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!" Matthew 18:8
Our life is so full of temptation and peril--that even its
best things may become stumbling-blocks. Our very qualities of
strength--may become fatal forces driving us to eternal ruin.
Human beauty is a blessing from God--and yet beauty has
proved a snare to many a woman, drawing her away from God.
Ability to make money is a perilous gift--which has led
many a man to spiritual ruin. It is better to altogether throw away the money-making
ability, and go poor through life with the talent wasted and
shriveled, and reach Heaven--than to exercise the ability and
grow rich, and be lost forever! These are illustrations of our
Lord's meaning when He speaks of 'cutting off' the hand or the
foot which causes us to sin.
The appetites, desires, and affections--are part of the glory
of humanity; and yet, when they are unbridled--they
have whirled many a noble life to eternal destruction!
A steam-boat came into port which had long been out on the
sea. An accident had happened which caused delay. The coal
gave out; then all that would burn--cargo, stores,
furniture--had to be burned up, in order to bring the vessel
home. At last she gained the shore--but stripped of everything
of value. Yet it was better to burn up all her cargo and
stores--than perish at sea.
Just so, some men can get to Heaven--only by sacrificing every earthly
pleasure and crucifying every sinful desire; but who will say
that the prize is not worth the sacrifice?
The hand would be better chopped off--than steal or
strike down another. The foot would be better cut
off--than carry one into crime or sin. The eye would
be better plucked-out--than by its lustful gazing set the soul
on fire. A man on a wrecked vessel had better throw his
bags of gold into the sea and have his life saved--than
hold on to the gold and sink into the waves!
Bible Readings in the Life of Christ" 1890)