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April 29 – The fruit of the Spirit – Self-control

“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” – Proverbs 25:28 

Scripture reading: Galatians 5:16-24

As we come to the last on Paul’s list of the fruit of the Spirit, we’ve seen that they are all interconnected and closely tied together. Not simply one, but all exist to some degree in every believer. And the ninth fruit is self-control. Having self-control is the ability to keep oneself in check. It is the power to restrain one’s passions and appetites. It’s helpful to understand that being self-controlled is actually being Spirit-controlled.

Proverbs 25:28 compares a man without self-control to a city without walls. He’s defenceless and open to attack from the devil, the world, and his own flesh. In fact, in Galatians 5 Paul has another list which he calls the “works of the flesh.” Included in that list are “sexual immorality,” sensuality,” “strife,” “jealousy,” “fits of anger” and “drunkenness.” The one lacking self-control has no defence against such things. And when Paul describes to Timothy what people will be like in the last days, which he calls “times of difficulty” he says they will be without self-control- dangerous and defenceless. No wonder he adds, “avoid such people” (c.f. II Timothy 3:1-5).

But when the Holy Spirit makes His dwelling in you, such passions and desires are restrained and changed. Jesus taught us to pray to our heavenly Father, “deliver us from the evil one.” God answers that prayer by sanctifying us by His Holy Spirit and growing this fruit of self-control.

Suggestions for Prayer

Pray that the Holy Spirit will increase the fruit of self-control in you. Pray that God would draw to Himself your loved ones who are not in Christ.

Rev. Derrick Vander Meulen was born and raised in California and has been an ordained minister of the Gospel for nearly 33 years. He is now serving as pastor of Coram Deo Reformation Church (URC) near Denver, Colorado. He is also the General Editor of the Trinity Psalter Hymnal. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. This devotional is made available by the Nearer To God Devotional team, who also make available in print, for purchase, at

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