TEXT: Proverbs 23:19-21:
19 Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.
20 Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh:
21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
This is an uncomfortable subject for many of us, but if you listen and take heed, this particular series can not only change your life spiritually, but it can save your life physically.
From this passage, we, like Solomon’s son, are admonished to watch the company we keep. If you publicly announce your intention to change your lifestyle by adopting healthier eating habit, you will have some family members and friends who will support you. However, there will be some who enjoyed “good times” eating and drinking with you (and you with them), and they will be less than enthusiastic about your intentions. They are the “winebibbers” and “riotous eaters” this passage talks about. And, if you continue to hang around them — especially during social settings, you will feel pressured into carrying on with your usual eating habits, as it is much easier to influence someone negatively, especially if that is what they have been engaged in all along.
However, if we pay attention to the consequences of gluttony, we might be more motivated to abstain from it. The consequences named in this passage — primarily, poverty, laziness, and loss of material goods — might seem farfetched in today’s “body-image affirming” culture. However, that is not the case. Obesity, can damage a person’s life in tangible ways even beyond the well-documented health issues.
A Stanford Health Care report states, “People who are overweight or obese frequently suffer disadvantages. Overweight and obese persons are often blamed for their condition and may be considered to be lazy or weak-willed. It is not uncommon for overweight or obese conditions to result in persons having lower incomes or having fewer or no romantic relationships. Disapproval of overweight persons expressed by some individuals may progress to bias, discrimination, and even torment.” You don’t want to be on the receiving end of these consequences.
It is much better to take heed to Scripture — to not spend time with gluttons and drunkards, suffering under their influence — and to endure the relatively minor discomfort of being a temporary social outcast as you seek to glorify God by treating your body, His temple, in a healthier manner.
PRACTICAL STEP: In “The RAVE Diet and Lifestyle,” Mike Anderson talks about the importance of exercise as a part of your dietary changes. He writes, “Exercise is an essential part of the RAVE Diet. As mentioned previously, the root of the word diet actually means ‘lifestyle’ and a change in diet really means a change in the style of your life. Active Americans get a fraction of the cancers and other diseases that sedentary Americans get. Among other things, exercise helps to correct bad health habits by burning up and stabilizing blood sugar levels, improving immune function and lymph flow, getting oxygen to all parts of the body and strengthening bones, while helping us handle stress and increasing both the quality and quantity of sleep.
“Exercise also speeds the passage of carcinogens and toxins from the body and recent studies have shown that exercise keeps your brain as fit as your body, particularly as you age. In other words, exercise will not only make you feel fit and improve your appearance, but it will prevent a wide range of diseases.
“As your main exercise, choose a regimen that’s just the opposite of cancer — one that’s aerobic — an exercise that makes you breathe and respire to raise the oxygen levels in your blood. Cancer hates oxygen and thrives in areas of your body with low oxygen levels, where the blood supply is limited, due to clogged blood vessels. It’s no accident that the American Cancer Society recently made exercise a cornerstone of cancer prevention.”
In closing, as we focus on overcoming the sin of gluttony, and managing our bodies as God intended, we must not lose sight of the most important part of our existence — our spiritual life. Even those of you who are fit, who eat right, and who exercise regularly must still address the condition of your soul. You may keep your body in perfect condition till the day you die, but you will still die — we all will, and the only thing that will matter is the condition of your soul. Is your soul in shape? Is your soul in right standing with God?
The only way to make sure of that is to trust Jesus Christ as your Savior from sin and the consequences of sin. He alone can save your soul, put you in right standing with God, and ensure that you do not perish in Hell. Now, if you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, here is how you can trust Him today.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.