bible.com/bible/116/1jn.4.18.NLT

No fear. As a believer, we have access to an all powerful, all knowing, present everywhere God. We were given peace and the Holy Spirit to navigate this life. What do we really have to fear, giving away the power that is a gift to us? Are you living in the power of God’s love or are you living in fear?

Commitment

Caterpillar

I would like to discuss commitment. In my reading last week, one author posed that true commitment composes four elements. There is the mental component, the physical component, the financial component and the spiritual component. I would like to just put a note by each of these components leaving a framework for you to use when you want to make a commitment to something.

The mental component is the thought. You are faced with a decision. In considering the decision, go through all four components before deciding. In the mental component, consider if you really want to make the commitment. Is this something you need and want? Are willing to stick it out until the end? Ask yourself the necessary questions.

The physical component entails the action steps. Due diligence in researching the organization, the program, or whatever format the decision entails. Schedule time for the various elements this program or process entails. Are you willing to put in the time whether you feel like it or not? Sometimes you may not feel like it. However, you are committed to doing this thing in spite of how you feel.

Cocoon

The third component is financial, the money or investment in this decision. Money is a true motivator for many. No one consciously wants to just throw money away. Your decision to invest solidifies commitment even more. In due diligence, what are you getting for your money? What are you looking for from the organization or program? Are you willing to find monetary resources if you don’t have it all at once?

Butterfly

Last, but certainly not least, is the spiritual component. This entails your vision for this commitment. What is your vision for what you want to do? Is this commitment the foundation for something bigger? What are you hoping to accomplish by committing to this decision? Is this decision in line with your vision?

Sometimes the vision may come first and details of the commitment come later. The vision sparks your thought process, then action, and then the financial component. This process was eye opening for me in that it helped me clarify what I wanted. I hope it helps you in your decision-making process for achieving the goals you set for yourself.

I believe before any of the above steps, you should pray. I don’t leave God out anymore. How about you?

Self-Discipline

This post is about self-discipline. However, I did want to make sure to add information about the difference between self-discipline and self-control. We understand that self-control is being able to control our temperaments and lustful desires.

Self-discipline is about correction or regulation of oneself for the sake of improvement. Self-discipline is focusing on areas that need to change and incorporating those things that propel us toward those changes. It is about applying the tools that you learn so you do life better. Incorporating self-discipline influences self-control.

2nd Timothy 1:7 – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” The NLT replaced “a sound mind” with “self-discipline”.

The reference Scripture for 2nd Timothy 1:7 is Romans 8:15

Romans 8:15 – “So you have not receive a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children. Now, we call Him, “Abba, Father.”

Self-discipline takes work on your part to do the inventory and see what needs to change. However, “we can do all things through Christ.” My encouragement today is that we can work on our selves. We can apply what we learn so that we can live abundant lives. Jesus came that we might have abundant life. He did His part so that we can do ours.

Be blessed.

Incorporating self-discipline influences self-control.

Self-Control

Even on the Cloudy Days

Self-Control is described as restraint exercised over one’s own impulses, emotions or desires.

Galatians 5:23 – “…gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”

Proverbs 5:21-23 – 21) For the Lord sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes. 22) An evil man is held captive by his own sins; they are ropes that catch and hold him. 23) He will die for lack of self-control; he willl be lost because of his great foolishness.”

Proverbs 16:32 -“Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city.”

Losing control can cause you to forfeit what you want the most. Losing self-control means your temper or the emotion of anger has taken control. Application of biblical principles moves us from just having knowledge to a life-changing experience.

Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. All of us are challenged with the self-control at one point or another. This is not the same as maintaining self-control for the most part. Challenges should not be able to continually overtake you. As a fruit of the Spirit, you should be able to experience the emotion and yet instead of losing control, you are able to maintain self-control. I wanted to present this information from the biblical perspective. There is much material out there on self-control; from a psychological perspective, humane perspective, as well as a self-help perspective.

This choice from the biblical perspective is based on inner transformation because it changes you. It is not focused on behaviors but based on the work of the Spirit of God. This means that you are not working on how you act (behavior). Instead, it is how you respond. Applying biblical principles changes who you are. That said, how you react is based on who you become and not what you do. Self-control is not easy because the flesh wants what the flesh wants. However, that is the significance between changing the inner man from the heart as opposed to changing behaviors.

Psalm 37:8 – “Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper-it only leads to harm.” Everyone involved in any given situation is harmed when anger is not put to bed. Doesn’t mean you don’t feel or you haven’t been hurt. Just means you refuse to let your emotions rule you.

Apparently, the Scriptures have plenty to say about self-control. I have included some Scriptures for you to review and meditate on. I personally do not believe that I can live an abundant life without God. That includes mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical. In that vein, it is about making the spiritual man your center. That is the foundation of true self-control.

It should be clear that anger is not the only emotion that requires self-control.

I listed some other Scriptures for you, the reader, to do your own legwork. Get in there and let God’s word speak to you.

1Timothy 3:2; 1 Timothy 3:11; Titus 2:2; 1 Peter 1:13; 2 Peter 1:6

Be blessed…

Presence – Being Present

This is the last word from my post, Peace, Patience, and Presence. I exchanged the word present for being present in the body of the post to be clear. It is the result of being active or being present in the moments of your life. God’s peace works on your patience. Your patience works on your presence. There are several benefits to being present.

First you have more mental energy for the moment in which you are present. You let go of distractions. 1 Corinthians 7:35 – “I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible.” I believe that when you are focused on what you are doing in the moment, being present with friends and family, even at work, life is much more enjoyable.

Other benefits include less emotional stress because you are not worried about what you cannot control. In this case, being present means you have given whatever your needs and challenges are to the Lord. Proverbs 12:25a -“Worry weighs a person down…” (NLT) From our life experiences, we know this to be true. Matt 6:25 – “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life-whether you have enough food, and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food and your body more than clothing?” Jesus goes on to tell us to “seek the Kingdom of God above all and He will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33. (NLT).

Being focused on one thing, engaged in the here and now; not stuck in the past or the future seems very simple. As we give our cares and worries to God, we are free to thrive. When we find our hearts heavy with things out of our control, we become burdened. Jesus has said for us who are weary and heavy burdened to lay those burdens at His feet. We are then free to live life more abundantly. This helps with our mental health as well. Our minds are not burdened with things we can’t control. Instead, our minds are focused on our heavenly Father through Jesus Christ.

I get that being in the moment may seem very simple, however, not easy. Our minds takes us different places. It takes practice. Being mindful and present requires your action and commitment.

Be blessed, in the name of Jesus…

Patient

Have Godly Patience

Continuing to expound on the Peace, Patience, and Presence post earlier this week, this post will expound on patience.

The definition for patience is “calm endurance of hardship, provocation, pain, delay, etc.”. This definition was found in the Reader’s Digest Oxford Complete Wordfinder. However, the definition I retrieved from the NLT Dictionary states that patience is “bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint; steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity; not hasty or impetuous.” This is a description of godly patience.

Have Godly Patience

That said, I would venture to say that being patient is not just about that you wait but how you wait. I used to think that because I understood the concept of waiting, apparently things were out of my control-otherwise no need to be patient-that I had godly patience. Not. I have since learned and accepted it is how I wait. Being patient or waiting is a necessity when you have no choice. However, not complaining, brooding, embracing emotions of anger, disappointment, etc. is godly patience. This is a description of how you wait.

Romans 2:4 – “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you?” God gives us a real example of patience. He is giving us time to choose Him, to change our ways. God does not wish that anyone perish. We have to be humbled by God’s patience for us.

Our Confident Hope

Another verse that speaks to how we wait is Romans 12:12 – “Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep praying.” When in this posture, it is evidence of trusting God; knowing that He has everything under control. Not only that, we have patience with those who abuse us and misuse us. We know that vengeance belongs to the Lord. We don’t need to avenge ourselves. I believe the challenge with this perspective is that we want things handled right now. Or, not trusting that God will handle things and the people who hurt us will get away.

In light of the Scripture that we are to imitate God in everything we do because we are His dear children, we are to love. Love is patient.

Peace

Natural Beauty

Expounding on peace from my post on Monday, I want to encourage looking for the real and eternal peace, the peace of God. This peace is founded on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. John 14:27 – “I am, leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” NLT

Two of the critical elements of this peace from Jesus is trust and faith. You have to have faith in the words of Jesus and you have to trust that He keeps His word. When compared to the fragile and unstable peace of the world, this is the real thing. The peace of this world is not stable. Here today, gone tomorrow. The peace of God is never-changing and eternal. How can you question something unchanging and eternal?

Philippians 4:6-7 – “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” NLT

Real peace takes commitment to Christ. Reading the word of God daily keeps me focused on Jesus. My peace is based on reading and knowing His word; trusting that He keeps His word; and, that He will bring it to pass in His time. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!” This is a promise from God and the promises of God are “Yes, and Amen”. He “will keep in perfect peace”. No question.

The Beauty of God in Nature

Are you looking for “real” peace?