SOAP Devotional 2016-04-04
Scripture – Observation – Application – Prayer
“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. So if your eye—even your good eye —causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your hand—even your stronger hand —causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” –Matthew 5:27-30 NLT
Romans 3:23 says, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” Today’s passage, among others, is a clear indicator that Romans 3:23 applies to all of us. This verse is not talking about merely noticing an attractive person or admiring someone’s appearance, it takes it to the next step of actually imagining having an inappropriate relationship with that person. Most have been guilty of this at some time in our lives. Although, God does not expect us to mutilate ourselves, the latter part of this passage paints a picture of how severe this problem is and that it will require drastic measures to fix. It will not just go away on its own. It must be dealt with.
Our thought life can be a fertile bed for the seeds of sin. It has been said that if you think on something enough, you will eventually try to make it happen. This thought pattern applies to more than lust. It also applies to revenge, jealousy, hate, etc. We have to rid ourselves of “stinking thinking.” We have to aggressively take back our thought life. It does not happen just by chance, we must be deliberate and overcome it. Yes, it is natural. So is your eye and your arm. Having an imagination and ability to reason is a good thing when used for good. The latter part of the passage illustrates just how important and deliberate we must work to take control of our thought life. Just an added thought when it comes to adultery if it leaves the thought life and manifests. And it will if you do not control your thought life. Adultery damages more than the one who pursues it. It will leave scars on both parties that may never completely heal. Pastor’s and counsellors deal with these scars way more often than you would ever think. Take control of your thought life.
Father, help me to remember how important my thought life is. Let me keep my mind purged of thoughts that will lead to destructive behavior. Don’t let me minimize the importance of thinking on the right things.
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” –Philippians 4:8 NLT