Posted - 03/22/2012 : 6:37:28 PM
Eph 4:1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,
Eph 4:2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,
Eph 4:3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Gal 5:16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
Adam and Eve were not evil. They just died spiritually the day they disobeyed God. From then on they did not walk with God, but walked and lived by the strength of their flesh. They relied on the flesh instead of the Spirit. This is what we all do apart from the empowering of the Holy Spirit. That’s why Jesus said, “You must be born again.”
Self-control is not easy; in fact it’s about impossible, yet it’s so important.
Pro 25:28 Whoever has no rule over his own spirit Is like a city broken down, without walls.
It was self that got me into trouble in the first place. How can I expect self to get me out of trouble? I’ll need help with getting and staying out of trouble. Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit of God. Like any other fruit, it is produced and grows a little at a time. Unlike the works of the flesh (every kind of sin) which grows like weeds and thorns, the fruit of the Spirit needs the right kind of soil to grow in and the right kind of nourishment.
We are either good ground or bad ground. The difference? It depends on how we receive the word of God and what we do with it after we receive it. Jesus said;
Mar 4:3 "Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow.
Mar 4:4 And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it.
Mar 4:5 Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth.
Mar 4:6 But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away.
Mar 4:7 And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop.
Mar 4:8 But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred."
Jesus’ disciples asked Him what this parable meant, so He explained;
Mar 4:14 The sower sows the word.
Mar 4:15 And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts.
Mar 4:16 These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
Mar 4:17 and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word's sake, immediately they stumble.
Mar 4:18 Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word,
Mar 4:19 and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
Mar 4:20 But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred."
When a person has little to do with the a biblically based church, he is in the wayside. Because he is not learning from the Word, he will be deceived by Satan.
Stony ground and no depth of roots
Those that don’t get deep into the word of God nor gain a true understanding of it, will think that life is supposed to be all wonderful just because they are a child of the King. Then when trouble comes their way and God doesn’t come through for them like they asked Him to, they lose their faith and hope. These people have no root and soon leave the kingdom.
These people seek God for what they can get out of the deal. Thorns speak of material things of the world that ensnare people. I do believe God wants to bless His people. I truly believe that obeying God leads to all kinds of blessings; physical, financial and spiritual. And I believe we are to have faith and be positive in everything we do, but I also believe the “prosperity” doctrine in this country has been taken way too far. There’s nothing wrong with church members living in luxury, but too many are keeping it all to themselves. In seeking what they believe to be the blessings of God, they’ve missed God.
The “good soil” speaks the people that not only hear and accept the word of God, but live according to it. Thus they do not fall on the way side and are not deceived.
Because they are deeply rooted in the word of God, they understand that trials are a part of being a Christian and do not wither in hard times. They endure persecution.
Because they live according to the word of God they are not seeking worldly riches. Instead they make sacrifices to help others. The fruit of the Spirit of God is produced in them. Their behavior will demonstrate that fruit, and they will produce much good fruit.
Control our thoughts
Self-control leads to good thoughts and good thoughts will lead to good behavior.
Php 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
With the help of the Holy Spirit self-control grows in us and we can think like the scriptures tell us.
Filter what we hear
Mar 4:24 Then He said to them, "Take heed what you hear…”
Who and what we hear touches our lives. There a plenty of musicians I don’t want touching me—so I’ll not listen to their music. There are many religions and philosophies that I know are lies and are dangerous—so I don’t listen to them. There are hateful and negative people that I don’t listen to because I don’t want to be like them. There people who are idealistic, and even sadistically evil, who teach college students puerile notions like socialism and that all our problems will be solved when we stop drilling for oil. Oil is not the world’s problem, sin is, but they’d never admit that. They pretend to be intelligent by saying, we’ll only have peace when there’s no God, or we are gods.
Understand what Jesus meant when He taught we must be careful what we hear. We‘re going to hear everything, but we mustn’t allow ourselves to be persuaded by just anybody. Look closely and observe their lifestyle. Understand what are their motives for saying what they say. What kind of heart do they have?
Become a new person
Eph 4:21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:
Eph 4:22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,
Eph 4:23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
Eph 4:24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
God does not kill sin. Instead He kills the sinner. A dead sinner cannot sin. In order to be born again as Jesus said we must, then we must first die. That means our sinful nature must die with Christ on the cross, but God does not leave us dead. Just as He raised Jesus from the dead, He raises us up alive—a new person in Christ. He gives us His Spirit to renew us and we are a new man (or woman).
Eph 4:24 And you should put on the new man, who according to God was created in righteousness and true holiness.
Eph 4:25 Therefore putting away lying, let each man speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another…
Eph 4:29 Let not any filthy word go out of your mouth, but if any is good to building up in respect of need, that it may give grace to the ones hearing.
Eph 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you are sealed until the day of redemption.
Eph 4:31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and tumult and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
The Bible tells us in James 1:19 to be quick to hear but slow to speak. God gave us a space between our brain and our mouth. That gives us plenty of time to think about what we’re going to say before we say it, but few of us use that valuable time. Once a thing is spoken, it’s impossible to take back. I ought to know, I’ve always been good at saying things I wished I’d never said. We can ask God to help us with our speech and He will.
King David said:
Psa 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.
And David became a great song writer.
God is everywhere all the time and hears everything we say. In fact Jesus said:
Mat 12:35 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
Mat 12:36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
Mat 12:37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."
Never, but never gossip. This applies to both talking and listening. Don’t listen to gossip and don’t speak it. Gossip kills both the speaker and hearer. Exo 23:1 "You shall not circulate a false report. Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.”
How and what we speak is of extreme importance, both now and in eternity. We can learn to have excellent speech. Our foolish words can become words of wisdom. The words that once hurt can become words of healing. With God’s help we can learn to widen the gap between the brain and mouth by keeping our opinions to ourselves until we have prayed about the matter and have had time to reason it out . Our words can become good for the building up and for imparting grace to the hearers.
As we allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in us, we become more like Christ in our speech, and all our behaviors.
Thanks for reading.
Edited by - Michael on 04/03/2012 07:27:07 AM