Today’s Scrip-Bit   12 June 2022 Matthew 25:2.

Matthew 25:2.      And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

Awright friends, that’s two days straight that the weather has stayed bright and sunshiny right through! Glory be! Don’t know what this Sunday will bring though, because like rain fell last night and it’s wet and cloudy outside, though the sun is putting up a valiant effort to ascertain itself. (smile) That small detail however, will not stop us from gathering to worship our wonderful Lord on His day, be it physically in our sanctuaries or by technological means. (smile) And today, Trinity Sunday, when we celebrate our Three in One Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we’ll open our praise and worship session with an uplifting, scintillating old traditional gospel spiritual titled ‘Give Me Oil in My Lamp.’ 

And we know that’s a rollicking ole song, so let’s lift our sweet voices in sacrificial praise in a rocking West Indian riddim version. Altogether now: ‘Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning. Give me oil in my lamp, I pray. Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning. Keep me burning till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!) Give me LOVE in my heart, keep me sharing. Give me LOVE in my heart, I pray. Give me LOVE in my heart, keep me sharing. Keep me sharing till the break of day. (Refrain) 

Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing. Give me joy in my heart, I pray. Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing. Keep me singing till the break of day. (Refrain) Give me faith in my heart, keep me praying. Give me faith in my heart, I pray. Give me faith in my heart, keep me praying. Keep me praying till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!) 

Jolly good show mih people! We rocked…and heaven rocked along with us! That’s the beautiful thing about heaven, they LOVE their music up there too, since a lot of singing and praising of God also goes on up in that wonderful realm. But on a more serious note, it’s claimed that the song we just sang was based on Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins, found in Matthew 25:1-13. Jesus likened the kingdom of God to ‘ten virgins who took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them. But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.’ (Matt. 25:1-4) 

But as always happens the bridegroom was late, and they all slept. However, when he finally arrived at midnight and they all went out to meet him, the lamps of those who had brought no oil went out, and in desperation they begged for oil from the wise ones who had brought some extra oil just in case the bridegroom was late. But those wise ones refused, figuring that there wouldn’t be enough oil for all of them. So, the foolish ones had to go out and buy oil, but by the time they returned the bridegroom had locked his doors, the celebrations had begun, and those five foolish ones were left out of the good times. 

The bridegroom obviously refers to Christ as the ‘Bride of the Church,’ and the five wise or prepared virgins represent the saved of the Great Tribulation. The scholars tell us that ‘The lamps seem to refer to their lives which are either prepared or unprepared. The oil refers to that which prepares them to give forth light and may properly be illustrative of the regeneration of the Holy Spirit.’  

One commentator says for believers the song conjures up ‘an interpretation that signifies a thirst for spiritual food—spiritual food to get one through the darkest of times in hopes of a brighter day, a clearer vision of one’s path or until one gains their salvation.’ That seems to hold true, as this other commentator declares: ‘In the song someone is asking God for the “oil” of the Holy Spirit to light up their lamp – or their life – and keep them “burning”.  I think they want to be on fire for their Lord!….. Oil is symbolic in Scripture of the Holy Spirit. (Is. 61:1)’ 

That’s when Isaiah introduces Christ with his Good tidings of salvation to Zion. And he prophesies: ‘The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek (poor); he hath sent me to bind up (heal) the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.’ (Is. 61:1) And what did they anoint with in those olden times? Oil of course! 

As Bruh David says in Psalm 133 – The joy of brotherhood. ‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. It is like the precious ointment (oil) upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts (edge) of his garments.’ (Ps. 133:1-2) So it’s very logical to believe that the author of the song was indeed invoking the Holy Spirit for assistance in problematic times or simply in daily life. 

And if you still don’t believe me, let’s see what constitutes the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Bruh Paul wrote it thus to the Galatians. ‘But the fruit of the spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering (patience), gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ (Gal. 5:22-23) 

And aren’t those the very things the singer is asking for: the oil of faithfulness to keep him burning bright for Christ; LOVE in his heart to keep him sharing; joy in his heart to keep him singing till the break of day; and faith in his heart to keep him praying, also to the break of day, or continually? 

So, my fellow saints, let’s hope that as we sang those telling words, our hearts also invoked the Holy Spirit to refill, to regenerate us with its fruit, that we too can go on burning forever for Jesus, as He desires us to do! And it’s also imperative that we remember these telling words of Jesus to John in Revelation. ‘Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.’ (Rev. 16:15) Much LOVE!

…be prepared…be ready…should be the believer’s motto… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   5 April 2022 Philippians 2:12b.

Philippians 2:12b.      work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 

So friends, what are we going to do on this wet, cloudy Tuesday morning in early April, during the last two weeks of this Lenten season of 2022 eh? And I’m just being a tad humorous on this serious matter, because I very well know what’s expected of us believers each and every day of our lives; that’s a constant and faithful attitude of living for Jesus! (smile) 

And if we’re into the last two weeks of Lent, then it also means it’s two weeks to Easter, that big Christian celebration of Jesus’ death and triumphant resurrection! Yes my people, we’re talking about the rock-like foundation of our Christian faith, for without Christ’s death on the cross on Good Friday and His resurrection on Easter Sunday, there’d be nothing called Christianity! 

And the awesome truth is that there’s nothing better than the wonderful story of Christianity; the good news of Christ’s coming to earth and dying for us, making us right with God, and giving us the marvellous opportunity to spend eternity with Him. Now that’s a story we ought to tell; all over the world, in every nook and cranny, because it’s a life-saving tale, the most important story ever told on planet earth! And that’s what living for Jesus is all about; simply telling His story and living the way He desires of us, that’s being the salt of the earth and the light of the world, in other words being a reflection of His caring, compassionate and LOVING self. 

Now we all know that this evil, sinful, greedy and selfish world doesn’t regard those things very highly…but Jesus does, and if we are going to live for Him, then we will be expected to put up with a lot of harassment, temptation and even persecution for our different beliefs and lifestyle. But we’ve been given all that we need to do the job by Christ our Saviour; namely His Holy Spirit as a Guide, Leader and Comforter and the fruit of the Spirit which enables us to do great works in His name. The problem though is that we must embrace those tools and use them like they were intended, which isn’t always easy to do, but try we must. 

That’s why in talking to the Philippians about being shining lights in this evil world Bruh Paul said it thus: ‘Wherefore my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of (according to) his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among who, ye shine as lights in the world.’ (Phil. 2:12-15) 

Yes friends, we can never get away from that image of shining like lights to the world, because that’s what Jesus requires us to be! However, it doesn’t happen without work or overnight. That’s why Bruh Paul said to ‘work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.’ And let’s make it clear that you NEVER have to work for salvation, because that’s the free gift of God, but we have to continue working out to its logical conclusion what God has begun in us, that’s basically growing the fruit of the Spirit planted in us through right living; showing the world the awesome possibilities that exist for those who are lost, sick, downtrodden, whatever. 

And since it’s God who is doing most of the work in the working out of our salvation, then success is guaranteed. ‘For God is producing in us both to will (to desire) and to do (actually accomplish) of his good pleasure.’ So why then the need for ‘fear and trembling’? 

Because we won’t know all the sacrifices and problems we will have to undergo to do God’s will. And each of us will have to work seriously and sincerely on our individual problems, with God’s help of course, but it’s still not going to be easy. So, we have to be prepared to fight a good fight, which leaves no room for squabbling and dissension amongst believers, if we want to be seen as blameless and innocent, the children of God, shining as bright lights, in this evil generation. 

And I like how author Ed Elliot explains it in his article on the medium.com website. He says: ‘Working out our salvation is very different from working for our salvation. When Paul tells believers they need to work out their salvation, he is simply explaining that the wonderful gift they freely received from God is inside of them. We bring out those beautiful attributes and character traits by faith. Faith is a rest, but it is faith that works, not us. So, working out what is on the inside of us happens by faith. 

This process can be frightening in the beginning as a new believer discovers how to live and walk by faith. Some strong trepidation may be present at first when a person decides to trust God as his or her source and peace. I remember how scary it was for me to stop trusting in my natural abilities and trust in God’s Word. This is what Paul is referring to when he mentions “fear and trembling.” He isn’t talking about being afraid of God. Rather, he is helping the new believer to know that in the beginning, it will seem scary to walk by faith. However, it is the only way to see our inner salvation manifest on the outside through our character.’ 

Ah mih people, living the Christian life will always have roadblocks and trials, but if we hang in there and fight with God’s help, then we’ll live the joyful, abundant, interesting and blessed life that Christ died for us to have. Now, for those of us who have already made the wise decision to live for Christ, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘In God’s eyes, 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!’ 

Now, it’s time go and work it out; (smile) that’s share the amazing friendship and LOVE of Christ with others, just as generously as He shared it with us, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do. Much LOVE!

…salvation is free…but to keep it blossoming beautifully…takes work…and ofttimes sacrifice… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8    

Today’s Scrip-Bit   27 November 2021 Matthew 19:26.

Matthew 19:26.     With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

So what does Saturday have to say for itself eh? Nothing much nuh. Just a weary sigh, as it tries to recover from a rough work week. Unfortunately, that is made even more difficult when it looks outside and sees the sun and the dark clouds struggling to see who is going to rule the roost for the day. Ah Lord eh, it complains. It’s always a battle, always a struggle, always a fight to see who will rule. Why can’t we just live in simple peace and harmony eh? 

Then it sighs again, as the reality hits home. Apparently, that wasn’t meant to be until Jesus returns and sets up His kingdom. So, till then, like we have no choice but to keep up the good fight as we live for Jesus. And on Saturdays, we try to philosophize biblically (smile) on the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us in the past week as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

The first one says: ‘It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.’ And that’s fairly true. A bad, or ‘no can do’ attitude at the beginning of any task will just make it even more difficult than it is already. We have to inject some measure of positivity into our thinking if we even expect to accomplish the task, much less accomplish it with as little heartache as possible. 

That applies even more when you are a believer in Christ, because He has promised to strengthen and help you in everything you do, once it falls under His will. So, as a Christian, you must come to everything with a positive, I can do this though it seems difficult attitude, because your help comes from Christ, your Lord and Saviour, your Enabler. 

Meanwhile, the next quote tells us to ‘Limit your “always” and your “nevers.” Now that’s a very good idea. You know how we like to use those two words a lot; for example, we’ll ‘always do this or that,’ and we’ll ‘never do that or this.’ Well for our sake, it’s wise to cut down on the times we say always and never, since those absolute pronouncements have a habit of coming back to bite us in the butt, like a boomerang comes back to the one who throws it. And I can testify to that from personal experience, because in my younger years there were a couple of things I promised myself to never do, but, as life would have it, I ended up doing them. 

Then we come to this interesting quote. ‘What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.’ I believe that has a lot of truth to it, if your goals are worthwhile in the first place. That’s because to achieve your goal you have to work at it and while you are working you are also growing character wise. So, by the time you have reached your goal, you will be at a higher level of maturity than when you began. 

And growth in our earthly walk is as important a part of setting goals as achieving them. We have that picture laid out perfectly before us as believers, when we consider that we need to walk in the Spirit and at the same time, bear the fruit of the Spirit. Bruh Paul wrote thus to the Galatians. ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.’ (Gal. 5:16-17) 

So friends, to achieve our goal of bearing good fruit, as Christ desires of us. ‘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 15:5) And what is the fruit of the Spirit that’s so important to us? 

Bruh Paul characterized it thus: ‘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… If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.’ (Gal. 5:22-23, 25) The goal is to bear good spiritual fruit, (those nine things listed above), but to do that we have to walk in the Spirit, and as we do both things, we will become more spiritually mature with each step we take. 

That brings us to this quote: ‘Believe you can and you’re halfway there.’ That’s oh so true, for without belief in the success of whatever you are planning to do, you will put a negative spin, or curse on it before you even begin. Jesus said it so often during His earthly sojourn. It’s a sister quote to the one we dealt with above:  ‘It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.’ Our prevailing attitude is always very important in whatever we do. With a good or positive attitude, we enhance the success of our project, while with a bad or negative attitude, we sort of jinx our project from the very start. 

Now here is our last quote, which says: ‘Nothing is impossible. The word itself says “I’m possible!” The play on the word ‘impossible’ is certainly interesting. But then again, as believers in Christ Jesus, we all know that nothing is impossible, because all things are possible with the Creator of the universe. 

Jesus Himself said so when talking to the disciples about it being easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. The Good Book tells us: ‘When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them and said unto them, With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:25-26) 

Oh my fellow saints, what a wonderful note to close on this cloudy Saturday morning. Please, let’s spend some time considering all the ramifications of that most encouraging statement. Much LOVE!

…Christians…the most optimistic people on planet earth…                                                                                                                                       

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8     

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 June 2021 Matthew 15:11.

Matthew 15:11.     Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man, but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

And then it was Saturday, our lazy, couch surfing day! And the nature of today is even more conducive to lazing around. Meaning that it’s a wet and windy Saturday morning. Oh yes, we had rain from yesterday afternoon straight through to the early hours of this morning. As the old people would warn; be careful what you wish for eh, because you might just get it. 

But thankfully, though we wished for rain, it was not the shower bound type we received, but just a constant drizzle. That meant the ground had time to absorb it and thus lessen the possibilities of flooding. Our God is so good and understanding! Give Him some thanks and praise nuh people! 

Now, let’s turn to our Saturday business, checking out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘It’s sad when someone you know becomes someone you knew.’ Now is that ever so true! A lot of times we are heart broken when our relationships end, especially when it was someone whom we thought we’d do a lifetime with and then they end rather nastily too. 

But that’s life friends. We have people in our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. But most of them are either for a reason or a season, very few are there for a lifetime. And until we learn that and move on, broken relationships will always cause us more heartache than necessary. 

And that brings us to the second quote which follows from the first. ‘Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.’ Yes friends, growth and change are painful, but ofttimes that’s what a broken relationship portends; it’s time for us to move on up. And those people in our lives are not the ones to move on up with us, so they have to go. As they say, the Lord closes one door, then opens another that has different people in it, with a brighter future. 

And though it’s always hard to give up the old stuff, if you stay with it, you will eventually become more frustrated and disgusted with your old situation, than if you had moved on to the new one. Sooner or later, you will feel as though you are spinning your wheels in mud, or stuck in a rocking chair, rocking vigorously but not going anywhere. Yes, change isn’t always pleasant, but sometimes it’s necessary to get our adrenaline flowing. 

Then we come to this quote. ‘Life is under no obligation to give us what we expect.’ And is that ever true! Life owes us nothing my people! In fact, it’s we who owe life. We owe it the duty of being responsible and making a positive and productive difference in it. We are not put here just to enjoy the perks of life, but to add to them. 

Entitlement is not our God-given due, as so many of us seem to think. So, unless we are making a positive difference in our everyday walk, we are shortchanging life. And that’s even more important for believers in Christ Jesus, because His desire is for us to make disciples of those we meet by telling them about the good news of His gospel and more importantly, living the way His gospel dictates. For people respond more to examples than words. 

And all of that leads us to this next quote. ‘Sometimes you’ve got to be able to listen to yourself and be okay with no one else understanding.’ Yes my brethren, though others can and will give us advice, both good and bad, in the long run, we are the ones who must make the final decision. And that’s not always easy, especially in our current mish-mash, topsy-turvy world. But it is important that we are strong enough to live with whatever decisions we make, regardless of whether others understand or appreciate them. For, in the long run, we are the ones who have to live with the decisions we make, not the other people. 

And when you are a child of the Most High God, you are enabled by His Holy Spirit to make right decisions, and to stand strong with them. No need to be wishy washy, and wavering, or fence-sitting to see what eventually happens. Yes, precious people, being able to make timely, positive decisions is definitely one of the benefits of being a child of Jehovah God! Glory be! 

That brings us to our last quote. ‘Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.’ Ah my brethren, that’s true in spades! We must all face the death of our mortal bodies at some time or the other, we cannot do anything about that, but we certainly can stop the good aspects of our lives from dying while our bodies are still alive. And we’re talking about our humanity, the thing that makes, or is supposed to make us different from the wild animals; compassion and caring for each other. 

Hn! But today, unfortunately we behave more like the wild animals than the wild animals, the inhumane and uncaring way we treat our fellow man. Most of us are born with good ideals and inclinations, despite our basic sinful nature, but the sad part happens when we refute those good inclinations and accept the bad ones that so much of our world tend to recognize as more beneficial. We are talking about things like greed, envy, taking advantage of others, and the complete renunciation of the fruit of the Spirit. That’s ‘LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), meekness, temperance (self-control).’ 

Oh my people, when any of those things die in us, while our bodies are still alive, the loss to ourselves and the world is incalculable. It means our world is about to get darker, the enemy is winning the battle, as we become less tolerant and caring, but more negative and adversarial. That’s not the kind of world we want to live in, or leave for our children to experience. And remember what Jesus said about our internal traits. ‘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) 

And that’s the gospel truth friends! What we put into our mouths doesn’t defile us, but what comes out of our mouths defiles us. That’s because the things that come out of our mouths come from our hearts, while what goes in comes out as bodily refuse. As Jesus explains: ‘For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things that defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defile not a man.’ (Matt. 15:19-20) 

So whenever the goodness of God dies in us friends, it is indeed a sad day; a day to mourn for the well-being of our world. And right now, so much of the goodness of God has died in so many of us, that it’s no wonder our world is going through a rather dark and grievous time. And for it to turn around, it means that we, the disciples of Christ must do a better job than we’re currently doing. So let’s get to it nuh. Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…                                                                            

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8              

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… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8          

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 March 2021 Galatians 5:25.

Galatians 5:25.     ​If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Well, a blessed Wednesday to all you wonderful believers out there in Scrip-Bit land! I do hope that Jesus is shining brightly in all our hearts like the sun is shining in my neighbourhood. And if it isn’t right now, I pray that as the day progresses, it will certainly rise up and bring you His awesome peace and LOVE, despite all the negative activity that’s currently taking place in our sinful and evil world! 

Because that’s the magic, well not really magic, because Jesus doesn’t do magic, but right now I can’t think of the appropriate word for it, (smile) so let’s just say that’s the beauty of Jesus; He allows us to have peace and LOVE in our souls and spirits, even in times of dire hardship! Praise His holy name my people, for there’s NO ONE else who can achieve such a wondrous work in us! 

And all God’s children said, in loud and proud gratitude: ‘Praise the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, our Emmanuel, our Lord and Saviour, the majestic One who sacrificed His sinless life on the cross of Calvary for us sinners! Bless His name! Bless His holy name, for He truly deserves all of our praise and glory!’ 

And no one can find fault with those statements friends, for Jesus did put His life on the line for us, before we even knew Him. And yuh better believe, that bearing the sins of the whole world on one’s shoulders, even if you are the Son of God, is no easy feat to accomplish. It takes oodles of strength, will power, obedience and above all, LOVE! And those are the things , the awesome characteristics that the world needs to see from us believers in Christ, from us Christians in these calamitous times. 

Christ desires us to be strong leaders and good ambassadors in this world. That’s why He called us the salt of the earth and the light of the world. People are supposed to follow our lead. But if we aren’t coming up strong, then how are they supposed to follow us eh? Oh friends, Christians are supposed to be the happiest, most joyful and most LOVING people on the face of the earth because we have all that Jesus is, dwelling within us, namely His Holy Spirit. 

And what does that Holy Spirit do, that is, if we allow it? It causes us to walk in obedience to God’s law and word, and produces fruit, godly fruit from the seeds planted in us. What we call the fruit of the Spirit. And those are the things the world needs to see in great abundance in the lives of believers right now, so that they can take heart and know that all is not lost, and that Jesus is the way to salvation! 

Bruh Paul called it walking in the Spirit. As he wrote to the Galatians: ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would do. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.’ (Gal. 5:16-18) 

Oh my people, our natural nature leads us to sin. Yes, we are born with a sinful nature, but we can overcome those strong desires of our flesh by allowing the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in all our earthly doings. In fact, that’s exactly what He’s been placed in us for: wise guidance and counsel, as well as comfort and security. And yuh better believe that the Spirit’s job is a tough one because we do like the things of the world, fleshly lusts, strong sinful desires, a lot. In fact, we are quite fascinated by them. (smile) 

And if you’re wondering what those things of the world, those fleshly lusts or strong sinful desires are, listen to Bruh Paul as he enunciates some of them. ‘Now the works of the flesh are manifest (evident), which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness (licentiousness), Idolatry, witchcraft (sorcery), hatred, variance (contentions), emulations (jealousies), wrath, strife (selfish ambitions),seditions (dissensions), heresies (organized divisions or cliques), Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, 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) 

Wow mih bredrin! Yuh see how many things the Spirit needs to overcome in our sinful nature. But it’s not impossible, because it’s the Spirit of Christ, and NOTHING is impossible with Him. Remember that popular acclamation we all mouth: ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil. 4:13) Well it’s in walking with the Spirit that that scripture is ever so important. 

So now that we’ve seen what the lusts of the flesh are, let’s take a gander at the fruit of the Spirit. Bruh Paul describes them thus: ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness),goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections (its passions) and lusts.’ (Gal. 5:22-24) Yes friends, the latter characteristics are what should be pouring out of believers and not the former. 

And I like this explanation of verse 24 by the scholars. ‘5:24. At conversion every believer crucified the flesh, that is, in repentance he turned from and renounced his life of sin and all its wicked passions. This verse, then, implies that the virtues of verses 22-23, rather than the vices of verses 19-21, should characterize them that are Christ’s.’ And so it should be my fellow saints! 

And Bruh Paul ends this passage on the flesh versus the Spirit thus: ‘If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory (conceited), provoking one another, envying one another.’ (Gal. 5:25-26) How else can it be eh friends, if we’re truly living in and walking with the Holy Spirit of Christ? So for those of us who are sincerely trying to do all that, let’s go home now declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

As one strong and sincere voice now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And as we all know, if we endure to the end, that life will be even more glorious than we can even ask or imagine! So let’s hang in there and endure and persevere nuh my brethren! Much LOVE!

…walking in and with the Spirit of Christ is not easy…but it certainly is amazing and very beneficial… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8       

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 August 2020 Galatians 5:22-23.

Galatians 5:22-23.     ​But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering (patience), gentleness (kindness), goodness (generosity), faith (faithfulness, dependability), Meekness (courtesy, consideration), temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.
 

Awright, up and at ‘em fellow saints of Christ! Time to get up, go out if necessary and live the gospel; the good news of our Lord and Saviour! Remember some of the last words He spoke to the disciples, and consequently to us, who haven’t seen Him in person, but nonetheless believe? 

‘All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in the earth. Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28: 18-20) Wow! What a marvellous command; one thoroughly laced with divine assurance! We call it the ‘Great Commission!’ 

And I like how the scholars describe it: ‘28:18-20. Christianity is not represented here as the mere reverential devotion of disappointed men who honour their martyred leader. Here is a far different scene. The triumphant, living Lord sends forth His ambassadors to proclaim His gospel throughout all the world. The Great Commission is not just an order but a pronouncement of victory (mundus regium Christi) by the risen Saviour through His disciples.’ 

Yes friends on the basis of Christ’s death and resurrection, His victory over the evil one, He was given power and authority over both heaven and earth, and it’s on that same power and authority that we, His ambassadors, His disciples, are able to carry our His Great Commission to all the world through His body, the church. Glory be, mih bredrin! 

So our major purpose this Monday morning is to display the wonderful characteristics of Jesus, what we term the fruit of the Spirit, seeds of those awesome characteristics that have been planted within us, and are prosperously growing therein, as we continually water and nurture them. 

And what better time and place to remember those precious characteristics called the fruit of the Spirit than right now. ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering (patience), gentleness (kindness), goodness (generosity), faith (faithfulness, dependability), Meekness (courtesy, consideration), temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ (Gal. 5:22-23) No my people, against that marvellous fruit, there can be no law! 

However, as Bruh Paul continues to the Galatians: ‘And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections (its passions) and lusts.’ (Gal. 5:24). That means when we receive Christ, and the Holy Spirit comes to live in us, we become new creatures, giving up our sinful past and evil passions. Which further means: ‘If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.’ (Gal. 5:25) That should be understood. If the Spirit gave us new life when we received Christ, then we ought to continue following His leading and guidance for the rest of our lives if we want the spiritual seeds within us to grow and produce much good fruit, and thus we move from glory to glory in Christ Jesus. 

And we have one last, but oh so important warning from Bruh Paul to the church at Galatia. ‘Let us not be desirous of vain glory (be conceited), provoking one another, envying one another.’ (Gal. 5:26) Now that also applies to us, but unfortunately, both in the church and society at large that is not being practiced. In fact those very emotions of conceitedness, provocation and envy are running rampant throughout our entire society. No wonder the fruit of the Spirit is not as abundant as it ought to be. That’s why as ambassadors and disciples of Jesus we have to get out there and spread the message, make a difference, so that His gospel can reach the entire world as He desires and commissioned us to do. 

And the first thing we ought to do each and every day is pray. So let’s do that nuh, by declaring (awright!) our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. In strong and confident voice, but with humble and contrite hearts. ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. And our anxieties have been recently deepened because several restrictions have been lifted in the lockdown, so more of us are going out to work now without any guarantees of safety. 

Then to complicate matters Father, suddenly, and unexpectedly, just like the virus, worldwide strife and protests have also struck us in this sad time of pandemic, and we don’t have a clue how to handle either situation properly. Mass confusion is currently prevailing in our world, and we desperately need your help to solve both problems, as You are the ONLY One with the power and insight to successfully handle them. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have 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, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. 

Please show us how to successfully handle these scourges that are currently plaguing Your beautiful earth. Please help our leaders to wisely quell the strife and protests, thus bringing unity, peaceful consensus and real improvement in the areas that are now sadly lacking. Please help the scientists to also find a positive solution, a sure antidote to the virus as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, or been injured in the strife, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. 

Father, 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 while we wait for God’s help, let’s walk in the Spirit nuh, so that we can produce much good fruit! Much LOVE!

…let your light so shine before men…that they may see your good works…and glorify your Father in heaven… (Matt. 5:16)  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 July 2020 Romans 12:2.

Romans 12:2.     ​And do not be conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 
 

Get on up…it’s Monday! Get on up…there’s work to be done! There’s a pandemic to be conquered and strife to be peacefully quelled, so why the lying in bed and being miserable and negative eh? (smile) Ah mih people, we do have those two problems to solve this Monday morning and unless we get up and get a move on, we will never solve them. 

And remember we’ve been placed here at this appointed time for that very purpose. That brings to mind the famous words of Mordecai to his niece Esther, who, for fear of losing her own life, hem and hawed about going to the king and asking for mercy for the Jewish people, when the king’s right hand man, Haman, was plotting genocide against them: ‘…and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?’ (Esth. 4:14b) 

Yes friends, we have been placed in the world for a time such as this! That means the Lord has something important, be it large or small, for each one of us to do in these times of turmoil. So let’s be up and about the Lord’s business nuh. But as we all know, the first item on our agenda should always be communication with Him, that powerful tool we call prayer. 

So let’s boldly but humbly come before the throne of grace and pray that corporate prayer we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, thus giving the Lord God a chance to wisely lead and guide us as we set out to do His daily will. All together now in strong voice with sincere hearts. 

‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. And our anxieties have been recently deepened because several restrictions have been lifted in the lockdown, so more of us are going out to work now without any guarantees of safety. Then to complicate matters Father, suddenly, and unexpectedly, just like the virus, worldwide strife and protests have also struck us in this sad time of pandemic, and we don’t have a clue how to handle either situation properly. 

Mass confusion is currently prevailing in our world, and we desperately need your help to solve both problems, as You are the ONLY One with the power and insight to successfully handle them. Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have 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, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. Please show us how to successfully handle these scourges that are currently plaguing Your beautiful earth. Please help our leaders to wisely quell the strife and protests, thus bringing unity, peaceful consensus and real improvement in the areas that are now sadly lacking. Please help the scientists to also find a positive solution, a sure antidote to the virus as quickly as possible. 

And for those who have already contracted the virus, or been injured in the strife, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. Father, 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!’ 

Now let’s take a moment to sit and wait…to listen for God’s answer to our prayer, to what he wants each of us to do. We know that He always answers prayer, but we won’t hear Him unless we get quiet and wait. And that’s exactly why so many of us claim not to hear from Him. Prayer is supposed to be a two-way conversation…we talk to God, then we patiently wait for His answer… 

Oh my people, my people, I’ve gotten an answer! I don’t know what He’s told you to do, but he’s told me to share, to bring this most important scripture to your attention today! (smile) ‘And do not be conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom. 12:2) 

Mama Mia! What a powerful and mind-bending scripture! (smile) Yes, that’s exactly what the Lord wants us to do, bend our minds away from the ways of the world. And the battle most certainly begins in the mind. That’s why Cousin Sol says that as a man thinketh in his heart (mind), so is he. (Prov. 23:7) 

So whatever is uppermost in our minds is what we’re going to pursue, and in order to pursue God, we need to actively think on the things of God. That’s why Jesus told us so plainly and concernedly: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33)  

And Bruh Paul enlarged on Jesus’ words by purposely telling us: ‘Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are LOVERLY, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise (anything praiseworthy), think (meditate) on these things.’ (Phil. 4:8) 

So please, let’s stop conforming to the ways of the world nuh, making its values systems, conduct and thinking so important in our lives. And instead do what we’re called to do; the will of God; that’s follow His purpose for our lives by surrendering to His wise guidance and direction, for He’s promised to never forsake us or leave us or lead us astray. And He who promised is faithful! Much LOVE!

…God’s will…bear the fruit of the Spirit…LOVE, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), meekness, temperance (self-control)…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 June 2019 Psalm 84:11-12.

Psalm 84:11-12.    For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.
 

And the days of the week pass quickly by…Monday…Tuesday…Then all of a sudden it’s Sunday again! The Lord’s Day, the day to head for His sanctuary to fellowship with other believers, to worship, praise, glorify, exalt, hear His Word and receive strength and confidence to go out and bravely face the upcoming week in this evil and ungodly world! 

And with the beautiful summer weather we’ve recently been having, there’s no excuse to not go to church. ‘Oh, we’re going to the cottage for the weekend,’ and other self-serving excuses just don’t cut it. There must be a church up in cottage country that you can go to especially on this long weekend when we’re celebrating Canada Day, the joyful birthday of our country! 

That’s something precious and important to give thanks for in concert with other believers. So please hie thee hither to some gathering of believers somewhere today and give thanks for our wonderful country and all the blessings that the Lord has poured down on us; most of which we don’t truly deserve, but in His awesome and amazing grace and mercy He’s chosen to bless us anyway. 

So let’s get the ball rolling by singing this wonderful song of praise and joy titled’ In the Garden (He walks with me).’The website, God Tube claims that: ‘Inspired by the gospel of John, chapter 20, this hymn celebrates the joyous companionship its author, C. Austin Miles, experiences with Jesus as he walks through the garden.’ 

So let’s sing this beautiful song that we all know and LOVE, in strong voice and sweet harmony. ‘I come to the garden alone, While the dew is still on the roses, And the voice I hear falling on my ear, The Son of God discloses… And He walks with me, and He talks with me, And He tells me I am His own, And the joy we share as we tarry there, None other, has ever, known! 

He speaks and the sound of His voice, Is so sweet the birds hush their singing, And the melody that he gave to me, Within my heart is ringing . . . And He walks with me, and He talks with me, And He tells me I am His own, And the joy we share as we tarry there, None other, has ever, known! 

I’d stay in the garden with Him though the night around me be falling. And He bids me go through the voice of woe, His voice to me is calling… And He walks with me, and He talks with me, And He tells me I am His own, And the joy we share as we tarry there, None other, has ever, known!’ (Repeat) 

Oh my people, that was just wonderful! And Jesus was certainly touched by our rendition. You can see Him choked up with true emotion, and wiping away the tears of joy that are seeping out of His eyes. But the words and sentiments conveyed in the song are so awesomely true that they can’t help but produce choked up emotions and tears of joy. Walking with Jesus at any time is amazing, but in the quiet of the morning in a beautiful garden, just the two of you alone…

Wow! That companionship would undoubtedly be terrific!  Just think about it nuh… As Jesus walks and talks with you, in the peace and quiet of the garden and tells you that you are His own. That must stir up something unbelievable deep inside! A joy so amazing, that you believe nobody else has ever experienced it to that level! 

And I just LOVE the next verse: ‘He speaks and the sound of His voice, Is so sweet the birds hush their singing, and the melody that he gave me, Within my heart is ringing…’ How touching!  And if it’s true that John 20 inspired the hymn, then it must be the section that describes a weeping and sorrowful Mary Magdalene meeting Jesus on the Resurrection Morn but doesn’t recognize Him. 

He enquires of her: ‘Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou?’ And she, thinking He’s the gardener, asks if He knows where they had taken her Lord’s body. And it’s only when Jesus calls her by name ‘Mary,’ she realizes that it was Him, and responds with a shocked ‘Rabboni! (Master)’ (John 20:11-18) 

And yuh know what friends? If we walk sincerely with God, we will also experience that simple, but energizing mind-blowing experience in our own lives. How do I know that? Because the psalmist said so! ‘For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.’  

And we all know that our God is a faithful keeper of His promises. That means if we walk closely with Him we will experience all of His goodness and mercy and faithfulness throughout our lives. And Bruh David endorsed that sentiment in spades in Psalm 34 – The Lord hears the righteous. 

‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear (reverence) the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want (lack) to them that fear (reverence) him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want (lack) any good thing.’ I couldn’t have said it better myself! (smile) 

And consequently Bruh Paul admonished the Ephesians: ‘For ye were sometimes (once) darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light. (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth.)’ (Eph.5:8-9) And yes my fellow believers, Bruh Paul is also talking to us today! 

As the scholars say: ‘5:8. Darkness indicates that the readers used to be spiritually unenlightened, and accompanying this ignorance was immorality with its resultant guilt and misery. Light denotes that the recipients are now to be religiously informed. Their knowledge of the truth is attended by moral purity and happiness.’ 

Oh my people, do we really want to walk in darkness like so much of the world is doing? I sincerely doubt it, otherwise we would not have come to Jesus. But once you’re walking with Him, you need to be steadfast, to be committed to His way of life and thinking, to be obedient, which means living by the tenets of goodness, righteousness and truth.  So let’s be wise and get with programme nuh! Remember, it’s all for our benefit eh! Much LOVE!

…you can’t bear fruit of the Spirit…unless you’re walking in the light…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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…

 

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