New Testament Journey Day 14 – Matthew 5:27-30 – “Jesus Teaches about Lust”.
“You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.’
That first verse plainly sums up what Jesus is trying to teach. Jesus emphasized that if the act is wrong, then so is the intention. To be faithful to your spouse with your body but not your mind is to break the trust so vital to a strong marriage. Most often thoughts that are dwelled upon, become actions. The devil is always there to tempt us with thoughts we should not have, or put someone in our path at just the time we are at our weakest. We have to cast down those thoughts – take control of them – and choose NOT to dwell on them. It’s in the dwelling that the sin starts.
I have heard people say “Well if thinking it is a sin, I might as well go ahead and do it.” That logic is very flawed and incorrect. You can repent (stop thinking about that man/woman or stop watching pornography which leads to sexual acts out of marriage). But when you follow through with the act itself – destruction follows. It causes people to excuse sin rather than to stop sinning. It will destroy a marriage. It is deliberate rebellion against God’s Word. And it always, always hurts others besides the sinner. Sadly, there are many children who have trust issues as a result of infidelity in their parents marriage. Parents can get so wrapped up in the drama and destruction an affair brings that they forget about the children. Treat the children well. Helping them heal should be the first and most important task at hand. They understand and know more than you realize.
Jesus didn’t mean to literally gouge out your eye or cut off your hand – although if that was your only choice it would be better to go to heaven with no eye or one hand than to hell with both. What he’s saying here is the PAIN of removal is necessary to get to heaven. Stopping the pornography addiction can be painful to some, to let go of the attention and temporary euphoria of someone new can be painful, letting go of the desire to acquire things we love more than God – can be painful. But it is NECESSARY to let go, go through the pain, and get rid of the sin that separates us from God. I promise, the pain of letting go now is going to be nothing compared to the pain of regret in an eternity in hell. We have to get so eternity minded that we will not let sin separate us from God.
Most often the hardest person to forgive, is yourself. God forgives you the minute you ask and repent (stop the sin and turn back toward God). But often the guilt and shame is carried much, much longer. (That’s the devils plan) It leads to this treadmill of sin – you sin because you hurt, you hurt because you sin, you sin because you hurt, you hurt because you sin. You think you deserve that next abusive relationship because of what you’ve done. You think you don’t deserve to be happy because of what you’ve done. What you can’t see is that God forgave you! And the continual acts of sin will destroy you, and all those around you. It’s time to STOP that treadmill of sin. Jump off and start running toward God!
Friends, there’s no sin too big that God can’t forgive with a truly repentant heart. Ask Him to forgive you and most importantly – forgive yourself!