17 Do not let your heart envy sinners, But be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day;
18 For surely there is a hereafter, And your hope will not be cut off.19 Hear, my son, and be wise; And guide your heart in the way. 20 Do not mix with winebibbers, Or with gluttonous eaters of meat; 21 For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.
Proverbs 23:17-18 command us to zealously fear and reverence God. Believers should not live their lives envying the lost and undone. Instead, followers of Christ should behave in light of eternity and remember that we will stand before Christ’s judgement seat (2 Corinthians 5:10). Christians should use their time wisely and not waste their lives with drunkenness and gluttony.
Verses 19-21 gives us specific warnings. God’s people are to avoid drunkenness and be sensible in our diets. Both drunkenness and gluttony lead to a poverty of spirit and monetary ruin. These sins cause people to lose their dignity and their ability to reason properly. We should flee these sins realizing the pain and destruction they cause.
Alcohol is powerful and deceptive. While the Bible does not give blanket restrictions on the consumption of alcohol, the Scriptures do give numerous warnings about getting drunk (1 Corinthians 5:11, Galatians 5:21, Ephesians 5:18). Many terrible decisions are made when someone is under the influence of strong drink. Because of the deceptive nature of wine and spirits, Christians would do well to avoid alcoholic beverages as they often lead to heartache.
Believers are commanded to act with self-control. Paul teaches us that self-control is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23). Let us be content with what God has provided and live by the Spirit. Such a course of action is far better than drunkenness.
Daniel said, “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him. “It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding. “It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, And the light dwells with Him. “To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, For You have given me wisdom and power; Even now You have made known to me what we requested of You, For You have made known to us the king’s matter.”
When God gives the answer, be thankful!
Sometime after Daniel entered the service of the King, a crisis arose. Nebuchadnezzar had experienced a dream and knew it meant something. However, after summoning all the wise men in the kingdom, no one could interpret the dream. This fact threw Nebuchadnezzar into a rage and he threatened to kill all the wisdom class in his kingdom.
Daniel heard of the Kings murderous decree. He and his friends cried out to God for mercy and understanding. God was gracious to Daniel and revealed the meaning of the dream. This dream foretold the succession of kingdoms that would arise after Nebuchadnezzar had faded off the scene. Daniel and all the wise men of Babylon had been spared.
Daniel’s prayer of praise and thanksgiving serves as a model for us. God gave the answer and he responded with thankfulness. In the same manner, when God reveals His answers to us, we should be thankful.
Perhaps you are waiting on God’s answer to a particular issue of life. Waiting is difficult but often required in God’s economy. Have patience, trust in the Lord, and listen for His answer. And when His answer arrives, don’t forget to thank Him!
16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. 18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind.
We come to an interesting passage in the study of Colossians this week. Paul gives instruction about how Christians are to live in light of their freedom in Christ. I pray God’s blessing and strengthening upon you as you study the Word of God.
The Apostle’s basic point is this—the Colossian Christians had been saved by grace through the sufficiency of Christ and they were not to allow others to dictate there life in the Savior. Apparently, some within this church were teaching adherence to rules and regulations related to the Jewish law. Paul, himself a Jew, implores the Colossian Believers to not let anyone steal their reward through pride in their works and religious observances.
Christians are justified by faith and faith alone. No amount of works and rule-keeping can save anyone. Therefore, people are to trust in Jesus and Jesus alone for their salvation. Works can never be enough. Jesus is always sufficient and mighty to save.
God’s people are commanded to live holy lives and to represent Christ to the nations. Under the New Covenant, Believers know that works are not the cause of their salvation. Rather, works are the result of the new birth given to every Christian. Good deeds do not save anyone, but, God’s people will pursue a sanctified life to provide evidence of their justification.
What about you? Are you trusting in your goodness and obedience to religious regulations to save you? According to the Bible, those things will never be enough and will leave you lost forever. Believe in Jesus death, burial, and resurrection. Trust in Christ to save you, forgive you, and justify you. He has the power to save you fully, completely, permanently.