*Note…this devotion is a little longer. I am finishing this devotion series by looking at self-control today… as well as a summary of the series. Be sure to read it to the end.
For the last few days, we have been looking at the FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. We have been focusing on Galatians 5:22…But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
We’re not speaking of spiritual apples, grapes, pears, or peaches here. We’re talking about what’s going on in the orchard of your life. We acknowledged that we are all sinful and fall short…. And we celebrate the fact that God loves us anyway! “Christian character” follows faith and is produced by the Holy Spirit…not by merely trying to live by the law. The indwelling Holy Spirit produces faith and Christian virtues. If the goal of the Christian life may be stated as Christlikeness, then surely every trait developed in us that reflects His character must be fruit that is very pleasing to Him. Paul describes the fruit of the Spirit in nine terms. I am going to take each of these characteristics one per day. So far, we have looked at LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS.
Now today we will look at self control.
The dictionary defines self-control as the ability to control oneself, in particular, one’s emotions and desires or the expression of them in one’s behavior, especially in difficult situations.
A Biblical definition is self–control is listed in the Bible as a Fruit of the Spirit – a sign that Christ is in us. If we let our desires lead our decisions, our lives (and our bodies) can quickly spin out of control. Self–control is a discipline that God grows in us when we continually choose to die to our flesh and live in Him.
While his wife sang in the church choir, Mr. Nelsen took the couple’s infant son to sit with him in the worship service. And, as children are so adept at doing, he let out a terrifying scream right in the middle of the pastor’s sermon. Mr. Nelsen got up, took the child in the hallway where he was overheard saying, “Okay, John, just take it easy. Don’t get excited. it’ll be okay. Settle down. Whoa now. Just relax. Relax, John, relax.” When the service ended, the woman who overheard Mr. Nelsen’s conversation with his infant son, remarked to Mrs. Nelsen, “I certainly admire your husband’s patience with your baby John.” “My son’s name is Chris. My husband is John,” the woman replied.
So…How are you doing with self-control? How about in regard to food and drink, anger, foul words, smoking? Stop reading for a minute and quietly ask yourself…what area do you struggle with self-control issues?
Titus 2:11-12…For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
I think that we would all agree that the world is out of control! But the bigger question for you is “are you out of control?” Do you feel like a car with a broken steering wheel, bouncing off curbs?
Proverbs 25:28… Like a city whose walls are broken throughis a person who lacks self-control.
I want us to focus on a verse found in 1 Corinthians 9:25… Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
We all sin…fall short! The wages (results) of sin is death. A broken relationship with a Holy God. On our own we will perish! And yet, thankfully, God Loves YOU so much that He sent His Son Jesus to fix the problem. He died in your place. He restored your relationship with God. YOU are saved! You have a crown of righteousness in our future.
2 Timothy 4:8… Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
But there is still a problem. We keep on sinning! In our sinful state we lack self-control. That’s where God steps in with the fruit of the spirit including a self-control empowered by God’s Power.
Our verse above about athletes says they go into strict training. How do we go into training to be more Christ-like…to have more self control?
Number one is to read God’s Word daily! Don’t just nod and move on reading this…schedule a time every day to hear what God has to say to you in His Word.
We need to pray for God to guide you and equip you to accomplish His plans for you.
Be active in His church…worship regularly! Use your gifts to serve those in need.
In addressing a need for self-control…admit your problem. James 1:14… but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. What area of your life is out of control? Do you rationalize why it’s ok? Do you blame others for your actions? Do you say “everyone else is doing it” or “it’s just a little sin” “I could quit anytime.”
Does this sound like you? Romans 7:18-19… For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. That’s our sinful nature showing….but God wants to move you past those things…to make Godly choices.
Ask God to give you more self-control! Galatians 5:16 (gnt)… What I say is this: let the Spirit direct your lives, and you will not satisfy the desires of the human nature.
In this series we have looked at the virtues and characteristics that God is producing in us…through the Holy Spirit. Here is a short way of remembering them: Love is the key. Joy is love singing. Peace is love resting. Patience is love enduring. Kindness is love’s touch. Goodness is love’s character. Faithfulness is love’s habit. Gentleness is love’s self-forgetfulness. Self-control is love holding the reins.
I thought the best way to finish this series of devotions on the FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT was to use this illustration!
The Maker of all human beings (GOD) is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart. This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units, code-named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units. This defect has been identified as “Subsequential Internal Non-morality,” more commonly known as S.I.N., as it is primarily expressed.
Some of the symptoms include:
- Lack of self control
- Foul vocal emissions
- Amnesia of origin
- Lack of peace and joy
- Selfish or violent behavior
- Depression or confusion
- Loss of direction
The Manufacturer, who is neither liable nor at fault for this defect, is providing factory-authorized repair and service free of charge to correct this defect.
The Repair Technician, JESUS, has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of these repairs. There is no additional fee required.
The number to call for repair in all areas is: P-R-A-Y-E-R.
Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure.
Next, download ATONEMENT from the Repair Technician, Jesus, into the heart component.
No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, Jesus will replace it with:
- Self control
Please see the operating manual, the B.I.B.L.E. (BEST Instructions Before Leaving Earth) for further details on the use of these fixes.
WARNING: Continuing to operate the human being unit without correction voids any manufacturer warranties, exposing the unit to dangers and problems too numerous to list, and will result in the human unit being permanently impounded. For free emergency service, call P-R-A-Y-E-R and ask for Jesus.