Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 August 2018 1 John 4:19.

1 John 4:19.   We LOVE him, because he first LOVED us.

Thank You Lord…thank You, thank You, thank you! And you all must be wondering what I’m thanking the Lord so profusely for eh? Well it’s for finally sending showers of blessings on my area yesterday. After a couple weeks of empty promises from the weather reporters about thunderstorms etc., yesterday afternoon they finally delivered. 

And I have to chuckle, as at one stage I went out on my front porch to witness the phenomenon, (smile) and was promptly driven back inside by two brilliant flashes of lightning. Then later in the night we got a couple of good showers, so much so that the ground is still wet this morning. 

And yuh know friends there’s no sound as soothing to the ears and the soul as that of showers of blessings cascading down from heaven to nourish the drought-stricken earth. And that didn’t happen by mistake or coincidence, but was planned by our wise and wonderful God. How great and thoughtful is He eh! 

And here is another instance of how great and wonderful and caring our God is. Check out this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s simply titled, ‘Who Me?’ 

‘Lord All of a sudden today You picked me up And hugged me And hugged me For no discernible reason. I was puzzled. After all – I hadn’t picked up my toys Or practiced my lessons Or brought You a daisy bouquet – Hesitantly, I asked why. You smiled and said: I LOVE you, that’s all. Then you added: I long to hug you more often. Why don’t You Lord? You are too busy. Too busy, Lord? Too busy hugging yourself.’ 

And isn’t that the awful truth my brethren? We’re too busy hugging ourselves and going about our business to notice that the Lord is waiting in the wings to just take us up in His awesome embrace and shower us with some of His most wonderful LOVE, so that we can be joyful here on earth and be obedient to His holy will. 

And He doesn’t have any ulterior motives. He just LOVES us because we’re his awesome creation! Don’t we all hold dear the things we create? Of course! And so does our living God! Remember what the Good Book says? ‘And God saw every thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.’ (Gen.1:31) 

Yes friends, God admired His handiwork, of which we were the most important aspect, so it’s just natural that He LOVES to LOVE us…if we’d only slow down and allow Him to. And the Bible Promise for that poem is also our Bit for today: ‘We LOVE him, because he first LOVED us.’ 

Aw my fellow believers, such touching, heartwarming and truthful words! Our Creator LOVED us from the moment He made us, before we were even aware of the emotion. He placed that emotion of LOVE in us as the centerpiece of our very existence. 

And John earlier explains the whole scenario in these few choice words of gospel truth. ‘Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.’ (1 John 4:10) Now that’s what you’d call REAL LOVE! 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘4:10. No human LOVE is the standard for understanding God’s great compassion, but God’s own action on man’s behalf.’ 

Yes my brethren, our puny and finite minds cannot understand God’s action, of sending His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to die on our behalf, piling our sins on Him as the great scapegoat, so that we could be reconciled to Him, have fellowship with Him, and once again become righteous in His holy eyes. But nonetheless, it is the standard to which faithful believers and followers of His marvellous Son, Jesus Christ are expected to follow. 

As John says: ‘If a man say, I LOVE God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that LOVETH not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he LOVE God whom he hath not seen?’ (1 John 4:20) 

Now that’s a very good question my people. How can we LOVE something or someone we’ve not seen, and hate what or whom we’ve seen? In this context about LOVING God, it’s just impossible! But we do it nevertheless and unfortunately show ourselves to be hypocrites of the highest order. 

But here is the final word on the situation as John tells it. ‘And this commandment have we from him, That he who LOVETH God LOVE his brother also.’ (1 John 4:21) 

And the scholars spell it out in simple language for us: ‘4:19-21. Our LOVE, if it exists and mirrors God’s LOVE at all, is not our own but God’s doing. The epitome of hypocrisy is the claim to LOVE God while withholding LOVE from others. For Jesus Himself commanded that he who LOVES God is to demonstrate this through LOVING others.’ 

And with that reminder tugging at our heartstrings my precious people, let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, proudly letting the world know who and whose we are. 

Now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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 if we truly believe that, then we need to go out and share the awesome LOVE and friendship of Jesus with others. Only then will we be His true disciples! Much LOVE!

…in God’s universe…everything hinges on…LOVE and LOVING…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 July 2018 Zechariah 4:6b.

Zechariah 4:6b.   Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.

‘Heat wave! It’s a heat wave! Yes a heat wave!’ Ah friends, the summer heat wave continues on this Tuesday morning after our hearty Canada Day celebrations, and the reality of work hits us once again. (smile) And I believe the searing heat might continue all week. As they say, be careful of what you wish for. We wished for summer weather, and we’re getting truly summer weather. 

That brings me to a poem I want to share from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s called ‘The Task’, and it resembles our reality so much that I just had to share it. Please read with me: ‘Lord, You give me a task So utterly impossible So totally beyond comprehension – The very thought of it Startles me. I want to run hide escape Anything, Lord. 

Then you electrify me You invade and permeate me You penetrate every fibre of me Until the task is accomplished By your own magnificent power. Then you praise the performance Your creativity achieved And you reward me beyond expectation – As though I had done it All by myself My Father.’ 

Oh precious people of God, isn’t that just how our wonderful heavenly Father behaves! He gives us something to do that seems impossible and we want to run and hide, escape somehow from doing it because it just boggles our imagination. But then, in His LOVING-kindness, our Father steps in and lends a hand, guides us, and sometimes does most of the hard work, until we accomplish the seemingly impossible task He assigned us. 

And then, wonder of wonders, He gives us much praise and glory and reward, as though we had done it all on our lonesome! Wow! How wonderful is He eh! 

Mankind always want to take the glory for what they do, but our heavenly Father shares it with us, so that we can be encouraged and grow in faith and LOVE, because in the natural, we can’t do very much on our own. That’s why He never gives us more than we can do, and when our tasks seem overwhelming, He steps in and helps us to accomplish them. Now that’s the kind of God I can LOVE and revere, and praise and give thanks to! 

And the Bible Promise for that poem is also our Bit for today, the awesome verse from the prophet Zechariah: ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.’ 

Yes my faithful breddren, our omnipotent God from way back when, does most of His work quietly and efficiently through the third part of the Holy Trinity; the Holy Spirit that now indwells us. You won’t see a lot of huffing and puffing and exaggerated action, just a cool and powerful mystique as it were. That just shows the awesome power that resides in the Godhead that we serve and worship! And so it should be, otherwise there’s no reason to worship it. 

Now hear this scripture from Hosea that emphasizes God’s unreal power. Per the unfaithful people of Judah, He promised: ‘But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.’ (Hos.1:7) 

Glory be mih people! The Lord doesn’t have to use man, nor animals, nor manmade implements to fight and win battles for us! He simply uses His Holy Spirit; what I term the Worker Bee of the Holy Trinity, because He does ALL the work that’s necessary in the Father’s domain. 

But unfortunately too many of us don’t pay sufficient attention to the Holy Spirit, even though He now dwells in us and is there to lead and guide us in righteousness. That’s why we so often go astray. The problem is that the Holy Spirit will not shout and bark at us, but will gently whisper to our spirit, letting us know what’s right from wrong. So if we don’t listen carefully, and don’t know the word, it’s easy to bypass the Spirit’s guiding. 

That’s why it’s so essential my brethren to know God’s word and to pay attention to what His Spirit is saying and doing within us, because that’s how He generally communicates with us. It’s all through the Holy Spirit friends! So to grow and mature in the faith, we need to be more circumspect in listening to and learning of and from the hard working Spirit of God that lives in us and is continually sharing the Father’s intentions with us. 

And it just doesn’t happen overnight, or by osmosis, (smile) but by diligent study and sincere determination. So true wisdom dictates that we start paying better and more serious attention to what the Holy Spirit is doing within us. End of sermon! 

Now for those of us who are serious about communicating with the Father through His Spirit, let’s go home today declaring our Tuesday Mantra, boldly and confidently proclaiming to the world who and whose we are. 

In one, strong and enthusiastic 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 as always, the corollary to that mantra is to go out and share the awesome LOVE and friendship of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as He so greatly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…the Spirit of God works within us…to show us the intentions of God…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 June 2018 Psalm 37:3.

Psalm 37:3.   Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on his faithfulness).

Well a blessed Tuesday morning to all my Scrip-Bit friends and families! Glory to God, who has so mercifully and graciously continued His awesome breath of life flowing in our bodies, so that we can do His perfect will! Yes friends, we’re only alive to put whatever plan He has for our lives into effect, so let’s do it as best we can nuh. 

Very few of us can make changes that cover the whole world, but we can all improve lives and situations in our own little sphere of influence, and that’s all God is asking of us. And the great thing about working for God is that He will help us do whatever He calls us to do. 

That’s why Hudson Taylor (1832-1905) the British Protestant Christian Missionary to China and founder of the China Inland Mission, could say with confident assurance: ‘God’s will done in God’s way, will never lack God’s supply.’ Isn’t that wonderful to know friends? It certainly is! 

So let’s not worry about the enormous amount of strife and ungodliness that is rapidly plunging our world down to unimaginable disaster, just let us set our hearts to do as our Bit commands in the immortal words of Bruh David: ‘Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on his faithfulness).’ 

Ah mih people, I know we used this scripture passage as our Bit recently, but it’s one of those scriptures that we need to hear over and over again so that it can truly sink into our hearts and minds, especially with all the ungodliness that’s out their trying to get our attention and tear us away from truly serving Almighty God. 

Wow! What a mouthful! (smile) But it’s the truth! The world doesn’t want us to serve God, and will do anything in its power to pry us away. But we won’t be pried away by any means whatsoever! Let’s tell the enemy that in no uncertain manner. Whatever they throw at us, we will repel with God’s help. 

And today I want to do something a li’l different with our Bit. I want to show forth scriptures of how men of faith come to faith. And one of the most amazing and well-known ones is that of Job, when he defends his integrity before his false friends. ‘Though he (God) slay me, yet will I trust in him: but will I maintain mine own ways (defend my own ways) before him. He shall also be my salvation: for a hypocrite shall not come before him.’ (Job.13:15-16) 

And the scholars explain: ‘13:15. Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him expresses the unquenchable faith of one who lives by faith, not by sight. Even when it appears that God Himself has turned against Job, he will still trust in God.’ 

Oh my people, what great faith Job displayed there. Even though God had apparently taken him from the palace and put him in the pig sty, his faith never crumbled. That’s the kind of faith we need as Christians in these very harsh and trying times. Oh, I know it’s not easy to do, but if we’re serious about our God and our faith, we can do it with God’s help. 

And we all know about Bruh David’s close relationship to God; being called his friend and a man after His own heart. Hear how he declares his trust in the immortal words of psalm 23 – The Lord is my shepherd. ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ (Ps.23:4) 

Oh my breddren, my breddren, what awesome conviction on Bruh David’s part! Even though he’s surrounded by death, he won’t fear, because like a Good Shepherd, the Lord our God will be there to comfort and look after him. Do we have such conviction in these difficult times my fellow believers? We ought to, else we won’t get through them in a godly manner. 

And then we have the also immortal advice of Cousin Sol: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make smooth, straight) thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. 

It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones. Honour the Lord with thy substance (possessions), and with the first fruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses (vats) shall burst out with new wine.’ (Prov.3:5-10) 

Glory be mih people! Right there is the best synopsis you can ever get of the Good Book and the true way to live a Christian life! Bubba! It just covers everything in a few short verses. And don’t fool yuh fat, the Lord inspired Cousin Sol to write those words as a guideline for us. So please, let’s be wise and follow them nuh, cause they are only for our benefit, not the Lord’s. 

Now for those of us who truly believe, let’s go home declaring to the entire world, who and whose we are. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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 if our hearts are right, then the next action is for us to go out and share Jesus with others. Much LOVE!

…faith… connects our weakness…to God’s strength… (Daily Bread Devotional) 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 May 2018 Psalm 145:3.

Psalm 145:3.   Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable (beyond our understanding).

Ahoy there mates! Welcome to the good ship Life, as we set out on a new day of adventure on the broad expanse of territory called Mother Earth. And for your information and reassurance, we have the best pilot in the world aboard! 

Yes friends, today, the Master Pilot, Jesus will be our guide and suave informant! Wow! There’s none better than Him! So just sit back and relax and let Jesus take us wherever He desires. I am sure He will show us signs and wonders we’ve never dreamed of. 

And the first thing Jesus wants to do on today’s journey is fill us with whatever we need to come up to scratch and enjoy the day. And He speaks through Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) poem ‘Fill Me!’ from his Hour of Power Devotional. We’ve shared it before, but Jesus thought we should share it again, because we never truly learn something until we’ve heard it over and over. 

So please pray with me: ‘O Lord, like the thirsty deer which goes to drink from the mountain spring; like the growing flower which turns hungrily to the satisfying sun; like the empty pitcher which is carried to the fountain to be filled; so I come, O God, knowing that in this time of prayer my soul will be filled with your LOVE and truth. Thank you! Amen.’ 

Ah mih people, there is no better filling station for renewing our empty souls than at Jesus’ station! Only thing is right now I’m not only hungering for soul refilling, but also bodily liquid refilling. (smile) Seems like I have an endless capacity for drink, but little for solid food, which doesn’t sit well with one of my other medical problems, namely my unsound heart. However, I’m just doing my best and trusting Jesus to do the rest. 

That brings us to our Bit, which is the same as yesterday, because I don’t think I did it justice back then. ‘Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable (beyond our understanding).’ Gospel truth indeed! And today I want to concentrate on the last part, that His greatness is beyond our understanding. 

And we’ll begin with some words from Eliphaz, talking about God’s greatness, as he rebukes his supposed friend, Job. ‘(But as for me) I would seek unto God; and unto God would I commit my cause: which doeth great things and unsearchable (beyond comprehension); marvellous things without number.’ (Job 5:8-9) And he goes on to list a number of those great and incomprehensive things. 

And later on Job himself acknowledges God’s greatness and justice. ‘Then Job answered and said, I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God (how can a man be righteous with God)? If he will contend (argue) with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand (one time out of a thousand). He (God) is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered?’ (Job 9:1-4) 

Yeh friends, who can ask God a question He can’t answer eh? But we can’t even answer Him one in a thousand. And I just LOVE that last question; who has ever pitted themself against God and won eh? Not a single soul! But unfortunately there are many fools among us today who are still trying to do it. When will we ever learn eh mih breddren, that we can’t fight Almighty God and win? 

Remember He is the ONE who created us and controls the very breath of our lives and our eternal destiny. The only thing that makes any sense is to run to His ever-wide open arms and partake of all the blessings that He’s set aside for those who wisely come to Him. Anything else is a complete waste of time, and we’re only setting ourselves up for disaster and eternal separation, the worst thing that can happen to a human being. 

Now hear this scripture from Isaiah, which we all purport to know, but don’t seem to practice. ‘Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.’ (Is.40:28)  

And Bruh Paul adds his two cents worth in his letter to the Roman church. ‘O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgements, and his ways past finding out!’ (Rom.11:33) That says it all, plain and simple friends. 

And if you still don’t believe any of your fellow human beings, then listen to the Lord Himself, through the mouth of the prophet Isaiah? ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.’ (Is.55:8-9) 

There friends, the Lord has told us Himself in no uncertain terms, so please, let’s listen and do the wise thing nuh. Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, informing the world of who and whose we are. 

In strong voice and sincere heart: ‘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 if we were truly sincere, let’s go out and do just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…how can the created…be ever greater than the Creator eh…

 

 


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!

 

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…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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