What gets in the way of your relationship with God? Is it money. Perhaps it is selfishness or ego? Because of sin, all people have hindrances to their relationship with God. In our text, Jesus tells the twelve that it is time to get serious with their faith and remove these stumbling blocks. The Lord uses strong language to alert the disciples to their need to cut away all of those things that get in the way of loving God and neighbor.
Jesus says, “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off!” Sounds extreme, doesn’t it? Well, it is. Jesus’ words and tone are meant to make a strong point. We need to remove those obstacles that lead us into sin and away from God. So how do we remove the stumbling blocks? First, we must look to our core values.
Like the hub of a wheel, the center becomes the core of our personal ambitions. Whatever is at the center of our lives, this becomes the primary source of our support system. For Christians, this center is our Lord Jesus Christ. A life centered on Christ gives us the necessary tools to pluck those obstacles from our lives and anchor us to a faithful foundation. When we are serious about our faith, we have ears that hear Christ and hearts willing to follow as he leads us.
Prayer: O Lord Jesus, pour out your Spirit upon us, and fill our hearts with your love. Amen.