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

Lent, Week 6: Gentleness & Kindness (A Palm Sunday Blog)

In some translations of the Bible, gentleness & kindness are almost interchangeable. Today we celebrate this gentleness/kindness as Jesus, our King, enters Jerusalem humbly and gently on a donkey. As Palm Sunday, many of us might imagine the crowds, the masses, the shouts of “Hosanna!” (Matthew 21:9), and a mess of palm branches on the road. But this time we want to invite you to think of the calm & quiet nature in which Jesus arrived this Holy Week.

Gentleness and kindness could mean “meekness”, but not “weakness”. Jesus was a perfect example of this as He obeyed and submitted to the Father, yet carrying out an eternal plan. While many on this day expected a militant ruler, warrior, or conqueror, our Savior came in riding on a lowly colt! Zechariah 9:9 prophesied, “See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

On one hand, gentleness is humility, grace, obedience… and kindness is an uprightness, a caring, a kindness of heart. We aim for these two as we strive to be like Jesus, who displayed gentleness & kindness in His life and death. It is this gentleness and kindness that God showed as He offered salvation to us – the same characteristic that is at work within us through the Holy Spirit… that we would offer up our own lives as well, especially during this Lent season, as we think about the life and death of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ.

Jesus has come today! As we embark on Holy Week, let’s think about the selfless sacrifice Jesus made for our salvation. He surrenders Himself to the Father’s will with gentleness (humility, grace, obedience) and kindness (uprightness, caring, gentleness) just as we should. For those who have given things up for Lent, how is that going? Do we allow the Spirit to guide us as we surrender ourselves so that all that we do is done with a spirit of gentleness & kindness?

In this final stretch, continue to be an example of Christ as He continues to be your guide in all things. May His gentleness and kindness carry over to you today.

Reflection Song: Prepare The Way


Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 (Palm Sunday) | Good Friday | Easter

Lent, Week 6: Palm Sunday (Holy Week)

Today we look at Palm Sunday (or Passion Sunday), which kicks off Holy Week leading up to Jesus’ death. Who would have thought that the day Jesus triumphantly enters Jerusalem would be the same week of His betrayal and death on the cross? In Matthew 21:1-11, we see that the passage is titled “Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King”. Imagine you were there for that Palm Sunday, you hear there’s a Messiah among you, He’s a King, He’s the Lord of lords… The crowds are laying down their cloaks, waving these branches, saying hosanna in the highest! “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

Many times throughout the Bible (Isaiah 40:3, Mark 1:3, Mark 3:3) it says “prepare the way”, which may remind us of what we read above when the crowds were laying down their cloaks and laying down branches. The crowds were preparing the way for Jesus, even on a colt! They didn’t know what He would do next, but they knew they had to make way.

So where does that leave us? I don’t think any of us are expecting to go outside right now and lay down our North Face or Burberry jackets on the ground. So how do we prepare the way? The Bible says to prepare the way of the Lord and make His paths straight. We should note that it’s not that the Lord doesn’t like winding or curved roads but we ought to clear the way of all obstructions or hindrances that could keep Him from doing His will in our lives.

If you have things you’ve given up for Lent, or things that are holding you back, it’s time to do some spring cleaning. Have you noticed that refraining from these things makes a better way for Jesus to come? Jesus gave everything up for us in order for our crimson sins to be washed as white as snow (Isaiah 1:18). His triumphant entry into Jerusalem is so that we can have a victory in our salvation from the cross and resurrection of our living Lord & Savior. Make worthy to God all of your praise this Holy Week, this Easter season, and with these lives that we have in Him.

Ultimately, instead of being on a throne as King, Jesus humbly took His place on the cross for our sins. So let’s prepare the way, knowing what’s to come this coming Holy Week: our Lord Jesus Christ suffering for us, exemplifying a love that’s humble & beyond how we can love. This, in fact, is the definition of the word “passion“… as in “The Passion Of The Christ”. The love Jesus showed on the cross spans farther than we can imagine. So we begin Holy Week with the palms and end with the cross…

Reflection Song: Prepare The Way


Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 (Palm Sunday) | Good Friday | Easter