Saturday, June 22, 2013

Take Advantage of Opportunities to Exercise Self-Control

We have many opportunities to exercise your self-control muscles.  You buy three cookies at the store; eat two and try to save one for the next day.  You're bored waiting in traffic; start thanking God for what He's done in your life and for other people who've been good to you in your life.  Why do we exercise self-control?  It is our worship!  Think about it:  self-control ushers us back to the position of God's character, we enter into praise, thanksgiving, love, and overwhelming peace and power no matter what.  Christ gives us the strength to practice self-control.  But as we practice it, we get stronger and better at it.  So every opportunity you get, practice self control:   When you want to retaliate or lean on your own understandings, or (even worse) act upon only your own understanding, take a pause and think of God; then understand that God wants to fill this moment with Himself.  In a conflict, it may mean being silent when you would rather talk back, in a negotiation, it may mean taking a day to pray instead of making a decision as soon as it feels right. Proverbs 22:4 says, "True humility and fear of the LORD leads to riches, honor, and long life."  Do you have many concerns about your life?  How long you will live?   Where the next pay check will come from?  People always talking about you behind your back?   God's word says as we humble ourselves and consider the LORD in our interactions and in even the small moments in our lives, God's word says that as we practice self-control, God will fill all of those needs to overflowing and on top of that He will bring an overflow of joy, peace, kindness, and goodness into your life as he promised.  What I just mentioned is an exemplary definition of a man or woman who is "more than a conqueror" in Christ Jesus.   Amen.  

Take advantage of EVERY opportunity to exercise your self-control.  It is a deposit in your spiritual account so to speak because every moment you exercise self-control God will give you back so much more than whatever you are being patient for, but you will become stronger.  Look at what Isaiah 40:31 says about those who practice self-control.  He calls it "waiting" here.  It says,  "Those who trust in the LORD will find new strength.  They will soar high on wings like the eagle.  They will run and not grow weary.  They will walk and not faint."

So every time you practice self control, you are actually exercising your spiritual muscles, and you are getting stronger!  You know how strong you are by how often you take advantage of each and every moment (and you CAN take full advantage of every moment as the Bible says or it would not say so).  So start today by looking for opportunities in your life to exercise your self-control.  When you think of that person who's doing you wrong, practice self-control by knowing that God is fighting for you and you have a Savior who loves you so much He forgave you all your sins so that you could forgive others.  Thank God for the power God gives us to forgive ourselves and others because of Jesus.   Forgive those around you today for that is what love is and God commands us to "love one another" constantly.  

I'll pray for your success today.  I'll pray for your workout today!

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