TEXT: Proverbs 23:1-3
1 When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee:
2 And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.
3 Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.
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.
One of the reasons why gluttony is tolerated and/or overlooked in the church is because we have somehow equated “fellowship” with food. In most of our churches, at almost any gathering, you can guarantee that food will be involved — if not a full spread, at least some finger foods. (They may be small in size, but these prepackaged dainties are probably more unhealthy than a fully cooked meal.) Even after a church service, area restaurants are packed with Christians who have never seen a need to abide by a Separation of Food and Fellowship.
If we are going to overcome gluttony, we must unravel the connection between food and so many other aspects of our lives. Church fellowship is one of them, but this passage in Proverbs brings to mind others. We talked about how banquets and state dinners are used by heads of state and governmental leaders to influence people to support them. Another big aspect of life that food is involved in is business meetings. For some reason, people have decided that discussing business deals, contracts, and hiring possibilities is more palatable when taking place over a meal. But, as this passage points out, the one who has the upper hand in these scenarios may be using the meal to dull his companion. I wonder how many people have gone home after a “business meeting” and realized they had gotten into a bad deal because they were focused more on the food than the details of the deal.
An example from the animal kingdom might help. Have you ever noticed the difference between the way a dog eats and the way a bird eats? When a dog eats, he puts his head down and gobbles. He is single-minded and focused on that one thing. But you never see a bird chowing down. The bird nibbles a little food and then hops around, twisting his head from side to side, keeping watch. A bird doesn’t gobble; he stays alert while he eats. We need to be more like birds in our eating habits, especially when we are eating with others. Every meeting does not need to be accompanied by a meal. And when they are, we ought to eat with restraint. Ideally, we ought to insist on having many of these meetings without food.
DANIEL FAST: As we begin our annual 40-day Daniel Fast on tomorrow, we are going to look at what the Daniel Fast is and how to do the Daniel Fast from the Ultimate Daniel Fast by Kristen Feola. She writes: “The Daniel Fast is an opportunity for you to draw closer to God through fervent, focused prayer. It involves commitment to a partial fast, which means you restrict commonly enjoyed foods as an act of worship and consecration to the Lord. The Daniel Fast is not a diet, although some people do lose weight as they make healthier food choices. Participating in the Daniel Fast can result in many wonderful spiritual and physical benefits. Where did the Daniel Fast originate? The Daniel Fast was first observed by the prophet Daniel in the Bible. On one occasion, Daniel was greatly concerned for his people and sought the Lord’s wisdom during a time of prayer and fasting. Daniel 10:2-3 says, ‘At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips.’ The meaning of ‘choice food’ is not clear; however, most commentaries conclude that he ate no bread or sweets. The Message translation sums up Daniel’s eating habits during that time: ‘I ate only plain and simple food.’”
Now, in this series, 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 [email protected] 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.