[#0060BF]Still it does show that ‘self control’ and ‘maturity in the Spirit’ are still alive and well in our case at least. Perhaps ‘self control’ in the area of diet could form the basis of some sermons on the many benefits we reap (in our life on earth) from the fruit of the spirit. What do you think?
[#000000]”Self-control” sermons are not regarded as “happy-centered”, so I choose sermon titles that if published ahead of service in a church bulletin so that people won’t skip attending to go self-indulge instead. I think such ministering has been severely lacking, but as long as it ties in well to the gospel, people seem to receive that well once the pain of hearing it subsides. Christian or not I get a lot of prayer requests for healing of conditions obviously keyed to abuse by choice, people seeking blessing from the Lord in spite of wayward appetites of all sorts, like Pastor Mike blogged about today. I’ve witnessed a few miracles out of mercy, but none that didn’t need course corrections to secure better health more permanently.
Self control is indeed a difficult action to make a habit of. Mine starts with actions like not buying ice cream, not having cookies or pecan pie in the house, and not stopping off for a fried chicken take-out. By choice I eliminate temptations around me. It has become a pleasant habit to wait for treats served only when eating at a restaurant with family or friends, which we’ve cut way back on, hosting more at home. Here we can prepare healthy meals and desserts. From developing such habits we are more appreciating all the fruit of the spirit in us, that is [/#000000][/#0060BF][#0060BF][#000000]love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law [/#000000][/#0060BF][#0060BF][#000000](from Galatians 5:22-23) We are certainly loving ourselves more by taking better care of these living temples of the Holy Spirit. As a result we can increasingly love those we minister to. Increased temperance (self-control) opens the door to sharing the gospel because people are often amazed at how I never get up for seconds, and usually share a dessert with my wife. “That’s impossible. What’s the trick?” Our joy is fuller, fading distractions allowing more quality time in the word and in prayer and more energy for ministry. I am at peace with my body, worry free, and through much research have lots of answers for others who suffer needlessly. In that I more fully realize the peace between me and my God.
When not giving heed to proper health habits (and other aspects of life, like being addicted to work) it really was difficult to find personal experiences with the entirety of the fruit of the spirit. I knew it by memory, but not by heart. What was mostly a distant goal in life became a way of life.
Blessings to you