Tag Archives: self-control

Relationships

The Bible is full of relationships; examples of healthy as well as unhealthy ones.

Ephesians spells out clearly how to handle some of the fundamental relationships, beginning with the institution God began all of society with: marriage.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
Ephesians 5:22 NKJV

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
Ephesians 5:25 NKJV

Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33 NKJV

There is so much here, as well as the verses between, for how God intended marriage to be.

A solid Biblical marriage brings fruit in so many areas.

Respect is not blind to sin, nor does it bend to allow that which is an abomination to God, but it instead holds fast to what is right and encourages a right standing before God.

Wives need to be right before God if they are going to be able to respect and trust their husbands.

It is from trusting in God that a wife can trust her husband, it comes from a security in the Lord Jesus.

Loving a person as Christ loves the church seems to be crystal clear.

Jesus Christ left His place in heaven to be born in a stable, to flee from an insane king, to live in a foreign land, to return after a time, and finally to begin His ministry, where He was misunderstood, misrepresented, and betrayed, a ministry which the culmination was being beaten, mocked, and crucified, all for the sake of the church, all because of His love.

Truly, husbands have an incredibly high standard, but Jesus will guide and direct and provide the way for those who choose to love like this.

What if you’re not married?

The Bible speaks to those who have parents and those who are parents.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:1‭-‬4 NKJV

Obedience to parents is not always easy, nor does the nature like to obey anyone other than self, but learning to practice self-discipline is a valuable lesson.

As adults obedience to parents can become tricky, but honoring God and serving Him first will clarify how to honor and serve one’s parents.

These verses speak directly to the father, but other places in scripture bring attention to the mother’s role as well.

Parents are to teach their children.

Deut. 6:6-7, 31:12-13, Prov. 13:24, 19:18, 22:6, Col. 3:21 are just a few verses dealing with this.

The Lord Jesus is our example in all things and since He taught and corrected His disciples with love and patience we too should teach and correct our children in His ways.

What if you don’t have any children and your parents are no longer alive?

Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he  is a slave or free.
Ephesians 6:5‭-‬8 NKJV

Bondservants are not common in our society, but these verses can certainly be applied to the working world.

As an employee, we can work: “in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,”.

But the chapter doesn’t end there, the verse is directed to the master, but it could easily be applied to the owner of a business, the boss, the supervisor, ect.

And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.
Ephesians 6:9 NKJV

Ephesians 6 continues to speak about relationships.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 6:10‭-‬12 NKJV

For whatever relationship we may be in we can be guaranteed that God will give us direction in dealing with them.

When we walk in this world we will find trouble and often that trouble will come in the form of a broken relationship.

Therefore we must remain steadfast in God’s Word and remember that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood.

Our spiritual enemy wants to steal, kill, and destroy, but God has come to give life and that more abundantly.

Through Christ Jesus we can have healthy godly relationships.

Praise the Lord!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word. Thank You for the wealth of knowledge and examples You have given in scripture. Lord Jesus please help us to be steadfast in Your Word and to walk in Your ways, especially in our relationships. Lord, help us to seek You and Your Word in all circumstances. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for the relationships we have in our lives. May Your name be glorified through us. Amen.

Surrender brings rest

I’ve never thought about it before, but it’s true.

Surrender to Jesus brings rest to my soul.

Why?

Because it causes self to be powerless.

As a child and youth I was always worried about how others’ thought of me.

Who I was always needed forming into the ideas of those around me.

I had to live up to their expectations.

I had to follow through on what they wanted.

Of course, I couldn’t.

So, with every failure I felt it was a proof that I was a failure.

Therefore, with each failing, my value became less and my need to prove myself became greater.

Yes, I did believe in Jesus during this time.

No, I didn’t walk in submission to Him, nor did I understand what that was.

But as I walked in adulthood and learned the truths of scripture, I began to understand.

As I’ve walked in obedience to my Father and Lord, I’ve found such blessed freedom.

It’s been a slow process and a long journey, but well worth it.

When my heart gained understanding and humility, my burden to prove myself, rolled off.

My need to order and control my life also died.

Yes, I still work at living a self disciplined and scheduled way, but that is completely different from trying to control circumstances or order life into my ideas of how it should be.

And I can tell you how peaceful and beautiful it is to surrender.

No, I don’t always understand what’s occurring around me or how to handle specific circumstances.

No, I don’t need to have all the control, call the shots, or be in charge.

Yes, I know the One Who does.

And as I grow in the knowledge of God Almighty, I grow in love, peace, and assurance.

He is good.

He is loving.

He is truth.

Why strive against Him by stubborn refusal to submit my whole heart, my whole life to His perfect plan?

Yes, my soul has found rest.

Rest in the Lord , and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret— it only causes harm.
Psalms 37:7‭-‬8 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for teaching me how to surrender to You. Thank You for Your patience and Your grace. Lord, often I become stiff-necked and willful. I forget all Your past faithfulness and try to do things in my own strength. Lord, how foolish and what a waste! Please continue to patiently bring me back to this place of rest.

Self discipline

It’s something I’m still working on.

There are so many areas I want to improve in.

House keeping has jumped to the top of the list.

Frankly,

I’ve never been good at it.

Even as a child I would struggle over what to keep and what to get rid of.

I would horde popsicle sticks and leftover chunks of construction paper.

I remember thinking

I would create

really neat things out of these items.

Of course,

they ended up in the trash

when my mom discovered them.

As a young adult I’d hold onto crazy items.

Like a daisy chain I made with a friend while we waited for her Mom to pick us up.

After one of our moves my hand stuck to something inside a box.

I pulled it out and saw a tiny multicolored bandaid.

“What in the world is that!?” my husband questioned.

Sheepishly I had to admit.

“It’s the bandaid that the hospital put on Sissy’s heal.”

“Gross! Throw it out!”

Of course I did.

And I wondered at my own lack of self discipline.

Today while unpacking,

I had to wonder again.

“What makes me hold on to all this stuff?”

I know it’s really not worth my time to pack, load, haul, and unpack scraps of paper, but as I unloaded a box I found exactly that.

And I know why they are there.

I didn’t have the self discipline to deal with them at the time.

Instead, I tossed them into a drawer to deal with later.

Then into a box they went for the same reason.

Self discipline is both a gift from God and an act of will.

I have to willingly submit to God and He guides and directs me.

He gives me the courage to make choices about “keep” or “get rid of”.

He grants me the understanding to let go of the past and embrace the day.

He guides me into what is wise and teaches me how to avoid what is foolish, especially on the task-by-task level.

It is a privilege to work

and a blessing to rest.

It is wisdom to give up what I don’t use or have the ability to do

and it is understanding which can be gleaned from a new place and new people.

It is God

Who grants all these things.

And it is good

to live a life of discipline unto the LORD.

Galations 5:22-23 NKJV
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, self-control.

Sweetness

image

The honey bee finds food here and we find food from the honey bee.

Sweetness in food is good, but sweetness in spirit is better.

How does one find sweetness in this life?

Where is the best place to find those things which make up a sweet spirit?

Peace, gentleness, kindness, thoughtfulness, genuine compassion,
love.

These things are difficult to find in the marketplace.

It’s amazing that with the variety of items for purchase, kindness cannot be.

Gentleness is not a garment which can be worn at will.

True love which gives and sacrifices without looking for personal gain is precious indeed, yet no amount of money will secure it.

Thoughtfulness takes careful training and continual practice to be a daily reaction.

Yet, as difficult as these things are to find, the world would certainly be a howling wilderness without them.

Where do they come from?

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV

So the most valuable items are not for sale.

Instead God offers them to us freely.

The only way to truly walk in these things is to be in close personal relationship with God Almighty.

It doesn’t happen over night.

It doesn’t come upon demand.

It’s a by-product of self-to-death and God-as-Lord.

When Jesus Christ is the very fabric of a person then there will be these things present also.

“Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for the most priceless gifts. I’ve never known a time when I couldn’t find peace in Your arms or gentleness in Your comfort. When I’m struggling You give me the  self-control I’m lacking. When I’m tired of the battle You give me long-suffering and love abundantly, for I know every battle against evil is worthwhile, please help me to remember we do not fight flesh and blood. Your goodness sustains me when all the World seems full of wrong. Thank You, Father. Thank You!”