Daily Devotional for Sunday December 14, 2014
It Is A Time of Year for Great Feasts
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, even though I am a Christian, I don't have the love for others (thy neighbor) that Jesus commands us to have. I have been praying for the Holy Spirit to supernaturally fill me with this love, but it hasn't happened. All I know to do is keep praying about it. Any suggestions?
ANSWER: This is a common question Believers have. Loving others is NOT something nobody does naturally. It require the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit that resides with all Believers. Pray, and seek the Lord for that supernatural ability to "love others as you love yourself." The old adage practice makes perfect is true. The more you practice loving others, the more you will find the ability to love your neighbor no matter who that neighbor is!
With Thanksgiving behind us, and Christmas ahead, it is a time of year for great feasts. In my years of ministry, I could always get the "Amen corner" into my sermons when I preached against homosexuality, preached against the more visible sins. On those occasions when I preached on the sin of gluttony, it usually got very quiet. I realize this will be a difficult read for many today, but that is one reason I am here to challenge you.
Let me say right up front, gluttony IS a sin. God said so. Anything that you do in excess, to your detriment, to the detriment of your ability to serve God, that is ahead of your daily relationship with God, is a sin.
Let me also add something very important. There are just as many skinny gluttons as overweight gluttons! Let me say that once more. There are just as many skinny gluttons as overweight gluttons. Being overweight can be caused by many things, and just because a person is heavy, does NOT mean they are a glutton. Again, ANYTHING that you put ahead of your relationship with the Lord is a sin. If you are a thin person, but put food ahead of your relationship with Christ, you are a glutton!
I know that during the Holiday season many sit down to some incredible feasts. I am not saying you shouldn't, and I am not saying you should not enjoy food. I believe God gave us food to nourish our body, our taste buds to enjoy food, and eating is a wonderful part of our life. Gluttony however refers to eating in excess. I know many fine men and women of God that live tremendous lives and do great works for the Lord. However, this is an area that they struggle with and that is why I bring it to you today.
Like all sin, gluttony can be overcome, not in our own strength, but in His. Like all sins, if you fight this battle, you need a battle plan. God can give you that plan, the strength to carry it out, and the perseverance to get victory. Like in other sins though, the question becomes, do you really want victory? Do you really want to conquer this foe? Do you even recognize that this is a problem in your life?
At this point, you have either accepted through the prompting of the Holy Spirit that this is an issue in your life, or you have realized that this is not something that you battle with. If you are in the latter category, then I would encourage you to pray for those who do fight this battle each day.
I have no doubt that you know people in your family, school, workplace, church, that are going through this struggle. Pray for them today. Pray that the Lord would open their eyes and show them this is a problem they need to deal with. Pray that they will have the courage, like anyone who is dealing with a specific sin, to admit it and allow the Lord to help them get victory over gluttony.
I love you, care about you, and realize the sensitive nature of this sin. But there is no use in hiding it or candy-coating the problem. It is time to recognize it as a problem, and get busy fighting it and letting God help you to become victorious over this battle in your life.
If you are struggling with gluttony today, I will be praying specifically for you. I realize what a difficult struggle this can be. If you will take that first step, admit this is a problem, God will help you be victorious in this battle with gluttony!
In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,