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 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?

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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.

Morning Prayer 11 | Peace

Morning Prayer

The Apostle Paul follows up love and joy with peace.  Peace is an inner quietness marked by a freedom of worry. Peace is an elusive state in our modern, hyper-connected world. There’s so much to worry and fret over that having our souls rest in stillness, free from anxiety, seems like an insurmountable task.

Something is always on. Disturbances threaten our tranquility at every turn. I think our restlessness spurns our yearning for spiritual growth. It’s what causes us to go looking for a better way. Amid all the chaos, can I remain calm, content within the realm of space I occupy? Yes, I believe that it is possible.

When we lack peace our minds run-on forever, never resting. Our brain jumps from one thought to the next, sometimes juggling multiple thoughts at once. Our heads feel like they are going to explode. Our lives are overwrought with tension, stress, busyness, and pressure, both at work and at home. Can you imagine your life free of worry, anxiety, and fear?

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)

You can know peace. It is possible to reduce the worries, anxieties, and fears that keep you up at night and wear you out during the day. By nurturing a deepening personal relationship with the Lord qualities like love, joy, and peace can manifest themselves in us and be expressed in our daily interactions with those we encounter in the world. We can become known for our loving, joyous, and peaceful spirit.

May the peace of God go with you today!

The Devotional Guy™

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