Sugary Drinks of the World
- Go to the pantry or refrigerator, find your favorite store-bought beverage, and read the ingredient label.
- Pour a serving of that beverage into a clear glass and set it next to a clear glass containing ice water while reading today’s devotion.
Work as hard for Jesus as you did for the World
Growing up most kids get those powdered beverage drink mixes to slake their thirst during the hot summer months. A cup of sugar, a tiny packet of powder, two quarts of water and VOILA! sugary, flavored beverage over ice. Most of them tasted great but after slurping down that icy-cold beverage, there was always that little bit left in the bottom under the ice that just never would come up. The trick was to wait just long enough for the right amount of ice to melt to break it free. Wait too long and it became too diluted. Oh, it got consumed, but it was a pale shadow of the original sweetness we all craved. The worst part, pour water into the glass and it became “contaminated” with the flavor that was so diluted as to make what would otherwise be a great refreshing glass of ice-water into a slurry of whatever watered-down flavor sat at the bottom. Later in life, we discovered how bad refined sugar was for us, what red dye number 40 and yellow number 5 did, and generally speaking how awful we were being to our bodies when we should have been drinking regular old ice-water.
19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.
20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.
21 Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.
Romans 6:19-21 (NASB)
A comparison of the World and following Jesus has a lot of similarities. The world presents everything as just fine for us. They show it to us in bright colors, new packaging, and the best side forward. But don’t reach for it until you’ve purchased it. You can look but don’t touch and don’t gaze too long or the salesman will move it so no one aspect of it can be seen for too long…until after it’s acquired. Then, once we have it, we discover that some of the things we believed about it were true and some of the things we hoped for were there, but most of it was a misrepresentation of reality. Like the sugary, syrupy beverage when we were kids only later do we discover that it really isn’t as good for us as we thought.
Our passage today uses a word that is used a little differently depending on which translation of the Bible is read. In the NASB it is translated as “sanctification”. In the King James, it is translated as Holiness.
Holiness/Sanctification Strong's 38-hagiasmos
Greek Strong’s Number: 38
Greek Word: ἁγιασμός
Root: from <G37>
Cross Reference: TDNT – 1:113,14
Part of Speech: n m
[Total Count: 10]
from <G37> (hagiazo); properly purification, i.e. (the state) purity; concrete (by Hebrew) a purifier :- holiness, sanctification.
James Strong, Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary, (Austin, TX: WORDsearch Corp., 2007), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “38”.
In the Greek it is hagiasmos. This word more accurately refers to something being pure, purified, purification, or the state of being pure. Paul’s intention in the first verse is to indicate that as with the sugared drink or the World when we were without Christ, we thought everything was fine. Later, when we found Jesus we discovered that what we thought was good for us really wasn’t helping our lives get better. Further down the road, we discover the need for more water to wash through our glass to get the residue of what came before out before we can get back to a state where the water tastes like water.
Following Jesus is like trying to have a glass of ice-water in the same cup we had the flavored, sugary drink in before the pure water was poured in. The residue on the glass taints the water and causes what comes out of the glass to be slightly off based on whatever flavor happened to have been in the glass last. That seems like a really bad situation but it isn’t so long as we keep putting pure water in to wash that residue out. Eventually, that water is going to remove all the impurity and return the glass to the original state of cleanliness it once enjoyed. However, if we keep putting that sugary beverage into the glass the pure water will continue to be tainted by the impurities that coat the glass.
With the sugary beverage as well as the sins we once enfolded ourselves with from the World, we have to leave them behind for the water of life to be able to do its work. Only by not pouring the impure things back into the glass can we move closer and closer to having a clean glass. Continuing to consume the sugar as we get older leads to diabetes, weight gain, high blood pressure, and a host of other health issues. Continuing to allow the sins of the World into our faith-walk with Jesus also has health issues. However, those “health issues” surrounding Jesus and what He said have a far more eternal nature beyond just simple weight-gain.
- For all the ingredients on the beverage label that you cannot pronounce or don’t know what they are, research them on the internet.
- After having researched all the ingredients, observe and contemplate the two glasses set out; the one with your favorite beverage, and the other with ice-water.