Tuesday, April 10th, 2012
Cut It Off (Part 1)
If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire.
Matthew 18:8-9 (NKJV)
Jesus was a revolutionary. He turned our world 'upside down' (Psalm 146:9). As His disciples, we copy our leader; we also are 'these who have turned the world upside down' (Acts 17:6).
A 'revolution' is 'a radical and pervasive change in society' (Random House Dictionary). 'Revolution' stems from the word 'revolve' which means 'to turn, to roll back' (Etymology Dictionary). Therefore, Jesus and His followers continue to bring radical change. They turn the world around. They turn it right side up.
But change begins at home. Without personal transformation, we are hypocrites. 'Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness' (Matthew 23:27).
Jesus condemns hypocrites, as is evidenced by the entire Chapter of Matthew 23. Therefore, we must not be 'churched' hypocrites, but Spirit-filled servants of the King of kings.
'For our citizenship is in Heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious Body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself' (Philippians 3:20-21).
To become effective ambassadors from our home in Heaven to our assignments on Earth, we must submit to radical change in our own lives. How? By obedience to His Word.
Undeniably, change is hard. And His Word? Harder than a diamond and far more precious. It is 'Sharper than any two-edged sword' (Hebrews 4:12).
What are the two edges of the 'Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God' (Ephesians 6:17)?
One edge is turned outward, and one edge is turned inward. The outer blade faces the enemy: Satan. The inner blade faces the enemy within us: our old self--our 'Former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts' (Ephesians 4:22).
This daily devotion series concerns the inward cut.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Cut It Off series.