#DailyDevotion Why Do You Still Have All Your Members?
Mark 9:42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. 43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ 49 For everyone will be salted with fire. 50 Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”
You know reading this I would expect a lot of Christians to have one eye, one hand and one foot. As a matter of fact I would expect them to have no hands, no eyes and no feet. They might be missing a few other body parts to tell you the truth. But Jesus is serious here. What would rather have 2 eyes being tormented for all eternity or have one eye in paradise for eternity? Would you rather be whole bodily where the worm that does not die and fire does not go out forever or be missing a few body parts and enjoy the eternal bliss of being with your Father in heaven for all eternity. The place of eternal punishment is a real place. Real people are going there. Unfortunately most people are going there. No doubt a lot of ‘good’ people are going to end up there.
So do I need to start cutting off body parts. Well if that would actually help, yes. But that won’t actually help. Jesus told us back in chapter 7 what the real problem is: Mar 7:21-23 “For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, (22) coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. (23) All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” You see the heart is behind the sins of the eye, the hand and the foot and every other body part. You need a new heart. You’re just going to have to die and/or get a heart transplant. I believe they actually kill a person for a short period of time (medically whatever that means) when they are transplanting a heart. Well we are going to have to die spiritually to get a heart transplant from our divine physician.
Rom 6:3-5 “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?” We participate in Christ’s death in baptism. We cry out with David, Psa 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” In baptism, God kills the old heart and raises it anew in Christ Jesus. He takes our dead spirit which lives a life of death and gives us his Holy Spirit that has us walk the path of life. Should the old heart raise its ugly head in our life we confess our sin and return to the promise of baptism, we hear the words of absolution, we are revived and go and repair the damage we’ve done as best as we can. If cutting off body parts would work, we’d do it. Jesus would raise us whole to eternal life. But we need him to do an inside job on us and cleanse us with the hyssop of his cross and blood.
Heavenly Father, put to death in us all unclean thoughts, give us faith to confess our sins and believe the good news of Christ that we may live right now and enter into eternal life to dwell with you, through the power of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.