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 1 July 2012 1 Peter 4:7

1 Peter 4:7.    But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
 
Oh Friends, it’s July first; Canada Day! Wow! And the party’s really hopping now! From the stormy Atlantic in the East, to the mighty Pacific in the west, from the Great Lakes, so aptly named, in the South, to the challenging Arctic in the North, the beautiful people of this beautiful and bountiful land are celebrating the awesome goodness of Jehovah God to the undeserving children of men! Oh Friends, that certainly deserves another ‘Wow!’ (smile) And though many may not realize that it’s God’s goodness, His blessings and mercies that they’re celebrating, anything that produces some peace and happiness amongst brethren is better than that which produces anger, hate and strife. Praise the Lord my people! Praise Him for His never-ending, unconditional LOVE to His greatest creation, Man! And now, having waxed poetic and enthusiastic in celebration, (smile)  it’s time to get down to the serious business, that of truly serving, reverencing and worshipping Almighty God, and preparing our lives for eternity, whenever it comes, as our Bit so wisely suggests: ‘But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.’ Oh Friends, being prepared for when Jesus comes, is possibly the most important step a human can take right now, especially if He should come real soon, like today or tomorrow. If we aren’t ready when He returns, then it’s cleaners for us – eternal separation from the Creator of the universe. And believe me Friends, that’s the worse fate than can ever befall a soul, because it means an eternity of the same hellish atmosphere we currently have here on earth, and none of the joys that Jesus promises in His final kingdom. In His eternal domain, there’ll be no sorrow, pain, tears, sickness, heartaches and unhappiness, just joyful living in His Light, worshipping, praising, serving, reverencing and glorifying Almighty God! Mama Mia! Now Friends, I don’t know about you all, but given a choice between those two situations above, I’m definitely choosing, rather have chosen the latter one with Jesus as leader! That’s a no-brainer, the supreme wisdom of the age! And that’s why I’m preparing as best as I can for that magical day when Jesus establishes His eternal kingdom. I would strongly advise you all to do the same, for remember He can come at any time, in the day, or like a thief in the night, but once He arrives, there’s no turning back, no changing your mind. So I’m pleading with us all RIGHT NOW to get serious about where you want to spend eternity and make the necessary preparations. Otherwise, crapaud smoke yuh pipe! And that’s no joke Friends, for if Jesus comes and you’re not prepared, you’ll find yourself in a rather horrible situation, from which there’s no getting out. And now I’ve got to chuckle because what I wrote yesterday wasn’t what I had planned to write, but the Lord, in His eternal wisdom subtly guided me to those immortal words of His wonderful Son, Jesus, and then I realized that was the proper way to begin, given our Bit. Now this is more like what I’d planned to write. And we’ll start by looking at some relevant scripture from James: ‘Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman (farmer) waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; (es)stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh (has come near). Grudge (grumble) not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.’ (James 5:7-9) Yes Friends, we have to wait patiently, like the farmer, but first, we have to do our action part; preparing, planting seed in fertile ground, like the farmer. If he had not first planted seed, he could wait until the cows come home (smile) and no fruit would ever appear. Likewise my brethren, we have to get our earthly house in order for whenever Jesus returns, be it right now, or many moons hence. Meanwhile, John declares these oh so truthful sentiments: ‘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 (physical desires), and the lust of the eyes (personal desires), and the pride of life (self-interests), 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. Little children, it is the last time (hour): and as ye have heard that the antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time (hour).’  (1 John 2:15-18) Oh my people, right now our LOVE for this evil, ungodly world is far too great, and that means we’re more interested in Lucifer’s lies, than Jesus truthful promises. But please note that the things of the world will pass away, but those of Jesus will not as He so clearly states: ‘Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.’ (Matt.24:35) Also from the great number of false preachers and teachers now circulating in our confused and troubled world, it’s just one more indication that the end time is drawing nigh. Remember Jesus gave that as one of His signs in Matt.24:4-5. Now let’s close with appropriate words from Bruh Paul to the Romans. ‘LOVE worketh no ill (does no harm) to his neighbour: therefore LOVE is the fulfilling of the law. and that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we (first) believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly (properly), as in the day; not in rioting (revelry) and drunkenness, not in chambering (licentiousness) and wantonness (lewdness), not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.’ (Rom.13:11-14) Yes my people, it’s certainly time for us to wake up to the reality of Christ and what He expects of His believers, for every day the time of His return draws nearer, and instead of bowing to the lusts of our sinful flesh, we should instead be finding ways to do and show works and faith that honour the new life that we all have in Christ. It’s a wonderful Saviour we have my Friends, so let’s show it to a disbelieving world nuh, and for their immense benefit, get them to LOVE Him as much as we do! Much LOVE…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…then respond wisely to what he hears…