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 15 December 2016 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.

Ah friends, like this snow business seems to be rather serious yes, because it visited us again last night. Chuh! Not as much as over the weekend, but enough to make life somewhat difficult in the early morning rush hour. 

Some people might be happy with that, since it might mean that we’ll finally have a traditional white Christmas ten days hence. 

Over the last few years, that hasn’t been as regular an occurrence as in days gone by, and some of the purists have been disappointed. But what to do eh? If it’s winter, then there’s a very real probability of snow. (smile) 

Now here’s a timely reminder from my ‘P.S. I LOVE  YOU Poster, which says: ‘Friends are like a beautiful garden. They require regular care.’ 

And is that ever true my people! Unless we spend time fertilizing those friendships that we treasure, they’ll eventually grow weeds and disintegrate into what resembles a dilapidated and forgotten garden. We need to keep those lines of communication open with our friends, just like we need to keep them open to God. 

So, especially at this festive and friendly Christmas season, let’s remember to reach out to our friends and family with whom we haven’t had any recent communication, so the beautiful garden we have blossoming with them, won’t be changed into a weed filled jungle. 

Remember, without good relationships an important part of us goes missing and makes us less than whole. And talking about relationships, the most important one in our life is that which we have with Jesus. 

Listen to Him explain it in our Bit. ‘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 is indisputable truth my people! For without Jesus as the leading and guiding light of our lives, we are able to do precious little in our own human strength. 

Hear Him continue His discourse. ‘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. As the Father hath LOVED me, so have I LOVED you: continue ye (abide) in my LOVE.’ (John 15:6-9) 

Oh friends, what a wonderful promise! If we abide in Jesus and He in us, then we’ll be His disciples, be fruitful and glorify the Father, and the Father will grant us our requests. How awesome is that eh! 

But we need to remember that last proviso: to abide in Jesus’ LOVE! Just like the Father LOVED Him, and He LOVED us, we need to continue LOVING Him and each other. Without that LOVE shining forth my fellow believers, all that we claim to do for Jesus is of no account. 

Now here are a couple of explanations from the scholars re those verses above. ’15:6. This refers to the judgement of the believers at the judgement seat of Christ (2 Cor.5:10).’ 

15:7. The promise of answered prayer is based on the disciple acting as the agent of Jesus’ will (cf. 16:23-26). The promise is for unlimited resources to do the works of God.’ 

And as we’re talking about bringing forth fruit for Christ, let’s just share Bruh Paul’s immortal words on the subject. ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness (courtesy, consideration), temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ (Gal.5:22-23) 

Yeh mih people that’s what is expected of us in terms of bearing fruit for Christ. And the scholars add. ‘5:22. The word fruit is significant for three reasons. (1) It means the result, the 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 expected 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 values in the believer’s life overnight.’ 

Yeh, I know we’re complaining that that’s a lot of fruit to bear, but as the scholars say, it doesn’t grow overnight, or all at once, but like real fruit takes time, diligence and energy. 

And as Jesus promised, if we abide in Him, and He in us, we will have the help of all heaven and earth to produce the fruit He desires of us. So there’s no need to worry; just stay close to Jesus, and all will be well. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings. Remember, a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. 

In unison friends: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Wow! It couldn’t get any better than that my brethren! So let’s take it all to heart nuh, and put it into solid action. Much LOVE!

…the bearing of fruit for Jesus…it’s such a wonderful process…and the rewards are so unique and exceptional…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 December 2015 Hebrews 13:2‏‏

Hebrews 13:2.   Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Oh mih people, mih people…eventually…it’s Friday! Hn, hn! And I have to chuckle, as though you need me to bring you such auspicious news, (smile) because many of you, from Monday began, have been counting down the days and the hours till Friday. 

And most likely too, from the time you all got up this morning, you have been shouting ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the weekend’s here at long last! Brother! What a blast we going to have in the next couple of days, wining and dining and just having a good time! I just thank God for every Friday yes!’ 

Oh friends, nothing’s wrong generally speaking with wining and dining and having a good time, but it cannot be at the expense of everything else. Remember Bruh Paul’s admonition to the Philippians, everything in moderation please, be reasonable in all your doings. (Phil.4:5) So just giving over the weekend to good times is a serious waste of God’s opportunities. 

Now let’s chant our Friday Chant, which gives us a much better perspective on our weekend behaviour. As one solid and sincere chanter 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.’ 

Yes Friends, that’s what we need; a balanced approach to it all, so that when Monday comes we are rested and able to go back out into the evil world and do a fine job for Jesus. Glory to God in the highest! 

On a sad note though, this morning when I opened my e-mail, I was greeted by a link to a Christmas card sent out by a Nevada Republican representative showing her whole family posing with different kinds of guns, even down to a five year old. Steups! 

What lunacy eh! How is that ever appropriate eh? At a time of peace and LOVE and good cheer you are highlighting guns, the emblem of death, especially when there have recently been so many mass murders in the land! Chuh man! 

But it’s in the land of the free and the home of the brave, where they are so attached to their Second Amendment and their right to bear arms, that to them it must be appropriate in all kinds of situations. But just remember Friends, he who lives by the gun, also dies by the gun! Nuff said! 

Let’s turn to our Bit. ‘Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.’ 

Yes my brethren, it actually happened to Abraham and Lot many moons ago, and most likely will not happen to us, but since our God is so mysterious and miraculous, anything is possible. 

The entertaining angels part aside though, we saw yesterday how important it was to Jesus and the Father to treat strangers with kindness and courtesy. (Deut.10:17-19; Matt.25:34-40) Therefore it must also be important to us, if we are following their will. 

And today we are going to look at a couple more scriptures that highlight God’s tender spot for strangers and the needy. Lets begin with a verse from Isaiah, re Israel to be preserved after their sojourn of captivity in Babylon. 

‘For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land, and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave (cling) to the house of Jacob. (Is.14:1) 

And it goes on to sing about triumph over Babylon, whom the Lord will later judge severely. But notice my people, that amongst the reclaimed of Israel, there will also be strangers participating in the good times. 

And since we’re in Isaiah, we might as well continue with him. (smile) In chapter 60, which talks about the future glory of Zion, he declares: ‘And the sons of strangers (foreigners) shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote (struck) thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee.’ (Is.60:10) 

Now the scholars have this to say about the scripture. ’60:1-12. Isaiah foresees a time when Israel will arise out of her darkness and shine with God’s glory. Then the Gentiles shall come to her light. Thus the sons of strangers described in this chapter will come to Jerusalem to worship the Lord.’ 

And we’ll conclude the matter with true and beautiful words from Psalm 146 – The blessedness of trusting God. ‘The Lord openeth the eyes of the blind: the Lord raiseth them that are bowed down: the Lord LOVETH the righteous: 

The Lord preserveth (watches over) the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and the widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down. The Lord shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the Lord.’ (Ps.146:8-10) 

Yes my fellow believers, our wonderful God takes much more than passing interest in the stranger, the poor and needy, so we better had do the same, if we want to be amongst the sheep when Jesus comes to reign. Now that is unsurpassable wisdom! Much LOVE!

…it’s Christmas time…time to show LOVE and spread good tidings…to help the lost…the needy…the stranger…for that’s what Jesus’ birth was all about…