Victoria Fellowship Church (VFC)
International and Interdenominational
House Fellowship for week commencing 24th January 2016
Quarter Theme: The Book of Proverbs: Gems of Wisdom
Texts: Prov. 16: 32; 23: 1-35
Memory Verse: Prov. 23: 1-2 “When you sit to dine with a ruler note well what is before you and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.” (NIV)
We are continuing to study the many advices of Solomon on crucial issues of life. We are looking at self-control. The very concept of “self-control” implies a battle between a divided self. It implies that our “self” produces desires we should not satisfy but instead “control.” We should “deny ourselves” and “take up our cross daily,” Jesus says, and follow him (Luke 9:23). Daily our “self” produces desires that should be “controlled.
Fundamentally, self-control is the ability or power to rule or regulate one’s personal life so that we are neither driven nor dominated, as the apostle John puts it, by the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, or the pride of life (1 John 2:16). These three, passion, pleasure, and pride, are those forces in the heart of man that energize his behaviour patterns. It is to these inner forces that Satan and a fallen world appeal in order to promote a way of life that seeks to exist apart from God. The essence of such self-regulation is the ability to delay or refuse an impulse in the service of biblical truth, values, beliefs, and objectives.
Self-control means to be in control of one’s attitudes or thought processes, desires or passions, and patterns or habits so they do not dictate one’s behaviour. Self-control also means ability to master self, to draw boundaries for self and keep it. It is the ability to act in moderation. Godly self-control is not human willpower, but power from God that enables us to govern our lives.
Proverb 23: 1-35, where we took our text has mentioned areas we are required to exercise self-control because anything uncontrolled is unhealthy for a Christian: Food (Vs. 1-3, 21), Pursuit of riches (Vs. 4-5), Wine (Vs. 20-21), Sexual gratification, Material acquisition etc. We need self-control to avoid too much of good things. Can you mention other areas of our lives where self-control is required? Indeed, a person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.
Self-control is important in the life of a believer. It is mentioned as one of the nine-fold fruit of the spirit, which a Christian is to bear as a result of his or her relation with Christ and in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit. It starts from a relationship with the Lord where he gives you grace to demonstrate self-control in seemingly small issues and progress to those weightier issues. Second, the out-of-control and over-indulgent, self-centred nature of our society clamours for the correction that comes only through a return to personal self-control of which Christians are equipped to do.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
1. According to Galatians 5:22-23, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace . . . self-control” Discuss how the Holy Spirit produces the fruit of Self-control in us. Titus 2:11-12;Colossians 1:29; Romans 8:13
2. What are the consequences of lack of self-control? 1st Timothy 6: 7-10; Galatians 6: 7-9
3. Can you share two biblical examples of individuals who lacked self-control and two individuals who exhibited self-control in critical issues? Are there lesson to learn from these individuals?
ACTION: In what area(s) do you need to develop self-control? Moderator will allow some quiet moment so you can pray individually about it. The disciplines you establish today will