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Tuesday September 18 – The fruit of the Spirit: SELF-CONTROL (5)

The fruit of the Spirit is…self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23

Scripture reading: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Christian self-control bears with it many virtuous conclusions:

  • Self-control has long-term goals of pleasing God and values imperishable prizes. Paul says that the athlete devotes himself to self-control to win a perishable prize (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). Paul says that those who know that the imperishable crown of Christ is ahead will run a spiritual race greater than the temperate athlete.
  • Self-control avoids abuses and excesses, lest it loses control. Too much alcohol and you lose control; too many wrong words and you devour one another. Blessing is found in the Spirit, not in excesses.
  • Self-control is a sign of order in our lives. Proverbs 16:23 says: “Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” Refusing to over-react shows that we know Who has our times in His hands.

We can be more in control of our lives in a temperate way when we know Who really is in control of our lives, the Spirit of Christ. He shows us, like no other, what it means to be loving, joyous, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray thankfully for God’s fruitful virtues at work in your life in Christ. Pray that the fruit of the Spirit may be born in increasing fashion in your life with each new day.

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.

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