Posted by: Larry Hoekman | May 28, 2015

Fruit of the Spirit — Choose Self-Control!

Day 1192:  Be blessed today!!!

Scripture:  And as Paul was discussing righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix became frightened and said, “Go away for now and when I find the time, I will send for you.  Acts 24:25    I must consider all the suffering Jesus endured at the hands of sinful men, so that I don’t become weary and give up.  After all, in my struggle against sin, I have not yet striven to the point of shedding my own blood.  Hebrews 12:3,4

Thoughts/questions:  Hebrews calls exercising self-control ‘struggle against sin’.  Sin, missing God’s mark, is so often related to doing what we want, instead of doing God’s desires for our lives.  Do we give in to our passions or do we exercise self-control? A struggle even the cartoonists described as a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other.

Is self-control that important?   When witnessing to Felix, Paul chose to use righteousness and self-control as major components of his talk and Felix freaked out and couldn’t listen anymore!  Yes, self-control is MAJOR.  Some say that the commandment to ‘not covet’ is a pivotal commandment as when you break it, it opens the door to break most of the other ones.  Self-control is like that!  Without the Spirit’s self-control, all of the other fruit of the Spirit would be very difficult to exhibit.  If we can’t restrain ourselves, how can we consistently show the other fruit?

We must be in control of our attitudes, thought processes, desires, passions, patterns, and habits so that they do not dictate our behavior!  The difficulty becomes when we do not use spiritual means to fight this spiritual battle.  It is not a mental exercise contemplating the actions of Jesus.  No, it is transforming our self-absorbed life into one in which our desires become His.  Jesus’ self-control cost Him.  Our self-control will cost us – not to the point of shedding of blood, but it will cost us being in charge of our lives as we give God His rightful place!

Count the cost!  Choose self-control!  Let this fruit direct your actions!

Suggested prayer:  Lord, I’m Yours . . .

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