Starting at the Ending - Sermon on the Mount Series #1

In Matthew 5-7 we find Matthew's summary of the core of Jesus' teaching. This was not just a collection of spiritual ideas, but Jesus' vision and proclamation of what the Kingdom of God was like and who it was for. Jesus had a clear vision as well of how His followers were to respond to His teaching... to put it into practice.

Won't God Just Give Me Self-Control?

Why doesn't God just immediately change our character so we never sin again? He can't, because He has made us with the free will to make moral decisions. That means our decisions matter because the choice to love God is not a one-time decision. But God has given us everything we need to learn and grow in self-control, including His grace and standing with Him as His children. By looking at these, we will encourage ourselves and find empowerment to live self-controlled lives.

The Power of Habit

God calls us to 'make every effort' to add to our faith qualities which will make our faith effective in our day to day lives. Part of this is using our willpower to build positive habits which will align our lives with what God has already done for us. Some habits (patterns of behaviour) are more powerful than others in shaping our lives, keystone habits such as prayer, engaging Scripture and being connected in community with other believers.

Two Enemies of Self-Control - Summer of Self-Control #3

Christian self-control is for the purpose of releasing us to love God and others. Our two greatest enemies to our self-control are our selfish orientation (flesh, sinful nature) and Satan. Both bring temptations prompting us to take short-cuts to what we see as good things. So how can we co-operate with God to stay on His course to His good?

Self Control Isn't About You - Summer of Self-Control #1

Self-control is a key fruit of the Spirit as it provides a basis for the others to grow and be displayed to fuller effect. The goal of self-control is to free us to love God and love others. As we begin this series, we look at the value of self-control and the meaning of self-control as defined by the New Testament.