Summary: We have talked about the different aspects of the fruit of the spirit that Paul gives us. Through the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, we can live an incredible life. Let’s start in Galatians 5:19 because Paul does a tremendous job of contra
FRUIT THAT IS NEVER OUT OF SEASON
Turn with me to Galatians, Chapter 5 this morning. We have talked about the different aspects of the fruit of the spirit that Paul gives us. Through the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, we can live an incredible life. Let’s start in Galatians 5:19 because Paul does a tremendous job of contrasting the Christian who lives in the fruit of the spirit with the non-believer who lives by the fruit of the flesh. In this first part, Paul describes people that are out of control, and the last aspect of the fruit of the spirit we’re going to talk about today is self-control. And so we’re going to be able to contrast the believer who has learned self-control and self-discipline, with the person who has never been able to get their act together and their life under control.
"People’s desires make them give in to immoral ways, filthy thoughts, and shameful deeds. They worship idols. They practice witchcraft, hate others and are hard to get along with. People become jealous, angry, and selfish. They not only argue and cause trouble, but they are envious. They get drunk, carry on at wild parties, and do other evil things as well. I told you before and I’m telling you again; no one who does these things will share in the blessings of God’s kingdom. God’s spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. There is no law against behaving in any of these ways. And because we belong to Christ, we have killed our selfish feelings and desires. God’s spirit has given us life and so we should follow the spirit. But don’t be conceited or make others jealous by claiming to be more right than they are." Galatians 5:19-26
In my book, which was released last June, Developing The Leader Within You, Chapter 9 is basically on self-discipline. I began that chapter by saying, "The first victory that successful people ever achieve or win, is the victory over themselves." The moment we begin to have victory over our own flesh and our own desires, and become self-controlled, then all of a sudden we can become victorious over other things in life.
The Greek root for the word self-control means "to get a hold of " or "to get a grip on". Proverbs 25:28
It literally means to get your hands on something until you are in control of it. Today, we’re going to talk about getting our hands on and getting control of ourselves. Proverbs 25 states, "A man without self-control is as defenseless as a city with broken down walls." We all know that cities when this was written were safe only because of their walls. And the proverb writer says that the moment that we lose self-control and self-discipline, we are a city without any kind of protection.
Anything uncontrolled can harm your relationships:
Spending (Proverbs 21:20)
"What we do upon some great occasion will probably depend upon what we already are. And what we are will be the result of previous years of self-discipline." H.B. London
I want to begin this message by giving you 5 very simple starters of living a self-controlled, self-disciplined life. I think many times we take a character trait such as self-discipline, and make it more difficult than it is. It’s very simple.
The "starters" of self-discipline:
1. Start with yourself.
"Looking back, my life seems to be one long obstacle course ... with me as the chief obstacle. Jack Paar
No, that’s a little disgusting, isn’t it? Wouldn’t we rather start with someone else? How many of you know somebody you really wish could hear this message? I’m saying don’t start with your brother, your sister, your husband, your wife, your neighbor, your dad, your mom, your kids; start with yourself.
D. L. Moody, that great evangelist of the last century was asked, "Of all the people you come in contact with, who gives you the most trouble?" He said, "D. L. Moody. I have the most trouble with myself."
Several years ago I saw a sign on an office door that was so good, I stopped and I wrote it down. I knew some day I’d use it and I’m going to use it now. It said, "If you could kick the person responsible for most of your troubles, you wouldn’t be able to sit down for weeks." Start with yourself. I’ve got to start with myself. The whole issue of self-control starts with self. This is a poem my father gave me when I was in high school. This was a classic.
An enemy I had, whose face I stoutly strove to know,