No

Galatians 5:24

And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

A simple two letter word that most of us have great difficulty executing when needed.

                                                                        NO

How often, when we are tempted, do we immediately put on the breaks and give ourselves a quick, determined “NO?” How many times this past week did our carnal desires win out?

What is the problem with saying NO to ourselves? Are we afraid of missing out on something? Afraid to hurt someone else’s feelings? Fearful of what others may think of us? Or are we such a narcissist that we believe we are God’s best gift to mankind?

Sometimes I even shock myself to discover how little self-control I exercise in my daily walk. I want; I expect; I deserve; I don’t care; me, me, me – It’s all about me.

Whew! When the ugliness comes alive, and this old man fumigates the room, everyone needs to disappear. Otherwise, my two-year old nature surfaces and he has a very strong self-centered ego which gets him into trouble at times.

Yes, those were the younger days when I didn’t even realize I had a problem with self-control. “No” was only a word in the dictionary and reserved for two-year old children. It took a few years plus God’s Spirit to open my eyes and see the ugliness of a life without self-control.

For example, I could eat a gallon of ice cream or a large bag of chips in one sitting without any known ramifications. I could work 24 hours without sleep for days and not talk with family members or friends; just be strictly focused on what I was doing.

I did whatever I wanted without considering the consequences to myself and others. My sole purpose was to satisfy me, myself, and I.

Thankfully, the Spirit would slap some sense into me. Realizing my self-narcissistic tendency, I started a repentance process that even continues to this day. With the assistance of the Holy Spirit and His fruit of self-control, I may still struggle at times, but have learned the great joy of saying “No” to the self.

The short-term struggle now most often leads to a long-term satisfaction found only in Jesus Christ. Those of us born in the United States definitely struggle with an over-abundance of material and choices which make being a Christ-follower more challenging at times then our brothers and sisters in third-world development countries.

Yet the battle is the same for both of us. We learn to deny ourselves and allow the Spirit to work in us and through us for the glory of God. The end result is always best for you and I for the long term. “No” may be a short two-letter word, but the impact of a properly placed “No” is the beginning of allowing our Triune God to complete His purpose of producing a spiritual masterpiece in you and I. Therefore, use wisely.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Author of e-Books

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Freedom Requires Moral Discipline

1 Corinthians 15:33

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

Moral discipline is the fuel for real freedom. Without moral discipline, freedom requires an overdose of law, attorneys, courts, large governments, and manpower for enforcement. As a nation accepts a higher level of moral discipline, justice becomes a historical relic of the past.

Moral discipline starts with an internal fortitude built upon a foundation of personal responsibility and acceptance of a higher Authority. The fact is nations whose governments are built upon Judaeo-Christian values experience a greater level of security, peace, and flourishment than others.

Real freedom is where people can speak their minds without fear of physical repercussion: a fruit of the people who appreciate and never take for granted the alternatives.

Real freedom is where people can choose their livelihood built upon their natural talents and abilities; these rights are quickly suppressed under nations whose governments dictate what is best for the people.

Real freedom is where people can worship the God of their choice without fear of penalty or job loss; again, a privilege which is typically forbidden under dictatorships and power elites.

Real freedom is where parents may have as large a family as they choose; another choice which  is lost amount countries whose governments plan the social structure of their nation.

To be free requires self-control and respect of others. The moral framework is developed through the teaching of parents and educators who understand the importance of character building and the instruction of best values. Ungodly people poo-poo the Bible yet the book shares experiences of multiple people throughout history and the chose and decisions they made. These outcomes highlight various values which allowed people to flourish and other values which destroyed nations. History repeats itself because human nature has the tenancy to do the same, stupid behavior over and over again. The names and places may be different, but the outcome is always the same.

The constant battle to forgo our harmful behavior becomes greater when the people we hang around with are pulling us away from doing the good. You may think of yourself as a “good person.” But when you are around bad company, why do you end up regretting your actions or words? To develop and maintain a solid foundation of moral character and the exercise of it requires an extreme amount of self-control. Most of us fall far short of what it takes. The solution?

It starts with surrendering ourselves to a higher power. His name is Jesus Christ. Under His tutelage, you will gain knowledge, understanding, and wisdom which leads to a more productive and flourishing life. He will empower you with His Spirit. The same Spirit that is working to transform lives into the divine image of your Maker. The fruit of Him living in you will give you the self-control and other tools to live out a moral, disciplined life. As you walk it out with Him, you will find yourself experiencing life the way God created you to enjoy.

A good God with good friends will help you build good morals; and good morals will lead you toward a more fulfilling life with real freedom.  Yes, its that simple, but not easy. It all begins when God is the real center of your life.   

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


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