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 17 November 2018 Matthew 7:20.

Matthew 7:20.   Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
 
Well friends let me begin by apologizing for the fiasco that was yesterday’s Bit. I don’t know how and why it really happened but it did, and consequently, in the header, I made the mistake of quoting the Bit as being from Job 17 instead of Job 27. But I do know that you, my astute and well-versed readers would have known exactly where it came from. (smile)

Please excuse the ole fella for that. But I just hate to make mistakes when writing about the Lord’s word. Oh I know He’s forgiven me, so in your godliness, I hope you will too. (smile) 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to some quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he nobly aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here is the first one, which says: ‘Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.’ And that’s oh so true. 

And it’s well encapsulated in a quote from a Rasta breddren who taught me history in High School eons ago. As he thoughtfully scratched his scraggly beard, with his brogued feet up on the desk, he would ask: ‘What is History? And why do we learn History?’ And His answers were: ‘History is a record of the past, and we learn it so we can understand the present and predict the future.’ 

And especially if you are child of God, you need to be continually questioning and learning and growing in the faith; hopefully moving from glory to glory, becoming more Christ-like everyday! 

And the second quote is like unto the first: (smile) ‘Everybody wants to be famous, but nobody wants to do the work. I live by that. You grind hard so you can play hard. At the end of the day, you put all the work in, and eventually it’ll pay off. It could be in a year, it could be in 30 years. Eventually, your hard work will pay of.’ 

Yeah friends, there are no serious rewards without serious work. As the Good Book says, you reap what you sow. And that’s gospel truth. You can’t put in a little work, or only plant a small crop and expect to reap huge rewards and harvest.

And it doesn’t matter how long you have to work hard before you reap those rewards and harvests either, for as the Lord said to the people of Judah through the prophet Azariah, when they were going through tough times: ‘Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.’ (2 Chr.15:7) 

And if you don’t believe that, then listen to Bruh David from Psalm 31: ‘O LOVE the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth (fully repays) the proud doer.’ (Ps.31:23)

And if you still don’t believe that, (smile) then listen to Bruh Paul to Timothy: ‘For the scripture saith, thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn, and the labourer is worthy of his reward (wages).’ (1 Tim.5:17) So friends, whatever effort we put into our work, that is what we will gain from it. 

And all of that runs smoothly into our third and last quote: ‘The value of life is not in its duration, but in its donation. You are not important because of how long you live, you are important because of how effective you live.’ And wiser words were never spoken in that regard my people! 

Listen to this discourse of Jesus on the subject. ‘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) 

Yes my brethren, it’s ever so important how you live, not so much how long you live. And the longer you live, the more good fruit you are expected to bear in Jesus’ realm. And that good fruit must be exposed to the unbelievers so that they can see it and accept Christ themselves.

That’s why Christ also said that we are the salt and light of the earth, and we’re not supposed to hide our lights under a bushel, for what good is flavourless salt or a hidden light eh? None whatsoever! (Matt.5:13-15) 

And we’ll end with this oh so important admonishing of Jesus on that subject. ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.5:16) Now that friends, is what all we supposed Christians, believers and whatever we call ourselves are supposed to be about. 

But I don’t think we’re doing such a good job; we’re not bearing as much good fruit as we should, or being as flavourful and bright shining to the heathen world! And that’s why Jesus’ LOVE Revolution is faltering; why more people are seemingly leaving it, than joining it. And we just can’t have that my people! 

So today, I implore us to take a good look at ourselves and truly ruminate on the role we are playing in Jesus’ body, where we are falling down, because all of us have faults and foibles, and sincerely make the effort to do better. Let’s take it to God in prayer and ask for His help, for with God’s help, we can all do better! Much LOVE!

…truly living for Jesus means…being flavourful…a bright shining light…and producing good fruit…in this evil, corrupt world…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 November 2015 2 Peter 1:8

2 Peter 1:8.  For if these things be in you (are yours), and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren (useless) nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Aye Friends, this going to bed early is truly for the birds yes! Steups! I tried it last night and what a fiasco it turned out to be. 

Chuh! I was up almost every hour on the hour, then couldn’t find a comfortable position to go back to sleep, and thus kept turning and tossing. 

Then I was finally forced to get up by my aches and pains. It surely seems like they have all come out of the woodwork this morning, and have me doddering around like a real old man. (smile) 

Don’t know how people lie in their beds for 8 to 10 hours nuh. I could not even make seven comfortably. After about five, if so much, things begin to go awry with me. 

But you know what Friends, I will take those aches and pains any day over the more serious problems that more than half the world has. I at least have a roof over my head, food on my table and a comfortable bed to sleep in, I just can’t spend too much time in it. (smile). 

However, a lot of our brothers and sisters around the world, don’t have those luxuries, and may never have them throughout their entire lives. What a sad tale in a world of plenty! 

At least I know that as the day goes along and I move around, my aches and pains will gradually diminish, but there are too many unfortunates in this rich world whose lives will never change without help, and it is our bounden duty to help them in whatever way we can. 

We have to be people of excellence, of LOVE, care and compassion, as Jesus desires us to be, and share our good fortune with the less fortunate. That’s how people will know that we are true disciples of His. 

And while we’re on the subject of excellence, listen to this quote attributed to the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C). It says that ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.’ 

And that’s very true my people. You just don’t develop excellence overnight; you have to work at it continually. That means that excellence can only be achieved through repetition. And that is why we practice and practice and practice yet again, at the things we want to be excellent in. 

Nowadays everybody wants to be a supposed superstar, but unfortunately they don’t want to put in the effort and work necessary to become one. I think it’s the same with our Christian faith. We all want to be mature and righteous and otherwise, but we don’t want to do the things it takes to become such. 

Those Christian attributes don’t come overnight nuh mih people. Like everything else, they do take a lot of toil and time, effort and energy, misfortune and suffering. But the beauty of our situation though is that we have the powerful help of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in becoming excellent Christians, provided we’re willing to do what it takes. 

No other faith has that divine body continually with them, and I’m sure it disappoints Jesus when we don’t use His Spirit to the max, or in the best ways possible. 

Now let’s turn to our guidebook, the Bible, where we have this passage from 2 Peter that exemplifies all that we’ve been speaking about. ‘Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like (the same kind of) precious faith with us through the righteousness of (our) God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: 

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through (in) the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this (but also for this very reason), giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 

And to knowledge temperance (self-control); and to temperance patience (perseverance); and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (LOVE). 

For if these things be in you (are yours), and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren (useless) nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.’(2 Pet.1-8) 

Yes Friends, we already have everything we need to live fruitful lives, we just have to raise them up and work continuously at them. That’s the only way we can grow in spiritual maturity, which Peter is encouraging us all to do. 

And Peter doesn’t stop there, he also shows us the other side of the coin. ‘But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off (is shortsighted), and hath forgotten that he was purged (cleansed) from his old sins. 

Wherefore the rather brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall (stumble): For so an entrance shall be ministered (supplied) unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.’ (2 Pet.1:9-11) 

There we have it Friends; to become excellent in the knowledge and glory of Christ, we have to work diligently at it. And a large part of becoming mature in Christ is that as we grow, we also put our knowledge, faith, virtue, godliness, brotherly kindness etc. to work. 

For we ALL need to remember that our faith, Christianity, is not merely a lot of talking, but even more importantly, plenty, plenty action. So today, as we grow in faith, let’s also grow in our actions nuh, so that others may see our worthwhile fruits and desire to come to Jesus, and get what we have. Much LOVE!

…wherefore…by their fruits ye shall know them…  (Matt.7:20)