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            Every day, the devil can tempt us to be angry with someone, or angry at something.  It is a real emotion to deal with, and only with God’s help, can it be overcome in a world that wants anger to control our emotions.  The devil makes it easy to carry such feelings through the day and on until retiring for the evening.  Ephesians 4:26-27 “If angry, beware of sinning.  Let not your irritation last until the sun goes down; and do not leave room for the Devil.”

            God said early on Exodus 20:13 “Thou shalt not kill”—which is almost always from unrestrained anger and rage.  Jesus, however, expands on the Commandment.  Matthew 5:22 “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.”  It is a stern warning about losing our temper and snapping back in anger.

            He then takes the warning even further; “And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca [Aramaic for anger], shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”  Such unjustified anger or censure can happen in a moment; but it is always outside of the will of God.

            We should be angry only at sin and the ungodly talk that can be common in the workplace today.  The believer should always stand up for what is right, and refuse to take part in any unscriptural conversations by groups or individuals.

            The definition for anger—feeling rage from an offense or mistreatment; it is a desire to fight back, get back, or get even at someone.  Anger quickly leads to resentment, which then can escalate to hostility, rage, or even violence.  Anger is the exact opposite of the virtues—kindness, patience, and love.

            Everyone, at one time or another, has been on the receiving end of someone's anger, wrath, or insulting words.  Anger is a deadly sin that has caused much harm and hurt.  The Lord’s righteous anger is directed toward evil and injustice, of course.  There are over forty Old Testament references to the wrath of God.  Jesus showed righteous wrath when some people were selling in the temple John 2:16, “Take these things hence; make not my Father's house a house of merchandise.”

            God would certainly be angry at religious teachers today who do not give their listeners the full Truth of the Bible.  Romans 1:18 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.”

            We should be angry at the wickedness and evil in the world; but not angry when we are called out at first base.  We have a reason to be angry about the crimes against children and others; but not angry when an insult is directed at us.

            When that happens, there is a spiritual lesson to learn, if we will meet it according to the Scriptures.  1 Peter 2:23 “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”

            Too often we stand by silent, or we nod in agreement, when a worldly co-worker is venting their anger at the boss.  Too often we complain about, and hold resentment toward, someone who has wronged us.  Leviticus 19:18 “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the LORD” Romans 12:19.

            If we love God, we will obey the Lord—it is the first and great commandment Matthew 22:37, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”  Obeying that command, eliminates anger toward everyone.

            Jesus taught us to let the cycle of violence end with us, and to absorb the anger of others.  He said we are to turn the other cheek.  The cycle of violence ends, when the injured party forgives.  Proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turneth away wrath.”

            Sticks and stones can cause injury, but words that wound often do greater damage.  Insults, ridicule, and name-calling is, too many times, the beginning of anger, resentment, and rage—which can lead to violent acts.  John the Baptist said Luke 3:14, “Do violence to no man.”

            Jesus faced the anger of the Sadducees; the wrath of the Pharisees; and the rage of the Zealots, which ended in His execution—simply because He was the Son of God.  Nevertheless, He said Luke 23:34 “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” 

            When we are wronged, it is a fork in the road—a decision must be made.  Our response is to follow Jesus’ example of forgiveness.  One road leads to the Lake of Fire, and the other to the kingdom of God.  Only one is the path of forgiveness.

            Gluttony is simply the habit of eating too much—more than is needed to nourish the body, but it can also mean too much of anything; such as a person who is a glutton for work, etc.  The literal definition is a person who indulges too much, or too greedily, in something.

            The huge variety of food in the supermarkets far exceeds those of most foreign countries.  More in abundance are the advertisements and commercials to partake of the food.  Millions of books and commercial dollars are devoted to whetting one’s appetite for food and beverage.  It is all too easy to over-indulge and to overeat.

            When God created our bodies, He designed them to use food as fuel, to keep them operating correctly.  God also created two incentives in us to desire food—one is hunger to nourish the body; and the other He made eating to be a pleasurable experience.  As with other divine plans for human beings, Satan has corrupted those plans to harm and destroy.

            The devil is the source of depression—causing many to eat food when the body has already been nourished—leading to gluttony.  When food tastes good, Satan tempts people to overeat—taking more than is needed to fuel the body—another form of gluttony.

            We should enjoy food, but not to excess.  In all things and habits, we must ask God to regulate our desire for them, so that we do not do things to excess.  Bible verses warn about over-indulging in food.  Proverbs 23:21 “The drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty.”

            The apostle said to follow his example—Philippians 3:17 “take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.”  He went on to say 18-19 “Many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.  Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame.  Their mind is on earthly things.”

            Instead we are to Colossians 3:2 “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”  Jesus has set us free—we do not have to be in bondage to overeating, or in bondage to any other destructive habit. 

            Mealtimes for Jesus and the disciples were good times of fellowship.  Mark 6:41-42 “Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves.  Then he gave them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all.  They all ate and were satisfied.”

            Jesus always set the example of showing compassion to those in need.  When He saw the crowd He felt compassion and made plans to feed them—that is the divine way, as the prophet said Isaiah 58:7 “Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out.”

            It is always the right time to think more of others, and less of ourselves.  The prophet’s words remind us to be more willing to share our food, and to be sure that no family or friend is hungry, while we have more than enough to eat.

            Regular meals at specified times with the family, are very important.  It is the time when the family is brought together; a time when each can share their experiences of the day; and a time when the children can learn good eating habits and table manners.  It is also a time to teach them to take proper amounts of food, and to always say “Thank you.  Set times for meals, is the Christian duty of every house—they are important.

            Jesus would want everyone to be filled, but not eat to excess.  Being filled spiritually with the Spirit is our primary concern—so that we will desire to help, give, and to share with others—He also enables us to moderate our eating habits, or anything else.

            Isaiah 55:1-2 “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat.  Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price.  Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy?  Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance.” 

            Jesus told the tempter Matthew 4:4 “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”  Yet meals for Jesus were times of great fellowship—and a foretaste of the feast to come—the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, when the family of God will gather together.  Let us rejoice every day for knowing God’s truth and having Atonement for our sins.  Meals brought Jesus closer to His friends, and meals should bring us closer to our family.

            Gluttony is a solitary act—it defeats Christian fellowship.  Excessive eating or excessive dieting are both against God's plan for us.  Both make eating, or lack of eating, an obsession.  The person who eats to excess; or the one who diets to extremes, is acting outside the will of God—neither have His blessing.

            Our prayer is that God will help us control our appetite and eating habits, so that we maintain a normal weight.  We should not eat any more that is necessary—just enough to keep our body nourished with what is required.

            Many stories in the Gospels tell of Jesus eating with friends.  In the parable of the loaves and fish, all that is taught elsewhere in the Gospels, comes together.  It began when a few people were willing to share the gifts God had given, and everyone was nourished, as well as satisfied, when they asked for God’s blessing on those gifts.

            Concerning the deadly sin of unjustified anger—we must always follow the example of the Lord Jesus 1 Peter 2:23 “Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.”  He turned every wrong over to God; who used a wooden cross to give us something we all need—forgiveness and grace.


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