Human beings are hard-wired for addiction.
"I beseech you, brethren, ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints" (I Corinthians 16:15).
The issue, of course, lies in who and what we look to for fulfillment, satisfaction, and the sense of normalcy and well being. The Bible calls us to find such contentment in devotion to God through the Lord Jesus Christ, and a life lived for His glory and the benefit of others. All other addictions result in death and deception. Only faith in Christ and the subsequent fruit of sacrifice for God and others provides a mastery that leads to life and genuine well being. "I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go" (Isaiah 48:17).
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ… "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these" (Romans 5:1; Mark 12:30-31).
"The house of Stephanas" to whom the Apostle Paul referred knew that service to God and people fills and fulfills the heart. They "addicted themselves" to such a life of grace received and then dispensed, meaning they realized and embraced the controlling influence of the love of God in Christ Jesus. They consistently and increasingly partook of such grace, discovering inward peace and a life enhancing experience of being led by something - Someone - apart from and transcendent of themselves. They replaced their human tendencies for false worship with the Divine gift of the love of God, love for God, and love for people. Indeed, everybody worships. Every human heart addicts itself to something outside of itself that controls us rather than our controlling it. One path leads to life. "To live is Christ" (Philippians 1:21). All others result in death. "See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil… Choose you this day whom ye will serve" (Deuteronomy 30:15; Joshua 24:15).
Our brethren of old, the house of Stephanas, serve as a bright light of truth regarding the very nature of humanity. We do not govern ourselves. We choose our master, but our master then directs our life and being. Again, choose you this day whom ye will serve. We cannot escape the reality of addiction. But only one such influence, the love of God in the Lord Jesus, results in life both now and forevermore…
"Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."
Weekly Memory Verse
Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.