Self-Control Is A Mark of the Spirit Controlled Life (Week 9)

Greetings all!  Do you know you are deeply loved by God?  Romans 8 paints a picture of the spirit controlled life and it begins with these words, “Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus.”  If you struggle with self-control don’t condemn yourself and be stuck and unable to move forward.  Exercise heart-felt repentance and start again; it really is that easy.  Staying where you are with a shrug of your shoulders and a thought of “that’s just the way it is” is not the momentum that will bring change to your life.  If you have accepted Jesus as Lord of your life you have His Spirit in you.  One of the influences of His Spirit is self-control.  Yield to His Spirit by allowing the thoughts of His Spirit to take the priority over your thoughts and observe how your self-control becomes adjusted.  We must completely trust the Spirit of God more than we trust our own feelings, intellect, and experiences.

Consider self-control defined as being one who is physically and emotionally self-mastered, particularly in situations of intense provocation or temptation.  Let’s take a look at some Scriptures exposing the truth of self-control.

Self-control is the mark of a wise person

A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man holds it in check.  Proverbs 29:11

Self-control is an aspect of the Christian character

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control.  Galatians 5:22-23

For the grace of God has appeared with salvation for all people, instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age.  Titus 2:11-12

Be hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, righteous, holy, self-controlled.  Titus 1:8

Older men are to be level-headed, worthy of respect, sensible, and sound in faith, love, and endurance.  Titus 2:2 (This verse speaks to older men but there is no reason women should not have the same behavior.)

Women should be self-controlled, pure, homemakers, kind, and submissive to their husbands, so that God’s message will not be slandered.  In the same way, encourage the young men to be self-controlled in everything. Make yourself an example of good works with integrity and dignity in your teaching. Your message is to be sound beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be ashamed, having nothing bad to say about us.  Titus 2:5-8

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.  2 Peter 1:5-7

Self-control affects the whole person

a.  Physical self-control

Therefore I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one beating the air. Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.  1 Corinthians 9:26-27

For this is God’s will, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality so that each of you knows how to control his own body in sanctification and honor, not with lustful desires, like the Gentiles who don’t know God.  1 Thessalonians 4:3-5

b.  A mental discipline

Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be serious and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  1 Peter 1:13

So then, we must not sleep, like the rest, but we must stay awake and be serious.  But since we belong to the day, we must be serious and put the armor of faith and love on our chests, and put on a helmet of the hope of salvation.  1 Thessalonians 5:6,8

Now the end of all things is near; therefore, be serious and disciplined for prayer.  1 Peter 4:7

Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.  1 Peter 5:8

c.  Controlled in speech

Lord, set up a guard for my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips.  Psalm 141:3

My dearly loved brothers, understand this: Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.  James 1:19

You have tested my heart; You have examined me at night. You have tried me and found nothing evil; I have determined that my mouth will not sin.  Psalm 17:3

A wise heart instructs its mouth and increases learning with its speech.  Proverbs 16:23

The one who guards his mouth and tongue keeps himself out of trouble.  Proverbs 21:23

Do not be hasty to speak, and do not be impulsive to make a speech before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.  Ecc 5:2

For we all stumble in many ways.  If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a mature man who is also able to control his whole body.  James 3:2

Dangers of a loss of self-control

A fool’s mouth is his devastation, and his lips are a trap for his life.  Proverbs 18:7

They angered the Lord at the waters of Meribah, and Moses suffered because of them; for they embittered his spirit, and he spoke rashly with his lips.  Psalm 106:32-33

Therefore God delivered them over in the cravings of their hearts to sexual impurity, so that their bodies were degraded among themselves. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served something created instead of the Creator, who is praised forever.  Amen.  Romans 1:24-25

But these people, like irrational animals — creatures of instinct born to be caught and destroyed — speak blasphemies about things they don’t understand, and in their destruction, they too will be destroyed, suffering harm as the payment for unrighteousness.  2 Peter 2:12-13

For by uttering boastful, empty words, they seduce, with fleshly desires and debauchery, people who have barely escaped from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption since people are enslaved to whatever defeats them.  2 Peter 18-19

For some men, who were designated for this judgment long ago, have come in by stealth; they are ungodly, turning the grace of our God into promiscuity and denying Jesus Christ, our only Master and Lord.  Jude 1:4

Prayer:  Thank you Lord for your revealed truth.  Help me to yield to Your Spirit and the self-controlled life.  I thank you for the instruction and guidance you have provided to help me.  My desire is your sanctification.  I ask and receive in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

In His grace,

Amanda

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The Truth of Addiction

Greetings all!  Since inclement weather hindered our meeting last week please review the ‘gentleness’ theme from Jan. 16th.  Next week we will round out with self-control.   For now, we will look at an area in some of our lives in desperate need of self-control ~ addiction.  If you or anyone else you know has successfully combated the yoke of addiction you know full well it requires the Spirit’s fruit of self-control to be triumphant.

Let’s dive right into the deep water of the addiction topic and recognize that people are enslaved to whatever defeats them (2 Peter 2:19).  Whatever habit we refuse to take to the cross of Christ we will end up bending our knees to.  Our addictions whether to sin in general or food, fear, self-debasing, drugs, alcohol, pleasure, hate, approval, drama, electronics, etc., which we have become dependent upon we have raised to a place of superiority and in doing so, caused ourselves to be brought low.  Addiction does not bring choices and freedom it brings servitude.  Christ died to set you free so that nothing defeats you!   Escape the addicted life by yielding your will to the Spirit of God and utilizing His resource of self-control, which you have IN Christ.  Christ made a way of escape for you sweet thing because He loves you immensely.  You really do have a choice.

Below are some Scriptures that will guide you regarding the truth of addiction.

Addiction to food, alcohol or drugs is to become dependent upon them.

“For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction; their god is their stomach; their glory is in their shame. They are focused on earthly things.”  Philippians 3:18-19

“Woe to those who rise early in the morning in pursuit of beer, who linger into the evening, inflamed by wine.”  Isaiah 5:11

“These also stagger because of wine and stumble under the influence of beer: priest and prophet stagger because of beer, they are confused by wine.  They stumble because of beer, they are muddled in their visions, they stumble in their judgments.  Indeed, all their tables are covered with vomit; there is no place without a stench.”  Isaiah 28:7-8

“Come, let me get some wine, let’s guzzle some beer; and tomorrow will be like today, only far better!”  Isaiah 56:12

“In the same way, older women are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not addicted to much wine.”  Titus 2:3

Addiction to wealth is to be controlled by it.

“Then, looking at him, Jesus loved him and said to him, “You lack one thing: Go, sell all you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” But he was stunned at this demand, and he went away grieving because he had many possessions.”  Mark 10:21-22

“When her owners saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities.”  Acts 16:19

“At the same time, he was also hoping that money would be given to him by Paul.”  Acts 24:26

“They have gone astray by abandoning the straight path and have followed the path of Balaam, the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness.”  2 Peter 2:15

Addiction never satisfies

Addiction to sinful habits does not satisfy.  “For when you were slaves of sin, you were free from allegiance to righteousness., So what fruit was produced then from the things you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death.”  Romans 6:20-21

Addiction to food, alcohol, or drugs does not satisfy.  “All man’s labor is for his stomach, yet the appetite is never satisfied.”  Ecc 6:7

Addiction to wealth does not satisfy.  “The one who loves money is never satisfied with money, and whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with income. This too is futile.”  Ecc 5:10   “But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.”  1 Timothy 6:9-10

The answer to addiction is self-control through the new life in Christ

“For we know that our old self, was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin since a person who has died is freed from sin’s claims.”  Romans 6:6-7

“So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires. And do not offer any parts of it to sin as weapons for unrighteousness. But as those who are alive from the dead, offer yourselves to God, and all the parts of yourselves to God as weapons for righteousness. For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under law but under grace.”  Romans 6:11-14      

“Don’t you know that if you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of that one you obey-either of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness? But thank God that, although you used to be slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were transferred to, and having been liberated from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. I am using a human analogy, because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you offered the parts of yourselves as slaves to moral impurity, and to greater and greater lawlessness, so now offer them as slaves to righteousness, which results in sanctification.”  Romans 8:12-15

“Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”  1 Corinthians 9:27

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things, there is no law.”  Galatians 5:22-23

Lord, I need your help.  Help me put desires of my ‘self’ under the ‘control’ of Your Spirit.  I desire to yield my will to Your will.  Heal my mind, soul, body, and spirit Lord of all addictions.  I acknowledge that although I may be able to hide my addictions from others they are never hidden from you.  I desire to receive YOUR freedom.   In the powerful name of Jesus, I pray and believe.

In His grace,

Amanda

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Gentleness (Week 8)

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control.”  Galatians 5:22

Greetings fellow sojourners!  You are Divinely Inspired and Victoriously Anointed!

You have probably witnessed the attribute of gentleness in others but have you given much thought to the concept that gentleness originates from God whether or not a person chooses to acknowledge Him?  Genesis 1:27 tells us, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”  God IS gentle and when we manifest this fruit of gentleness we are able to do so because He created us to do so. 

When we became believers of Jesus Christ, God gave us His Spirit. When we yield our lives to Him we are able to demonstrate this fruit the Bible calls gentleness.  Gentleness evinces itself as a mild temperament or behavior.  Some synonyms of gentleness are kind, tender, sympathetic, considerate, understanding, compassionate, benevolent, and good-natured.  Someone demonstrating gentleness would be moderate in their actions; not being harsh or severe.

I have gathered together Scripture references for ‘gentleness’ and included them below.  These references will give us examples of when and how gentleness should come forth in our circumstances.

“What do you want? Should I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of gentleness?”               1 Corinthians 4:21

Paul is asking what the will is of the people of Corinth.  Did they desire paternal discipline or loving gentleness?  Either way, it would be for their good.  If someone is repentant always come to them with loving gentleness.

“Now I, Paul, make a personal appeal to you by the gentleness and graciousness of Christ — I who am humble among you in person but bold toward you when absent.”  2 Corinthians 10:1

We should at all times desire to imitate and exhibit the gentleness of Christ.

“Brothers, if someone is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual should restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so you also won’t be tempted.”          Galatians 6:1

If someone falls into sin the ones under the influences of the Spirit should spiritually restore the person in a gentle manner.  Gentleness should always be the first response and only if not received, should discipline be the answer.

“Therefore I, the prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting, one another in love, diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us.”  Ephesians 4:1-3

Gentleness is an excellent disposition of the soul and does not provoke others, nor is it easily provoked or offended.

“Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive.”      Colossians 3:12-13

Sweet thing, imagine clothing yourself in gentleness.  Don’t imagine it to be a behavior you exhibit when convenient but imagine it something you are wrapped in.  It is one of the Lord’s attributes, therefore, it IS powerful.

“But you, man of God, run from these things, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.”  1 Timothy 6:11

Just as you would run from sin pursue gentleness with the same vigor.

“The Lord’s slave must not quarrel but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach, and patient, instructing his opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth. Then they may come to their senses and escape the Devil’s trap, having been captured by him to do his will.”  2 Timothy 2:24-26

We are instructed to be gentle not only to those belonging to the brotherhood of Christ but even to the lost.  All should see and learn how lovely and desirable it is to be a Christian.  Perhaps through your gentleness, it will bring someone to their senses.

“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to slander no one, to avoid fighting, and to be kind, always showing gentleness to all people.”     Titus 3:1-2

Are you always ready to be gentle?  looking for an opportunity?

“Who is wise and has understanding among you? He should show his works by good conduct with wisdom’s gentleness.”  James 3:13

Gentleness demonstrates someone that walks in wisdom.

“Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. However, do this with gentleness and respect, keeping your conscience clear, so that when you are accused, those who denounce your Christian life will be put to shame.”  1 Peter 3:15b-16

Instruct others not in arrogance or in frustration but with gentleness.  Let’s be mindful that we indeed are far from perfect.  When our mistakes are witnessed by others the fruit of our gentle behavior will aid in approving our Christian life to accusers.

Thank you Lord Jesus for YOUR gift of gentleness made manifest in me.  Help me to become so acutely aware of your gentleness towards me that I am compelled to have gentleness towards others.  In Jesus name, I ask and believe.

(Review the post dated Oct. 24th regarding the weekly schedule for the Fruit of the Spirit. (Thursday we fast and pray.  Friday consider what the Lord reveals to you and repent as the Spirit leads.  Saturday, manifest/be aware of God’s gift of gentleness in you at least once, Sunday at least twice, and Monday at least three times.)

In His grace,

Amanda

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Got Faith? (Week 7)

Greetings fellow sojourners!  Oh, how I have missed my Bible study group these last few weeks!  I pray this stretch of time was of great joy for you and that you were able to nestle into the Peace ONLY Jesus can offer.

I am not one for New Year’s resolutions but as we have entered this new year let’s be absolutely resolute as we turn the calendar and face new blessings as well as challenges that we do it with a bold and ardent determination to be salt and light in this generation for which we have been called.

I would like to challenge you, as I am myself, to do two things and to stick with it until you see the faithfulness of God in that specific area.  As we do so, let’s remember that God does not always answer our prayers of faith in the exact manner in which we have requested but know you are highly regarded by God and He DOES answer!  By faith we know He is Omnipotence (all-powerful), Omniscience (all-knowing), and Omnipresence (everywhere at the same time).  It is only He that knows what we truly need and what is best for us because He sees the beginning and the end and what it is we require for our sanctification.  During this time we are going to keep our eyes of faith peeled for His tender involvement in our circumstances and be ready to respond with thankful praise.

Firstly, consider your deepest need.  A need only God Himself can reconcile and construct it into a sentence.  Write it down on something you can always refer back to and pray over.  (For those of you in my Bible study group I will bring a card for you to record your request.)  Mark your calendar the first day you begin to pray and commit to praying each day for 30 days or until the Lord has intervened.  Mark each day off on the calendar to serve only as a reminder to yourself. Continue praying past the 30 days if need be and allow the Lord full access to your heart in the process.

Secondly, you know someone else who’s life would be profoundly affected by witnessing the faithfulness of God in their life.  Pray specifically for someone else as well.

Let’s demonstrate bold faith regarding the One who is faithful sweet things.

(Review the post dated Oct. 24th regarding the weekly schedule for the Fruit of the Spirit. (Thursday we fast and pray.  Friday consider what the Lord reveals to you and repent as the Spirit leads.  Saturday, manifest/be aware of God’s gift of faith in you at least once, Sunday at least twice, and Monday at least three times.)

In His grace,

Amanda

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