June 24, 2018
James 1: 13-14
For a couple of lessons we are going to be looking at the subject of self-control. It should be the goal of every Christian to develop more and more self-control. The Word says, When tempted, no one should say, God is tempting me. For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.” (James 1: 13-14) A man’s temptation is due to the pull of his own inward desire. How can we develop self-control?
1 Accept Responsibility For Your Lack Of Self-Control
Admit your problem. The main reason you do things is because you want to and like doing it. When you know something is bad for you but you still do it, it is because you want to. Sometimes we try to ignore the problem of self-control or deny it. What problem? I do not have a problem, or it’s just the way I am, or everybody else is doing it. Sometimes we blame others like saying if things were different, if I just had different parents, or if I lived in another place. As long as you waste your energy making excuses, you will never make progress dealing with your problems. We like to take the path of least resistance, and giving in to temptation is usually the easiest course. The starting point for developing self-control is to face and agree with what God has already said in His Word. Everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Identify your problem and be very specific about it. You may have a problem with food, alcohol, drugs, words, temper, money, exercise, sex, TV, and many other things in your life which call for self-control. Go into the presence of the Lord, open your heart to Him, and ask Him to help you solve the problem area where you need self-control. God has the power to help you become an overcomer if you will just accept the responsibility for your lack of self-control.
Are you willing to be honest with yourself and your problems?
How has God helped you exercise self-control in your life?
How could you encourage others who are struggling today?
2 Put Your Past Behind You
The Word says, “But one thing I do. Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3: 13&14) There is a wrong conclusion in life, once a failure always a failure. I tried to quit my bad habit and failed. In fact I have tried over and over. I guess I will never be able to get control of this. Paul says this is not true. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going because we are not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:9) I have been watching my youngest grandson, Jonas, learning to walk. He falls down a lot but he does not stay down. He keeps on trying and little by little he is succeeding. How far would we get if we just gave up in life? Would you be ignorant enough to say, some people were not meant to be walkers and some are. Failure in the past does not mean you cannot change, however focusing on past failures usually results in repeating them again and again. If you keep looking in your rear view mirror sooner or later you are going to crash into what is in front of you. You have to put your past behind you and move forward in life. When we fail we learn what does not work in life. When you realize that sin does not work, it is a defining moment and the beginning of a better day. A winner is known as someone who gets back up one more time than they fall down. The Bible teaches us that with the Lord’s help, we can stand. (Romans 14:4)
Stand up by the grace and power of the Lord and leave your past behind you!