Post-Easter Self-Control (Fruit Of The Spirit)

It’s the day after Easter and you’ve probably broken fast. Maybe you took that first sip of soda in weeks, or you finally got to checkout with your online cart full of things, or (like myself) you were able to dust off your Wii U and play it again. What’s different now, post-Easter?

Galatians 5:22-23 tells us that the fruit of the Spirit is made up of nine attributes: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. The point of these attributes is to contrast acts that are not of the Spirit – things like idolatry, hatred, drunkenness, selfish ambition, etc. And if you’ve been following us since the beginning of Lent, you would have noticed that each week touched upon a different attribute.

Today as we consider self-control on this day after Easter, think about how Jesus has changed everything for us. The old has gone and the new is here! As easy as it may be to jump back into old habits that we gave up for 40 days, we should think about the good that God intends for us because as Galatians 5:1 says, we are free… a liberty that includes a freedom from sin.

Thanks to the Holy Spirit, we should have better discernment of good from bad – a self-control that will continue to help us be free. And though what we fasted may not be a clear-cut good vs. bad, I’d imagine that the things we gave up were put on hold for 40 days because we felt the effects of constantly being exposed to them. But even if you didn’t fast something, I’m sure a certain image comes to mind when you think of this topic.

Jesus died and rose again so that in this Christian life we can oppose the things that go against this new life given to us. So we just wanted to encourage you, brothers & sisters, to persevere with the self-control gifted to you so that you can overcome and live for the glory of the Lord. The Holy Spirit is at work within us, so let’s make the most of this post-Easter season… It’s a new day!

For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin… – Romans 6:6

For more on the fruit of the Holy Spirit / posts for Lent:

Reflection Song: Only You

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Honesty Is The Best Policy

If we are to follow Christ then truth, honesty, and integrity are essential. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Honesty is a necessary component in following after Jesus. Conversely, dishonesty will pull us away from Him.

This past weekend we led praise at the New Life Summer Retreat, which had the theme Honesty. It was a really authentic time of worship and growth. Unlike your “conventional” retreat, there was no guest pastor to preach amazing sermons. Instead, testimonies were shared within small groups, and several were shared during the main session. We were really encouraged by these powerful stories and it was apparent how relationships were beginning to grow because of them.

Being honest with others isn’t easy in a time where we hide behind communicating through text messages, Facebook statuses, and Instagram comments. It’s so easy to mask your true self. But the testimonies shared were powerful and displayed how God has worked and is working through each and every one of us, molding us into the son or daughter He intended for us to become. What I was reminded was that honesty not only shows your character, but it also shows your faith. Throughout the Bible we are assured that it is impossible for God to lie. That’s a lot harder to say for ourselves… but with God setting the example, we ought to strive to be more true to others and to ourselves.

Proverbs 11:3 says “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.”

In fact, we heard many stories of struggles, difficulties, and straying from God. A lot of it was covered up by deception, lies, and even trying to fool oneself. But as soon as they shared about how the truth was discovered (or re-discovered), that because of Jesus Christ we are a new creation, the stories took a turn where lives began turning back towards God the Father!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

I thought of my own testimony – of who I was and who I’ve become because of Christ. We’re all constantly changing and experiencing changes. So it is important that we never lose sight of what’s ahead so that we stay true to who we ought to be in Christ. Surround yourself with honesty, truthful people, so that you too can be more honest and open with others, yourself, and God.

Today, let’s remember to stay in the truth, speak and live the truth, and you may also be helping others around you to the Truth! Jesus, the author of eternal salvation, is the way, the truth and the life… Let’s motivate and cultivate honesty through the love He’s shown us!

Reflection Song: Only You