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The truth is we are utterly depraved in regard to working our way into salvation. We have zero ability to save ourselves. However, upon trusting God for salvation, one of the fruits of the spirit we’re to exemplify is SELF-control. The self in self-control denotes a sense of personal responsibility.

Fortunately, God doesn’t place crushing expectations on us. He knows our capabilities. He made us. GOD EXPECTS EFFORT; NOT PERFECTION. I tell my soccer players almost weekly, “Coach doesn’t care as much about the score as he does about giving your best.”

One of the things I struggle with is negative thought spirals. God has asked me to practice renewing my mind, thinking on positive things and focusing on blessing. I’m literally having to re-train my mind. It’s hard work and sometimes there are days/weeks when I have no more fuel in the tank and I lean on God and others more than I normally do.

Some days we’re going to be able to give frankincense and myrrh and some days we’re the widow with coins. It may be all we have at the moment but it’s our best. And God can turn the most meager offerings into a feast.

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Ephesians 5:22-23 ESV

15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Romans 7:15 ESV

Do not be conformed to this world,[a] but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.[b] Romans 12:2 ESV

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