Pray with this song: “May the mind of Christ my Savior live in me from day to day…” (Kate B. Wilkinson).
Read Mark 9:42-50
 “And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.  If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.  And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.  And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,  where “‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’  Everyone will be salted with fire.  “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat point do you think Jesus is making here?
The idea of cutting off a foot or hand or plucking out an eye—deliberately maiming the body—seems extreme. However, it serves to emphasize the seriousness with which Jesus thinks of sin. It’s not something to be glossed over or pushed under the carpet. To maintain our spiritual health, we need to radically remove whatever it is that leads us to sin. It’s not the removal of the object of sin—that thing we touch, that thing we look at—to a safe distance; we must commit ourselves not to use our hands or feet or eyes to commit sin, either to damage ourselves or someone else (42).
This language may be figurative; but that doesn’t make it less serious. What’s at stake is our entry into life—into the Kingdom of God. We must not do those things we know to be sinful so that our spiritual well-being is maintained. Neither can the link between thought and action be ignored; Paul encourages us to think about the right sort of things (Phil. 4:8), and the writer of Hebrews to fix our eyes on Jesus (12:2), the one who is perfecting our faith in us.
Assess what you should or should not do, or what limits you should impose to protect your spiritual health.
Lord, give me the insight and courage to do what is necessary to keep my eyes fixed always on You.
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