Thursday, May 31, 2007



Paul commands the older women to teach the younger women to love their husbands, to love their children, to exercise self-control. Self-control is one of the virtues that is required of every group Paul addresses in Titus 2.
Self-control is just what it sounds like: controlling self, with all of its impulses, thoughts, feelings, behavior. That sounds like a full time job! Praise God that whenever He gives us a command, He also provides the grace to obey it! However, it is not “let go and let God”. It requires effort and co-operation with the Holy Spirit. Col. 1:29 gives us that wonderful balance of our striving and His doing the work: “For this I toil, struggling with all this energy that HE powerfully works in me.”

We need to build walls of self-control. Proverbs 25:28
We face enemies on 3 fronts: the world (John 15:19, the devil (I Peter 5:8, and the hardest one of all—our own flesh (I Peter 2:11). Who said, “We have discovered the enemy, and it is US!”?

Sinful thoughts become sinful feelings, and sinful feelings lead to sinful behavior.
1. Thoughts—over 10,000 thoughts pass through our minds in 1 day
II Cor. 10:5—taking EVERY thought captive to the obedience of Christ
“Most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself.” –Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Talk to yourself with Scripture.

2. Feelings register what is happening in our thoughts. We see an example of change in feelings, or attitude in the story of Hannah in I Samuel. She was sad and bitter because she was barren. After she took it to God, the Bible says she “went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.” She experienced joy prior to God’s answering her request. Hannah had attitude change. We live life between the ears. Madame Guyon said we can be radiant in a dungeon; dismal in a palace.

3. Behavior involves eating, sleeping, speaking, time, finances, work, lovelife—behavior is life! All of life must be lived under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. There is one behavior that will promote self-control in every area of life: meeting with God daily to read the Owner’s Manual for life, and communing with him. How often do we face pressures and problems? How often do we need guidance and power? How often do we need encouragement? DAILY
Do you struggle with self-control in a particular area in your life?
We cannot do this “all by myself”. Don’t take a deep breath and muster resolve. John 15:5 reminds us: “Apart from Me you can do nothing—I like to read that as no thing.”

Sunday, May 27, 2007


Even if you don't have children, biblical principles serve in any relationship with children.
As in the command to love our husbands, Paul uses the word "phileo" in the command to love our children. We are to enjoy them, love them, encourage them, nurture them.

"No job on earth takes more physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual strength than being a good wife and mother. If a woman is looking for the easy life, she might try teaching tennis, cutting diamonds, or joining a roller derby team! There is nothing easy about good mothering. It can be back breadking, heart wrenching, and anxiety producing. And that's just the morning."--How To Be A Good Mom by Steve & Janet Bly

The very nature of mothering requires constant sacrifice. We have a choice: resent the challenges and demands, or draw from God's grace and cheerfully lay down our lives for our children.

What if you have lost your enjoyment? How do you find renewed joy to serve? Our only genuine refreshment comes from God. In Luke 5:15, 16 cowds came to Jesus to be healed, but Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed (Note: NOT crowded places and shopped) If you are wearing, if your vision for motherhood is waving, get alone with God.
Phileo love for our children is not indulgence--set firm guidelines and limits.

"Far better children cry under healthful correction, than that parents cry later under the bitter fruit of neglected discipline."--Charles Bridges in 1846

In loving our children, our ultimate purpose, our goal, is the salvation of their eternal souls, and their reflecting the glory of God and the gospel to the world.
"This is the thought that should be uppermost on your mind in all you do for your children. In every step, every plan and scheme, and arrangement that concerns them, do not leave out that might question: "How will it affect their souls?""
--J. C. Ryle
Two things in this world are eternal: God's Word and people. Our children are eternal beings! What a heavy responsibility we carry as moms and mentors to little ones! How will what you are doing this week affect your children's souls?