By Fannie Mae Hall
Today's Scripture: Mark 9:43-47
Central Thought: It takes special effort and prayer to avoid being led astray when we are tempted to do wrong.
Years ago, newspapers carried an article about a woman who had taken a hatchet and cut off her hand. She had read the Scripture passage that said, 'If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off” (verse 43). Obviously the woman misunderstood the intent of the Scripture. God does not want people to harm themselves, but He does intend that dramatic means be used to get rid of things that bring harm to us, His highest creation.
Let us consider the married woman who slips away for a secret tryst with a man who is not her husband. Or the man who is hooked on pornography, always worrying that someone will find out. What about those of us who struggle with a critical attitude that causes us to look down on others, seething anger that is ever ready to erupt; or the desire to have what belongs to a friend or coworker? God says we are to cut out of our lives the people, thoughts, or circumstances that lead us toward sin.
If there is something in our lives that leads us toward sin and away from God, we can be sure that He who tells us to cut it out of our lives is the One who will give us the power to do it.
Today's Devotion: Lord, help me to cut off all thoughts that would lead me to sin in thought, word, or action.
Today's Bible Reading: Leviticus 22:17-23:44; Mark 9:30-10:12; Psalm 44:1-8; Proverbs 10:19