Self-Control

It seems it would not require any great difficulty or hard work to have self-control. We all know it is important and needed in our lives. Yet, it is difficult and takes a lot of work to exercise self-control. Maybe it is because it is something to be exercised that we find it challenging.

Self-control is expected of us not just by our families, friends, and communities but the Lord expects it of us, too. Whatever we enjoy or desire that is not in line with the life Jesus prepared for us must be done away with. It’s no easy task! But we are not left to our own devices to accomplish the work of exercising self-control. We have what we need for willpower to overcome what is not meant to be part of who we are.
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life
through our knowledge of him who called us
by his own glory and goodness.
2 Pet 1:3 niv
We have been given minds to use to work through our problems and struggles. We need to remember to think before we act. We need to seek the advice of people who know and love the Lord to help us overcome our adversities and to help us think decisively and with determination.
So think clearly and exercise self-control.
1 Pet 1:13a nlt
A godly life may seem to be beyond our abilities but it is not. Yes, it is not easy trying to live as the Lord would have us live. We often fall short and even fail in our efforts. We are imperfect and live in a world that does everything it can to distract us from the righteous life we are called to live. But, again, we are encouraged by God’s Word;
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.
And God is faithful.
He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand.
When you are tempted,
he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
1 Cor 10:13 nlt
Sometimes when I am faced with something that I need to exercise self-discipline about I think maybe God has me mixed up with someone else for surely whatever I may have inathlete-1296472_640 my path is more than I can resist. This often makes me afraid and discouraged and I want to just give up, quit trying and go with the ungodly flow. That’s when I know I need to talk with Jesus. Most often He takes me to this verse,
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity,
but of power, love, and self-discipline.
2 Tim 1:7 nlt
Then I know it’s time to polish the armor and get to exercising.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor
so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil.
Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.
Eph 6:13 nlt
Blessings this day of grace,
patricia
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Count It All Joy

Life can be full of difficulties and troubles. We are not promised that we will be spared trivial problems or serious hardship. We are told we will have suffering and sorrow. That is the way life is in the world we where we live. We are not left with the negative, though. We are also told;

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way,
consider it an opportunity for great joy.
For you know that when your faith is tested,
your endurance has a chance to grow. 
James 1:2

It may seem troubles are simply that, troubles, things that make life difficult and unhappy. But the fact is trouble tests our faith and helps us to grow strong so we can continue on our journey of faith with courage and tenacity. When our faith grows and matures we lack nothing.

So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, sparkler-677774_640
you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
James 1:3-4

I try to remember this when I start to complain about struggles with adversity, anxiety, distress, problems, illness, pain or any of the other woes that are common to mankind. I know that my struggling is minor compared to what many experience every day. Still, I complain and have a hard time to count it all joy.

So be truly glad.
There is wonderful joy ahead,
even though you have to endure many trials for a little while.
These trials will show that your faith is genuine. 

1 Peter 1:6-7a

I am learning that trials and troubles aren’t all bad. True, sometimes there seems to be no reason or sense to them but if I endure one day I will see the meaning of it all.  I have only to endure the testing of my faith to prove it real. I need to remember that all the things that seem dark and dreadful have a bright side, wonderful joy.

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

All scripture from NLT

Cast It Away

Anxiety is a problem for me. These days I can usually control it but that wasn’t always so. There was a time when I was nearly paralyzed by worry and fear. Anxiety was an invader in my life that was defeating me. I still have to be on guard against this enemy.

I have learned to recognize when anxiety is on the edges of my life. If I allow it, it will cover me like a heavy blanket. An important defense against worry or anxiety is to be aware of what triggers it and to be prepared to take action. For me, the main triggers are not getting enough rest, not eating healthy, and not getting any exercise.  Sometimes I let my guard down and as with most enemies, it will surprise me and that heavy blanket will be thrown over me and weigh me down.

When this happens and  I get passed feeling sorry for myself I know what I need to do. It’s time, past time, to talk to Jesus. Prayer is the best defense against any enemy. Still, it has taken me a long time to learn that part of prayer is letting Jesus do His thing. When we take our burdens to Him and put them at His feet that is where we are to leave them.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1 Pet 5:7 niv

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To cast something is to throw, hurl, fling it. It means to throw it off or away. Which is what we do when we pray for the Lord to take our worries and fears. But if you are like me you like to clean up after yourself. So what do I do? After praying and casting my cares on the Lord I pack them up nice and tidy and keep them in the back of my mind. I am getting better at leaving the heavy blanket with Jesus and moving on free of the burden for I now understand;

The LORD is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid?
The LORD is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?
Ps 27:1 nlt

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

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Respect and Authority

There are times when I look around and wonder what people are thinking. When did people begin to think they can do whatever they want? When did they begin to  think they do not have to answer to anyone?  When did etiquette and common courtesy become something to be ignored? When did authority become a thing of no value to be ridiculed?

These questions have been twirling around in my head for a while. At first, it seemed that these thoughts and actions are new to society, but are they?  Probably not. Then I thought that these behaviors seem more prevalent because we now have access to news media from around the world 24/7, but is that true? Maybe to some extent. When I gave all the chess-404841_640questions serious consideration I came to the conclusion people haven’t changed much since the beginning of time. No one in the past wanted to have someone over them who tells them what to do and how to live, In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever was right in their own eyes. (Judges 17:6) and it’s the same today. Everyone wants to be king and queen. Being common folk is not what anyone wants for themselves. And I admit I often have a bad attitude when it comes to authority and having to answer to someone else. But what does Jesus have to say to me about this?

Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters.
Fear God, and respect the king.
1Peter2:17

It isn’t always easy to respect authority but there are reasons “kings” are put where they are whether they are good or bad.  When Jesus was before Pilate, Pilate asked Him if He didn’t realize that he had power over Him? Jesus said,“You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above.” (John 19:10-11)  Do I understand? Not really but I am trying.

Blessing this day of grace,
patricia

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1 Peter 2:5 esv

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We as individuals make up the church, the spiritual house.
In His house, we are priests, set apart to offer sacrifices.
With Jesus as our example we offer sacrifice of self for others.
We offer prayer and praise, charity, service, and good works.
Our offerings are accepted by God only because of the sacrifice of Christ.
As He gave himself for our good so we do for others
with faith and love for the glory of God.

Do you think of yourself as holy, set apart for God’s glory?

Blessings this day of grace,patricia (2)

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