2019-03-05 The Free Gift of God

Good Morning!

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I read an article yesterday that made me very thankful. In a nutshell, it was about the changes that take place in a body when “normal” alcohol usage is eliminated.
The link is at the bottom of this page if you are interested in reading it. Surprisingly enough (or not), alcohol does indeed affect the body in significant, easily-observable ways. For those of us whose lives have been mangled by alcohol, we already know this.

In June, God willing, I will celebrate twelve years of sobriety. I know more than a little about drinking. I came a whisker away, twice, from dying from it. Long-term drinking will take its toll on the body, that is certain. Who knows how many times God has saved me from death due to intoxication? Certainly, I drove vehicles while impaired. I did a lot of things while impaired. It’s amazing that I am alive. It’s amazing I survived my teen years.

The plain facts are that people I used to drink with are still dropping. They continued to drink and eventually lost. Certainly, plenty backed way off and maybe even quit drinking altogether, but many didn’t. Here’s the brutal truth – none of us wanted this to happen. Yes, we made our choice every time we picked up a glass, but none imagined that drinking would cost us so dearly. None. That means that, at that first drink, nobody knows who will become the alcoholic and who won’t.

Yes, genetics and environment can be predictors, but they certainly aren’t requirements for alcoholism. There are plenty of women in AA who seldom drank and quickly found themselves in trouble with that occasional glass of wine after the kids left home. There are plenty of men who never had a problem with booze who suddenly find themselves regularly drinking a 12-pack by themselves once they retire. Alcoholism is the greatest equal-opportunity employer there is. It makes no difference who you are. Race, religion, sexuality, income, education, social status – none of that matters when booze decides to pick you.

For me, I’m pretty sure my alcoholism was sealed with that first drink. I don’t think there was any escaping – other than total abstinence. That happened when I was in fifth grade. My genetics and environment were dominated by alcoholism. My siblings, on the other hand, seem to have escaped it. Even though I didn’t want to be like my father, I walked in his footsteps except I was going to do it differently. I wasn’t going to forsake my family for booze, but I did. Once booze starts flowing through a person’s blood, everything changes. Suddenly, all that was dear seemed to fade away for that which we know could likely kill us.

So, there I was, like so many others, seemingly trapped in my sin. Then something happened to me, something big. For reasons I do not know to this day, God had mercy on me. In an instant he took away all my desire to drink. I kid you not, I didn’t want him. Left to my own devices, I would be dead long ago; but he had other plans. I would go to AA meetings, afterwards, and share my story. I was surrounded by men and women who used the principles of the program to obtain sobriety. They spoke of a ‘higher power’ that could mean anything, even a doorknob for crying out loud. Hardly anyone ever spoke of Jesus.

Jesus was the one who saved me. Of that I am sure. Why? Because of the book he wrote. In the pages of my bible, I find truth. I find logic. I find power. I also find forgiveness. And peace. And life. There is no other book like it. I find my life these pages. It explains who I am and what has happened to me. It also explains who I shall become and where I am going. It’s all in these pages.

Jesus is the true solution for alcoholics. He’s also the true solution for any other person who is dying from their sin of choice. I mentioned earlier that booze is the greatest equal-opportunity employer there is. That’s not quite true. Jesus is. Booze is Satan’s tool. Yes, I said that, and it is. Satan is no employer because employers provide for the mutual benefit of all parties. Slave owners are quite different. Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Jesus came to give abundant life.

What wonderful news, folks! Jesus Saves!

Father, please share this testimony with many who need it today. Amen.


Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers

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