The Kingdom of Heaven: Put Away Lust

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

Matthew 5:27-30

If you hate someone, you’ve as good as broken the 6th commandment: “You shall not murder.” So we discovered in the last post.

Now Jesus looks at the 7th commandment: “You shall not commit adultery.”

And once again, He strikes at the root of the law.

It’s not just the physical act of adultery that God condemns. It’s the thoughts, the desires, the lust that precede the action – even if the action never happens. Continue reading

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A Prayer of Confession

Holy, righteous LORD,

You are the King of kings, the Lord of lords, our great High Priest, our perfect Lamb. You did no sin, committed no crime, and yet suffered as if You had. When You were reviled, You did not revile in return. When You were struck, You did not strike back – but You turned the other cheek and offered Yourself up for further blows – though it was in Your power and Your rights to obliterate Your enemies. You, Who had every right to be angry at the perpetrators of injustice toward Yourself, remained silent. You, Who had every reason to defend Yourself as innocent, breathed not a word. You, Who had every cause to lift Yourself up in pride, chose to live – and die – in the utmost humility. You, Who are worthy of the entire earth’s servitude, came instead as a Servant to all – and invited us to serve with You.

And how we have failed, LORD.

How I have failed! Continue reading

A Loving God and Hell? – The Wrong Question

“How could a loving God send anyone to Hell?”

“How can you believe in such a God?”

 

In my philosophy class, I was told that this is a difficult question to answer, because it is tied up with the “problem of evil.” I personally never had a problem with it, having grown up knowing the truth.

But for some, it is a hard question. Someone in my family was asked a similar question just recently. For an unbeliever asking this question, God must seem unduly cruel.

But here is what I say:

You’re asking the wrong question. Continue reading

Sinner or Saint, Master or Friend

balance

A lot of people today focus on God’s love. A little too much, actually. They think that because God loves them, they can do whatever they want, because He will forgive all of their sins and send everybody to Heaven. But we know from the Bible that this is not true. There is such a place as Hell, and while God may love us unconditionally, He forgives conditionally – forgiveness is granted on the condition that we cry out to Him in repentance and ask for it. The people who focus so much on how His love and mercy tend to forget that our loving God is also a God of justice. They forget that He is a jealous God, and that He has given us commands which we are to follow. Continue reading