Oct 1, 2014

How Can I Be Filled With the Spirit? Part 1

Ephesians 5:18
After warning us not to get drunk on wine, Ephesians 5:18 adds a simple imperative: “Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” That sounds great! But immediately I wonder, “How? How can I be filled with the Spirit?” In order to answer this question, we need to pay close attention to...Read more +
Sep 30, 2014

Why Bring Up Being Filled With the Spirit?

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 +
Sep 29, 2014

Don’t Get Stuck in the Don’ts

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 +
Sep 28, 2014

Wholehearted Devotion

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 +
Sep 27, 2014

Read Wide

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 +
Sep 26, 2014


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 +
Sep 25, 2014

Living the Gospel in an Alcohol-Soaked World

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 +
Sep 24, 2014

Why Should We Avoid Drunkenness? Part 2

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 +
Sep 23, 2014

Why Should We Avoid Drunkenness? Part 1

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 +
Sep 22, 2014

Should Christians Drink, Smoke, or Chew or...

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 +