Sunday, 8th September 2019
Rev Daniel Poon
(Num 20:8-13; Philippians 1:15-26 2:6-8)
When we move forward in life… when we have higher positions, we have more authority and freedom. When we have more resources in our hands… more freedom, we need more self-control.
The greater the freedom, the greater the self control we need. God used Moses to lead the Israelite out of Egypt, but the Israelite started to complain in the wilderness. They complained there was no water, so God asked Moses to speak to rock and water would come out.
At that time, Moses and Aaron assembled everyone, but he used God’s rod and struck the rock twice. Water then came out the rock. God only asked Moses to speak to the rock and water would come out, but Moses used his rod to strike the rock. He couldn’t control his temper because he was upset with Israelite, so he struck the rock.
God said to Moses that he did not honor God in front of the Israelite, so he cannot enter into the promised land. Moses and Aaron couldn’t enter promise land. Moses was leader, so he needed to have great self control.
Paul’s letter to the church in Philippians states that the reason that those in the church in Philippians preached the gospel out of envy and strife was to add affliction to Paul’s suffering while in prison. The church in Philippians was established by Paul, but now members of the church were going to hurt him. Paul was the head of the church. He could use his authority to exile these people, but he didn’t, and said “but what does it matter????”
He only cared that the gospel was being spread. Paul controlled himself; He didn’t get upset. He had great freedom and great self control. Jesus is our highest example. Though he was God, did not demand and cling to his rights as God, but laid aside his mighty power and glory, taking the disguise of a slave and becoming like a man. And he humbled himself even further, going so far as actually to die a criminal’s death on a cross.
He had a man’s body, but Jesus was humble; He was obedient and died on the cross. Jesus Christ humbled himself and committed himself to obey His Father 7 times. He had great freedom. If he said something, it would come to be. If he established a law, there would be law. Earth and heaven came from him, but still, he had self control. In love, He humbled Himself and saved us through His death on the cross and His subsequent resurrection.
Do we love our country? Do we love our family, brothers and sisters?
We need to have self control. We need to consider others and love each other.
The true freedom is to say no to our weakness, violence, strife, lust and temptation. We shouldn’t hurt and destroy each other; we need to be patient and establish self control.