Lust • Devotion 3

Don't Gouge Out Your Eye
Debbie Gabbara

One thing we see in Matthew chapter 5 is that Jesus did not shy away from tough subjects. The Pharisees spent a lot of time trying to find fault in His teachings and actions. I would imagine they were quite appalled by what He had to say when Jesus suggested to the crowds that they pluck out their eye or cut off their hand if they caused them to sin. Jesus says, “So if your eye - even your good eye - causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your hand - even your stronger hand - causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell” (Matthew‬ ‭5:29-30‬ ‭NLT).‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Jesus did not really mean for us to dismember ourselves; He was using deliberate exaggerations to make a point. This is called hyperbole. We have used them too. Have you ever said something like, “I have a million things to do today,” or “These shoes are killing me,” or how about this one, “You could have knocked me over with a feather?” Those are all hyperboles.

Jesus was using extreme examples to try to help the crowds He was teaching and us to see the extreme costs that sin can have in our lives. We all have a desperate need for Jesus. Only He gives us victory over our emotions, actions, and the will of our mind. We have to be diligent to avoid sin. We have to make deliberate choices. It starts with choosing Jesus!
 
Romans 7:21-25 (NLT) says, “I have discovered this principle of life - that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Sinning is something that we do not want to do, but we all do it; because, as the apostle Paul said in Romans chapter 7, there is a war in our minds that makes us a slave to sin. Without Jesus, we are doomed to be thrown into Hell and separated from God forever. Do not let sin cause you to “lose” an eye, hand, or any other part of your body that led you into sin. Make a deliberate choice and look for the promises found in God’s Word.

“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.” James 4:7-8 (NLT)

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