Today and each day, the follower of Jesus determines what is wise and what brings glory to God. Holy Spirit, guide us as we make choices which demonstrate that we love God, love others, and bring glory to God in our bodies and our lives…
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise… 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit
19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.
As we consider the choices we make in life, in areas where we have freedom or where the law doesn’t restrict our behaviour, scripture gives us guidance.
Our message at church last Sunday was about marijuana and how Christians should process the potential legalization of pot in Canada. This was simplified up to now because it has been illegal. In a legalized setting, however, we have to determine what is wise and what brings glory to God.
From the point of view of aligning our lives with God’s will and his glory, this discussion on marijuana is helpful in considering our conduct in all areas of our lives. We tend to think that if something is legal it’s perfectly fine for us. Likewise, we appreciate the simplicity of the law helping us in identifying what is illegal, which we consider (in simplicity) as inappropriate.
This is Pharisee stuff. The law is not the end-all or the be-all when it comes to our conduct. Reading Jesus’ sermon on the mount should help us understand that. Jesus constantly raised the bar in terms of our lives in the world.
In the world of grace over law, God calls us to a higher standard of conduct. God is calling is to make choices which demonstrate that we love God, love others, and bring glory to God in our bodies and our lives.
So apply the question of whether we should exercise our freedom in any area: using legal substances or illegal substances or eating or drinking. Where we go and what we watch and what we say and what we do should all be subject to our relationship with God. What will bring him glory and what will be good for others?
Pastor Brent was astute to make the connection to Jesus’ explanation of the greatest commands in Matthew 22. Love God and love others. Every decision we make should reflect our fulfillment of Jesus’ teaching.