Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 9:14-29, Matthew 17:14-21, Luke 9:37-43a, Mark 9:30-32, Matthew 17:22-23, Luke 9:43b-45, Matthew 17:24-27, Mark 9:33-37, Matthew 18:1-6, Luke 9:46-48, Mark 9:38-41, Luke 9:49-50, Mark 9:42-50, Matthew 18:7-35
Heavenly Father, I’ve read these scriptures many times. I’ve always gotten so caught up in cutting off limbs and gouging out eyes that I’ve missed Your simple, yet profound message.
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one hand than to go into the unquenchable fires of hell with two hands. If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one foot than to be thrown into hell with two feet. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. It’s better to enter the Kingdom of God with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, ‘where the maggots never die and the fire never goes out.’
“For everyone will be tested with fire. Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? You must have the qualities of salt among yourselves and live in peace with each other.” —Mark 9:43-50
Lord, I’d like to keep my arms, legs, and eyes but I think there are some things I need to cut off or gouge out but before I start chopping and poking, I had to stop and think, “What is sin… Really?”
I went searching through commentaries and Bible dictionaries and this was the definition that made the most sense to me:
“The failure or refusal of human beings to live the life intended for them by God their creator.” (Eerdmans’ Bible Dictionary)
When I think about coming up short in the life You intend for me, I would have to put distractions at the top of my list of reasons for sin.
There’s so much I can learn, do, hear, see, think, feel, and touch that I miss Your still-small-voice calling me in the direction You have for me. I settle for my plan b, c, or d instead of Your plan A.
Jesus, living a life on this earth that is fulfilling and pleasing to You is simple, if we know what to keep and what to cut off. Show me the areas in my life where distractions are causing me to sin. I want the best life, the one that You’ve had planned for me since the beginning of time.
I trust You!
In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!
©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: John 7:1-9, Luke 9:51-56, Matthew 8:18-22, Luke 9:57-62, John 7:10-8:20