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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Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 August 2020 John 15:5b.

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

It was a wet and foggy night, but surprisingly it’s turned out into a dry and sunshiny morning with a cool breeze coquettishly titillating the leaves and branches of the trees. (smile) Oh friends, words can paint such interesting pictures! Unfortunately though, too many of us are resisting the word pictures we’re painting in these troubling and turbulent times; the basic picture that Jesus is our answer, ONLY He can meet ALL of our needs… ONLY He can fix ALL of our problems, as individuals, as a nation and as a worldwide society!  

Yes my people, as I keep reminding us, Jesus is our Be All and End All! It’s as simple as that! And if we want our lives to go relatively smoothly, then we must get attached to Him. He makes it abundantly clear in these momentous words: ‘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) 

Oh mih bredrin, that’s the awesome truth, and Jesus has spelled it out in black and white for us: without Him, we can do nothing! But such is our pride and ego based on the finite knowledge and technological improvements we’ve made in our lives, that we refuse to accept the fact that Jesus is all-powerful and we can’t do anything without Him being involved in it. 

But here are a couple of scriptures from Bruh Paul that reiterate Jesus’ contention. The first comes from his second letter to the church at Corinth, who were having serious behavioural problems. ‘And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;’ (2 Cor. 3:4-5) 

And that’s the major stumbling block in our world today; we think too highly of ourselves and not highly enough of God. We believe that we are self-sufficient, but that’s a ghastly lie, and we’re only fooling ourselves and digging ourselves deeper into the pits of hell because of that false and oh so erroneous belief. Just look at the problems in our world today, if we were so self-sufficient and wonderful in our own strength, don’t you think we would have solved most of them by now? 

But we haven’t! And we won’t without divine help! That’s just the way the cookie crumbles! And until we understand that, we’ll just keep cascading down the cataract filled river of life until we come to one too big for us to handle in our own strength. Possibly we’ve just reached it; the pandemic and strife that’s currently overtaken our world, might just be the straw that broke the camel’s back. 

And the second scripture from Bruh Paul comes from his letter to the Colossians, where he’s talking about his service for Christ. ‘If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled (steadfast), and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.’ (Col. 1:23) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘1:23. If ye continue in the faith (or, “since you will persevere in the faith”): the Colossians future entrance in God’s heavenly presence depends on whether they remain in the Christian faith. The words “since you will persevere” indicate that they will remain loyal to Christ. Perseverance in the Christian’s faith is a test of the reality of one’s trust in Christ. This verse implies that true believers will persevere.’ 

And we better had persevere, if we want to see the kingdom of heaven. Jesus said that very clearly too. ‘But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved.’ (Matt. 24:13) So yuh see friends, is two things we have to do in this life; sincerely accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, then persevere in the faith that He’s proscribed to the end. But unfortunately too many of us refuse to accept those terms, and that’s why our world is spinning out of control, and headed straight for Hades… yes, we going to call it by its nice name, (smile) though we know that down there is a place of utter confusion and torment. 

Remember the saying that pride goes before a fall, well that’s exactly what’s happening to us right now, we’re falling and failing because our pride refuses to accept the fact that we’re not sufficient in our own strength to run our world, and only in Christ Jesus can we do a good job. Ah mih people, this life’s not easy, but with the help of Almighty God, it certainly can be real interesting and adventurous! And that is highlighted by the awesome blessings our wonderful God has given us to do His work down here on earth. We call them our Thursday Blessings. 

So let’s shout them out loud and proud nuh: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And with such an awesome array of blessings at our fingertips, let’s go out, or even stay at home, (smile) and use them to bless others just as generously as God has blessed us. That’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…JESUS…ALL we ever need…