Read Matthew 17:24-18:20
Years ago I was in Uganda, Africa at their largest church called KPC. It was a pretty neat church, ran about 6 services throughout the day. The preacher was a Canadian white guy which I thought was pretty interesting. It was my first experience at a pentecostal church where they get all loud and jumpy. I came to realize that it was more their African culture than their denomination affiliation. Africans just do everything a little louder with a little more freedom, its awesome to witness.
Anyway, while there the pastor dropped this line. "If you can't do it for the Glory of God, than don't do it." Wow, I never heard that before.
Is life that serious? Does everything that I do need to be done for the Glory of God? 1 Cor 10:31 says that whatever we do, do it all for the glory of Christ. Genesis talks about how we were created to bring God glory. So when we are bringing our creator glory, we are living into our destiny.
In today's reading there were two parables that talked about being sons of the King and a child of God. In the natural sense, it is a beautiful thing to bring your daddy glory. I can remember going to visit my dad in Charlotte and people saying to my dad "You got a great son" It made me beam. I remember in sports, hitting the game winner or running back that kickoff for a touchdown, and my did screaming out, "That's my boy." It is an awesome thing to bring glory to your dad. Just a few months ago, I was in a meeting with my boss and my dad called my cell phone. I wasn't going to get it but my boss told me to pick it up and tell him that "He thought that my dad he must have done a great job raising me because I was a good worker." Those moments are one that I'll never forget.
Today Jesus dropped this line in Matthew 18 "If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell."
This is some pretty serious stuff. The severe language that Jesus uses literally scares me. In my life, I have not seen sin as dangerous and serious as Jesus puts it in this verse. When I think of it, I guess I have been kind of relaxed about overcoming my sin. Yes, there is a lot that I have overcome; or maybe I should say, there is a lot that I am currently overcoming. But is it really that serious?
Yes it is that serious. Sin separates relationships, both with God and others. So yes, it is that serious. I can easily become a slave to sin and fall into a lifestyle of sin if I don't keep it real .This life is a battle. We need to rest in the love of God and through that rest, fight off sin. Jesus models some extreme measures of fighting against sin. He doesn't leave an opportunity for us to lose, instead he calls us to go to extreme measures in order to pursue holiness.
1. What extreme measures have I taken lately to avoid sin?
2. What have I done lately that may or may not be considered sin (living on the edge)?
3. What have I done intentionally to avoid sin?
4. What sin is constantly overcoming me?
5. What areas of my life scare me when I think of its sinful potential?
6. What sins did I consider doing, or did do, today?
7. Have I confessed my sin and repented of my sin today?
Those are some big questions that I need to keep in front of me? I know that I am capable of anything, both Good and Evil. God help me.