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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Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 July 2017 Philippians 1:6

Philippians 1:6.   Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.

Ah friends, it’s the best day of the week – Sunday –the Sabbath of the Lord! That means it’s time for worship and praise and thanksgiving and fellowship, so that we can glorify our heavenly Father together and receive His endless LOVE, grace, mercy and forgiveness in a renewal of our spiritual strength and well-being! Wow! 

And what better way to begin our day than with a song of praise. So please sing with me, this old but highly treasured hymn, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy.’ Let’s raise the roof with our sincere and heartfelt praise, so that heaven stands up and takes notice. 

‘Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee; holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty, God in three persons, blessed Trinity! Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee, casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea; cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee, who wert and art and evermore shalt be. 

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee, though the eye made blind by sin thy glory may not see, only thou art holy; there is none beside thee, perfect in power, in love, and purity. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! All thy works shall praise thy name, in earth and sky and sea; holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty, God in three persons, blessed Trinity!’ 

Yes my brethren, a most appropriate way to get us clearly tuned into our God, with no static buzzing around to distort the message, ready to hear His word and consequently have His Holy Spirit move in a godly manner within us. 

And from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional comes this prayer titled ‘MY WALK.’ I might have shared it before, but what’s to stop us from sharing it again eh? (smile)  

Please pray with me. ‘O God, I’m inspired, for you have just impressed this truth into my mind. The most powerful force in the world is a positive idea in the mind of a believer who is walking in your will! I now reach forth my life and say, “God, put my life into the centre of your will.” Amen.’

 Now I do hope we all mean that friends, because there’s really nothing as powerful as a positive idea in the mind of an obedient follower of Christ! And if we’re truly sincere, God will put just such an idea into our minds and cause us to successfully run with it, right to the finish line. 

Now most likely whatever God puts in our minds to do won’t be easy, but we know that He will ALWAYS assist us in any task we undertake on His behalf! 

No wonder Bruh Paul could write to the Philippians: ‘I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy. For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now.  Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil.1:3-6) 

Yes my fellow believers, Bruh Paul is letting the Philippians know that he continually thanks God for their help in spreading the good news of Christ, even from the very first day that they heard it, right up until the time of his writing. He was also grateful for their prayers and financial support. The church at Philippi was a strong one early on in its formation. Thus Bruh Paul could write the words of our Bit, confident that they would grow and mature under the Lord’s tutelage and guidance. 

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘1:6. Will perform it is said “will finish it.” Paul is convinced that the work of grace that God began in the Philippians at conversion will be divinely continued until the day of Jesus Christ. That is, the Lord will keep working in these believers until Jesus returns to earth, at which point He will finish His work, bringing it to completion. 

This speaks of the Christian’s eternal security. For God had a purpose in view when He began His saving work in the Philippians, and that purpose will neither be abandoned nor unrealized.’ 

Now friends, doesn’t that just give us encouragement and reassurance, since it’s the same programme the Lord has in mind for each believer. His avowed desire and purpose is to conform us as closely as possible to His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and once He’s begun that process, He won’t stop until He takes us home or Christ returns to earth, whichever comes first. 

Please remember my Christian brethren that God is ever-faithful, and once He takes you under His comforting wings, He’ll never let anything untoward happen to you. In other words, we are secure in His everlasting LOVE, care and concern. 

And Bruh Paul ends this section with more reinforcement. ‘And this I pray, that your LOVE may abound yet more and more in knowledge and judgement (discernment): That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.’ (Phil.1:9-11) 

Oh my people, the same expectations have been set in place for us in these modern times. Nothing has really changed. God’s plan is still the same for all of us. 

And the scholars explain. 1:10. Things that are excellent means “things that really matter.” This refers to important issues. As the Philippians’ LOVE increases in knowledge and discernment (v.9), they will be able to accurately distinguish the vital and worthwhile things in life from those that are not. 

Contextually, the readers’ LOVE for Paul vexes them as they are anxious over his imprisonment. He wants them to perceive his imprisonment as being among “those things that really matter” because of the good that God will bring out of it. The purpose for such discrimination is that ye may be sincere (or, morally pure) and without offense till the day of Christ.’ 

And re ‘1:11. This verse could be translated, “Filled with the fruit that is righteousness, which comes through Jesus Christ for the purpose of glorifying and praising God.” The believer who is pure and without offense before God (v.10) has divinely developed in him a practical “righteousness” or daily moral life that measures up to God’s standards in character and conduct. The ultimate purpose for this “righteousness” is to glorify God.’ 

Ah friends, that says it all. So let’s ponder what we’ve said today and see if we’re measuring up to God’s standards, then sincerely ask Him to help us do better. That’s both common sense and eternal wisdom! Much LOVE!

…without exception…believers are expected to bear righteous fruit…for the purpose of glorifying Almighty God…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 May 2016 Joshua 24:14‏

Joshua 24:14.   Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (The Euphrates River), and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.

Well a good Tuesday morning to all you fellow believers in Jesus Christ! It’s bright and sunny in my neighbourhood, though a tad chilly! But spring’s in the air! Glory Hallelujah! Hope it is encouraging in your area too. 

But just in case it isn’t, please remember that the bright and beautiful, positive and reassuring light of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is ALWAYS shining in and through us, and that helps us to handle the dark and dreary physically challenged days. (smile) That means there’s no need to be down and depressed because of the weather.  

Now here is something from our One Year Book of Bible promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that I thought was rather appropriate to share, especially in these difficult times of ministry. It’s simply titled ‘Coincidences.’ 

And it says: ‘Lord, I was intrigued With the brilliant vocabulary Of the patient sitting next to me In the reception room. I don’t remember The start of our conversation But suddenly we were discussing prayer. I shared rather freely Your pertinent answers To my day-by-day requests. 

Labelling himself a skeptic He smiled and said courteously “What you consider answered prayer I choose to call coincidence.” 

You know how it is with me, Lord – I’m always slightly at ease In the Big Middle Of a theological discussion. I’m much more at home in my kitchen Mixing muffin batter Or tossing green salads. Frankly I was relieved When the dentist called my name. 

But one thing I do know, Lord When I pray, “coincidences” happen. When I don’t pray they stop… So thank You again and again For ten thousand “coincidences” Always in the nick of time When I pray.’ 

Oh friends what a rather common situation that is amongst believers. We all at times feel rather inadequate to explain our faith and why we pray, and are indeed much happier and more comfortable discussing other topics. 

But despite our inadequacy in explaining that faith, we are convinced that answers to our prayers are certainly not coincidences, but the actual workings of God in our lives. And we’ll go to our graves believing that. 

But if someone else wants to label them ‘coincidences,’ then we’ll very gladly receive them. Like a rose by any other name is just as sweet, so is answered prayer by any other name just as reassuring and encouraging. (smile) 

And the Bible Promise for that poem is Bruh Paul’s admonishment to the Ephesians; one that we all know very well, whether we keep it though is another story. ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:18) Remember my precious people, prayer is indispensable in a Christian’s life. 

Now, since it’s Tuesday, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with lots of spunk and plenty conviction. Altogether 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.’ 

All praise and glory and might and power to our wonderful God, who LOVED us so much to sacrifice His only Son Jesus Christ on our behalf! So let’s remember, every minute of every day, who and whose we are; beloved children of Almighty God! 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (The Euphrates River), and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.’ 

And that’s the other side of the coin my fellow Christians! If we consider ourselves children of God, then we must adhere to His Will and Word with sincerity and truth, and consequently revere ONLY Him as our Maker, Provider and Comforter. 

As Jesus told the ole hypocrite Pharisees, when they tried to tempt and confuse Him: ‘Render (pay) therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things which are God’s.’ (Matt.22:21) 

Yes friends, as true believers, that’s how we ought to behave! And things like reverence, supplication, LOVE, care, compassion, wisdom, forgiveness, mercy and grace, ALL belong to the ONE and ONLY TRUE LIVING God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

So let’s give Him His rightful due nuh my brethren, and stop worshiping at the altar of sin and the lustful things of the world, which belong to the evil one, the prince of darkness. Let’s stop wallowing in the darkness of evil, and instead fully, gratefully and graciously embrace the LIGHT and LOVE that’s Jesus, and which offer us so much more, especially salvation and eternal life! 

And we’ll end with these wonderful and true words of the Preacher, Cousin Sol, from Ecclesiastes. ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl.12:13-14) 

Ah mih breddren, as true believers, that’s our bounden duty right there in a nutshell! Please, let’s wisely follow it as long as there is the breath of God in our bodies nuh. Much LOVE!

…true wisdom is simply…faithfully reverencing God and being obedient to His Word and Will…