overcoming sin

Misery will come to the one who lures people away into sin. ... If your hand clings to sin, cut it off and throw it away. If your foot continually steps onto sin’s path, cut it off and throw it away. ... And if your eye is always focusing on sin, pluck it out and throw it away. [Matthew 18:7,8,9 TPT]

Some have interpreted Jesus' words literally.
Sharia law even commands that the hands of thieves be cut off.
These totally miss the point of what Jesus is teaching.

Using hyperbolic language Jesus exaggerates to make the point that sin is serious.
I think that our actions would be different if we saw sin the way that our Lord saw it.
The truth is that sin damages not only us but the fabric of society as a whole.

Perhaps heaven can be described as a place that is absent of sin?
Going with that it seems that might be one way for the heavenly kingdom to come.
Maybe that is an aspect that we should keep in mind when we pray?

The phenomena of temptation is one that is common to everyone.
We all have weak areas where temptation is the hardest to overcome.
In a sense, we yield to temptation when our outer being is stronger than our inner being.

So the onus is on us to do the things that make our innermost being strong.
The challenge is to deny ourselves, pick up our cross and follow Christ.
Each time that we do, we strengthen and exercise our innermost being.

Lord help me to feed and exercise my innermost being today.

... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.


  1. In The Divine Conspiracy, Dallas Willard interprets this passage as Jesus saying, "if you think you can stop sinning by keeping a set of rules, you might as well go ahead and cut off your hand or put out your eye." The idea is the same: sin is so serious that it can only be taken care of by a change of heart, not by trying hard to "live right." The problem is inside.

  2. Love Willard's interpretation. Thanks for sharing it.


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