Cutting Off What Stumbles

Cutting Off What Stumbles

Sister Miki Terayama - 20 November 2022

Weekend Devotion: Cutting Off What Stumbles

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“Do not conform to your sins”, “Do not give way to your inclinations”, “Wrestle with the untruths within you”, “Keep your hearts sanctified.” These are all phrases we have heard or we know by heart as a believer. However, combating the personal sins of our lives is truly harder than we can imagine. Whether it is exposed sins, hidden sins, small sins or bigger sins, we are all wired in a tendency or temptation we are prone to wander to. But the thing is, many times, we often downplay the effects of our sins or we excuse it by saying, “oh, it is just my weakness. I cannot help it.” Or we use it as means to explain how we need to do dabble with this inclination to cope with some struggles in life. For example, binge watching shows late into the night because we feel stressed. Addicted to phone usage because we need to unwind. Flaring up on the people around us because we say we are temperamental by nature. And when told to keep the sin in check, we may start to get defensive or accused.
Sin is a tricky enemy that aims to target our spirits at every angle. Of course, we can choose to continue indulging in some sins, rationalising that it is so trivial, it does not matter. But here is truth, when we keep giving excuses for our sinful ways like that, we are setting ourselves up in a very vulnerable place, where we underestimate our capacity (or lack of it), to fall into sins and spiral down further. Then, when we get so accustomed to some sinful choices and way of living, we are blinded by how it stumbles our faith and walk with God. 

But here, Jesus urges His children, that no matter what form of sin and how inconvenient or unwilling we may be, we got to cut it out of our lives. Matthew 18:8-9 says, “ If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, 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 stumble, 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.” Wow, this sounds like a heavy statement to digest, especially since we all have stumbled in some ways in this fallen world and with our fallen nature. The illustration Jesus gave seems a little gruesome and extreme, but Jesus was figuratively telling us that it is better to go through our life crippled than to continue holding onto what causes you to sin and be “thrown into the eternal fire of hell”. 

No temporal entertainment, leisure activities, shows, relationship or habits can be more precious and valuable than having a close walk with the Lord. But rather than being close to walk with God, we tend to try and see how close we can walk to the edge of our sinful choices, testing and seeing if we would fall off. We think we are stronger than we really are when we flirt with sins. “Just one more time, just one more round, just one more interaction, I can handle that. It is not that bad.” And before we know it, these patterns of compromise turns into habitual or deeper sins. So we cannot have casual tolerance when it comes to battling with our own sins. Take it seriously and when God reveals it to us, respond to Him instead of ignoring and relishing with our stumbling block. Respond to God by turning back to Him, acknowledging our derailed heart and pray for the strength to deal with the sin by taking steps to “cut it off” or “gouge it out and throw away”.

Brothers and sisters, finding satisfaction in anything outside of God’s presence and truth, causes us to lose sight of the greatest treasure for a knockoff version of happiness. We need to immerse, know, love and anticipate Jesus’s works on us so much that the fake thrills and contentment of this world can no longer allure our hearts as much as it used to. So what are some of the sins you excuse yourself with? Do you see some subtle or obvious effects of your sins in your life? Do you believe that Jesus loves you more than you love your sin, and that He is able to work this out with you if you see the need to cut off this stumbling block of faith from your life? Jesus gave Himself to deliver you from every one of your sins of the past, present and those before you. So flee from sin, do not tolerate it and run to the Lord. God bless.

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Miki Terayama
miki.terayama@gmail.com

Miki is a full-time ministry staff at The Blessed Run Ministries. She is a sister who shares a natural, God-given affinity with children and youths. She is married to Randy (NET Group Youth Leader) and has two little ones of her own, Liora and Jude. She is involved in the children, youth and social media ministries.

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