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Quotes to Ponder
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Grace That Changes Us

One of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control or temperance. The 1828 Webster Dictionary defines temperance as patience; calmness; sedateness; moderation of passion. I have struggled with my volatile temper since I was a teenager. When I lose my temper I know how far I am from temperance and self-control.

This morning I lost my temper again. We were cleaning the family room, except for my daughter who was upstairs in bed with a cold. As I cleaned, I got more upset. I was picking up her dirty cups, papers, books, socks, shoes, and other junk. Bending, twisting, reaching, and, finally, BUMP! I bumped my knee hard into a sharp corner as I reached for something else to pick up. That's when I lost my temper.

Is there any hope for me to be self-controlled? In Romans 12:2, I am told that I can make the choice to stop losing my temper ...

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

I am sure God's good, and acceptable, and perfect will is not for me to blow up over a messy house and banging my knee. I want to stop losing my temper, but how can I really stop during moments like this morning? In Discipline: The Glad Surrender, Elisabeth Elliot writes ...

We are given the choice, day by day, to choose good and refuse evil. ... What I ought to do and what I feel like doing are seldom the same thing. "The good which I want to do, I fail to do; but what I do is the wrong which is against my will," wrote Paul. This is a disarmingly accurate description of what every Christian experiences. Paul was not happy about it, but he was honest about it--honest enough to put it down on paper. As long as we are in this mortal coil we will experience failure, we will make wrong choices. But the command remains. "Be holy." Let us be honest in recognizing feelings and honest enough to reject them when they are wrong.

I have to admit that I knew I was walking down the path of failing to control my temper. So what hope do I have if I fail even when I know ahead of time that I'm going to fail? God's grace! I have started reading The Devil's Door by John Bevere. In the chapter titled, "Grace That Misleads," he writes ...

The writer of Hebrews exhorts, "Let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverance and godly fear" (Heb 12:28). Grace is a force that enables us to serve God acceptably. It is the essence of the power to live a life of obedience to God. This is the proof of our salvation. For we are told that Jesus, "gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works" (Titus 2:14).

Dear Lord, please change me through Your gift of grace, which I need each and every day, so that I might "choose good and refuse evil" and prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God..

Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: - Heb 12:28

Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. - 2 Peter 3:17-18

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. - 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. - Galatians 5:22-23

February 15, 1999
1999 by Kathy Ridpath
Please ask for permission to reprint this article, ridpath@chfweb.com. Thank you!

The following books are available through Our Favorite Books Bookstore. All proceeds from Our Favorite Books Bookstore in association with Amazon.com go toward supporting the chfweb.com website. Thanks for your support!

Discipline : The Glad Surrender
by Elisabeth Elliot
I love all of Elisabeth Elliot's books, but this has to be one of my very favorites. Included are chapters on the discipline of the body, mind, place, time, possessions, work, feelings. Elisabeth Elliot says if we're always frantic and frustrated, harried and harassed, and "hassled,", it's a sign that we're running on our own schedule, not God's. Jesus said *His* burden is light, and it's only when we carry additional burdens that He never meant us to carry that weigh us down. A book to be read, digested, then read again and shared with others! --Tamara Eaton
Paperback: *Check it Out!*

The Devil's Door:
How obedience to God can protect you from the bondage of sin

by John Bevere
I just started reading this book. I learned a lot from another book by John Bevere called Bait of Satan and I'm already learning much from this book, too. -- Kathy Ridpath
Paperback: *Check it out!*

Online Resources:
I thought I would include links to some of the online resources that I regularly use when writing Quotes to Ponder. Bible Study Tools on Goshen. Christian Technologies, Inc.'s Webster's 1828 Dictionary.

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Quotes to Ponder


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"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

Kathy Ridpath: ridpath@chfweb.com
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