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 2 August 2018 2 Corinthians 5:20.

2 Corinthians 5:20.   Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray (implore) you in Christ’s stead (behalf), be ye reconciled to God.

So it’s Thursday…what’s new eh friends? I guess most of us will say the same old, same old. And we may be right, because that’s what life mainly consists of. However, with Jesus ‘ Spirit dwelling within us, we have the opportunity, the privilege to take that same old and turn it into something bright and beautiful! 

Yeh friends, if we have heaven and all that extraordinary stuff to look forward to, from now till the end of time, then we should at least be able to put a pleasant smile on our faces and have a good attitude in our hearts, because that’s how our Lord and Saviour, our Leader Jesus Christ walked while He was here on earth, and followers are supposed to show the same example as their leaders. 

And in keeping with that philosophy, here is some wise advice from the ‘First Lady of American Theater,’ Helen Hayes (1900-1993). She dispenses that ‘Positive attitudes – optimism, high self-esteem, and outgoing nature, joyousness, and the ability to cope with stress – when established early in life, may be the most important basis for continued good health.’ 

And that’s no lie friends, for whatever you’re building needs a strong foundation. And in the affairs of men, the earlier you build that strong foundation the better off you will be, the better able you will be to handle life. 

Like the Redwood trees in California that grow to enormous heights and live for a long time because they have put down long, strong roots in the earth in their formative years, so too we need to have a solid root system if we intend to live long and make a difference in this life. 

And each believer in Christ is expected to make a difference in this life, be it big or small. Why? Because as Bruh Paul tells the Corinthians in our Bit: ‘Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray (implore) you in Christ’s stead (behalf), be ye reconciled to God.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, we are ALL ambassadors for Christ! And ambassadors have certain rules and regulations to obey, and a certain type of behaviour to exhibit because they are representatives of a higher authority and ought to do so in a proper manner. That means behaving with dignity and a calm spirit and not bringing shame and disgrace on their higher ups. 

Likewise, as ambassadors of Christ, we have the responsibility to behave in a manner consistent with Jesus’ mandate and not bring negative consequences to His organization. And in Christ’s organization, His church, we do that by being faithful to His principles. 

First and foremost is the principle of LOVE; God’s defining attribute from which flow a whole lot of other things, like kindness, helpfulness, mercy, forgiveness, grace, joy, peace, long- suffering, faith, meekness, temperance (self-control). Those are things that Bruh Paul define as the fruit of the Spirit, and are expected to be a major part of a believer’s life.  

And you’ll notice my believing brethren that none of those attributes or behaviour is a mainstay of today’s world. Instead, the world glorifies all the opposites of those spiritual fruit, with the resultant consequence that it is a morass of greed, poverty, sickness, murder, strife, warfare, anger and all sorts of evil doings. 

Now that’s not what our Jesus wants to see in His world. Remember He came to save the lost and downtrodden, and there are way too many of those in our current world. Thus, as His representatives, we are called to show a different attitude, a better example to this sinful world, a more graceful and LOVING persona. 

We also need to spread His faithful Word to all and sundry, so that the lost and suffering will see what they are missing by not being a part of His kingdom and will reach out, cry out to Him for help. That’s our mandate, our bounden duty my brethren. 

And Jesus has given us some awesome tools to work with, namely our Thursday Blessings. So let’s proclaim them now nuh, to remind us of them, and to claim their awesome power, because the Word of God unleashes a mighty stream of power when spoken out loud. 

All together now in strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

Yes friends, what awesome tools and blessings! Now let’s go out and put them to full use, sharing them with the less fortunate, as Jesus so greatly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…Jesus never sends His workers out…without the right tools to do His work…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 January 2018 Galatians 6:7.

Galatians 6:7.    Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Okay friends, the consecutive long weekends are over now. You have to get back to working five day weeks, so let’s hope that you are well rested and churched, so that you have the wherewithal to make it through the whole week. Hope that you haven’t gotten so spoiled that you expect every week to be a short one. (smile) I know it’s very easy to get accustomed to that sort of easy living. 

Anyway, it’s Monday, and regardless of the circumstances or the weather, we have to get up and go to work. So let’s roll out of the warm bed and get the ball rolling by singing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, that awesome song that revs our engines and activates our adrenaline. With some enthusiasm now:  ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh friends, yuh feel the good vibrations that immediately wash over us as we sincerely declare those words? Now let’s keep those good vibes going as we hit the road. Don’t allow the bumper to bumper traffic to get to us. Let’s try and be at peace in the storm, using the perfect sense of peace that Jesus instills in us all when we become believers. 

Remember that this too shall pass, because we need to be bright and bubbly when we do get to work, so we can do good things on Jesus’ behalf. We can’t afford to be sour and miserable and let the enemy steal our joy, thereby making us incapable of sowing and bearing good fruit for Christ.  Thus the important warning from Bruh Paul in our Bit. ‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.’ 

Oh my people, let’s not ever fool ourselves into thinking we can deceive or outwit God.  That’s impossible since He sees all and knows all. This means if we sow bad seeds then we will reap bad fruits. And we can only sow good seeds and therefore reap good fruits only if we are operating from a good spiritual place, a place with Jesus first and foremost in our hearts. As Bruh Paul continues after our Bit: ‘For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.’ (Gal.6:8) 

And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘6:8. For expands the principle of verse 7 to wider application. Soweth to his flesh means to conduct oneself by the evil dictates and desires of the sinful nature, thus practicing the deeds of the flesh (5:19-21). Such a person shall…reap corruption, that is, be requited with eternal destruction. Soweth to the Spirit means to live by His enabling help in accord with the Spirit’s prompting and leading, thus cultivating the fruit of 5:22-23. Such a person shall…reap life everlasting, that is, be rewarded with eternal life.’ 

And I know it sounds simple, but it’s not so easy in reality, because our natural sinful nature, in conjunction with the evil lures of the world, constantly exert great pressure on us to be carnal minded. But Bruh Paul admonishes us further:  ‘And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (do not lose heart).’ (Gal.6:9) That means we have to keep on keeping on friends, don’t give up, regardless of how difficult times might be, because we will be well rewarded if we finish our race and stay strong in Christ. 

‘As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.’ (Gal.6:9) So my faithful brethren, since we are to be divinely rewarded, it is essential that we seize every opportunity to do good, especially to our Christian brethren. And we’ll close with a gentle reminder of the fruit of the Spirit. (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.’ (Gal.5:22-23)  

Yes my people, let’s go out and practice that kind of stuff today nuh, because it is of Jesus, because it will help to build His LOVE Revolution, as well as bring divine rewards. Much LOVE!

…to bear good fruit…one must be a branch of Christ’s vine…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 December 2016 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.

Ah friends, like this snow business seems to be rather serious yes, because it visited us again last night. Chuh! Not as much as over the weekend, but enough to make life somewhat difficult in the early morning rush hour. 

Some people might be happy with that, since it might mean that we’ll finally have a traditional white Christmas ten days hence. 

Over the last few years, that hasn’t been as regular an occurrence as in days gone by, and some of the purists have been disappointed. But what to do eh? If it’s winter, then there’s a very real probability of snow. (smile) 

Now here’s a timely reminder from my ‘P.S. I LOVE  YOU Poster, which says: ‘Friends are like a beautiful garden. They require regular care.’ 

And is that ever true my people! Unless we spend time fertilizing those friendships that we treasure, they’ll eventually grow weeds and disintegrate into what resembles a dilapidated and forgotten garden. We need to keep those lines of communication open with our friends, just like we need to keep them open to God. 

So, especially at this festive and friendly Christmas season, let’s remember to reach out to our friends and family with whom we haven’t had any recent communication, so the beautiful garden we have blossoming with them, won’t be changed into a weed filled jungle. 

Remember, without good relationships an important part of us goes missing and makes us less than whole. And talking about relationships, the most important one in our life is that which we have with Jesus. 

Listen to Him explain it in our Bit. ‘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.’ 

And that is indisputable truth my people! For without Jesus as the leading and guiding light of our lives, we are able to do precious little in our own human strength. 

Hear Him continue His discourse. ‘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. As the Father hath LOVED me, so have I LOVED you: continue ye (abide) in my LOVE.’ (John 15:6-9) 

Oh friends, what a wonderful promise! If we abide in Jesus and He in us, then we’ll be His disciples, be fruitful and glorify the Father, and the Father will grant us our requests. How awesome is that eh! 

But we need to remember that last proviso: to abide in Jesus’ LOVE! Just like the Father LOVED Him, and He LOVED us, we need to continue LOVING Him and each other. Without that LOVE shining forth my fellow believers, all that we claim to do for Jesus is of no account. 

Now here are a couple of explanations from the scholars re those verses above. ’15:6. This refers to the judgement of the believers at the judgement seat of Christ (2 Cor.5:10).’ 

15:7. The promise of answered prayer is based on the disciple acting as the agent of Jesus’ will (cf. 16:23-26). The promise is for unlimited resources to do the works of God.’ 

And as we’re talking about bringing forth fruit for Christ, let’s just share Bruh Paul’s immortal words on the subject. ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness (courtesy, consideration), temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ (Gal.5:22-23) 

Yeh mih people that’s what is expected of us in terms of bearing fruit for Christ. And the scholars add. ‘5:22. The word fruit is significant for three reasons. (1) It means the result, the 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 expected 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 values in the believer’s life overnight.’ 

Yeh, I know we’re complaining that that’s a lot of fruit to bear, but as the scholars say, it doesn’t grow overnight, or all at once, but like real fruit takes time, diligence and energy. 

And as Jesus promised, if we abide in Him, and He in us, we will have the help of all heaven and earth to produce the fruit He desires of us. So there’s no need to worry; just stay close to Jesus, and all will be well. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings. Remember, a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. 

In unison friends: ‘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!’ 

Wow! It couldn’t get any better than that my brethren! So let’s take it all to heart nuh, and put it into solid action. Much LOVE!

…the bearing of fruit for Jesus…it’s such a wonderful process…and the rewards are so unique and exceptional…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 September 2016 Galatians 5:16.

Galatians 5:16.    This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

‘Monday, oh Monday! Oh how do I LOVE thee? Let me count the ways…’ (smile) 

Ah friends, so many of us dislike Monday, and it’s such a wonderful day… And I hear all the steupsing and complaining of those who disagree with my praise of Monday. That’s because we haven’t handled the weekend right, or we just blooming lazy and don’t want to go to work, but yet still expect to enjoy all the perks of working. 

Anyway, the long and short of the story is if you expect to eat, then you must work, as per Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians. (2 Thess.3:10) Too many of us nowadays, including supposed Christians, feel entitled, are expecting hand outs and believe that the world owes them a living. 

But the truth is my brethren, the world owes us nothing whatsoever! We owe the world, to try and make it a better place than how we found it. How did John Kennedy, the U.S President put it? ‘Consider not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.’ And that’s how it ought to be! 

Enough palaver though, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn and get ourselves together to go out and make the world a better place. 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

That wasn’t bad at all my people, somewhat raspy, but it put a smile on the face of our choirmaster Jesus. And that’s the important thing; keeping Jesus happy with our earthly doings. And the very best way to do that is by being obedient to our Bit. ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.’ 

Now yesterday we looked at what basically constituted walking in the flesh, today we’ll check out what it means by walking in the Spirit. Listen to Bruh Paul expatiate 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.’ (Gal.5:22-23) 

Yes friends, those are the attributes that a Christian is supposed to show when walking in the Spirit. And the scholars give us a lengthy explanation, which I feel compelled to share, since it will help our understanding of the situation. 

‘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. 

LOVE is the willing, sacrificial giving of oneself for the benefit of another without thought of return. Joy is the 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 is dependability.’  

‘5:23. 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.’  

There we have it my people, a breakdown of the nine virtues that are associated with the fruit of the Spirit. Yuh see, a lot is expected of us Christians, because our Lord and Saviour, our indisputable Leader, Jesus Christ, expects excellence from His followers, not some wishy-washy, leggo-beast, compromising, sitting on the fence behaviour. 

And we all know it’s not easy to come up higher in this evil world, but it doesn’t happen overnight. As the scholars remind us these virtues take time to grow and mature, as the Holy Spirit that dwells within us nurtures them. 

So please, let’s not beat up ourselves if we are falling down in any virtue(s), because that does not help the situation. When we find we’re not measuring up to our true potential, let’s turn to God in prayer and ask Him for help in whatever area we’re lacking in. 

You know He’ll never refuse us anything that makes us more like His wonderful Son, Jesus Christ. So let’s sincerely and faithfully work at those virtues as we go out and face the enemy today and everyday of our earthly lives. It’s oh so necessary, if we are to spread the gospel to the whole world and fulfill Jesus’ LOVE Revolution. Much LOVE!

…Christians ought to be fertile ground…so that the Holy Spirit can grow good fruit within them…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 May 2016 Psalm 107:29

Psalm 107:29.    He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.

So how goes it this beautiful morning eh, my fellow believers in Jesus Christ? I do hope that it is going well, but as usual, if it isn’t, then let me remind us that there’s no need to fear or be worried. 

We just have to take it all to Jesus, lay it at the foot of the cross, and He will take our burdens and instead offer us His comfort and His wonderful peace that surpasses all understanding. 

Remember His Great Invitation: ‘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 (gentle and humble) and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Yes friends, there’s no better invitation than that in the entire world! And if we’re wise, we’ll gladly take it whenever times become overwhelming. 

And if you’re in a full-blown storm this morning, then here is some more good advice from Gramps Schuller (Robert H Schuller) from our Hour of Power Devotional, to help you weather it. It’s titled ‘When I Face a Storm.’ I believe I’ve shared it before, but when it’s good, it’s always best to wheel and come again. (smile) 

So please pray with me. ‘You never promised, Lord, that I would be forever sheltered from stormy times in my life. You have promised that the sun will outlast the storms. You issue the grand command from outer space and the renegade storm clouds break up, scatter, and flee like hoodlums furtively racing from the streets, back to their hidden lairs in some forbidding alley. 

The bright stars come out to laugh again, like little children returning once more to safe streets for happy play. The sky clears. A huge, yellow moon sails once more calm and serene through the silent skies. 

Even as you restore peace after the storm, so will you bestow a renewed calm to my troubled mind through your peace-instilling presence that is surrounding me now. Your quiet and calming spirit is flowing within me now. My fear is gone! Thank you, Lord! Amen.’ 

Ah mih people, let’s hope that whatever fear we were holding is now gone and the calm and peace of Jesus is now controlling our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, like He promised. 

And since today is Tuesday, let’s further bolster our faith by declaring our Tuesday Mantra with lots of hope, vision and sense of purpose. 

As one now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen’ 

Yes friends, that’s such an important declaration and distinction, one we need to carry with us at all times. For we are indeed God’s children, and no one can take that away from us. 

But on the other hand, we also have a responsibility to behave like children of God, so that the world can see what He’s like, through the living examples of our lives. We need to have the fruit of God’s Spirit showing brightly through our godly behaviour. 

And just in case we’ve forgotten what’s the fruit of the Spirit, let’s refresh our minds. ‘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) 

Oh my brethren, those are the things the heathen ought to see in our lives! That’s the only way we can ever make a good and fruitful impact on them. All our words are meaningless unless and until we back them up with true action! 

That brings us to our Bit, taken from Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men. But first let’s set the scene. ‘They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. 

For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end (all their wisdom is swallowed up). 

Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then they are glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.’ (Ps.107:23-30). 

Yes my precious people, the same way the seafarers cry out to God in times of storms on the sea, the same way we ought to cry out to our heavenly Father when the vicissitudes of life, our ever-changing circumstances, overwhelm us. And as promised, He will calm the storms and bring us safely to the haven of His LOVE.  

Oh friends, there’s none other like our great God! That’s why the psalmist so wisely advises: ‘Oh that men would praise (give thanks to) the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.’ (Ps.107:31-32) 

There’s nothing more I can say friends, except to implore us to do as the psalmist and Jesus wisely advise: before anything or anyone else, turn to your omnipotent and merciful God in times of trouble. Much LOVE!

…why turn to impotent man in times of trouble…when we have an omnipotent God to turn to…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 December 2015 Hosea 4:6

Hosea 4:6.   My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

Ah mih Friends, that much dreaded, but should be much LOVED day is here again. (smile) It’s Monday my people! Rise and shine and give some thanks and praise and glory to our heavenly Father for bringing us safely through the dark night into the blazing light of the Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

And please don’t waste too much time grumbling and complaining, because He is eagerly waiting for us to join Him at the forefront of the battle. Like all good leaders, He is showing the way, getting right into the heat of battle with us. So please don’t procrastinate, for time is of the essence.  

Yes friends, time is certainly important; we’ve only been granted so much, so we can’t afford to waste it by lazing around and indulging in selfish lusts. And as always, to help us get up and over the Monday morning hump, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle hymn with much jump and joy nuh. 

As one earthly, but heavenly sounding choir now, let’s sing. ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh what an awesome rendition my brethren! Jesus was jumping and jiving with us as He swung His conductor’s baton with that light and airy touch that He alone possesses! Wow! All of heaven was also singing along, including the Father! Mama Mia! 

So with that adrenalin coursing through our bodies now, let’s get ourselves together and head into the evil world and show them, what it truly means to be a Christian, a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ! Oh glory to God! 

Ah mih people, much to my surprise, the ole fella is really enthused this morning. I am being carried away by own rhetoric! (smile) Hope it rubs off on you too. But that’s what is possible when you put your faith, hope, belief and trust in Jesus! Your spirit is lifted and you are able to do incredible things in His name. 

And what we desperately need to do today is get out into the world and begin changing the Lord’s opinion of us in the Bit. For remember it applies to our current society even more than it did to the Israelites. 

‘My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.‘  

Oh how sad that that’s the Lord’s impression of our society! And we have no one to blame but ourselves. So without further ado, let’s get into some scripture that verify our Bit. Listen to the great prophet Isaiah as he talks about the woes promised to and pronounced on the faithless. 

‘Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst. Therefore hell (Sheol) hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it. 

And the mean man (people) shall be brought down, and the mighty man (each man) shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled. But the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgement, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness (hallowed).’( Is.5:13-16)  

Yes Friends, we can see that happening already. Honourable people are having a hard time existing in this sinful society, and there is a lot of hunger, poverty, inhumanity and starvation. But have no fear, the Lord and His people WILL win out in the end! 

Now let’s go home with some more encouraging words from Peter, as he talks about growing in grace. ‘And beside this (but also for this very reason), giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance (self-control); and to temperance patience (perseverance); and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity (LOVE). 

For if these things be in you (are yours), and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren (useless) nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off (is short-sighted), and hath forgotten that he was purged (cleansed) from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall (stumble).’ (2 Pet.1:5-10) 

And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘1:5-7. In this section Peter urges his readers to grow to spiritual maturity. Add to your faith indicates the areas of growth that follow after salvation. Virtue is moral excellence. Knowledge is spiritual truth. Temperance is self-control. Patience is endurance. Godliness is God-likeness. Brotherly kindness (Gr. philadelphian) is brotherly LOVE. Charity (Gr. agapen) is volitional LOVE. This process is a lifelong cycle of spiritual growth for all believers.’  

There you have it Friends and neighbours, the wisdom of heaven! So let’s go out and practice it nuh, so that we can never fall, never fail in our Christian living. Much LOVE!

…he that hath ears to hear…let him hear…for disobedience will be catastrophic…

 

 

 

 

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