Scripture Reading: Matthew 18:1-9
Key Verse: Matthew 18:7
“Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come!
Jesus’ teaching on sin is very straightforward in our passages of scripture for today. First Jesus lets us know how dreadful it will be for the person causing others to sin. It would be better for them to tie a millstone around their neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea. When we face situations where our choices might cause another person to sin, is it really a hard choice to deny self for the benefit of another?
Jesus goes further in talking about personal sin. The bottom line to this teaching is: Whatever causes you to sin, get rid of it! Jesus used the illustration of our hand or foot causing us to sin — cut them off. Do we truly understand the serious nature of sin? Jesus is saying it is better to go through life maimed rather than die in our sins. Nothing, according to these verses, is worth facing the consequences of the eternal fire. When we are being tempted — and it may seem hard to say “no” to that temptation — think of these words of Jesus. Weigh the pleasures of the flesh with the consequences of sin before making your choices.
If we walk through this life with everything going our way — no denying our desire to please ourselves — we will have experienced all the “heaven” we’ll ever receive. But God’s heaven, the one He is preparing for His faithful right now, is so far beyond our imagination that the best of this life will pale in comparison. Make life’s hard choices. Choose God!
Father, throughout this day, please remind me of Jesus’ words of caution. Help me see beyond a few moments of pleasure to an eternal reward. In Jesus’ Name, amen.