Summary: Looking at the Fruit of the Spirit - Self-Control

Believe 24 – Self-Control

May 3, 2015

Titus 2:11-14

If we could take an honest picture of ourselves, what would we say we struggle with?

Actually, if others could take a look at us, what would they say we struggle with?

There are so many things in life which trap us, things which turn us into slaves, often times without our knowledge. But we find we’ve given our heart, spirit, mind and body to something which is not good for us.

We can look at Baltimore this past week. The looting and rioting serve no other purpose than to give people a license to destroy. There was even a mother who was seen beating on her son because he was taking part in the riots. We could even say she lost it.

But, we don’t have riots in Madison County. So, what grabs you?

Maybe you’re in the car and there is no conversation, because everyone is on their phones. Or you’re at a restaurant and the only conversation is what people have on their phones. They’re tweeting, checking out facebook, instagram, texting, playing a game, checking their email, maybe even checking their bank account. But they’re consumed with their phone.

Maybe you dread when your credit card statement arrives because you know you’ve charged more than you can afford to pay back. You can justify every expense, every purchase has a reason behind it. Good days need to be celebrated, bad days need to be consoled. So, we shop. But you fail to admit your spending is out of control. You borrow money with hopes that you will never have to pay it back.

Or maybe your problem is food. Maybe it’s salty snacks. Or it’s those hidden bags of candy and chocolate. You can’t help but grab some every time you walk by. Personally, speaking, that’s one of my biggest downfalls. I love my chocolate, along with a hot cup of coffee.

Maybe for some of you, the big issue is your desire to control all of life. When everything is going your way, your great to be with, but if life has taken a turn in a different direction, you’re a bear to live with.

Maybe it’s anger! Maybe, it’s lust! Maybe, it’s . . . you fill in the blanks.

Well, today, we are talking about SELF CONTROL! This is a biggie. Because I really believe so much of who we are comes from self-control.

You see, self-control doesn’t come easily. If we want to win the battle for self-control, we need to understand a few things.

One of the devil’s greatest lies is getting us to believe he doesn’t exist. So we make fun of him and turn him into a cartoon character. We have no concern about his destructive power. Another one of his great lies is there are no moral absolutes. Everyone can decide for themselves what’s right and what’s wrong. You can do anything you want, as long as it’s legal, and even then we can argue about our rights. We aren’t concerned about hurting people. Life is all about us and satisfying our wants. He doesn’t warn us that we can destroy our lives and hurt others in the process.

Peter warns us, 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8) satans greatest joy is to lead you away from God.

We also need to understand that the phrase self-control, in my opinion is an oxymoron. The call is for us to control ourselves. That can imply we need to use a familiar phrase . . . willpower. I just don’t have any willpower when Debbie buys 10 pounds of my favorite chocolate. You’re right! I don’t have any willpower. On my own, on my own power, I am always going to struggle. I don’t really like that phrase

Remember Paul’s words in Philippians 4:13 ~ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. We may look at this verse as an old good one. It may be a favorite verse, but what does it really mean? Firstly, it doesn’t say I can do all things through Michael’s power. It doesn’t say Michael is strong enough that he can handle anything.

It says I (Michael) can do all things . . . I can do anything? WHY? Because it is Christ who is giving me strength. It is not my own strength. It is the most powerful power, the most dynamic dynamite power which is available to me. It is the strength and power of God All Mighty. It is the power which comes from the God who brought His Son back from the dead. It is power from the God who offers us eternal life. It is more power than we can even imagine. That’s the power source we need to rely on. So, with that power in mind, I can accomplish great things and I can resist destructive things. Because I have the power of Jesus Christ.

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