Guest post by Jeanette Andrade
September 12 Scripture Selection: Proverbs 23
Food for Thought: Prov. 23:20, 21; 29-35
(*There are just too many important truths to choose from in this chapter! So be sure to spend time meditating on each of its delicious morsels.)
Can we have a frank, nonjudgmental discussion about alcohol without knee-jerk reactions? If it has not become your crutch, your necessity for entertainment, or your god, then we can. And as long as we do not use the Bible to stab people, we can. Since it is a topic that comes up again and again in the Word, then we should examine it.
First, let’s be clear: Since we are made righteous by the sacrifice of Jesus and made free from the law of sin and death, there’ll be no pompous pointing of the fingers or demanding people to “clean up” and stop sinning. If we went down that road, we should point out all the sins that originate in the heart such as envy, bitterness, pride, and the like. Even gluttony is listed as a sin, and I bet we’ve all been guilty of that. Really, anything that is not beneficial to us and to those around us is worth taking an inward look at and seeking the Lord for help in the areas that He shines light upon, but condemnation will not achieve that.
When discussing this subject, people often bring up scriptures that are the “pro’s” or the “con’s,” so let’s let the Word speak for itself regarding the topic of alcohol:
Proverbs 31:6 Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to those who are bitter of heart.
Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, Strong drink is a brawler, And whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
Proverbs 31:4, 5 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, It is not for kings to drink wine, nor for princes intoxicating drink; lest they drink and forget the law, and pervert the justice of all the afflicted.
I Tim. 3:3, 8 …not given to much wine…
Isaiah 5:11, 22 Woe to those who rise early in the morning, That they may follow intoxicating drink;
Who continue until night, till wine inflames them! 22 Woe to men mighty at drinking wine,
Woe to men valiant for mixing intoxicating drink.
I Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
The apostle Paul declares that, although all things are lawful, he will not allow himself to be brought under the power of any (I Cor. 6:12). For a truly fulfilled life, we are to live and be led only by the Spirit Who gives life, and never by the demands of our flesh because Jesus has made us free. And living by the Spirit is not something we do only on Sundays. Ephesians 5:18 tells us, “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.” Anything that hinders our walk in the Spirit (and our living testimony) needs to be dealt with. The Good News is that, if you find yourself “brought under the power” of alcohol or any addictive behavior, the same God Who raised Christ from the dead can make you completely free (Rom. 8:11; Luke 4:18, 19; I Cor. 10:13).
The point is, all things are lawful, but not all things are beneficial or convenient. If alcohol is a crutch, a necessity for a “good time,” or a god on whose altar your financial well-being, relationships, health, and future are laid, then it must be dealt with. Too many lives have been destroyed because of it. Every day, people are effected by it because they use/abuse it instead of making God their source for everything. Jesus came to give us life and life abundantly (John 10:10), and anything that hinders that is contrary to His perfect will for our lives. However, there’s no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus—only an extended hand of support for any and all who want to be free from the bondage of alcohol or any other damaging substance or behavior.
Digging Deeper (What scriptures can further enhance today’s reading?):
Getting Personal (What has God shown you in today’s reading?):
Confession of Faith (Example: Lord, based on Mat. 1:21 and 23, I understand that Jesus is God, and I receive Him as my personal Lord and Savior.):
Important Events on This Day (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.):