The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

03/17/2010

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Easier Said Than Done


"He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city" (Prov. 16:32).

Do you love a good challenge? I can remember "choosing up sides" for a game when I was a kid. Often I would not always choose the players that I considered the best because it was more of a challenge to win with a "not so good" team. Now mind you, I didn't do this all of the time, but the challenge to win when the odds say you shouldn't can be exhilarating...Throughout the Bible, the call to self-control is prevalent, challenging us to greater heights. James tells us about "bridling the tongue" in his epistle. He goes as far the say that one who does not control his speech, "deceives his own heart and this man's religion is worthless" (1:26).

Why is the challenge of self-control such a great one? Jesus put it this way. "Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Matt. 26:41). The problem with building and maintaining self-control is an age old one. It is the war between the spirit and the flesh. It is a battle that rages on! The apostle Peter wrote; "Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against the soul (1 Peter 2:11). That's kind of scary, isn't it! Self-control is needed because the desire to sin wars against the soul. Paul writes; "For the flesh sets it's desire against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you will not do the things that you please" (Gal. 5:17). The flesh wars against the spirit too!

Biblical challenges always come with solutions. When we decide to follow Jesus, we take up a spiritual mantle. When we "walk by the spirit," we are no longer "in the flesh." In Jesus, we take up the challenge to live according to the spirit and to putting off the carnal. We therefore, no longer have an obligation to the flesh but to the spirit. Those in Christ, have "crucified the flesh" (Gal. 5:24). The challenge to gain the virtue of self-control is real, but the solution is even more real! The hope is within Jesus...He will provide the way...More tomorrow...

Have a great day.... Go about doing good... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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