Thursday, January 03, 2008

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread":

What does the Bible say about addictions—whether to cigarettes or tobacco, or to liquor, or to drugs? Yes—let’s be faithful and thorough—including to coffee.

The Bible teaches liberty from them all! “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1). “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all the inhabitants thereof” (Lev. 25:10).

The first of God’s Ten Commandments forbids addiction to anything evil or harmful: “You shall have no other gods before Me,” the Lord says. Addictions to habit-forming substances are idolatry and thus a violation of the first commandment.

They are loveless idolatries and for that reason are wrong. The truth says, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.” Love can’t be forced by terror. All His commandments are love-awakening love. The agape of Christ “constraineth us” (2 Cor. 5:14, 16, KJV). The commandment to love the Lord with all our minds is in fact a divine promise: true worship rests in that love—and we are heart and soul devoted to Him because of His love for us.

When that kind of love has penetrated our souls, addictions fall off like dead leaves. Our idolatrous love for what is harmful to our souls (even coffee!) is transcended by a deep heartfelt reverence for the One who went to His cross to find and save us. In such worship is the purest liberty.

We can never know the joy of obedience to the first commandment unless we believe the Preamble to the Ten. Many helplessly break God’s holy law because they don’t know that Preamble where the Lord says He has “brought [us] out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” (Ex. 20:2). Yes! delivered us from all our evil addictions by His sacrifice on His cross.

He has reversed the “condemnation” Adam brought upon us, by giving us His “judicial verdict of acquittal” (Rom. 5:15-18, NEB). Therein is truth that the addict of whatever kind needs to understand; there is liberty in it!

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