Control Or Controlled

Wednesday, May 29, 2013
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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.

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About the author:

Martin Wiles <>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    I suffer from the same thing — see it and want to eat it.

    You really hit the nail on the head in this account. Desserts!!! My greatest stumbling block. Help!!!

    Thank you. I have missed my daily devotional page! God’s blessings as you continue this ministry!

    Good one Martin. Thanks.

    Dear Martin,
    Before I even read your devotional, your title got my attention! Thank you for encouraging us to fully surrender our hearts to Christ; then, He will give us the power to live a Spirit-filled life. What a great lesson on how to be successful as we learn to resist the things of this world that might take control over our lives.

    Hi Martin,
    I enjoyed your devotional and needless to say it brought on a hankering for pastry. But there always come a time when the piper has to be paid and the damage done to the joints by sugar must be dealt with. There’s a parable there… As a person waiting for hip joint replacement revision and not liking it. I wish I had never ever allowed my sweet tooth to do this to me. It is the same as the little foxes that spoil the vines…a donut here, a candy there… but be sure your sin will find you out. Self control is useless without divine help.

    “NOT Now” instead of “Hot Now”
    Hi Martin!
    Thanks for writing to us.

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