The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against these things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Nice job. You made it to the last day!
It wasn’t that hard, was it?
I hope that living out the Fruit of the Spirit has been a good experience for all of you and that it will last more than just these past 9 days. I hope you have learned a lot about yourself by living out the virtues God planted inside of you when you were created. Allowing the spirit to water and nourish those virtues so that they bear fruit in your life. I hope you realize that even though living by the spirit won’t guarantee that life will be easier, it’s a lot better than living by your sinful nature. It brings glory to God, love to your neighbor, and joy to your heart.
Tuesday is the last day of the challenge, Day 9 – SELF-CONTROL
Self-control could mean different things to all of you. It might mean not playing video games so much, not spending so much time on the internet, eating less junk food, or maybe even cutting down on how much you swear. Whatever it is that you need to control in your life, Thursday is the day to start making that change.
I realize I can’t think of all the possible things you need to do more often or less often to make your lifestyle healthier, but let me just give you an example in my life – hopefully it will help you figure out what things you need to work on.
I stay up too late. It’s not a mystery to me why I’m still tired when my alarm goes off in the morning, it’s because I stayed up later than I should have. I know how much better I feel when I get enough sleep, and I also know how terrible I feel when I wake up after staying up late the night before. The amount of sleep I get affects me all day (sometimes more than just one day). I know that to be the best person (and best Christian) I can possibly be…I need my sleep; that’s one thing I can control in my life.
Another things that many of us probably need help with is reading our Bibles more often. But it takes discipline and self-control to choose to read our Bibles instead of doing other things, like watching TV or talking on the phone.
My challenge for you on the last day of this is to make a list of some things that you need to change in your life that will be good and healthy for you. This doesn’t mean you have to completely eliminate some of the things in your life that you really like, but cutting back on some of these things is probably a good idea. Try making the changes you came up with for at least one day, or maybe even a few days, then see if you notice a difference in how you feel. I think you will, and you’ll probably even like yourself more because of your new self-control.
Again, thanks for taking this challenge and doing such an awesome job with it. Keep these emails to look back on if you think they’ll help you in the future. If you didn’t already notice, I posted each day’s message on my website – http://www.anewdoxology.com – so you can always find them there (or share them with others) if you’d like.
May the Lord bless and keep you. May his face shine upon you. May he be gracious to you and give you his peace. Amen.
(p.s. By the time many of you read this, I’ll be in Haiti to continue working on a documentary I’m hoping will be done this spring. Please pray for health and safety for me and the others I will be traveling with.)