Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 December 2019 Ephesians 5:20.

Ephesians 5:20.    ​Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 

Rest my people, rest! It’s Saturday and after a hard week of work we need to rest before we begin anything else. But no doubt many of us will be already up and doing, busy with the Christmas shopping and decorating and planning and what have you! Bless all you fine souls! (smile) Thankfully the ole fella is into none of that. The duchess doesn’t need my help in doing her business. In fact, she considers me a hindrance in her path…and I’m quite happy with that, although some of the decorations she puts up around the house tend to be inconvenient in doing things like climbing the stairs. (smile) 

Anyway, let’s get positive on this dreary looking Saturday morning and check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I do hope that like the last two days, the afternoon will turn out to be bright and sunshiny. And here is the first quote: ‘Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.’ Now that first part is of the utmost importance, especially for believers! Sadly, in this current world the word commitment doesn’t exist. Very few of us are serious about doing what we say we will do. 

And it’s not only the worldly who don’t keep commitments, but lots of believers too. Just think what would happen to us if Jesus decided on some whim and fancy, that He simply could not be bothered any longer and was tired and fed up with us, and refused to keep His commitments eh? We would all send up a storm of outrage, of shock and disappointment! Well it’s the same thing that happens when we don’t keep our commitments; people bank on them and are disappointed when we renege on them, especially without any warning. Yeh, we do need to be somewhat flexible in our approach, but the decision to commit to something must first be made with serious consideration, not a wishy-washy attitude, thinking we can easily get out of them. 

And I like this next quote: ‘Be so busy LOVING your life that you have no time for hate, regret or fear.’ Oh friends, what wonderful advice that is! When you consider and concentrate on the positive aspects of your life, there’s no room left for the negative ones to infiltrate and sour up your situation! Granted, life won’t be always rosy, but it’s up to you to bring a good attitude to it, because life itself is basically a negative force and a bully-boy to boot! So therefore this situation will present itself: ‘We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.’ 

Oh yes my people, we have an opportunity at the start of every year to begin a new chapter in our book of life with a new attitude toward the numerous opportunities that will come our way. But here’s a li’l ‘secrat’, as my young daughter used to say: The first words on that bright clean new page of opportunity ought to read: ‘LOVE Jesus more than ever this year!’ And why is that you ask? Because when we hobnob with Jesus, we get more and better opportunities! As simple as that! No rocket science education is needed to decipher that. So let’s promise ourselves that those words will open our new book and chapter for 2020 nuh, because 2020 will be the most important year ever, in many of our lives, and the life of this whole confused and turbulent world! 

And as always, we try to keep the best for last: ‘Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.’ Oh my people, those are indeed awesome and amazing words; words of gospel truth! There’s nothing that can transform our lives and attitudes like gratitude, like being thankful, like having a heart that’s bursting with thankfulness! Yes friends, when we’re truly thankful, our ordinary, mundane days become days of thanksgiving; we don’t dread them, or complain about their same old, same old nature. 

And on top of that whatever job(s) we need to do, they morph into things of joy, instead of routine or difficult tasks. And better still, simple, ordinary opportunities become blessings in our enlightened and thankful eyes! Oh mih people, there’s nothing like thanks and gratitude to help us endure the vicissitudes of life! No wonder the Good Book is chock full of scriptures on giving thanks and being grateful. Let’s look at a few as time and space permit. And  it’s ever important to notice that Jesus though he was God, ALWAYS gave thanks to the Father. 

 Note His words in Matthew 11: ‘At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.’ (Matt. 11:25) And please notice too that when He fed the five thousand, His first act was thanksgiving: ‘and looking up to heaven, he blessed and brake, and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.’ (Matt.14:19) And likewise, when Jesus fed the four thousand, His first act was to give thanks. ‘And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them…’ (Matt.15: 36) Even at the Last Supper, thanks was uppermost. ‘Jesus took bread and blessed it… And He took the cup, and gave thanks…’ (Matt. 26:26-27) 

Consequently Bruh Paul filled his writings with the giving of thanks. ‘But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor. 16:57) ‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Eph.5:20) ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil. 4:6) 

And check out this last scripture when Bruh Paul was on his way to Rome to be tried and most likely killed. ‘And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as the Appii Forum, and The Three Taverns (Inns): whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage.’ (Acts. 28:15) Yuh see friends, thanks and gratitude can even bring you courage in rough times. So let’s decide today to live the life of thanksgiving that as believers we’re required to live nuh. Our lives would be ever so much more abundant, prosperous and filled with joy! Much LOVE!

…a true believer’s life and heart…are clothed with thanks and thanksgiving…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 September 2015 Matthew 7:20

Matthew 7:20.    Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Welcome all you saints of Jesus to this blessed day called Sunday! It’s the day when most believers gather together to sing, praise, worship, give thanks, adore and glorify our most wonderful heavenly Father, His remarkable Son Jesus Christ and our earthly comforter, Holy Spirit. 

What a triumvirate they are my brethren! There’s nothing else in this universe like them! And how could there be eh, when they created the universe and still control it? Oh glory to God my people! 

And we all ought to be eternally thankful and grateful that they LOVED us so much, that the Father sent the Son to sacrifice His holy and sinless life so that we worthless and sinful wretches could be reconciled to Him, obtain salvation and the promise of eternal life. 

Then to complete the cycle, when Jesus ascended back to heaven, they sent the Holy Spirit to live within us, to lead and guide and comfort us on our earthly pilgrimage. Oh all thanks and glory be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, now and forever more! 

Unfortunately though, many supposed believers don’t seem to understand and appreciate the seriousness and gravity of the Christian situation and just muddle along nonchalantly. But Friends, that is the most important aspect of our earthly sojourn; where we will spend eternity. Now you can be frivolous about it and just continue your merry way rejoicing, hoping that it will all fall into place on its own. 

But take my word, it won’t. We all have to make definite decisions about whether we’re going to follow Christ or not. And if we do decide to follow Him, then we have to get down to brass tacks and sincerely do what He desires of us. A wishy-washy, haphazard attitude won’t do, because Jesus desires diligence, faithfulness, and excellence from His followers. 

As His earthly ambassadors we need to reflect a good and proper image of Him and all that He stands for, both in our words and deeds. Remember Jesus’ words of warning in the Sermon on the Mount? ‘Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening (ravenous) wolves.’ (Matt.7:15) 

And believe me Friends, there are a lot of false prophets in existence nowadays leading God’s people astray. But Jesus gave us a way to figure them out. ‘Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil (bad) fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil (bad) fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.’ (Matt.7:16-18) 

Simple logics that my brethren. If you’re corrupt inside, you cannot bring forth anything that’s good. And if you’re good, you cannot bring forth bad or corrupt fruit. No wonder Jesus later on declared: ‘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) 

Yes my people, it’s what comes from the depths of our souls and our hearts that defile us. So we had better make sure that what’s in our hearts is good, so that we can produce good fruit. For as Jesus continues before our Bit. ‘Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.’ (Matt.7:19-20) Gospel truth that Friends! 

Now here are some interesting explanations on those verses from the scholars. ‘7:16-20. A true test of a prophet was the conformity of his doctrine to the Scriptures (cf. 1 Cor.14:37; Deut.13:1-5). Their fruits refers not only to actions of their lives, but also to the doctrines they proclaim. The two trees are contrasted in relation to the fruit they produce. 

Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit consistently, while a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit continually. Therefore, the normal and consistent production of fruit, whether good or evil, in a person’s life will bear evidence whether or not that life is of God. Verse 19 illustrates the unfruitful life of the unregenerate who is cast into the fire, a picture of eternal punishment in hell.’ 

Now there it is in black and white Friends, exactly as I said at the beginning.  To be a true and worthy follower of Jesus we have to know and proclaim His doctrines, then bear good fruit which comes from an internally good soul, spirit and heart. 

On the other hand, if our internal self is rotten and wicked, then we won’t spread true and proper doctrines, neither will we able to bear good fruit, with the unfortunate result that we’ll eventually be cast into the consuming fires of hell. 

Oh my fellow believers, I don’t think any of us wants to suffer that calamitous situation. Therefore, I will encourage us to pay close attention to the words of Jesus that we’ve discussed, as well as these ultra-important ones. 

‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth to life, that few there be that find it.’ (Matt.7:13-14) 

Yes mih breddren, as the scholars further explain. ‘One must come through the narrow gate in order to reach the path that leads to eternal life. Though many are on the broad…way, that leadeth to destruction (eternal separation from God), the gate that leads to life is so narrow that few there be that find it. Christ Himself is both the gate and the way (cf. John 14:6), and God enables men to find that gate (cf. John 6:44).’ 

So Friends, let’s get us off to church today and continually seek that strait and narrow path that leads to eternal life, for that is the wisdom of the ages! Much LOVE!

…Jesus saith unto him…I am the Way…the Truth…and the Life…NO man cometh unto the Father…but by ME…  (John 14:6)