Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable... I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.*
The final fruit of the Holy Spirit is self-control.** Is it last because it's the hardest fruit to cultivate? Is it last because its flower precedes the other fruits? Is it last because it's the crowning step to victory? I'm not sure, but I know I need to multiply its growth.
1) Without self-control, love can became lust or idol worship.
2) Without self-control, joy can become selfish, thrill-seeking fun.
3) Without self-control, peace can become agreement with evil.
4) Without self-control, patience can become stagnant hibernation.
5) Without self-control, kindness can become artificially sweet.
6) Without self-control, goodness can become preachy self-righteousness.
7) Without self-control, faithfulness can become blind-eyed peer approval.
8) Without self-control, gentleness can become timid passivity.
9) But with self-control comes deliverance into an abundant life.***
Perhaps you and I need to get serious with our gardening plans.
To Be Continued...
* The well-known Verse of 2 Timothy 1:7 is written in the KJV and NKJV as 'Power, love and a sound mind.' However, Bible scholars agree the better Greek to English translation is 'Self-discipline.' http://biblehub.com/commentaries/2_timothy/1-7.htm
** 'But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law' (Galatians 5:22-23).
*** Excellent sermon on self-control by Pastor Glenn Pease: The fruit of self-control: https://sermons.logos.com/submissions/125262-The-Fruit-Of-Self-Control#content=/submissions/125262
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Deliverance series.