Sunday, November 4th, '18
rights reserved © message by Kris Jackson
be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess..." (Ephesians 5:18)
I have no problem with those who drink "a
little wine for their stomach's sake" (1 Timothy 5:23), although their "little
wine" is usually an excuse for a little more, plus the pharmacy carries
Pepto-Bismol and an assortment of other options if the stomach is really the
concern. Logic figures that if it takes four glasses to get drunk then one
glass would make a person one-fourth drunk, right? But let's lay aside the drunk
part and look today at the words "wherein is excess" because that paints with a
far wider brush. So many things that are lawful can be done in excess, turning
the lawful into the unlawful. For instance, Solomon wrote, "It is not good to
eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory" (Proverbs
25:27). A man can get drunk on praise as easily as on whiskey.
Speed limits are posted. Anything beyond is
considered "excessive". Without regulations there would be little or no order.
Our kids would try to live on licorice sticks and pass on the broccoli.
Spiritual maturity means self-governance, the ability to discern when enough is
enough. "All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all
things are lawful unto me, but I will not be brought under the power of any" (1
Corinthians 6:12). We have Alcoholics Anonymous but should there not also be a
group called Tempers Anonymous or M&M Addicts Anonymous or Computer
Game-aholics Anonymous? Anything that distracts from our life mission or our
relationship with God and people becomes an excess. You can tan your skin to
extremes, exercise more than is balanced, watch too much television, spend too
much time gabbing on the cell phone. Knowing when to surrender and walk away
from an argument demonstrates more courage than standing your ground. Talking
is good; rambling on and on in excess thins out friendships like a bad odor.
Not that all excess is bad. Mary of Bethany
broke the alabaster box and poured an excessive amount of perfume on Jesus'
head and feet. I don't think we can ever go overboard on praising the Lord. But
there can be excesses in the flesh. As much as I love good preaching there is a
point when preaching can turn to excess. Bible study is good but when it swerves
into "vain jangling" or "doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof
comes envy" (1 Timothy 1:6, 6:4) then the enemy has taken over the Bible study
and the good thing becomes a bad thing. Fellowship is good but even that has
its boundaries. "Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbor's house; lest he be weary
of thee and hate thee" (Proverbs 25:17). My son, daughter-in-law and grandkids
live next door. I have to remember that even Grandpas can become a nuisance if
they overstay their visas. When it comes to moral purity or commitment to
personal convictions hold to your guns but in most other matters we have to
seek balance. Don't be a moderate when it comes to the fundamentals but
remember that being fundamental should not mean being feud-amental. We can
afford to be moderate, another word is temperate, when it comes to all the gray
areas. When it comes to wine, don't give in to excess. When it comes to the
Spirit, inebriate yourself! "Be not drunk with wine wherein is excess, but be
filled with the Spirit".