Daily Devotional for Friday December 8, 2006
Alcohol and the Christian
Today is a special anniversary for me personally. Four years ago today, I made the decision to stop drinking alcohol. I am asked daily about how a Christian should deal with alcohol. There is one school of thought that says it is OK to have a drink as long as you don't get drunk since the Bible does NOT say having a drink is a sin, only being drunk is. The other school of thought is complete abstinence. Ultimately, this is a personal choice each person must make for themselves.
For the first 4 years of my ministry, I chose to follow the path of complete abstinence. During the 10 years I was running from God, I drank, heavy at some times. I know what it is like to be drunk, drink so much you get sick, and have a hang over the next day. I have had all of these experiences. When I went into the ministry I made the decision that drinking was not something I could do if I was serious about serving the Lord.
However, starting in 1996, I decided having a drink once in a while was not that big of a deal, so usually 2-3 times a month I would have a snifter of Cognac after dinner. I never drank in public, only at home. I was never drunk. It was simply a choice I had made several times a month to have a drink.
I will never forget December 10, 2002. After dinner as I was relaxing, I went to get a drink and poured the last snifter out of a bottle of Remy Martin VSOP. As I sipped the last few drops I remember thinking to myself, drinking alcohol is something in my life that I would be better off not doing. I spent a few minutes in prayer and simply told God that I really didn't want to drink any more, and actually asked him to take the desire and taste away. Four years later, I have not had a drop.
I quit drinking, not because I feared going to Hell, or that I was an embarrassment to God, but because it was simply the best choice for my life. I chose to quit drinking because I felt it was the best for me. For those of you who choose to have a drink, I am certainly not going to condemn you. I will say that as I have matured spiritually, it clearly does seem that abstinence is the best choice. However, that is something you and the Lord need to spend some quiet time chatting about.
Jesus drank wine. Fermented grapes, NOT grape juice. In that culture at that time, there was no Perrier, or even tap water. Wine was used in that day much like we use water today. Jewish scholars have reported that the day in day out wine drank in the days of Jesus had a very small alcoholic content.
I am not here to lay a guilt trip on anyone who has a glass of champagne on New Year's, or a glass of wine with dinner, or a beer every now and then. I have never been one to condemn people for the decisions they make, just try to point them to scripture and let the Holy Spirit deal with them. As I say so often, you cannot force someone to do something. It takes God moving on a person's heart to make someone change.
A scripture in the Bible that supports abstinence from alcohol I often use is 1 Corinthians 6:19. In context, this verse is dealing with our bodies in sexual matters, but it is also appropriate for use in the area of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. Rather than preach to you on the issue of alcohol, let me refer you simply to that one verse and ask you if you feel it is right to pollute the temple of the Holy Spirit with something like alcohol that can be harmful to you and alters your state of mind.
I am going to let you pray on that question and work it out with the Lord. For Christians, alcohol also becomes a stumbling block for those in your life who are not saved. Not only is it harmful to your temple, but it can also be a bad witness to those people in your life who don't know the Lord. Never forget, your strongest testimony is how you live your life before others.
One of the big problems with alcohol is that it can end up being a bondage for many. Like any bondage, God is able to deliver you whenever you are serious about quitting and ready to let Him help you. I will be in prayer today for you or anyone you know who is in bondage to alcohol. GOD IS STILL IN THE DELIVERANCE BUSINESS!
I love you, and care about you so much. I will be praying for you today as you spend time with the Lord and seriously consider your choice in regard to drinking. God loves you so much, and only wants the best for your life. May the Holy Spirit guide you and lead you in your choice regarding alcohol.
As we are only 23 days from the end of the year, I want to ask you to pray today about making a year-end gift to Liveprayer. We desperately need to raise $360,000 to cover the last 2 weeks of December. That would be 10 people making a one-time gift of $36,000. One family made that commitment yesterday, and I am praying that 9 more who God has blessed financially and have that ability, will step up to help me in the next couple of days.
Liveprayer is the only program on a major secular TV network that is dealing with the problems in this world and in people's lives from a Biblical worldview. Between Liveprayer.com and the TV program, we have the ability to communicate with the masses every day to bring them the Truth of God's World and the hope and love of Jesus Christ.
MAKE NO MISTAKE MY FRIEND, WE ARE IN A BATTLE FOR THE SOULS OF MEN AND ARE MAKING AN IMPACT IN THE HEARTS AND LIVES OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD EVERY DAY HERE AT LIVEPRAYER. I CAN'T DO THIS WITHOUT YOUR HELP. PEOPLE GIVE MILLIONS TO POLITICIANS WHO WILL SPEAK FOR THEM ON THE ISSUES THEY CARE ABOUT. I AM OUT ON THE FRONT LINES EVERY DAY SPEAKING FOR YOU TO THIS NATION ABOUT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THERE IS, JESUS CHRIST!!!
I realize that only a small percentage of the people can give a gift of $36,000. But I also know everyone can do something. Please pray today about what God is calling you to sacrifice as this year comes to a close, to keep us on the air across this nation declaring HIS Truth. The Bible teaches to give according to your ability to give. For some that maybe $20 or $50. For others that may be $100, or $300, or $500. Still others can give a gift of $1,000, $5,000, or even $10,000. All I ask is that you pray and than be obedient to give as God leads you.
TO GIVE A GIFT TO LIVEPRAYER, you can use your major credit card on our secure server at: www.liveprayer.com under the "Donation" link, you can give using your PayPal account using my email address: email@example.com , or you can mail your gift to: Liveprayer, 6660 46th Ave. North, St. Petersburg, Fl 33709. PLEASE MARK ALL GIFTS TV! All gifts to Liveprayer are 100% tax deductible.
Also, please don't forget that you can give to Liveprayer by transferring stock to us which could be a help to you on your taxes. We can also accept gifts of real estate, again saving you in taxes by simply transferring your property to us. Please be praying what you can do in the coming days to help me.
LESS THAN 1/4 OF 1% OF THOSE WE REACH EACH DAY EVER GIVE. NOW IS THE TIME FOR YOU TO STEP UP AND DO SOMETHING SIGNIFICANT FOR THE KINGDOM! NOW IS THE TIME TO TAKE YOUR STAND FOR CHRIST!
The great thing is you can literally see the impact of your sacrifice in the very real lives of the people we reach each night on the TV program. Giving to a building is OK, but being able to watch the Liveprayer TV program that is reaching hundreds of thousands of lives each night, hearing callers give their life to Jesus live on the air, is the greatest thrill there can be since the Bible says the very angels in Heaven are rejoicing!!!! Best of all, you have the satisfaction of knowing God used YOU to help make it all possible!!!
Thank you for your prayers. I need every person reading these words to take
a moment and pray and seek the Lord about what YOU can do to help me.
Please don't expect someone else to do what God is calling YOU to do. Even
if you have to scrape 4 quarters together, make that sacrifice. Our
blessings come from our obedience.
Now is the time to step up and take a stand for Biblical Truth and for
Christ. This world needs to hear the Truth and this world needs to hear
that Jesus is the ONLY hope. I am willing to sacrifice my very life to
bring that Truth and hope to the masses, but I need YOU to help me! May you
be richly blessed as we take our stand together for JESUS!
Thank you for your prayers. I need every person reading these words to take a moment and pray and seek the Lord about what YOU can do to help me. Please don't expect someone else to do what God is calling YOU to do. Even if you have to scrape 4 quarters together, make that sacrifice. Our blessings come from our obedience.
Now is the time to step up and take a stand for Biblical Truth and for Christ. This world needs to hear the Truth and this world needs to hear that Jesus is the ONLY hope. I am willing to sacrifice my very life to bring that Truth and hope to the masses, but I need YOU to help me! May you be richly blessed as we take our stand together for JESUS!