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 9 February 2017 Colossians 3:13.

Colossians 3:13.   Forbearing (bearing with) one another and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

Ah friends, it’s time to celebrate one more day of life on God’s great earth! Wow! What a privilege! 

Remember, a lot of others did not open their eyes this morning, so there must be a reason we opened ours to the bright and dazzling light of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Glory to God! 

Let’s therefore give Him appropriate thanks and praise for all the new mercies and blessings He’s specially prepared for us for today. 

And all God’s people loudly, heartily and gratefully declared: ‘Thank You Lord for all You’ve done for us, all You’re doing right now, and all You’ve promised to do in the future. We know You are an ever-faithful Deity, thus we praise and bless Your Holy Name! Amen!’ 

Now here is a gem of a quote, I found on my desk this morning. I don’t who or where I got it from, or if I ever shared it before, but it surely is worth sharing over and over. 

Listen closely. ‘Choose the best; shun mediocrity. Mediocrity has a way of shrivelling up enthusiasm. But commitment to excellence taps an incredible source of energy. Elect the best, no matter what the price tag.’ 

Words of everlasting wisdom my people! And they are particularly pertinent to believers, because Jesus expects us to be persons of excellence, and you can only be excellent when you reach out for the best. 

That brings us to our Bit, but let’s start with the seminal verse before it. ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved bowels of mercies (tender mercies), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; 

Forbearing (bearing with) one another and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.’  (Col.3:12-13) 

Even greater words of wisdom my believing breddren, since it’s based on God’s basic law, of you reap what you sow. And the scholars have this to say about those verses. 

‘3:12. Put on literally means to “dress oneself” (with clothes); here, used metaphorically, it means to take on or assume certain virtues and qualities. Bowels of mercies means heartfelt compassion.’  

‘3:13. The fact that believers are being urged to assume the virtues of verse 12 signifies that none has yet “arrived” spiritually. As the believer is developing these virtues, he must be forbearing and forgiving toward his fellow church member. 

For his Christian brother is also in the process of acquiring the virtues of verse 12 and therefore retains some flaws, deficiencies, and weaknesses. Hence the need of forbearance and forgiveness.’  

Ah friends, one more reminder that as believers we must always reach for excellence in all our doings. None of us have become spiritually perfect as yet, therefore we all need to forbear and forgive if there is to be unity in Christ’s church. 

And right there you have one of the reasons why Christ’s church is so divided and cantankerous; we refuse to forgive others and instead hold on to the negative emotions of anger, hate and resentment. 

Oh my people, please remember these immortal words of Jesus. ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.’ (Matt.12:25) 

How do we expect Christ’s church to stand if we are so divided and refuse to forbear and forgive eh? It’s just impossible. 

And hear these even more immortal words of Jesus, (smile) which occur in the ‘Lord’s Prayer,’ the sample prayer He gave us, and which most of us pray every day. ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ (Matt.6:12) 

Oh friends, have we gotten so complacent in praying that prayer that we no longer consider the words we speak and what they truly mean? We ask to be forgiven as we forgive. So what does that tell us eh? Only as we forgive, will the Lord forgive us. 

So why are we allowing the nonsense of the world to interfere with our Christian behaviour and beliefs, with our joy, our peace and contentment eh? Let’s wake up and become the people of excellence that the Lord expects of us nuh. That’s the only way we’ll ever defeat the forces of darkness. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings. Who else has such wonderful favour eh? Nobody but us! So let’s use it nuh friends, while remembering that a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. 

In all sincerity and belief now: ‘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!’ 

And the corollary to all that, is let’s remember to bless others like we blessed ourselves. Much LOVE!

…to forgive is heavenly…and to be forgiven is even more heavenly…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 December 2016 Ephesians 5:18.

Ephesians 5:18.   And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation): but be filled with the Spirit.

Aw shucks friends, is it Friday already? It surely is. But that’s what happens when you only work three days of the week, you don’t realize that time is flying by. And please be careful out on the roads this morning because some snow fell again last night. Steups! Like it’s becoming a regular habit now! A li’l bit every night now. 

But that doesn’t stop the Friday workers posse from enthusiastically declaring: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday…And New Year’s Eve Friday too! So you can imagine the partying! Brother! Waters flowing for so…an’ everybody black up! With the high class ones and them drinking champagne to ring in the New Year! 

But regardless of what yuh drinking, you have plenty time to drink it, because is another long weekend. No work till Tuesday! Mama Yo! Thank the Lord for Fridays and long weekends yes!’ 

And all of that is gospel truth my people. There will be more drinking this New Year’s weekend than at any other time of the year. And we certainly need to remember Granny’s wise advice: ‘Sonny Boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ 

Yes friends, because at this time of year, Lucifer is smiling from ear to ear, knowing that the probability of getting into our lives is much higher than normal with all the licentious celebrations planned for it. 

So let’s chant our Friday Chant which gives us a different and better perspective on how to use our weekends. All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’

It’s three days this weekend, but that scenario does make more sense, and is a better-balanced way of life, which we need if we’re going to succeed in this crazy, ungodly world. 

That brings us to our rather appropriate and explicit Bit. (smile) ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation): but be filled with the Spirit.’ Ah friends, it couldn’t be any more explicit than that! 

But before we get into our Bit, let’s look at a few verses before it. Bruh Paul told the Ephesians quite openly. ‘See then that ye walk circumspectly (carefully), not as fools, but as wise. Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.’ (Eph.5:15-17)

Yes my fellow believers, we have to be very careful how we live in these wicked and sinful times. Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘5:16. Redeeming the time (or “making the most of every opportunity”). 

Contextually, the specific opportunity in view is that of exposing the sins of the lost and being a witness to them. Because the days are evil assigns a reason to seize each opportunity. It is because the sins being committed during these days are so evil.’ And are they ever! 

‘5:17. Wherefore looks back to the evil days of verse 16. Since the current age is so perilous morally, Christians must clearly understand what the will of the Lord is.’ 

Then Bruh Paul got into our Bit. And the scholars provide an interesting explanation of it. 

‘5:18. This verse gives an example of what is and what is not the Lord’s will (v.17). Believers are not allowed to be intoxicated with alcoholic beverages; the reason for this prohibition is wherein is excess; that is drunkenness leads to moral intemperance. 

This is clearly contrary to God’s will. His will is that Christians be filled with (by) the Spirit; that is, they are to allow Him to fill them with God’s own life, character and virtues. 

The analogy between these two moral states is this: a person filled with wine is under its influence; similarly, a Christian is filled with the Spirit when He (the Holy Spirit) controls his thoughts, attitudes, and actions.’ 

And it all makes a whole lotta sense, for who wants to be controlled by alcohol eh, when the Holy Spirit of the Most High God Jehovah can successfully control us! 

Okay, so a small portion likes the control of the alcohol, but that’s not wisdom my brethren, because then you have no idea of what you’re doing, and it will eventually lead to some serious disaster. That’s definitely not the will of the Lord for His people. 

Now let’s continue with Bruh Paul’s spiel to the Ephesians, re what they should be doing. ‘Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:19-21) 

Yes precious people of God, those are the kinds of things expected of us! It doesn’t mean we can’t have fun, but we need to have our p’s and q’s about us if we don’t want to succumb to Beelzebub’s evil and sinful frivolities. 

So please let’s think sensibly about what kind of New Year’s Eve we are going to have nuh…whether we will bow to Lucifer or to Jesus Christ. I’m depending on us to make the right decision. Much LOVE!

…a man can only march to one drumbeat at a time…likewise…he can only have one Leader at a time…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 September 2016 Colossians 3:17.

Colossians 3:17.  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Ah friends, welcome to the second day of the 2016 autumn season! Autumn is the beautiful season, where the leaves turn all sorts of red and gold and brown and many different colours in between. 

And would you believe that the tops of a couple of trees in my neighbour’s backyard are already quite yellow and a few others are already turning brown, even though we haven’t had a cold day as yet. 

I guess the trees know something that we don’t, so like the ants, which are busy in the summer gathering their winter victuals, the trees are also making early winter preparations. 

And who says God’s universe isn’t great eh? The trees and the other living things know by instinct when to do what, meanwhile, mankind, the supposed great thinking machine, oftimes doesn’t have a clue. 

Anyway, I know many of you couldn’t care less about how nature operates naturally (smile), all you’re interested in is today’s Friday and you can joyfully shout: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! The weekend’s upon us at long last! It’ll soon be playtime! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends oui!’ 

Oh friends, the weekend will continue to be the bane of our existence until we learn to use it properly, with moderation in all aspects of our doings. Now let’s chant our Friday Chant which gives us good guidance on how to apply ourselves over the next couple of days. 

As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yes my brethren, that is the better way! And it ties in very nicely with our Bit. ‘And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.’ 

Words of awesome truth and wisdom, my people! ALL we do and say, ought to reflect the characteristics and virtues of Christ, in thankfulness to Almighty God! 

In other words, we must try to always walk in the footsteps of Jesus! Oh, I know those are exceedingly big steps for us to fill, but with Gods help and our faithfulness and sincerity and perseverance, we can accomplish a sufficiently high calling. 

And today we’ll check out the Christian virtues that Bruh Paul spoke of before our Bit. ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies (tender mercies), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; 

Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 

And above all these things put on charity (LOVE), which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.’ (Col.3:12-15) 

Oh my people, those things are so important in a Christian’s life that Bruh Paul included them in almost all of his epistles. Now here are some explanations from the scholars on those verses. 

‘3”12. Put on literally means to “dress oneself” (with clothes); here, used metaphorically, it means to take on or assume certain virtues and qualities. Bowels of mercies means heartfelt compassion.’ 

‘3:13. The fact of believers being urged to assume the virtues of verse 12 signifies that none has yet “arrived” spiritually. As the believer is developing these virtues, he must be forbearing and forgiving toward his fellow church member.

For his Christian brother is also in the process of acquiring the virtues of verse 12 and therefore retains some flaws, deficiencies, and weaknesses. Hence the need of forbearance and forgiveness.’ 

‘3:14. Charity is LOVE, here called the bond of perfectness. LOVE is the crowning grace completing the list of virtues required for perfectness or spiritual maturity. As a “bond” it binds all other virtues together in harmony and unity.’ 

‘3:15. The peace of God is the harmony and concord created by God among His people. It is to rule. The Greek verb means to act as an umpire who makes decisions in an athletic contest.

Thus, let the peace of God rule in your hearts means that when believers are at odds with each other, whatever course of action best maintains peace and fosters harmony is the course to be taken.’ 

There it is my people! And I do hope that we all now have a better understanding of what it means and takes to be a true Christian, and to therefore grow and mature in Christ-like behaviour. 

Remember all that we’re going through, is meant to bring us closer to a true reflection of Christ. Our wonderful God desires to see the image and behaviour of Christ in ALL of His people, that is the eternal goal. 

So as we go about our business today, please let’s take time to think about what we do and say, be quick to hear and slow to speak, and make sure that all our words and actions positively and LOVINGLY reflect the true image of Christ, for then we’ll be showing true wisdom and Christian behaviour. Much LOVE!

…LOVE…the crowning glory of God…

 

 

   

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 September 2016 Colossians 3:17.

Colossians 3:17.   And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

And a most enthusiastic ‘Good morning’ to you my friends and family in Jesus Christ! 

It is indeed a good morning, meaning that we are alive and kicking, and regardless of our feelings and circumstances, we don’t have to let them control us because we are the blessed children of the Most High God Jehovah, the Creator of the universe and all therein, and He looks after each one of us in His own unique fashion. Glory to God! 

And I just had to share this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin because it is so appropriate for most of us. It’s titled ‘Commonplace Days.’ 

Read with me. ‘Lord of my commonplace days Forgive me for foolishly waiting for “divine inspiration” Before moving in on the tasks Personally assigned to me. Hopefully I am learning To face with greater determination The day-by-day drudgery The trite, mundane tasks The pushing-pulling glamourless duties. 

Lord, even when I think I’m getting no place Keep me pushing on and on With purpose and direction. Grab my heart and quiet me When I begin to whine and whimper. Despite the daily drain I think I see it more clearly now: It is only when I begin to do That you begin to bless.’ 

Ah mih people, it’s all so true! It certainly reflects the lives of most of us; the daily drudgery and same old, same old glamourless tasks by which we make our living. But please don’t allow it get us down, because it’s simply the way life is. Everyday can’t be exciting and glamorous, for too much of that will eventually get boring and mundane too. 

So please don’t be fooled by the celebrity worship that’s currently in vogue, because even the true celebrities, not the hangers’ on, have to bow down and work hard at sometime or other if they want to keep their celebrity status intact. 

Remember friends, they are people just like us, only with a little more money, power and privilege. And besides, what passes for glamour today is only an outward show, often used to give a false impression. 

Now today is Wednesday, so let’s turn to our Wednesday Wail and wail it with sincerity, enthusiasm and a strong sense of purpose. 

Wailing: ‘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!’ 

Ah mih people, every Wednesday that declaration truly wakes me up! It has me being sincerely thankful for the breath of life that’s flowing through my body, and reminds me of what is truly important; keeping my hands to the plough and looking forward to the wonderful future that Jesus has planned for His followers. 

And I sure hope you all feel the same way too, otherwise you’d be missing out on the most wonderful times in your lives which come from living for and with Jesus. 

All glory be to our wonderful Lord and Saviour who sacrificed His sinless lives for us! And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful ‘Amen!’ 

That brings us to our Bit, which is also the Bible Promise for our poem above. ‘And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.’ 

Oh friends, that’s the summation of Bruh Paul’s advice to the Colossians as he talked to them about Christian virtues. And believe me, we couldn’t get any better advice than that for living this earthly life. 

And the scholars tell us: ‘3:17. The beneficial influence produced by the indwelling word of Christ is not only to affect public and private worship (v.16), but it is also to control all areas of a Christian’s life.’ 

Yeh friends, what’s the purpose of God’s word and Spirit indwelling us, if they don’t control our lives eh? None whatsoever! 

And I’m going to spoon feed you all today (smile). Here is verse 16, as mentioned above. ‘Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.’ (Col.3:16) 

Ah mih breddren, I only wish that we could truly do that on a much wider scale than is currently been done, for then our world would definitely be a much better place. 

And the scholars have this to say about that verse. ‘3:16. When believers are forbearing (v.13), and LOVING (v.14) toward one another, when peace reigns among God’s people (v.15), then the church is fertile soil for the blessings produced by the word of Christ.’ 

But sadly, the church in its current state is not very fertile soil because we are not as forbearing, LOVING, and as peaceful with each other as we ought to be. There’s just way too much disunity, dissension and strife in the church. 

That’s why I’m imploring us today to improve, to lift up the qualities that are needed in us, and consequently Christ’s church, so that we can be the true believers, the godly ambassadors that we’re supposed to be, for that is the wisdom of heaven. Much LOVE!

…only when Christians dwell together in true unity…is Christ’s church truly blessed…

 

 

  

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 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.

Oh my beautiful Scrip-Bit friends and families, how goes it this bright and sunshiny morn eh? We’ve gotten through Monday, despite our fears and frustrations, and Tuesday has dawned blessed and bountiful, with both the sun and the Son shining out in all their wonderful splendour! 

It’s a new day, so let’s treat it like such nuh, and deliriously declare: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) Yes friends, it’s the only sensible way to face each and every new day that we’re blessed to see! 

But we can’t do that successfully without the supreme trust and confidence in Almighty God, so here is something that will help us build that confidence. Quite appropriately it’s called ‘A Prayer for Confidence,’ and it comes from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. I’m sure I’ve shared it before, but as we say, when it’s nice, we can share it twice, and even thrice. (smile) 

So please pray with me. ‘It is flowing into me now, for my conscience is clear: I have made the right decision. I am not afraid of problems. I will face challenges calmly and serenely for God is behind me. He will help me. If I must go through difficult times, He will rescue me. 

I feel His spirit of confidence surging in my heart now. With Him I cannot possibly fail. “If God is for me who can be against me?” I have a strong feeling that everything is going to work out just beautifully. Thank you, God. Amen.’ 

Ah mih people, I do hope that prayer of confidence truly brought a surge of confidence into our hearts, bodies, souls and minds this Tuesday morning, and will enable us to go out and do a fine job for Jesus today, because it’s usually self-assurance and uncertainty that trip us up in our walk of faith. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit. ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.’ 

Oh I know some of you might be tired of it, but it’s one of those scriptures that are rather essential to our successful and faithful walk with God. We can’t do it without the successful guidance of the Holy Spirit that’s sent to dwell within us for that specific purpose, so please open your hearts wisely to it. 

Now we’ve already seen what the lusts of the flesh and fruit of the Spirit are, today we’ll check out the last part of Bruh Paul’s exhortation on the subject. Yes, today’s the last day for this Bit. (smile) 

After detailing the fruit of the Spirit, Bruh Paul continues thus: ‘And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections (its passions) and lusts. 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.5:24-26) 

Yes mih breddren, that’s how we ought to live if we’re a new creation in Christ! 

Now listen to some explanations from 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 of 22-23, rather than the vices of verses 19-21, should characterize them that are Christ’s.’ And that’s gospel truth! 

‘5:25. This verse means “Since we live by the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit.” That is, since the Spirit gave us new life at conversion, we then should stay in step with His leading and promptings throughout life.’ Now that’s simple common sense my people; we shouldn’t forget who brought us to the dance. 

Oh, I’ve just noticed another scholarly exposition on the Fruit of the Spirit, which I don’t want to deprive you of, so here it is. ‘5:22-23. In contrast to the works (plural) of the flesh, which any individual is capable of performing, the fruit (singular) of the Holy Spirit can be produced only by God. Christian character thus results from “Christ living in me (2:20). For this fruit to develop, all nine aspects of the fruit of the spirit must mature. 

Illustration: The character of Christ is the fullest manifestation of this fruit in the New Testament. Though Jesus did not recognize the traditions of men, His enemies were unable to prove any charge against Him. 

Application: So today, Christians should allow the Holy Spirit to develop this character within them, so they might be blameless before others and not hinder the testimony of Christ. (First Ref. Ex.35:31; 36:2; Primary Ref. Gal.5:22-23; cf. Phil.1:6).’ 

Now I won’t spoon feed you all today, (smile) so please look up those reference scriptures, they are very interesting and will help you better understand the topic. 

And my people, having been through all the aspects of the fruit of the Spirit; a Christian’s character traits, over the last few days, let’s hope that it refreshes and renews our inner man, and brings out more Christ-like behaviour in us as we walk this earthly life, because this is the undoubted will of our heavenly Father. 

Now let’s go home with great confidence and trust, loudly and soulfully declaring our Tuesday Mantra. ‘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 indeed who we are! Let’s never forget it! Much LOVE!

…as a true believer…our earthly pilgrimage …should constantly exude Christ-like traits…fruit of the Spirit…

 

 

 

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…

 

 

 

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