Dealing with Sin

Our family has been reading through the book of Matthew for this Lent season.  The other day, we came across Matthew 18:8-9.  I could see the verses coming and I decided to "plow through" knowing that I had a 7 & 9-year-old listening.  A part of me was hoping that they weren't really paying attention and we could read through it without conversation.  In retrospect, I'm glad they were actually listening and I also am thankful for the orchestration of the Holy Spirit and His timing in all of it.

Here is Matthew 18:8-9:
If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

As I read this aloud, I could see my 7-year-old's eyes growing wide.  She stopped me and asked, "What did Jesus mean by this?"

Well, just minutes before we read this, she was looking at something I had received in the mail from All Girl's Allowed. This organization has taken China's One-Child policy head-on and "seeks to restore the God-given life, value and dignity to women by seeking transformation both of hearts and of societies."  My kids and I had just finished talking about the fact that China's  one-child policy has often led to the ending of many babies' lives.  As I looked more deeply at the passages we just read I suddenly noticed these verses are sandwiched between the following,

Matthew 18:6

If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

and ends with

Matthew 18:10

See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.

We were able to look at all of these verses in the context of present day situations.  It is very clear that our Heavenly Father, cherishes children and babies.  It is also very clear, from present day realities that when sin is not dealt with and taken seriously it has detrimental effects on others - present and future generations.  As I continued to talk through Scripture, my daughter looked through the pictures in the pamphlet and I think the reality of Jesus' words really began to sink in (at least they did for me).

I told my kids, that sometimes they may wonder why I address sin in their lives immediately and I said these situations and Jesus' words help us to see what happens when we ignore sin.  

Our family is involved in a ministry where we have the privilege to see precious newborn babies on a weekly basis.  I said it is hard to imagine how anyone can go from a place of wanting to protect these precious little ones to the opposite extreme of actually being on a mission to harm them.  We then brought up Moses and how his mother had to rescue him and that this "story" is actually an old story that continues on today.  Yet we can see that our God and the mission of His kingdom remains the same - to rescue and save His people and that He has invited us to participate in this story.

In Christ,

P.S. I have no formal affiliation with All Girls Allowed, nor do I speak on their behalf.  This article is written purely out of life experience.  I have read A Heart of Freedom by Chai Ling and that is where I learned about this amazing ministry.

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