Today’s Scrip-Bit   29 November 2022 Luke 6:27.

Luke 6:27.        But I say unto you which hear, LOVE your enemies, do good to them which hate you.

Well, we’ve finally relegated that disturbing day called Monday to the annals of History and are now on a more pleasant day termed Tuesday! And many of God’s children said a grateful, ‘Thank the Lord!’ (smile) Ah friends, it’s good and thankful to note that we’ve been granted life to see another blessed day on God’s earth, possibly so that we can learn some more about the oh so important fruit of the Spirit called ‘self-control.’ 

Now yesterday we looked at several scriptures that highlighted its importance, and today we’ll look at a few more. But before we do that, let’s read what a commentator, Merry, said in reply to some verses highlighting self-control on the website https://www.notconsumed.com/36-bible-verses-about-self-control/

‘Self-Control, a part of inhibitory control, is the power to regulate one’s feelings, thoughts, and behaviour in the face of strong urges and temptations. As an organizational function, self-control is a necessary cognitive mechanism for regulating one’s behaviour in order to reach certain objectives in the workplace. With the advancement of technology, it has been easier to access the world around us on the internet. This accessibility has increased the number of people with poor self-control who are not only at work but also at home, on the internet, and even while driving or when shopping. The result is that there are a large number of people with poor self-control and low self-esteem who are not able to make wise choices in regards to their own self and that of others. 

There are two schools of thought about self-control. Some believe that self-control prevents against certain kinds of evil such as stealing and violence, whereas others think that it promotes harmony and increases happiness. According to the latter group of experts, self-control helps increase happiness because it helps participants control their desire to be successful, and this desire results in them being willing to work towards achieving these goals. Self-control is achieved by regulating the following four aspects: impulse control, intrinsic desire, external influence, and motivation. 

Although all of these are important, it is the desire to do well that ultimately makes a difference between a good person and a bad person. Executive function is related to the other factors mentioned above in that the absence of self-control can create problems in the workplace and at home. While the absence of self-control can also create problems in interpersonal relationships, the degree of the problem will depend upon the individuals involved. Whether the problem is with respect to impulse control, external influence, or motivation, executive dysfunction is an important problem that can have a major impact on health, wellness, happiness, and achievement.’ 

Now that should certainly help in our understanding of that very important fruit of the Spirit, and in our ongoing fight with the enemy, who’s avowed purpose is for us to have NO self-control. So, let’s check out a few of those scriptures that we spoke about. And the first one that pops up is this verse from the prophet Jeremiah, when he informed his people of Judah about an upcoming famine because of their ungodliness. ‘Thus saith the Lord unto this people, Thus have they LOVED to wander, they have not refrained (restrained) their feet, therefore the Lord doth not accept them; he will now remember their iniquity, and visit (punish) their sins.’ (Jer. 14:10) 

And yuh know what friends? That description of Judah sounds just like our current society. We have not restrained our feet and have wandered far away from God and have thus become a very rebellious and sinful society. What else can we expect from Almighty God now but punishment for our sins eh…unless we repent, turn from our evil ways and once more acknowledge His sovereignty over our frail and feeble lives. 

And the scholars offer this interesting explanation of the situation. ‘14:7-10. Jeremiah had been advised not to intercede for his people (11:14), yet he cannot help pleading for them despite their wrongdoing of him (11:18-23) He prays for God’s mercy on the basis of their being called by thy name (vs. 9). However, God rejects Jeremiah’s request (vs. 10), reminding him that it is useless to pray for this obdurately sinful people (vs. 11-12)’ 

Oh my people, you must know that things are really bad when the Lord twice tells a prophet not to pray for his people! And no doubt He would say the same thing to any prophet who had the chutzpah to pray for us today. Then there’s this verse from 1 Peter, where, in talking about the suffering of Jesus as an example, he tells his readers: ‘For what glory is it, if when ye be buffeted (beaten) for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with (commendable before) God.’ (1 Pet. 2:20) 

Yes friends, that’s what Jesus did; suffered for us without a word of complaint, because He knew His purpose and controlled His emotions. Likewise, we ought to know our purpose in Christ and take the good with the bad, like He did. We all know it’s not easy, but with His help we can achieve it. And the last scripture we’ll peruse today is some more tough stuff, this time from Jesus Himself, as He talks about LOVE for enemies. 

‘But I say unto you which hear, LOVE your enemies, do good to them which hate you. Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully (spitefully) use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other, and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat (tunic) also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.’ (Luke 6:27-30) 

Now if that isn’t an extremely tough row to hoe, then I don’t know what is nuh! But that’s what Jesus did, and at great cost to Himself. And it’s also what He expects from His followers. But to do those very unnatural things, we need to be very self-controlled. That’s why I keep mentioning how important self-control is in every aspect of our lives. Now, let’s hope that the scriptures and explanations we’ve gone through over these past two days will help us immeasurably in our walk of faith. 

And for those of us who are sincerely trying to live for Jesus, let’s go home now declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong lock, stock and barrel. As one strong voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with my immediate neighbours, as well as with the whole wide world! Glory be!’ 

And now, in keeping with those sentiments, let’s go out and share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to LOVE and serve Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…without self-control…it is impossible to live for Christ… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ       

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