Monday, July 04, 2011

Convo with Pastor - Romans 7:15,19,24,25 - Self-Control

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and SELF-CONTROL.
Galatians 5:22-23 
Paul said,
I do not understand my own actions.
For I do not do the good I want,
but the evil I do not want is what I do.
Wretched man that I am!
Who will rescue me from this body of death?
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Romans 7:15,19,24,25
Romans 7 is perhaps the most poignant description of human nature in all scripture.
How many of you have ever cried with Paul: "The good that I want to do, I do not do. But the evil I don't want to do, that's the very thing I do! Wretched man that I am!"?
I know I have. I'm repeatedly weak. I'm frequently tempted. My biggest consolation is that if Paul -- a real live saint -- couldn't completely marshal his thoughts, words, and deed, what chance do I have?!!!
I don't joke about that in order to justify sin. Rather, I turn to Galatians 5 to discover what chance I really do have. This same Paul tells us that self-control is a fruit of the Spirit.
Paul calls these nine attributes "fruits" for a reason. In nature, a cherry branch can't just decide one day to squeeze out a lemon. Why? Because it's attached to cherry tree.
In the same way, it's nearly impossible for me squeeze out self-control unless I'm attached to the Tree of the Life. Through the branches of the Holy Spirit flow the nutrients of love, joy, peace, and self-control. Think about it ... Isn't this why recovery groups tell us that one of the key steps is connecting with our "higher power."
We know who our higher power is. And if we're honest, we know that on our own we'll wind up weak and wretched. But thanks be to God that through Jesus and power of the Holy Spirit we can gain self-control as we rely on him instead of on ourselves.
Today, let's say that the fruit of this fruit is "independence"!
In Christ's Love,
a guy who's thankful today
for the freedoms in our country 
Self-control is the hardest fruit of the spirit for me.  So often I feel completely and utterly out of control. I will do, say or react to something and only afterwards stop and realize that I really didn't want to do that!

I guess one of the first steps to self control is fully giving control to God.

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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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