Sunday, July 29, 2018

Fruit of the Spirit #9 - SELF-CONTROL

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for https://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo SundayFruitB_zpsz9czalyu.jpg
Fruit of the Spirit #9 = SELF-CONTROL
When we become a Christian, we are filled with the Holy Spirit and these "fruits" (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control) are the characteristics that overflow from us.  This does not mean that we automatically produce Spiritual fruit without effort - we are still sinners and fall short of the Glory of God.  However, this fruitful Spirit will become easier and be like a good habit after years of practice.
by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo SundayFruitVerse_zpsb99tym7d.jpg

Today we will concentrate on SELF-CONTROL.

Self-control is a characteristic that has been forgotten about in our modern world.  In society today, anyone can say and do what they want just as long as it makes them "happy."  Whether it is physical, mental or emotional stimulation, it's an "anything goes" attitude with no regards for other people.  Often, if you are self-controlled you are being considerate of other people.  Striving to be self-controlled will not only benefit yourself but it will benefit those around you.   

"It (God's Word) teaches us to say 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age." Titus 2:12

If you read all of Titus chapter 2 you will notice that "self-control" is mentioned many times. In these verses "self-control" should be practiced by EVERYONE.  In other words, it doesn't matter what stage of life you are in or what class status - self-control is a characteristic that we should all strive to become. 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for https://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo SundayFruitB2_zps0nxatscd.jpg 

In everything that we do, we must be self-controlled through our ACTIONS.  We must show restraint in good and bad times, we must have a strong willpower and be disciplined showing the grace of Jesus our Lord & Savior.

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for https://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo SundayFruitB1_zpsta0hxleu.jpg 

I find it so interesting that our "minds" must be clear and prepared for both PRAYER & ACTION.  Have you ever had difficulty praying because your mind was racing on things happening in your life? - That has been the case for me many times.  If your mind is not clear then it is impossible to honestly have quiet time with God.  Prayer is so much more listening than talking.  God molds us through prayer and how can we understand anything if thoughts are racing through our mind?  Thoughts like: "I have to do the laundry" or "I better help the kids with their homework" or "I'm hungry - doesn't chocolate sound good?"  We must clear our minds of all of this clutter before we pray. 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for https://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo SundayFruitB3_zpssxtqxfnx.jpg 

Then there's TEMPTATION.  Look at the verse above and how vivid it is - "the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."  Being self-controlled & alert is necessary to help defend ourselves against Satan and temptation.  I wonder if our heavenly Father wants "self-control" to become second nature - like a good habit.  Especially since self-control is vital for prayer, for our actions & during temptation.

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for https://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo SundayFruitB4_zpsrtojvqcf.jpg 

There is a vacant rundown house in my neighborhood and it is literally out of control.  This dilapidated house has skunks, opossums and stray cats living on or under the porch and garage.  There is junk piled to the ceiling of the front & back porches and there are also many wasp nests and the worst smell of mold coming out of this house.  This state of disrepair is what I think of when I read the verse above.

What will you do with your shed full of self- control this week?





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