Daily Reflections

Why Bring Up Being Filled With the Spirit?

READ Ephesians 5:18
As we saw in yesterday’s reflection , Ephesians 5:15-18 is structured by three parallel don’t-do injunctions: don’t be unwise, but do be wise (5:15); Don’t be foolish, but do understand the Lord’s will (5:17); don’t get drunk, but do be filled with the Spirit (5:18). The first two pairs make...Read more +

Don’t Get Stuck in the Don’ts

READ Ephesians 5:15-18
Sometimes we can get stuck in the “don’ts.” As parents, we can sound like a broken record with our children: “Don’t break that. Don’t touch that. Don’t go in the street. Don’t talk to me that way.” Sometimes the church has fallen into the “don’t rut” as well, emphasizing all...Read more +

Wholehearted Devotion

READ 1 Chronicles 28
Bent low over his plate in the restaurant, Arthur used the side of his knife to load his fork with rice. Then, with a shrug of his shoulders and a smile on his face, he said, “You have no choice.” I sat across from him and let those words sink...Read more +

Read Wide

READ Daniel 1:17
"The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.” Matthew 11:19 A few weeks ago, I bankrupted all of my emotional and mental energy on current...Read more +


READ Psalm 114:1-8
One Saturday morning when I was a teenager, my friend Mike and I rode our bikes to our school in order to play handball. The school was deserted, and we had our pick of the outdoor courts. During the game, three older boys approached us. They were dressed in gang...Read more +

Living the Gospel in an Alcohol-Soaked World

READ Ephesians 5:18
This is my fourth reflection focusing on the first part Ephesians 5:18, “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery.” You may be wondering why I am lingering on this passage for so long. I realize that I am playing into the stereotype of the Christian pastor who...Read more +

Why Should We Avoid Drunkenness? Part 2

READ Ephesians 5:18
In yesterday’s reflection , we began to consider why we should avoid drunkenness. Ephesians 5:18 answers this question by pointing to one result of inebriation, namely, debauchery, or “vicious indulgence in sensual pleasures.” The Apostle Paul had no doubt witnessed the causal link between drunkenness and debauchery. Alcohol abuse was...Read more +

Why Should We Avoid Drunkenness? Part 1

READ Ephesians 5:18
Ephesians 5:18 states clearly, “Do not get drunk on wine.” Of course, this verse does not imply that it’s fine to get drunk on other alcoholic beverages. In the first century A.D., wine was the predominant alcoholic beverage. In today’s world, with all kinds of wineries, breweries, and distilleries, we...Read more +

Should Christians Drink, Smoke, or Chew or Go With Folks Who Do?

READ Ephesians 5:18
Growing up in a conservative Christian church, I sometimes heard the ditty, “I don’t drink, smoke, or chew, or go with girls who do.” This was usually said humorously, but the underlying message was one we took seriously. There were certain sins of the flesh good Christians should avoid as...Read more +


READ Romans 15:4
"Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble." 1 Peter 3:8 My father was what you would call a self-taught man. He left formal schooling ‘round about seventh grade. He was born into oppressive poverty of the physical, emotional, and spiritual nature, but...Read more +