If so, I encourage you to take 5 minutes to watch this video and/or read this article.
It is about a College Basketball player who studies abroad in Africa. One of the things he says is that going to Africa was unlike anything he had ever experienced before, profoundly put he called it “refreshing”.
I have been to Africa twice. Ethiopia and South Africa. Both times were beyond exhilarating. I absolutely loved it. Going to Africa can really impact your life.
Self-control is the last fruit listed in the long list of the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23.
In Paul’s small letter to Titus, ‘self-control’ is mentioned 5 times. Titus only has 46 verses in the whole book. Clearly, self-control is an emphasis.
Elders are to be self-controlled. (1:8)
Older men are to be self-controlled. (2:2)
Older women are to train the younger women to be self-controlled. (2:5)
Younger men are to be self-controlled. (2:6)
The grace of God has appeared and trains us to live self-controlled lives. (2:12)
A life that is out of control lacks the presence of God and has no assurance of being filled with the Spirit of Christ. But when self-control is evident, one can have confidence in God’s Spirit being at work in his life.
If your life out of control? Are you raging in some areas? Turn to God. Repent of it. And see the Spirit of God bring self-control to you.
Today, January 11th, is my mother’s birthday. My mom is Sherry Reed Greene. This is a picture of her with me and my dad and 2 of her grandsons, JJ & Eli. I love this picture.
I thank God for my mom. She teaches me so much. She encourages me so much. She instills confidence in me. She loves me. In God’s infinite wisdom and glory, he gave me my mom to raise me. And God has used my mom so mightily to make me who I am today. No one else on earth has been as influential in my life as my mom.
Mom, I love you! Happy Birthday! You are beautiful in so many ways. You are blessed!
Proverbs 31:28“Her children rise up and call her blessed”
ESPN did a special on Tim Tebow. Its called “Tim Tebow: Everything in between.” It is great to watch. I teared up during it. And when it ended I had an eye to eye serious talk with my son about Jesus being our life! During the ESPN special, they showed this commercial. It gave me goosebumps.
Part of my ‘new year, newer me’ plan is to read some biographies. I began with this one on George Muller by Basil Miller.
Here are two great quotes from the book. I am really enjoying it already.
“After learning the lesson of being busy in the work of the Lord, too busy in fact to pray, he told his brethren that four hours of work after an hour of prayer would accomplish more than five hours without prayer. This rule henceforth he faithfully kept.” (page 49)
Muller was often asked how he was so certain that he was doing the will of God. He replied with a 6 point answer. Here is his 1st point. Very good.
“1. I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter. Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord’s will, whatever it may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is.” (page 51)
God has true people of faith of in this world who are making a great impact for Him. I am praying for God to raise up people like that in Fairdale.
Please take 3 minutes to watch this interview of Pastor John Piper interviewing musician/minister Lecrae. It is neat to note the dynamic of the great differences between these two men in their form but all the while loving their great similarities in their substance. Namely, Jesus is a great savior!
(There is a lot of background noise. But thats ok. Concentrate and be encouraged.)
“Continual Repentance” is a phrase that I first heard in college. It was new to me then and also interesting. Repentance is when you turn from your sins. If you sin, then you repent. So, I didn’t quite understand how you can repent continually.
But then I really began to read and learn and grow. I began to understand the human heart. I began to understand how sinful we are. We need to repent of specific sins, and we also need to repent of our sinful hearts. We are selfish and our selfishness taints all what we do. We need to be continually turning from our selfishness to Christ. We need to be continually repenting.
Our Mens Bible Study this week (Wednesday morning 10am) and our Ladies Bible Study this week (Thursday Morning 10am) will be on this subject.
Here is a quote from John Calvin on the subject:
“Therefore, I think he has profited greatly who has learned to be very much displeased with himself, not so as to stick fast in this mire and progress no farther, but rather to hasten to God and yearn for him in order that, having been engrafted into the life and death of Christ, he may give attention to continual repentance.”
Many of you know that I love Reach Records and the music that comes from Lecrae and Trip Lee and the others. Their music has been used by God to disciple and edify me, and I am really so grateful for it.
The biggest reason why is not because the music is good. The biggest reason why is because I believe their hearts are in the right place. I truly feel that these folks have a genuine heart for Jesus.
This article here by Trip Lee reveals what I am talking about. Trip is taking a leave from all attention-getting-ministry situations to learn and be mentored. I encourage you to click and read his post.
Every year at the beginning of each year, I like to reflect on who I am. I have a desire to understand myself. Over the years, I have come to understand this best through God. My identity is best understood and seen through God. If I am not seeing and interpreting myself through God then I am confused, distorted, and inaccurate in knowing me. My identity has got to be in Christ.
In doing this, I can see a lot of things about myself that I am not satisfied with. I want to be better. I want to honor God with all of my life. But I cannot get too into looking at me. I try to do this in a healthy, productive way. Self-examination is a good thing. Its a biblical thing (2 Corinthians 13:5). We all should be doing it.
Since 2010 is gone, we need to be able to look back at it. See the good and the bad. And then take steps and preparation to make progress in 2011.
God speaks of “NEW” things often. God is a difference-maker! The biggest place that He makes a difference is in the lives of people. He does this by making them New by new grace and mercy all the time.
So as 2011 begins (has already begun, its nearly 12 hours old), consider how to become a newer you in this new year.