July 5, 2021
If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire (Matthew 18:8-9).
This is not the first instance when Jesus used these terms to stress the significance of being pure in heart by refraining from anything that would cause a Christian to sin (see Matthew 5:29-30). In The Parable of the Soils Jesus said, But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful (Matthew 13:20-22).
Jesus cautioned the Christian against the things of the world and the power they have in turning us away from Him. Worldly attachments, friendships, and engagements of any kind that cannot be pursued without leading us into sin, no matter how much they mean to us, must be shunned or the soul will be lost. Again, Jesus spoke figuratively regarding the mutilation of the body in order to keep one from sinning against God. A Christian should make a covenant with his eyes, hands, tongue, etc., as Job did, and turn them away from engaging in what God deems unrighteous conduct.
Sometimes we forget the power of worldly sensuality. We become desensitized to the danger of it and the hold it can have on us when once we entertain it in our mind or heart. In today’s world that sensuality is heightened and made even more powerful through bodily enhancements, easy access through the internet, public advertisements, and the loosening and lessening of cultural mores. The neglect of feeding the mind, heart, and spirit on God’s Word, the abandonment of corporate and private worship, and replacing spiritual meditation with worldly entertainment also contributes to the tearing down of spiritual strongholds in the life of the believer. Hence the sever warning of Jesus not to allow such things to happen in the follower of Christ.
“Lord Jesus, how easy it is to open the door to worldliness and sin today. Remind me daily that do open that door, even a little, is to invite Satan and his powerful influence into my life wherein he begins to build his strongholds of sensuality and sin. Keep my heart, mind, and spirit pure through Your Word, prayer, meditation, and personal worship. To Your honor and glory I ask, Amen.”