Can You Really Control Yourself?

With God, all things are possible.

Can you control yourself? God commanded self-control, and what God commands He also enables His children to accomplish. If you are a Christian, walking with Christ, walking according to the Spirit, God has already given you the power to overcome the flesh!

Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. (Rom. 6.4-7)

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. (Rom. 6.12-14)

We can excuse ourselves: “I just cannot conquer this sin.” We allow it to fester and hang around in our lives without challenge.

Notice God did not say, “Let me control you,” but “Control yourself.” We reign over our own bodies, hearts, and minds. He certainly helps and empowers us in our self-control, as we see from the the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

To Titus Paul wrote that older men should be “temperate,” that older women should not be “enslaved to much wine,” that younger women be “subject to their own husbands,” and that Titus himself should “be an example of good deeds.” All of those traits have self-control in their base. Paul uses another term with the older men, younger women, and younger women: they should be “sensible.” Many translations express this word as “self-controlled.” Thus, God expects self-control at all stages of a Christian’s life from the aged down to the youth.

Remember teenage Joseph, handsome in form and appearance, solidly refused Potiphar’s wife’s advances, saying, “How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” (Gen. 39.9). She pressed him hard, one day grabbing him and trying to drag him into her bed, but “he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house” (Gen. 39.12). What a courageous young man, who saw sin so clearly, and who refused to cross a line God had drawn!

With God’s help we can all have this kind of self-control!

I do not say that a worldly-minded, fleshly-thinking person can have this control–for he allows his flesh to control him. But God bestows great grace upon us, His children, that we might flee youthful lusts and get out of the house!

Let us bring our children up in the Lord in such a way that they might know Him and the freedom from sin He grants through Jesus Christ. And let us also take hold of His grace, knowing that God’s grace brings salvation for all people and trains us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions. God’s grace empowers us to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age (Titus 2.11-12).

Walk in the light, dear brothers and sisters!

Appointing New Leaders

Your Vote CountsIt’s election time. Again.

Not only is it election time, but all the chattering voices on TV and radio insist this is the most crucial moment and most defining election of the history of the United States! Again.

First, let’s remind ourselves of the following:

  1. The government will not and cannot save us
  2. The government will not and cannot provide for us
  3. God will either bless or curse our country as we heed or disregard Him

That being said, how shall we cast our votes? Or should we?

Some claim it is a God-given responsibility for Christians to vote for the right person. But what if there is no right person?

Is it best to vote for the “lesser of two evils”? Is it too much to expect high moral character from our highest officials?

I’ve been thinking much about appointing elders lately, and I’m wondering, “What if we applied God’s qualifications for elders in preparation for electing high officials of state and country?” The apostle Paul gave the following qualifications to Titus (1.5-9) and Timothy (1 Tim. 3.1-5). As you scan down the list, picture your favorite presidential candidate (Sanders, Trump, Clinton, Cruz, Rubio, Carson, or another) and ponder his or her character.

  • sober
  • self-controlled
  • Check the Boxrespectable
  • not addicted to wine
  • not a bully
  • gentle / kind / tolerant
  • peaceable / not quarrelsome
  • not loving money
  • ruling his own house well
  • not self-willed
  • not quick-tempered
  • not greedy for dishonest gain
  • loving what is good

I intentionally removed several character traits which apply more to spiritual shepherds, but these seem to be appropriate to ponder for POTUS (or the new member of the SCOTUS). How wonderful and beautiful it would be to have a man like this in the lead!

Do you think any of the candidates generally fits the above list? Several violate most of the items on the list!

God bless you as you (if you) go to the polls.