Monday, August 19th, 2013
Sermon On The Mount (Part 10)
You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.
Matthew 5:27-30 (NKJV)
Jesus' Words about lustful looks are hard to read--and harder to avoid. We live in an age of steamy romance and scanty apparel. Pornography lurks behind barely closed doors. The decadence that invites it lurks no longer. It struts and taunts like an army of Goliaths. It's an open assault into every sector of our society--including school yards and shopping malls.
'She's hot' is considered high praise in a culture of corruption. While daring teens dash around in legless shorts that resemble swimsuit bottoms, human traffickers smile. It furthers their business.
America has joined itself in a passionate embrace with an advertising slogan: s_x sells. Instead of flowing in 'Rivers of living water' (John 7:38), we flounder in a dirty hot tub.
But Satan is sly. He rarely throws us into a tub of boiling water. Our screams for help would draw too much attention. So, he starts it off warm--an inviting temptation. We know we shouldn't enter that particular tub, but it looks good and feels better. Gradually, he raises the temperature. By the time it's boiling, we're trapped. Our senses are deadened.
Which brings us to the entertainment industry. Decades ago, lust hardly existed on screen. Television was cool. Spouses slept in twin beds--fully clothed. It seems comical to consider it, because hot action and sizzling s_x has become our new norm.
God's personal prescription for His people stricken by lust is harsh: pluck it out and cut it off. If God's 'Eyes are too pure to look upon evil' (Habakkuk 1:13), so should be our own. King David said, 'I will set nothing wicked before my eyes' (Psalm 101:3). Therefore, pluck every temptation to lust away from your face.
Even more, if your closest friend (a.k.a. your right hand) leads you into temptation, cut him off, too. These are hard commandments, but God's penalty for unrepentant, unrelenting lust is harder. Women, take note: lust includes shopping and obsessions with beauty.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: to avoid lust in this mission field is to avoid the mission field itself. Jesus went to the sinners, and so must you. However, choose your close friends wisely. Always come home to Jesus (and godly fellowship) at the end of the day.
Choose your roles wisely. If you see truth and justice at the end a wayward story, then consider it prayerfully. If you see no redeeming value, then decline it--but do so gently and without judgment.
Because most people do not yet know the Truth. They will meet Him in you. And if you judge them, they may decline the introduction.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Sermon On The Mount series.