Irvin Wasswa- Tylertown Campus Pastor LHBC

Matthew 18:7-9
7 “Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! 8 And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.

Four men one day had the opportunity to take part in milking the venom of a King Cobra snake at a local zoo. As you can imagine the job was very dangerous as the King Cobra snake’s bite can be fatal. The men stuffed a whole roll of paper towels into the mouth of the snake. Once the roll was saturated with venom extracted from the snake, the men were ready to release the snake. However, before the snake was to be released the zookeeper make the comment, “More people are bitten trying to let go of snakes than when they grab them.” The zookeeper encouraged the men to make sure that they choose not to play around with the King Cobra but to instead immediately release it; because if they didn’t, it would turn around and bite them!

What’s the moral of the story? Well, snakes aren’t anything to play with…but more importantly than that, sin is nothing to play with. Just like the King Cobra snake, if you play around and dabble around in sin, you will get bitten. Listen, you will get burned. You will fall into its vices. That is why Jesus warns us in Matthew 18 to cut out sin in our lives. He uses hyperbole to explain the seriousness of sin and the urgency to get rid of it in our lives. He shares how if there is something in our lives that is intentionally causing us to sin, we need to get rid of it. 

The reality for many of us regarding the sin struggles in our lives is that we are quick to say we are sorry to God for what we have done, but are slow to forsake the avenue/avenues which have caused us to continually stumble. Here’s the thing, if we do not choose to let go, to cut out, to eliminate those different avenues in our life, we will fall victim to the same pattern of sin in our life. The charge is to let go. So what does that look like? You may have a problem with lust and looking at junk on the computer/TV you do not need to be looking at. Cut out time on the computer/TV late to rid yourself of that temptation. Maybe you have friends that are bad influences in your life that lead you astray; cut them out! Perhaps you have influences you listen to and watch that are not wholesome and lead you to lead a different life that what you are called to as a child of God; Cut those negative influences out of your life!

The call for us is to “release the cobra” if you will. Let go of the things in your life that are causing you to continually fall into sin, and in turn choose to follow Jesus. Those same things that constantly entangle us are the same things Jesus died on the cross for 2,000 years ago. Hallelujah! As a child of God we are not slaves to sin anymore because of Christ’s death and resurrection. So listen, don’t go back to being enslaved by those sin vices. The call for you today is to repent of your sin and to choose to walk in the same resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead. Listen, you do not have to let those sin struggles/vices “bite” you anymore. Choose freedom by choosing to walk with Jesus. 

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Dear heavenly Father, I love you! Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins! Help me to choose to live for you every day. I confess my sins to you today. Help me to choose to cut out the things in my life that have become vices, causing me to stumble and lose my focus in following You. Amen! 

Psalm 103:1-5
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and all that is within me,
    bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
    who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
    who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.