Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 January 2022 Luke 14:27.

Luke 14:27.     And whosoever doth not bear his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.    

And it’s another cloudy, frosty Wednesday morning! A little of the white stuff fell in my area last night, but not enough to make a difference, but we are still surrounded by a sea of white, although the roads are passable today, and we might have more problems with ice than snow. (smile) Oh, and by the way, the duchess’ prediction re the snow removal, did not come through, because the trucks and scoops came early in the evening to remove it, instead of late in the night as she had forecasted, and as they often do.

But that’s enough about snow and the unfortunate weather we’ve been having. It’s time to talk about something that will truly make a difference. And what’s that you ask? We’re talking about some of the many immortal words our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ spoke while on His earthly sojourn. These were spoken around the time of His triumphal entrance into Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday, when the disciples informed Him that a group of Greeks who had come to Jerusalem for the feast were desirous of talking to Him.

The Good Book relates it thus: ‘And Jesus answered them (the disciples), saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn (grain) of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth (remains) alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that LOVETH his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my father honour.’ (John 12:23-26)

Yes friends, Jesus expects a high degree of selflessness from His followers, but to be sure, they are well rewarded for it. Now let’s clear up one major point before moving on. It concerns the matter of LOVE and hate in the scriptures. The scholars offer this explanation of verse 25 above. They say: ‘Whenever we see LOVE and hate contrasted we should understand that LOVE for the one is so undivided that it may appear as hate for the other; although it is not necessarily so (cf. Luke 14:26, disciples hating mother and father; Rom. 9:13. God hating Esau.’

Oftentimes, it’s not an emotional thing, but just the Father’s will; like with Jacob and Esau. Jacob was blessed while Esau was not. So every time we see LOVE and hate in the scriptures, we need to take a moment to stop and consider the true meaning, whether it was an emotional problem or just one party being more favoured than another. And if we consider the verse referenced above in Luke, we can see exactly what they are talking about.

There Jesus counted the cost of following Him, to the multitude around Him, when He says: ‘If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren (brothers), and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.’ (Luke 14:26-27)

Oh my people, it is indeed a high price to pay to follow Jesus, but that’s just how important it is to follow Him. And He doesn’t mean we have to dislike our family or friends, just that, as the scholars put it. ‘In comparison to one’s devotion to Christ, one’s family ties must be secondary. This does not set aside Jesus’ other teachings to LOVE one’s enemies, to honour father and mother, and the like. It does highlight that absolute loyalty to Christ is paramount, even though in many societies, including the one in which Jesus taught, as well as many today, following Him involves precisely the either-or that this verse sets up.’

And that’s so sad, because Jesus never meant for us to give up our friends and families, but just to put Hm first. But in way too many cases, religiosity unfortunately, and wrongly forces us to give up one or the other. Yes, you can’t serve God and mammon or money, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have much money, because money is important in forwarding Christ’s kingdom in this sinful world.

So please, let’s not allow religion to drive us to one camp or the other, for in Christ, remember, we are all ONE! There’s no difference between the rich and the poor, the slave and the free, the Jew and the Gentile in Christ’s eyes. It’s only important that we live our lives sincerely trying to obey His will. So what’s the long and short of the story, you ask?

Well, I believe it’s spelled out in two sets of scriptures. The first is Jesus’ sincere admonishment to the disciples. ‘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) Now that’s Jesus telling it like it really is! In this world, we can do nothing of any consequence without Him!

And the second set of scriptures that I believe explains our purpose on this earth, is Jesus response to the question, posed by an uppity, self-righteous, hypocritical lawyer of the Jewish ruling class: ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:36-40)

Yes my fellow saints, from the beginning of time, that’s what the prophets been preaching; the absolute and miraculous power of LOVE! It’s marvellous ability to bring things and people together to live in harmony, with Almighty God and with each other! And that’s what our world is sadly lacking in these troubled times; a real sense of caring, of compassion, of LOVE for God and each other. So it seems that’s where our focus should be centred, be concentrated in these calamitous times, if we sincerely desire true improvement in our world. And that’s the long and short of the story! (smile)

Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to preach and practice LOVE, let’s go home declaring (chuh!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. As one loud, confident voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And believe me people, if we endure to the end, then that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! So let’s hang in there and acclaim Christ’s name nuh, like He so richly deserves! Much LOVE!

…to God the Father…be the glory…through Christ Jesus…the Son…

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8              

Today’s Scrip-Bit   14 January 2012 Ephesians 4:23.

Ephesians 4:23.        And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;   

Now that’s more like it! There’s a hint of sunshine in the air, not the total murkiness we’ve suffered for the past couple of  days. Sunshine has been so lacking that lights which are recharged by sunlight have not been coming on because there hasn’t been sufficient sunlight to recharge them. I wonder what’s happening to those who use solar powered equipment in their homes, like on their rooves to provide heat, if they don’t have a large storage of that solar power.

It’s a good thing that we don’t have to worry about our spiritual power, because we have Jesus, the ‘awesomest’ power person there is, rooting for us in everything we do! But first we need to put our trust and faith in Him, believe in what He says, and live the way he directs, otherwise His power won’t work in us. It’s all conditioned upon our sincerely accepting Him as Lord and Saviour and doing His will.

And when we do that…Brother! Such new vistas will open before us, exciting things will begin happening, good changes will be made in our lives, in fact a complete turnaround will take place, and we’ll wonder why we hadn’t accepted Him into our hearts and lives before. As Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Corinth: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.’ (2 Cor. 5:17)

Yes friends, when you’ve found Christ, you become a brand new being. As the scholars put it: ‘When a man comes into vital union with the risen and glorified Lord, he is a “new creation,” and perceives Christ in a new way.’ And that’s borne out by the words of Jesus, first to Nicodemus, who came by night seeking information from Him. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ (John 3:3)

It’s a spiritual rebirth my brethren! And unless it happens to us, we won’t see the kingdom of God. It’s as simple as that. And Jesus drives home that point later on when He tells the disciples: ‘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 15:5) Now that’s laying it all on the line. And it is the indisputable fact; without Jesus, we are very limited in what we can do.

And when we accept Him as Lord and Saviour, we make a break with the old things of our lives. We have to, because all the old carnal, sinful, fleshly stuff doesn’t work in Christ’s domain. That means a lot of new things, interesting changes must happen in our new life with Jesus, if we are to abide in Him, and He in us. As Isaiah writes: ‘Remember ye not the former things, neither consider ye the things of old.’ (Is. 43:18) And the wonderful thing about it all my people, is that once we come to Christ, our union with Him abides forever!

But here are some interesting words from Bruh Paul to the Ephesians, on some of the practical changes that we make when we come to Christ. ‘That ye put off concerning the former conversation (conduct of) the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph. 4:22-32)

Yes my fellow saints, just a few practical changes to make when we accept Christ as Lord and Saviour! (smile) But seriously though, we desperately need to consider how all of the above resonates in our personal lives, because it’s all a big part of our current angry, strife -filled world. And it’s not always easy to differ from the world, but we must, if we are to fulfill Christ’s mandate.

The major aspect though is a change in our mindset, because it’s in our mind that all the battles between the old and new take place. That’s why Bruh Paul wrote: ‘And be renewed in the spirit of your mind.’ (Eph. 4:23) Now, the only way we can do that is through purposeful meditation on God’s word, sincere prayer and the genuine encouragement of other believers. And, since we’ve already pondered the Lord’s word, and encouraged each other, let’s go to Him in prayer now, through our Friday Chant, asking for His divine help and guidance.

As one strong, confident, but humble voice. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now, please remember that we just portrayed ourselves as faithful believers, and unless we live up to that promise, the Lord won’t answer our prayers. Much LOVE!

…being a new creation in Christ is wonderful…but it’s not always easy…we have to keep at it…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   15 December 2021 John 15:5b.

John 15:5b.     … for without me ye can do nothing.

Well, a pleasant good morning to you, my beautiful Scrip-Bit friends and family! It’s a pleasure to come to you and see a smile on your faces and feel the joy emanating from your hearts. For that’s what belief in Christ Jesus does! It doesn’t matter whether life is rough or smooth, Christians usually have a joyful spirit because they’ve learned to be contented in whatever situation they happen to find themselves. 

Bruh Paul spelt it out thus in his missive to the church at Philippi. ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and suffer need.’ (Phil. 4:11-12) 

Ah my fellow saints, that’s not an easy situation to conquer, because you can’t go to school to learn it, it can only be learned in the school of life, the school of hard knocks. And only one person can help you to do that: Jesus Christ! Bruh Paul declares it by saying: ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil. 4:13) And that’s the gospel truth friends! It’s only with the divine help of Christ that we can ever learn to be contented in whatever situation we find ourselves. 

As Jesus said so emphatically Himself. ‘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 15:5) 

Wow mih people! Jesus laid it on the line right there! Without Him, our capabilities are severely limited. And aren’t we seeing the truth of that statement throughout our crazy and ungodly world right now? We certainly are! Without Christ playing the major part in our lives, we cannot seem to solve even the smallest problem, much less be content in our current situations. 

And I believe what our disunited and strife fille world needs to realize right now, if we want to make our world better, is the truth of these words Bruh Paul wrote in his second letter to the church at Corinth, where he emphatically states: ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor. 3:5) 

Yes my brethren, until our world learns to accept that indisputable fact, including all the atheists, the heathen, the unbelievers, and whatever have you, our world will keep plummeting to the depths of ignominy, will continue riding that enemy handbasket all the way down to the catacombs of hell. Now, is that the legacy we want to leave behind for our children, and our children’s children? That our generation allowed the enemy to win the fight? I certainly hope not! 

And it’s definitely not too late for us to step up our fight and make a positive difference in our world…but we must begin right now, for time is running out, and we cannot afford to waste more than we already have. And it all begins with teaching the next generation, since it seems we might have already lost the current one. Unlike our parents, we obviously did not heed the words that Moses commanded the Hebrews when they came out of Egypt, since we were too busy making money and living the good life. 

But according to Moses, this is what we ought to have done. ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shall write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.’ (Deut. 6:4-9) 

Yes friends, our generation did not take the time to LOVE the Lord our God as we should have, neither did we teach it to our children like our parents did to us. No wonder this current generation is godless, and have been easily deceived into joining the enemy’s ranks. And we have no one to blame but ourselves. 

Remember these words of Cousin Sol in Proverbs. ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and (even) when he is old, he will not depart from it.’ (Prov. 22:6) And that’s true friends. If you teach a child something, even though he may veer from it, he will not forget it. And we have a good example of that from the reggae song ‘August Town’, where the singer Duane Stephenson emphatically says: ‘Though I never lived the way He wanted, I never forgot what He taught me.’ 

And that’s all that’s expected of us as parents; to teach the children the right way, to keep the good news of Christ flowing down from generation to generation so that it doesn’t get lost and forgotten, as happened to the Israelites (read it in Ezra and Nehemiah) before Jesus returns to set up His earthly kingdom. So my people, please, let’s get serious and busy teaching the word of God to our grandchildren, since we seem to have lost our children to the enemy. Although that doesn’t mean we must give up on them, but just use other tactics to bring them to their Lord and Saviour. (smile) 

And for those of us who are sincerely trying to do our best in working and living for Christ, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And as always, let’s remember that if we endure right to the very end, that the future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine. Wow! What a time that will be mih bredrin! Much LOVE!

…with Jesus…we can move mountains…without Him…we can do nothing… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8         

Today’s Scrip-Bit   29 September 2021 Psalm 19:14.

Psalm 19:14.     Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (rock), and my redeemer.

It’s a fine looking Wednesday morning out there my people! And since we are alive to enjoy it, I believe that some thanks and praise to our great Creator is quite in order. So, let’s get a li’l thankful nuh. (smile) Please pray with me. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for allowing me to see another day, even though the times they are turbulent and troubled! I know that You only have good things in store for me, a future and a hope, like you promised in Your Word, and that no weapon formed against me will ever prosper. 

And even though I go through rough times You have promised to eventually work them all out for my good, which means that I can be assured of victory once I walk in the footsteps of Your Son, and my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! I thank you ever so much for all the blessings You bestow on me, although I don’t deserve them. But most of all I thank You for Your wonderful LOVE, a LOVE that created me and has nurtured me down through the ages. 

A LOVE so strong and unconditional that it caused You to send Your Only Son Jesus to earth to die on my behalf, so that I could be reconciled back to You, and enjoy eternal life as a member of Your marvellous flock! Mere words can never convey the gratitude and LOVE that I have for You. But I know when Your Holy Spirit reads my heart, all will be known. I bless You, and praise Your Holy Name, this day, and forever! Amen!’ 

Yes friends, I do hope that when the Lord reads our hearts, He will see the true LOVE and gratitude we have for Him, because that’s where He looks after He listens to our words. And He is very disappointed when the meditations of our hearts don’t match the words of our mouths. As Bruh David says in Psalm 19: ‘Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (rock), and my redeemer.’ (Ps. 19:14) 

Oh my faithful brethren, our words and the motives of our hearts ought to match up in God’s sight, if we want to continually enjoy His awesome benefits. And you ask what benefits we talking about? O glory be mih people! The Lord God Almighty has the best benefits in the business, consequently that’s why so many of us are exceedingly joyful to work for Him. Hear some of them as Bruh David lists them in Psalm 103 nuh. 

He declares with a strong sense of purpose: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases: Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies: Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps. 103:2-5) Wow! No other employer can match those extraordinary benefits… And that’s only the beginning of the list yes! 

Hear these even deeper ones. ‘The Lord executeth righteousness and judgement for all that are oppressed. He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness). He will not always chide (strive): neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens is high above the earth, so great is his mercy (LOVING-kindness) toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.’ (Ps. 103:6-12) 

That reminds me of the pastor I heard about, who had done some bad deed in his earlier days and just could not forgive himself. Meanwhile in his congregation, there was this woman who claimed to have visions from Jesus. The pastor did not believe her, so he told her that if she could find out from Jesus, the awful sin he’d committed, then he would believe. A week later she came back to church and when the pastor asked for Jesus’ response, the woman said, He’s forgotten it! 

That’s how great and true our God is my fellow saints. He doesn’t have time for guilt and sorrow. Once we sincerely repent and ask for forgiveness, He grants it, and remembers it no more. So if God can forget our sins, why can’t we eh? That just shows how shallow, proud and stubborn we are! The Lord can forgive and forget but we can’t. And don’t believe the enemy isn’t glad when we behave so foolishly…he actually jumps for joy when we don’t accept God’s forgiveness or don’t forgive ourselves and keep harming ourselves with our guilt trips. 

But please remember that our Creator knows all our faults and foibles, and ‘Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame (understands our constitution); he remembereth that we are dust.’ (Ps. 103:13-14) Oh mih bredrin, what a great and wonderful God we serve! He knows us, because He created us, and knows that we are weak and feeble like the dust we were made from, and thus His extreme LOVE and compassion for us!  Why is it so difficult for us to accept them eh? Especially when we cannot do very much, or any better on our own. 

Remember Jesus said it quite clearly. ‘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 15:5) And that’s the long and short of the story people. Without Jesus we can’t do anything. That’s why we have to cling tightly to Him, like white on rice, if we desire to get anything worthwhile done in this life. Now for those of us who are clinging for dear life, (smile) let’s go home declaring (steups!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And though I shouldn’t have to remind us, I will err on the side of caution. (smile) Please remember that if we endure until the end, the future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…endurance…it is the bringer of good things…eventually…                                                                                                                            

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8        

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 May 2021 2 Corinthians 3:5.

2 Corinthians 3:5.     ​Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.

Another merry-go-round Monday friends! It’s amazing how quickly the days are passing by although we are immersed in so much conflict and sickness. And it’s so sad that many of us don’t know whether we are coming or going, with our lives all confused and topsy-turvy, with no plausible ending currently in sight. But as positive and serious believers in Christ Jesus, we are expected to hold on tightly to Him and ride out the storm with His lead and guidance. Remember His teaching re the vine and the branches? 

‘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) That’s putting it very clearly and straightforward friends! Without Christ, our abilities are very limited. But with Him, we can do all things, because He strengthens us. Glory be! 

And Bruh Paul corroborates Christ’s statement when he says to the church at Corinth: ‘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’s exactly why we need to hold on to Christ and His faithful promises, especially in times of indecision and crisis like we’re now experiencing. And we know that many of our problems stem from our own mistakes, by our terrible inhumanity and critical lack of compassion for our fellow man, as we allowed the evil and negative aspects of the world, the lusts of the flesh, as it were, to take control of our society. 

We’re talking about the same things that Bruh Paul so long ago advised the Galatians against. ‘Adultery, fornication, uncleanness (sexual impurity), lasciviousness (sexual excess), Idolatry, witchcraft (sorcery), hatred, variance (contentions), emulations (jealousies), wrath, strife (selfish ambitions), seditions (dissensions), heresies (organized divisions or cliques), Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings (excessive eating and carousing) and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.’ (Gal. 5:19-21) 

So, basically, most of our problems stem from those things being too prevalent in our modern-day world. We lack what Bruh Paul calls the fruit of the Spirit. And here’s how he explains it to the Galatians. ‘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 (it’s passions).’ (Gal. 5:22-24) 

And the scholars offer this basic explanation. ‘5:19-23. By contrasting the works of the flesh (vs. 19-21) with the fruit of the Spirit (vs. 22-23), the believer can know whether he is walking by the Spirit or being controlled by the flesh.’ And there’s no doubt that too many human beings are currently walking in the lusts of the flesh and not in the fruit of the Spirit, thus the ghastly and grievous situation that now exists in our world. 

Now, here’s another important scholarly explanation, I think I ought to mention. ‘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.’ That’s an important distinction we need to note between the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ and the ‘gifts of the Spirit,’ One is singular and the other is plural. 

And just for good measure, (smile) I’ll throw in some more scholarly explanations, this time in a little more detail, re the fruit of the Spirit. ‘LOVE is 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 of one’s relations with others. Temperance is self-control, that is, the ability to harness and control one’s passions and lusts.’ 

So now, we can’t say we didn’t know what the fruit of the Spirit is, (smile) which brings us to these closing words of Bruh Paul on the subject. ‘If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.’ (Gal. 5:25) That means, since we are supposed to live by the Spirit as believers, let us really follow the leadings and promptings of the Spirit in our lives.

 Finally, let’s go home pleading in prayer, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, for God’s mercy and grace on our current untenable situation. As one voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

And the obvious corollary to that is for us to now go out and seriously and sincerely live by the Spirit, if we want to see substantial change in our world. Much LOVE!

…only by sticking close to Christ…like white on rice…can we crucify…the inherent lusts of the flesh… 

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