Today’s Scrip-Bit   8 January 2022 Matthew 7:20.

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

Three days straight of cold but decent sunshine…Now that’s indeed a record! Many of us might not have noticed it as yet, because we’re still abed this Saturday morning, enjoying the lazy pleasures of not having to get up and go out to labour. That’s provided we have jobs, what with the new Covid restrictions put in place this past week due to the quickly spiking cases. 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he wishes us a Happy New Year. Now this first one is long and complicated, (smile) but certainly something we can entertain to our benefit. It says: ‘We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.’ 

That’s a very interesting statement, because too often we seem to concentrate on our flaws and mistakes rather than our potential and successes. And that’s not a healthy situation. We need to be concentrating on our God-given potential if we expect to make godly headway in this current confused, strife-filled and ungodly world. 

And to help us generate that kind of thinking, Anselm offers these ‘Things to think about for 2022: 1. Talk less; listen more; 2. Remind yourself you are not the General Manager of the Universe; 3. Sit on your ego; 4. Take one day at a time; 5. Separate worries from concerns. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you to do and let go of the anxiety. If you can’t do anything about a situation, forget it; 6. Pray; 7. Do not Worry.’ 

Now all of those are godly, life enhancing recommendations, and we would be wise to embrace them, which I believe starts with doing what Jesus advises: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) Yes friends, we cannot, or must never lose sight that our aim, our number one priority is the kingdom of God and His righteousness, because it’s only then that we truly find God and begin to enjoy the life He has destined for us. 

That leads us to this next quote: ‘We attract what we think about, that which we lust after and that which we fear. Anything that consumes our thoughts get manifested in the real world.’ Now that’s the awesome truth! That’s just the way the universe is set up; what consumes most of our thinking will eventually manifest itself in our lives. Thus, if we fixate on lustful, carnal, or fleshly thoughts, like the world suggests, then it’s lustful, carnal and fleshly things that will occur in our lives. 

Cousin Sol warns us in Proverbs: ‘Eat not the bread of him that hath an evil eye (is a miser), neither desire thou his dainty meats (delicacies): For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.’ (Prov. 23:6-7) Yes my people, we have to be very careful of what others say to us, and consequently, what we say to others, because very often, what comes out of our mouths does not mesh with what’s in our hearts. And the heartfelt stuff is what truly guides us. 

That’s why Jesus warns: ‘Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.’ (Matt. 7:20) We can always tell what kind of tree we are looking at, by the fruit it bears. What, or who we really are will eventually show in our actions, because we are truly guided by what’s in our hearts, not what comes out of our mouths. That’s called hypocrisy. And unfortunately, we are all hypocrites to some degree, because it’s not always what we say we mean. 

But let’s move on to the next quote. ‘Acknowledge that negative thinking has not been helping you. Unless you replace them with positive thinking, you will keep getting the same outcome.’ And that’s oh so true! If you keep thinking one way, mostly negatively, and you’re not getting the results you want, then common sense dictates that you change your way of thinking, try the positive kind. It’s basic logic: you can’t keep doing the same think and expect to receive a different result. 

So please, let’s begin this new year by checking out our way of thinking, and making the necessary changes that will enable our lives to come together and produce positive results. And the best way to do that is by coming to Christ and asking for His divine help. And don’t be afraid, because He NEVER turns down anyone who sincerely comes to Him for help. 

Meanwhile, the last quote tells us that: ‘A fantasy noted down with a date turns into an objective. An objective partitioned into ascertained strides turns into an arrangement. An arrangement bolstered by activities makes your fantasies work out as expected. So this New Year, take your fantasies, travel the distance to their goal and make them a reality.’ 

Now generally speaking that’s how a plan works: we begin with the seed of the idea and build upon it. However, the important thing in a believer’s life is the seed that we intend to plant. Is it an idea that God will approve, is it in His will for our lives? Those are things we need to ascertain before we begin planting or building. That brings us back to Jesus’ words on the tree and its fruit. 

‘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.’ (Matt. 7:15-18) 

Oh my fellow saints, it means that as followers of Jesus we need to come up with good ideas, plant seeds that bear good fruit, fruit that will be beneficial to Christ’s kingdom. The process of growth and bringing plans to fruition are always the same, building, or growing one step at a time, the important aspect is therefore the seed that we’re planting, and the plan that we expect to realize, are they worthwhile in God’s sight? 

And many of us have all kinds of exciting plans for this new year of 2022, but please, let’s stop and consider if they fall into the category of good and timely fruit before we begin to execute them nuh, because if they don’t, the Lord will not allow them to come to fruition. Much LOVE!

…each new year… many plans are born…but most fall by the wayside…because they don’t meet God’s criteria… 

       

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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)