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 22 February 2018 Romans 12:2.

Romans 12:2.   And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Good news friends; after about three days of wet weather, it’s cloudy but dry in my neighbourhood! Wow! Let’s hope the sun comes out later to make it an even more pleasant day. But even if it doesn’t, we still have the awesome light of the SON shining brightly in our lives, and He is more than sufficient to meet ALL of our needs! Glory to God! 

And without further ado, let me share something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. I don’t know if I’ve ever shared it before, but is it ever so appropriate for our currently trying and troublesome times. It’s simply titled ‘Grow Up.’ 

Please read with me. ‘Picture it with me: a piece of gnarled bark tossed to and fro over the crashing breakers. First one direction, then another, back and forth, over and under. Aimless. No set purpose. Drifting…always drifting. What an accurate picture of an immature Christian. Nothing but spiritual puttering. Up and down, in and out. 

One study group for a few weeks, then another. One church for a while, then another. Undisciplined, unsteady, one day soaring, the next day wading in self-pity. No consistency. The apostle Paul tells us to grow up! Not grow older, but grow up into Christ. 

What we are today is more important to God than what we were yesterday. Our life journey with Jesus is now – this very day, this very hour. Why yearn for change if we’ve made no effort to follow the direction God has already given us? 

To grow spiritually we must be single-minded. Our one goal? To be conformed to the image of Christ. He longs for our willingness to let Him root us, cultivate us, water us. Above all else, God wants our total commitment. He will take anything we give Him except second place.’ 

And isn’t all that the gospel truth friends? It surely is! God wants our total commitment, but we’re not prepared to give it. We want to hold back stuff from Him. But that won’t work. As I said yesterday, God doesn’t play second fiddle to anyone! Only one fiddler in His band; that’s Him! 

And what we don’t seem to realize is that being a Christian is a process, a journey, like going to school; you begin in ABC (kindergarten) and work your way up through elementary, secondary and tertiary levels. But you must put in the effort required at each level if you wish to be successful and proceed to the next. 

Christianity is exactly the same; you get to know Christ and become more like Him by first putting your entire trust in Him, then studying His word, being obedient, sincerely and constantly praying (communicating) and thus gradually growing in His image; slowly – from glory to glory. 

But unfortunately today we have a whole lot of wishy-washy Christians, who talk a great talk, but don’t know the real Christ. We jump from church to church, apparently seeking what we want to hear, and not what the word really says. And the sad part is that plenty churches seem to preach that heresy. 

But friends, there is ONLY ONE WAY to truly grow in Christ, and that’s the one advised by Bruh Paul to the church at Rome, our Bit for today. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ 

Yes my brethren, it all begins and ends in our minds. The battle between a true relationship with Christ and one with the world is fought primarily in our minds. That’s why they say, as a man thinks so is he. Therefore, if we want to be born again and grow in Christ, we have to let go of the things of the world, we have to stop conforming to what the world wants us to be. 

As James so blatantly puts it: ‘Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of (with) the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be (wants to make himself) a friend of the world is the enemy (makes himself the enemy) of God.’ (James 4:4) 

John though puts it a little nicer: ‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in Him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’ (1 John 2:15-17)  

That’s it in a nutshell friends; we can’t be friendly with world and be friendly with God at the same time! So let’s stop trying to do it nuh. Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, that the Lord has so graciously bestowed on us who truly believe and are obedient to His will. 

In sincerity and truth now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Remember, a blessing is not a blessing until it’s spoken over someone. So let’s go out and generously speak those blessings over others nuh, for that’s why God gave them to us. Much LOVE!

…sitting on the fence is not an option…you’re either FOR God…or AGAINST Him…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 January 2018 Psalm 28:7.

Psalm 28:7.   The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

And the abominably cold weather keeps its tight grip on the northern climes! Chuh! This type of climate wasn’t made for man to live in nuh! But nobody called us, we came of our own free will. (smile) So I guess we’re here and will just have to make the most of it. 

It’s just a pain in the rear end though to have to dress in several layers of clothing just to go outside. But them’s the breaks! You just have to grin and bear it. And you’d be surprised to find out what mankind can endure when he has to. 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, and we have some quotes to share from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I guess this first quote can address the cold problem we were just talking about. ‘If you have a purpose which is bigger than you, all your problems will become tiny.’ Yeh, if you’re hungry and have no food, then I suppose going out in the freezing cold to get some, won’t be much of a problem. (smile)  

And the next one says: ‘Believe in your ability to make your dreams come true.’ If you’re dreaming serious dreams, then you should believe that you have the ability to make them come true. Otherwise why dream them? For belief is the first step in making dreams come true. 

Then there’s this last long one. ‘We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential. 

Things to think about for 2018: 1. Talk less; listen more; 2. Remind yourself you are not the General Manager of the Universe; 3. Sit on your ego; 4. Take one day at a time; 5. Separate worries from concerns. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you to do and let go of the anxiety. If you can’t do anything about a situation, forget it; 6. Pray.’ 

And it all makes sense friends. If we want to come up higher this year of 2018, then we must clean up our act and put the talents God gave us to good use, stop burying them in the ground and hiding our light under a bushel. 

And we can only do that when we seriously turn to God and have a verse of scripture like our Bit, as our guiding light. ‘The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.’ 

Oh my people, in our own strength we can’t do a whole lot, but in partnership with Almighty God, any and everything is possible! We need to look to a power greater than ourselves for help, and there’s none greater than the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

And the excellent news is that He greatly desires to help us in ALL we do! And we already know that He is faithful and kind, LOVING and merciful, forgiving and full of compassion, so there’s no fear in surrendering our lives to Him, putting our total trust in Him. As Bruh David says above, he trusted in Him and he was helped. Glory to God! 

Consequently there’s rejoicing and the urge to sing songs of praise to the One who helps us. That’s just a natural human reaction. So why don’t we try it today eh? Put our total trust in God and let Him lead our lives according to His eternal plan, instead of trying to do it on our own and generally falling flat on our faces. 

And yuh know what? There were times when Bruh David couldn’t see God’s hand moving on his behalf, and he cried out: ‘How long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten (enlighten) mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death. Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.’ (Ps.13:2-4) 

And what separated Bruh David from most other men, is that though he cried out for help and none seemed to be coming, he never despaired or gave up on the Lord. Listen to the last two verses after his plea. ‘But I have trusted in thy mercy (LOVING-kindness); my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.’ (Ps.13:5-6)  

Oh friends, how many of us just give up on God when He doesn’t answer us as soon as we call, or in the manner we desire? Too many! We have to remember that walking with God is a process, a journey, where we increase bit by bit, from glory to glory, and the Lord answers us in His own time and His own way. 

We need to stand steadfast and strong even when we don’t see anything happening. Remember His awesome promises that He has a good plan for our lives, to give us a future and a hope, and that He will eventually work everything out for our good when He calls us and we stand strong despite adversity. 

My brethren Christianity is a wonderful faith, but it does not come with a guaranteed easy life. We live in a sinful troubled world, and we will face trouble, hopefully much less than the good times. But it’s ever so important that we don’t give up on God, when times seem bleak and He doesn’t seem to be answering our cries for help. 

And we’ll close with a few words of wisdom from Cousin Sol. ‘For the turning away (waywardness) of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity (complacency) of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet (secure, at ease) from fear of evil.’ (Prov.1:32-33) 

And therein, my brethren, lies the wisdom of closely walking with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Much LOVE!

…to put our trust in Jesus…is to joyfully embrace our faith…and to have no fear…