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 19 September 2016 Galatians 5:16.

Galatians 5:16.    This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

‘Monday, oh Monday! Oh how do I LOVE thee? Let me count the ways…’ (smile) 

Ah friends, so many of us dislike Monday, and it’s such a wonderful day… And I hear all the steupsing and complaining of those who disagree with my praise of Monday. That’s because we haven’t handled the weekend right, or we just blooming lazy and don’t want to go to work, but yet still expect to enjoy all the perks of working. 

Anyway, the long and short of the story is if you expect to eat, then you must work, as per Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians. (2 Thess.3:10) Too many of us nowadays, including supposed Christians, feel entitled, are expecting hand outs and believe that the world owes them a living. 

But the truth is my brethren, the world owes us nothing whatsoever! We owe the world, to try and make it a better place than how we found it. How did John Kennedy, the U.S President put it? ‘Consider not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.’ And that’s how it ought to be! 

Enough palaver though, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn and get ourselves together to go out and make the world a better place. 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

That wasn’t bad at all my people, somewhat raspy, but it put a smile on the face of our choirmaster Jesus. And that’s the important thing; keeping Jesus happy with our earthly doings. And the very best way to do that is by being obedient to our Bit. ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.’ 

Now yesterday we looked at what basically constituted walking in the flesh, today we’ll check out what it means by walking in the Spirit. Listen to Bruh Paul expatiate 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.’ (Gal.5:22-23) 

Yes friends, those are the attributes that a Christian is supposed to show when walking in the Spirit. And the scholars give us a lengthy explanation, which I feel compelled to share, since it will help our understanding of the situation. 

‘5:22. 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 the 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 is dependability.’  

‘5:23. 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.’  

There we have it my people, a breakdown of the nine virtues that are associated with the fruit of the Spirit. Yuh see, a lot is expected of us Christians, because our Lord and Saviour, our indisputable Leader, Jesus Christ, expects excellence from His followers, not some wishy-washy, leggo-beast, compromising, sitting on the fence behaviour. 

And we all know it’s not easy to come up higher in this evil world, but it doesn’t happen overnight. As the scholars remind us these virtues take time to grow and mature, as the Holy Spirit that dwells within us nurtures them. 

So please, let’s not beat up ourselves if we are falling down in any virtue(s), because that does not help the situation. When we find we’re not measuring up to our true potential, let’s turn to God in prayer and ask Him for help in whatever area we’re lacking in. 

You know He’ll never refuse us anything that makes us more like His wonderful Son, Jesus Christ. So let’s sincerely and faithfully work at those virtues as we go out and face the enemy today and everyday of our earthly lives. It’s oh so necessary, if we are to spread the gospel to the whole world and fulfill Jesus’ LOVE Revolution. Much LOVE!

…Christians ought to be fertile ground…so that the Holy Spirit can grow good fruit within them…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 December 2014 Jeremiah 31:31

Jeremiah 31:31. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah. 
 
Oh Friends, it’s a new week! Yeh! And today, Sunday, is the first day in it. So let’s give our wonderful Creator and God big thanks of praise and glory for bringing us safely through the dark, demon-filled night into the bright, brilliant, bountiful and ever so beautiful Son-light of Jesus Christ, our most LOVING Lord and Saviour!
 
And on this auspicious day of the Lord, the Sabbath, let’s joyfully remember the reason for the seasons we’re celebrating; Advent, the eagerly awaited expectation of the Christ child; Christmas, the actual birth of the Christ child.
 
And all God’s people gave out with a heartwarming shout of grateful praise. ‘Thank You heavenly Father, for sending Jesus to sacrifice and atone for our sins. We’re not worthy of Your LOVE, but You still bless us with it because You are a merciful and ever-LOVING God.
 
We praise Your Holy Name, and will endeavour to live lives that are pleasing to You, and glorify You. This we pray in the name of Jesus, whose birth at Christmas gave us hope for a new future, heralded a new era in our lives, and whose death on the cross at Calvary, along with His resurrection and ascension brought Your promise of a new covenant to pass.
 
And we can’t end without saying a big, big thank You to Jesus for selflessly sacrificing His holy and sinless life for us. He didn’t have to do it. But He was obedient to Your will. Help us to be likewise obedient to Your dictates. Thank You Jesus! We bow to Your eternal majesty, and confess that You are indeed Lord of All! Amen.’
 
Ah mih people, that prayer might seem long and disjointed, but the important thing is that it came from the heart, as all prayers ought to, regardless of their length or correctness of language. (smile) And please don’t forget that today is the day for worship, praise and fellowship with both man and God.
 
Please let’s fill God’s sanctuaries with our bodies as well as with joy, thanks and gladness of heart, because our Bit is now in a sure mode of fulfillment. ‘Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah.’
 
Yes Friends, that wonderful promise was set in motion through Christ’s birth and His selfless actions as a young man. We’re now awaiting its culmination through His Second Coming in blazing glory!
 
And today I want to share some important explanations of the scholars, re that covenant, because they are invaluable in helping us to understand it. I don’t know how much I’ll be able to get in, because it takes up almost an entire page of the Good Book.
 
But here goes: ’31:31-34. The new covenant is the culmination of God’s covenant-making with Israel. It may be viewed as a document of God’s prophetic programme and of His policies of administration.
 
As an administrative document, it renders obsolete and succeeds the old Sinaitic covenant that served as the manual of procedure for carrying out the moral, civil, and ceremonial regulations relative to national Israel in the pre-Christian era (cf. Deut.7:6-11; Heb.8:7-13).
 
Some features of the old covenant are carried over into the new covenant: (1) There is in the new covenant a stress on the importance of the unchangeable principles of God’s law.
 
However, these will now be written not on stone but in the hearts of God’s people – they will become part of their inward code for living, and will conform in all respects to the moral law of the Scriptures.
 
Accordingly, the ideal that the old covenant called for (cf. Deut. 6:6-7; 10:16; 30:6) in external commandments will be internalized under the terms of the new covenant.
 
(2) With the establishment of the covenant at Sinai, Israel had become nationally God’s people (Ex. 6:6-7; 19:5-6). As such, they were to be a faithful and obedient people, reflecting His standards in their lives (Deut. 14:1-2; 26:16-19).
 
In a far greater way, the intimacy of the believer with God makes the realization of God’s relation to His people under the terms of the new covenant to be a full and living experience. Moreover, not just the Israelites but all believers (those who know God, v.34) are now called under the new covenant my people. (See 2 Cor.6:16; Gal.3:6-9, 15-18, 26-29; Titus 2:14)
 
These features of vital inwardness and a universality of the knowledge of God stand out as the two great distinctive elements in the new covenant.
 
(3) A third feature that represents continuity with the old covenant, yet superiority under the new covenant is the matter of forgiveness. Although God is said to forgive their iniquity under the administration of the Sinaitic covenant (Ex.34:6-7; Num.14:18; Deut.5:9-10; cf. Ps.86:15; Joel 2:13), in the stipulations of the new covenant, God will remember their sin no more.
 
This feature is a reminder that men in Old Testament times were saved in anticipation of the finished work of Calvary. Under the old economy, believers approached God in their worship experience through human mediators (Ex.20:19); but with the completed redemption by Christ, the members of the family of God now have direct access to God (cf. 1 Tim.2:5-6; Titus 2:11-14, 3:5-7; Heb. 9:1-10:22).
 
Where full forgiveness has been granted, there is no more remembrance of sin. Positionally and experientially, with the living reality of both God’s law in the heart and the indwelling Christ (Col.1:20-27) in the believer, there is not only full and continuous forgiveness of sin (1 John 1:8-9), but full provision for faithful and victorious living.’
 
And we’ll stop there for today. I do hope that some of that explanation does improve our understanding of some of the differences between the old and new covenants. I apologize for some of the big words and terms the scholars use that might have you running to your dictionary. But that’s just the nature of the beast – scholars just use big words because they feel that shows their scholarship. (smile)
 
So basically Friends, the new covenant writes God’s law in our hearts, rather than on outward things like tablets of stone; allows us to go directly to God not through some other human mediator, and in addition to forgiving our sins, now throws them far behind God’s back, never to be remembered again.
 
As I keep saying, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! And whoever rejects Him is a total idiot. Much LOVE!
 
…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…