Pluck Out Your Eye

  • Pluck your eye out Matt 5:27-30
  • Was supposed to do a wedding in Texas in March- I cancelled- didn’t want to get sick or stuck
  • Ive seen a lot of people take a lot of precautions with covid over this past year. Distancing. Covering. Washing. Planning. Changing their plans. Doing everything they can to make sure they they don’t get infected and they don’t die. Wearing masks in cars. Not shopping, travel work etc
  • Public service announcements, tv, web, radio, announcements in parking lots. EVERYWHERE
  • Anything and everything at whatever cost necessary to live and not die. Road signs- maskup!
  • I wonder if we took that drastic of measure to stay away from sin. Just as much protection
  • In these verses Jesus uses the example of lust to expose a heart condition and then uses hyperbole to describe the drastic measures we should take to keep ourselves from sin
  • The stakes couldn’t be higher. Hell is the destination for those who don’t take it seriously. 
  1. Jesus says sin Starts with Intent
  • Intent is shown in our first verse 27 “You have heard that it was said [i]to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
  • To Jesus this sin of lust starts with intent “to lust for her” it’s a plan to sin. Not just lust all sin
  • James 1:15  Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. DESIRE+ACTION = Sin = Death
  • The desire to lust is a desire to sin and is equal with actually committing the sin of adultery
  • Jesus is drawing attention to the fact that adultery is listed as the 7th commandment “thou shalt not commit adultery” which the jews were apparently using as an excuse to justify lust
  • The whole “I didn’t do it, just thought about it” defense, that in their minds they thought OK
  • It’s the moral equivalent of my brother not touching me in the back of the car as a kid
  • Without spending a ton of time going into every scenario lets make it simple- Sex is only for married people who are man and a woman and intimate thoughts are to be reserved for them
  • Pictures, moving or stationary. Random people etc. the sin of the eyes and the lust of the flesh
  • ANYTHING outside of that is sin according to Jesus. A longing look. An extended thought. Anything. Very very high bar. Many people probably have or do struggle with this. 
  • Not just guys. I was in the Army with females. They are just as bad. 
  • But I don’t want to spend our time together just limiting to the sin of lust- all sin is equally as grievous. The non-lusters are not off the hook this morning. You’re just as vile. Sin is sin. 
  • And it all starts with intent. And intent and desire are just as bad as action. Must be rooted out
  • People have too long lived in a world where they think its ok to think something they don’t act on- Murderous thoughts, lust, greed, anger, envy, covetousness, sexual deviancy etc
  • God judges the intents of our hearts. He looks deep into our hearts and sees what we value
  • Psalm 44:21  Would not God search this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart.
  • Man. This is scary. I need more time to work on my heart. Its far from perfect. 
  • Jeremiah 17:10 10 I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.
  • Yikes- not just the heart- but the mind too- God looks at what I’m thinking about and what I desire and he wants it to be pure. 
  • Lord Jesus help us! Fill us with your Holy Spirit! Enable us to live for you! We need you father!
  • We need the Holy spirit to help our hearts! We can’t meet this standard on our own strength!
  • How do we fix the intent of our hearts?
  • Be born again- Become a new creation in Christ- It changes- but the flesh still wars! Soooo
  • Bible reading and bible preaching Hebrews 4:12  For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
  • Preaching and reading is supposed to convict us. Its supposed to refine us. Its painful
  • Its like cleaning- big stuff, little stuff, clean and then deep clean. Blinds, corners etc. 
  • Back when Gym was open- trainer would always find some weak body part to show off
  • Remind ourselves of the stakes 1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the [a]counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.
  • Jesus is going to come and reveal our hearts- we should hope and pray he finds us well. 
  • There will be no secrets before him! None- all lies deceit thoughts and intents laid bare
  • Ro 2:16  in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.
  • This is why Im so  surprised by infighting- we’re all in the same boat- lets help each other!
  • Do not hide- If you’re struggling with a mind sin that you don’t want to come to fruition- you have to find a trusted friend to talk to about it to get some accountability. 
  • Secret thoughts become secret actions become secret sins. Darkness breeds secrets. 
  • Let me read you a few scriptures to remind you that you cant hide from God- 
  • Jeremiah 23:24 24 Can anyone hide himself in secret places, So I shall not see him?” says the Lord; “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord. Ecclesiastes 12:14 14 For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.
  • Job 34:21-22 21 “For His eyes are on the ways of man, And He sees all his steps. 22 There is no darkness nor shadow of death Where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.
  • Quit living secret life- don’t pretend because no one knows your thoughts that its ok. Its not. Not  lust or any other thought sin- its going to cost you. Big time. In this life and the hearafter. 
  • Change your intent- make your intent to honor God and not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. 
  1. Second part of overcoming sin is Attitude
  • 29 If your right eye causes you to [j]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.
  • This is clearly a hyperbolic statement- one that isn’t to be taken literally
  • Jesus didn’t gouge out the eye of the woman caught in adultery. Paul didn’t recommend removing an eye or limb of the adulterer in Corinthians
  • The essence of the statement- is what’s your attitude and plan to keep yourself from sin?
  • Is it a lackadaisical come what may attitude or a win at all costs fight against sin?
  • Ephesians 5:17 17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
  • If you’re not fully engaged in the fight against sin- you will not win. Gods will is VICTORY
  • 1 Peter 4:2  that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
  • I watch this youtuber who talks about self defense- and he talks about ways to keep yourself safe in public and not be a victim of violence
  • And the first thing he always talks about is attitude- if you don’t have an attitude to defend yourself- you will not win the day. Prey looks for meat so don’t look like lunch. 
  • He uses this phraseology in a fight to say “wait your turn” and then “give it all you got”
  • If someone has a gun- and you don’t- and they turn from you- if you ‘re going to go for the gun- you go for it with all you have you don’t try- you do. (im not a trainer and I don’t advocate this)
  • But when it comes to sin- you better have some sort of attitude about it! Not taking it lightly
  • Romans 13:14  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
  • Your attitude should be to not make ANY provision for the flesh- NONE- I’m gonna fight this!
  • Psalm 51:10  Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
  • You can’t expect to win a fight if you don’t have an attitude to win- you just cant. You got to FIGHT- Give it all you got- Eye gouge the devil. Kim him in the knee. 
pluck
  • So how do you do that?
  • Do things that please GOD John 8:29  And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.”
  • We’ve already established that God knows all your secrets- he also knows where you go and what you do and what your attitude is about sin- are you just dealing with it as an expectation, or something that must be eradicated? Because if its not dealt with it will end in death
  • We moved a few months ago- 70s house with a crawlspace- mice during inspection
  • Talked to homeowner- not a big deal- just a few here and there- Nooooo full clean out. No mice
  • Things left to themselves do not get better. – you have to be DRASTIC
  • God is pleased when you live in holiness. God is pleased when you don’t feed the flesh. 
  • Don’t live according to the flesh
  • Romans 8:8  So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
  • What is living according to the flesh? Giving in to any emotional physical desire
pluck
  • This is why I advocate restrictive eating and exercise. I know I eat Good food- you can see it on my SM but that’s not how I live every day- 
  • Discipline is a transferrable action- if you are disciplined in one area it translates to another
  • And you can’t take a day off. It doesn’t work. You will pay the price for indulgence. 
  • The problem with modern day Christianity is that people don’t want to live a disciplined life- they want to figure out what’s the absolute minimum they have to do to get into heaven
  • So- when they hear “just believe” it resonates in their flesh. They like it. They want to do nothin
  • There are countless get rich quick and lose weight quick schemes that prey on the fleshly desire to get huge returns with little to no investment. People prey on this. 
  • But we are called to have an attitude that gives no provision for the flesh- only wanting to please him. Why? Because he loves us and saved us and delivered us from darkness not to it
  • Colossians 1:10  that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
  • Here’s the last part
pluck
  1. You have to take Action 
  • “cut it off and cast it from you” again is an hyperbolic statement to try to draw a distinction to the ends that you must Go to destroy the sinful nature. 
  • Scripture repeatedly demands that we no longer live according to our sinful desires
  • Remember these scriptures of admonition were written to professing Christians
  • And the ‘do no work’ group- well- I’ve been serving God 30 years and I’m still working on stuff- so apparently the process of sanctification is a process because all of my desires haven’t changed yet.  I still struggle with parts of the flesh. 
  • 1 Peter 1:14  as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lustsas in your ignorance;
  • Romans 12:2  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
  • Ephesians 4:22-24 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
  • Colossians 3:10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,
  • So the action is simple- “simple”
  • Don’t conform to former lusts– quite longing for the things you used to do and be about
  • Don’t be conformed to the world- quit trying to be a worldly person- be different and ok with it
  • Be renewed by the spirit of your mind– quit giving up the mind battle- think about sin differently- destroy it- 
  • Put on the new man- A new man doesn’t do what the old man did. “I don’t do that” “ I am a man who does this” 
pluck
  • And be DRASTIC ABOUT IT- If you have to cut it off, cut it off. Pluck it out pluck it out
  • And if you don’t feel like a new man fighting the flesh- be born again! A God loves you
  • This is what I never understand about people who go to prison and go back
  • If I ever went to prison- I would get out, move away, find new friends, change my name, and never look back. I would NEVER talk to ANYONE from my former life. EVER
  • But people want to have it all. Can’t be trusted with money? Let someone else run it. Porn? Don’t have a smartphone or internet- Need it for your job? Find a new job. Can’t drive by somewhere because you stop to sin? Put your route public. Don’t watch tv- don’t hang out with people. Admit your weakness- be honest- be DRASTIC Jesus says- What is it worth? Hell?
  • Crystal and I go to the gym-during covid realize that my mind is cleaner without certain gym time.  I asked her to rearrange the time we are at the gym based on the clientele that were there so as to give me less reason to have my eyes wander- I was honest- crystal agreed- we adjusted. Whatever it takes. 
  • 1 John 2:15-17 READ
  • Awareness buys you time and time buys you options- You know your triggers. You know your weak spots- readjust your life to make it easier to not do it. 
  • 1 thes 4:1-8 “how you must walk and please God”
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