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 15 July 2020 Psalm 19:14.

Psalm 19:14.     ​Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (my rock), and my redeemer.
 

Well friends, Wednesday has opened bright and sparkling and promises to be a hot one, not like the last two days that have been comparatively cool. But it’s summer and that’s what we expect…until it gets too hot. (smile) And this morning we have something to share from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that will break down all the walls and barriers and impediments that we have built up around ourselves and those with whom we interact. It’s appropriately titled, ‘LISTENING LOVE!’ 

Yeh mih people, it’s LOVE that listens. So please pray with me: ‘Listening LOVE is one of the greatest gifts we can give our mates, our families, and our friends. Too often we settle for surface talk or icy silences, for monologues or cutoffs, for defences. What a difference when we follow the principles of Listening LOVE. Listening LOVE is courteous. It says… I will strive not to interrupt or outguess you. I will not finish your sentences or break into your thoughts. Listening LOVE is attentive. It says… I will give you my undivided attention. I will not turn you off or leave you isolated. 

Listening LOVE is patient. It says… I will not rush you or insist on a right-now conclusion. Listening LOVE is kind. It says… I will not shame you with sarcastic retorts. I will not belittle you. Listening LOVE is objective. It says… I will try to be informative rather than opinionated. I will not attempt to think for you. Listening LOVE is unselfish. It says… I will guard against overconfidence and trite “spiritual” answers. Listening LOVE is prayerful. It says… I will pray for insight, for wisdom, and for gentle reactions.’ 

Oh my people, Listening LOVE is indeed difficult to practice when all the problems of the world are weighing us down! But please pray that there will be Listening LOVE between the duchess and I today, (smile) because I’ve already turned on the A/C  after it was off for the last two days, and that’s usually a source of contention between us. But although practicing Listening LOVE is difficult, it is indeed possible, if we took our time and thought about our reactions before we engaged them. Unfortunately though, that’s also a difficult thing in this new and modern world of speed and now for now decision making. 

And I guess that’s why Bruh David prayed this solemn prayer at the end of Psalm 19, which is our Bit and also the Bible Verse associated with today’s writing. ‘Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (my rock), and my redeemer.’ Yes my brethren, it’s only with the Lord’s help that we can truly practice Listening LOVE! The world and the sinful nature that exists within us do not allow us to be patient, thoughtful, kind, courteous and all the other things that Listening LOVE requires. 

 I guess that’s why Cousin Sol also wisely proclaimed: ‘Hatred stirreth up strifes: but LOVE covereth all sins.’ (Prov. 12:19) And again why he later on declared (yeahhh!) ‘Better is a dinner of herbs (vegetables) where LOVE is, than a stalled ox (fatted calf) and hatred therewith.’ (Prov. 15:17) Oh my people, LOVE is such a wonderful thing! And it ought to be, since it’s the most valuable attribute of our magnanimous and magnificent God! ‘And now abideth faith, hope, LOVE, these three; but the greatest of these is LOVE.’ (1 Cor. 13:13)

But since the fall of man, when sin entered our lives, true LOVE seems to be so difficult for us to practice. And the great efforts of the fallen angel Lucifer, now his satanic majesty, against it doesn’t help us in the least. Satan hates LOVE because he knows that LOVE comes from God. and he doesn’t like it one bit when John says: ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.’ (1 John 4:7) 

But as true believers in Christ, that is exactly what we are called to do! All the greed and selfishness of the world should not be showing up in the sons and daughters of Almighty God. Sadly, however, it is showing up to a great extent because we are still too contaminated by the ways of the world and we are not seeking the righteousness of God as much as we ought to. And a very good example of how we ought to behave is given by Bruh David when the prophet Nathan eventually accosted him re his adultery with Bathsheba and the premeditated murder of her husband Uriah. 

He prayed: ‘O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else I would give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.’ (Ps. 51) Yeh friends, our sin nature is responsible for a lot of stuff. But please listen to these wise words from the scholars. 

‘Sin nature: 51:5. When the word sin appears in the singular, it usually denotes the sin nature of humanity. This sin nature, which everyone possesses, influences us to sin and is the source of lust. It negatively affects people’s minds (Rom. 1:28). Illustration: The sin nature is partially responsible for blinding people’s thoughts and understanding, so that they cannot perceive spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). Although our sin nature continues to operate within us, it was judged when Christ died (Rom. 6:6-7). 

Application: Until Christ returns, we must live in the strength of the new man, to overcome the sinful desires arising from the sin nature. We cannot eradicate our sin nature, but we can allow the Holy Spirit to control us so that we do not give in to temptation. (First Ref. Gen. 6:5; Primary Ref. Rom. 3; cf. Rom. 5:12).’ 

Ah friends, life can be somewhat difficult at times, but with Christ in us, and we in Him… Oh we can do any and all things through His most wonderful strength and grace and mercy. So please, let’s not fall or falter by anything evil that comes against us. And please read those scriptures the scholars outlined above, because they are so educational and uplifting, and do we ever need uplifting stuff in these turbulent times! Now let’s go home declaring (oh yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our serious, sincere and most excellent position in Christ Jesus! 

All together 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 if we endure to the end, we WILL experience that glorious future with Christ! Much LOVE!

…if you don’t know Christ…you’re missing real life…the best life possible… 

P.S. Sorry it’s late, but I had to go out the street and do some time sensitive stuff first. But it’s a good read. (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 August 2016 Psalm 50:15.

Psalm 50:15.    And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

And then it was Wednesday; a bright and shiny, but somewhat cloudy day! (smile) I know it sounds somewhat confusing, but the sun is shining and there are a few grey clouds hovering overhead. 

However, the important thing is that the Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is shining as brilliantly as He always does. There’s never an element of cloudiness in Him! Praise His holy name! 

And so, in honour of His constant faithfulness, I want us to begin today by singing this soulful ditty I heard the Hour of Power choir and congregation singing last night. I don’t know it personally, but the simplicity and practical nature of the song touched my heart and made me want to share it. 

So let’s get soulful and sing: ‘Jesus is all the world to me, My life, my joy, my all; He is my strength from day to day, Without Him I would fall. When I’m sad to Him I go.No other one can cheer me so; When I am sad he makes me glad, He’s my friend. 

Jesus is all the world to me, I want no better friend. I trust Him now, I’ll trust Him when Life’s fleeting days shall end. Beautiful life with such a friend, Beautiful life that has no end; Eternal life, Eternal joy, He’s my friend!’ 

Oh what wonderful sentiments my brethren. And as I said earlier, I just LOVE it’s simplicity and practicality. And besides, there’s truly no better friend than Jesus; He is able to satisfy all our needs, calm all our fears and comfort us in the deepest and darkest times of our lives! No human being can do all that for us. 

And to further honour and glorify Him, as well as lift our spirits, let’s declare our Wednesday Wail nuh with plenty enthusiasm, and sincerity. 

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!’ 

Oh my people, my people, how beautiful it is to be alive on this glorious morn, feeling the breath of God coursing through my body as I look forward to the wonderful future that Jesus has planned for us, if we stick to the programme that He’s outlined! It doesn’t get any better than that friends! 

No wonder our Bit seems so appropriate. ‘And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.’ Yes my fellow believers, it’s all about glorifying Jehovah God, our Creator and heavenly Provider! 

And we do that by living the life God has set before us, doing so in faith and sincerity, and in times of trouble, crying out to Him for succour so that He can uplift us and further glorify His holy name. Oh what a wonderful Deity we serve and worship my people! 

Now let’s turn to some scriptures that corroborate our Bit. And to begin, we’ll go all the way back to the days of the prophet Samuel, when he lead Israel to repentance. 

‘And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the strange (foreign) gods and Ashtaroth (images of Canaanite goddesses) from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hands of the Philistines.’ (1 Sam.7:3) 

Oh friends, that is exactly what we need to do in this current evil and godless world. Like the Israelites back then, we’re worshipping all sorts of idols and false gods, thus our world is quickly going to hell in a hand basket. And the only thing that will save it is repentance and a sincere return to serving and worshipping the One and True Living God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

Yuh see how all the other societies that abandoned Him and worshipped other gods fared? There was never any true peace, just constant war, destruction and despair. Now why do you think our society would be any different, suffer a different fate eh? 

Yes, our God is a merciful and gracious, forgiving and LOVING God, but He’s no push over, He’s very serious about whatever He says. And He’s said several times in His word that if you don’t serve and worship Him, you’ll be destroyed. So I don’t know where we’ve gotten this foolish idea to abandon God, kick Him out of our society, and then expect to prosper. Steups! 

Ah friends, it’s up to us believers to bring about that repentance. It’s not going to be easy, but with God’s awesome help we can do it. Remember we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. 

And we’ll end with this appropriate passage from Job, where his buddy Zophar reproves him. ‘If he (God) cut off (passes by), and shut up (imprisons), or gather together, then who can hinder (restrain) him? For he knoweth vain (deceitful) men: he seeth wickedness also; will he not then consider it? 

For vain (empty-headed) man would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass’s colt (when a wild donkey’s colt is born a man). If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch forth thine hands toward him; If iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles (tents). 

For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt be steadfast, and shall not fear. Because thou shalt forget thy misery, and remember it as waters that pass away. And thine age (life) shall be clearer (brighter) than the noonday; thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning.’ (Job 11:10-17) 

Yes my brethren, though Zophar was wrongly ragging on Job, believing that some hidden, serious sin caused his tribulations, his advice was right on. An omniscient God could clearly see man’s sin, and if he confesses and repents, the Lord will forgive Him and make his life better. 

Now that is what we need to do in this ungodly world; bring about confession and repentance, so that our beautiful world can be lifted up, be without spot and without fear. That’s the wisdom of the age! Much LOVE!

…only Christ’s LOVE Revolution can save our sinking world…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 August 2013 John 13:35

John 13:35   By this shall men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another. 
 
Well hello there my fine Friends in Christ! Unfortunately, this Thursday morning at the end of August, in the summer of the year 2013, the ole fella has nothing to say…
 
And immediately a great cry of joy rose up to heaven. ‘Wow! Is that really possible? But thank the Lord for it anyway!’ (smile)
 
Yes Friends, some of you will consider that rather fortunate, but as I keep reminding us, we can do any and all things with the help of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. So please remember this is not my word I’m writing about, but the Lord’s, so my not having anything personal to say is of no account, for the Lord’s Spirit will lead and guide me to what HE wants me to say.
 
Got all yuh eh! (smile) Oh Friends, life is so short, we need to have some occasional fun in it. And remember yesterday we spoke about mixing and matching the daily ingredients of life at our disposal? Well everyday we should endeavour to put useful ingredients like joy, peace and LOVE in the mix, because those things will benefit us the most in this already rough and trouble-filled life. No sense in making it harder than it already is.
 
But again, unfortunately that’s what a lot of us do to ourselves and consequently to those around us. We interject things like hate, resentment and other evil doings into our souls, which eventually flow from us to others. Now with stuff like that seething and raging in our spirits, how can we enjoy life eh? No way Jose!
 
Jesus says in our Bit that we ought to live in and by LOVE. ‘By this shall men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ 
 
But sadly, for one reason or another, we seem to find that difficult to do on a regular, constant and sustained basis. But it’s that regularity and sustainability that truly makes it LOVE!
 
And furthermore, it’s even sadder when the place that LOVE should be the most evident and palpable, in the family, the smallest and most important unit of our society, that’s where it’s least evident these days.
 
Oh my brethren, too many families live in turmoil and hate, dissension and disunity, as well as emotional distance and separation in this information age!
 
And if the LOVE doesn’t begin at home, where it ought to, where else will it crop up eh? If all we take from home is resentment and bitterness, how will we find joy and LOVE? Obviously we’ll end up looking for them in all the wrong places, like so many of us are doing today, and thus find ourselves in even deeper, unfathomable, negative waters.
 
Now the LOVE that Jesus is talking about here is not the romantic, hugging and kissing thing, but what the Greeks term ‘agape.’ That’s simply being decent with and showing concern for others, helping and serving one another, forgiving each other’s faults, but also trying to live a righteous life, so that there won’t be too many faults to forgive.
 
Oh my brethren, if we could just treat each other with a little more civility and a modicum of appreciation, you wouldn’t believe the great difference and positive change that would bring about in our much too troubled and tumultuous world.
 
And here’s an interesting, but also very practical quote from St.Therese, the patron Saint of the Little Flower Society. She declares, that ‘To live by LOVE is to go through life sowing peace and joy in hearts.’
 
Oh Friends, that’s as gospel truth as we can get outside of the gospel! (smile) And that’s exactly what showing and living in LOVE should bring forth; joy and peace in your heart, as well as those with whom you interact. If we’re not providing things like joy and peace and righteousness in our hearts and those with whom we come into contact, then we’re NOT living in LOVE, and we’re not being true disciples of Christ!
 
That’s the long and short of the story my brethren. There’s no getting around it. Anything that truly bears the name of LOVE, MUST HAVE attributes like peace, joy, understanding, help, service and understanding emanating from its work! And if those essential elements are missing, then it’s NOT TRUE LOVE! 
 
And now that we’ve understood the essence of LOVE, let’s look at some scriptures that fortify that reasoning… sorry, that fortify those eternal truths. (smile)
 
Hear Bruh Paul as he encourages the Roman church to walk in LOVE. ‘LOVE worketh no ill (does no harm) to his neighbour: therefore LOVE is the fulfilling of the law.’ (Rom.13:10)
 
More gospel truth my brethren! For true LOVE doesn’t have wrong, harmful or evil intents and thoughts in its bosom or spirit.
 
And yuh know what Friends? I think we’ll end here for today, because I just looked at my notes and the rest of stuff I’d planned to say would definitely make it too long. And I don’t want to turn us off, since we have these busy schedules and short attention spans, and we also have to get in our own Bible Study time.
 
Now mih people, I surely hope that you’re doing your own reading of the Word and not just relying on the Bit. For how else would you know if I’m simply talking lies, nonsense, or the gospel truth eh?
 
So as I’ve being saying from day one, reading the Bit is great, because it gets you thinking, activates your mind, but in the long run it’s still only a catalyst for turning your mind to God. Therefore, it is still ESSENTIAL THAT EACH AND EVERY BELIEVER, READS HIS OR HER BIBLE, PREFERABLY EVERY DAY!
 
And Friends that is indeed the height of wisdom and the very kernel of everlasting truth!
 
Some of you must be wishing now that I had something to say at the beginning eh? (smile) But Friends, I’m just giving it to you as it should be. So until tomorrow, our great God in favour, please, let’s walk in lockstep with Jesus as best we can nuh, and that means walking in LOVE! Much LOVE!
 
…the song’s not wrong…for LOVE is truly…what makes the world go round