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Sunday Evening Sermon

October 15, 1989

Once again in II Peter 1:5, we are advised, ".....make every effort to add to your faith.....self-control"

Other scriptures: Proverbs 25:28; Galatians 5:23; I Peter 5:8

Also there are relevant scriptures from the book of Proverbs under the word                   "restraint." Proverbs 17:27; 23:4; 29:18

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.    -- Proverbs 3:3

Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.    -- Proverbs 7:3

You boasted against me and spoke against me without restraint, and I heard it.    -- Ezekiel 35:13

gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.    -- Galatians 5:23

without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,-- 2 Timothy 3:3

and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; -- 2 Peter 1:6

1.  We live in a world of excesses and indulgences.  A place where people expect that they have a right to the finest and the best and will pay most any price to get it.  Basically we are a people who will never limit our own appetites.  There are no inner controls for the most part.  Our binges are brought to a halt only because we reach the ends of our means.  We have never learned to say "no" to ourselves.

What are some of the appetites that run wild in our world today?

a) Greed, the monster which is never satisfied.  Paul says that he learned the secret of contentment.

b) Lust, the passion that is continually more degrading as it is fed.  It demands that which is more bizarre.  A passion for God is similar in intensity.

c) Envy.  The Bible tells us to rejoice with those who rejoice.

d) Power.  Jesus said that the one who would be great among you must first be your servant.

e) Fame.  The brothers of Christ chided him by saying, "No one who wishes to become a public figure acts in secret.

f) Recognition.  Let not your left hand know what your right hand does.

2.        God does not intend for us to be people who are controlled externally.  He intends that we should have the freedom to govern ourselves and serve him because we wish to.  It was the old testament promise that God would write on the tablets of our hearts. "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. - Jeremiah 31:33

We need to become people who understand that we benefit ourselves when we learn the secret of self-restraint.

A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.    -- Proverbs 17:27

Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.    -- Proverbs 23:4

Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law.  -- Proverbs 29:18

Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.    -- Proverbs 25:28

What about those folks whose lives are marked by a degree of?   We are told that this is indicative of double mindedness.  Not really knowing what we want.  He wants for you to be your own boss and to order your life as a love letter to Him.  The question tonight really is do you love God?

3.  Can you understand what kind of impact that you can make your world if you are a person who is in control of his or her own life.  Are you running away with life or is life running away with you?  Self-control is much more than restraint however.  It practically taking steps in life to improve your performance.  Refusing to become complacent with a "good enough attitude.  This would include:

a) The development of positive disciplines.

b) Pressing against your own limits.  Engaging the task that will ultimately stretch you.

c) Assuming responsibility for the salvation of those around you.

d) Looking to the interests of others. We are here entering into that realm of things that we may leave undone because good intentions were not enough to do the trick.  It is interesting here to note that self-control is listed in Galatians 5 as the fruit of the Spirit.  The presence of God's Spirit in our lives gives us the motivation to take control over our situations and circumstances.

We readily admit and believe that God is the one who searches our hearts and passes rather quickly over the outside.  Does he listen to our lips or does he listen to our hearts?  And are the messages the same? I Chronicles 28:9

Greed is an inordinate desire for more, an excessive unsatisfied hunger to possess.  Like an untamed beast, greedgrasps, claws, reaches, clutches, clings --- stubbornly refusing to surrender.  The word enough is not in the beast's

vocabulary.  Akin to envy and jealousy, greed is nevertheless distinct.  Envy wants to have what someone else possesses. Jealousy wants to possess what it already has.  But greed is different.  Greed is forever discontented and therefore insatiably craving, longing, wanting, striving for more, more, more.

Four Faces of Greed

1.  Greed is an excessive motivation to have more money.

2.  Greed is an excessive determination to own more things.

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3.  Greed is an excessive desire to become more famous, to make a name for oneself.

4.  Greed is an excessive need to gain more control.

Money will buy a fine dog but only love will make him wag his tail.

Money never made a man happy yet nor will it.  There is in it's nature to produce happiness.  The more a man has, the more he wants.  Instead of it's filling a vacuum, it one.  If it satisfies one want, it doubles and triples

that want another way.  That was a true proverb of the wise man: rely upon it: "Better is little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure and trouble therewith. Irving Barr took his wife to divorce court for her "excessive

and ridiculous" clothes buying habits.  His wife's wardrobe €included: 106 blouses, 92 pairs of slacks, 87 necklaces, 81 pairs of shoes, 62 pant suits, 31 evening dresses, 60 purses, 23 robes, 23 nightgowns, 55 body shirts, 47 slip overs, 39 sweaters, 36 bracelets, 27 vests, 25 halter tops and 10 watches.

Who but Americans can afford chairs that vibrate and cars that don't.

We know that a fool and his money are soon parted, but how did they ever get together in the first place?

A publishers wife told Irving Hoffman. "It's not true that I €married a millionaire.  I made him one."  "What was he before you married him?"  asked Irving.  The wife answered, "A multi-millionaire."

There is only one thing for a man to do who is married to a woman who enjoys spending money, and that is to enjoy earning it.

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