Rev. Pete Jansson - February 5, 2017
What Ever Happened to Self Control
Fruit of the Spirit - Galatians 5:22 Is Self-Control a hinge pin for all the other Fruits of the Spirit? Has Self-Control gone out the window: - In politics? - In the world? - Protests? Self-Control is being replaced by foul rhetoric. During last weeks March for Life, many people marched not but not out of "hate" even though we hate abortion. There was no destruction of property. Just peaceful protest. They exercised Self-Control. As background: - The first three Fruits of the Spirit are God given (Love, Joy, Peace) - The second three are people directed (Patience, Kindness, Goodness) - The rest are inward focused (Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control) However, Self-Control is the art of managing all the other Fruits of the Spirit effectively. Gentleness (otherwise called Meekness): Meekness does not equal weakness. Meekness is the right use of authority and power! Can we counterfeit the effectiveness of the Fruit of the Spirit? When the Spirit produces Fruit, God gets all the Glory! What is our part in developing the Fruit of the Spirit? - The Holy Spirit prepares the Fruit - We prepare the soil (Matthew 13:1-9) “That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: "A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear." Four kinds of soil: - Hard ground: it is worn and tough, there is constant activity, seed cannot grow - Rocky ground: evidence of faith that fades when problems come - Thorny ground: seed finds soil, they grow alongside weeds and are choked. Sometimes the things of God are crowded out by what's going on in the world. -Good ground: rich, deep roots, plants grow and produce fruit. It's not the plant but the fruit that's important. What does Self-Control have to do with all this? We are not void of activity when the Holy Spirit wants to produce fruit in us. We partner with the Holy Spirit. The soil must be maintained by us. What has become a hard path in your life? Guilt, sin, relationships, disobedience - this soil is redeemable! What rocks are in your life? Alcoholism, pornography, negative attitude - may take time and a pastor or counselor to help work through some of these issues by the cycle can be broken! Weeding: Your faith is being choked by things in the world - what's taking your time up from spending it with God? Sometimes the good things in life take away from the best things. We are responsible for our own Spiritual growth. The seed we receive is always good. We must deal with our soil first. It takes Self-Control to manage a garden. - So how's your soil? - Are you willing to do anything about it?
From Series: "Stand Alone Messages"
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