Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 January 2020 Galatians 5:13.

Galatians 5:13.    ​For brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by LOVE serve one another.

 

Well friends and neighbours, today is the day of the big snow storm! According to the weather forecasters Southern Ontario will experience oodles of snow from around midday today! And if we do, we can’t really complain nuh because we haven’t seen much of the white stuff so far this winter. But let’s hope and pray that they’re wrong, as they so often are, (smile) and that at least the quantity won’t be as much as forecasted, some 50 centimetres. And that is a lot of snow, which will just cause numerous problems, problems that we can do without right now. 

One last thing about the expected storm: it is blowing in from the south, down in the U.S. Yeh, contrary to popular opinion many of the storms we experience up here, both rain and snow, come from down south and don’t always flow the other way. Not because we’re further north, means that we’re automatically colder and given to more bad weather. In fact, the U.S. often has more bad weather than this blessed northern state! (smile) And since today is Saturday, let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Unfortunately, it seems like he’s only sent us two quotes this week. I can’t find anymore, even checked my deleted files to see if I had deleted any by mistake. So we’ll just have to make do with those two, the first of which says: ‘Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.’ And that’s ever so true! We can never get power, real or imagined, over anything or anyone without some kind of demand being made on us. 

Look at all the high-flying people; athletes, celebrities, politicians, the wealthy, leaders of any type, be they countries or organizations; they all have power, but with that power always comes some sort of responsibility from which they cannot get away. Even as parents, we have power over our children, but we also have a responsibility to raise them right. Now those in power might use it inappropriately and don’t fulfill the responsibility inherent in their positions, like so many are doing nowadays, but believe me, that responsibility will seek them out, and oftentimes cause them to lose their power. 

Ah friends, power is akin to a ravenous beast; it might give you a head start, but it’s always there, nipping at your heels, knocking at your door, ever ready to take it away too. So remember if power is something that you seek, be very careful, because from the outside it looks glorious, but it’s also like a snake in the grass, ready to bite you, to trip you up in a moment. In other words, power cannot be trusted! 

And the next quote simply says: ‘Whatever happens, take responsibility.’ Now if our world would only accept that simple statement eh, what a wonderful place it would be! But sadly, these are the days of irresponsibility; a lot of it fuelled by the hideouts and platforms provided by the  social media scene. Nowadays very few of us are ready to take the blame for our own actions, instead we keep looking for others to pass the blame to. It’s become a sad reflection on our society. Even in the halls of power, amongst international leaders, the blame game is also being played out on that big stage. So what do we expect from lesser mortals then eh? The same kind of irresponsible behaviour. 

But yuh know friends, as the old people would say; do yuh do, but remember the chickens always come home to roost! In other words, have your fun, but your sins will eventually find you out; a day will come when you have to pay for them. As Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘You’ll reap what you sow…more than you sow…and later than you sow.’ 

However friends, as true believers in Christ, we’re called to be different to the world. Christ has set us free, for whom the Son sets free is free indeed, (John 8:36) but we’re not to use that freedom irresponsibly. As Bruh Paul warned 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. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.’ (Gal. 5:13-15) 

Sadly though, we’re doing the opposite of Bruh Paul’s advice; using our liberty in Christ to hate and war with and devour and consume each other. But here’s an interesting take from the scholars on the Liberty and Responsibility of Christians based on 1 Cor. 9:19 ‘One of the results of redemption is the liberty of the believer. Christians are free from depending on the law and free from the bondage of their old nature. Christian liberty releases us to accomplish all our potential. But that liberty should not be abused to justify hedonistic behaviour. 

Although believers live in a state of freedom, concern for reaching others with the gospel and helping weaker believers grow will result in voluntary self-restraint in areas that might offend others, or hinder our efforts in reaching and helping people. Illustration: Paul referred to the example of eating meat offered to idols. He had the freedom to eat such meat, but he suggested that believers abstain because the practice acted as a stumbling block for weaker believers (Rom.14). Application: Believers should act responsibly in exercising their liberty if they wish to be most effective in service to Christ. (First Ref. Lev. 25:10; Primary Ref.. 1 Cor. 9:19; cf. Matt. 7:7).’ 

Yeh friends, though we are free to act as we please, we must always consider how we use that freedom, not take advantage of it to sin, or to hurt others who are not as strong in faith. Let’s ponder on that today nuh, and see how we shape up in the freedom scene, and obviously ask the Lord to help us come higher. Much LOVE!

…freedom is wonderful…but it’s not easy…for it also brings a lot of responsibility…

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…