Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus Loves Me This I Know"1 (Lyrics)
When I saw the "Hot Now" neon sign, all sense of self-control vanished. I had to have one — the heck with calories and sugar levels!
My wife and I were ushering mom to a Christmas concert. As our car crept up to the parking lot and we prepared to park, I couldn't help but notice what lay lit up across the street: a Krispy Kreme Doughnuts® shop — freshly built — with the all-important neon sign shouting an essential message for lovers of dough, sugar, and fillings. We immediately made plans to visit as soon as the concert concluded. I enjoyed the music, but my mouth watered for what followed. And I wasn't disappointed. One dozen was just enough for the ride home and breakfast the following two mornings: a classic picture of self-control's absence.
Living the good life begins by accepting the forgiveness offered through a relationship with Jesus Christ, but it is followed by self-control.
Titus 2:11-12 – For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age. (NIV)
Self-control makes it possible for us to live in a sinful world without constantly succumbing to its temptations. Without it, my life runs out of control when I see flashy signs illuminated, smell luscious aromas prancing around my nose, and sample what initially tantalizes my taste buds but quickly turns bitter in my stomach. Self-control isn't instantly learned, but through experience and dependence on God's power, we can discover how to leave alone what's better left alone. Discover God's will in His Word, and then ask Him for the power to avoid any unhealthy and sinful habits that attract you. Sin can't control us when our lives are controlled by Christ.
Prayer: All-powerful God, fill us with the strength that we need to live above sin through a life controlled by Your Spirit. Amen.