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 6 February 2018 1 Corinthians 15:57.

1 Corinthians 15:57.   But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ah mih people, welcome to another day on God’s great earth! Oh, I know that we will be surrounded by numerous problems and everyday we hear of more and more foolish strife, war and heated words in our society, but that’s no reason not to give thanks to Almighty God for the good things He’s done, is doing, and will do in our individual lives. Yeh friends, telling God, ‘Thank You,’ is essential for our very survival. 

Now I’m going to share something from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional that I’m pretty sure I’ve never shared before. I don’t know why, if it was just too long and didn’t lend itself to useful paraphrasing, but to day I’m going to share the entire thing, because I believe it’s ever so important for believers in these violent and negative times to understand. 

So here goes. In the first place it is titled: ‘Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!’ So you know it’s all about thanking God. 

And Gramps Schuller says: ‘When you lose a LOVED one, there is a way to thank God. You can thank Him for the promise of eternal life. You can thank Him for the assurance that someday you will be reunited with the one you’ve lost. The worse the loss, the harder the fall, the deeper the pain – the more you need to say, “Thank You, Lord!”  

Thank You, Lord! is the force that draws back the curtains, letting tomorrow’s light pierce today’s darkness. Thank You, Lord! is the first slippery step back up from the ditch of depression. Thank You, Lord! is the seed of faith planted in the dry, cracked earth. When you least feel like doing it – say Thank You, Lord! 

You don’t say Thank You to God because you are crediting or blaming Him for your heartache. NO! Nothing could be further from the truth! God is good! He is the Father of LOVE and goodness! Most of the time we make our own heartache. Why then do we say Thank You, Lord, in the midst of the raging storm? 

We say Thank You, Lord, that you’re still there to help us! Thank You, Lord, that I’m not totally alone! Thank You, Lord for the help you will send me. Thank You, Lord. Thank You for tomorrows that are sure to come. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! It’s a vital element of positive prayer.’ 

Oh friends, I do hope that Gramps Schuller’s words on the importance of saying ‘Thank You,’ to God, have resonated and reverberated in us, and will continue to do so, because if we want to have positive thoughts and actions, we first have to use positive words, in spite of our circumstances. And there are no simpler and yet more positive words than those two: ‘Thank You!’ 

In our crazy, confused and troubled world, when said to others, they can diffuse a tremulous situation; soften a hard heart, lend healing to a broken one, and bring a smile to a sour face. And when we sincerely say them to God, we just raise the level of our faith and maturity. 

Our relationship with our heavenly Father enters a deeper phase, because we are acknowledging His goodness and LOVE, His omnipotence and ability to control circumstances, both our own and the world’s. We are saying in effect, ‘heavenly Father we trust You, regardless of what’s happening in our lives and the world. We’re standing firm on Your promises, because we know that You are faithful and will keep EVERY promise that You’ve made.’  

Now here is our Bit, which declares the thing that we ought to be most grateful for and give the most thanks for: ‘But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, we can never be too thankful or grateful for the victory over death, hell, the grave and any other negative things, that Jesus has given us through His own sacrificial death, resurrection and ascension, through the never-ending grace of our heavenly Father. 

And Bruh Paul further sates in his second letter to the Corinthians: ‘Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to (leads us in) triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour (fragrance) of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour (aroma) of Christ, in (among) them that are saved, and in (among) them that perish.’ (2 cor.2:14-15) 

Oh friends, are we ever a sweet fragrance to God when we accept His Son Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, and wisely accept His free offer of salvation and eternal life, and thus will not be relegated to the foolish group that will perish because of their non-acceptance of Christ. He doesn’t want anything more than that. So, with His awesome help, let’s do our best to bring others to that realization nuh. 

Now let’s go home declaring to the world who and whose we are in our Tuesday Mantra. In full voice and heartfelt sincerity: ‘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 are sincere, then let’s go out and share that amazing LOVE of Christ, as He so ardently desires. Much LOVE!

…LOVE unshared…is No LOVE at all…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 January 2018 Psalm 20:7.

Psalm 20:7.   Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.
And it all looks so beautiful; the pristine white powder spread all over the land, unsullied by humans, virginal, you’d say! And when the sun shines against it, it gives off a brilliant light…like a million diamonds! 
But all that beauty is deceptive friends, for the snow, like our number one enemy, Lucifer is a great deceiver. It takes you in with its beauty, and when you succumb to the temptation, it snakes out its octopus arms and ties you up ten ways from Sunday! (smile) 
Yeh friends, we’ve been hit with another snowstorm, but that’s what winter is all about. But all jokes aside, please be careful if you have to go out in it, because though it looks beautiful, it can be very dangerous for both pedestrians and motorists. 
Now here is a li’l something from someone and somewhere that I can’t remember, but it ought to be the gospel truth if you are a believer. It says: ‘I believe in the sun, even when I don’t see it. I believe in LOVE, even when I don’t see it. I believe in God, even when He is silent.’ 
Yeh mih people, God is often silent in our lives, but that doesn’t mean He is not around us and we should give up on Him. It just means that He is working on stuff in the background, and when He is ready, we will hear from Him, loud and clear. 
So my brethren, if you are going through a particularly rough time and you don’t seem to be seeing or hearing from God in your situation, please don’t fear and give up hope. For He has faithfully promised to never leave nor forsake us, and He NEVER will. He’s probably just testing your faith. 
And remember He has also promised to work all things out for the good of those who LOVE Him and are called to His purpose. So just hang in there, trust completely and faithfully in the One who sacrificed His life for us on the cross of Calvary. As I keep asking, if Christ could do make a sacrifice of such magnitude on our behalf, then why wouldn’t He help us in our trying times eh? No reason whatsoever my people! 
Therefore, as Bruh David says so eloquently and faithfully in our Bit: ‘Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.’ And that’s exactly how it ought to be! 
And why is that? Because as Bruh David says before our Bit: ‘Now I know that the Lord saveth his anointed (Messiah, commissioned one); he will hear (answer) him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.’ (Ps.20:6) And that’s no lie friends! Our God will save those who depend and rely on Him, because He has promised to do just that. 
Now let’s look at some scriptures that corroborate our Bit, beginning way back when Moses was teaching the people how to live under God’s law. ‘When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the Lord thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 
And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people, And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified of them; for the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.’ (Deut.20:1-4) 
Oh precious people of God, it couldn’t get any simpler or clearer than that! When we come up against our enemies, we must remember that it is our God who is there to fight for us and save us. That part of the equation is entirely in our hands; we must have the faith to believe it, before it comes to pass. 
Now hear Cousin Sol: ‘There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lord. The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety (deliverance) is of the Lord.’ (Prov.21:30-31) Glory be, my fellow believers!  
As the scholars explain: ’21:31. Military preparedness is useless apart from the Lord, who really gives the victory.’ And all God’s people gave a loud and grateful shout of ‘Amen! So let it be!’ 
Mean while Isaiah declares: ‘Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help: and stay (rely) on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord!’ (Is.31:1) Yeh friends, Isaiah is decrying the ones who would seek Egypt for help, when God, not Egypt is the One who will defend Judah. 
And finally these truthful words of the psalmist: ‘There is no king saved by a multitude of a host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. A horse is a vain thing (false hope) for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy, 
To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.’  (Ps.33:16-22) 
Ahh, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra to the world and all therein, proudly letting them know who and whose we are. 
In loud voice and sincere belief: ‘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!’
Wow! What a blessed life we lead my brethren! Now let’s go out and share Jesus and His extraordinary LOVE with the rest of the world. Much LOVE!
 
…without hope, faith and trust…LOVE is impossible…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 January 2018 Hebrews 10:35.

Hebrews 10:35.   Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.

Oh friends, we late! Yuh like how I included you all in that, even though you all are not to blame? (smile) That’s what they call ‘author’s convenience.’ I guess the ole bod was just more tired than I realized, and when I did open my eyes it was already minutes to nine. 

Well no palavering, let’s get right down to business, which begins with something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings By Ruth Harms Calkin. This one’s titled ‘God’s Promises.’ 

Please read with me. ‘With increasing joy I am discovering that God’s promises do not suddenly disappear when our courage fails and our fears become overwhelming. Feeling or no feeling, when God gives a promise that speaks directly to our need, it stands firm regardless of negative circumstances. 

There may be times of questioning, and we may not understand God’s timing, but His promise remains certain through our deepest trial. If we consistently rely on His immutable Word, we can disregard the darkness. 

Oswald Chambers says, “Are you in the dark right now regarding your circumstances? Then listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else when you are in the light.” God waits for us to trust Him when trusting seems the most difficult thing of all.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth my people? For sure! When times are good, it’s easy to trust God, but it’s in those dark and difficult times that God wants to see us sincerely trusting Him and waiting patiently for His timing, because that’s when He knows that we are growing in faith, we are becoming more Christ-like, mature Christians. 

Yeh friends, trusting God when the circumstances are negative and you don’t understand what’s happening; you’re doing right, but wrong things proliferate, is indeed difficult. But we have to learn that with God, a promise is a promise, regardless of the circumstances that surround it. 

And it’s only by undergoing such tests that we will ever be truly able to trust God and wait on His impeccable timing. One thing’s for sure; He is NEVER late! We might think so, but if you check out the facts of the situation, you’ll discover that He is ALWAYS right on time. I can tell you that from personal testimony. 

Anyway, the Bible Promise for the story above is also our Bit for today. ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.’ And that is more awesome truth my fellow believers! Too many of us have lost faith in the Almighty because it seems like He was taking His own sweet time to come to our rescue. 

But He is the Creator and the Controller, He sees the big picture and knows what He is doing. That’s why the verse after our Bit explains: ‘For ye have need of patience (endurance), that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb.10:36) 

Yeh friends, it’s usually after we’ve done God’s will, that we receive the promise, and nowhere does He say that it comes immediately after. In God’s economy, we usually have to wait for things to prove our faith. And furthermore, as the author paraphrases what the Lord told Habakkuk in Hab.2:3-4.

‘For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry (delay). Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But ye are not of them who draw back unto perdition (destruction); but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.’ (Heb.10:37-39) 

Oh my people, let’s hope that that is true of all of us! Let’s hope that we learn to wait on God to fulfill the promises He’s made us, in spite of how long it takes, or how dark and dangerous it might seem. And what did Jesus say about all that in the Beatitudes, in the famous Sermon on the Mount? 

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

Ah mih breddren, Jesus never promised that it would be easy, but He did promise that those who faithfully stood the test of time would be faithfully rewarded. Now would you like to be amongst that lot or not? I’d suggest that that’s where we should all be actively heading for, since that’s wisdom personified. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know without a doubt, just who and whose we are. In loud voice and strong conviction 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, if that’s true, then let’s go out and share our friend Jesus and His awesome LOVE with the world, for there’s nothing He desires more than that! Much LOVE!

…there’s no bigger act of LOVE…than sharing the LOVE of JESUS…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 January 2018 Psalm 143:8.

Psalm 143:8.   Cause me to hear thy LOVING-kindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.

Awright friends, it’s Tuesday…and we happy! Why? Because we’ve gotten past Monday. (smile) Poor Monday takes so much blame and abuse in our society because it is the first working day of the week, and everybody breathes a sigh of relief after it’s over. 

But we have the whole thing wrong yes. Monday is supposed to be the best and easiest day of the week because we’re coming off of two days rest. Every day after that is supposed to get harder rather than easier. The problem is that we don’t rest over the weekend, therefore it’s difficult to get the body and spirit moving for work on Monday, and we end up blaming it for all our many woes. (smile) 

But be that as it may, listen to this take from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that admirably describes so many of us. It’s titled ‘Another Year.’ 

Please read with me. ‘Another new year! How did it steal in so silently? How did it arrive so quickly? So many things I determined to do in January of last year are still completely undone. So many notes and letters still unwritten. Friends I planned to entertain were never invited. 

The books I planned to read haven’t been opened. The cupboards and drawers I hoped to clean are still cluttered with things I don’t need or use. Clothes I no longer wear still crowd my closet. I planned to have coffee with our neighbours, but often I managed no more than a quick wave between errands. 

If only I could have held on to the old year a little longer! But the old year is gone. I must put it away with all its failures and broken resolves. There is no way I can reclaim even one week of last year. I see that the road to good intentions is wide and circular. I’ve walked around it until I am utterly exhausted. 

I confess my failures, my procrastination. I know God, in his graciousness will forgive me. I have one more request. I pray for God’s power to keep my forgiveness up-to-date.’ 

Yes friends, good intentions are great, if we put them into action, otherwise we just keep aimlessly going round the same mountain, like the Israelites in the wilderness. And way too many of us are guilty of all those things we read above, basically a combination of laziness, procrastination and busyness. And it’s not hard to do in the extra busy society in which we now live, where everything is go, go, go. 

But the only way we’re going to overcome those failures and disappointments is by sincerely turning to God and putting the leading of our lives in His most capable hands. For once He is in control of our lives, we won’t be as busy-oriented as the world wants us to be, and He definitely won’t put more on our plate than we can handle. And whatever He puts there, we are assured we can handle it, because He gives us the wherewithal to do so! Glory Be! 

That’s the beauty of sincerely partnering with Almighty God; He controls it all! And the Bible Promise for that writing is also our Bit for today. ‘Cause me to hear thy LOVING-kindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.’ 

Oh my people, what beautiful words of prayer from Bruh David! Just right for every time we open our eyes to a new day. What better decision is there to start a day than to ask God for His LOVING-kindness and direction so we can do His will, because we have placed our entire trust in Him? None my brethren! None! 

And Bruh David continues: ‘Deliver me, O Lord, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me (I take cover in thee) Teach me to do thy will: for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. Quicken (revive) me, O Lord, for thy name’s sake: for thy righteousness sake bring my soul out of trouble. And of thy mercy cut off (put an end to) mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul; for I am thy servant.’ (Ps.143:9-12) 

Yeh friends, excellent words, but of no use unless we show the action that comes with that last, all important line: ‘for I am thy servant.’ Until we are involved in real servant hood to Christ, all our words are useless, for that’s where the truth of our faith shows up. 

That’s how and why Jesus came the first time: to save and to serve. He came humbly, helping the poor and downtrodden, the sick and needy, and until we begin doing the same, with right hearts and motives, we won’t be classified as servants of God. 

Remember what Jesus said about separating the sheep and the goats: ‘For I was an hungered (hungry), and ye gave me meat (food): I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in. Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: 

I was in prison, and ye came unto me…And the king shall say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’ (Matt.25:35-36,40) 

Yes my faithful followers of Christ, until we begin helping the least, we will never be the most in Christ’s kingdom. And there are a whole lot of needy out there to be helped, so please let’s make this Year of LOVE, also one of servant hood nuh, for you can’t truly have one without the other. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In sincerity and 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!’ 

Now let’s go out and action those statements. Much LOVE!

…oh how beautiful…how heartwarming it is…to share Christ’s LOVE with others…

 

 

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…

 

 

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