Sunday, August 5, 2012

Saying "No!" to Ungodliness

If I call some of my previous weeks "bad" weeks up to this point I would have to say that last week was a HORRIBLE WEEK! I am not sure what the cause of it was but I was seriously lacking in discipline and self-control.

Fast-forward to this morning... At church we have been going through a passage in 2 Peter 1:3-11:

"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these things he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self control; and to self control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

I got to church and the sermon title was: The "Unwanted" Virtue (Self Control). Since the above passage doesn't expound on self-control we also read Titus 2:11-14, "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, while we wait for the blessed hope - the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good."

The timing of this message couldn't have been more perfect (another one of those "God-incidents" as I like to call them).  In a nutshell I was reminded that having self control isn't something I have to depend on myself to find. It's the GRACE of God that will teach me to say no. This isn't something that will happen overnight, I will stumble, I will fall, but the important thing is that I will get back up again, by God's grace! Self control is like a muscle, it can be developed... it can be learned. I need to be more disciplined in spending time with God on a daily basis. It will take time and sacrifice but it will be well worth it! The Pastor gave a great illustration... you know when you go to those restaurants that serve bread before the meal? You know... that really good bread? It's so easy to fill up on that bread and then when your meal comes you are too full to eat it. We must practice self control. That bread may be really good, but there is something better coming. As the passage in Titus says, "live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope - the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ"  HE'S COMING BACK! I need to live my life with a focus on His return and seek to live my life in a way that is pleasing to Him. Jesus didn't die so that I can get away with anything I want. Will it be easy? No. Is God's grace big enough? Yes! And, it is worth it.

Thank You Lord for this timely message, and thanks to my friend, and Pastor, Gabe for being used by God to speak to my heart this morning in a very clear and personal way.

By God's grace,