Gift: Counsel (Right Judgment) – With the gift of right judgment, we know the difference between right and wrong, and we choose to do what is right. A person with right judgment avoids sin and lives out the values taught by Jesus.
Reading: Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, 10 into the unquenchable fire. (Mark 9:41-42)
Observation: The 41st verse that I picked from the gospel continues the message from yesterday, which is that whoever is not against Jesus is for him. For me, I chose this verse and the 42nd verse, because the rest of the gospel is full of scary imagery about also cutting off your foot and plucking out your eye, if they cause you to sin and because I am a sinner, I do not like the sound of that. However, the message I am hearing this morning is, that instead of looking at redemption as something that will happen in the future, why don’t we look at it as something that can happen now? Take away the scary imagery of cutting off your hand or foot or plucking out your eye, if they cause you to sin, and I see that Jesus is saying that we need to rid our lives of those things that are hindering our getting closer to him.
Personification: Self-Control It would be easier to have self-control, if I knew that there was never an opportunity in my schedule to fall into sin. It will be my intention, for the rest of my life to have a scheduled time for everything that I must do and know the result of the action that I am planning on taking. If for whatever reason, I cannot meet the desired goal in the time that I have given myself, I will prayerfully consider the time necessary to reschedule to make sure it gets done.
Prayer: Oh my God, I am heartily for having offended you, and I detest all my sins because of your just punishments, but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my live. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin. Amen.