Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Message in a Bottle

I was mowing my yard yesterday, and as I came to one corner the sun's reflection hit my face from a piece of glass below my feet. In this particular corner of our property two streets come together at a stop sign. I reached down from the riding mower to find a glass bottle. This was not a familiar bottle to me. It was smaller, and only by reputation did I know what it must have once held. As I turned the bottle to read the label I learned that my initial notions were correct. It was hard liquor, a foreign label, and the smell from the alcohol was still strong.

Recently one of our members asked me to preach a lesson on the consumption of alcohol. I have not yet preached that lesson, but I believe that the message from this bottle could be more meaningful than any message that would come from me. People often use the Bible to attempt to justify their own behavior. Over the years, I have learned that people are going to do what they want to do, if they have not submitted to the will of God, regardless of what the Bible teaches. The recreational consumption alcohol is the perfect example of this reality.

What makes a person who is a Christian cast a positive vote for the sale of alcohol in their community? What makes a person attempt to use the Scriptures to argue a case for their own liberty to drink? What makes a person drink hard liquor and discard the container in a random person's yard? All of these people have at least one thing in common - they are allowing themselves to be mastered by something that is temporal and carnal.

When I see people on Sunday in services who post facebook pictures of themselves holding beer bottles on Saturday night...When I see people in the restaurant on Friday night who cannot have their meal without having some alcohol to go with it...When I get a negative response from members of the church on a sermon on the importance of abstaining from alcohol...When I get a phone call to come to the jail to see a person who has been arrested because of a DUI...When I watch families being ripped apart by one of the parent's alcoholism...When I come upon a bottle of hard liquor discarded in the corner of my yard...

I am simply reminded of the fact that people are in war with Satan that they are losing. And the biggest issue is not the practice of drinking itself. It is the lie they are believing, that anything good could ever come from something that holds nothing but sin, sorrow and shame.

I looked down in my yard and there was a message in a bottle, and the message was very clear.

"Wine is a mocker, Strong drink is a brawler, And whoever is led astray by it is not wise." ~ Proverbs 20:1

"as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God." ~ 1 Peter 2:16


  1. so true Jeremy... sad how so many in the Church try and justify their alcohol intake.