Morning Prayer 17 | Self-Control

Self-control is the final fruit of the Spirit Paul lists. Self-control is the ability to master oneself.  What does it mean to master oneself? How do we do that?

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)

Depending on your present situation, the term self-control brings forth different images dancing in your mind. We might think of overcoming powerful habits that dominate our lives, like overindulging, being too glib, or gossiping. It may bring to mind overcoming addictions or harmful behavior. The lack of self-control is a basic characteristic of immaturity. As we mature, we grow in our ability to master ourselves.

Self-control is demonstrated when we don’t give in to every whim of our appetites, practice fidelity, and deal with others honestly.  A deep relationship with the Lord manifests itself through self-control. Over time, this ability to master ourselves branches out to every aspect of our life.

Prayer: God, help me deepen in my walk with You so that I can grow in my ability to master myself, doing that which is pleasing to You, in a manner bringing You praise.
Amen.

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Morning Prayer 16 | Gentleness

One of the people that comes immediately to mind when I think of the word gentleness is Gordon MacDonald. I had the privilege and joy of meeting Brother MacDonald at a Wednesday night prayer gathering. He was in his 90s when we met, yet still very active in ministry. Gordon exuded all aspects of the fruit of the Spirit, but particularly evident in him was the characteristic of gentleness. Truthfully, I don’t know that I’ve ever met a more gentle soul than Gordon.

GENTLENESS: acquiescence to authority and consideration of others.

Gentleness

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

Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)

As believers, we are no longer lead according to the Law, but rather by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. We follow the Holy Spirit’s leading, not the Law of Moses. We accept the authority of the Holy Spirit in our lives and submit to the leading of the Spirit. God is our authority. He is in the driver’s seat. He’s not our co-pilot, but the pilot who designed the plane and planned the course. Through the Holy Spirit, the Lord navigates the direction of our lives. 

You and I could never fulfill the obligations decreed by the Law. Thankfully, through God’s grace, we live under a new covenant made possible by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. He fulfilled the demands of the Law on our behalf, serving as the unblemished sacrifice for our iniquities. Overcome by grace, we should automatically be more gentle. After all, we have no reason be brash or braggadocious. We are servants of the Lord Most High. Our servant’s heart should reflect a gentle spirit and even gentler soul. 

My friend Gordon did many great things. He didn’t brag about any of them, because he recognized it was all God working through him, not anything Gordon did or didn’t do. He recognized the role the Holy Spirit played in his life and willingly submitted to the Spirit’s leading daily. When we seek to serve first, we are humbled and thus become more gentle, because it is in humility that our gentleness can be found. 

Prayer: Father God, help me be a more gentle person today. Let me follow the Spirit’s leading. Let me show grace and love to those I encounter. May they sense the gentleness in my heart, soul, and mind. Help me do this in Your strength, not my own. If there is any good found in me, may You get all the glory because You are the source of that goodness. Help me reflect a gentleness throughout all my dealings in this world today. 

 

May the Lord of Lords bless you today!

The Devotional Guy™

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Morning Prayer 15 | Faithfulness

Paul started his list naming the fruit of the Spirit with 3 qualities focusing God-ward. He followed them with 3 characteristics that speak to how we relate to others and the world around us. In his final 3 traits, Paul shifts to more general, inward-focused expressions of the fruit of the Spirit. To kick off the final trio, Paul chooses faithfulness.

Faithfulness speaks to our reliability and trustworthiness. It’s hard for others to trust us if they can’t count on us. Do you consider yourself to be reliable and trustworthy?

faithfulness

Faithful people keep their word. They are careful with their integrity, not promising things they may not be able to deliver or complete. They are thoughtful in the manner they conduct themselves and live their life. They are intentional in their interactions and activities. Faithful people are clear-headed, patient, and charitable. Faithful people are prayerful and gracious. They treat others with respect and kindness.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, teach me how to be a more faithful person exhibiting trustworthiness and reliability, treating people with kindness and respect. I recognize my faithfulness speaks to how I view others and attests to what I believe about You. I can do nothing without Your help. I am dependent on You. Thank You for Your Son, in whose name I pray. Amen.