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 13 August 2017 Psalm 118:8-9.

Psalm   118:8-9.   It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.

Come on mih people, it’s Sunday, the Lord’s Day! That means it’s time to gather in the Lord’s house to worship, praise, glorify and exalt Him; to hear His word and receive His awesome gifts of strength, mercy, grace, LOVE and forgiveness in whatever amounts we may need! 

How wonderful it is to serve such a magnanimous and magnificent Deity! I simply can’t understand how all the world is not running to serve and praise His holy name nuh. 

Unfortunately, their loss is our gain, though we still need to get the truth though their thick skulls, because that’s what the Father desires of us. He doesn’t want to lose even one of His magnificent creations to that worthless scamp and vagabond Lucifer. 

And as always, we begin this morning’s worship with a song of praise titled ‘Jesu, joy of man’s desiring.’ But it was not a song of my choosing, but of the Holy Spirit, for as soon as I thought, ‘Well what hymn shall we sing this morning?’ that title just flew into my head. 

So, as obedient children, let’s offer the sacrifice of praise and glorify our heavenly Father, for He is so deserving of it. Let’s raise our voices to heaven, and let the saints up there know that we too can exalt and worship the Lord, as good as them, if not better. (smile) 

So as one harmonious whole now: ‘Jesu, joy of man’s desiring, Holy wisdom, LOVE most bright; Drawn by Thee, our souls aspiring, Soar to uncreated light. Word of God, our flesh that fashioned, With the fire of life impassioned, Striving still to truth unknown, Soaring, dying round Thy throne. 

Through the way where hope is guiding, Hark, what peaceful music rings; Where the flock, in Thee confiding, Drink of joy from deathless springs. Theirs is beauty’s fairest pleasure; Theirs is wisdom’s holiest treasure. Thou dost ever lead Thine own In the LOVEof joys unknown.’ 

Oh friends, aren’t those beautiful sentiments, rich in imagery and majesty? They surely are! And I particularly like that last line, which talks about our Saviour leading us ‘in the LOVE of joys unknown,’ because He certainly does. With Him, every day is an unknown adventure, and we have the complete assurance that whatever direction the adventure takes, it will ultimately work out for our benefit. 

So how can we not bow and kneel before Him and give Him thanks and praise eh? To do otherwise would certainly be lacking in wisdom, definitely foolish. But unfortunately, our world is full of foolish people; people who refuse to acknowledge and accept the risen power and glory of Jesus Christ! They foolishly put their trust in princes and men and cast Jesus, the only one who can truly save their sinful and evil souls, by the wayside. 

How sad my brethren! They obviously don’t know, and/or, don’t respect the truth of our Bit from the Good Book. ‘It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.’ 

That’s truth of immeasurable proportions my people! How can one put trust in weak, fragile, sinful, evil and fraudulent man eh? Oh we have to trust them some, but definitely not go overboard, always keeping a close eye on them. However, with the Lord God Almighty, our Creator, we don’t have to worry about a thing, for He is the epitome of trustworthiness. The word was coined to reflect His exalted station of absolute trust. 

When a man like Job, having lost his family and all his earthly wealth in one fell swoop, can declare of God to his hypocrite friends: ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. He also shall be my salvation: for a hypocrite shall not come before him. Hear diligently my speech, and my declaration with your ears.’  (Job 13:15-17) 

Wow friends! There must be something in the water that Job was drinking, (smile) for him to be so adamant about his trust in God. And that’s the kind of trust great faith brings forth. 

Now listen to Bruh David from Psalm 40 – Praise for answered prayer. ‘And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord. Blessed is the man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.’ (Ps.40:3-4)  And Bruh David spoke from personal experience when he made those statements. 

That’s the sort of trust that rises up in us when we truly believe, and have experienced God’s LOVING-kindness. Then there is no doubt whatsoever in the utmost faithfulness of our great God! Even when things go awry, we still stand steadfast in that trust, because we know He has good plans for us, and will always complete any work He’s begun in us, and work it out for our good. 

Mama Mia! How awesome is our God eh! Awesome to the nth degree! And we’ll end with these immortal words of Cousin Sol. ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make smooth, straight) thy paths. 

Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones. Honour the Lord with thy substance (possessions), and with the first fruits of all thine increase. So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses (vats) shall burst out with new wine.’ (Prov.3:5-10)

Oh friends, I believe in those five verses we have the very essence of Christian living! If we were to just follow those instructions, we would never stray, and forever stay on the straight and narrow path. So let’s take Cousin Sol’s wisdom to heart his Sunday morning nuh my fellow believers, so that we can live trustworthy and fruitful lives as our Christian faith requires. Much LOVE!

…if you can’t trust the one who made you…and knows you better than you know yourself…then whom can you trust eh…