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 26 July 2014 Matthew 6:19

Matthew 6:19.     Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin, destroy), and where thieves break through and steal.

Aloha Friends and neighbours! Let’s greet this new day with a sense of expectancy and promise by giving thanks to our heavenly Father, who has so graciously anointed us to see it.

‘Dear Father in heaven, we praise your holy name and thank you for your mercy and blessings that have allowed us to rise and greet another day. We also thank you for your wonderful Son Jesus, who sacrificed His holy life so that we could be reconciled to you, and be once more called your children. Please help us to walk today in your will and the plan you have for our lives. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.’

And today we have a quote attributed to the famous Scottish novelist, poet and essayist, author of such treasured literature as ‘Treasure Island and Kidnapped’ amongst others, the one and only Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) Robert is supposed to have said to ‘Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.’

And I must admit that there is a lot of truth to that statement, but we need to put fears into their proper perspective. And sometimes though it is healthy and healing to show them, because it gives others a chance to help us with them, and also show that we’re not the super people we try or pretend to be.

Now it’s okay to fear, for fear is a natural human trait, but we must not allow fear to beat us down. As I heard Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) say recently, ‘Fear is the false evidence that appears to be real.’ And that’s often the fact. We fear stuff and in the long run those fears never come to pass, or they are not as bad as we thought.

Sometimes too we have to be aware of seeming too courageous, since it can cause others to look at us with jealousy and /or resentment. You know the type that’s always beating the odds, who never lose a battle. We must at times appear to be human with all the innate frailties.

The long and short of the story though Friends, is that it’s okay to fear, to even show fear, but more often than not we should show courage, and even if we are afraid, as Sister Joyce is won’t to say, we must do it afraid. Remember that only Faith conquers fear, that’s why we ought always to try and walk in faith.  

And having said all of that, which I hope makes sense, (smile) let’s turn to our Bit, those wise and wonderful words from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ regarding material wealth. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin, destroy), and where thieves break through and steal.’

And we don’t even have to consider the spiritual side of that statement to know that it’s true in the physical realm, for all of us have valuable stuff that are ruined by rust, like cars and other metallic things, and moths do eat our best clothes if we leave them hanging up in our closets or lying in our drawers too long. Remember the days of mothballs in every draw? Hn! The young people won’t have any idea of what mothballs are.

Anyway, let’s get to some scripture on the subject. And Cousin Sol, in his great, God-endowed wisdom, tells us thus: ‘A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent (go unpunished).’ (Prov.28:20)

And we all know people like that, people whose only goal is to get materially rich as soon as possible. Some of us might have even fallen into that category at one time or another, but hopefully we’ve been cured of that disease, either through the awesome power of Jesus, or the punishment we received for being too hasty to get rich. (smile)

But in any case we now realize the right kind of riches to make our priority; the heavenly kind; ‘where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt (ruin, destroy), and where thieves do not break through.’ (Matt.6:20) 

Now hear James’ warning to the rich. ‘Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted (have rotted), and your garments are moth eaten. Your gold and silver is cankered (corroded); and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire.

Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold the hire (wages) of the labourers who have reaped down (mowed) your fields, which is of you (you have) kept back by fraud, crieth (cry out): and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.

Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton (indulgent); ye have nourished (fattened) your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.’ (James 5:1-6)

Oh Friends, unfortunately the same stuff is happening today, possibly on a much wider scale than in James’ day, but rest assured the results will be the same; God’s punishment for the rich and advantageous, and His justice and mercy for the disadvantaged.

Now hear some explanations from the scholars. ‘5:1-6. Ye rich men: James’ common address “brethren” is not found once in this section. By contrast, it occurs four times in verses 7-12. James is now addressing wealthy, unsaved Jews who have poor Jews working for them. They have mistreated the poor, so God’s judgement will fall on them.

5:3. Ironically, they have stored up treasure for their last days (retirement), which God will use against them in the last days.

5:4. The Lord of the Sabaoth, meaning the Lord of Hosts (i.e. of Armies), describes the omnipotent, avenging character of the God who sees and hears this injustice.’

Ah my people, all I can say is let us try not to be numbered amongst that group of people nuh. Even if we do become wealthy, let us remember that the wealth is not really ours, but we are just stewards of the Lord’s property, and it behooves us to use it wisely in helping those in need, and not taking advantage of the poor and downtrodden.

That will then cause us to reap heavenly rewards, and there is nothing better than that. So please let heavenly wisdom prevail. Much LOVE!

…if you can’t take earthly wealth with you…why kill yourself trying to amass it…