Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 May 2021 1 Corinthians 12:6.

1 Corinthians 12:6.     And there are diversities (various kinds) of operations (activities), but it is the same God which worketh all in all (all things in us).

It’s a grey looking day in my neighbourhood, but I’m sure the spirits of true believers are riding high because of the presence of the Holy Spirit of Christ that’s leading and guiding us. And all I’m trying to say there, is that our outer circumstances should not always be a measure of our inner status. That with Christ in our lives, as Lord and Saviour, we ought to be flourishing even when things are not looking so good on the outside. And a particularly good example of that is our current worldwide predicament that’s causing so much sickness, death, strife and upheaval. 

But through it all, followers of Christ Jesus are expected to stand up strong and make a positive difference in some form and fashion. And our Leader knows that is not an easy task, but a very doable one, since He’s already given us all we need to do what He requires of us. That includes the Fruit of the Holy Spirit, the nine attributes we receive when we live by its guiding – LOVE, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control. (Gal. 5:22-23) 

Now that’s plenty to fight this evil and godless world with. But added to all of that is also what we call the Gifts of the Spirit. Those are roughly nine more different gifts, given to different believers to do their earthly ministry. They include – the Word of Knowledge, the Word of Wisdom, the Gift of Prophecy, the Gift of Faith, the Gift of Healings, the Working of Miracles, the Discerning of Spirits, Different Kinds of Tongues, the Interpretation of Tongues. I think it best though, to let Bruh Paul give us some basic explanations. 

He says: ‘Now there are diversities (various kinds) of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations (ministries), but the same Lord. And there are diversities (various kinds) of operations (activities), but it is the same God which worketh all in all (all things in us).’ (1 Cor. 12:4-6) Yes friends, there are all sorts of gifts, activities, and ministries, but they all stem from the same source, the Holy Spirit of God. 

‘But the manifestation (or gift) of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal (All).’ (1 Cor. 12:7) And it’s especially important for us to note that my fellow believers: whatever gift we’ve been given is not just for our benefit, but for the benefit of ALL! Unlike the fruit of the Spirit, we don’t have ALL the gifts of the Sprit. Some have one, or some, and others have different ones. 

As Bruh Paul continues: ‘For to one is given by the Sprit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit. To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same spirit. To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers’ (different) kinds of tongues (speaking in tongues); to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing (distributing) to every man severally (individually) as he will.’ (1 Cor. 12: 8-11) 

Ah mih bredrin, with the Fruit of the Spirit, and the Gifts of the Spirit, we believers are certainly wired for battle and eventual victory over this sinful world, provided we use those tools the way we ought. And I like how Michael Bradley puts it in his article on the bible-knowledge.com website. ‘For the record, we feel that the 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit are much more important than the 9 gifts are. As the 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit have to do with God imparting part of His divine nature into the core of our personalities to help make us into a much better and holy people. 

God’s ultimate aim for all of us is our sanctification in Him, and part of that sanctification process has to do with the Holy Spirit Himself transmitting 9 specific divine qualities and attributes into our personalities.’ Then He seems to quote someone else: ‘But if the 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit are the cake, then the 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit are the icing on the cake. Put these two together, and allow God to work with a believer with both sets of these 9 fruits and 9 gifts. And you will have one mighty sanctified soldier of Jesus Christ, as the 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit will give you some serious heavy ammunition to have at your disposal as you walk with God’s anointing in your daily life.’ 

I couldn’t put it any better friends – with all that ammunition at our disposal, we ought to win whatever war in which we become involved. So today, as the world falls apart around us, let’s use our most potent tool nuh; prayer, to ask our great God for His divine help to halt the scary proceedings that have us wrapped up in much fear and anger. Therefore, as one voice, let’s raise up our Friday Chant to high heaven, sincerely pleading for release from our current demons. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife is causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now, my people, it’s up to us, to show the Lord that we are truly faithful believers, by using all the gifts with which He’s so generously endowed us to help make our world a better place. Much LOVE!

…God will not do His part in restoration…until we do our part… 

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… 

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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…