Thursday, November 17, 2016

"Master"

2nd Peter 2.19b NAS 

“…for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.”

A man is enslaved to that which he cannot stop himself from doing or thinking. He is a slave to his addictions.

“…for if they are addicted to 
corruption – and they are – 
they’re enslaved.”
2nd Peter 2.19b “The Message”

There are many varieties of addictions. All of them are insidious and seem harmless at first. Even when the addict is fully overcome by his drug of choice, he may not recognize his sorry plight. The impact of his condition is gradual, relentless, and very real. Others see it but he denies it. He is deceived by the lure of sin and his fascination with its false promise of happiness.

There’s a hole in the addict’s heart and he is desperate to find enough meaning to plug it. He escapes often into an artificial, fleeting comfort offered by his cruel master. His vision is clouded by temporary relief from the pain of his sad existence. His judgment is impaired and yet he remains resourceful enough to develop an intricate system of lies and cover-ups. His excuses and self-validations do not work. Everyone who matters soon learns the truth. Even the sinner becomes aware of his imminent demise.

In lucid moments, the addict may express (and truly feel) a sorrow resembling repentance. But he possesses neither the courage nor humility to walk away from the grip of sin and its medicating power. The prodigal son has not yet ‘hit bottom’ in the pigpen of his own making. It may take another divorce, job loss, car wreck, or treatment center to get his attention. He may never come to his senses.

Are you that man? It’s not too late. It’s never too late. Peter was that man. He was “overcome” by shame, hopelessness, and despair on the day he denied Christ. He was “enslaved” by the bondage of his addictions until he exchanged one master for another...

“This letter is from Simon Peter, a slave… of Jesus Christ.”
2nd Peter 1.1 NLT

Slavery to Christ is freedom from self. He who proclaimed “release to the captives” (Luke 4.18) sets us free from the private hell of our secret addictions.

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