The fruit of the Spirit is…self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23
Scripture reading: Matthew 26:47-56
Self-control flows from gentleness and meekness. Being gentle and self-controlled go together. It takes the power of the Spirit to be gentle; it takes the same power to control ourselves.
Self-control is a reflection of God and His Christ. God describes Himself as “slow to anger” (Ex. 34:6). Were God quick to anger, He could not pardon our sins for the sake of Jesus Christ. We see the self-control of Christ in the temptations of Matthew 4. In Matthew 26:53-54 we find even greater self-control: “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and He will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53-54). Christ’s greatest display of self-control was to remain on the cross.
Jesus never ran ahead of God. For the joys that were set before Him, He endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2). His example is why we are called to self-control, called to keep our eyes on Christ in the short-term trials now and not give up on the long-term plans that God has for us in Christ. Those truths will lead us into one more set of conclusions on self-control tomorrow.
Suggestions for prayer
Ponder the restraint of God and His Christ and pray that the Lord will help you to appreciate God’s restraint in your life, and to reflect all the more Christ’s restraint for you.
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. John Vermeer is the pastor of Doon United Reformed Church in Doon, Iowa.