Irvin Wasswa- Tylertown Campus Pastor LHBC

Matthew 5:29-30
 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

One of my favorite TV shows I used to love watching on Nick @ Nite as a kid was Full House. The show was a staple in the late 80s/early 90s which promoted the value of family and friends . One of my favorite characters in the series was Joey Gladstone due to  his humor throughout the show. Joey had a famous saying he would use throughout the show- Cut It Out. As a wannabe comedian in the show would use the phrase as a sign of humility when someone would laugh at his jokes. The point of the statement was to playfully tell the crowd to stop boosting him up with their laughter. The phrase stuck with me and even had hand motions, so there were many times I would find myself saying “Cut It Out” while simultaneously doing the same hand motions, thinking that I was cool.

Jesus in His sermon on the Mount spoke to a call to cut out as well. He was speaking metaphorically in the message but the principle is oh so significant to the believer today. In His discourse on lust in Matthew 5 Jesus gives some direct language as to how to handle lust and temptation as one of His disciples. He said to cut out whatever may be lingering in your life that may bring a temptation to sin against Him. The principle here is to choose to avoid getting tangled up in sin by choosing to cut out anything that may lead you to do so.

For those who know and believe in Jesus we can praise Him today knowing that we are secure in Him. However that truth does not mean that we are exempt from falling into the snare that is sin. The truth is that though we have the Spirit of God living inside of us (1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 John 4:13) we still have the old flesh. Our flesh has no desire to do anything that pleases God. As a matter of fact, the apostle Paul puts it this way- 

17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” Galatians 5:17

The good news is that as a believer we can operate in the Spirit and not gratify the desires of the flesh that does not please God. How do we do that? By cutting out stuff in our life that may lead us to sin. Friend, if pornography is an issue in your life choose to delete apps from your phone or eliminate the use of your devices when you are by yourself. Listen, if lashing out in anger with your spouse or friends is an issue, in moments when you feel as though you are getting angry, choose to withdraw and as Jesus Himself did, “…entrust Himself to the One who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23). Hey friend: Whatever it takes to eliminate the threat of sin ruling and reigning in our life, we must choose to do.

Listen-sin is a big deal to God. It grieves His heart. It puts a schism in our fellowship with Him, and we are not able to please Him when we are actively sinning against Him. This morning what are some things you may need to cut out of your life so that you do not fall victim to temptation and sin? What needs to go so that you do not become a victim of letting your flesh rule? Jesus knew what He was doing when He used the language He used in Matthew 5. May we choose to cut out anything that may lead us to sin, and choose to follow Jesus because knowing and living for Jesus is better. 

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for Your love for me. Remind me of how You are just so much better than what sin can provide. Help me to cut out the stuff in my life that leads me to sin, and instead choose You. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Galatians 5:13- For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.