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 24 April 2015 Philippians 4:13‏‏

Philippians 4:13.    I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Aye Friends, as the old people would say, the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray, and also, men plan while God laughs. I wanted to get up early, write the Bit and do some other stuff before the morning was finished. Hn! But obviously that was only wishful thinking. (smile)

And remember too, how a couple weeks ago when we were basking in temperatures in the upper teens and low twenties, when people were running around half naked, and all the summer accoutrements were being rolled out to enjoy it? Well that has all been reversed, without any warning either.

We’re lucky if we can get up into the high single digits now in the day time, and we’re back to bundling up in our winter coats. What a bam bam eh?

But Friends, let’s at least be thankful for one mercy; the sun is shining brightly this Friday morning and there’s no threat of snow in the offing.

So let’s rejoice, as we are wont to do, by declaring: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday yes! The weekend’s here and labouring soon finish for another week! Our God is a good God, and He won’t give us more than we can handle! Let’s say it again: Thank God it’s Friday yes!’

Oh Friends, our God is indeed a wonderful Deity and He won’t burden us with more than we can bear, for that just doesn’t make any sense. Instead He helps us to bear our heavy loads, and invites us in His Great Invitation to come to Him for help and succour in times of need.

‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30)

Oh my people, what a magnificent offer and invitation! And since we know that God is ever-faithful, and keeps all His promises, this morning I implore all who are bearing heavy burdens, to come and lay them at the feet of Jesus and get relief from your pain, your worry, your fear and your anxiety.

That’s the wise and sensible thing to do, especially in these difficult and distressing times. No one else can even promise such things, much less keep the promise: ONLY JESUS CAN!

Now let’s chant our Friday Chant to get us in the right mood, the right perspective to handle the short but oh so volatile weekend. 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.’

Yes my people, we do have to handle the weekend with some circumspection, else we’ll be no good to God, or ourselves come Monday morning. And it all begins and ends with the faithful promise of our Bit. ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’

Glory be, my people! With God’s help we can walk through fire like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and come out without even smelling of smoke. (Dan.3:20-30) And like Daniel, we can rest in the lion’s den without even one hair being plucked from our heads. (Dan. 6:14-23)

No wonder Bruh Paul made this bold and factual statement to the Corinthians in his second missive to them. ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor.3:5) And that is the gospel, gospel truth my brethren!

Now hear Jesus tell it to the disciples, and ultimately to us. ‘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.’ (John 15:4-5)

And that Friends, is the indisputable truth! Without Christ we can do little or nothing at all! That’s why it is ever so important for us to believe in Him and cleave, cling to Him like super glue (smile) if we want to do good and useful stuff in this godless and evil world.

And we’ll end today with a reminder of the kinds of stuff Jesus is talking about when He refers to us bearing fruit. Listen to Bruh Paul expatiate on the subject to the Galatians. (smile)

‘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. 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. Let us not be desirous of vain glory (be deceitful), provoking one another, envying one another.’ (Gal.5:22-26)

Oh Friends, what a wonderful way to end today’s message! Please, let’s take it all to heart and go out and put it into positive action, in Jesus’ name.

And all God’s people declared a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Amen!’ Much LOVE my brethren!

…remember …for whatever ails us…whatever we need…whatever we desire…whatever the problem…Jesus IS the indisputable answer…