Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 January 2020 John 15:5.

John 15:5.    ​I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
 

And yes, I know some of you are patting your chests, feeling self-satisfied and proud as a peacock, because you have now darkened the church doors on your usual two occasions for the year; at Easter and Christmas. And I still don’t understand why you go at all because twice a year is certainly insufficient if you consider yourself a true believer in Jesus Christ! Church ought not to be a sometime thing. The Lord planned it to be a regular occurrence, and if you think twice a year is sufficient, then you are totally fooling yourself and seriously suffering from the sin of pride, which the Lord abhors more than most others. 

Church was made for fellowship, so believers could gather together and enjoy each other’s company, encourage each other, sing and praise the Lord and hear His enlightened Word, thus refreshing and renewing our tired minds, bodies and spirits from a stressful week of work, so that we can begin the cycle all over again on Monday. Anyway, mine is not to judge, just to point out the inadequacies. (smile) So let’s get the show on the road with today’s song of praise. And since we’ve all resolved to have a closer walk with Jesus this new year of 2020, I figured the most appropriate song would be the old faithful: ‘Just a closer walk with thee.’ 

But before we get into it, here is something from the website Hymnary.org, which gives us food for thought as we sing. ‘In this song, we acknowledge our human inability to live righteously, but we also express awareness of the grace and strength that God gives us in our daily walk. Even such an esteemed saint as the apostle Paul acknowledged his need for this grace: “But he [God] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” … For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9a, 10b ESV).’ 

So as we sing, as we raise our voices to high heaven in perfect harmony and true sincerity, let’s contemplate the sentiments we utter in that light nuh. All together now: ‘I am weak but Thou art strong; Jesus, keep me from all wrong; I’ll be satisfied as long As I walk, let me walk close to Thee. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) Thro’ this world of toil and snares, If I falter, Lord, who cares? Who with me my burden shares? None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee. [Refrain] 

(And Anne Murray inserts this chorus here: ‘Take my hand Lord Jesus, take my hand. Take my hand Lord Jesus, take my hand. There’s a race to be run, there’s a victory to be won, every hour, give me power to go through.) When my feeble life is o’er, Time for me will be no more; Guide me gently, safely o’er To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore. [Refrain] (Take my hand Lord Jesus, take my hand. Take my hand Lord Jesus, take my hand. There’s a race to be run, there’s a victory to be won, every hour, give me power to go through.) Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be. Just a closer walk with thee, Dear Lord let be…let it be…’ 

Ah mih people, the only way to walk this earth successfully is to be continually in close proximity to Jesus; the One who bore all our sins on Calvary’s cross, then rose triumphantly from the dead and ascended into heaven where He sits at the Father’s right hand advocating on our behalf. Glory Hallelujah! And if you don’t believe me, then hear it from Jesus Himself: ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:4-5) 

Now if that isn’t telling it in plain and straightforward language, I don’t know what is nuh! Yes friends, if we don’t stay tightly attached to Jesus then we’ll be lost like sheep without a shepherd, headed straight for naïve and innocent slaughter by falling for the enemy’s lies and deceit. That’s the gospel truth! Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can provide us with the strength and the wherewithal we need to make it through these dark, dismal and turbulent times! 

And Bruh Paul puts it thus to the Corinthians in the last chapter of his second letter, when he speaks of his coming to them and warns of prevalent sin in their church: ‘For though he (Jesus) was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you. Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates (unless you don’t stand the test, are counterfeit Christians)?’ (2 Cor.13:4-5) 

Ah mih people, in this new year, these trying times of history, it’s ever so necessary for each and every one of us to examine ourselves and make sure we’re not fakes, counterfeit believers! If we’re true believers, then Christ ought to be in us. And if Christ is in us, then we have the awesome responsibility to act and behave in a manner that is worthy of Him. That means bearing the fruit of the Spirit: LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), meekness, temperance (self-control). 

Today, let’s take a few moments and examine ourselves to see if we are bearers of such fruit nuh. And whether we are or not, let’s sincerely ask the Lord to help us bear such fruit so that we can exalt and glorify His most worthy name through His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Much LOVE!

…not that we are sufficient of our selves…to think any thing as of ourselves…but our sufficiency…is of God… (2 Cor.3:5)

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