Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 June 2019 John 15:5.

John 15:5.   ​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.
 

Well it seems like another ‘riney’ day is in the offing! Brother, when is it going to stop eh? Doesn’t look like anytime soon. But who cares eh? Oh, how I dislike that term that’s so popular in our current parlance! Because we all ought to care, since too much rain means flooding and a whole set of other problems. Some places up around the nation’s capital of Ottawa are still flooded, and some parts up there recently received a telling blow from a powerful tornado! 

So why don’t we care eh? Because we’re selfish and greedy and not truly Christian-like! Let’s try and change that nuh by praying for those who are suffering from the recent ravages of the unpredictable and contrary weather, while helping in any other capacity that we can. That’s the Christian thing to do. And to help us do that, here is a prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional titled, ‘I Will Move…’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, I want your heart to be in my heart. For in you I come alive, moving ahead from boring death to exciting life! In your promises, I will move from discouragement to hope. In your pardon, I will move from shame to glory. In your power, I will move from weakness to strength. In your providence, I will move from failure to success! Thank you Lord! Amen!’ 

Oh friends, therein lies the true way of life…in sincere partnership and cooperation with Almighty God, our Creator and Provider! Without Him in our lives we’re absolutely nothing! He made us, with a plan for every life, and He still controls them even though we have free will. Nothing happens in our lives without His knowledge and acceptance. 

Granted, some of the things He allows to happen are tough and burdensome, but those things are just tests and ways and means of building our faith, since we only grow during times of adversity. So if He didn’t allow adversarial things in our lives, we would just stay as Christian babies, forever drinking milk and not being able to eat solid food. (smile) 

And that’s not His plan. His plan is to have us all become strong and mature and adult in the faith – as Christ-like as His Son. But in keeping with that desire, our God is so wonderful that He never gives us more than we can bear, or if it seems so, He is always there to help us bear it. That’s why it’s ever so important to have meaningful and constant communication with Him through His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

Listen to Jesus tell it nuh: ‘I am the true (genuine) vine, and my Father is the husbandman (vinedresser). Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth (prunes) it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through (because of) the word which I have spoken unto you. 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.’ (John 15:1-4) 

Oh friends, don’t you like how Jesus just puts it out there, without any fuss or fancy! And then He rubs it in further: ‘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.’ 

And that’s oh so true my brethren! Without Jesus first and foremost in our lives we are incapable of producing much, if any positive fruit. But with Him taking a meaningful part in our lives, we abiding in Him, and He in us, oh, we’re capable of producing enormous amounts of good and wonderful fruit! 

And Jesus does not leave us wondering about what happens if we don’t abide in him, and He in us: ‘If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.’ (John 15:6) And the scholars tell us that that verse ‘refers to the judgement of believers at the judgement seat of Christ (2 Cor.5:10).’ 

So basically speaking, ‘Jesus explains the divine-human relationship by the analogy of a grapevine. Jesus is like the main vine. The disciples are compared with branches. The Father tends the branches like a gardener. At that time of year, branches of grapevines would be budding in Jerusalem.’ 

So the disciples would have understood exactly what He meant. That’s another wonderful things about Jesus; His analogies are always about things that we can understand, things that are prevalent in our lives, so we don’t have to go wondering what He’s talking about. 

The long and short of the story friends, is that walking with Jesus involves constant movement and growth, no sitting on one’s laurels admiring one’s earlier successes. If you’re not bearing good fruit, then the Father will cut you off and throw you away. But even if you’re bearing good fruit, He will prune you occasionally so that you can bear even more fruit! So you’re in a no win situation! Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t! (smile) 

The Father requires constant growth and the bearing of much fruit, and He pursues His plan with great conviction and sense of purpose, therefore we need to pull up our britches and get with the programme, if we say we are, or want to be true believers! Now let’s go home declaring (right ho!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

All together 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!’ 

Oh my people, let’s be wise and keep our eyes fixed steadfastly on Jesus nuh, and know that the future with Him will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…oh Jesus…oh Jesus…what would we do without you eh…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 April 2016 Proverbs 3:28

Proverbs 3:28.   Say not unto thy neighbour, go, and come again, and tomorrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee. 

‘No more work…no more work…’ The voices rise up like a groundswell, before bursting into a crescendo of… ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! And no more work…No more work! The slaves are free for two days! No massa to boss we around! So let the party begin! Thank God it’s Friday…And no more work…No more work…’ 

Yeh friends, the weekend is here and we’ll be free from onerous labour for two days. Please let’s use those precious day wisely. Let’s not behave like leggo beasts (smile) and concentrate on satisfying the lusts of our sinful flesh, but rather try to keep some balance in them. Or as Jeeves would say, introduce a modicum of circumspection. 

And to help us do that, let’s chant instead our more wholesome and sensible Friday Chant. As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Ah my people, that’s a much better disposition of our short free time! Thereby we get some of everything and we’re refreshed and anointed to start the following week in high spirits and good physical shape. 

We need to begin each new week with a fresh and positive outlook on life, otherwise we’ll end up behind the eight ball before we even start, and consequently won’t be able to do Jesus’ work like we ought to. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, a rather interesting piece of wisdom from Cousin Sol. ‘Say not unto thy neighbour, go, and come again, and tomorrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.’ 

Oh my people, my people, that seems to have been a problem in Cousin Sol’s time, and believe me, it is still a problem in our time! How often have we done it eh? We owe somebody something, whether it be money or otherwise, and though we have it right at hand, we just can’t bring ourselves to hand it over, and tell the other person to come back tomorrow. 

In the verse before our Bit, Cousin Sol puts it this way. ‘Withhold not good from them (the owners) to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.’ (Prov.3:27) 

That’s a sin, my brethren. And it’s been one from the beginning of time. Hear how Moses spells it out to the Israelites on God’s behalf. ‘Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another… Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.’ (Lev.19:11,13) 

But how often do we see just that happening in these evil and ungodly times eh! Steups! The wicked and greedy employers nowadays are taking advantage of the poor workers, paying them poverty wages, and on top of that making it difficult to collect the little pittance owed them. 

And it’s not only happening in the underground economy, amongst illegal immigrants, but also in the main economy, where employers blatantly withhold employees money and they have to resort to the courts to try and get it. 

What a catch 22: they already have no money, then have to resort to the expensive and time consuming courts to retrieve what is legally theirs. Hn! 

And even when, and if they are successful in court, there is no mechanism in place that compels the employer to pay up. He or she just ignores the court order and things remain the same. 

Oh friends, what a sad state we’re in! In these troubled and dangerous times, in the immortal words attributed to the Scottish Poet Robert Burns (1759-1796), man’s inhumanity to man is not making countless thousands, but countless millions mourn. 

Some will say it’s always been like this, but does that make it right, or should we not try to change it? Certainly not! 

Unfortunately my fellow believers, the onus is on us to try and improve the horrendous situation. It’s all a part of what Jesus came to earth to do; save and serve. And now it’s our turn to do so. But sadly, a lot of us supposed Christians are taking part in the discrimination and fraudulent activities that are being perpetrated on the poor and unfortunate. 

But listen to what the Good Book says about the oppression of servants. ‘Thou shalt not oppress a hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in thy land within thy gates: 

At his day (each day) thou shalt give him his hire (wages), neither shall the sun go down upon it; for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it: lest he cry against thee unto the Lord, and it be sin unto thee.’ (Deut.24:14-15) 

Oh precious people, it couldn’t be any plainer than that. And for you supposed sophisticates, who believe the Old Testament is tired and passé, listen to Jesus as He responds to the rich young ruler asking about how to inherit eternal life. 

‘Thou knowest the commandments, do not commit adultery, Do not kill (commit murder), Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.’ (Mark 10:19)  

So friends, today, the Ten Commandments are still applicable, although they’re not in vogue, and fraud is still a crime and a sin, and is unfortunately very prevalent in this highly technological world of ours. 

In closing, let me just remind us, that as followers of Jesus, we are not expected to be involved in fraudulent behaviour, but are expected to help put it out, whenever we encounter it. In our vocation to LOVE and serve, it’s our bounden duty to eliminate as much fraud and sin as possible. 

So, as we go out today, to do Jesus’ work, please, let’s remember that, and do our best to curb and eventually eliminate such wrongdoing, for it is the wisdom of the ages. Much LOVE!

…withhold not what belongs to others…for someone will withhold what belongs to you…  

P.S. The hockey playoffs have begun with a bang! (smile) Check them out. Much LOVE!