Devotions this week based on the Message: “BELIEVE: Week 24: SELF-CONTROL”
(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Randy Frazee entitled, “BELIEVE.”
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
Jesus told another parable on Tuesday of Holy Week…
Matthew 25:14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’
21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Self-control is staying on task even when the master is not away. The two faithful servants in Jesus’ parable understood their role in the direction that was given to them and the consistency that was needed to take what the master had given them and to earn a return.
Again, like yesterday’s parable, the servants didn’t know when the master would return. They just knew he would. They could have taken some of the money and spent on personal pleasures. They could have waited (or never acted) expecting the master would be happy just to get his money back.
Self-control is the ability the Spirit gives us to maintain focus on the task to which we are entrusted.
Our sinful nature loves to get us to deviate from the will of God and do what we want. It takes the power of the Spirit to “say ‘No’ to ungodliness and live self-controlled, upright and godly lives” as we wait for the master to return.
Saying “yes” to the master and carrying out his direction means saying “no” to our sinful nature and all it desires.
Not at all.
That’s why we can be so grateful that the Lord Jesus stepped into our place and was the perfect, faithful Savior. He was entrusted with the work of saving the world. He never wavered. Never deviated. Always faithful to his Father’s plan.
For this faithfulness, Lord, we ask your help!
Apply: What is the biggest temptation to consistently use your time, treasures, and talents to the glory of the Lord Jesus and the promotion of his kingdom?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for being faithful in your promises and on task with your mission. As you were disciplined to stay the course, cover our lack of faithfulness and self-control with your precious blood. AMEN.