Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2018 Matthew 7:20.

Matthew 7:20.   Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
 
Aye friends, the ole fella is somewhat listless and lethargic this Saturday morning yes! And the aches and pains not helping the situation either nuh. But yuh know what, we not giving in to the feelings today. The aches and pains might slow us down some, but we not stopping. Remember the race is not for the swift but for the sure of foot, and yuh better believe when I plant my big feet down they stay down! (smile) 

Yeh, it’s just one of those days; the weather doesn’t look good, the body doesn’t feel good, but GOD IS GREAT! That’s something we can always count on, for He has said so in the promises of His Word, and His Word does not lie! Give Him some thanks and praise my people! 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week in his noble attempt to aspire us to a better tomorrow. And this one jumps right out at me today: ‘You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.’ Wow! That’s gospel truth! For none of us can do it all ourselves. As they say, no man is an island. The Lord made us to fellowship with each other and to help each other, not to be single and all sufficient in our selves. 

And on that point, hear what the Good Book says: ‘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 says it all! 

And this next quote also points directly to God: ‘Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.’ You do have all of that, but only if God is sincerely in your efforts! 

Now listen to this one: ‘It is possible to become discouraged about the injustice we see everywhere. But God did not promise us that the world would be humane and just. He gives us the gift of life and allows us to choose the way we will use our limited time on earth. It is an awesome opportunity.’ 

Yes friends, it is an awesome opportunity we’ve been given to live for Jesus on this earth. And to use that opportunity properly, we need to remember these two scriptures. In the immortal words of Bruh David: ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.’ (Ps.34:8) And also: ‘The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.’ (Ps.145:9) 

It’s all about our heavenly Father my people! And this quote exemplifies that: ‘We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.’ That goes right back to the first quote, we can’t be successful on our own, for success means taking others on that journey with us, both individually and communally! That’s how the Lord designed it! 

And this last quote covers them all: ‘When we are really honest with ourselves we must admit our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines the kind of people we are.’ And today I want to focus on that last line; how we live our lives determines the kind of people we are. 

Yeh friends, we can live our lives like the Pharisees did, outwardly showy and hypocritical, or like Jesus recommended, honest and truly considerate of others. For as He says: ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.’ Yes friends, by our deeds we shall be known. And hear some deep insights of Jesus on the subject of how men live their lives. 

First off, He states very clearly: ‘A good tree cannot bring forth evil (bad) fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.’ (Matt.7:18) And that’s not rocket science, just plain, basic logic. Then Jesus lays it out in plain terms: ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt.15:11) 

Oh friends, I hope we understand that. We can’t bear good fruit unless what is in us and what comes out of us is good! What’s in our hearts determines the kind of people we’ll be! 

Hear Jesus again: ‘Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out (eliminated) into the draught (body waste)? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt.15:17-20) 

Yeh friends, that whole argument began when the Pharisees complained that the disciples were eating with unwashed hands, which they considered a big thing. But Jesus, as usual set them right. And in Matthew 23, (please read it) He really lambastes the Pharisees, who looked real good on the outside but were dirty as hell on the inside! 

And we’ll end with this description: ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres (white washed tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness).’ (Matt.23:27-28) 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ’23:27-33. Whited sepulchres: Since contact with a dead body rendered a person unclean according to the Mosaic Law, graves were customarily painted white to make them conspicuous and give the opportunity of avoiding contact with them.’ 

Oh friends, please let us live lives that will not cause those unpleasant comparisons to be said of us nuh. Instead let us be good and uncorrupted trees, so that we can bear good fruit in Jesus’ name and make a productive difference in the lives of those around us. Much LOVE!

…whatsoever is in our heart…will undoubtedly manifest itself in our outward behaviour…that’s why we need a clean heart to live for Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 April 2015 Philippians 4:13‏‏

Philippians 4:13.    I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Aye Friends, as the old people would say, the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray, and also, men plan while God laughs. I wanted to get up early, write the Bit and do some other stuff before the morning was finished. Hn! But obviously that was only wishful thinking. (smile)

And remember too, how a couple weeks ago when we were basking in temperatures in the upper teens and low twenties, when people were running around half naked, and all the summer accoutrements were being rolled out to enjoy it? Well that has all been reversed, without any warning either.

We’re lucky if we can get up into the high single digits now in the day time, and we’re back to bundling up in our winter coats. What a bam bam eh?

But Friends, let’s at least be thankful for one mercy; the sun is shining brightly this Friday morning and there’s no threat of snow in the offing.

So let’s rejoice, as we are wont to do, by declaring: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday yes! The weekend’s here and labouring soon finish for another week! Our God is a good God, and He won’t give us more than we can handle! Let’s say it again: Thank God it’s Friday yes!’

Oh Friends, our God is indeed a wonderful Deity and He won’t burden us with more than we can bear, for that just doesn’t make any sense. Instead He helps us to bear our heavy loads, and invites us in His Great Invitation to come to Him for help and succour in times of need.

‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30)

Oh my people, what a magnificent offer and invitation! And since we know that God is ever-faithful, and keeps all His promises, this morning I implore all who are bearing heavy burdens, to come and lay them at the feet of Jesus and get relief from your pain, your worry, your fear and your anxiety.

That’s the wise and sensible thing to do, especially in these difficult and distressing times. No one else can even promise such things, much less keep the promise: ONLY JESUS CAN!

Now let’s chant our Friday Chant to get us in the right mood, the right perspective to handle the short but oh so volatile weekend. 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.’

Yes my people, we do have to handle the weekend with some circumspection, else we’ll be no good to God, or ourselves come Monday morning. And it all begins and ends with the faithful promise of our Bit. ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’

Glory be, my people! With God’s help we can walk through fire like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and come out without even smelling of smoke. (Dan.3:20-30) And like Daniel, we can rest in the lion’s den without even one hair being plucked from our heads. (Dan. 6:14-23)

No wonder Bruh Paul made this bold and factual statement to the Corinthians in his second missive to them. ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor.3:5) And that is the gospel, gospel truth my brethren!

Now hear Jesus tell it to the disciples, and ultimately to us. ‘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)

And that Friends, is the indisputable truth! Without Christ we can do little or nothing at all! That’s why it is ever so important for us to believe in Him and cleave, cling to Him like super glue (smile) if we want to do good and useful stuff in this godless and evil world.

And we’ll end today with a reminder of the kinds of stuff Jesus is talking about when He refers to us bearing fruit. Listen to Bruh Paul expatiate on the subject to the Galatians. (smile)

‘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 (its passions).

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory (be deceitful), provoking one another, envying one another.’ (Gal.5:22-26)

Oh Friends, what a wonderful way to end today’s message! Please, let’s take it all to heart and go out and put it into positive action, in Jesus’ name.

And all God’s people declared a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Amen!’ Much LOVE my brethren!

…remember …for whatever ails us…whatever we need…whatever we desire…whatever the problem…Jesus IS the indisputable answer…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 September 2014 John 6:63

John 6:63.  It is the spirit that quickneth (gives life); the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

Aye Friends, the ole fella’s in a bit of a rough shape this Tuesday morning. Last night my allergies, or the cold, or some similar malady had me sneezing and sniffling with a runny nose thrown in for good measure. (smile)
 
So I took some relief medication, which though it eased up the nasal situation, it was also sleep inducing, which therefore made it somewhat difficult to get up at an early hour. But as they say, better late than never! (smile)
 
And the ole fella’s up now, gung ho and ready to go; not a hundred percent fit, but feeling much better than when I went to bed last night, or rather early this morning. (smile) All praise and thanks to our ever-Loving, healing and comforting God!
 
Ah my people, when I consider all the blessings and mercies that our magnanimous and generous God daily bestows on us, it just boggles my imagination and fills my heart, body, soul and mind with the urge to greatly praise Him! He is ever so faithful and kind…
 
But I don’t really need to tell you all that eh, because if you’re a true believer, you will already have discovered that by the way He operates in your own life.
 
And all God’s children gave out a loud and grateful: ‘Glory Hallelujah! All thanks and praise be to Jehovah God, who has redeemed us from sin, and reconciled us to Himself, through the precious blood of His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, that was shed on Calvary’s hill for our benefit!’
 
And isn’t that a most glorious and awesome truth my brethren? It surely is!
 
Now let’s have a look at some more wise and truthful words, words of Jesus, in our Bit. ‘It is the spirit that quickeneth (gives life); the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.’
 
And we saw yesterday where it was God’s Spirit that actually endowed us with physical life. (Gen.2:7) And that Bruh Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus, as well as Stephen’s wisdom and miracles were figurative manifestations of the way the Holy Spirit works in our lives.
 
I guess we can compare the Holy Spirit to the worker bee in a hive; He is the one who carries out the actual work or deeds in our Triune God.
 
Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the church at Corinth: ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able (sufficient as) ministers of the new testament (covenant)’ not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.’ (2 Cor.3:5-6)
 
Words of absolute truth my brethren!
 
And the scholars explain that last verse thus: ‘3:6. The new testament (lit. New Covenant) is both new in time (not being inaugurated until Christ – Matt.26:28; Luke 22:7-23; 1 Cor.11:25; Heb.8:8) and new in quality (providing better spiritual blessings than did the old Mosaic covenant).
 
Letter, but of the spirit: This expression corresponds to the thought of verse 3 contrasting “ink” with the “Spirit.” The contrast is between the externalism inherent in the Old Covenant and the internalism inherent in the New Covenant.
 
The letter killeth: Since certain Jews in the assembly at Corinth were concerned with Paul’s defection from Moses’ law, Paul here explains his position. The best the law could do was condemn the sinner.
 
It is not here implied that the law of Moses was evil. On the contrary, it is holy, just, and good (Rom.7:12). This can be asserted because it brought men to the end of themselves to Christ (Gal.3:24).’
 
Oh my people, I sincerely hope that gives us a better understanding of the scripture, because that’s what we’re all about with the Bit; learning, teaching, helping to understand God’s Word and keeping our focus on Him.
 
And please check out the scriptures mentioned in the scholars’ explanation, because they offer a wealth of information. I just did, and consequently was inspired to quote the last scripture reference, that from Galatians.
 
‘Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified (declared righteous) by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a school-master (tutor), For ye are all the children (sons) of God by faith in Christ Jesus.’ (Gal.3:24-26)
 
Yes Friends, as the scholars say: ‘3:25. After one’s conversion to Christ, he is no longer under the curse of the law, as it has fulfilled its divinely intended purpose.’ That is, bringing us to the point where we become children of God, through faith in Jesus Christ.
 
Oh, I know I digressed there for a moment, but I just thought it necessary to interject those verses so that we could come to a better understanding of Bruh Paul’s words. And we’ll close with some more awesome words from Jesus, re the second part of our Bit: ‘the flesh profiteth nothing.’
 
Listen to Him expound to Nicodemus: ‘Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
 
The wind bloweth where it listeth (wishes); and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.’ (John 3:5-8)
 
More truth of the awesome, indisputable variety my people!
 
Now let’s take a few moments to ponder all that we have spoken about today, then try, with the help of God obviously, to make our lives better and brighter by bringing them into compliance with God’s Word and the wonderful plan He has for each human life He has created. That is the ultimate wisdom of the universe! Much LOVE!
 
…oh what a magnificent blessing it is…to have the Holy Spirit of God dwell within us…to have Him continually lead and guide us in righteousness…to have Him strengthen us with true faith and trust in Almighty God…then finally bring us to eternal life with our wonderful Lord and Saviour…Jesus Christ…

 

 

 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 August 2014 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.
 
Aye Friends, is mid-week Wednesday! That means we’re halfway through the workweek. Only a couple more days to go before some freedom time…

And all God’s people prayerfully declared: ‘Glory Hallelujah! Thank You Saviour Jesus! Thank You for all you’ve done, all you’re presently doing, and all that you’ve promised to do in the future! Right now we need some more of your LOVE, mercy, saving grace and strength to keep persevering and walking worthy of You.
 
Please enable us to be worthy ambassadors of your kingdom as we face the evil world that surrounds us. Help us to be in it, but not of it, as You desire. This we pray in Your glorious name! Amen.‘
 
Now here is what we can do to help ourselves. Here is a prayer for success from Dr. Robert Schuller’s Hour of Power Devotional. I believe I’ve shared it already, but that was probably a year ago, and no prayer is ever too trite or unimportant not to be prayed again. And I believe we need this one right now.
 
Please pray with me: ‘As I become a success with your help, Lord, let me never forget that what I am is more important than what I do. Faith stimulates success. Hope sustains success. LOVE sanctifies success. So I cannot and I dare not succeed without your power, peace and pressure in my life, Jesus Christ. Amen.’
 
Yes Friends, in a nutshell, we need all those things to be successful, but remember the Number One ingredient for true success, is the warm and LOVING presence of Jesus in our hearts, souls, bodies and minds.
 
Regardless of what the world advocates, without Jesus as our guiding light and His Word our principal guidebook, we’ll never obtain true success.
 
That’s why Jesus drilled it into the disciples’ heads: ‘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.
 
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 15:3-5) 
 
And that’s the gospel, gospel truth my people! Without Jesus in our lives, we can’t do much at all. That’s why it’s so necessary to stay close to Him, to consult with Him through the Holy Spirit that indwells us, as to how to go forward successfully with the divine plan He has for each of our lives.
 
And we’re not talking about success as the world sees it, with the physical accumulation of wealth, power and celebrity status, but as Jesus sees it, with righteousness, LOVE, mercy and forgiveness, because that’s the only real, true and lasting success there is; everything else fades away eventually.
 
Bruh Paul describes our helplessness thus to the Corinthians. ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing of ourselves: but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor.3:5)
 
And no truer word has ever been spoken my brethren! That’s the gospel truth in another nutshell! (smile)
 
And Jesus went on to warn: ‘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. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto (for) you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.’ (John 15:6-8)
 
And we all know that the fruit Jesus is talking about here, is what Bruh Paul so vividly describes 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.’ (Gal.5:22-23)
 
And we shall end with some wise and choice words from Hosea when he entreats Israel to return to the Lord, as we very much need to return to Him today, in these sad, strife-filled, ungodly times.
 
Thus says the Lord: ‘I will heal their backsliding, I will LOVE them freely; for mine anger is turned away from him. I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots in Lebanon. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon.
 
They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine, the scent (remembrance) thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon. Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir (cypress) tree. From (In) me is thy fruit found.
 
Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall (stumble) there in.’ (Hos.14:4-9)
 
Yes Friends, the only way to bear good fruit is to have Jesus as our riding partner, have Him riding shotgun for us, as they did on the stagecoaches in the days of the wild, wild West, where a man with a big shotgun rode upfront, beside the driver as protection from marauders.
 
In fact, life today certainly resembles the days of the Wild West, where law and order was very difficult to keep, where everybody taught it right to do their own thing.
 
So my people, let’s get out there and show them what true believers are really like nuh, by living with Jesus in our hearts, and showing by example, the fruit of the Spirit that we’re successfully bearing. That’s wisdom of the highest order! Much LOVE!
 
…to dress for success…you must have Jesus residing in you…