Graceful Perseverance: A Lack of Self-Control According to God (2 of 2-part series) - 08/13/2023
Welcome to this week’s blog. This week is part two of a very powerful message. A message that some may find harsh in nature, but others will realize it's simply biblical truth. What does it mean to have a lack of self-control according to the Word of God? Have you noticed that our world is becoming more and more corrupted than ever? Have you noticed mankind is becoming more and more out of control, and showing more lack of self-control than ever before?
This week I am continuing this topic, as it has many facets that are worthy to share with my readers. This is a harsh topic, but an extremely important topic. I hope you pondered on the topic from last week's blog (Part 1) because there are four areas I am expanding on this week, in order to help my readers with scripture relevant to the topic of people who lack self-control. And, there's so much more I want to share of what God offers to all mankind, to help people turn away from the lack of self-control. I will expand on the following four areas this week.
Unholy People will Multiply
Lovers of Pleasure, more than Lovers of God
Forms of Godliness
Let's first discuss topic #1 - Selfish Lives and what it means to lead a selfish life. People who live a "selfish life" are those who think the world revolves around them first off. They honestly believe their successes are contributed to their own doing, and they accomplished everything in their lives on their own, without the help of the Lord through His mercy and blessings. People who live a selfish life cannot think of others first or help others in their time of need or have empathy or compassion for anyone other than themselves. Their relationships are based off what others can do for them, as opposed to what they can do to for others. These people are very much into themselves, self-centered, conceded, prideful, arrogant, and feel as if the world owes them something. You get the picture by now, right? A person with this character is NOT of God. This person closes the door on God, and reminds their family, friends, acquaintances, and even God that everything they've accomplished in their life is because of how great they are!
To be even more candid, these people need to "grow up" regardless of their age. They need to grow up, and take care of their responsibilities, accountabilities in this life. Celebrity Pastors such as Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer amongst many other celebrity pastors have a love for money, money, money. They can't get enough money. Money is their drug. They worship money and refute God. Money is their God. These pastors have, and will continue to fall from grace. Some common celebrity pastors in the worldly mainstream: Kenneth Copeland, Jesse Duplantis, Jim Bakker, Bill Gothard, Shoko Asahara, Tony Alamo, Bob Coy, Fred Phelps, Dave Reynolds, Doug Phillips, Jimmy Swaggart, Mike Hintz, Robert Tilton, and Mark Driscoll just to name a few who are in it for themselves! They're into their riches, and preaching to their audiences exactly what the audience wants to hear only to gain and take their money. And Jesse Duplantis even claimed in one of his sermons that God called him to seek $54M from his audiences for his new private jet. How's that for deception? If you really pay attention to their message, celebrity pastors mention the name of Jesus in their sermons just enough times to simply keep their audience hooked. These people are not bible based pastors. They do not open their bibles, and call out the Word of God, but seek to take your hard earned money for their lavish lifestyles.
Where does the truth lie? Not in man's word, but the Word of God. They are "covetous or greedy" in their message. The audience is enthralled with their message, so they pull out their credit card and donate what little money they have because they've been told if they donate God will bless them immensely. This is false doctrine at its best! Only to find out the celebrity pastor deposits their money to build their tenth mansion, while leaving the service that day in a Bentley, a stretched limo or even in their new $54M private jet. The audience has been deceived, deception at its best. These celebrity pastors are proud, and believe in what they have achieved, they achieved on their own, they promise miracles to others as if God gave them supreme powers to heal, and in the mission fields they pray, and then ask others to send money. These people are enemies of peace and love for others on account of their own pride and greed.
Setting aside the celebrity pastors as my example of selfish lives, I bet most of us know someone like this even in our own communities, family, and circle of friends. Here's the best thing you can do. If you of know someone who is leading a selfish life, pray for them, give it to the Lord, and realize they have a hardened heart to seek Christ, and a relationship with God the Father, the Son, and our helper the Holy Ghost.
In order to help people turn away from the lack of self-control, my second example is #2 - Unholy People Will Multiply. God prophesized unholy people will multiply and today His prophecy is being fulfilled. People of this world have become more and more the character of a person that displays a lack of self-control. The people of this world, more now than previous generations are full of evil. More and more people refuse to forgive others who have wronged them. They seek revenge, rather than repentance. They have unforgiving spirits who are not the spirit of God. They fall for temptation of the evil one, and his multiple ways of trickery. If you and your circle are seeking holiness, this is exactly what others are not doing in this generation. Those who lack self-control, the unholy people, are those who do not have the spirit of God living in them.
For example, these are the people who label me, intimidate me, mock me, gossip behind my back. These are the people who judge and condemn me. These are the people who believe I have made too many wrong decisions in my life that are unforgiving, and then they revert back to the world as if they are better than me, and I am one who's got the problem, not them. My response to these people is silence, complete silence! God has asked me to mind my tongue, mind my thoughts, pray for them, and learn to forgive them, and He will take care of the rest. God has also asked me to forgive them for they know not what they do. So in my silence, I know it is my responsibility and honor to continue to serve the Lord, regardless of what others think of me. And by being diligent to the Lord, I will never stop sharing the truth with people (i.e. God's truth), even when it comes with backlashes and rejection from people.
The 3rd example of people are Lovers of Pleasure, more than Lovers of God. Pleasures of this world, as opposed to the pleasures of knowing our creator, and seeking a deep seeded relationship with Him. More than lovers of God, these people are lovers of the Internet - porn, sex trafficking, prostitution, call girls, dating sites, compulsive/obsessive shopping, more and more plastic money (credit cards), online hackers, scammers and scandals, video gaming with evil characters killing, blood shed and massacre, the list goes on. The movies continue to get more and more graphic with adultery and infidelity as the main movie plot. The vulgar language is the new norm, explicit sex scenes, drugs, killings, bloodshed, horrifying, and corruption is on mainstream TV. All of which is breaking so many of God's commandments! But that seems to be culturally accepted and justified in this generation because look at the millions and millions of dollars they're making with these box office hits and Internet sites. Another example of where money is their God. Hallmark movies are becoming extinct because today people are bored with the warm and fuzzy Godly movies.
But to be honest, what's even more scary from my point of view, is all of this is considered to be the new norm with this generation. Most see nothing wrong with this. Then there are lovers of sports, more than lovers of God. They don't love God, but they love things of this world. These are selfish people who are trendy to the things of this world, and who have little or no time for God's instructions, commands and truth. These people have both feet in the world, in which God has called them by name in the Bible in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 3. God has said some will be hot, some will be lukewarm, and some will be cold. These people are "cold," not warm, lukewarm or even hot people seeking God. First John said it perfect! Lovers of pleasures of things of this world, they love these pleasures more than God; therefore the Father is not in them. This is God's message, not mine. I am simply sharing the knowledge.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. - 1 John 2:15 (NKJ).
God is very clear in the Bible, the problem is few care to open the Bible to read, learn and follow God's Word. John 14:15 (NKJ) is quite clear on God's expectations - "If you love Me, keep My commandments."
Remember, scripture has been given to us by the inspiration of God; for it is profitable as Holy doctrine, for reproof, correction, instructions, and in righteousness according to 2 Timothy 3:16 (NKJ) - All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
Proverbs 8 (NKJ or NIV)
Colossians 3:8 (NKJ or NIV)
1 John 2:15 (NKJ or NIV)
John 14:15 (NKJ or NIV)
Hebrews 12:14 (NKJ or NIV)
Philippians 2:6-8 (NKJ or NIV)
1 John 4:19 (NKJ or NIV)
Luke 14:11 (NKJ or NIV)
Matthew 22:37 (NKJ or NIV)
And last but not least is example #4 - Forms of Godliness. What does this mean? This means having the form of God, but denying the power thereof (imputed righteousness). Another words, if you love God, prove it. You cannot indulge in sin behind closed doors, and then appear in public as a righteous servant after God's heart. God calls this person a hypocrite or hypocrisy. Going back to my example of celebrity pastors. They appear to be holy, they pretend to be what they are not. You can't chase after holiness one day a week (Sunday Church), and then expect God to not question your true motives. Whether you are behind closed doors indulging in sin, you're right, man cannot see what you are doing behind closed doors, but trust that God sees everything you do, whether in private or public. And God knows every thought before you even think it or speak it. So who are you really fooling? Not God! You're not that powerful.
Hebrews 12:14 (NKJ) tells us this - Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.
God tells us in the Bible, His enemies will bow down before the Lord. They will have gnashing of the teeth. Those of us who know and seek the Lord will gaze upon the face of God, and reflect upon His image, but the unholy will not pursue, seek or acknowledge His return because they've been so caught up in the downward spiral of this world. They refuse to pursue holiness or a holy life in the eyes of God, not man. Their hearts will love only things of this world, not what God loves. Colossians 3:8-10 (NKJ) tells us exactly what God has asked each of us to do, but who is left to obey?
But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him. - Colossians 3:8-10 (NKJ).
Have you noticed in this generation, the last generation before Christ returns, people are lovers of themselves more than lovers of God? Many in the world hate God, many have already parted from their faith. This is an obvious "trap of the enemy." People have become more self-centered, living by their own preferences (me first, me only), which is living by the ways of this world. People are worshiping their own idols today, as they did thousands of year ago. This made God angry then, and it makes God angry today. Do we have an angry Heavenly Father? Yes we do. Some would disagree, but our Heavenly Father is like an earthly father, when his children disobey him, he is angry and there are consequences. Same with our Heavenly Father.
People who are worshiping their own idols today and not God, are being totally defiant of the first three commandments in Exodus, Chapter 20. I must also note that self-obsession is also a sin before God. Remember what I said earlier, our actions have consequences even with God, our Father. People continue to hinder the flow of God, cutting it off. Their kingdom is not God's Kingdom, but a kingdom of "self." People are removing God from the affairs of their life. The institution of marriage today is now made up of two selfish, broken people, brought together, but not easy to live with, which explains the high divorce rate today.
How does God recommend we fix what's broken in this world? First, we must die to our self. For years I never understood what God meant by this in the Bible, but until I dug deeper into the word to study, gain more wisdom and knowledge that God so graciously has shared for all of us, I had to ponder and pray on this for quite some time before the answer was revealed to me. God wants each of us to "die to our selves." If we don't, we continue to be lovers of ourselves, we will continue to be selfish people (me and my rules). We will continue to be self-centered, and pride is selfishness. Fleshly desires are also selfish. If people refute God's instructions and commandments, they continue living life their way. So to be candid once again, God tells us in the Bible those people have a one way ticket to hell.
Do you believe Jesus came and died on a cross for us? I do! How do I know this? Because I do not doubt God's Word. The Old Testament prophesized a Messiah would come and die on a cross on our behalf, and in the New Testament this prophesy was fulfilled. I do not trust the word of man, but I do trust the Word of God. Philippians 2:6-8 (NKJ) tell us this - Who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
On the cross, Jesus was obedient to death for me, for all of us. Do you love God or do you love yourself more? What is your level of submission to His obedience? Are you all in, another words are you "hot" or are you lukewarm or cold to God's obedience? Are you willing to die to yourself, and in turn love God more than you love yourself or pleasures of this life? Can you humble yourself to God, so that you can experience the death of the old you for a new life in Christ's image? Our creator is a supreme being! Bow down to His feet in humility, and lift yourselves up through the essence and meaning of being exalted in His name. Another of God's promises can be found in Luke 14:11 (NKJ) - "For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
Also remember, mercy is available to all of us. Jesus said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." - Matthew 22:37 (NKJ).
Open your Bible, and trust the Word of God. He's speaking directly to each of us. Do not let others deceive you or water down God's truth. He has a powerful message for all of us, we just need the desire to listen, obey and stay in God's Word, as the world around us will continue to reject Christ, and many will continue to live a life of lovers of pleasures and not lovers of God first.
Blessings until next week,
Debra Pauli Unstoppable Believer
Scripture Quotes: Holy Bible: New International Version (NIV) / New King James (NKJ) / English Standard Version (ESV)
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