Friday, May 2, 2008

Fruit of the Spirit Friday

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. ---Galations 22 & 23

The Fruit of the Spirit that I have been working on this week, and truth be known before that as well is Self-control.
So I thought we'd dig a little deeper into Self-Control.....shall we?

In Nelson's 'Three-In-One Bible Reference' Companion we are shown that Self-Control is the restraint or discipline exercised over one's behavior. The origin of Self-control is of course by none other than our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. Self-control involves ruling over one's spirit, having soberness, and control of the body(hmmm....bridling the tongue?) And of course, is hindered by, fleshly lusts, tongue, drink, s*xual sins, unclean spirits, and self-expressionism.

Now, you're probably wondering why 'tongue' is bold, and I happened to mention bridling the tongue. Well, this is one part of the self-control I have a VERY hard time with. I generally end up speaking at the INappropriate time or I don't say anything at all and let it bottle up inside me until I can no longer hold it and blurt it out to the next passerby'er(kind of an exaggeration, but close to it anyways), which could also be considered gossip.

I found an article the other day on one of my favorite sites (unfortunately is no longer updated, but extremely valid) Laine's Letters, you can find the specific article I am talking about here. And I 'encourage' you to read it, as she has a beautiful talent from the Lord for encouraging each and every one of us by what she writes.

This article is entitled 'Dying to Self', which I honestly believe has a LOT to do with self-control. And may actually be one of the most difficult things I have ever faced in my life. She wrote some beautiful stuff in this letter, but one of the things I made sure to print so I could put on my fridge was a poem she included called:
'Dying to Self' Author Unknown.

When you are forgotten, or neglected, or purposely set at naught, and you don't sting and hurt with the insult or the oversight, but your heart is happy, being counted worthy to suffer for Christ.


When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed, your advice disregarded, your opinions ridiculed, and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart, or even defend yourself, but take in all in patient, loving silence.


When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder, any irregularity, any unpunctuality, or any annoyance; when you stand face-to- face with waste, folly, extravagance, spiritual insensibility-and endure it as Jesus endured.


When you are content with any food, any offering, any climate, any society, any raiment, any interruption by the will of God.


When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation, or to record your
own good works, or itch after commendations, when you can truly love to be


When you can see your brother prosper and have his needs met and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy, nor question God, while your own needs are far greater and in desperate circumstances.


When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature than yourself and can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart.


Are you dead yet? In these last days, the Spirit would bring us to the cross.

"That I may know Him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship
of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death." Phil.3:10

A few months ago, I discovered I was pregnant. I was overjoyed, my husband not so much, but he got used to the idea. (men always thing $$$, women always think LOVE) However, things were going good, I was to see a specialist in a city about 3 hours away regarding a stitch placement. I was 11 weeks that friday afternoon as I walked with my husband and kids into the hospital. Only to discover my son had died at 8 weeks and 3 days. I was crushed. How could you not be. To know this wonderful, beautiful baby you had carried was no longer alive. His heart was no longer beating. I still have moments where I don't think my pain has eased at all, and others where I know he is truly with the BEST parent of all, my God! And isn't He an AWESOME God!!! Knowing that, does make it easier, but it's still hard. I share this story with you because there is ALWAYS a reason for everything, just as there is a season for everything. I believe my little Connor John was here for appointed time to help his Mommy die to herself. Die to MY flesh. This life that I have was NOT given to me for MY own. This life was given to me for my Father! So that He may live though ME. That I might serve HIM, in any way, shape or form that I can. And what a honor it has been! Discovering why you are truly here, is when you start dying to the flesh. And I believe when you are dead to the flesh, and we all make mistakes -- it can LIVE again, but when we are TRULY dead to the flesh is when we can stand with self-control. It definitely is NOT an easy thing, but just like anything, practice makes perfect, and try, try again!

May the Lord continue to bless you ALL!

In Christ,

'How Great Thou Art' Sung by Carrie Underwood


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