Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2018 Matthew 7:20.

Matthew 7:20.   Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
 
Aye friends, the ole fella is somewhat listless and lethargic this Saturday morning yes! And the aches and pains not helping the situation either nuh. But yuh know what, we not giving in to the feelings today. The aches and pains might slow us down some, but we not stopping. Remember the race is not for the swift but for the sure of foot, and yuh better believe when I plant my big feet down they stay down! (smile) 

Yeh, it’s just one of those days; the weather doesn’t look good, the body doesn’t feel good, but GOD IS GREAT! That’s something we can always count on, for He has said so in the promises of His Word, and His Word does not lie! Give Him some thanks and praise my people! 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week in his noble attempt to aspire us to a better tomorrow. And this one jumps right out at me today: ‘You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.’ Wow! That’s gospel truth! For none of us can do it all ourselves. As they say, no man is an island. The Lord made us to fellowship with each other and to help each other, not to be single and all sufficient in our selves. 

And on that point, hear what the Good Book says: ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves: but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor.3:5) Now that says it all! 

And this next quote also points directly to God: ‘Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.’ You do have all of that, but only if God is sincerely in your efforts! 

Now listen to this one: ‘It is possible to become discouraged about the injustice we see everywhere. But God did not promise us that the world would be humane and just. He gives us the gift of life and allows us to choose the way we will use our limited time on earth. It is an awesome opportunity.’ 

Yes friends, it is an awesome opportunity we’ve been given to live for Jesus on this earth. And to use that opportunity properly, we need to remember these two scriptures. In the immortal words of Bruh David: ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.’ (Ps.34:8) And also: ‘The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.’ (Ps.145:9) 

It’s all about our heavenly Father my people! And this quote exemplifies that: ‘We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.’ That goes right back to the first quote, we can’t be successful on our own, for success means taking others on that journey with us, both individually and communally! That’s how the Lord designed it! 

And this last quote covers them all: ‘When we are really honest with ourselves we must admit our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines the kind of people we are.’ And today I want to focus on that last line; how we live our lives determines the kind of people we are. 

Yeh friends, we can live our lives like the Pharisees did, outwardly showy and hypocritical, or like Jesus recommended, honest and truly considerate of others. For as He says: ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.’ Yes friends, by our deeds we shall be known. And hear some deep insights of Jesus on the subject of how men live their lives. 

First off, He states very clearly: ‘A good tree cannot bring forth evil (bad) fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.’ (Matt.7:18) And that’s not rocket science, just plain, basic logic. Then Jesus lays it out in plain terms: ‘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) 

Oh friends, I hope we understand that. We can’t bear good fruit unless what is in us and what comes out of us is good! What’s in our hearts determines the kind of people we’ll be! 

Hear Jesus again: ‘Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out (eliminated) into the draught (body waste)? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt.15:17-20) 

Yeh friends, that whole argument began when the Pharisees complained that the disciples were eating with unwashed hands, which they considered a big thing. But Jesus, as usual set them right. And in Matthew 23, (please read it) He really lambastes the Pharisees, who looked real good on the outside but were dirty as hell on the inside! 

And we’ll end with this description: ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres (white washed tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness).’ (Matt.23:27-28) 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ’23:27-33. Whited sepulchres: Since contact with a dead body rendered a person unclean according to the Mosaic Law, graves were customarily painted white to make them conspicuous and give the opportunity of avoiding contact with them.’ 

Oh friends, please let us live lives that will not cause those unpleasant comparisons to be said of us nuh. Instead let us be good and uncorrupted trees, so that we can bear good fruit in Jesus’ name and make a productive difference in the lives of those around us. Much LOVE!

…whatsoever is in our heart…will undoubtedly manifest itself in our outward behaviour…that’s why we need a clean heart to live for Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

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)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 March 2013 Matthew 12:33

Matthew 12:33.     Either make the tree good, and his fruit good, or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.

Oh Friends, Friday’s up…! And it’s not Robinson Crusoe’s man… (smile) It’s another new today named Friday, bringing all the new daily mercies and blessings of our wonderful God! And the effervescent cries, shouts, hoots and hollers of ‘TGIM! Thank God is Friday, and the labouring for another week soon finish!’ echo all around the globe. But sadly they echo in too many polluted areas, a fact that causes untold problems for the human breathing apparatus. But that’s the price of progress, they say… Hogwash! The price of cheap, greedy, ‘gravalicious’, doh-care-about the planet progress yes! Anyway mih people, it’s Friday and a lot of the world’s happy because they won’t have to labour for massa for two whole days. And all God’s children gave a mighty shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ Yes my brethren, it’s certainly nice not having to hit the road and the unending traffic jams for two days, but by the same token, we need to use that time off wisely. So let’s chant our Friday Chant that helps us put the weekend into proper perspective. ‘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.’ And having reminded ourselves of how to use the weekend properly, let’s turn to our very interesting and important Bit. ‘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.’ And that’s gospel truth Friends! Now yesterday we saw where Jesus told the multitude that stuff we put into our mouths doesn’t defile, but what comes out of us does. (Mat.15:10-11) Later though, Peter came back and asked Jesus to explain the parable because the Pharisees had been angered by it. (Matt.15:15) And Jesus gets a little testy with Peter. ‘Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out (eliminated) into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man; but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt.15:16-20) Oh my people, that’s the living truth, as we all know, if we’re honest with ourselves. That’s because deep down inside of us, our souls, is really where all our good and evil thoughts and actions begin, take root, sprout, then are noised abroad. So again we have to be rather careful about what’s in our souls, for what’s there will eventually come forth from our mouths, and if they are evil intents, then evil words will emanate and unfortunately spoil our witness. Jesus felt that our internal intent was so important, that He also used the good and bad tree analogy when talking 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) Please note Friends, the emphasis Jesus places on the fruit; the work, the action, the deeds of those involved in ministry. What we say is important, but lots of times, what we do is actually much more important. Our actions should at all times reflect our words. As James says, ‘faith without works is dead.’ (James 2:20) Meaning we can talk all we want, but if we don’t back up that talk with action, the talk is of no use, simply wasted breath. And we’ll end with another analogy of Jesus to trees and fruits, where He talks to the disciples about the vine and the branches. ‘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. 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. 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 will be done unto (for) you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit, so shall ye be my disciples.’ (John 15:4-8) Oh Friends, Jesus could not have explained the philosophy of His ministry any simpler or clearer! Now it’s up to us to embrace it and comply with it as fully as we can. If we don’t, then we’ll be cut down like the useless, withered branches and cast into the fire, as well as have to account for all our words on the judgement day. So let’s be very careful of what we say and how we act, because inappropriate words and actions not only affect our witness here on earth, giving Jesus a bad name, but also where we spend eternity. Much LOVE!…Christians…by their very nature…with the Holy Spirit dwelling in them…ought to be always good trees…thus always bearing good fruit…