Daily Devotional for July 1
God's Wisdom for Daily Living
Devotional ScriptureProverbs 20:1(KJV):
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
Wine is a mocker, strong drink a riotous brawler, and whoever errs or reels because of it is not wise.
Thought for the Day
Some religious circles like to debate whether or not "wine" in the Bible refers to non-intoxicating grape juice or fermented, alcoholic grape juice. To answer this question, we must study the original language in which the Bible was written. The first scripture in which wine is mentioned is found in the book of Genesis, the Hebrew word, yayin. It always means fermented wine; primarily from grapes. This is also obvious from the text: "And Noah began to be a husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken" (Genesis 9:20-21). Only alcohol could make one drunk!
In the New Testament, the Greek word oinos is usually used for wine. Jesus' first miracle was turning water into wine (John 2:1-11). "When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now." This verse indicates that the wine was fermented, since good wine was usually served first, with the inferior wine served later. After their senses were dulled from drinking wine, no one would notice or care that the wine served later was not as good. Many other Biblical references to wine show that it is an alcoholic drink.
Some Christians might ask if it is a sin for us to drink wine today. I believe that because sin is in the heart of man and not in any object, wine itself is not sinful. However, becoming drunk can cause us to sin (Galatians 5:18-21). The Bible teaches moderation; even eating too much food is a sin (gluttony). Alcohol can cause people to go out of their heads. Alcoholism is responsible for broken homes, health problems, and many deaths (through disease or drunk drivers). Unborn babies can be damaged by it. The Bible says that drunkards will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
In the Old Testament, there was a group of people known as Nazarites. Each one took a vow to dedicate himself to the Lord and did not drink alcohol at all (Numbers 6:2-3). Would it not please God if we love Him and our brethren enough to give up a passing pleasure that might cause someone to stumble? If a new Christian with an alcoholic past sees you drinking, he or she may fall prey to addiction all over again. Paul taught that we should not use our liberty in Christ in ways that would cause others to stumble (Romans 14). Galatians 5:13 says, "For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another." 1 Corinthians 8:9: "But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak."
Would it not be a more powerful witness to others in our age to stand out as one who did not drink alcoholic beverages because we had no need to do so? When we are filled with the Spirit of God, His spirit gives us the joy and release that many are seeking by drinking. May we instead desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit and have no need for "spirits."
"And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the LORD; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Ephesians 5:18-20).
Prayer Devotional for the DayDear Father, thank you for the liberty that we have in Christ. Help us not to judge one another in regard to drinking a little wine, but rather to be honest before You as to the issue in our own hearts in this regard. May we be a good witness to those around us. When we make choices in this life, may they be pleasing to You and show love to those around us. You told us the highest law is the law of love. We are to love You first, and then to love one another. May we do this in word and deed. Keep us from temptation and let our actions prove to the world that we are true Christians. Deliver those who are addicted to alcohol and are caught in this snare of the devil. I ask this in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. At that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise. But now, in Christ Jesus, ye who sometime were far off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, ... having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace.
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.
If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Exodus 12:43; Hebrews 13:10; John 3:3; Ephesians 2:12-13; Ephesians 2:14-15; Ephesians 2:19; Revelation 3:20
Who in the days of his flesh ... offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death.
Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord. Continuing instant in prayer. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication. By prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. This is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.
Delight thyself ... in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
Matthew 26:44; Hebrews 5:7; Hosea 6:3; Romans 12:12; Ephesians 6:18; Philippians 4:6-7; Matthew 26:39; 1 John 5:14; Psalm 37:4-5