growing spiritually is such a long, slow process! It’s painful too. Every day at the turn of the road I become acquainted with new pitfalls and heartaches. Sometimes the pain backs me into a corner. For example: There is a woman I know who is so sarcastic, so curt and unkind. Am I ever excused? Is forgiveness always a part of my growth? 

So often I feel like a spiritual midget while my husband and friends appear to be spiritual giants. I seem to shrink in my own home. Another thing: I confess I’m a coward about pain. Emotional pain. Physical pain. The pain of loneliness, the pain of grief. Yet, again and again it is true. 

What I must learn in my pain is that it’s leading to something positive, something beyond what I can see in the present darkness. I do want to grow! I want to become more and more like Jesus. Even though it takes so long, surely it is worth the waiting.’ 

And it is indeed worth the waiting my fellow believers! Oh my brethren, growing in anything at all takes time and can be an arduous process, but like it is with Jesus, the end will all be worth it. And I know many of us want to grow spiritually but are having a hard time wading through all the stuff that it entails. 

But take heart, everything we go through in being recreated in the image of Jesus has a purpose. God never throws away anything in our lives, even the negative, painful stuff, He always puts them to good, positive use. That’s why Bruh Paul writes this very reassuring scripture in the word: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8:28) 

Yeh friends, if we LOVE God and are called to do His work, then everything will work out good eventually. It’s God’s promise, and as a faithful believer, you are expected to accept it…without a grain of salt. (smile) And the Bible Promise for the reading above is also our Bit for today. But before we get to it, let’s hear what Peter says to the early believers who were living in the hope of the Lord’s coming. 

‘Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before (beforehand)…’ And he’s talking about the Lord’s Second Coming and how we’re looking for a new heaven, and all the stuff that Bruh Paul has written, some of which is hard to do. (2 Pet. 3:1-16) 

‘…beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.’ (2 Pet. 3:17-18). 

Oh my people, Christianity is indeed a beautiful faith; the most beautiful, but it is also time consuming and calls for a lot of effort and sacrifice! But it’s all worth it! As the scholars explain: ‘Peter urges his readers to look beyond the present world to the new heavens and a new earth characterized by righteousness.’ 

And so should we be looking forward to coming in glory of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Remember this earth is not our home; we are merely strangers and sojourners here. Heaven is our real home. We should therefore look forward to it. 

But to do that we have to be strong and steadfast, like Bruh Paul warned the Ephesians in talking about the new life in Christ. ‘That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight (trickery) of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby thy lie in wait to deceive. But speaking the truth in LOVE, may grow up to him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.’ (Eph.4:14-15) 

Oh friends, to grow spiritually means we must stop being childlike and put in the effort to grow in all aspects of Christian living. And if we do so sincerely, God will give us the grace we need to become more like Christ, each and every day. 

Now let’s go home telling the world who and whose we are. Let’s shout out our Tuesday Mantra as though we really mean it. ‘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!’ 

Now let’s go out and action those things in Jesus’ name. Much LOVE!

…‘Christian maturity is attained in part…by thorough instruction…in sound doctrine…given in a LOVING manner…’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 January 2018 1 John 4:11.

1 John 4:11.   Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.

And then it was Tuesday, the 2nd day of January 2018, and the festivities have been abruptly curtailed! Hn! It’s time to get back to the common task and daily grind, or however they say it. Reality has finally hit home! 

It’s time to go back to work and consider how we’re going to pay the enormous bills we’ve run up over the holiday season. Some of us are liable to drop down dead when we see the bills. But not to worry, whatever foolishness we’ve done can be rectified if we take it to Jesus. 

Remember His awesome invitation? ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Oh my people, no one in this great wide world has ever offered such a sincere invitation, with the power to back up every word. So if this morning you’re straining under any kind of pressure at all, the wisest thing you can do is take it to Jesus in humble prayer and supplication. 

He will NOT, will NEVER turn you away, for He’s also faithfully promised: ‘I’ll never leave nor forsake you.’ But He can’t do anything for you until you turn to Him and ask for His help. 

Now He might not just wave away your problems, although He has the power to do so, but He’ll surely show you a way to handle them without a backbreaking effort and give you the grace and mercy to see it all through. That’s His promise and He doesn’t renege on any of His promises. 

Remember too friends, that we’ve dedicated 2018 to be the Year of LOVE…and where does true LOVE come from, where is its fountainhead? Jesus Christ! And we’ve also declared that we only need ONE New Year’s Resolution; that of following Christ more closely than ever. 

Therefore, using all that simple logic, (smile) no rocket science involved, it’s easy to deduce that ALL wise roads lead to Christ, for He is the ONLY One who’s inviting us to bring our problems to Him, and the ONLY One who has the power to solve them, and/or take us safely through them. 

Oh, and don’t forget our motto: EACH ONE LOVE ONE! Yeh mih breddren, each and every day, we’re supposed to LOVE at least ONE person. But please don’t just stop at one, the more the merrier. That brings us to our Bit. ‘Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.’ 

Oh my fellow believers no greater truth has ever been spoken. Remember all the LOVE began with God! He first LOVED us, and so much, that He sent Jesus to die for us. And as the scholars tell us: ‘4:10. No human LOVE is the standard for understanding God’s great compassion, but God’s own action on man’s behalf.’ 

And here is some interesting reasoning from John, as he continues after our Bit. ‘No man hath seen God at any time. If we LOVE one another, God dwelleth in us, and his LOVE is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the LOVE that God hath to us. God is LOVE; and he that dwelleth (abides) in LOVE dwelleth (abides) in God, and God in him.’ (1 John 4:12-16) 

Oh precious people of God, that scripture is so rich in nutrients, that I doubt we have time and space to pull them all out. But let’s see what nuggets we can get in what time we have nuh. Hear the scholars: ‘4:11-13. God’s character, through His Spirit, is to shape and progressively dominate the character of the believer. The Spirit of God imparts the will to LOVE.’ 

Yeh friends, all this LOVING business presupposes that you are a believer in Christ, and have received the life changing and saving gift of His Holy Spirit to dwell in you. Otherwise NONE of this will work. The Holy Spirit is the catalyst that raises up our LOVE quotient. 

‘4:15. This helps provide the context for rightly understanding verse 7 (our Bit from yesterday). Trust in Christ as the incarnate Son of God makes genuine, God-wrought LOVE possible’ Oh people, only through a sincere trust in Jesus Christ can we ever achieve the LOVE that comes from God. 

‘4:16. John, like Paul (1 Cor.13:13), stresses the supremacy of LOVE as a characteristic of God and therefore as a dominant characteristic of the true believer.’ 

And unfortunately my brethren, although we might talk a lot about LOVE, it just doesn’t dominate the Church of Christ and its followers as it should. That’s why we’re talking about it and trying to build our knowledge and thus sincere participation in it, for only as the true LOVE of God is present far and wide in our individual societies and our world, will they be any good.  

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, telling the world who and whose we are. In strong, sincere voice 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 the next step is to go out and action that last statement. Much LOVE!

…without the LOVE of Jesus in our hearts…mankind is just another mindless wild animal…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 December 2017 Psalm 36:9.

Psalm 36:9.   For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.

And then it was six… and counting! Yeh friends, six more days to the big one of Christmas! And I do hope that the celebrations are being ramped up, and all the preparations are falling nicely into place at your homes. 

It’s not looking too bad at my place. The outside lights are the best in the neighbourhood. (smile) So I’m somewhat biased, but they do look good. And I came home last night to find the Christmas tree being decorated. That looks good too…as always…! 

And brother, was I thrilled when I opened the door and was greeted, or rather assaulted, by a wonderful smell of baking Christmas cake in the air. And for a while the aroma just wafted through the house, adding to the air of Christmas cheer and peace and goodwill that existed. 

But all of that though friends should be secondary to the overwhelming presence of the Spirit of Jesus in our homes. For He, His miraculous birth, is the entire reason for all this celebration! And we need to keep that uppermost in our minds. 

And talking about birth, today I want to share a passage from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional titled ‘Nourishment from Above.’ And he says: ‘Wait on the Lord, and He will renew your strength! Prayer is the umbilical cord that allows you – with your embryonic ideas – to draw nourishment from a source that you, like an unborn infant, can neither see nor fully know or comprehend – God our heavenly Father! 

Prayer is the power that pulls everything together successfully. With this prayerful attitude tackle your problem today. Turn it over to God. Take out a sheet of paper. Pick up a pencil. And get ready for the ideas that he will drop into your mind.’ 

(And as you do that, you can pray something like this:) ‘Father, I have a strong sensation that you brought me to this moment of prayer because you have a plan to share with me insights to solve my problems. So I will go out and face the sunlight of a new day and a new week crammed with undiscovered possibilities. I am encouraged! I am enthused! I am more hopeful than I have been in a long time! Amen.’ 

Oh friends, do we Christians ever need to be more enthused, encouraged and hopeful than ever before because of the evil and ungodly world in which we’re living. And that uplifting will ONLY come when we establish a tight relationship, keep in constant communication with our heavenly Father through prayer, for He is indeed the source of all life and all good things. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.’ Oh my people, our God is indeed the fountain of life: it’s through Him that we were granted physical life, and it’s ONLY through Him is eternal spiritual life available! Jesus made this fact clear so often that I don’t see how we can ever forget or neglect it. 

Listen to Him talking to the Samaritan woman at the well. ‘Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again. But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well (fountain) of water springing up into everlasting life.’ (John 4:13-14) What an inspiring and encouraging scripture friends! 

Now hear Jesus after His listeners told Him about the Lord giving their forefathers bread (manna) from heaven in the wilderness. ‘Verily, verily I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. 

Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.’ (John 6:32-35) 

Glory to God my brethren! For how can we ever beat that promise eh? Jesus IS the bread that gives life; all kinds, although there He is referring in particular to spiritual and eternal life. 

And if you still have doubts and misgivings about the true source of life, then listen to Jesus one more time. ‘In the last day, that great day of the feast (feast of tabernacles), Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly (heart) shall flow rivers of living water.’ (John 7:37-38) 

Oh precious people, Jesus is indeed the fountain of life, the bread of life, the giver of living water (the indwelling Holy Spirit), the giver of physical life, spiritual life, eternal life – whatever kind of good life you’re looking for, the source, the head spring, is to be found in Jesus! Please remember that and act accordingly. 

Now let’s go home declaring loudly and proudly to this evil and ungodly world, who and whose we are in our Tuesday Mantra. ‘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 now, in this Christmas season, the time of Christ’s birth, let’s go out and truly share that wonderful LOVE of our awesome friend Jesus! It’s ever so appropriate. Much LOVE!

…as for me and mine…we will follow Jesus…the fountain of ALL life…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 October 2017 John 10:10.

John 10:10.   The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

And then the rains fell – soft and gentle upon the thirsty land. Oh friends, what a joy it is to see and hear the rain falling gently, especially when you’re lying in bed with your special someone beside you! (smile) 

Oh yes, the rain fell in my neighbourhood most of yesterday afternoon and last night. And thankfully it wasn’t a great flood-like outpouring of water, but a constant, steady drizzle that resembled a gentle caress rather than a fierce bear hug. 

And I believe both the land and its inhabitants benefit more from that type of rainfall than big, gushing streams of water all at once. 

Now here is a quote attributed to Jürgen Moltmann (April 8, 1926 -) a Reformed German theologian and Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at the University of Tübingen, Germany. 

He is most noted as a proponent of his “theology of hope” and for his incorporation of insights from liberation theology and ecology into mainstream Trinitarian theology. Whatever that means. (smile) 

But he is obviously a man of some learning and some importance in the church, and thus we should pay some attention to what he writes. ‘The more passionately we LOVE life, the more intensely we experience the joy of life.’ 

And that my people is gospel truth! The more we LOVE life, and throw ourselves into it, the greater joy we receive from it. It’s all about the passion we bring to whatever we do, especially the living of life itself! We can’t always hide from life, for that’s unhealthy. 

But as the devotion from our One More Day Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness tells us. It’s better to ‘live the drama, LOVE it, cry with it, and at times even hate it. Choosing to live life on its terms brings enthusiasm and passion into our experiences. 

Our decision to LOVE life – despite the highs and lows – allows us to delight in the highs and to accept the lows as unavoidable, but momentary setbacks. Although hiding from reality can sometimes insulate us from the pain, it also blinds us to the joys and wonderment of living fully.’ 

Now we all know that the basic philosophy of our Christian faith is to live life to the full, as Jesus our leader declares in our Bit. ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ 

And the only way to have a truly abundant life is by getting passionately involved with it, whether it be for good or for evil. 

Obviously it’s much better to live a passionate life entrenched in goodness, by being fully yoked to the aims and desires of Jesus Christ, so that we can enjoy all the good things, the wonderful rewards He has in store for those who sincerely believe in and work for Him. 

Unfortunately though my brethren, that passion for Christ that we’re talking about seems to be sadly lacking in His church these days. 

A handful of us might be showing such passion, but most of us are simply just plodding along, taking life as it comes, which we sometimes need to do, but generally speaking, not responding with the energy and enthusiasm we need to overcome it. 

Please note that Jesus didn’t just give us abundant life, He had to painfully earn if for us, by sacrificing His sinless self on the cross. So who are we now to just expect to go through life without any problems eh? 

Remember what Job said to his wife in the middle of his calamity? She said to him: ‘Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? Shall we receive (accept) good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil (accept calamity)? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.’ (Job 2:9-10) 

Yeh friends, it’s not easy to accept calamity with a smile, but when we look at the overall picture, sometimes we need to do it. We just cannot afford to let life dig us into a hole in both our circumstances and our emotions, because that’s a hole from which it is often very difficult to get out of. 

Now here’s an interesting explanation from the scholars on those two verses from Job. ‘2:9. Job’s wife suggested that Job do what Satan had predicted: curse God. After all she had been through, it is no wonder she was ready to give up all hope. 

But Job recognized that both good and evil come from God’s hand, though one by His active will and the other by His permissive will. God can permit evil things to happen for good ends (cf. Gen.50:19-20). In all this did not Job sin is proof enough that Satan was wrong and was sorely defeated. Satan does not appear in the book again.’ 

Good riddance! So friends, in general, what we bring to life, is what life gives to us. But at times, life can be quite contrary, so as believers, we need to stand strong and with the help of Jesus, fight life on our terms, not on his. And we can only do that when we bring a strong and passionate LOVE for Christ to the table. 

Now let’s go home declaring that passion we have for Jesus in our Tuesday Mantra. ‘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!’ 

Now let’s go out and action that LOVE…with passion. Much LOVE, my faithful brethren in Christ!

…from today…I will be enthusiastic about life…regardless of what it brings…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 September 2017 Luke 18:1.

Luke 18:1.   And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint. 

Behold friends, it’s another glorious Tuesday morning in my area! And as the old people would remark ‘heat for so!’ (smile) 

Don’t know when they’re going to end. But like all things, this current beautiful summer weather will eventually morph into the cold and gloomy weather of fall and then winter. 

It’s only a matter of time. So we had better enjoy it while it lasts. That’s why we can all shout, ‘this is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ 

Oh my people, I know that’s difficult for many of us to say and truly mean because we’re undergoing enormous stress and problems, but we just have to suck it up, raise our level of faith and carry on. 

Even me, right now, I’m having some painful hip problems, and it’s indeed a pain in the rear end, both literally and figuratively, (smile) I can’t walk properly, or sleep properly, or do any kind of physical movement without some sudden, unexpected pain in some area. 

Just coming down here to my basement office to write the Bit was a source of annoying pain. But I just have to do whatever it takes to keep on doing the Lord’s work. And from past experience, I know that He will enable me to do it, if I hang in there. 

That’s what our faith is all about friends! Let’s not forget the Lord’s goodness and mercy in our past. Remembering what He has done in the past for us, ought to make us stronger and help us to stick with His word, to keep believing and keep praying. 

And talking about praying, here is something I’ve shared before from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional, but it’s one of those inspiring prayers that we need to share over and over. It’s titled ‘A Prayer For Confidence.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘It is flowing into me now, for my conscience is clear. I have made the right decision. I am not afraid of problems. I will face challenges calmly and serenely for God is behind me. He will help me. If I must go through difficult times, He will rescue me. 

I feel His spirit of confidence surging in my heart now. With Him I cannot possibly fail. “If God is for me who can be against me?” I have a strong feeling that everything is going to work out just beautifully. Thank you, God. Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, what sincere words of reassurance! And I do hope that you feel the surging confidence, the ultimate and enormous power of our omnipotent and merciful God flowing through you right now! I do! 

It’s that spiritual power inspired by prayer and praise, worship and thanks that gets us moving despite all the negative aspects of our lives. We can’t give up friends, especially in these rough and devastating times. As I keep saying, right now we need prayer and faith more than ever, for our world is definitely in a dangerous tailspin. 

And there’s no better time than RIGHT NOW to invoke our Bit. ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.’ 

Remember that was Jesus’ advice to the throng that followed Him. And as faithful believers, we ought to take his advice seriously and do whatever He commands. 

So, please, I urge us, implore us, to keep on praying, to not give up, to not faint, even though the future seems dark and dreary because it’s often darkest just before the dawn, and with our wonderful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, on our side, anything can happen at any time. 

Now let’s look at a magnificent verse of scripture which totally shows us the importance of prayer. They are the awesome words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians as he explains the putting on of God’s armour. 

At the end, he specifies: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:18) 

And the scholars offer this explanation of that verse. ‘6:18. Praying is grammatically linked to “stand” in verse 14. Without prayer God’s armour is inadequate to achieve victory. Prayer is indispensable. Always means “on every occasion,” that is when Satan attacks. 

In the Spirit signifies that with the Spirit’s help such prayer for divine aid is to be made. Watching thereunto means “being vigilant in this very matter” of prayer. They are to pray not just for themselves but also for all saints; spiritual combat is both an individual and corporate matter.’ 

Oh friends, I do hope that shows us how important and indispensable prayer is in our lives. Now, having read and inwardly digested all that, let’s go home joyfully declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know in no uncertain terms, 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!’ 

Glory to God my faithful brethren! Now let’s go out and share the LOVE, mercy and forgiveness of our Saviour, as He desires of us. Much LOVE!

…prayer is the believer’s lifeline…his umbilical cord to God…

 

 

 

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