Today’s Scrip-Bit   3 January 2023 Ephesians 4:23.

Ephesians 4:23.       And be ye renewed in the spirit of your mind:

And this Tuesday morning, the third day of 2023, the first working day of the year for many of us, has opened somewhat damp and cloudy in my area. But as always, the joy in our hearts over a new year is usually enough to compensate for that, especially since we still have some of the recent balmy above freezing weather with us. (smile) However, the important question today is what New Year’s resolutions have we made, and have we made keepable ones? Undoubtedly, like years past, in the first couple of weeks, we’ll be strong on those resolutions, but then as everyday life begins to take us over again, we will begin falling off of those lofty heights that we promised ourselves to journey on in this new year. 

But yuh know friends, we can all avoid that falling off by simply making ONE resolution each and every year, that of desiring, and therefore, trying, doing everything we can, to live for and with Jesus! Now that just makes everything so simple and uncomplicated. You don’t have to remember a whole lot of stuff. For Jesus said it so clearly: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) Wow! How easy that is my people! All we do is seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness, and all our needs, everything else will fall into place. that’s Jesus’ promise. 

The problem though is that we don’t fully believe it as we should, so we keep on trying to live life on our own terms, which sometimes turns out fairly well, but never reaches its full capacity because it doesn’t have the anointing of God on it. And I’m chuckling here because I was just ready to go off on a different tangent when the Holy Spirit reminded me that I’d promised that if God spared us today, we’d continue looking at practical aspects of the new life in Christ, as Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus. Thank You Holy Spirit! Otherwise, I would have begun the new year with a most inauspicious mark of not keeping my promise, and we just cannot have that!  (smile) 

Anyhow, enough talk, let’s get to our subject. And Bruh Paul expatiates on the new life in Christ thus: ‘That ye put off the concerning the former conversation (conduct) the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be ye renewed in the spirit of your mind: And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.’ (Eph. (4:22-24) 

Ah friends, that’s exactly what we need to do at the beginning of this new year; throw off all the baggage we’re still carrying around from our old way of life and move into the new way that’s promoted by Christ.  And here are some practical and easy ways…well they might not be so easy for some of us who are addicted to the old ways, but with the help of Jesus, they are indeed possible to change, if we are serious about invoking the new man. 

So, Bruh Paul advises: ‘Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man the truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.’ (Eph. 4:25) And speaking the truth to each other is about as good a place to begin as any, my fellow believers, for this world is so polluted with lies, deceits and distrust that it’s indeed difficult to know what’s true from what’s not. And remember one of the essential parts of God’s spiritual armour is the belt of truth ‘having your loins girt about with truth.’ (Eph. 6:14) 

Then what about these practical aspects of living the new life eh? ‘Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.’ (Eph. 4:26-28) 

Ah mih bredrin, doesn’t that sound interesting? And most of us will say yes, but it’s the changing and then the keeping of those directives that cause the problems. However, if we are basically good people, they really shouldn’t cause us that many problems nuh, because good people don’t lie and steal, get angry easily and refuse to work. And with Jesus’ help, it’s all possible. That’s what we need to always remember: living for Christ automatically includes His help. And remember that we can do all things with His amazing and powerful help. (Phil 4:13) 

Neither forget we this tidbit from Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians. ‘For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.’ (2 Thess. 3:10-11) Now can you imagine if we actually imposed that rule in our society, the amount of starvation we’d have added to the great amount we already have, because there are so many who work very little or not at all, but are causing all sorts of problems. 

They are doing exactly what Bruh Paul recommends we don’t do. ‘Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.’ (Eph. 4:29) Oh my people, my people, we desperately need to put that advice into action, because this society is so filled with corrupt communication, especially with the current prevalence of social media, that it just boggles the imagination. And sadly, very little of it is indeed worthy of edifying and ministering grace to us. 

Then Bruh Paul makes this solemn plea: ‘And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.’ (Eph. 4:30) Now that is something we should all try to avoid. And you ask how can we grieve the Holy Spirit? By simply doing the things we know we should not do, by not listening to His guidance and leading! Remember the Holy Spirit is a person, and thus has feelings and those feelings can be aggrieved like ours, cause Him pain, when the right things are not done in His sight. 

But thankfully we won’t have to worry about grieving the Holy Spirit because from now on we’ll be concentrating on doing the right things in His sight. We’ll do what Bruh Paul further advises. ‘Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph. 4;31-32) Now those are some of the practical aspects of putting on the new man and living for Christ! And can you imagine the great difference it would make to our world if we believers should sincerely try to adopt them. 

So please, let’s make sincerely living for Christ our New Year’s resolution nuh. That is if we sincerely want to change our world for the better. And for those of us who are doing our best to live for Christ, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. As one voice: ‘In God’s eyes, 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 my immediate neighbours, as well as with the whole wide world! Glory be!’ 

And the addendum to that is to go out and share that amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…to see positive change…one has to take off the old and put on the new…which is found only in Christ Jesus… 

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