Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 January 2016 Psalm 32:5

Psalm 32:5.   I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord, and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.  Selah.

And then it was Wednesday! How yuh going mih Scrip-Bit family? Hope the new year is progressing smoothly and that you are managing everything nicely through the good graces of our wonderful God. 

It’s going to be an awesome year, this 2016! So with that in mind, let’s all perk up and seriously come together in Christ and do His works nuh, works that are necessary to show ourselves as true believers. 

Remember Jesus said, by their fruit ye shall know them, (Matt.7:20) and the past few days we’ve been reading James, who declares that faith without good works is meaningless. That means we have got to come up over our problems and inject more of our faith into the things we do and say. 

And we can begin today by declaring our Wednesday Wail. Altogether 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!’ 

Ah Friends, doesn’t that just lift your spirits? It surely does mine! I am glad to be alive, and looking forward, not backward….and oh…the promise of that glorious future with Jesus just makes me want to jump for joy and shout His wonderful name! (smile) 

Oh my people, we all know that life is not fair or easy, but God is good, and our attitude towards life is what separates the goats from the sheep. Some of us bring a positive attitude to it and therefore have more enjoyment, despite the many problems we all face. 

Meanwhile, others portray a negative outlook, and thus live shallow, meaningless, miserable and unhappy lives. That is not the kind of life Jesus died for us to have. He sacrificed His holy and sinless life so that we could have life and even have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) 

The problem though is that we have to step up to the plate with good attitudes to embrace that abundant life. It doesn’t just come up on its own. And good attitudes don’t just spring up on their own either. We need to come to God for help in achieving them. 

That brings us to our Bit, taken from Psalm 32 – The blessedness of forgiveness. ‘I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord, and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.  Selah.’  

This is Bruh David at his best. As the scholars declare: ‘Psalm 32. The psalm describes the blessedness of forgiveness as no other does. This is the theme of especially the first five verses, which include the happiness of the forgiven man (vv.1-2), the physical and psychological effects of unconfessed sin (vv.3-4), and the simple remedy of confession to obtain God’s forgiveness (v.5). 

On this basis David can experience prayer (vv.6-7), divine instruction (vv.8-9), and personal witness (vv.10-11).’ 

Now that’s all true my people, but I want to point out one thing here, though the remedy of confession might be simple, it certainly needs to be sincere, if we expect our sins to be forgiven. We just can’t go to God and ask for forgiveness, if we don’t feel it in our hearts, because that’s the first place He’s going to look, not just listen to the platitudes that we mouth. 

Anyway, let’s get into the Psalm. ‘Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not (does not charge his account with) iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile (deceit). 

When I kept silence, my bones waxed (grew) old through my roaring (groaning) all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture (my vitality) is turned into the drought of summer.  Selah.’ (Ps.32:1-4) 

Yeh friends, yuh see what happens to us when we live with unconfessed sin? We moan and groan all day long, the Lord’s hand is heavy upon us, and our vitality is sapped like the summer’s drought. So living with unconfessed sin is not a very wise thing to do. 

And today would be a very good day for those of us who feel old and dried up and miserable and can’t get ourselves together, to consider what sin(s) we might be withholding and go to God and confess them. 

Oh my brethren, I can tell you from personal experience that when you get any sin at all off your chest, you feel like a million dollars compared to how you felt before. Bruh David learned that the hard way, as no doubt some of us are doing. 

But there’s absolute truth in our Bit my people, so much so that it’s worth repeating again.I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord, and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.  Selah.’ 

And there’s no better time than right now, the start of this pivotal year, for us to go to God and spill out our hearts to Him in all sincerity and truth. Friends, our Creator and Provider is waiting for us to come to Him in sincere repentance. 

As Bruh David says after our Bit. ‘For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. (Ps.32:6) 

Gospel truth that, my brethren! So please, today, let’s take a few minutes to ponder our sins, our troubles, whatever is wrong in our lives and then sincerely take them to God in prayer nuh. For that is wisdom at its absolute best. Much LOVE!

…a life filled with unconfessed sin…is no life at all…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 September 2015 Matthew 7:20

 Matthew 7:20.   Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Come on my people, it’s Monday morning, the start of a brand new workweek, so let’s get up and get going! Time to join the battle against the infidel, and our Leader and Saviour Jesus Christ is already at the front waiting on us. So please let’s not keep Him waiting any longer than is necessary. 
 
And if you’re tired, lazy and out of sorts this Monday morning, it’s your own fault. You knew that the battle would be joined early o’clock, but you just didn’t prepare yourself properly. 
 
Now that’s definitely not the mark of any good and faithful soldier, much less one of Jesus’ army, fighting the most important fight in the universe against the powers of evil and darkness. That sort of slackness, of unpreparedness is definitely not becoming, and will not be tolerated amongst the followers of Jesus. 
 
And now that I’ve railed at us, given us the management spiel, (smile) let’s see if we can do something about our tardiness and lack of enthusiasm by singing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with plenty zest.  
 
As one harmonious choir now. ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 
 
We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 
 
But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 
 
Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 
 
Oh Friends, that wasn’t bad, but we’ve surely done better. And though our choirmaster, Jesus, wasn’t displeased, He would have appreciated a much better showing. So to make up for that, let’s get out there and rail against the enemy, bombard them with the good news of the gospel of Jesus and thus enable them to see the true Light and the only Way to salvation and eternal life. 
 
And remember what we were talking about yesterday? Re Jesus’ warnings about false prophets and entering through the narrow gate, and by their fruits you shall know them? Well today we’ll continue with that topic, headed by the same Bit. ‘Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.’ 
 
Yes Friends, that’s ever so true; by their fruits we shall know the good and true ones from the corrupt and evil wolves masquerading in sheep’s clothing.  
 
As Luke so nicely puts it: ‘A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.’ (Luke 6:45) Oh my people, what indisputable truth! 
 
So my brethren it will be definitely in our best interest if we plead to the Lord, like Bruh David did when Nathan castigated him for his adulterous ad murderous liaison with Bathsheba. ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps.51:10) 
 
And we should also pay particular attention to Jesus’ words after the Bit. ‘Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my father which is in heaven. 
 
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils (demons)? and in thy name done many wonderful works (miracles)? And then will I profess unto them; I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.’ (Matt.7:21-23) 
 
Oh Friends, oh Friends, please remember the broad way that leads to destruction, and the narrow gate that opens unto the difficult road to heaven, which only a few find. (Matt.7:13-14) 
 
Now listen to the scholars. ‘7:21-23. Not everyone professing Christ is genuinely saved. Even the outward verbal acknowledgement of His lordship is in itself not enough to save the unbeliever apart from true repentance and faith. A genuinely saved person is one that doeth the will of my Father, the Greek present tense suggesting that he is continually living in obedience to the will of God as the normal course of his life.’ 
 
I can’t put it any clearer and truer than that my brethren. If we want to enjoy salvation and eternal life with Jesus, then we have to make the sacrifice, forsake the evil things of this world and be obedient to His will, just like He was obedient to the Father’s will and sacrificed His holy and sinless life for us. 
 
In the long run Friends, it all boils down to an individual decision to have a meaningful relationship with Jesus or not. Just remember that there are always consequences for disobedience. Much LOVE!
 
…so the last shall be first…and the first last…for many are called…but few are chosen… (Matt.20:16)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 September 2015 Matthew 7:20

Matthew 7:20.    Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Welcome all you saints of Jesus to this blessed day called Sunday! It’s the day when most believers gather together to sing, praise, worship, give thanks, adore and glorify our most wonderful heavenly Father, His remarkable Son Jesus Christ and our earthly comforter, Holy Spirit. 

What a triumvirate they are my brethren! There’s nothing else in this universe like them! And how could there be eh, when they created the universe and still control it? Oh glory to God my people! 

And we all ought to be eternally thankful and grateful that they LOVED us so much, that the Father sent the Son to sacrifice His holy and sinless life so that we worthless and sinful wretches could be reconciled to Him, obtain salvation and the promise of eternal life. 

Then to complete the cycle, when Jesus ascended back to heaven, they sent the Holy Spirit to live within us, to lead and guide and comfort us on our earthly pilgrimage. Oh all thanks and glory be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, now and forever more! 

Unfortunately though, many supposed believers don’t seem to understand and appreciate the seriousness and gravity of the Christian situation and just muddle along nonchalantly. But Friends, that is the most important aspect of our earthly sojourn; where we will spend eternity. Now you can be frivolous about it and just continue your merry way rejoicing, hoping that it will all fall into place on its own. 

But take my word, it won’t. We all have to make definite decisions about whether we’re going to follow Christ or not. And if we do decide to follow Him, then we have to get down to brass tacks and sincerely do what He desires of us. A wishy-washy, haphazard attitude won’t do, because Jesus desires diligence, faithfulness, and excellence from His followers. 

As His earthly ambassadors we need to reflect a good and proper image of Him and all that He stands for, both in our words and deeds. Remember Jesus’ words of warning in the Sermon on the Mount? ‘Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening (ravenous) wolves.’ (Matt.7:15) 

And believe me Friends, there are a lot of false prophets in existence nowadays leading God’s people astray. But Jesus gave us a way to figure them out. ‘Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil (bad) fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil (bad) fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.’ (Matt.7:16-18) 

Simple logics that my brethren. If you’re corrupt inside, you cannot bring forth anything that’s good. And if you’re good, you cannot bring forth bad or corrupt fruit. No wonder Jesus later on declared: ‘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) 

Yes my people, it’s what comes from the depths of our souls and our hearts that defile us. So we had better make sure that what’s in our hearts is good, so that we can produce good fruit. For as Jesus continues before our Bit. ‘Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.’ (Matt.7:19-20) Gospel truth that Friends! 

Now here are some interesting explanations on those verses from the scholars. ‘7:16-20. A true test of a prophet was the conformity of his doctrine to the Scriptures (cf. 1 Cor.14:37; Deut.13:1-5). Their fruits refers not only to actions of their lives, but also to the doctrines they proclaim. The two trees are contrasted in relation to the fruit they produce. 

Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit consistently, while a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit continually. Therefore, the normal and consistent production of fruit, whether good or evil, in a person’s life will bear evidence whether or not that life is of God. Verse 19 illustrates the unfruitful life of the unregenerate who is cast into the fire, a picture of eternal punishment in hell.’ 

Now there it is in black and white Friends, exactly as I said at the beginning.  To be a true and worthy follower of Jesus we have to know and proclaim His doctrines, then bear good fruit which comes from an internally good soul, spirit and heart. 

On the other hand, if our internal self is rotten and wicked, then we won’t spread true and proper doctrines, neither will we able to bear good fruit, with the unfortunate result that we’ll eventually be cast into the consuming fires of hell. 

Oh my fellow believers, I don’t think any of us wants to suffer that calamitous situation. Therefore, I will encourage us to pay close attention to the words of Jesus that we’ve discussed, as well as these ultra-important ones. 

‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth to life, that few there be that find it.’ (Matt.7:13-14) 

Yes mih breddren, as the scholars further explain. ‘One must come through the narrow gate in order to reach the path that leads to eternal life. Though many are on the broad…way, that leadeth to destruction (eternal separation from God), the gate that leads to life is so narrow that few there be that find it. Christ Himself is both the gate and the way (cf. John 14:6), and God enables men to find that gate (cf. John 6:44).’ 

So Friends, let’s get us off to church today and continually seek that strait and narrow path that leads to eternal life, for that is the wisdom of the ages! Much LOVE!

…Jesus saith unto him…I am the Way…the Truth…and the Life…NO man cometh unto the Father…but by ME…  (John 14:6)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 July 2014 Matthew 7:20

Matthew 7:20.    Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

A fine Saturday morning to all you Friends and neighbours out there in Scrip-Bit land! Hope the Lord has been good to you, and even if He hasn’t, we need to remain trusting and faithful, staying obedient to His will, because that’s all a part of our ongoing testing and trial in our earthly pilgrimage.
 
Yes, my brethren, it’s oftimes a hard row we have to hoe, but please remember that with the ever-present help of Jesus, we CAN DO IT, and do it productively too.

 
Now here’s an interesting quote I read recently. It’s attributed to the great Greek writer of tragedy Euripides (480-406 B.C), who along with Sophocles and Aeschylus transformed the Greek tragedy scene. And the quote simply says: ‘Judge a tree from its fruit; not from its leaves.’

 
And there’s much truth to that statement Friends, for in these modern times there’s so much flash and fanciness that one is never sure about the substance contained therein. And we tend to judge too much by outer appearances, without sufficient knowledge or information regarding the people or situations. That’s why we fall for all sorts of flashy and fraudulent schemes and people, often to our severe detriment.

 
In far too many instances nowadays, the real deal is hidden under all the outer gloss, to prevent us from knowing the truth, the real character within. That’s why God judges us by the motives of our hearts rather than the external appearances and actions we present. However, we mere mortals cannot see into the hearts of our fellow man, that’s why we have to be exceedingly careful of what is shown to us on the outside, and try our best to evaluate the real motives and character before we let down our guard.

 
That brings to mind Jesus and the fig tree. (Matt.21:18-19) When He passed by hungry, it was full of leaves but no fruit, which, according to the seasonal cycle, it should have borne by then. The external appearance of the fig tree was desirable to look at, but inside it contained nothing for creating fruit; it was barren.

 
Likewise, using Euripides quote, a lot of trees and people can look beautiful on the outside, with many leaves and fancy trappings, but in actual fact, they are quite barren inside, producing nothing of any real value. That’s why Jesus, after telling the disciples about the two ways of life; the straight and narrow path that leads to Him, and the wide and destructive one that leads to death, (Matt.7:13-14) afterwards  went to great lengths to warn them about false prophets.

 
‘Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening (ravenous) wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil (bad) fruit.

 
A good tree cannot bring forth evil (bad) fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.’ (Matt.7:15-20)  

 
What powerful, meaningful and enlightening scripture Friends!

 
And the scholars explain it thus: ‘7:16-20. A true test of a prophet was the conformity of his doctrine to the Scriptures (cf. 1 cor.14:37; Deut.13:1-5). Their fruits refers not only to actions of their lives, but also to the doctrines they proclaim. The two trees are contrasted in relation to the fruit they produce. Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit consistently, while a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit continually.

 
Therefore, the normal and consistent production of fruit, whether good or evil, in a person’s life will bear evidence whether or not that life is of God. Verse 19 illustrates the unfruitful life of the unregenerate who is cast into the fire, a picture of eternal punishment in hell.’

 
Yes my brethren, all of that also applies to us, to the way we live our lives; either as producers of good or bad fruit. However, as disciples, as representatives of Jesus, we are expected to bring forth GOOD FRUIT! And not simply good fruit, but also MUCH good fruit! Jesus reminded the disciples of that when talking about the vine and the branches, where they could do nothing without Him. (John 15:1-5)  

 
‘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. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto (for) you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear MUCH fruit, so shall ye be my disciples.’ (John 15:7-8)

 
Yes Friends, Jesus expects His disciples to bear MUCH fruit! So the question is, are we bearing fruit? And if we are bearing fruit, is it good or bad? And furthermore, if we are bearing good fruit like we ought to, how much fruit are we bearing? That’s an individual situation for us to sit and ponder today, my people.

 
Let’s hope that all God’s people are bearing much good fruit. And if we aren’t, then hopefully we’ll soon come to our senses, and with Jesus’ help, start bearing exceedingly abundant good fruit.

 
Now let’s close with another statement of Jesus on the subject of good and corrupt fruit. ‘Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt (bad), and his fruit corrupt (bad): for the tree is known by his fruit.’ (Matt.12:33)

 
 Oh Friends, what kind of tree does our fruit show us to be eh?  Much LOVE!

 
…the fruit of the righteous is a tree of life…and he that winneth souls…is wise…  (Prov.11:30)