Archive for September, 2014



Cutting out Sin

JESUS SPEAKING

                “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell” (Mathew 5: 30) 

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                Sin is the act of willfully disobeying God.  Sin is serious because it separates us from our heavenly Father.  God loves all of His children; He therefore commands us to discard sinful practices, that we might be reunited with Him through the blood of Jesus Christ.  Believers must abandon grievous sins, such as fornication, adultery, drunkenness, lying, stealing, lewdness, etc.  If we want to live, we must cut away the dead portions of our flesh.

                In April of 2003, an experienced mountain climber named Aaron Ralston was hiking alone in a remote mountain pass in Utah.  While maneuvering through one of the crevices, a giant boulder dislodged and pinned his arm against the canyon wall; for days he attempted to free himself.  He hadn’t told anyone where he was going; he knew no one would be looking for him.  When he ran out of water, Aaron was faced with a terrible choice […] He could severe his arm with an ill-equipped pocket knife; or he could keep his arm and slowly die.  The only thing standing between Aaron and the rest of his life were two bones, several muscles, and some tendons in his forearm.  He chose to break both bones in his arm and to saw through his own flesh with the dull knife.  After nearly 127 hours of confinement, he left his severed limb behind and climbed out of the canyon; he was rescued and made a full recovery.  Until that day, Aaron had lived selfishly.  He had been a ‘loner’ who pushed others away.  Shortly after his experience he came to believe that the boulder had been waiting for him his entire life (that it was meant to transform him.)  He said, “I left my hand behind in that canyon, but I gained my life back.”  His experience allowed him to see what was truly important.  He began emphasizing personal relationships; he got married and started a family.  He now travels the world telling other people about his inspiring experience. 

                Like Aaron, there are boulders in our lives; giant rocks that pin us down and keep us from knowing complete freedom.  If we have entered again in to serious sin, and we have been separated from God then we have some cutting to do.  Cut away the dead flesh and you will live.  Ask God to reveal to you any sinful practices that have crept back in to your life and He will.  How you respond to what you find, is up to you.  May God help us all to make the right choice.

                “Lord Heavenly Father we recognize that sin can cause us to become separated from You.  We know that we have received forgiveness through Your Son, but we understand that it is our duty to refrain from willful acts of disobedience.  If we have become defiant, correct us; help us to let go of our sins, that we might continue in fellowship with You.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

Conquering Doubt

JESUS SPEAKING

            And he left them, and getting in to a boat again (with his disciples), departed to the other side.  Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, and they did not have more than one loaf with them in the boat.  Then he charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”  And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have no bread.”  But Jesus being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread?  Do you not yet perceive nor understand?  Is your heart still hardened?  Having eyes, do you not see?  And having ears, do you not hear?  And do you not remember?  When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?”  They said to Him, “Twelve.”  “Also when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?”  And they said, “Seven.”  So he said to them, “How is it you do not understand?” (Mark 8: 13 – 21.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

            Shortly after feeding four thousand people with seven loaves of bread, Jesus warned his disciples to beware of doubtful thoughts.  Despite having just witnessed God’s heavenly provision, the disciples began to fear that they hadn’t brought enough food for their journey.  The Lord addressed their uncertainties by reminding them of his previous miracles.  On two separate occasions he had fed thousands with scarcely enough food to feed a small family.  If doubts arise within our hearts, they can quickly be eradicated by recalling the many miracles God has performed for us in the past.

            I once heard a man give his personal testimony.  As a youth he had been hopelessly addicted to drugs.  Eventually he received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.  He began reading the bible and his life started changing.  Although sober, he hadn’t yet given up his old friends.  One day he was gathered together with them in a house; he was reading his bible while they were doing drugs.  Suddenly a group of heavily armed police officers broke through the door and began arresting everyone.  He was so frightened he could barely move.  He thought, ‘If I just sit here and read my bible, nothing will happen to me.’  He heard lamps falling and people yelling as they were being dragged to the ground and arrested.  As the commotion swirled around him he never took his eyes off of God’s word.  After a short time he heard the front door slam and the house was completely silent.  Looking up he realized he was all alone.  No one had tackled him; no one had arrested him; no one had even questioned him.  Sometime afterward, God told him that He had blinded the eyes of the officers so that they couldn’t see him.  This man has undoubtedly recalled this miracle on many occasions to dispel his doubts and to inspire his faith.

            Even the most faithful believers can occasionally experience doubtful thoughts.  If and when they arise, the natural remedy is remembrance.  How often has God healed our bodies; how often has He provided for our needs and protected us from trouble?  Our faith is preserved in times of trouble by remembering the wonderful miracles God has already performed in our lives.

            “Lord Heavenly Father, increase our faithfulness.  In moments of weakness may we be reminded of the many miracles You have already performed.  Through remembrance may our doubts be destroyed and our fears be put to death.  Fill our hearts with love, and peace, and truth, that we may continually trust in You and Your Son.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.


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