Self Control in Thirty Days: Day Three

7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and self-control. [2Ti 1:7]

What is self-control? It the ability to say no to desires in us to do things that against our conscience, beliefs, and values. It is also the ability to say yes to decisions that are in line with what we feel to be right, our convictions, and what we most value.

Self-control will lead us to a disciplined life in which we have developed habits of life which daily reinforce and represent our commitment to our best ideals.

For Christians this means that we are striving to live a life that is worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ, who has died for our sins and been raised from the dead. It is a life of gratitude lived for God’s glory.

The Holy Spirit gives the fruit of love for God and Jesus by revealing to us the greatness and glory of Messiah Jesus’ suffering for us on the cross. As the Holy Spirit tells us the gospel within our souls the more we come to love HIM and desire to live a life for HIS glory.

One of the expressions of the love that we have been given as a gift from God is the ability to exercise self-control.

So for us to develop Christian self-control we must expose ourselves to the gospel and ask the Holy Spirit to create in our hearts gratitude and love for what the Lord Jesus has done to pay for our sins and give us a perfect relationship with God. Only when we have a faith in the gospel that overflows with thanksgiving will we find the power to say no to desires within us that are against the gospel and say yes to those things that would advance the purpose of Christ in our lives and others.

How could we do this? Here are a few suggestions.

1. Read one of the four gospels from beginning to end in one sitting (this may take a couple of hours) and then go back through the gospel slowly only reading one chapter a day but taking time to reflect upon each chapter. Eventually plan to do this with all four gospels.

2. Watch a film on the life and death of Jesus Christ. Choose one that aimed at honoring the historic Christian faith. Keep an open bible as you watch the film knowing that filmmakers don’t get things right most of the time. But, helping our imaginations to actually see the historic reality of Jesus can help our deepest soul grab hold of the gospel.

Perhaps the most biblical film produced on Jesus was “The Jesus Film”. It has been watched more than any other film on the life of Christ. You can view it on-line at:

http://www.jesusfilm.org/film-and-media/watch-the-film

3. Write a letter of gratitude to the Lord Jesus Christ for what he has done for you. Read you letter to the Lord in prayer.

So how do I gain more self-control? Fall in more in love with Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Love will motivate you to discipline your desires and fulfill your daily duties in an attitude of gratitude.