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 27 January 2017 Psalm 73:28.

Psalm 73:28.   But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.

Well, well, finally a touch of blue in the sky! But unfortunately there is also a touch of white on the ground too. I guess we can’t get one without the other these days. 

But that’s okay, we can handle it, and anything else that’s thrown at us, once we get the brilliant light of the SON, which we do every single day. Glory to our great God! 

But you’d also notice that regardless of the weather, the working folks are always rejoicing on Fridays, declaring stuff like: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! Slave labour done for two whole, big days! Is we time now to do what we want, when and how we want! 

And we going to start by partying down the place…giving vent to all the frustration that’s built up over the past week! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, so we can do our thing!’ 

Ah friends, as usual, the world tends to go overboard in the carnality of the weekend. As Jeeves would say ‘a modicum of circumspection’ is needed to temper it. Something more along the lines of our Friday Chant, that we shall now declare. 

‘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.’ 

Yeh mih people, unless we get some rest, relaxation and fellowship on the weekend, next week will be even rougher than normal. So I implore us not to party the whole weekend away, like so many of us tend to do, for that just makes life more difficult in the long run. Moderation in all things friends! That should be our motto. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.’ 

Yes my people, that was the psalmist Asaph’s conclusion after trying to solve the mystery of prosperous wickedness. And even today we wrestle with that fact that a lot of good people are suffering severe want and need while the wicked are prospering. 

But yuh know what? The Lord has promised to destroy the wicked in His own time, so we don’t need to worry about them, that’s His problem. 

Our number ONE PRIORITY is to get ourselves clearly aligned with the goodness of God, for that’s the ultimate in wisdom! It’s where salvation, eternal life and true prosperity are to be found! 

Listen to the writer of Hebrews. ‘And having a high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 

Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider to provoke (stir up) unto LOVE and to good works.’ (Heb.10:21-24) 

Yes friends, it’s all there! We have a high priest in Jesus who knows our problems and can identify with them, because He also experienced them while here on earth. So we need to stand strong in faith and LOVE and good works, like He did, and like Him, we’ll eventually receive the promise, for our wonderful God is faithful. 

And if you don’t believe that, then listen to this scripture from Bruh Paul to the Philippians. ‘And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:8-11) 

Wow mih breddren! Yuh see how the Father was faithful to Jesus for His unswerving obedience; exalting His name higher than all names, and causing every knee to bow to Him and every tongue to confess His Lordship. 

Likewise He will exalt us if we are faithful and obedient to Him and His word. The problem though is that the world has so many more colourful and wicked attractions that sing out for out attention, and we tend to gravitate to them, rather than to the things of the Lord. 

But that’s not true wisdom my people. For the wicked will eventually pay for their misdeeds. Please remember that. The Lord has promised it, and He does not renege on ANY promise. 

So please be wise and stand strong and faithful in the Lord God of our forefathers, for that is the zenith of wisdom. Much LOVE!

…as Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) says…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…better words were never spoken…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 January 2014 Psalm 5:3

Psalm 5:3.    My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
 
Oh For the good old days eh! And you’re no doubt wondering what caused that soulful lament for those bye-gone days?
 
Well, it’s because yesterday afternoon, while I was trying to catch up on some rest, for I’m not over whatever bug’s been bugging me for the last ten days. But I am getting better… Thank the Lord I’m getting better! Though not as quickly as I’d like.
 
Anyway, out of the blue, I head this imperative call: ‘Randolph, come here!’ Chuh! I sighed at being disturbed, while wondering what was wrong now. The Duchess is one of the few people who call me Randolph, and anytime I hear that commanding voice, it automatically raises my hackles. (smile)
 
But as a dutiful husband, I got up and went downstairs, only to find the Duchess standing in front of the opened freezer door of the fridge, watching water come pouring out.
 
Oh, she’d already done what she could; put some towels on the ground to sop up the water, taken out the ice-maker, and turned off the water. But the residue in there kept coming out for a couple more minutes.
 
She was obviously not thrilled, because as usual, she was trying to do several things at the same time. It appears that she had just come from outside talking to the man who was cleaning up the trees from the ice storm damage, and found the undesirable situation.
 
By the way, she had him cut down the wasp (jack spaniard) nest that had been hanging so blithely from the tree limb outside my kitchen window. Aww! Now I don’t have anything to look at and chuckle about when I look out there.
 
But my brethren, you would certainly have been proud of the ole fella, for I responded in a very calm and Christian manner. Wow! What maturity! (smile) I allowed her to go and continue her other chores, while I simply did what I could to clean up the resultant mess.
 
To tell the truth, I was even surprised at how calmly I handled the situation. I guess the Holy Spirit did a magnificent job in me. And who says He doesn’t work hard eh!
 
The long and short of the story is that the freezer section contains an automatic icemaker that provides either crushed or cubed ice, along with a waterspout. However the icemaker is always causing problems, either not making ice or making too much ice.
 
Just a couple weeks ago, it malfunctioned again, that time causing a terrible ice build up in the freezer. Everything in there was so caked with ice that we had problems taking them out. A service man came, obviously at an exorbitant service charge, but apparently all he did was de-ice the freezer, not fix the problem that had caused it in the first place.
 
Now yesterday the water section acted up. My contention is that the older fridges with just a small freezer section, where you put your ice trays to make ice, never caused those problems. But these fanciful, cheaply made gadgets with so many features constantly cause problems.
 
And this is supposed to be a top of the line Maytag appliance, whose advertisement wrongly boasted about the Maytag repairman never having anything to do because their products were so good. Hogwash! I won’t even get into the problems we’ve had with a Maytag stove.
 
Hn! The amount of times we’ve had service people out to fix one thing or another, and the cheap knobs that keep falling off. I would certainly think twice about buying another Maytag appliance. 
 
But coming back to my original contention, I don’t use much ice, especially in the winter, and I never drink from the waterspout, because I find it tastes terrible. What did we do before we had fridges that automatically gave ice and water eh? We got along quite fine!
 
And besides there were less possibilities of a number of things going wrong, as now happens with all the supposed conveniences on them. And I was made to understand that’s how all the fridges are now made. The Lord help us! And another service man is supposed to come today, of course at some ridiculous service charge.
 
But that’s one of the reasons why I don’t like all this new fangled technology; they try to put too many features into a single item, and they never seem to work properly, plus when one breaks down, it causes eternal problems. And don’t even talk about the one button that does several different things, as they have in all these new gadgets. Steups! It’s just a bit much for my mentality. I like my one button dedicated to one function.
 
And having ‘preambled’ at length on my opening sentence, (smile) you all know that the ole fella’s longwinded, let’s turn to our Bit, which conveys such a powerful and important directive.
 
‘My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.’
 
Yes Friends, the best way to begin each and every day is with prayer! Remember Jesus did it, (Mark 1:35) so why should we not follow our leader, the best example of righteousness that we have. And today we’re going to highlight some scriptures that show the importance of prayer, and which also encourage us to make prayer a big part of our lives.
 
And we’ll start with an interesting, but little talked about scripture. It comes from 1 Samuel. ‘Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and right way.’ (1 Sam.12:23) That was Samuel’s promise when he addressed Israel re their high level of sinfulness.
 
And the scholars have an interesting note on that verse. ’12:23. Despite Israel’s sin, Samuel LOVED Israel and Saul (cf.16:1) and pledged his continued help, especially in praying for them and teaching them the Lord’s standards. His LOVE for them however, would not dim his perspective as to what ways were right or wrong in Israel. He would do his divine duty of speaking the truth in LOVE (cf. Eph.4:15).’ 
 
And I’ll spoil us by quoting that last verse, since I know that very few are going to look it up. Bruh Paul is talking about the new life in Christ. ‘But speaking the truth in LOVE, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.’ (Eph.4:15)
 
Meanwhile, in Psalm 55, a cry against deceitful friends, Bruh David boldly declares: ‘As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.’ (Ps.55:16-17)
 
Bruh David says that he will pray at least three times a day. That brings us to Daniel who apparently did the same thing.
 
‘Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being opened in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a (that) day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime (had been doing before this).’ (Dan.6:10)
 
So although he knew that there was a plot afoot to kill him because of his praying to the God of his forefathers, he continued doing as he had always done. And the scholars point out: ‘6:10-11. Daniel was past 80 years of age at this time, yet he was still on his knees thanking God and asking for His guidance and help.’
 
Oh what a wonderful example for us to follow my people. Please let’s up our prayer quotient nuh. It will certainly enrich our lives. Much LOVE!
 
…to pray…and yet to pray again…should be the motto of ALL believers… 
 
P.S. The Bit’s late because I didn’t get up early enough to start my day with prayer, and still have enough time to send it our early, plus I had a couple of unavoidable distractions in between.
 
Ah Friends, it’s not easy, that was a test to see if I was practicing what I preach. Don’t worry, I get tested on most of the stuff I write about, sometimes even before I’m even finished writing about it.
 
Obviously I don’t pass them all, or not as well as I should, but I’m happy to say that I passed this one today with flying colours! Wow! Aren’t you proud of me? (smile) Much LOVE!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 July 2013 Matthew 13:22

Matthew 13:22.   He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
 
Oh Friends, it’s going to be another hot, sweltering day in my area! Summer seems to be finally hitting us with a big stick! Last night I went for a walk around midnight, and it was still so hot and humid that even the insects refused to come out and play. (smile)
 
The best part though, was when I came back, I sat down on my porch and devoured a cold, delicious Julie mango. My, my, my, was it ever tasty! Now usually I don’t like them cold, but that was just what the doctor ordered for that particular time.
 
Anyway, here’s an interesting, but also very important question for us. Are we ready to receive the bountiful blessings, mercies and forgiveness that’s about to descend on us today from heaven?  
 
We better had be ready, be on the lookout for them, otherwise we’ll miss them, and our day will not be as wonderful and joyful as it could have been. The darkness that’s now giving way to light in the physical world will also be lifted from our souls and be filled with the everlasting LIGHT that’s Jesus, so we can go about His business here on earth.
 
That brings us to our Bit: ‘He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care (cares) of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.’  
 
Ah mih people, that is so true of many of us today, it’s not funny. We hear the Word, even know the Word, but the lusts of our flesh overrules it way too often. So much so that we become unfruitful, we’re not working successfully for Jesus, our lives and actions are not a testimony to His LOVING-kindness, mercy and forgiveness.
 
But Friends, it’s very important that our lives bear testimony to Jesus, for as He asks, after foretelling His passion: ‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
 
For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels: and then he shall reward every man according to his works.’ (Matt.16:26-27)   
 
Oh my brethren, do we want to gain the world and things it has to offer, all of which will eventually be destroyed, and lose our soul in the process? I doubt it very much. Though the things of the world seem bright and flashy and golden and beckon us with great promises, they’re mostly dressed up garbage, stuff adorned with beautiful exteriors, but inside they’re worthless, they have no real substance.
 
But if we want to save our souls, we need to raise our standards, elevate our level of Christianity, both as individuals and as the body of Christ, the church. Remember yesterday we said that as the individual members go, so does the body, the church. And the only way to change that is by rising up, first as individuals, then as the church, and pursuing true Christian behaviour and habits.
 
Our motto should be: ‘Excellence in Jesus’ Name!’
 
But we can’t do that if we’re concentrating too much on the things of the world. For as James so rightly says: ‘Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of (with) the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will (wants to) be a friend of the world is (makes himself) the enemy of God.’ (James 4:4)
 
And that’s gospel Friends! We definitely can’t be a LOVER of God and of the world at the same time. We therefore have to choose one to follow, and in my humble opinion, following God is the wisest choice.
 
For as John so wisely advises us: ‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever!’ (1 John 2:15-17)
 
Ah mih breddren, truer words were never spoken!
 
Now we’ll end with some info from the scholars on those verses. ‘World for John signifies the evil desire and sin so much a part of human existence. Though all people are tempted differently, according to their individual weaknesses, temptations follow patterns. They appeal to three fundamental areas of life: (1) the lust of the flesh (physical desires); (2) the lust of the eyes (personal desires); and (3) the pride of life (self-interest).
 
Illustration: When Satan caused the fall of the race, he appealed to each of these areas of weakness (Gen.3:6). He also appealed to them when he tempted Christ (Matt.4:1-11), who defied Satan’s temptations by relying on the authority of the Scriptures.
 
Application: The Christian today should also depend on the Scriptures to defeat temptation. (First Ref. Gen.3:1-6; Primary Ref. 1 John 2:15-17; cf. Rom.5:12)’ 
 
So my people, as I regularly ask us to do, with all that important info at hand, let’s take a few moments to ponder how it all affects us personally nuh. Then let’s sincerely ask the Father to help us make whatever changes are necessary, so that we can come ever closer in line to the plan He has for our lives.
 
That’s both wisdom and common sense at their zenith! Much LOVE!
 
…when we covet the things of the world…it turns our hearts away from the things of heaven… and thus of God…