The fruit of the Spirit is . . . self-control.
Lord Jesus, everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but I for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. I will not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but will be filled with the Spirit. If I desire to come after You, Lord Jesus, I must deny myself, and take up my cross, and follow You. Let me not sleep, as others do, but let me watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let me who am of the day be sober. Denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, I should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and Your glorious appearing, my great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
Keep me faithful to my training regimen, Jesus, so I may be ready for Your return and, in the meantime, honor You with my life.
GALATIANS 5:22–23; 1 CORINTHIANS 9:25–27; EPHESIANS 5:18; MATTHEW 16:24; 1 THESSALONIANS 5:6–8; TITUS 2:12–13. Dr. David Jeremiah Life-Changing Moments with God
And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” LUKE 2:49
Have you ever come home from church and discovered you left a child behind? As your family gathers around the dinner table, your eyes fixate on the empty chair. “Where’s Johnny?” you ask. Blank stares and shrugged shoulders reveal the worst—Johnny got left behind. When Jesus was just twelve years old, He, too, was left behind at the temple. His parents returned to find Him and discovered Him sitting among the teachers, asking questions. Greatly distressed, His mother asked Him why He had done this to them. He replied, “Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” Even at a young age, Jesus knew He had a unique mission to accomplish. Convinced of this, He did not allow people or circumstances to deter Him. What unique mission has God called you to? Has He commissioned you to a special assignment at home, work, or the church? Whatever it may be, pursue it with all of your heart. Then at the end of your life, you may say as Jesus did, “I have finished the work which You have given Me to do” (John 17:4). Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening
Why do you keep doing that for them? You should be paid for that! Let them fall on their faces! Quit bailing them out!
In most of my working career I have heard those phrases and variations of those.
I have seen the look in people's eyes when I mention intentionally getting up as early as I do to read my Bible and read my devotionals. To write this which you read here in this blog.
I, in much of my life, have sought out what it was that God wanted me to do. He made me different from most people. I think differently, certainly behave and act differently. Have a different set of motivations than many people.
Why do I do what I do? I am not doing it for me or relativistically speaking my health.
I cannot help but do my best, regardless of who its for, because I am called to do no less in Christ Jesus.
I am a part of the body of Christ. I am just as called to be about the Father's business as all who are in Christ Jesus. Nobody receives Salvation to only sit on the sidelines and do life as we please, disregarding what is yet to be done to reach others for Jesus.
I pray each morning for His help in doing whatever He puts before me to do. Regardless of who it's for. Regardless of what people think of me for doing it. Jesus said He didn't come to be served but to serve. That sounds clear enough to me concerning an aspect of the Father's business.
In Colossians 3:23-24 it says this "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord and not for people, knowing that it is from the Lord that you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve". Did Jesus live His life this way? Sure looks like another aspect of the Father's business to me.
What did Jesus say needs to be prayed for? Matthew 9:38 "Therefore, plead with the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” Sounds like a definition of a job description. Looks like a part of the Father's business to me.
But those people are ungrateful! They are mean! They take advantage of you!
Daniel was a captive in the city of Babylon. Serving in the kingdom of a global tyrant. One whom God had granted a global dominion. The man was evil until God saved even him. It's highly likely that it wasn't just the prophecy spoken against King Nebuchadnezzar that changed his life, but Daniel's life shining before him.
Daniel's life impacted the Kings that came after him. By his serving. He wasn't among those who returned to Jerusalem when the city was reborn. He stayed and served as God had appointed him. Read Daniel's book. In it the Lord called him highly esteemed. Beloved.
Go back earlier in the Bible. Joseph was sold into slavery by his own family. He still served the Lord in all the places God took him.
You have before you two ways to live life. For yourself or for your Savior. You can run from your responsibility like Jonah and be that wayward Prodigal Son or Daughter, struggling with life, living in unnecessary fear of things and people or you can do what God's called you to do...the Father's business.
The Great Commission wasn't a charge just for the Disciples. The Bible calls them the foundation of the Church. They began building upon the Rock, which is Christ Jesus. The Church is in the business of being about the Father's business.
No matter where you are, you and I must be doing what we do as if the person we do it for is Jesus Christ Himself. Are many of the people whom I do things for, the companies I do things for, self serving, and a host of other things that are of this world? Yes. But that doesn't alter the commands of Jesus. "What is that to you? YOU follow Me!".
"Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God continues to live forever."
1 John 2:15-17
Life is not always going to go the way we want, we WILL BE tempted to live for ourselves. Satan's encouragement to Adam and Eve was to live for themselves, to make up their own minds as to whom they would serve.
We will be tempted to be selfish, to seek out a self-centered life. To step on people to get up higher on the ladder of success. To do things with little or no regard to what it does to others.
Honestly recognition is a potentially slippery slope. We all love to feel appreciated. We all want to feel like what we did matters in a positive way. We may not hear that in this life until we who are in Christ hear it from Jesus Himself. Those who aren't saved will be told that all they did to live a good life was ok, but it's not enough to cover their sins. Only the blood of Christ Jesus could do that. Healthy living, being another like Martin Luther or Billy Graham, but without Christ Jesus will never save you.
The hymn says Trust and Obey for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.
My satisfaction is in that Jesus is whom I work for. I may have Earthly employers but what I do, why I do, has nothing to do with anything other than doing it for my real Employer, my Savior Jesus Christ.
You are not to be in the body of Christ and be doing nothing. In the medical world they have a term for a cell that thinks it's alive yet does nothing for the body in which it lives. Terms like cancer, parasite, virus, etc. Those kinds of people do not build up the body of Christ. They leech off of the body of Christ only to be barely getting into Heaven at the end. All their works burned up and only themselves gaining entry with no "Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Master".
As one put it, I will say of myself. I am a Christ follower cleverly disguised as a Workflow Specialist, an Electronics Technician, a writer, inventor, or anything else you see me do.
I am to serve as unto the Lord as per what He has me to do. Not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7
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