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 30 December 2017 John 15:4.

John 15:4.   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.

Ah mih people, it’s the Eve of New Year’s Eve, and I guess everybody is getting their dan-dan (finery) ready to go out and tear the house down tomorrow night. (smile) Good for them yes, but the ole fella is going to stay right here in his yard and celebrate whatever celebrations he celebrates! 

The days for going out in the cold and then having to drive back home under the watchful eyes of Babylon are done. And this year I’ll be celebrating New Year’s Eve at home, and not in the hospital. Glory to God! 

But what a bam-bam eh! To end up in the hospital on New Year’s Eve. But I guess the Lord was trying to tell me something. Let’s hope I learned whatever it was. (smile) Enough about my woes though, let’s see what our friend Anselm had to say this week. 

I only got three quotes, so I guess he must be a public servant, doesn’t work on holidays. (smile) And the first one says: ‘Never let someone else decide for you whether you are going to be happy or sad.’ And if we haven’t learned that lesson yet, then it’s high time we do. Other people should not control our happiness and sadness, but invariably many of us allow it to happen. Please stop it! 

And while you are at it, please remember to ‘LOVE yourself. Stay happy. Live life to the fullest, and focus on the best things in life!’ Remember what Jesus told us to do? LOVE our neighbours as ourselves, which means if we don’t LOVE ourselves in a healthy, non-narcissistic manner, then we can’t LOVE anybody else. 

And He also died that we could have an abundant life. So please don’t shortchange yourself of all the good things Jesus died so that we could have. Jesus was a calm, good-natured, generous, positively thinking fellow who enjoyed life, and so should we be also, if we claim to be His followers. 

And the last quote tells us: ‘There are greater things to be achieved in every new year, and each and everyone must prepare themselves to be great, not by words of the mouth, but by a lot of sacrifices.’ 

Ah friends, it is a proven fact of history, if you want to be great, you must be prepared to face sacrifices. No one has ever become great without sacrificing something to achieve that greatness. So if we desire to be great in 2018, then we’d better prepare ourselves from now to sacrifice something for that chance at greatness. 

And the best sacrifice one can ever make is sacrificing one’s own interest to follow Christ. As Jesus said to His disciples: ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.’ (Matt.16:24-25) 

Yeh friends, following Christ is the best route we can take in this life, but it also means giving up, sacrificing our selfish desires, and bringing them into sync with those of Jesus. And on top of that He declares in our Bit: ‘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.’ 

Ah mih breddren, only as we stay close to Christ can we bear good fruit. As the scholars explain: ‘15:1-9. 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.’ 

Yuh see mih people; it’s a family affair! It has to be, if it is going to work properly. That’s why Jesus refers to His followers as ONE BODY! Only when we all have the same interest at heart – that of Jesus – and are going in the same direction can we ever be successful. 

And that’s exactly why today’s church is not as successful as it ought to be; too many divisions, petty squabbles, selfishness, power struggles, strife, and all the other negative stuff that’s disrupting the world. Those things should not be as rampant as they are in Christ’s church. 

It’s obvious then, that as a body, we are not abiding in Christ, nor is He in us sufficiently, else the body would not be as maimed and sick as it is. We all talk a good talk, but only a small proportion of us actually walk that talk. So please, if we consider ourselves followers, disciples of Jesus, let’s plan to put on a better show this upcoming year nuh. Let’s make Him proud of us nuh. 

So when the Father complains about our complacency, compromise and lack of progress in becoming truly Christ-like, Jesus can excitedly and truthfully say: ‘Look Father! They are improving, they are getting better! There’s less compromise and complacency, and they are indeed walking their talk more than last year! Bless their souls!’ 

Yeh friends, that’s the good news we want to be giving Jesus this upcoming year of 2018. He deserves it. Much LOVE!

…as His church…we’ve let Jesus down enough…it’s time to give Him something He can be proud of…sincerely walking our talk…


Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 June 2014 Luke 13:24

Luke 13:24.   Strive to enter in at the strait (narrow) gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
 

Greetings and salutations my wonderful Scrip-Bit family! May we all enjoy a blessed day as we walk proudly and faithfully in the joy and strength of our omnipotent God, while He showers us with His goodness and LOVE, His abundant mercies and forgiveness, all prepared new and special for this Wednesday morning.
 
And all God’s people declared a loud and thankful: ‘Praise the Lord! Hallelujah!’ And furthermore Friends, let’s proclaim and acclaim our faithful intentions: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’
 
Oh my people, of that there is no doubt, because we’ll strive valiantly to accomplish that goal. And speaking of striving, a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. (smile)
 
Seriously though Friends, I have an almanac from my Insurance Agent tacked up on the wall on the right side of my desk, a fairly large one too, and if I turn my head to the right, I ought to see it. But it seems like I haven’t turned my head to the right for almost six months…that is until last night. Would you believe it’s still on January? Hn, hn!
 
Now there are other smaller almanacs on my desk that I use most of the time. But that is certainly ridiculous, especially since I always have a calendar in that position. Now I’ve been known to miss a couple of months, but this is surely the worst. Can you imagine that – not seeing a calendar, a big enough one too, that’s right beside you, for almost six months?
 
And coming to think of it, the whole plethora of stuff on that wall; acclamations, pictures, etc, I pass by them everyday and don’t even notice them! Chuh! And yet that was my studied purpose for putting them there… that I would notice them whenever I passed by. Oh the irony of it all!
 
But anyway, when I went to change the calendar last night, to my great surprise, I discovered that it contained a whole lot of quotes on different subjects from different people; a virtual treasury of goodies. Ah Lord eh! But I’m sure that such situations happen to all of us. We go searching for stuff far and wide, when there’s a treasure trove of valuable stuff right in front of us.
 
Sorry about that Leo (my Insurance Agent), but the Lord does move in mysterious ways. He knew that come June, I’d need some words of wisdom to share. (smile)
 
Anyway, the first item is titled ‘STRIVE!’ And the quote is attributed to Rowland Hill. Now I can’t say much about him, because there were several people by that name – a preacher, a viscount and a postmaster – when I looked it up. But the quote wisely advises us to: ‘Strive to live your life to the fullest and don’t let one day go by without trying to live it the best way you can!’
 
And that surely is gospel truth my Friends! Everyday we ought to try and live our lives the best way we can. Some days we will mess up and make a whole lot of mistakes, but the important thing is that we at least get an ‘A’ for effort. And that’s sadly where a whole lot of us Christians fall down. We don’t put in the required effort, and then we wonder why we can’t get ahead.
 
Oh my brethren, I’m here to tell us that living a truly Christian life takes mucho, mucho effort! And even then, there will be bumps and bruises along the way. Not because we’ve entered into a special relationship with Jesus means that our lives will be easy. His definitely was not easy.
 
On the contrary, when you accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour, life tends to get rockier, because of the tests, the trials and tribulations the Lord allows or puts us through in order to refine us into a more Christ-like individual. That’s why, when we’re living for Jesus, we have to pay greater attention to how we walk, talk and behave, so that it conforms to His modus operandi.
 
No Friends, the truly Christian life is not an easy one, especially in this evil and ungodly world that now holds sway. But I can assure you, from personal experience, that it is indeed and interesting and exciting one! Oh my brethren, there’s no life like the one you experience when you truly surrender to God and allow Him to lead and guide you!
 
That’s why Jesus cautions us in our Bit: ‘Strive to enter in at the strait (narrow) gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.’ If Jesus says so my people, then it must be so!
 
Meanwhile, Matthew’s gospel relates it this way. ‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. Because strait (how narrow) is the gate and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ (Matt.7:13-14)
 
Now hear are some explanations from the scholars: ‘7:13-14. The closing section of the Sermon on the Mount presents two choices to the listener. These are presented in a series of contrasts: two ways (vv.13-14); two trees (vv.15-20); two professions (vv.21-23); and two foundations (vv.24-29).
 
This was a common method of teaching in both Jewish and Greco-Roman thought. Enter ye in at the strait gate (narrow) means that one must come through the narrow gate in order to reach the path that leads to eternal life.
 
Though many are on the broad…way, that leadeth to destruction (eternal separation from God), the gate that leads to life is so narrow that few there be that find it. Christ Himself is both the gate and the way (cf. John 14:6), and God enables men to find that gate (cf. John 6:44).’
 
And that my Friends, is what this life is all about; striving to find the narrow pathway that leads to Christ, to salvation and eternal life! Please, I implore us, let’s be wise and seek it nuh. Much LOVE!
 
…the highways are straight and wide…easy to find…but not so the narrow and winding byways…those we must diligently seek to find…