Thursday, June 23, 2011

Constant Reminders

Rodney loves the Lord. If the church doors are open, he is there. He is always at the hospital or nursing home. He is a big giver. But Rodney is handicapped.

Rodney has only one hand. He explained, "I have a problem with stealing. As a boy, I was a convenience store bandit. I graduated to taking nuts and bolts home from work. I made off with cans from the grocery store. No one ever knew."

"One Sunday the preacher talked about Mark 9:43. If your hands causes you to sin, cut it off. I kept denying my compulsion to steal. I always failed. I want to go to heaven! So, at my insistence, surgically I had my hand removed. I don't steal anymore."

His sin is controlled using a constant reminder!

Jeff effortlessly makes people comfortable at church. He always has a big grin and warm hand shake. He makes visitors feel relaxed immediately. And the rest of us feel important, too. Jeff is handicapped.

Jeff has one foot. I ask him, "Did you lose your foot in Operation Iraqi Freedom?" 

He hung his head. "My feet took me where I did not need to be. As a teenage boy, I ran to secret places to pitch pennies. On my 21st birthday I walked into a casino. I walked to the track for my excitement. I spent a week's check in less than 2 hours."

"I could not pay bills. My family stressed about their next meal. They had no new clothes. "

"At church, we studied Mark 9:45. I learned I was not pleasing God when I walked to the track. I've tried to quit gambling! But I continued walking where I should not go. I talked to Rodney's surgeon, and after much insistance, he took off my foot."

His sin is controlled using a constant reminder!

Ben makes the church's pantry program work. He always knows what is in the pantry. He calls selected Christians every time there is a specific product shortage. He makes food boxes for the needy. And he has evangelized many. Ben is handicapped.

Ben is a one-eyed wonder. I ask him if diabetes had ruined his eye. After a long moment, he told his story. "Women are Gods crowning creation. They should not be the target of a lust-filled eye. But everywhere I went I'd look for a woman to desire. Women with low cut blouses or short skirts maybe it easy. They are everywhere. I always suffered eye-strain headaches after a trip to the mall. Even though I knew it was wrong, I could not quit."

"Then in my daily bible reading, I came to Mark 9:47. I understood how important it was to stop lusting. But I still shop at Wal Mart. There are so many ladies there. I could not control this urge. I told my problem to a cosmetic surgeon, and he sewed my eyelid shut. That is why I wear the patch in public. God made people to be loved, not lusted."

His sin is controlled using a constant reminder!

God is serious about us controlling our desires. He reminds us with words like worm and fire, from Mark 9. He says we are to DIE to sin (Romans 6:1-6). We are to "die to sin and live to righteousness". Sin is NOT to reign in us (Romans 6:11-12). Christians continuing in sin are to be rebuked (1 Tim 5:20). We are commanded to lay aside every "encumbrance and sin" that holds us back. 

Is God commanding us to mutilate our bodies? Only if we can find no other way to control our desires. Reminders can help!

If you struggle with any sin, you may email me using this link.

1 comment:

  1. Because most of us love our bodies...if we were faced with loosing a limb or quitting sinning .... we would quit sinning.
    We have to want it that much...want righteous living so much we'd be willing to loose a limb if there was no other way.
    But most of us would find that "other way" and do right, if faced with loosing our eyes etc.


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