Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 June 2019 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.
 

Well it seems like another ‘riney’ day is in the offing! Brother, when is it going to stop eh? Doesn’t look like anytime soon. But who cares eh? Oh, how I dislike that term that’s so popular in our current parlance! Because we all ought to care, since too much rain means flooding and a whole set of other problems. Some places up around the nation’s capital of Ottawa are still flooded, and some parts up there recently received a telling blow from a powerful tornado! 

So why don’t we care eh? Because we’re selfish and greedy and not truly Christian-like! Let’s try and change that nuh by praying for those who are suffering from the recent ravages of the unpredictable and contrary weather, while helping in any other capacity that we can. That’s the Christian thing to do. And to help us do that, here is a prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional titled, ‘I Will Move…’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, I want your heart to be in my heart. For in you I come alive, moving ahead from boring death to exciting life! In your promises, I will move from discouragement to hope. In your pardon, I will move from shame to glory. In your power, I will move from weakness to strength. In your providence, I will move from failure to success! Thank you Lord! Amen!’ 

Oh friends, therein lies the true way of life…in sincere partnership and cooperation with Almighty God, our Creator and Provider! Without Him in our lives we’re absolutely nothing! He made us, with a plan for every life, and He still controls them even though we have free will. Nothing happens in our lives without His knowledge and acceptance. 

Granted, some of the things He allows to happen are tough and burdensome, but those things are just tests and ways and means of building our faith, since we only grow during times of adversity. So if He didn’t allow adversarial things in our lives, we would just stay as Christian babies, forever drinking milk and not being able to eat solid food. (smile) 

And that’s not His plan. His plan is to have us all become strong and mature and adult in the faith – as Christ-like as His Son. But in keeping with that desire, our God is so wonderful that He never gives us more than we can bear, or if it seems so, He is always there to help us bear it. That’s why it’s ever so important to have meaningful and constant communication with Him through His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

Listen to Jesus tell it nuh: ‘I am the true (genuine) vine, and my Father is the husbandman (vinedresser). Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth (prunes) it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through (because of) the word which I have spoken unto you. 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.’ (John 15:1-4) 

Oh friends, don’t you like how Jesus just puts it out there, without any fuss or fancy! And then He rubs it in further: ‘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 that’s oh so true my brethren! Without Jesus first and foremost in our lives we are incapable of producing much, if any positive fruit. But with Him taking a meaningful part in our lives, we abiding in Him, and He in us, oh, we’re capable of producing enormous amounts of good and wonderful fruit! 

And Jesus does not leave us wondering about what happens if we don’t abide in him, and He in us: ‘If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.’ (John 15:6) And the scholars tell us that that verse ‘refers to the judgement of believers at the judgement seat of Christ (2 Cor.5:10).’ 

So basically speaking, ‘Jesus explains the divine-human relationship by the analogy of a grapevine. Jesus is like the main vine. The disciples are compared with branches. The Father tends the branches like a gardener. At that time of year, branches of grapevines would be budding in Jerusalem.’ 

So the disciples would have understood exactly what He meant. That’s another wonderful things about Jesus; His analogies are always about things that we can understand, things that are prevalent in our lives, so we don’t have to go wondering what He’s talking about. 

The long and short of the story friends, is that walking with Jesus involves constant movement and growth, no sitting on one’s laurels admiring one’s earlier successes. If you’re not bearing good fruit, then the Father will cut you off and throw you away. But even if you’re bearing good fruit, He will prune you occasionally so that you can bear even more fruit! So you’re in a no win situation! Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t! (smile) 

The Father requires constant growth and the bearing of much fruit, and He pursues His plan with great conviction and sense of purpose, therefore we need to pull up our britches and get with the programme, if we say we are, or want to be true believers! Now let’s go home declaring (right ho!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

All together now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Oh my people, let’s be wise and keep our eyes fixed steadfastly on Jesus nuh, and know that the future with Him will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…oh Jesus…oh Jesus…what would we do without you eh…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 August 2018 John 14:15.

John 14:15.   If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments.

And then it was Friday…already? Yes already. Remember, it was just a short workweek, what with the Caribana Monday holiday. Ah yes! I remember now! That means we into the weekend. Yes. We’re into the weekend. 

And does it ever warm the cockles of the workingman’s heart that he sings out with joyous abandon: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And we only work four days this week! Mama Yo! Ah don’t see why they can’t make it just a four day week all the time nuh. Then we’ll have so much more time to party. Party…Party…Party! 

Yeh, life is all about partying, about living it up, about eating and drinking and having a good time, wining down like we did this past Caribana weekend. What did Solomon, the wisest man ever say? Something like eat and drink today, for tomorrow you may die. Well that is exactly what we doing! So if we die tomorrow, we won’t have no regrets. Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, that is how the world thinks, how the unwise adherents of the prince of darkness behave. But as followers of, and true believers in Jesus Christ, the Prince of Light, we cannot afford to think or behave like that. Our Crown Prince wants us to behave with a tad more restraint than the workingman. It’s not that we can’t enjoy ourselves, but not to the extent that the world does, in terms of lewdness and leggo beast behaviour. 

That difference shows up in our weekend song, our Friday Chant, a much more responsible ditty. So let’s chant up a storm now nuh, in response to the workingman’s proclamation. As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Now that’s more like it mih breddren! We still have fun and enjoy ourselves, but we just don’t take things to the extreme, we exhibit a li’l more care and concern, like Jesus desires of us. As He says so simply and explicitly in our Bit: ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments.’ 

It couldn’t get any plainer or simpler than that my people. If we LOVE Jesus we WILL keep His rules and regulations, for every organization has to have a stated, streamlined and orderly manner in which to carry out their business, if they want to grow and prosper. And that’s what Jesus definitely desires of His organization, the church! 

So if we want His church to grow and prosper, we must abide by His commands, toe the party line as it were, and not behave like the irresponsible workingman. Jesus said those words in our Bit to His disciples when He was preparing to go back to heaven. Obviously they were grieved and disappointed, but He solemnly promised. 

‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless (orphans): I will come to you. 

Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that LOVETH me: and he that LOVETH me shall be LOVED of my Father, and I will LOVE him, and will manifest (reveal) myself to him.’ (John 14:16-21) 

Oh mih people, what marvellous and miraculous promises, all of which have been kept! And we especially talking about the promise of the new Comforter, the Holy Spirit, which came to earth on the Day of Pentecost and made mas in Jerusalem, with a rushing wind and cloven tongues like fire sitting on the followers of Jesus.

It caused them to speak in foreign languages, and they were so excited, behaving like the workingman I suppose,(smile) that the people of Jerusalem thought they were drunk at that early hour in the morning. And Peter preached one of the best sermons ever preached. You can read all about it in Acts 2. 

That’s when the Holy Ghost began to indwell ALL believers…and it still does today! Yes friends, that’s the Comforter Jesus promised, the Spirit of truth, and it certainly does all the things He promised it would. And the world still cannot see it because they don’t believe in and follow Jesus. 

And we’ll end with some reinforcements from John in his first epistle. ‘For this is the LOVE of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (burdensome). For whatsoever (whosoever) is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?’ (1 John 5:3-5) 

Mama Mia! What indisputable truth! Only those who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God can overcome this dark and evil world controlled by the fallen angel Lucifer! That’s it, plain and simple! So what shall your decision be eh? Do you want to overcome the world? I certainly hope so. Then you know what to do. Much LOVE!

…if you want to dwell in the light…and overcome the world…then you must accept Jesus as the Master of your life…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 April 2016 James 1:25

James 1:25.   But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).

Aye mih breddren, it’s Tuesday; Monday has been relegated to the annals of History, so let’s not procrastinate and put off nuh, but use this present day to do what needs doing, above all, glorifying our wonderful, amazing, awesome God! Yes friends, for that’s the number One reason we were so wonderfully made. 

And I believe we can truly say that spring has finally sprung in my area, because for the second consecutive day, there’s a soft rain falling gently on the land, the grass is green, and there are buds on the branches of the trees. 

And more importantly, a few trees are even brave and bold enough to have some leaves already budding out. Oh glory to God, that winter has finally gone back to wherever it came from – for at least another few months! (smile) 

So since our great God is still on His throne, and everything is right in our world, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with true sincerity and godly enthusiasm nuh. 

All together now: ‘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 the world.  Amen.’ 

Oh my people, my people, what beautiful words of encouragement and assurance! When we sincerely believe that mantra, then we have absolutely nothing to worry about. Oh, there will be trials and tribulations, Jesus promised that, but deep down we will be assured that they will be properly taken care of in God’s time and in His own particular way. That’s the beauty of our faith! 

So please, let’s not allow the wily enemy to deceive us into thinking otherwise. As I said last week, using Cousin Bobby’s (Robert Schuler 111) testimony, if you’re not sure, not convinced, then please repeat the mantra everyday, several times a day, until you can feel truly assured in your soul. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, which I hope to conclude today – no promises though. (smile) ‘But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does). And that’s a sincere promise from our ever-faithful God! 

And as we’ve been doing, we’ll continue looking at the references the scholars gave about the perfect law of liberty. ‘It is a law of liberty because it frees from the principles of sin and death.’ 

And today’s reference comes from Galatians, where Bruh Paul gives forth on Living by faith. ‘Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.’ (Gal.5:1) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘5:1. The verse could be rendered: “For freedom Christ freed us. Therefore stand fast and do not again be subject to a yoke of bondage.” The “freedom” in view is freedom from the law, here called “a yoke of bondage.” Paul wants the Galatians to “stand fast,” that is, retain their spiritual freedom.’ 

And I’m asking us today to do the same thing my fellow believers: let’s not fall back, lapse back into the bondage of the law, but continue truthfully and vibrantly in the spiritual freedom that Christ died for us to have. 

And later on in that same chapter, Bruh Paul further advises the Galatians: ‘For brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by LOVE serve one another.’ (Gal.5:13) 

And the scholars explain thus: ‘5:13. Having shown freedom from the law to be proper protection from legalism (vv.1-12), Paul now demonstrates it to be a proper antidote against unrestrained license to sin (vv.13-26). 

Believers are not to abuse their liberty from the law for an occasion (opportunity) to the flesh (sinful nature). That is, don’t think freedom from the law means you can indulge in sin; it means instead that you are free to serve God by serving one another.’ 

Now that’s something we all seriously have to work on friends, since many of us falsely believe that because of that very freedom, plus the overwhelming forgiveness and mercy of our magnanimous God, we have a licence to willfully sin. 

But that’s the furthest thing from the truth my brethren. When we truly come to God and truly have Him ensconced in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, then because of the great LOVE we bear Him, willfully falling to sin and temptation should not even enter our consciousness. It ought to make us strive not to sin. 

And the last part of the explanation re the law of liberty is: ‘James also describes it as the royal law (2:8) for it is the law of the messianic King.’ 

And pertaining to that, James 2:8 says: ‘If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well. But if ye have respect to persons (show partiality), ye commit sin, and are convinced (convicted) of the law as a transgressor.’ (James 2:8-9) I felt that last verse was necessary to show the true context of verse 8. 

And that brings us to Galatians again, where Bruh Paul is talking about applications of new principles. ‘Brethren, if a man be overtaken (caught) in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness (gentleness), considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.’  (Gal.6:1-2) 

Yeh friends, if we deliberately overstep those divine boundaries and fall into sin, those of us who walk by the Spirit, whose life shows the fruit of the Spirit, ought to talk to the Christian believer who has gone astray and try to bring them back to their normal moral condition. 

And we need to do it all in LOVE, handle it delicately, while all the time making sure that we aren’t caught up in the same carnality, which is so easy to do. 

And per verse 2, the scholars explain: ‘6:2. Contextually, the burdens are the moral faults of verse 1, but can have wider application to other kinds of burdens. The law of Christ is the sum of all Jesus’ teachings and desires; it is Christianity itself.’ 

And here endeth the lesson for today friends. (smile) We have indeed concluded the last message in the perfect law of liberty series. I do hope that we now have a much better understanding of what it means and how it applies to us, both as individuals and as the church, the body of Christ. 

Please, let’s put all that we have learned into proper use nuh, so that we can advance the gospel of Christ, which is our bounden duty as believers. Much LOVE!

…Christianity…the law of Christ…is not as burdensome as legalism…the law of man…