I am sad to say that this is the last week in our current series on the Fruit of the Spirit. Its been going since November last year. I know me and Naomi have truly enjoyed delving more into God’s word and growing in our understanding of what the Fruit of the Spirit are, what their purpose is and how we can grow in them. You can catch last week’s post over on Naomi’s blog. In our final week on Self-control we have been meditating on the following verse:
“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last. But we do it to get a crown that will last forever” 1 Corinthians 9:25
The first thing that hit me about this verse was the phrase “strict training”. I pondered what this might mean for us as Christians and how it ties in with self control. An athlete trains for an event or a race, and their training takes place up until that event. If they want to carry on being an athlete, then their training cannot stop after they win one race, it has to be continual. If we want enter heaven and be with Christ, then we have to keep training and preparing for that. We cannot stop after we get to 30, or after we’ve been baptised, or after we converted 10 friends. The Christian life is one of ongoing training.
As Christians we are obviously not doing sit ups to get closer to God. Instead, we are to be strict and self-controlled in doing the things that we know will build us up in this area. Instead of running or stretching, we should be reading the bible, studying it, praying more, developing the gifts God has given us, living in a way that pleases him. These are hard things. Although they are things we were created to do, the world distracts us (like chocolate biscuits distract me from exercising) and our own motivation can be lacking. If we want to grow our relationship with God then we have to really focus on it and work on it. This requires a lot of self-control, to choose not to do what the world does and to choose purity and God’s feelings over what we want. So why do it?
Spurred on by the reward
In this verse it mentions crowns (and I suggested that we make crowns with our children as part of this week’s activities!). A crown is the sign of a winner. But back in biblical times it meant much more than that. In those times, the Emperor was the only one who wore a crown, but it was made of laurel not gold like the ones we think of now. Laurel would die after a day. So winning a race and getting a laurel crown effectively made you on a par with the Emperor for that one day, and then your crown of laurel would die. This is why this verse meant so much more back then – crowns only lasted for a day or so at most. But the crown that we will get when we get into heaven will be eternal. We are on a par with Jesus for the rest of eternity, because of what he has done on the cross. We get the same reward as him if we carry on this journey with him. And what a reward that is!!! Is it worth it? Oh yes!!
don’t give up
My final words for you all on self-control are that if you truly understand the awesomeness of relationship with God then being self-controlled will be easy. It will come naturally as you will want to please God. This is one of the only fruit of the spirit that is focused more on us than on others. God wants us to keep going and to not give up, and so as we grow closer to him, his spirit helps us to be self-controlled so that we don’t lose that. God wants us to get that eternal reward and to be with him in heaven. So dig in to God and stay the course – I want to see you all in heaven!
Naomi and I will be taking a short break from Mummy Meditations over the summer so that we can plan the start of our next series beginning in September (please join the Mummy Meditations community below to find out more and get a chance to input into this!). Take this opportunity to choose your own weekly meditation verse and have a bit more flexibility, or to catch up on any of the fruit of the spirit series that you may have missed. See you in September!
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