Summary: Self-Control is one of the most difficult fruits to master.
• SLIDE #1
• Have you ever watched some of the survivor shows on television? Survivor? Survivor Man (Nutty guy)? Castaway? Robinson Caruso?
• It seems like if the people are on certain islands, there always seems to be coconuts available to them.
• Look at this coconut; it does not look very appetizing does it? Who was the first person to think about opening up one of these to eat?
• SLIDE #2
• I like coconuts, but they are not the easiest fruit to get to or to open up.
• Usually these coconuts are up high in coconut trees, making them hard to get to.
• Now once you get to the fruit, the fun begins. Trying to open one of those coconuts is not an easy task if you do not have the right tools to open it. If you try to smash it, the sweet milk inside spills out on the ground. It has been quite comical watching people on these shows trying to get at the milk and the inside of a coconut.
• Once you are able to crack one open, the work is worth it. Coconut cream pie, coconut dream pie blizzard time!
• Today we are going to talk about a fruit that just may be the hardest or one of the hardest for us to get to. It may be one of the hardest for us to crack open.
• The great thing about the fruit of self-control is once you get it open, you will reap the wonderful milk inside.
• This fruit of self-control is a fruit that opens many great things to us in life. What this fruit will do for every area of your life is a wonderful blessing waiting to happen!
• SLIDE #3
I. THE FRUIT OF SELF-CONTROL.
• Once again, we need to begin with the basics, let us first define what self-control is.
• SLIDE #4
1. Defining self-control.
• SLIDE #5
• The meaning in the original means: “to grip” or to “take hold of.”
• This word describes a person who is willing to get a grip on their lives ad take control of areas that will bring them success or failure.
• It is the power to keep oneself in check.
• It is the quality that gives victory over fleshly desires.
• Commentator William Barclay has a couple of comments worth noting pertaining to self-control.
• Plato uses of self-mastery. It is the spirit which has mastered its desires and its love of pleasure.
• It is used of the athlete’s discipline of his body (1 Corinthians 9:25) and of the Christian’s mastery of sex (1 Corinthians 7:9). Secular Greek uses it of the virtue of an Emperor who never lets his private interests influence the government of his people. It is the virtue which makes a man so master of himself that he is fit to be the servant of others. (William Barclay)
• He further states: Self-control is that great quality which comes to a man when Christ is in his heart, that quality which makes him able to live and to walk in the world, and yet to keep his garments unspotted from the world.
• SLIDE #6
• Proverbs 25:28 (ESV) A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.
• The passage from Proverbs underscores the importance of a self-controlled life.
• SLIDE #7
2. Anything uncontrolled can harm you and your relationships.
• Think about people who accomplish things, they have the ability to exercise self-control.
• John Maxwell writes: “In reading about the lives of great people, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves.”
• There was an office sign that read: “If you could kick the person responsible for most of your troubles, you wouldn’t be able to sit for a week.”
• It is always easy to blame others for our failures, but many times we are our own worst enemy because we lacked the self-control to put in the effort we should have to be successful.
• Former Tonight Show host Jack Paar stated: Looking back, my life seems to be one long obstacle course, with me as the chief obstacle.
• The Bible talks about some areas in our lives that are negatively affected when uncontrolled.
• SLIDE #8
• And the list goes on. When we loose control of areas of our life, that area will hurt us.
• SLIDE #9
II. THE MARKS OF A SELF-CONTROLLED LIFE. 1 CORINTHIANS 9:24-27
• We are going to flip over to 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 as we examine the marks of a self-controlled life.