Devotional Thought for Today
A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.
My children love all kinds of dessert – ice cream, cookies, cakes, etc. A few months ago, my wife made a batch of cookies, so I told my kids that they were not allowed to have any until after dinner. But right before dinner, I saw that several cookies were missing, along with a mess of crumbs all over the table. I realized that the gratification of cookies was too much to handle and as a result my kids gave into temptation.
Solomon, the writer of this proverb, compares a person without self-control to a breached wall. The city walls protect the people from all sorts of attacks from surrounding enemies. So the picture the writer gives is that of a city whose walls have been so nearly destroyed as to be without defense against the enemy; likewise, the man who has no restraint over his spirit is also defenseless and exposed to temptations, which eventually leads to sin. He has no defense against anger, lust, and the other unrestrained emotions that are harmful for the soul, as well as to others. Solomon reminds us that we should see self-control as a wall for defense and protection from the appetites of our flesh.
What area in your life do you need to ask for greater self-control? It could be lust, anger, shopping, your speech or something else. Only the power of the Holy Spirit can change us and give us the self-control we need to live a godly lifestyle. Spend some time this morning asking the Lord to search your heart and surrender the areas you need more self-control in.
Prayer: Lord, only You can change my heart that lacks self-control at times in various areas of my life. Through the power of the Spirit, change me and fill me with more of You. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: 1 Samuel 1
Lunch Study Break
Read 2 Timothy 1:6-8: “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God . . .”
Questions to Consider
- What is Paul telling Timothy concerning the Holy Spirit?
- Why do you think Paul is reminding him of this truth?
- How is this applicable in our daily lives?
- The effective Christian worker must have the power of the Holy Spirit, but that power must be expressed in a loving spirit. The Spirit also gives us self-discipline to flee from temptations and to live a God-centered lifestyle.
- We tend to forget the power that is available to us in our everyday lives. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to change as we abide in Christ (John 15) and is not an act of self-will.
- We need to be filled with more of Jesus so that we can experience His power and love, and to better minister to others.
What are some areas you need to surrender to the Lord so that you would be “protected” by self-control? We need to allow the Spirit to continue to work in our lives so that we would experience his transforming power and grace. Spend some time in prayer.