Know Your Bible

VOL. 8                           July 5, 2009                           NO. 24

                                           The Beer Can



            It was lying on the side of the road on the corner to my house. A single beer can discarded as a piece of trash by a person who


had used its contents to fill a pleasure and then thrown out the window. I have seen hundreds of discarded cans and this one was no


different with the exception of what it represented at that moment. The appeal of its contents had caused a person to purchase it and


then consume the momentary feeling of pleasure. When the can was emptied, it had no use and was carelessly thrown out for someone


else to pick up. It was empty. It had no use. It had lost its appeal. It was but for a moment. It was worthless.


            Man has always sought for the momentary pleasures to fill his void. Looking for the appeal of alcohol man seeks out these cans


of vipers poison and drinks his fill and while finding a sense of satisfaction for the moment realizes that it is only for a moment. His life


is like the can he threw away – emptied, rejected, little use, shallow and unfulfilled.     Lives have been destroyed because of


intoxicating drink. Families are torn apart daily by its presence in the home. Young people live with consequences of their actions


through the use of alcohol for the rest of their lives. As Herman Melville wrote in “Moby Dick,” it is truly a “demon.”


            The wise man wrote in Proverbs 23:29-35, “Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints?


Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long at the wine, those who go in search of mixed


wine. Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly; at the last it bites like a


serpent, and stings like a viper. Your eyes see strange things, and your heart will utter perverse things. Yes, you will be like one


who lies down in the midst of the sea, or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying, ‘They have struck me, but I was not


hurt; they have beaten me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?’”People of God have been


shown by the Lord that alcohol has no value in their lives and no purpose. The great tragedy of its use is the end result – like a


discarded can on the side of the road.


            The appeal of momentary pleasure has driven many to the basement of alcohol’s deceit. There is no value in following a life of


drunkenness or even flirting with the dangers of drinking as many do in what they refer to as “social drinking.” That makes as much


sense as “social fornication.” The appeal of the Lord is for His people to be “obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the


former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written,


‘Be holy, for I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:14-16). Peter quotes from Leviticus 11:44 where the appeal of God to the people is for them to


“sanctify” themselves before Him. One cannot sanctify themselves with a beer in hand.


            Someone will pick the beer can up and throw it away. It will be left to families to pick up the pieces of shattered lives. Many


who have found themselves in the slavery of alcohol will find their lives thrown on the side of the road as nothing more than an empty


life. Christ has the answer and it is found in His love, His mercy, His forgiveness and His strength to overcome. He is the way out of


sin, He is the only truth one can find about sin and He is the only one who can give life to empty lives (John 14:6). His path leads to the


Father and to salvation. Don’t throw your life away. Be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18)



---Kent Heaton


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Attention To Detail 


            I am an artist and I paint a picture of some trees, mountains and maybe a small pond. The painting will be a winter


painting and I want to put snowcaps on the mountains. I also want to have the sun barely peeking out of a small cloud. The


vegetation in the painting must be diverse as well. I want the trees to look unmistakably like oaks. I want the pond to be in the


middle with only a few trees to its left and many more trees to its right. If I want my painting to depict such a scene, I must be


meticulous in my details.



            It is unfortunate that the world doesn't view its responsibilities to God with such meticulous detail as the artist


mentioned above. Even some who claim to be Christians do not understand the necessity of observing even the smallest


details. Details such as instrumental music in worship, a woman's role in the assembly or a church kitchen -- are they really


that big of a deal?



            Before Jesus died and validated the New Covenant, He said concerning the Law of Moses, "Whoever then annuls one


of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but


whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5:19). Admittedly, the Jews under


the Mosaic Law made up Jesus' audience in this discourse, but perhaps He was instructing them to obey God's law because it


was God's law. Therefore, we can conclude that Jesus' statement is to be accepted no matter what covenant one may be under.


We should pay particular attention to even the smallest details of His commands. If we teach this, however, some will object.



            Even in the time of Isaiah, he was preaching God's precepts to people, but they did not want to hear the details. The


ruling party of Judah was so wicked that they mocked Isaiah's preaching by saying, "To whom would he teach knowledge and


to whom would he interpret the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just take from the breast?" (Isa. 28:9). In


other words, these corrupt leaders considered themselves above the detailed yet simplistic teaching of the prophet Isaiah. They


mocked him further, "For he says, 'Order on order, line on line, line on line, a  little here and a  little there'"  (Isa. 28 :10). 


The leaders weren't just mocking Isaiah, but also God, for the prophet was revealing God's Word. Isaiah said God would


indeed speak to them but not with words of warning as He had spoken before, but with invasion (Isa. 28:11-13).



            Isaiah's message became more powerful when he asserted that God's Word will be as simple yet detailed just as they


had mocked (Isa. 28:13). Judah's moral decay was evident by the rulers' attitude toward the Law of Moses. They had


considered the teaching of Isaiah and others as unnecessary details with which they need not be bothered.



            Jesus spoke of some who would claim to be His disciples, but He would tell them "I never knew you; depart form


Me" (Matt. 7:21-23). Jesus also said, "Why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord' and do not do what I say?" (Lk. 6:46). These people,


at the very least, realize that Jesus is Lord and they are asserting their allegiance to Him. At the final judgment, Jesus will tell


others, "Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you" (Matt. 25:34). What is the


difference between the two groups? The former probably views the "small things" as inconsequential and even bothersome.


The latter group probably walks in the path of God's commandments great or small and they delight in it (Psa. 119:35). Do




---Will Dilbeck


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If you don't control your attitude, it will control you



The really great people are the ones who do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done,


regardless of the consequences.



Satan is a fisherman, too. Deceit is his bait. Suckers get caught.



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