Devotionals Online: 04

Control Yourself
Verses to Read: 1 Thes. 4:1-8

1 Finally, brothers and sisters, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus that, as you learned from us how you ought to live and to please God (as, in fact, you are doing), you should do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from fornication; 4 that each one of you know how to control your own body in holiness and honor, 5 not with lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one wrong or exploit a brother or sister in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, just as we have already told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever rejects this rejects not human authority but God, who also gives his Holy Spirit to you.

Have you ever been so anxious to be involved in something you just can’t wait? As a child, I used to love going swimming at American Lake… I just couldn’t wait to get into that cool water, and I’d just jump in at the first opportunity.
What is the bible author saying to you in this verse? – 1 paragraph: I’m drawn to the word “abstain” in verse 3. Paul is telling the Thessalonians that they are to abstain from intimacy outside of marriage. I looked the word up, and the word can be translated “hold back”. The idea is that while the draw – the lure – of extramarital closeness is understandable, we need to hold back.

There are lots of things in my life that function as lures to me; things that do their best to draw my attention away from Christ, away from my relationships with my family. I’ve found a great freedom in recognizing those lures (“oh, yeah, I sense that temptation”) but then reminding myself that I’m dead to that draw.

Lord, help me to “abstain”, to back away from those things which do their best to draw me in to places or situations that I shouldn’t be in.

Be a zombie – the living dead!

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