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Chocolate calls to me

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I have a difficult time controlling myself around chocolate. It calls to me. I know I should cut back on chocolate, or cut it out altogether and my age and weight. But it calls to me. And I answer. Without thinking.

You may not be tempted by chocolate at all. Food may not be a struggle in your life. But we all struggle with self-control in some area of life, don’t we?

Perhaps your struggle is patience with your children. Without meaning to, the anger rises and the harsh words, or worse the physical abuse, are there without hesitation. Maybe the struggle is alcohol or drugs. You can see the brokenness and destruction taking place in your life, but the allure is just too great and you reach for the bottle or pills or syringe almost automatically. For some, driving turns one into an aggressive maniac.

Or maybe the area of discipline and self-control we struggle with is not something we shouldn’t do, but something we should. Do you struggle to carve out and maintain a daily time of prayer and reading God’s word? Is there an urge from within (or from God) to exercise more that has become a motivation war in life?

Self-control is a Fruit of the Holy Spirit. It is something God is willing to give so we will win battles with temptation and bad habits.

2 Timothy 1:7 says: “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” (NIV)

The Spirit of God gives power to stand against temptation and practice self-control. The Spirit of God gives love to motivate us to do what God calls us to do and to stop doing what God calls us to stop doing. The Spirit of God gives us self-discipline to eat five M&M’s instead of the whole bagful. I can’t believe I just typed that. Oh God, let your Holy Spirit come into play the very next time I am confronted with a bowlful of chocolate!

Here’s the thing. I do not face temptation alone. I am weak, but Jesus is strong. Self-control is really God-control. Victory is found in yielding all things to Him.

Life is messy. We can be full of contradictions. I can have exceptional self-control in abstaining from pornography and almost no self-control when it comes to chocolate. I can have amazing self-control in dealing with most people, and lose it when dealing with my wife.

But I have hope. The Holy Spirit lives in me. Self-control is His fruit to give. It is possible to resist—in God’s power, if not in my own strength.

Now where’s that bag of M&M’s? Six is enough, right? Help me, Lord!

Posted by Mike Dominick with 0 Comments

This. Changes. Everything.

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Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!

This ancient Easter greeting was spoken back and forth between believers in Jesus who came to believe He was the Son of God who died for sin and was raised from the dead. This risen Savior will return one day to take home to heaven every person who trusts and follow Him. Our Communion liturgy says it this way: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

This. Changes. Everything.

Jesus of Nazareth is not a dead Rabbi who had some amazing moral teachings. His resurrection proves Him to be God-in-the-flesh whom death could not hold! His resurrection means He is the Son of God!

Jesus was not murdered by a weak Roman governor who gave in to the crowd. He laid down His life as payment for the sins of every human being who ever lived so all who believe in Him receive forgiveness instead of death! His resurrection means the Cross is the means of our redemption!

Death could not triumph over Jesus, and the One who conquered death offers life that cannot be destroyed. Death has been done in to death! His resurrection means death cannot destroy us!

This. Changes. Everything.

If death can no longer destroy us, what can? If 80 or 90 years of life on earth is a mere blip in eternity, what bad thing can happen here that ruins eternal existence in heaven? Knowing we are alive in Christ we can live a life or purpose and meaning and joy. His resurrection means life will end well for His followers, no matter how harsh it is for a time.

If crucifixion ends in resurrection, there is no limit to what God can redeem in our lives. Followers of Jesus do suffer. We do have bad things happen to us. But we always have hope. No matter how crushing life becomes, we follow the One whom death could not hold! We follow the One who turned an execution into the means of redemption for a fallen and lost humanity whom God loves with self-sacrificing love!

This. Changes. Everything.

The one piece of incontrovertible evidence I have that Christ is risen from the dead is that He lives in me and has changed my life. And the evidence of over 2,000 years of changed lives is evidence that: Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!

Happy resurrection day! Never forget:

This. Changes. Everything.

Posted by Mike Dominick with 0 Comments