Friday, October 25, 2013

Fruits of the Spirit: Day 10 - Self-control

Galatians 5:22-23 -- "But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!"

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We live in a world of instant gratification. Communication and information are at our fingertips. Food and clothing are a short trip to the store. We don't have to work hard to get what we need anymore. I understand we do put in long hours to earn money to buy those things. However, we do not have to toil for weeks to make our clothes, raise animals to slaughter for our food or even grow our own crops to harvest each season. We can do these things, in fact I enjoy making clothes and growing crops, but we do them for purposes of pleasure, not survival.

With the never ending need-it-now world we see everyday, it is not wonder our self-control is lacking. However, even back in the Old Testament times the people had issues with self-control. This goes to show that it is less about our surroundings and more about a matter of the heart.

In Exodus, when Moses went up to receive the Ten Commandments from God on Mount Sinai, the Israelites became impatient and lost their self control:

Exodus 32:1 -- "When the people saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain, they gathered around Aaron. “Come on,” they said, “make us some gods who can lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt."

How often do we do that. We say, "God You are taking to long! I'll just handle it!" We choose another path and make decisions without God, which inevitably lead us from His plan for us.

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Exodus 32:35 -- "Then the Lord sent a great plague upon the people because they had worshiped the calf Aaron had made."

How often do we go our own way only to be followed by "great plagues?" We lose sight of He who makes all life possible. We stray from His perfect plan for us and begin to wander becoming lost in the world.

The Israelites knew something about wandering too:

Numbers 14:33 -- "And your children will be like shepherds, wandering in the wilderness for forty years. In this way, they will pay for your faithlessness, until the last of you lies dead in the wilderness."

But even after their disobedience and wandering, God blessed His people:

Deuteronomy 33:3 -- "Indeed, he loves his people; all his holy ones are in his hands. They follow in his steps
and accept his teaching."

That blessing goes for us too and He continues to love us, no matter what. He loves us so much, He sent His Son to die in order to save us. There is no greater love. 

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We must seek Him out and pray that we can keep His love as the focus of our lives. And we can pray that He will help us gain the important characteristic of self-control to resist the idea that the way of the world will fulfill us. I does not. No matter how many luxuries or people you have in your life it will not be enough. No matter how fast you can gain information and knowledge, it will not fulfill you. There is only one who can fulfill the desires of our heart and that is Jesus Christ.
Day 2 - Love            
Day 3 - Joy              
Day 4 - Peace          
Day 5 - Patience       
Day 6 - Kindness      
 Tales From A Mother - Daily Devotionals 

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