Lilies in the City - March/April 2018 - Issue 25
Meekness & Temperance best! IN THE LIFE OF CHRIST
& Sweet Potato Sandwiches
Love I Can’t!
Meek & Mild
6 In the Life of Christ: Temperance 10 In the Life of Christ: Meekness 16 I Canâ€™t
Lily Eats Practical Lily Social Lily
14 Tofu & Sweet Potato Sandwiches
18 By The Word
20 Love at Home: Meekness and Temperance Made Practical
Unless otherwise noted, all scripture references are taken from the Authorized Version of the Bible (The King James Version).
t was quarter to ten, I ended the call, dressed quickly and pulled myself out of the house. The moon shone bright and the night critters’ orchestra was playing it’s concierto. Where was I going when my warm house and bed called to me? To serve. Some visitors nearby had a need and the burden had fallen in my lap.
So why was I so disgruntled about being of service, was it the late hour? Or the fact that I knew this work was thankless? The voice of the Holy Spirit ran through my mind, “Should you be treated better than your Master?” The reality of Christ’s life of selflessness flashed before me. Instantly I felt small, selfish and insignificant. I remember reading just some days before, “It is the love of self that destroys our peace.” And now I had experienced that uncomfortable reality.
This year we’re looking at the different aspects of the fruit of the Spirit. The first two we’ll consider—meekness and temperance—both have their foundation in “self.” While meekness is selflessness, temperance is self-control. Are you like me, moving away from a self-centered life? Or maybe your works of the flesh are “self” in its other forms: pride, insecurity, self-righteousness? Keep reading. In this issue we explore the practical realities of the graces of meekness and temperance and how we can see them in the life of Christ. “For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life” (Rm 6:20-22). Let’s prepare our lives for better fruit.
Almarie Hill Editor-in-Chief
Akilah Ballard Financial Manager
Delnita McDavid Associate Editor
"The lily on the lake strikes its roots down deep beneath the surface of rubbish and slime, and through its porous stem draws those properties that will aid its development, and bring to light its spotless blossom to repose in purity on the bosom of the lake. It refuses all that would tarnish and mar its spotless beauty. We may learn a lesson from the lily, and although surrounded with influences that would tend to corrupt the morals and bring ruin upon the soul, we may refuse to be corrupted, and place ourselves where evil association shall not corrupt our hearts." Have Any Questions For The Lilies Staff? Contact us: email@example.com Photography: Telecla Thompson (cover, p. 2, p. 19) Layout & Design: Abiola Osinjolu
IN THE LIFE OF CHRIST
Temperance – Ikemba Balogu
“HE THAT MASTERS IS BETTER THAN HE THAT IS A MASTER OVER OTHERS.” 6
ccording to the Strong’s Concordance, the Greek meaning for temperance is simply “self-control”, to control oneself. It is self-mastery, to master oneself. “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate [emphasis added] in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible”; for “if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully” (1 Cor 9:24, 25; 2 Tm 2:5).
Any person who becomes a master of his own passion and of his own desires “is temperate in all things” because he has learned the only true way to self-control. Now, temperance or self-control is a part of “the fruit of the Spirit” and Jesus was given the Spirit without measure. For this reason, it is certainly true that the only true way to self-control was manifested in the life of Jesus without measure. Let us, therefore, behold the life of Christ. “..the Lord confirms the intimacy He has with His children on earth— the trust He hopes He has built through the time spent with them.”
– Nadia Agnant
First, Jesus acknowledged that He was utterly helpless, in and of Himself, to control Himself. “The Son of man can do nothing of Himself”; “I can of Mine own self do nothing” (Jn 5:19, 30). Secondly, with a keen sense of His own helplessness in controlling Himself, He submitted His will to a Person beyond Himself—a Person from above— that would enable Him to control Himself, that is, to have self-control. For this reason, the only true way to self-control is revealed in the words of Christ (emphasis added) "I delight to do Thy will, O God: yea, Thy law is within my heart” (Ps 40:8). “I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me” (Jn 5:30). “I came… not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me” (Jn 6:38). “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work” (Jn 4:34). “Not My will, but Thine [will], be done” (Lk 22:42). “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven (Mt 6:10). 7
“...submission to the will of God as it is given in the word of God is the only true way to self-control.”
Thus, by submitting His will to God, He was able to control Himself even in the most trying of circumstances. For in one instance, Christ was: “led up of the Spirit in the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to Him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But He answered and said, It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Mt 4:1-4). For this reason, submission to the will of God as it is given in the word of God is the only true way to self-control. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” 8
(Jas 4:7). Yea, “yield yourselves unto God” (Rm. 6:13). Hence, individual submission—that is, the submission of self—to God is the only true way to self-control. It is the only true way to be “temperate in all things.” For “he that is slow to anger is better than the mighty: and he that ruleth his spirit [is better] than he that taketh a city” (Prv 16:32). But how is the man that rules his spirit better than the man who takes a city? The answer is found in another verse: “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls” (Prv 25:28). This is the negative form of that verse. But the positive statement is that “he that ruleth over his own spirit is like a city that is hedged about and with walls.” The man that rules over his own spirit, being like a city that is hedged about and with walls, is better than he that takes a city. In olden times, the latter could only take a city “that [was] broken down and without walls” and it would be, for all practical purposes, impossible for him to take a city “that [was] hedged about and with walls.” Thus, “he that ruleth his spirit [is better] than he that taketh a city.” He that masters himself is better than he that is a master over others. He that controls himself is better than he that controls others. He that submits himself to God is better than he that is in bondage to sin and self. This is true temperance and this is self-control in verity and in truth. Are you temperate in all things? For “the fruit of the Spirit is…temperance”; and as Jesus Christ was given the Spirit without measure, we beseech you: “ask, and it shall be given you.” “Receive ye the Holy Ghost” “for every one that asketh receiveth.” “Be filled with” “the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Gal 5:22, 23; Mt 7:7; Jn 20:22; Mt 7:8; Eph 5:18; 4:30).
IN THE LIFE OF CHRIST
â€“ Ikemba Balogu
“For meekness is the of true conversion”
“THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS MEEKNESS” (GAL 5:22).
s this fruit is of the Spirit, it can be produced no other way but by the Spirit. The Spirit is the only source by which this fruit may be borne. Nevertheless, in the life of Christ, the fruit of the Spirit was borne in great abundance. And more than this, it was borne without measure: that is to say, in boundless abundance.
Since the Spirit is the only source by which this fruit is borne and this fruit was in the life of Christ without measure, it evidently follows that Jesus Christ received the Spirit without measure. The Gospel of John evinces this, “For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him” (Jn 3:34, emphasis added). Thus, Christ indeed received the Spirit without measure and therefore the fruit which He bore was without measure. Hence, in the life of Jesus, “meekness,” being “the fruit of the Spirit,” was manifested without measure, “leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps” “because as He is, so are we in this world” and “it is enough for the disciple that he be as his Master” (1 Pt 2:21; 1 Jn 4:17; Mt 10:25). With this in mind, let us thoughtfully consider and carefully reflect upon the life of Christ as He manifested that fruit of meekness “not by might, nor by power, but by [His] Spirit” (Zec 4:6). In every heart, there exists an innate desire to be great. This desire for greatness is not evil but on the contrary, it is evidence that we were made in the image of Him who is great. For before the birth of Christ, “the angel Gabriel” (Lk 1:26) declared unto Mary the manner of His birth: “Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the 11
"In every heart, there exists an innate desire to be great. This desire for greatness is not evil but on the contrary, it is evidence that we were made in the image of Him who is ”
Son of the Highest” (v 31, 32, emphasis added). And even of John the Baptist, who was the forerunner of Jesus Christ, it is written: “He shall be great in the sight of the Lord” (v 15, emphasis added). In another place, the psalmist declares: “Great is our Lord, and of great power: His understanding is infinite” (Ps 147:6). Therefore this desire to be great is of divine origin and has been implanted in every person’s heart as an incentive that each may “be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Let us read it: “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:19, emphasis added).
Now, in order to “be called great in the kingdom of heaven,” we must first be great. Safe to say, it is eternally right and never evil to desire to be great. This is why Jesus Christ, when He walked this earth, never rebuked the desire of His twelve disciples to be great or even the greatest but rather sought to show them that they had adopted the entirely wrong way to greatness and to teach them the only true way to greatness; for on the way to Capernaum “there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be the greatest” (Lk 9:46). And Jesus, perceiving what they had been disputing over, asked them,
“What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest” (Mk 9:3334). And finally, the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 18:1-4, emphasis added). Hence, conversion, which is a changed life, and humility, is absolutely essential to greatness. The word “humility” is used interchangeably with the word “meekness.” Jesus, therefore, invites all to take His yoke and learn of Him; “for I am meek and lowly in heart.” “The meek will He guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach His way” (Ps 25:9, emphasis added). And “His way” is the only true way to greatness. “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself… the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 18:4, emphasis added). For meekness is the fruit of true conversion and is certainly the entrance of the true way to greatness. More than this, Jesus showed how true meekness would be manifested in those who would accept conversion as the only true way to greatness. “Jesus called them unto Him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant. Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many” and “I am among you as He that serveth” (Mt 20:25-28; Lk 22:27 emphasis added). The world’s and the human way to greatness, which is but the false way, is to exalt oneself by acquiring power, dominion, and authority over others, constantly seeking to have as many persons as possible serve you. But God’s and the divine way to greatness, which is only the true way, is to humble oneself
to the point where one is entirely emptied of all selfish desires, constantly seeking to serve as many persons as possible. And even after Christ had related that the true way to greatness was only by service to others, springing from a meek and lowly heart, there still remained to be “a strife among them [the disciples], which of them should be accounted the greatest” (Lk 22:24). Finally, Christ demonstrated to them, as He had done through His 3 ½ years of public ministry, the only true way to greatness. At the last supper, He rose up: “and laid aside His garments; and took a towel, and girded Himself. After that He poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciple’s feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith He was girded…So after He had washed their feet, and had taken His garments, and was set down again, He said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me, Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. FOR I HAVE GIVEN YOU AN EXAMPLE, that you should do as I have done to you” (Jn 13:4, 5, 12-15, emphasis added). And then, after demonstrating the only true way to greatness, He left His disciples with words that echo down to our time: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his Lord; neither he that is sent greater than He that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them” (Jn 13:16, 17, emphasis added). Thus, the meekness and lowliness of our Master and Lord stands as the only true way to greatness, “LEAVING US AN EXAMPLE, that ye should follow His steps” (1 Pt 2:21, emphasis added). For although the servant is not greater than his Lord, “it is enough for the disciple that he be as his Master, and the servant as his Lord” “because as He is, so are we in this world” (Mt 10:25; 1 Jn 4:17). Are you meek? For “the fruit of the Spirit is… meekness”; and as Jesus Christ was given the Spirit without measure, we beseech you: “ask, and it shall be given you.” “Receive ye the Holy Ghost” “for every one that asketh receiveth.” “Be filled with” “the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Gal 5:22, 23; Mt 7:7; Jn 20:22; Mt 7:8; Eph 5:18; 4:30).
& Sweet Potato Sandwiches – Brittany Hodges, B|Whole INGREDIENTS:
2 packs tofu, extra firm 2 medium bell peppers 4 medium sweet potatoes 2 medium onions 1 tablespoon cumin 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning Salt (to taste) 4 sandwich buns
2/3 cup lemon juice (fresh is optional) ½ cup water ½ cup raw cane sugar 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste 2 tablespoons Earth Balance 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
1. Mix all ingredients for BBQ Sauce. 2. Slice tofu into 1/4 inch thick rectangles. 3. Marinade tofu in BBQ sauce for 1-2 hour(s). 4. Bake BBQ Tofu at 350F for 30-45 min. 5. Slice sweet potatoes into round 1/4 inch thick slices, oil and bake until soft. 6. While the tofu and sweet potatoes are baking, chop and saute onions and bell peppers. 7. When onions have been caramelized, add cumin, salt and Italian seasoning. 8. Assemble sandwich and enjoy!
Happy Eating! B|HEALTHY and B|WHOLE 14
– Jonthue Michel
ay by Day in a world full of Temptation, Within the borders of one of the world’s favored nations.
I can’t choose this evil theology, For Christ died and His blood became my remedy. In His existence, He revealed what it means to be controlled by Divinity. Letting the Father’s will be His own, And submitting to His royalty.
Whose belly shows stains of what they ate, With lifespan becomes less and less each day.
Living morally and spiritually as a king, being temperate in all things.
When I am hit by that which appeals to the flesh, My heart gets heavy for I can’t take part of the dead.
And even to death He chose not His own thing, But the will of Him that sent Him to be our Victory.
My mind is on a better plain, Since temperance has showed me the better way. I can’t violate this temple to please the beast, Lest I am left wondering, what has taken over me. Once more I am tempted by old desires, Voice so sweet and pretty as a lovely flower. But my mind, which is in God, Looking aside from that which is trying to lure me. Choosing what is right and praiseworthy, Than wrong and unholy. I can’t violate this temple even for a small visually pleasing thing. For even this one action can be the death of me and I become nothing. Among minds who make theory their god, And textbook their Bible. Trying to cast doubt upon my belief, And show me that we are what we need. Deep in my mind, I choose to cast my side still on God. 16
For we were created in the image of Excellency, And not in the shadow of an animal.
So even until death I will choose right, And use right what He has given me. Rather then bring tears to His eyes, Because I am destroying me.
love to eat avocados. I mean, I really, really enjoy them. In fact, whenever someone buys avocados at our house, they usually can’t find them because I ate them all. I try my best to control my appetite since I know that eating a lot of fats and oils is not good for my health, but this is not something I have the strength to overcome on my own.
The word “temptation” is found in the King James Version of the Bible twenty-three times. Nineteen of those times are in the New Testament. Jesus Himself was tempted. Knowing we were also going to be tempted, He included this very topic at the beginning of His ministry as He taught mankind how to pray in Matthew 4. It is interesting to see that Jesus was tempted right after His baptism. And
– Aniza Moore
still today, Satan tries to attack individuals shortly after they have made the decision to follow the Lord. Here are some questions to consider: What was Jesus doing in the wilderness? How did Jesus respond to Satan? In Matthew 26, Jesus prays in Gethsemane, taking Peter and the two sons of Zebedee with Him. He tells them to watch with Him as He prayed, but He comes back and finds them sleeping. It’s sad that He found them sleeping two more times, even after He told them to watch and pray so that they wouldn’t be tempted. “It was in the time of greatest weakness that Christ was assailed
“Jesus used scripture to fight temptation” by the fiercest temptations. Thus Satan thought to prevail. By this policy he had gained the victory over men. When strength failed, and the will power weakened, and faith ceased to repose in God, then those who had stood long and valiantly for the right were overcome… Satan is at hand to tempt and annoy. He attacks our weak points of character. He seeks to shake our confidence in God, who suffers such a condition of things to exist. We are tempted to distrust God, to question His love. Often the tempter comes to us as he came to Christ, arraying before us our weakness and infirmities. He hopes to discourage the soul, and to break our hold on God. Then he is sure of his prey. If we would meet him as Jesus did, we should escape many a defeat. By parleying with the enemy, we give him an advantage.”1 And THIS is how we can have victory over sin! Christ was our example in how we can successfully accomplish this: 1. Pray. We need to pray for God to give us strength to overcome. 2. Resist. When the mere thought of sin enters into our minds, we must ask God for deliverance and power to say no. The Bible reminds us to resist the devil and he will flee from us (see Js 4:7). 3. Know the word. Jesus used scripture to fight temptation. And truly, the Bible is a “two-edged sword;” the verses found in this precious book are the weapons we need to use to resist the enemy.
things. Some can simply look at the Bible and use their photographic memory. Others memorize better when they put the verse to music. There are many ways to memorize, but the main thing is to hide God’s word in our hearts so that when the devil tries to tempt us, we can use it as our shield of protection. The next time that you face a challenge in your life, please remember the encouraging words found in God’s love letter to humanity: “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him” (Js 1:12). May the Lord continue to bless you and guide you as you walk with Him daily and remember His faithful promises. 1. Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages (Mountain View, California: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1898), 43.
“The human mind is a powerful thing.”
I remember when I was in high school how the girls on my school bus would have the lyrics to the latest secular songs fully memorized just days after the new hit single released! The human mind is a powerful thing. If only we would learn how to use it to the glory of God. I personally have felt a conviction to start memorizing scripture. By God’s grace, I’ve been able to do so and retain the verses that I learned. Everyone has a different way of remembering
Love AT HOME:
meekness and temperance made practical
– Sean L. Brereton
hroughout the many stages of life, from infancy, childhood, adolescence and on, we are learning and developing behaviors which prepare us to be men and women, fathers and mothers. In many instances, behaviors we have learned in our primary years may have to be unlearned in order to have successful and happy marriages, friendships, and lives.
A successful Christian home functions under two paramount principles—love and self-control. You cannot have one without the other. Furthermore, love, meekness and temperance are inseparable living traits in the fruit of the Holy Spirit (see Gal 5:22-23). It's impossible to protect our children from all vices, however, as much as possible, we should avoid any behavior that would promote pride, dishonesty and promiscuity in the little people of the future. Behaviors of parents, believed to have gone unnoticed, are observed by children. These same youngsters mature with the influences of the households they are reared in. According to Bible prophecy and world events, although we may never see some of our children mature to adulthood, we are still the appointed vessels charged by heaven to protect and guard our children’s eternal existence. More often than we realize, the men we’ve grown to despise and the women we love to criticize were once the little boys and girls who may have had avoidable influences, such as inappropriate sexual materials or appeasement by food, shape their minds and impact their character before they were even teenagers. When our young boys and girls become adults with no restraint for their appetites, we wonder where we went wrong. 21
In his Courtship and Marriage sermon series the late WD Frazee shares that temperance is expressed as obedience, service and responsibility. Obedience may sound a little rigid, but what is commitment without rules and compliance to those rules? An example of obedience is washing the dishes when your parent asks you to. If you are in a committed relationship, one universal rule is to remain faithful and not cheat on your significant other. Though this rule is eternally binding, it should not be kept merely out of the fear of losing your relationship —which is in some cases the consequence of breaking this decree. Fidelity should be the fruit or result of genuine love and respect for your partner. Service is doing a task to benefit your partner, family, friend or stranger without being asked. Responsibility, on the other hand, is exhibited by cleaning up after yourself to avoid an accumulation of dishes. Responsibility is being there to support your partner physically, mentally, financially, morally, etc., and keeping promises. Like obedience and service, responsibility is mandatory but should not be burdensome and done out of obligation. In a union where true love abides, you will do these things because you want to. This same principle applies in our relationship with God (Jn 14:15) and begins in your home. This may sound trivial, but if you aren’t exhibiting these traits currently, how do you expect God to bless you with your own home? The counsel found in Luke 16:10 seems most fitting here: “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” It is the little things that count!—a saying often rehearsed by my mother as a child growing up. Do you feel as if you would automatically begin exuding these traits after you become married or is it something to be practicing now? If you have no desire to be married, is responsibility not that big of a deal until it’s time to be responsible? Or is it a skill to practice? Can we exhibit duty in the area of temperance? 22
Moreover, adding to the definition of self-control. Frazee addressed three areas to be taken into consideration: 1) Appetite—temperance in food consumption, avoidance of all unhealthy foods, drinks and substances, and avoidance of eating at irregular hours and in between meals. 2) Affections—the people we love and how we express our love towards them. 3) Passions—physical desires, the things that satisfy us. These three need to be in control at all times for a healthy happy relationship. It may be hard at first, but with Christ as your Helper, it is more than possible (see Phil 4:13). The affections should be guarded and preserved. We should never feel free to give our love away to just anyone. Loving and affectionate behavior should be practiced at home with family members and preserved until God blesses you with someone to share your affections with. When appetite and the affections are in control and disciplined, the passions will be also. Meekness is also a sure result! How do we practically guard the appetite and passions? Let’s consider Samson’s story and see what we can learn. In Leviticus chapter 11, God gives an extensive list of clean and unclean animals that Christians should be mindful of today. In this chapter, He even forbids touching the carcass of unclean animals (see Lv 5:2 and 11:24). The lion is an unclean animal, both ceremonially and for food consumption. Samson knew this; yet, in Judges 14:8-9, he sees the carcass of a lion with honey in it and takes some of the honey to eat, also giving some to his parents to eat. The story of Samson provides us with an example, of what happens when the appetite is left unguarded, leading to uncontrolled expressions of passion. In addition to appetite, Samson was also unable to control his desire for something sweet from a Philistine woman, who he should’ve never had an interest in—intermarrying with unbelievers was forbidden (see Dt 7:3). “In the society of this enchantress, the judge of Isra-
“A successful Christian home functions under two paramount principles—love and
el squandered precious hours that should have been sacredly devoted to the welfare of his people. But, the blinding passions, which make even the strongest weak, had gained control of reason and of conscience…”1 For an example of what’s right, we can consider Daniel and Joseph’s lives. Daniel followed all of God’s requirements and kept God’s standard even while held captive in Babylon (he was in the world, but not of the world). King Nebuchadnezzar offers Daniel and his friends meat and wine to strengthen them but Daniel refused, purposing in his heart that he would not defile himself (Dn 1:5-8). In verse 12, Daniel asks a challenge of one of the king’s officials, requesting that he and his friends be allowed to eat only vegetables and water while the other captives eat the king’s food, and that after the ten days to judge between the two parties, determining who is healthier and better nourished (Dn 1:11-14). After the ten day period, Daniel and his friends were “fairer and fatter in flesh” (v 15) than all those who ate the king’s delicacies. Daniel and his friends exercised selfcontrol which enabled their success in greater tests to come (see Dn 3). In the book of Genesis, Joseph becomes a slave in Potiphar’s house. Potiphar, a rich man, eventually puts Joseph in charge of his entire household (Gn 38). During his time there, Potiphar’s wife lusted after Joseph and requested he sleep with her. Joseph refused and said to her, “Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back anything from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Gn 39:8-9). Joseph’s closing question should also be the response of every Christian when tempted with sin. “Samson in his peril had the same source of strength as had Joseph...But, instead of taking hold of the strength of God, he permitted the wild passions of his nature to have full sway. The reasoning powers were perverted, the morals cor24
rupted. God had called Samson to a position of great responsibility, honor, and usefulness; but he must learn to govern by learning first to obey the laws of God...Samson, under...temptations, which he had brought upon himself, gave loose rein to passion. The path, which he entered upon, he found to end in shame, disaster, and death. What a contrast to the history of Joseph!”2 Has God also called us to positions of great responsibility, honor, and usefulness? Yes, we are all very special in the eyes of our Maker. For this reason amongst others, we must be temperate in all things and guard our appetites. In one of my favorite books, The Ministry of Healing, Ellen G. White writes: “Those foods should be chosen that best supply the elements needed for building up the body. In this choice, appetite is not a safe guide. Through wrong habits of eating, the appetite has become perverted. Often it demands food that impairs health and causes weakness instead of strength. We cannot safely be guided by the customs of society. The disease and suffering that everywhere prevail are largely due to popular errors in regards to diet… Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator. These foods, prepared in as simple and natural a manner as possible, are the most healthful and nourishing. They impart a strength, a power of endurance, and a vigor of intellect that are not afforded by a more complex and stimulating diet."3 Simpler whole foods from plant-based sources are the most nourishing and promote a healthier mind for making the best decisions. The quality as well as the quantity is also important. In the book Counsels on Diet and Foods, White also informs us that, “In most cases, two meals a day are preferable to three. Supper, when taken at an early hour, interferes with the digestion of the previous meal. When taken later, it is not itself digested before bedtime. Thus the stomach fails of securing proper rest. The sleep is disturbed, the brain and nerves are wearied, the appetite for breakfast is impaired, the whole system is unrefreshed, and is unready for the day's duties. . . The practice of eating but
ance in diet may cause us to make risky decisions and help to ruin our relationships? If smaller temptations are your downfall, how can you manage with bigger temptations? If you are overeating and eating at irregular hours and cannot help yourself, would you be able to remain faithful to your courting partner or your spouse? Seek Christ daily for help. After fasting forty days and forty nights, Satan tempted Jesus with appetite— this same temptation led to the fall of all mankind in the Garden of Eden. Jesus, too, was tempted in every way we can be, yet He remained obedient to God’s commandments by faith (Heb 4:15; see also Jn 15:10). Look to Him, by faith for help, not to your problems. two meals a day is generally found a benefit to health; yet under some circumstances, persons may require a third meal. This should, however, if taken at all, be very light, and of food most easily digested. . .Never cheat the stomach out of that which health demands, and never abuse it by placing upon it a load which it should not bear. Cultivate self-control. Restrain appetite; keep it under the control of reason.”4 It is scientifically proven that overeating places a tremendous burden on the digestive system, and a constantly overworked system will adversely impact other body systems. This wear and tear on your GI tract may cause irreversible damage and bring about disease as you age. In Romans 16:18 Paul penned, “For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” The class Paul is speaking about are those who cause division in the church and teach contrary to God’s Word. Nevertheless, they have made appetite their god, who, in doing so, figuratively put a knife to their throats (Prv 23:2). Have we become slaves to our own bellies? Do we see how the lack of temper-
Charity begins at home, Mom always says. It starts within the home—the first training school of life. Love and self-control should be taught in the home: it would be practiced for a lifetime. We must learn to be responsible adults before we can expect God to bless us with our own. There is an interesting connection between appetite and infatuation that is overlooked. Frazee continues, “Children who crave junk food, sweets, and such, do so in many cases, because their bodies are lacking the minerals and vitamins it needs from natural fruit…” Similarly, the adolescent who practices risky behavior with the opposite sex does so, because they just haven’t had enough love at home; they are looking for love in all the wrong places. These same juveniles should have experienced their parents expressing love for one another and for them. “In many families there is a great lack in expressing affection one for another. While there is no need of sentimentalism, there is need of expressing love and tenderness in a chaste, pure, dignified way. Many absolutely cultivate hardness of heart and in word and action reveal the satanic side of the character. Tender affection should ever be cherished between husband and wife, parents and children, brothers and sisters. Every hasty word should be checked, and there should not 25
“Look to [Jesus], by faith for help, not to your problems.”
be even the appearance of the lack of love one for another. It is the duty of everyone in the family to be pleasant, to speak kindly.”5 We all have varying circumstances, some more unfortunate than others. Home for you may be a desolate brick structure where the idea of love is but a myth. Regardless of your circumstance or your inability to exhibit meekness and temperance in any area of your life, please don’t meditate on your inefficiency to do better; instead, spend more time with God in prayer. Make the study of God’s word and the human body your habit. The Bible contains beautiful counsels regarding health and temperance. Alongside other spiritual resources and evidence based material from science that agrees with God’s word, learn of the best foods to put in your body, how we should cook and consume them and when we should and should not consume them. I have learned so much, and I am truly blessed. The right use of these health principles alongside the gospel, brings complete healing to a sick and dying world. How can we help others while we are sick and dying? Learn of the foods that enable you to think and feel better. Ask God to place accountability partners in your life—those who are also striving for better and will call sin by its rightful name. Most of all, do not do anything in your own strength but by Him who is able to keep you from falling (Jude 24-25)! 1. Ellen G. White, S.D.A Bible Commentary, Vol 2 (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1953), 1007. 2. Ellen G. White, The Signs of the Times, October 13, 1881 (1874). 3. Ellen G. White, The Ministry of Healing (Mountain View, California: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1905), 296. 4. Ellen G. White, Counsels on Diet and Foods (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn.,1938), 176. 5. Ellen G. White, The Adventist Home (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1952), 198.
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Are you like me, moving away from a self-centered life? Or maybe your works of the flesh are “self” in its other forms: pride, insecurity, s...
Published on Mar 14, 2018
Are you like me, moving away from a self-centered life? Or maybe your works of the flesh are “self” in its other forms: pride, insecurity, s...