No government—not even God's—can work without self-control. As a fruit of God's Spirit, this virtue may be the single hardest to master over the course of a lifetime, yet we need it to do our parts in God's Kingdom.
Has anyone, other than Jesus Christ, really exhibited self-control? In the end, however, this is the ultimate aim of growing in the character of God.
At its base, gluttony is nothing more than a lack of self-control. Martin Collins shows the more spiritual side of this too-prevalent sin.
A lack of self-control, as well as the cultivation of self-indulgent perversions, will characterize large segments of our society living at the end times.
Richard Ritenbaugh, reflecting upon the Walter Mischel Test of self-control, a test in which only 30% of youngsters delayed gratifying their appetites, describes the techniques in which these students delayed gratification. Dr. Mischel, who was able to pre. . .
God does not view addictions as 'diseases' or 'genetic predisposition,' which absolve the individual of responsibility. Addictions are the result of sinful choices.
Richard Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the horrendous prospect of surrendering our control to a driverless vehicle, maintains that Americans treasure their freedom of movement despite the "Nanny State's" insincere protestations about safety as it atte. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the celebration of Independence Day, expresses alarm at the speed at which our freedoms have eroded as new laws, inspired by the leftist agenda, protect and safeguard immorality while taking liberties from the majority. To. . .
John Ritenbaugh, addressing both parents and young people throughout the congregation, warns against becoming complacent in the matters of child rearing and obedience to parents. God Almighty is more solicitous than we physical parents are prone to be. As . . .
A key to overcoming our sins is learning when to deny ourselves. Christ plainly declares that those who desire to follow Him must deny themselves.
It is there for but a moment, a mere fraction of a second of time, and then it is gone, never to be seen again. It is how the training of our true character is tested, sometimes under the most severe circumstances. ...
John Ritenbaugh, in a basic Bible Study on self-government, focusing on Romans 13:1-7, maintains that submitting to a human government is a "work" which requires self-control, self-discipline, and self-government. The apostle Paul thoroughly disc. . .
We need free moral agency to be transformed into God's image. Unless one has God's Spirit, he cannot exercise the internal control to be subject to the way of God.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that the operation of God's government absolutely depends on each person governing himself, never going beyond the boundaries God has given him. Human nature always wants to break free of those boundaries. Through our entire live. . .
In Part One, we saw that true Christians must learn to control the momentary gap between stimulus and response. We need to recognize its existence and learn to utilize this time properly. ...
Prior to the Days of Unleavened Bread, we are told to examine ourselves. How can we do that? Here are a few pointers on doing a thorough, honest once over.
Mike Ford, recalling a time in his youth when he indulged in too much of a good thing (in his case Coca-Cola unlimited), reminds us of Proverbs 25:16, which stresses that moderation is the best policy. Of all the fruits of God's Holy Spirit, self-control i. . .
Part One showed that wherever there is a government of man, it tends to take on greater power and responsibility as the governed relinquish their liberty for the sake of being taken care of. ...
Martin Collins, identifying a list of infamous monarchs who had the title "the Great" affixed to their names, puzzles over the criteria historians employed when giving this designation to patently blatant tyrants, and contrasts this pretentious g. . .
We live in a society where both food and information are readily available. John Ritenbaugh discusses the importance of mastering self-control and a true Christian's necessity of seeking truth by which to live his life.
America has grown fat, and the sin of gluttony plays a part in it. Martin Collins shows how dangerous obesity is—and explains its spiritual side.
Human nature takes chances, assuming the day of reckoning will come later, not sooner. We cannot ignore truth or God's laws without paying a horrific price.
Protestantism unthinkingly presents grace as "free." However, Scripture shows that God expects a great deal of effort from us once we receive it—it is costly.
Bill Onisick, reflecting on a theme in the 1993 movie Groundhog Day, in which a weatherman (played by Bill Murray, who gets caught in a blizzard he failed to predict, doomed to relive the same day over again until he gets it right) sees a spiritual paralle. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the events in Genesis 6:1-4, suggests that these verses summarize the process leading to God's rejection of the pre-flood civilization, a time when the sons of God chose wives solely on the basis of sex appeal and external. . .
We must avoid the world's extremes and sensual excesses in matters of dress and fashion, adopting instead humility, chastity, decency, morality, and self control.
Society's interpretation of love is lust or infatuation. Premarital sex leads to long-term devastating effects, and never leads to adjustment in marriage.
Want an easy, proven formula for getting rid of sin and growing in God's character? Dr. David Maas can provide it!
In this sermon for the Days of Unleavened Bread, John Ritenbaugh reiterates that God demands that we have an obligation to dress and keep that which is placed in our care, improving what He has given to us. We dare not stand still, but must make considerab. . .
Some equate abstinence with religious asceticism. Abstinence, however, has a much broader purview. Martin Collins explains that Christians may need to abstain from more than just sinful actions.
We have a tendency to put matters behind us once we are finished with them, but we cannot afford to do this with the lessons we learn from the Days of Unleavened Bread. John Reid shows that those lessons are eternal!
John Ritenbaugh affirms that the Word of God is not ever improved by syncretizing or alloying it with human philosophy, a pattern of reasoning which often begins with a faulty or dangerous premise. The Gnostics criticized by Paul in Colossians 2:16-17 were. . .
Bill Onisick, citing an early article by Herbert W. Armstrong indicating a cause-effect relationship between disease and broken laws, maintains that God has given each human being the responsibility of regulating the quality and quantity of food intake as . . .
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that under the Obama administration (steeped in secular humanism), with its demonstrated hatred of the Declaration of Independence (declaring an inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness) and our Constituti. . .
Martin Collins, examining Paul's letter to Titus, focuses upon the last two chapters, emphasizing the importance of sound doctrine to neutralize the negative worldly aspects of Cretan culture and the attending heresies. The younger men were instructed to m. . .
Young people in the church must realize that they are not invincible. Not only is God's law no respecter of persons, but also sanctification can be lost.
John Ritenbaugh warns that the choices we make on a day to day basis determine long term spiritual consequences. Our goal shouldn't merely be to become saved, but to finish the spiritual journey God has prepared for us, developing the leadership helping th. . .
Ted Bowling reflects on a recent television program, Perception, in which the class was given the opportunity to cheat on the exam by using the answer key attached to the back side, or to exercise self control, answering the questions with the resources pr. . .
Both food and information are readily available in the West. What is our approach to them? Our attitude toward and application of them makes all the difference.
John Ritenbaugh focuses upon several abuses of one of God's gifts to mankind — eating and drinking. While drunkenness and gluttony indicate self-centeredness, lack of discipline, often leading to poverty and ill health, moderation in all things is th. . .
John Reid uses the analogy of a minefield to illustrate Satan's diabolical obstacles to keep us from attaining our objective?the Kingdom of God. The Devil sets specific kinds of mines: a) the lusts of the world (greed, alcohol, drugs, sex, etc.), analogous. . .
Sin, like junk food appeals to our sensual inner appetites, and may seem delightful in its initial stages, but it leads inevitably to death. We have an awesome responsibility, with the help of God's Holy Spirit, to change our inner nature, circumcising our. . .
Ted Bowling, acknowledging that the full panoply of emotions, including fear and anger, is a gift from God, nevertheless cautions us that we are to use these emotions responsibly, carefully, and with extreme caution. God does not tell us never to be angry,. . .
Though fasting deprives the physical body of nutrition and strength, a proper, biblical fast adds conviction and depth to the inner, spiritual man.
God does not just want us not to sin, He also wants us not even to appear to be doing evil. We must guard their thoughts, words and deeds at all times.
John Ritenbaugh declares that the holy days are reliable, effective, multifaceted teaching tools, emphasizing spaced repetition to reinforce our faulty memories and drive the lesson deep into our thinking. The most effective learning involves drills or exe. . .
Men have searched for centuries for the keys to success in life. Many have found rules to live by to bring them physical wealth and well-being, but all of them have neglected the most important factor: God!
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the parable of the faithful and wise servant and the evil servant as well as the wise and foolish virgins, suggests that the Day of Trumpets emphasizes the state of caution and faithfulness required at the turbulent end times. . .
Christ warns that we must do everything possible to annihilate sin - surgically going right to the heart or mind: the level of thought and imagination.
As future kings and priests in God's kingdom, we realize that our most difficult and weighty responsibility will be to exercise righteous judgment- even toward angelic beings. None of us are remotely ready right now for that daunting responsibility. Mercif. . .
In this "nuts and bolts" split sermon on overcoming, David Maas, using a list of cognitive distortions (twisted thinking patterns) compiled by Dr. David Burns in his book "Feeling Good," provides a practical technique for bringing every. . .
John Ritenbaugh reiterates the emotional state of the American people, especially those who understand the seriousness of the times, averring his conviction that they will never see good times again, but will fall more and more into a permanent condition o. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh, reflecting upon a vivid dream in which two lions entered the meeting hall, describes the terror he had as they came toward him. The dream reminds us that Satan and his demons are prowling around like ravenous lions, seeking whom they ma. . .
Jesus demonstrated His meekness in His treatment of many with whom He interacted. Balancing firmness and gentleness, He seeks to save rather than destroy.
God displays emotions, but they are always under control, unlike mankind. Using God's Spirit, we can grow into emotional (not emotionless) spiritual maturity.
Though the Old and New Testament are complementary to one another, the emphasis of justice in the New Testament switches from national to personal in scope.
Martin Collins suggests that the world is becoming angrier. Anger, whether explosive or smoldering, can lead to high blood pressure, migraine headaches, or can ultimately lead to our spiritual demise. God gets angry with the wicked every day, but is soluti. . .
The two principal robbers of peace are pride and the drive to have complete control of our lives. Discontent and imagined victimization led Adam and Eve into sin.
John Ritenbaugh observes that some misguided individuals have denigrated the practice of putting out leaven as childish and something to be outgrown. The fruits of their lives indicate that they never learned the subtle lessons these customs or practices w. . .
Laodiceanism is the attitude that dominates the end time. It is a subtle form of worldliness that has infected the church, and Christ warns against it strongly.
John Ritenbaugh emphasizes that having an objective orientation (other centered approach) rather than a subjective orientation (self-centered apprach) leads to unity and reconciliation. As members of Christ's collective body, we must exercise those self-re. . .
David Maas, concluding the series on the W's and H's of meditation, focuses on a series of scriptures warning us to guard our hearts, bring every thought into captivity, and let no one take our crowns, emphasizing our responsibility to take charge of our t. . .
We understand IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and EQ (Emotional Quotient), but do we also have 'GQ' (Godly Quotient)?
John Ritenbaugh, acknowledging that most professing Christians are aware of the New Covenant, cautions us not to fall prey to the insidious error that much of the Protestant—especially the evangelical—world teaches. The error lies in misconstru. . .
Bill Onisick, reflecting on the horrendous damage caused by forest fires in the Carolina mountains, draws some parallels to the spiritual forest fires currently raging in the greater Church of God. Most literal and spiritual fires are caused by human carel. . .
Clyde Finklea, marveling at how quickly heresies infiltrated the early church, as identified by the warning messages of Paul, John, Jude, and James, asserts that Peter in his second epistle (II Peter1:1-7) provides not only an effective antidote to corrosi. . .
Bill Onisick, reminding us that we are embarking upon another time of self-examination before Passover, claims that the principal cause of goal failure is lack of self-control, the ninth fruit of God's Holy Spirit. Developing self-control or self-disciplin. . .
If we follow Christ's example of assuming the attitude of a servant, living in accordance with the will of God, the fruits of the Spirit should be recognized.
Richard Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the fiery, feisty, vindictive temperament of Andrew Jackson, and his response to Presbyterian minister Dr. Edgar's question about willingness to forgive enemies, asserts that forgiving one's enemies is a defining mark of a. . .
Martin Collins, alarmed about vacuous emotionalism in religion, producing emotional feelers for Jesus rather than followers of Christ, warns us that we must take the bad with the good, enduring suffering and consolation. "Feeling good" all the ti. . .
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on Proverbs 4:7, maintains that our supreme objective in godly living is attainment and cultivation of wisdom, which consists of attributes giving us skill in living. We learn that the Book of Ecclesiastes has no meaning for someo. . .
Spiritually, male and female have equal potential. Rights and legalities are far less important than spiritual development, subject to God-ordained gender roles.
David Maas, acknowledging that the daily events in today's news can seem frightening and intimidating, provides five strategies to turn the overcoming, character building, and sanctification process into an exciting adventure. Our ultimate objective for go. . .
Last time, we saw that the apostle Paul spoke plainly in his letter to Titus, the pastor of the churches on the island of Crete. ...
Competition is the root cause of war, business takeovers, and marital discord. Solomon describes man's rivalry with one another as a striving after wind.
Martin Collins, identifying reasons why false teachers are able to entice people out of God's church, asks us which "button or buttons" would someone have to push in order for us to leave the truth of God. The doctrines of grace and Christian lib. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh insists that, as Christ's disciples, we have been called for a life of sacrifice'sacrificial giving as a way of life (Romans 12:1). Often we fail to grasp: 1) the desperate emotion expressed by Paul in the word beseech, 2) why he so urge. . .
Many longtime students of the Bible have trouble accepting that the Great Harlot of Revelation 17 could be God's people, Israel. However, John Ritenbaugh shows that God's Word frequently paints unfaithful Israel in this light because she has consistently p. . .
Martin Collins, focusing upon the topic of unity, maintains that the church has been charged with the responsibility to bring unity to a hopelessly disunited, fragmented, and chaotic world. In order to maintain this unity, like the Ephesians, we must maint. . .
John Ritenbaugh admonishes that amidst the erosion of doctrine in truth from the Gentile culture of moral relativism, we must, after the manner of Jeremiah and Nehemiah, build a wall, be a wall, and summon the courage to stand in the gap. We must stay focu. . .
Having knowledge of God's law is not a guarantee of spiritual success or growth. Only those motivated to use the law will experience growth and produce fruit. The fear of God is the first element of motivation, ranging from reverential awe to stark terror.. . .
John Ritenbaugh asserts that the trials of Joseph are a clear exposition of the principle of Romans 8:28 that "all things work together for those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Even allowing for mankind's free mo. . .
Throughout the course of Biblical history, whenever sin appears, confusion, division and separation are the automatic consequences.
Laziness and fear are the greatest challenges to love. When Protestant theologians disparage "works," connecting them to salvation rather than sanctification and growth, they encourage spiritual laziness. If we are lazy, we might still be saved, . . .
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that when a person contemplates revenge, he makes an enemy of God. Amos, like a circling hawk, makes dire pronouncements on all of Israel's enemies but reserves the harshest judgment for Israel, who should have known better, havi. . .
Jesus, showing the spirit of the law, warns against rash divorces, taking oaths, invoking God's name frivolously, realizing that a covenant is binding.
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