Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 January 2019 Matthew 6:33.

Matthew 6:33.   ​But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
 
It’s Saturday my brethren! Glory be! And most of us are glad to see it although there is work around the house to be done. Have you taken down your Christmas tree as yet, as well as the decorations and the lights, and carefully put them away for next year? The Christmas tree at my house came down long ago when it fell down before Christmas.

I have to chuckle when I remember how the family came home the night I was in the hospital and found the tree lying on the floor, water everywhere, and try as they might they couldn’t get it go back up properly. 

They never even told me until the next day. I’m sure it was a heartbreaking sight for the duchess because she had spent so much intimate and LOVING time decorating it…and it did look wonderful. But them’s the breaks. You just have to shrug, grin and move on. And Christmas did pass fairly well without a big Christmas tree in the family room. Just hope she’ll take down the decorations soon. Can’t say anything though, or be very diplomatic about it, else she’ll get on my case. (smile) 

Now let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.’ 

Now the last part of that quote certainly bears a lot of truth, but the first sentence is blatantly untrue! The most powerful entity on earth is its Creator, the Lord God Almighty! As the prophet Amos so emphatically states: ‘For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind (or spirit), and declareth unto man what is his (God’s) thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The Lord, The God of hosts is his name.’ (Amos 4:13)  

Yes friends, the newspapers can’t raise up the wind and the sea, or cause a natural disaster, or raise up a dead man…but Jesus can. He can also stop and prevent them, as the Good Book proves. So therein lies the greatest power on earth! The newspapers however do have a lot of power when it comes to controlling the things we focus on. 

And as the next quote says: ‘If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and LOVING the people who are doing the oppressing.’ 

And we have a very good example of that right now in the U.S, where President Trump is fuelling his apparently insatiable ego by keeping the government closed, and thus holding almost a million people hostage, both away from work, and working and not getting paid, because he’s so fixated on building a useless wall along the southern borders. 

And if you read some of the newspapers and listen to Trump himself, they’ll have you believe that it’s all in the name of a worthwhile cause, and that even some of those unfortunate people are standing with him. Utter balderdash! But that just shows the power of the media. 

Now here’s the next quote: ‘Usually when people are sad, they don’t do anything. They just cry over their condition. But when they get angry, they bring about a change.’  Now that has some truth to it, but the problem is what kind of change do we bring about when we’re angry? Usually not a good or sensible one. So it behooves us to be very careful when we’re making decisions in angry mode. 

And the last quote is simply: ‘If you have a purpose which is bigger than you, all your problems will become tiny.’ I don’t know if that is true all the time, but generally speaking when you focus on your purpose and not your problems, the latter usually become less significant. 

The problem with that quote though, from a Christian standpoint, is what purpose are we referring to? Now according to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the greatest commandments of our faith are to LOVE God and to LOVE our neighbours as ourselves. (Mark 12:30-31) But how do we do that eh? 

According to Jesus: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ Yes friends, that’s the ultimate purpose of the believer in this world. Seeking God, and doing what is right in His sight should be our number ONE priority! 

And Jesus promises that when we follow that directive, when seeking and obeying God is our main purpose in life, everything else in our life will fall into place. Then, as our quote says: ‘all your problems will become tiny.’ And that’s because you have set them in the Lord’s powerful, omnipotent hands as you seek to do His will. 

Mama Mia! What a wonderful God we LOVE and serve my brethren! Therefore let us take a li’l time today nuh, or sometime over the weekend, to seriously ponder if we are fulfilling our earthly purpose to the best of our ability. Let’s sit down and discuss it with out heavenly Father, and ask for His ALWAYS available help to come up higher. That’s our homework for this weekend! (smile) Much LOVE!

…as Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) so wisely advises…to obtain the best life…simply obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…gospel truth that…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 December 2018 Matthew 22:39.

Matthew 22:39.   ​And the second is like unto it (the first), Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.
 
And it seems like a cloudy Saturday morning, just right for sleeping in, but the ole fella is up early, couldn’t sleep in any longer. I did have a decent enough night’s rest though. The persistent cough I’ve had over the last few days seems to have eased up some, but I still can only sleep comfortably on my right side, which doesn’t enamor me to my back and right hip. (smile) And that’s what caused me to get up earlier than I desired. But that’s life! 

So what’s the action eh friends, on this Saturday two days before we ring out the Old Year and ring in the New One? Let’s hope that the LOVING and generous nature of the Christmas season is still fermenting in our souls and bodies and still being shown to all and sundry! This brings to mind an idea I recently read at the bottom of a Daily Bread Devotion, which says ‘as we put away the Christmas decorations, do not put away the Christmas spirit.’ 

Now doesn’t that sound very interesting, enlightening and Christ-like? It surely does. So let’s ponder on that statement nuh, as we begin taking down the decorations in the next week or so, and just allow the wonderful spirit of Christmas to flow over into, and all through the New Year!  Hope does spring eternal! (smile) 

Now let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm provided over the last week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one is rather interesting: ‘Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.’ And we can take that to mean that we should live extravagantly, beyond our financial means, up to our necks in debt etc. etc. 

But that is definitely not a very good way to live one’s life. One ought to live within the realm of what one can afford, and not go overboard and cause yourself more heartache and trouble than is necessary. However, the other side to statement is that one ought not to just live a comfortable life without stepping out of one’s comfort zone every so often, because that’s what really makes life interesting. 

We ought to set our goals, our caps, a little higher than we can reach on tippy toes, so that it will stretch us, cause us to put ourselves out some, and thus add some light and lustre to this dark and evil world. That’s what our Lord and Saviour expects of us when He says we are the light of the world. We are to be constantly reaching for something better and brighter in His holy name. 

Then we have this one: ‘Never let someone else decide for you whether you are going to be happy or sad.’ Now there’s some wisdom in that statement. Generally speaking, our decisions to be happy or sad should be ours, because we are the ones who have to bear the repercussions of either decision. Others can certainly tell us what they think, and we can listen to their well-intentioned advice, but only we can decide what state of mind is right or wrong for us at any particular time. 

Now here’s the last quote: ‘LOVE yourself. Stay happy. Live life to the fullest, and focus on the best things in life!’ And I guess those are things we all would certainly like to do in this earthly life. But please note that the only way we can successfully do the last three is if we are successful at the first! Very little of true worth will happen to us if we don’t LOVE ourselves. And even if it does, we won’t be happy because our spirit’s not at peace. 

And we don’t mean LOVE in a narcissistic way either, but just being comfortable with whom you are, knowing that you’re doing your best, having Jesus as your guiding light. As they say, you ought to like you, because you take you everywhere with you! And that’s gospel truth! If you don’t like you, then most likely others won’t like you either. How can they when the dislike for yourself comes through in your words and behaviour eh? 

That’s why, in talking about great commandments Jesus stipulated in our Bit: ‘And the second is like unto it (the first), Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.’ Yeh friends, we only need two commandments yes; LOVE God, and LOVE our neighbours as we LOVE ourselves! 

Please note that Jesus didn’t just say LOVE your neighbour, but as you LOVE yourself! And that means if you don’t like yourself, then you won’t be able to like your neighbour either. So friends, it all depends on how we feel about ourselves, because what we have inside is what is going to come out. 

As Jesus specified to the multitude, and the Pharisees in particular: ‘Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt.15:10-11) Likewise friends, if we don’t have true LOVE in our hearts, true LOVE won’t ever come out of us. And the only way to have true LOVE in our hearts is by making Jesus our Lord and Saviour and living by His example and desires. 

And we’ll close with these immortal words of Jesus on the subject. ‘A new commandment I give unto you, that ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) And that’s why our world is such an awful and evil place; we’re not LOVING each other the way Jesus LOVED us. It’s as simple as that friends! 

Now let’s spend some time seriously pondering the state of LOVE in our hearts nuh, and then ask the Lord to help us make the necessary changes. That’s the only way our world will improve. Much LOVE!

…it all begins and ends with LOVE…LOVE for God…LOVE for ourselves…and LOVE for our neighbours…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 December 2018 Micah 7:6.

Micah 7:6.   ​For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.
 
Saturday, Christmas Saturday! And everybody is busy doing their last minute Christmas shopping and preparations! Thank the Lord that does not include the ole fella nuh! (smile) Yeh friends, the ole fella’s recuperating nicely I suppose. I’ve been up for some time now because I could not find a comfortable position in the bed, one that would alleviate all the aches and pains. 

Yuh know how it is; when you find a comfort zone for one ache, it causes another to act up. And then I sat at the kitchen table having a coffee and a Saturday morning chat with the duchess – have to take them when I can get them (smile), so that’s why I’m only now getting to the Bit. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it! 

Now let’s see what words of wisdom our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first quote simply says: ‘Lighten up, just enjoy life, smile more, laugh more, and don’t get so worked up about things.’ Oh mih people, those few words do contain lots of good advice and wisdom! 

In this stressful and busy world we all need to lighten up and relax and just go with the flow! Have you ever walked down a busy street and seen how people are tense and serious, with very few smiling, everyone just intent on going about their business? 

And it always amuses me when I get in an elevator and all the others in the car keep looking up at the roof, everybody apparently dreading making eye contact with a stranger. Chuh friends! Our society definitely needs to lighten up and not take ourselves so seriously, because it only draws us to unnecessary disaster. That’s why stress is the biggest killer in our midst right now, causing all sorts of illnesses! And then we wonder why so many of us are dying so young! 

And the next quote declares: ‘Life is like playing a violin in public and learning the instrument as one goes on.’ I guess that means you cannot learn life in private, and only as you go along that you really learn it. It’s a process and you can only deal with it as it comes against you. As the old people would say, ‘what ent meet you ent pass you!’ In other words, people can tell you about life, but you don’t truly learn life until you yourself come face to face with it. 

And the last quote says: ‘At the end of the day, life is about being happy being who you are, and I feel like we are so blessed to have the support system and the best family to really just support each other no matter what we’re going through.’ Ah friends, I wish that was so much truer of our world than it actually is! 

We ought to be happy being who we are, especially in Christ, and we do need good support systems to help us in those perilous times that all of us undergo at some time or the other. But unfortunately the basic unit of our society, the family, is being undermined and destroyed by the callous, greedy and uncaring attitudes and culture that proliferate in these modern times. Families turn against each other for small and petty reasons, as each one fights to make their mark in this evil world. 

Steups! We don’t have to, and we won’t always agree, but when it comes to family, we ought to stick together, for who else are we going to turn to eh, since there is no unit smaller than that supposedly close knit group titled ‘family.’ Right here I’ve got to give thanks for my family yes! We don’t always agree, but we’re always there for each other! 

That’s what family is about, why it’s called family. But nowadays there are so many feuds and disagreements between those of the same household, for whatever reason, that our society is falling apart. Whatever happened to that bond, that trust that families exuded once upon a time eh? 

That brings us to this scripture where the prophet Micah describes a morally sinful Israel, a true reflection of our modern day society. ‘The good (faithful or loyal) man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net. That they may do evil with both hands earnestly (successfully), the prince asketh (asks for gifts), and the judge asketh for a reward (bribe); and the great man, he uttereth his mischievous (evil) desire: so they wrap it up (scheme together).’  (Mic.7:2-3) 

And isn’t that exactly what is going on in our society today people? I don’t think we’ve ever seen a time that’s corrupt and evil as this one! But Micah is not done with us: ‘The best of them is as a brier: the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge: the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation (punishment) cometh; now shall be their perplexity.’ (Mic.7:4) Ah mih people, things are so bad, that even the best of us are sharp and thorny! 

But as the Lord has warned so often in His word, continual disobedience will eventually bring His wrath and punishment! And we are seeing it in the failings of our supposed great and modern society; sickness, famine, poverty, natural and man-made disasters are proliferating in the richest times ever. 

That’s why Micah advises: ‘Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide (companion): keep (guard) the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.’ (Mic.7:5-6) 

And when all those things are occurring, as they are in our current society, that means our society is on the way down and out unless we turn back to God as Micah so wisely advises: ‘Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.’ (Mic.7:7) 

Yes friends, that’s the only way our society will ever rise up out of the morass that it’s currently embedded in! So please, let’s turn to our great and faithful God and LOVE Him with all our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, as He desires nuh, so that our society will not go the way of the dodo bird – extinction! Much LOVE!

…the Lord fulfills ALL His promises…be they to uplift…or to destroy…please remember that…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 December 2018 Luke 1:45.

Luke 1:45.   ​And blessed is she that (who) believed: for there shall be a performance (fulfillment) of those things which were told her from the Lord.
 
And so we’ve finally arrived at Saturday; a day unlike any other, where we can work, play or simply rest…or even do all three if we so desire! I guess you can call Saturday a day of different things to different people, filled with a hodgepodge of situations and choices. 

But it is a good day also for reflection on our past week; what we’ve done, what we haven’t done, what we liked, what we didn’t like, and most importantly, if we’ve walked with the Lord on a satisfactory level. Let’s hope we will all reflect and discover that we’ve made good progress in our daily walk with the Lord. Praise His holy name! 

Now since it’s Saturday, let’s see what gems of wisdom our friend Anselm sent us this past week in his noble aspiration to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one tells us: ‘At the end of the day, life is about being happy being who you are, and I feel like we are so blessed to have the support system and the best family to really just support each other no matter what we’re going through.’ 

Now that is surely the epitome of family relationships! But unfortunately too many of those relationships nowadays are clothed in distrust and resentment, turning against each other, instead of standing strong for and trying to help one another. Even when we are happy and contented in being who we are, our support systems are usually sub-par. And one can’t build a good life on that! 

However, having solid support systems, regardless of our differences is something that  ALL families, especially the Christian ones, should purposely aspire to. And with Christ dwelling securely in us, it IS possible, we just have to put our minds to it, and our shoulders to the wheel. 

Then the next quote wisely advises: ‘Stay true to yourself, yet always be open to learn. Work hard, and never give up on your dreams, even when nobody else believes they can come true but you. These are not clichés but real tools you need no matter what you do in life to stay focused on your path.’ You can’t beat that wisdom my people! 

The only proviso is that our path coincides with that of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, for remember He specifically stated a long time ago: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ (John 14:6)

And that hasn’t changed my brethren! Jesus is still the ONLY way to the Father! So unless all our dreams and desires are in sync with His plan for our lives, all our efforts will not produce much success. Yes friends, it all depends on taking the route Jesus maps out for us! 

And the last quote simply states: ‘Live life to the fullest, and focus on the positive.’ That’s also gospel truth! Remember Jesus’ immortal words: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) Oh my fellow believers, life was definitely made for living! 

That’s why God made us and gave us all the wonderful things we have, and why Jesus came and died to continue that line of thinking. We are not to be filled with a lot of negativity and dark, evil forebodings, but be filled with the positive effects of the light that’s Jesus! 

And there again, that’s why I like Mary so much. She understood this principle long before Jesus spoke it. Though a young girl who had not seen much of life yet, she realized her call by God and accepted it without any fuss, regardless of the upheaval she knew it would cause in her life. 

Just contrast her behaviour with that of Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father, earlier on in Luke 1.11-22. Zechariah was a man about town, so to speak, a priest who had seen much life, but when Gabriel showed up and told him he would have a son, John the Baptist, he doubted, claiming he was too old and all the other nonsense that we conveniently find to obstruct God’s work.  Thus he became dumb until John’s birth. 

Mary however was like a breath of pure, fresh spring air, positive and constantly moving forward in God’s appointed path. And after the angel Gabriel left her, The Good Book says: ‘And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah: And entered into the house of Zechariah, and saluted (greeted) Elisabeth. 

And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation (greeting) of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence (why) is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation (greeting) sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in mine womb for joy.’ (Luke 1:39-44) 

Oh friends, oh friends, how great, marvellous and mysterious is our God eh! Elisabeth didn’t know anything about Mary’s predicament, but once she heard her voice, John the Baptist jumped for joy in her womb, because he felt the good and positive vibes that were emanating from Mary, and the Holy Spirit let Elisabeth into the secret, so much so that she could continue their discourse with these prophetic words: 

‘And blessed is she that (who) believed: for there shall be a performance (fulfillment) of those things which were told her from the Lord.’ Mama Mia! Does our God ever move in mysterious ways! Elisabeth’s eyes were opened in a second, and she knew that it would all end the way it was stated. And so it did, with the Immaculate Conception and magnificent birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! 

Ah my fellow believers, how great is our God eh! Hope you enjoyed that heartwarming story as much as I did! (smile) Much LOVE!

…it all begins…and ends…with sincerely believing in Almighty God…the undisputed Creator and Controller of the universe…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2018 Matthew 7:20.

Matthew 7:20.   Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
 
Aye friends, the ole fella is somewhat listless and lethargic this Saturday morning yes! And the aches and pains not helping the situation either nuh. But yuh know what, we not giving in to the feelings today. The aches and pains might slow us down some, but we not stopping. Remember the race is not for the swift but for the sure of foot, and yuh better believe when I plant my big feet down they stay down! (smile) 

Yeh, it’s just one of those days; the weather doesn’t look good, the body doesn’t feel good, but GOD IS GREAT! That’s something we can always count on, for He has said so in the promises of His Word, and His Word does not lie! Give Him some thanks and praise my people! 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week in his noble attempt to aspire us to a better tomorrow. And this one jumps right out at me today: ‘You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.’ Wow! That’s gospel truth! For none of us can do it all ourselves. As they say, no man is an island. The Lord made us to fellowship with each other and to help each other, not to be single and all sufficient in our selves. 

And on that point, hear what the Good Book says: ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves: but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor.3:5) Now that says it all! 

And this next quote also points directly to God: ‘Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.’ You do have all of that, but only if God is sincerely in your efforts! 

Now listen to this one: ‘It is possible to become discouraged about the injustice we see everywhere. But God did not promise us that the world would be humane and just. He gives us the gift of life and allows us to choose the way we will use our limited time on earth. It is an awesome opportunity.’ 

Yes friends, it is an awesome opportunity we’ve been given to live for Jesus on this earth. And to use that opportunity properly, we need to remember these two scriptures. In the immortal words of Bruh David: ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.’ (Ps.34:8) And also: ‘The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.’ (Ps.145:9) 

It’s all about our heavenly Father my people! And this quote exemplifies that: ‘We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.’ That goes right back to the first quote, we can’t be successful on our own, for success means taking others on that journey with us, both individually and communally! That’s how the Lord designed it! 

And this last quote covers them all: ‘When we are really honest with ourselves we must admit our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines the kind of people we are.’ And today I want to focus on that last line; how we live our lives determines the kind of people we are. 

Yeh friends, we can live our lives like the Pharisees did, outwardly showy and hypocritical, or like Jesus recommended, honest and truly considerate of others. For as He says: ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.’ Yes friends, by our deeds we shall be known. And hear some deep insights of Jesus on the subject of how men live their lives. 

First off, He states very clearly: ‘A good tree cannot bring forth evil (bad) fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.’ (Matt.7:18) And that’s not rocket science, just plain, basic logic. Then Jesus lays it out in plain terms: ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt.15:11) 

Oh friends, I hope we understand that. We can’t bear good fruit unless what is in us and what comes out of us is good! What’s in our hearts determines the kind of people we’ll be! 

Hear Jesus again: ‘Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out (eliminated) into the draught (body waste)? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt.15:17-20) 

Yeh friends, that whole argument began when the Pharisees complained that the disciples were eating with unwashed hands, which they considered a big thing. But Jesus, as usual set them right. And in Matthew 23, (please read it) He really lambastes the Pharisees, who looked real good on the outside but were dirty as hell on the inside! 

And we’ll end with this description: ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres (white washed tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness).’ (Matt.23:27-28) 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ’23:27-33. Whited sepulchres: Since contact with a dead body rendered a person unclean according to the Mosaic Law, graves were customarily painted white to make them conspicuous and give the opportunity of avoiding contact with them.’ 

Oh friends, please let us live lives that will not cause those unpleasant comparisons to be said of us nuh. Instead let us be good and uncorrupted trees, so that we can bear good fruit in Jesus’ name and make a productive difference in the lives of those around us. Much LOVE!

…whatsoever is in our heart…will undoubtedly manifest itself in our outward behaviour…that’s why we need a clean heart to live for Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 November 2018 Galatians 5:22-23.

Galatians 5:22-23.  But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.
 

Another wet morning, without even a hopeful ray of sunshine! Steups! But thankfully, there’s no precipitation currently descending from on high! (smile) Ah friends, the gloom persists, but as believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we have all we need to handle it. And to boot, we can also truthfully declare: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) 

And we would indeed be foolish if we did not enjoy this extra day the Lord has granted us on His great earth. And yes, every day we’re here is an extra day, so be wise and enjoy it and live obediently for Christ, do the work God has entrusted to you!

For we each have a purpose and a plan of God for this earthly life. Our God doesn’t move vie-ke-vie; in a careless, unplanned manner, so each day we’re down here means we still have work to do under His awesome, gracious, merciful and LOVING plan. So let’s get to it nuh! 

And it being Saturday, we will take a look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first quote says: ‘The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.’

And that’s oh so true! But unfortunately very few of us ever get to truly live the life of our dreams, because life is such a series of ups and downs, and none of us ever experience any downs in our dream life. (smile) 

The fact is that most of us have unreasonable dreams, and even with the reasonable ones, we’re not willing to work towards them. Now dreams are important in this life, but until we’re willing to action them, they will always remain dreams. 

 And the next quote tells us: ‘Live life to the fullest, and focus on the positive.’ Now that ought to be motto of the Christian believer! Christ said: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) What’s the point of having abundant life and not enjoying it to the fullest eh? It would only make Christ’s sacrifice a waste down. 

But to enjoy our lives, we also have to focus on the positive aspects, especially of Christ’s teaching, because the negative aspects of the world only beat and break us down. 

And the last quote says: ‘Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.’ Now that is gospel truth my brethren! In fact, death is not a loss of life at all, for believers it’s only a journey from one realm to the other, and even more importantly it’s from a short, finite and rough earthly life, to a long and glorious infinite eternal life. So we don’t suffer a loss of life at all, but move up to a higher, spiritual one. 

The problem is the stuff that dies inside of us while we’re living this earthly life. We’re talking about stuff like, hope, faith, joy, LOVE, mercy, forgiveness, empathy, self-control and self-discipline; the attributes of God we need to live a faithful and fruitful life; things we call the fruit of the Spirit.

Thus our Bit: ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ 

Yes my believing brethren, those are the things we want alive and well in all of us, so that we can live the life Jesus died for us to have, and to do His work. Unless those things are reigning in our lives we’ll be unable to live good, Christian, fruitful lives like Jesus desires of us.

The Holy Spirit of God dwells in each believer, and is there for the express purpose of leading and guiding us in God-filled lives. That means we have to follow the Spirit’s direction if we want to live successful Christian lives. 

As Bruh Paul so astutely continues: ‘And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (its passions). If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.’ (Gal.5:24-25) 

Now here are a few explanations from the scholars: ‘5:22-23. The word fruit is significant for three reasons (1) It means the result, product, outcome or effect produced by the Spirit in the believer’s life. (2) Unlike “the gifts of the Spirit” (plural), only some of which are given to a Christian, each believer is to have all nine virtues composing “the fruit of the Spirit” (singular). (3) As fruit on a tree takes time to grow and mature, so the spirit does not cultivate these virtues in the believer’s life overnight. 

LOVE is the willing, sacrificial giving of oneself for the benefit of another without thought of return. Joy is gladness of heart. Peace is tranquility of mind, freeing one from worry and fear. Long-suffering is patience with others, the opposite of a short temper, a disposition quietly bearing injury.

Gentleness is kindness. Goodness is generosity. Faith here is dependability. Meekness is gentleness, that is, courtesy and consideration in one’s relations with others. Temperance is self-control, that is, the ability to harness and control one’s passions and lusts.’ 

And there you have it friends, ‘the Fruit of the Spirit Lecture 101!’ (smile) Yes, I know it’s not easy to cultivate all those wonderful attributes, especially with the world on our back to do differently, but with the help of the Holy Spirit we can certainly work towards them and be fairly successful if we set our minds to it. 

Remember, as believers in Christ, we are done with carnal fleshly matters, and are supposed to live by the Spirit of Christ imbued in us. So let’s do that nuh, and consequently fulfill Bruh Paul’s desire: ‘Let us not be desirous of vain glory (conceited), provoking one another, envying one another.’ (Gal.5:26). Much LOVE!

…to grow good fruit…we have to sow good seed…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 October 2018 Matthew 5:13a & 14a.

Matthew 5:13a & 14a.     Ye are the salt of the earth… Ye are the light of the world…
 
And Saturday has dawned somewhat cloudy, chilly and damp from early evening drizzle. And in Mother Nature’s eccentric way, a lot of the trees that only two days ago I said were surprisingly still green, are now almost all golden yellow. She’s delivered the final message; it’s time to buckle down for the cold winter months ahead. And we, people of God, should also be heeding Mother Nature’s missive, because I believe we’ll be in for some rather tough times in the near future. 

And talking about tough times, I was negligent in mentioning Hurricane Michael that devastated parts of Florida a couple days ago. It came up suddenly, did, it’s dirty work and was gone again. Please let’s pray for those unfortunate people, and do whatever else we can to help them. But that might just be the pattern of natural disasters, or really any kind of disaster that might soon befall us. 

You’ll notice how disasters of all kinds have happened all over the world this year with surprising regularity. I don’t want to read too much into it, but friends, if we are wise, we will at least suspect the hand of our omnipotent God somewhere about in them, sending us a warning, to repent from our sinful ways. 

I don’t know if the world has ever been this evil, adding to the fact that we’re trying so desperately to oust God from our society. Do you think He’ll just sit quietly by and let it happen? I doubt it. But that’s just a word of warning to the wise. 

And since today is Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And first up is this: ‘All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.’ I’m not so sure about that nuh. 

Yes, life is indeed experimental; you have to try stuff to see if it works for you. But I truly wonder if the more experiments we try, the merrier, or better off we are? I think at some stage, when we find our true calling, that the experimenting must either cease or slow down. 

Then there is this: ‘A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.’ Now that’s basically true, but some will need a definition of wasting time before they agree, since to them doing nothing, is not always a waste of time, sometimes it can be a means of refreshing and renewing oneself. But generally speaking, just letting time fly by, and it does fly by, without doing positive and productive stuff, even if it’s simply regenerating oneself, isn’t a wise way to use it. 

Now hear this quote: ‘All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low.’ That makes sense. We can’t afford to be moving too often from top to bottom, because that just saps the energy and spirit of our souls. We need to try and establish a nice balance between the good times and the rough times, plus don’t stay down too long, or fly too high before we develop wings. (smile) 

And the last quote says: ‘My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.’ 

Now that is gospel truth my brethren! We were not placed down here to merely survive, to go about like ‘poor me ones,’ but to be salt and light and magnificent examples to the unbeliever: in other words to be excellent ambassadors of Christ. As Jesus so adamantly stated in His famous Sermon on the Mount: ‘Ye are the salt of the earth… Ye are the light of the world…’ 

Yes friends, that’s what Christ’s followers are expected to be; full of vim and vigour, showing their excellence in all matters, leading the parade in His name! Now are we leading the parade in Jesus’ name, my fellow believers? I don’t think so nuh, otherwise the evil-doers would not be having the upper hand in the world today, and we’d not be trying like hell to kick Christ out of our society. 

That just shows we’re not on top of things. We seem to be more like how Christ described flavourless salt: ‘but if the salt has lost his savour (flavour), wherewith (by what) shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden underfoot of men’ (Matt.5:13b) Likewise: ‘A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt.5:14b-15)  

Now if those two negative situations Jesus describes are true of us in these trying times, then it doesn’t speak well of us my believing brethren. And sadly, there is a whole lot of truth to it! Our efforts for Christ are simply not up to scratch; there are too many divisions, too much petty resentment and feuding between so-called believers, plus too much compromise with the heathen, and too much of just sitting on our laurels and figuring everything will just work itself out for good. 

No friends, winning souls for Christ, and the world for His LOVE Revolution WILL not happen without our saltiness and light blaring forth, dazzling the entire world! 

Now listen to Jesus final words on the subject. ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.5:16) 

Yes friends, that’s how true believers ought to be behaving, so that God can be glorified! Remember that’s our chief mission here on earth! So let’s pull up our socks and go out and do better for Jesus nuh mih breddren! Don’t you feel bad that we’re letting the world blaspheme His holy name and kick Him around like a bloody football, after all He’s done for us? We ought to! Much LOVE!

…if you’re not flavouring the world with your saltiness…and dazzling them with your light…then you’re a poor ambassador for Christ…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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