Eat, Drink, and Be Merry?

Saturday, October 15, 2016

“And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry” (Luke 12:19 KJV).

Would we do well to “…eat, drink, and be merry?” (Nay, we would not do well!)

The King James Bible, first published over 405 years ago, has greatly influenced the English language. Listen closely to English speakers and carefully read English writers. You will pick up on “various and sundry” quirky sayings. From whence are these? While it greatly disturbs people to acknowledge it, many decades ago, Bible verses (horrors!!!!) were required in public school curriculums here in the United States of America. Those students grew up and went on to dominate the 20th century in various capacities. They incorporated those Bible phrases into their everyday speech and writing. Newer generations picked up those phrases. Even today, Bible haters unknowingly often quote the Book they detest! (“Holier than thou;” “apple of mine eye;” “warp and woof;” “judge not, that ye be not judged;” “flies in the ointment;” “ask and ye shall receive;” “render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s;” “words smoother than butter;” et cetera.)

Consider this detailed case in point. While shopping a department store not long ago, I saw various Christmas decorations for sale. One particular little knick-knack had the following phrase painted on it: “Eat, drink, be merry.” This is a common maxim, heard and read in a wide range of contexts. Having read today’s Scripture, my friend, you know exactly from whence that expression came! Moreover, if you examine that verse in context, “eat, drink, and be merry” is actually evil. A covetous man, having accumulated so much material wealth, spoke those words in false assurance. He had worked hard, but had ignored God. The Lord Jesus issued this parable to correct the mentality of a certain individual wrapped up in worldly goods (verses 13-21). Those worldly possessions were “uncertain,” to be certainly lost at death (1 Timothy 6:17).

Friends, while it is not a sin for Christians to “enjoy” life (1 Timothy 6:17), the phrase “Eat, drink, and, be merry” actually typifies carefree living without the living God. If we must “take [our] ease,” let us rest only in Jesus Christ!

ATTENTION: The 2016 Slidell Grace Bible Conference is scheduled for Friday-Sunday, December 2-4, just north of New Orleans, Louisiana. Speakers are Richard Jordan, John Smith, and myself (Shawn Brasseaux). We would love to have you! (Videos to be archived to YouTube later in the year.) For more information, see: https://arcministries.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/2016-slidell-gbc.pdf.

Three Weeks and New Spiritual Habits

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17 KJV).

Saint, you may be surprised to learn that you can get in the habit of doing God’s will in just three weeks!

While it is extremely difficult to break away from religious tradition, ideas that you heard in church all your life and you had assumed were true, it is not impossible if you truly wish to see God’s truth and do His will (John 7:17). It is usually easier just to “go with the flow,” to do what most everyone else is doing, to encounter the least resistance. However, the Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles and prophets certainly went contrary to the evil world system of their day, and if we are people of faith, we will do the same. Today’s Scripture tells us to “redeem the time, because the days are evil.” We should not be “unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” God’s will is that we understand what He is doing today and by faith do the same with Him—this is how we do God’s will!

Statistics show that we can form a new habit in as little as three weeks. If you read through Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, in three weeks (about four chapters a day), you would form a habit of daily Bible reading. In three weeks, you could gain a brief overview of what God is doing today! If you prayed in accordance with Paul’s model prayers (Ephesians 1:15-23; Ephesians 3:14-21; Philippians 1:9-11; Colossians 1:9-12) every day for three weeks, your prayer life would be permanently revolutionized. You would be speaking to God in light of what He is doing today in this the Dispensation of Grace, and you would begin to rid yourself of vain denominational prayers.

Our earthly lives are short, and Satan’s policy of evil is quite active, so let us buy and take back for the Lord Jesus’ glory the time that His adversary has taken from Him! 🙂

Waste Not Thy Time

Friday, September 13, 2013

“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17 KJV).

Thy time on earth is short, so use it wisely!

There are so many distractions in this world, especially various electronic devices popularized in the last half-century. Technological progress and its products are not evil in and of themselves. Our Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ, equipped mankind with extraordinary mental abilities that allow him to take resources from His creation and make various objects. The problem is when we become so distracted by and addicted to these inventions that we have neither time nor energy to think about the literal eternity that awaits once those things pass away!

How true are the words of the late Christian brother who said, “People throw away the things that matter and they hold on to the things that do not.” Although he was referring to lost people, even many Christians have fallen prey to this improper thinking. Think of the hours upon hours upon hours the average Christian sits in front of the television and/or computer per day. Where is the Bible study? The prayer? The soul-winning? The inner man is starving, waning and becoming lean, saturated with the world’s foolishness. Instead of the Christian teaching the lost and dying world the things of God, the lost and dying world is teaching the Christian the things of the adversary!

Beloved, do not let the world distract you from your Christian ambassadorship (today’s Scripture). We all need to guard against this by understanding God’s will. We need to study God’s Word rightly divided every day; otherwise we have no sound doctrine to compensate for the error of the evil world system that we hear and see every day. Extended exposure to the “wisdom” of the world pollutes the Christian’s soul, that which will profit you ABSOLUTELY NOTHING at the Judgment Seat of Christ (1 Corinthians 3:10-20).

Thy time on earth is extremely brief, so redeem it for God’s glory! 🙂

The Liquid That is the Answer

Saturday, December 1, 2012

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1 KJV).

While alcoholic beverages are commonly assumed to alleviate the pain in coping with life’s problems, today’s Scripture demonstrates that such liquids only worsen one’s troubles.

Once, a nameless individual, an alcoholic, left his wife. She thought he was never coming back. A month later, he suddenly returned. Why? He told her that while he was away, a former alcoholic approached him, and gave him some advice: “I used to be where you are. Let me tell you, you will not find the answer in the bottom of that can.” Right there, he realized that that stranger was right. The beer did not help him do anything but cause him to flee from his problems, and thus make them worse!

Beloved, if you are struggling with problems, alcoholic beverages are not the answer. In fact, today’s Scripture warns that “wine” “mocks” and “deceives” its consumer. It makes him or her think that it is the only answer to their stress. “Strong drink” causes “raging” (anger, shouting, arguing, and so on). See, alcohol just exacerbates life’s difficulties.

Every problem in life is the result of sin (either our bad decisions, or someone else’s). Alcohol is not the liquid that is the answer to your problems because alcohol is not the answer to sin. “…[T]he blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). The only answer to sin is the blood of Christ shed on Calvary’s cross! Because Christ’s blood washes away our sins, it enables us to cope in this sin-cursed world.

If you have never trusted Jesus Christ alone as your personal Saviour, why not do it today? Jesus Christ died for all of your sins, He was buried to put away those sins, and then He was raised again to give you His resurrected life, when you trust Him alone!

In Christ, we have resources to cope with all of life’s troubles. The blood of Christ gives us this victory, for Christ’s blood is “the liquid that is the answer.”

If Sinners Entice Thee, Consent Thou Not

Monday, May 14, 2012

“My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not” (Proverbs 1:10 KJV).

This world is filled with temptations. Sinful individuals surround us, and they encourage us to sin with them. Today’s Scripture says, “Consent thou not!” Ignore the negative peer pressure!

Saints, even though we are members of the Church the Body of Christ, we still sin. On a daily basis, our new nature in Christ wars against our old nature we inherited from Adam: “the flesh lusteth against the [indwelling Holy] Spirit, and the Spirit lusteth against the flesh” (Galatians 5:17a). But, we have victory over sin when we walk, by faith, in our identity in Christ!

In today’s Scripture (and the verses following it), King Solomon shares God’s wisdom with us: “If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood [murder], let us lurk privily [secretly] for the innocent without cause: let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: we shall find all precious substance [loot], we shall fill our houses with spoil: cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse” (Proverbs 1:11-14).

What is God’s response? Verses 15-19: “My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: for their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood. Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives. So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.”

When someone encourages you to be partaker of their “killing and stealing,” or any action that does not agree with God’s Holy Word, “walk not thou in the way of them.” In Christ, God has saved us from that lifestyle and its resulting death: we have no need to return to them. “Walk in the Spirit [by faith in our new identity in Christ], and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh [sin]” (Galatians 5:16).

Better is Little with the Fear of the LORD

Friday, March 9, 2012

“Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith” (Proverbs 15:16 KJV).

God’s Word uses the expression “better is little” twice, and both instances are found in the book of Proverbs. One is today’s Scripture; the other is Proverbs 16:8: “Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.” Today’s materialistic world recommends: “Get all that you can in this life because you only live once.” While this appeals to our sinful flesh, it does not agree with God’s Word.

Wealthy people could not be saved during Christ’s earthly ministry because they preferred their wealth/“mammon” (Matthew 6:24; Matthew 13:22; Matthew 19:16-24; Mark 10:17-25; Luke 16:13; Luke 18:18-25). Thus, Jesus warned Israel (Mark 10:24): “Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!” These Jews would have to endure the horrible seven-year Tribulation and they would lose their material possessions therein (cf. Matthew 6:24-34). Consequently, Jesus instructed His followers, “Sell that ye have, and give alms” (Luke 12:31-33; Luke 18:22). God would then deliver them from the Tribulation and usher them into their kingdom of prosperity and peace.

Our Apostle Paul writes to us in our dispensation: “And having food and raiment [clothing] let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows…. Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; (1 Timothy 6:6-10,17).

Being rich is not a sin, but when gaining material wealth and possessions becomes your priority, that is sin. As a Christian, your priority should Jesus Christ (and His Word). “Better is little” with the fear of the LORD” (being a Christian) than owning “uncertain riches” without God.

God’s Grace on Parade

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

“…But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20 KJV).

Today, especially here in southern Louisiana, the Catholic festival of Mardi Gras takes advantage of God’s grace. God’s grace abounds even when drunkenness, lasciviousness, and gluttony are committed overtly on our streets for religion. Because we live in the Dispensation of the Grace of God, they can flaunt their sin without being consumed by fire from heaven!

“Mardi Gras,” French for “Fat Tuesday,” is a day when religious people—professing “Christians”—lose self-control (excess alcohol, food, and partying). The following day, Ash Wednesday, they promise to live “holy” for the next 40 days (Lent). A priest will then place ashes on their foreheads proving that God forgave them for that riotous living. Blasphemy!

Regardless of all its biblical allusions (illusions!), Mardi Gras is still evil and anti-God. It was never Christian, originating from pagan Roman festivals, Saturnalia and Lupercalia (interestingly known for riots, drunkenness, gluttony, and fornication, and subsequent repentance).

The Holy Spirit, speaking through the Apostles Peter and Paul, was clearly against Mardi Gras reveling and drunkenness (Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:18; 1 Peter 4:3). So why do professing Christians engage in the very activities that God the Holy Spirit condemned?! As Christians, we should “deny” the activities of Mardi Gras (Romans 6:11-15; Titus 2:11-15).

If I appear offended, I am. Mardi Gras, despite its godly façade, is offensive to the great God and my Saviour Jesus Christ! God’s grace continues to tolerate such foolishness from mankind. Man parades his sin, and God parades His grace, holding back wrath.

Are you a Mardi Gras reveler? I declare unto you the wonderful Gospel of the Grace of God. God did for you at Calvary what you could never do: “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He was raised again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Jesus Christ shed His sinless blood and died to put away all of your sins, Mardi Gras revelry included.

If you rest in Christ Jesus alone as your Saviour, God will save you forever, make a trophy of His grace, and then YOUR life will be God’s grace on parade!

*Adapted from a larger Bible study with the same name. The Bible study can be read here or watched here.