Self-RestraintNew Every Morning | November 6, 2020
My whole hope is only in your exceedingly great mercy. Give what you command and command what you will. You impose self-restraint upon us, “but I perceived,” says one, “that I would not possess wisdom, unless God gave her to me—and it was a mark of insight to know whose gift she was.” For by self-restraint we, who were scattered abroad as many, are bound up and brought into one. They love you too little who love anything alongside you, which they do not love for you, O love, who always burn, and are never quenched! O love, my God, kindle me! You command self-restraint. Give what you command and command what you will.
—Upper Room Spiritual Classics: Writings of Augustine, Edited by Keith Beasley-Topliffe (Upper Room Books, 2017)
What does it mean to you that we are “bound up and brought into one” by self-restraint? Join the conversation.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
—Titus 2:11-13 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Try this suggested prayer practice this week:
1. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and remember that God loves you and you are in God’s presence.
2. Imagine God calling you by name, asking “(Your name), what do you want?”
3. Answer God honestly with whatever word or phrase comes from deep within you.
4. Call God by name, a name you frequently use for God.
5. Combine your name for God with your word or phrase to form a brief prayer that flows smoothly.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
Let’s join together and pray for our divided world. Post—or respond to—prayer requests and praise reports on The Upper Room Prayer Wall.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.
I am not really sure what is meant by this…my thought is probably entirely off base. But here goes. As we experience struggle and suffering, it is quite natural to grumble, want to have a pity party and have a generally downcast attitude. However, if we are able to summon up hope, to have a tiny mustard seed’s amount of faith, and desire to be grateful…all requiring “self restraint” – He will come to us, bind us up in His care and show us the way through. Whatever He permits – recognizing His plan is grander than ours, and surrendering our will. This is His desire. Surrender and submission.
My friend grilled out last night and we had an enjoyable dinner and a nice walk with her dogs in the pleasant late afternoon. It was so nice to step away from the screen. I almost took my laptop with me because I had so much to grade, and figured I could do it while she was prepping dinner. But I told myself – I have to step away, leave the laptop at home. Everything gets graded eventually. I guess I am feeling a lot of pressure – knowing dad and I will be golfing tomorrow – and I will not have anytime to grade until I get home. And then I will definitely not feel like grading. I will need to work this afternoon and evening to get stuff done, because it won’t happen to the usual extent tomorrow.
Father – I ask for Your strong presence to accompany Ally and Amy today, as well as to be near to David while they are away. Father – thank You for hearing our cries.
So Let Our Lips and Lives Express
1 So let our lips and lives express
The holy Gospel we profess;
So let our walks and virtues shine,
To prove the doctrine all divine.
2 Thus shall we best proclaim abroad
The honor of our Saviour God;
When the salvation reigns within,
And grace subdues the pow’r of sin.
3 Our flesh and sense must be denied;
Passion and envy, lust and pride;
While justice, temp’rance, truth and love
Our inward piety approve.
4 Religion bears our spirits up,
While we expect that blessed hope,
The bright appearance of the Lord,
And faith stands leaning on His Word.
5 That sacred stream, Thy holy Word,
That all our raging fear controls:
Sweet peace Thy promises afford,
And give new strength to fainting souls.
This one is on YouTube!
Thanks Marcy, I will look for it!
I think as believers we are bound together helping us to do what God wills.
Prayers for the needs of the UR family, their families, and friends extend onward to the nation, the world and all mankind just as God so loved the world that God gave His/Her only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him would have everlasting life. Thank You, Lord! In You we have life.
I interpreted this two ways. In a personal sense, we are scattered in our thinking and in our faith until we bind them with God and seek and follow His will for us. Also, the Christian community is disjointed and scattered around the world and among faith ideologies and until we all come together and seek God’s will, desire and wisdom we will remain seperate from one another and from His true purpose.
I have been doing the exercise described above each day and I had an encounter this morning. I wrote encounter without the thought of it in my mind as if the word came unbidden. Anyway I answered “You, Lord, I want You.” Again unbidden and I felt something or someone come over me and intense peace…
Prayers for Jill and Larry as they golf and communicate tomorrow. Prayers for Larry’s new health revelation, may it not be major.
Prayers for Robert and I add my prayers to his for our nation and add prayers for veteran’s and a thank you to him and all veterans.
Prayers for Marcy, may her sharing mean she is feeling somewhat better.
Prayers for Ally and David, as well as Amy, as they all go through the heart catheterization together. May all go well and may Ally not need further heart surgery. Prayers for Ally’s cousin and her daughter, may God guide them both.