Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 November 2015 2 Peter 1:8‏

2 Peter 1:8. For if these things be in you (are yours), and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren (useless) nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Aye Friends, as I was walking down the street just now, on this wet and windy November morn, this is the chorus I heard emanating from within the confines of a small business place on the corner. 

‘Thank God is Friday… We going out and party tonight! Thank God is Friday… We going to have a good time! Thank God is Friday… We not going home till morning come…Thank God is Friday… We going to sleep out the whole of Saturday… Thank God is Friday yes!’  

Hn, hn! Don’t laugh Friends, because that’s what a lot of us do. We party on Friday, then sleep away Saturday, or party on Saturday then sleep away Sunday. Some of us even party all weekend then can’t get up to go to work on Monday and complain about how the job is interfering with our lives, when the problem is that we overdid it. 

Anyway, there’s no explaining human nature, so let’s just chant our Friday Chant and try to get a better perspective on it all. Chanting: ‘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 people, that is a much better way to handle the short two days off from our jobs. It calls for a balanced schedule of fun, relaxation, worship and fellowship. Bringing balance to our lives is the only way that we can successfully live this earthly pilgrimage. 

But Lucifer and his evil cohorts do their best to make us lose that sense of balance, because they know that then we are particularly vulnerable to their wiles and lies. So having balance is not only a sensible physical thing, but also a spiritual necessity. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit. ‘For if these things be in you (are yours), and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren (useless) nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 

Ah mih people, we saw yesterday from Aristotle’s quote, that excellence is a habit, and if it’s one thing Jesus desires from ALL of His followers is excellence. And as Peter told us yesterday we have already been filled with all the things we need to be excellent followers of Jesus, we just have to work diligently at it. 

We need to diligently combine our faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance (self-control), patience (perseverance), godliness, brotherly kindness and charity (LOVE) into one effective whole. For as our Bit tells us, if those things abound in us, then we won’t be useless or unfruitful. 

Remember Jesus said by our fruits we shall be known. (Mat.7:16) And we can only bring forth good fruits if we have good things within us, and we work diligently at them. 

Now let’s look at a few scriptures that deal with excellence. First up is that well known passage from Psalm 36 – The steadfast LOVE of God – where Bruh David proudly proclaims: ‘How excellent (precious) is thy LOVING-kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.’ (Ps.36:7)  

Then Cousin Sol tells us in Proverbs 17: ‘Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.’ (Prov.17:7) And remember Friends, as believers, we are of the royal household of Christ, which means we are all princes and princesses, thus only excellence becomes us. 

And the prophet Isaiah when talking about Jerusalem being warned, boldly declares: ‘This also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working (guidance).’ 

Yes my brethren, if we truly study our wonderful and omnipotent God, we’ll discover that ALL He does or says is excellent. Excellence is His middle name! 

And Bruh Paul, when talking to the Philippians about thanksgiving and prayer, says it thus: ‘And this I pray, that your LOVE may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgement (discernment); That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.’ (Phil.1:9-11). 

And we’ll end with explanations of those two last verses from the scholars. ‘1:10. Things that are excellent means “things that really matter.” This refers to important issues. As the Philippians LOVE increases in knowledge and discernment (v.9), they will be able to accurately distinguish the vital and worthwhile things in life from those that are not. 

Contextually, the readers’ LOVE for Paul vexes them as they are anxious over his imprisonment. He wants them to perceive his imprisonment as being among those “things that really matter” because of the good that God will bring out of it. The purpose for such discrimination is that ye may be sincere (or, morally pure) and without offense till the day of Christ.’ 

‘1:11. This verse could be translated, “filled with the fruit that is righteousness, which comes through Jesus Christ for the purpose of glorifying and praising God.” The believer who is pure and without offense before God (v.10) has divinely developed in him a practical “righteousness” or daily moral life that measures up to God’s standards in character and conduct. The ultimate purpose for this “righteousness” is to glorify God.’ 

So my fellow believers, let’s try and put all that we have heard into practice today nuh, obviously with God’s help, so that we truly be worthy of the name, ‘children of God.’ Much LOVE!

…the three most important words in Christianity…excellence…excellence…excellence… (smile)

 

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