The exercise of this discipline called self-control prevents desire from becoming a dictator. For the person without Christ, the desires dictate and he or she obeys. Those in Christ are able to defy this once-powerful dictator.
Fruit of the Spirit
How can we know if we’re really making progress in our spiritual walk? After all, the Bible offers no prescribed checklist of duties to perform that prove we’ve “arrived” as mature believers. But a list provided by Paul in Galatians 5:22–23 does offer proof both to ourselves and to those around us that the Spirit of God who dwells within us controls our thoughts and actions.
And that’s the catch. We can’t produce such fruit on our own—even with the most sincere effort. We can’t fake this fruit either. Rather, the fruit of the Spirit is a supernatural result of yielding to the Holy Spirit. Once we’re exhibiting the pure, holy fruit of the Spirit, the contrast is stark between those who are filled with the Spirit and those who obey the deeds of the flesh, as seen in Paul’s other list in verses 19-21! When we exhibit the fruit of the Spirit, all the glory goes to God.
How do you know when you’ve grown up? One sure sign is your ability to control your tongue.
Believe it or not, your personal testimony is one of the most powerful and compelling tools God has given you in reaching nonbelievers with the Gospel. Now, I’m not talking about the common, garden-variety, churchy “braggamony.”
Because every believer receives a gift to do ministry, every believer is a minister. Let that sink in. It’s significant. Too often people think only the pastor is the minister when in reality the church is full of ministers.
A positive attitude is based on a choice, not on feelings. Too often we make our attitude the victim of our feelings and think we can have a positive attitude only when we feel positive.
In Hebrew the word “integrity” means an unimpaired condition. Another word is “solid.” A person with integrity is not divided or devious.
Know someone you always love to be around and whose presence lifts your spirit? Learn from Chuck Swindoll what contagious quality that person is modelling.
Joy—it makes people wonder at your secret. Yet joy is no secret to the trusting Christian. When we choose to grow closer to God, resting in His character and provision, joy spills over into our lives so that others can’t help but notice.
There isn’t a day that passes in which I fail to see, hear, or read something that makes me smile. And because laughter is such an effective therapy, I’m grateful that God dispenses this divine medication so frequently.