Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 9 PART 2 – Self- Control (1 Timothy 4:12)

LESSON: Practice self-control to be a good example to others

Memory Verse: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”

– 1 Timothy 4:12

Lesson:

Self-control refers to the exercise of restraint over one’s actions, emotions or desires. Just as a young child is taught how to ask for something politely and not grab, it is something that is learned through practice and determination. This is because as Christians, it usually refers to stopping ourselves from following our selfish and sinful desires. It is often “easier said than done,” because it involves controlling not only our outward actions, but more importantly, our inner thoughts and emotions. This is because as the Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

Bible Story: Daniel’s Training in Babylon (Daniel 1:1-21)

Daniel and his three friends were among the young men taken captive by Babylon when they defeated and destroyed Jerusalem. They were then put into training so that they may the king, and they were assigned a daily amount of good and wine from the king’s table. Daniel was far from his homeland and his family, but he did not forget his faith and the teachings he learned as a child.

“But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself in this way.” – Daniel 1:8

Daniel showed self-control in three areas of his life: (1) in his THINKING; (2) in his SPEECH; and (3) in his CONDUCT or actions.

  1. Controlling our minds or our thinking. Whatever we say or do is a result of what we believe or what we have decided in our hearts. So this is the first area that we must conquer. It is important that we fill our minds with good things and rebuke thoughts and desires that are evil and not pleasing to the Lord. We have to figure out what is truly important in our lives so that we will know what our priorities are and be guided as to what we should or shouldn’t do, or what to do first and what we can afford to let go.
  2. Controlling our speech. Daniel decided in his heart what to do and so he asked permission to do it. Notice that showed respect and wisdom in how he asked for permission. The chief official was hesitant about Daniel’s request because he was afraid it might get him into trouble, but Daniel negotiated with him to test them for 10 days before making a final decision. In this manner of controlled speech, Daniel was able to convince the chief official to let them eat only vegetables and water and not eat the king’s food.
  3. Controlling our actions. What they thought and said they would do, that is what they actually did. Daniel and his friends did not allow themselves to be “defiled” or “polluted” even if they were surrounded by pagans and unbelievers. This is the Christian challenge – “to be in the world but not of the world.” It means to be a good example of Christian living even if everybody else around us is practicing worldly living. We are called to be different and to live “holy lives,’ – we live for Jesus.

Application:

As Christians, we are to be “good examples,” and show the world how God wants us to really live. Like Daniel and his friends, young people can and should do this as well. Being young is not an excuse to live wild lives and to try first everything that the world has to offer and wait until adulthood before changing for the better. God has chosen young men and women to show the world what it means to be a follower of Jesus “in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”

Coloring Page from:

https://craftingthewordofgod.com/2015/02/24/daniel-refused-the-kings-food-coloring-page/

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Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 9 PART 1 – Self- Control (Psalm 119:11)

LESSON: Self-control comes from putting God’s Word in our hearts

Memory Verse: “I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” – Psalm 119:11

Bible Story: The Temptation of Jesus (Matthew 4:1-17)

The temptation of Jesus was part of His preparation for ministry. It showed how the King of kings met His enemy, “the prince of this world” (according to John 14:30) and defeated him.

  1. The first temptation

Satan used the desires of the flesh – hunger – to tempt Jesus into using his divine powers to make bread for himself. Jesus responded by quoting Scripture, specifically Deuteronomy 8:3, “Man does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God.” Notice that Jesus had the Word “hidden in His heart” – HE MEMORIZED SCRIPTURE — and He was able to quote it and use it at the right time.

  1. The second temptation

Satan then used a “dare” to tempt Jesus into proving the faithfulness of God. This time, Satan also showed that he too knew the Scriptures, and so he uses this to deceive Jesus by quoting Psalm 91:11-12. Satan said, “throw yourself off the temple and let the angels catch you just as your God promised.” However, Satan left out an important phrase from this verse that says, “In all your ways.”

“For He will command His angels concerning you, to guard you IN ALL YOUR WAYS; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” – Psalm 91:11-12

This is how Satan and how false teachers and false prophets deceive using quotes from the Bible. They twist its meaning and make it seem like the Bible supports their worldly ideas and choices by either ADDING or REMOVING some parts of the verses. This is why we should READ AND STUDY THE BIBLE so that we can gain a better understanding of God’s heart so that we won’t be deceived by Bible verses that are taken out of context.

Jesus replied with a quote of the Word again, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” It is wrong to dare God to “rescue” us when we just want to prove His power to do so. He is not obliged to save those who deliberately put themselves in danger.

  1. The third temptation

Satan now tempts Jesus with an “easy way” to become King. Jesus would reign over all creation as the King of kings, but He would have to suffer and die on the cross first. Satan was trying to make Jesus take the shortcut and not have to die on the cross.

For the third time, Jesus uses Scripture to rebuke Satan and said, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: WORSHIP the Lord your God, and serve Him only.” Jesus chose to worship and follow God’s will even if it means having to suffer and even die on the cross in order to fulfill God’s plan and purpose for the salvation of mankind.

            In the three attempts at temptation, Jesus fought and won by using a very powerful weapon – the WORD OF GOD. Ephesians 6:17 tells us that the Word of God is the “sword of the spirit.” It is our weapon, which is why we should hide it in our hearts through daily reading, study and memorization, so that we are ready to use it whenever we need it.

This is what “hiding God’s Word in our heart” means – to make it part of our daily life by making an effort to read and study and memorize. This is so we can have control over how we fight temptations, because God’s Word guides us to what is right and reveals to us what is wrong. It gives us the power to have self-control over all kinds of temptation, just as Jesus showed us how to:

  1. Knowing it by heart allows us to be ready to use it anytime.
  2. Studying it helps prevent us from getting deceived when false teachers and false prophets use it to make it look like the Bible supports their worldly thinking.
  3. Worshipping only the one true God means we serve Him only and we will not allow anything or anyone else to take “first place” in our lives.

Lesson 9 Part 1