Mark 9:42-43- “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched” NKJV
My plan was to skip over this part of chapter 9 and move on to 10, but as I spent time with the Lord, He began talking to me from this passage. Let’s dive in and see what God has for us today!
“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.Mark 9:42 NKJV
As we come to the end of 2021, it’s amazing to think of all that we have experienced as a nation, as a church, and even as individuals. If anyone prophesied to us in 2019, what 2020 and 2021 would look like, we would have thought they were false prophets. But looking at where we are, we have to be honest in our private time with God and ask, how did we get here?
Yes, the pandemic threw us for a loop, shutting down much of the world. Yes, many lives were lost, and therefore, many more were changed. Jobs were stopped, businesses were closed down forever, the world went digital through IoT (internet of things), and the way we do life saw many changes.
Online services have become the norm causing some to be content to stay home during service times. Those who were left out because they were ill or the church was inaccessible can now enjoy worship with their friends and family. This is a blessing! But for those who are just staying home, you are causing others who are babes in Christ, quite possible yourself, to stumble.
Jesus said that if we cause one to stumble! That’s a pretty high calling by which to live. For if we cause one to stumble, Jesus said, it would be better if we were thrown in the sea! Now let me stop to say that Jesus isn’t encouraging suicide or murder here. He is saying that it is really and truly serious to Him if we conduct our lives in such a manner that it causes others to stumble.
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenchedMark 9:43 NKJV
Let me also point out that I don’t believe for a second that Jesus believes in self-mutilation. Nothing anyone could ever write in a commentary or preach in a sermon could ever convince me that we are to start cutting off our body parts if we sin with them. But I do believe, because I heard Him addressing me, that there are some things that we do need to cut off. As a matter of fact, the phrase, “cut it off” has been ringing in my heart for days.
Let’s read this in the Amplified version:
“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe and trust in Me to stumble [that is, to sin or lose faith], it would be better for him if a heavy millstone [one requiring a donkey’s strength to turn it] were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble and sin, cut it off [that is, remove yourself from the source of temptation]! It is better for you to enter life crippled, than to have two hands and go into hell, into the unquenchable fire.Mark 9:42-43 AMP
When God spoke to my spirit this week, this is what He said to me. If there is something that will cause us, or others to stumble, that we are involved in, it’s time to cut it off! Today, is my first time reading this passage in the AMP version, so I know that I wasn’t just meditating on this version. God said, some things need to be cut off, or out of our lives.
What things? There is absolutely no way that we can live the kind of life that won’t offend someone. I know people who get offended at the concept of supporting their church financially. Let them! But there are other things that are offensive, and we know they are offensive and divisive, yet we participate with them or at least approve of them. It’s time to cut them off!
That individual who you are still involved with, knowing what God has to say in His word, is an offense to young believers and a sin you need to be rid of. It’s time to cut it off! Your heart may break, your life may change, children may be affected, but in the end, your eternity is what matters! Get mad with me if you need to, but you can stop deceiving yourself by thinking God is okay with homosexuality, fornication, adultery, or any other sinful lifestyle. Just because you are living what you think is a good life, He is not in it! Cut it off and go on to live His best life!
When our daughter was in undergrad, she attended a church that believed it was okay to drink alcoholic beverages. We had many conversations about that! I know all the scriptures about Jesus drinking wine and sitting with the sinners. But deep in our spirit, we know that is not the behavior of believers and it could inadvertently cause people to stumble, including us! Just cut it off! It’s not necessary for a healthy and prosperous life!
Paul said it this way:
But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak.1 Corinthians 8:9 NKJV
You may be feeling like you have the liberty in Christ to drink, to smoke, to do whatever, and I won’t argue with you about it. But Paul wrote that our liberty can become a stumbling block to those who are weak, and we should be mindful of that as we exercise our liberties.
Cut it off! It’s really, really hard to look at our lives and think that there is anything in our lives that can cause others to stumble. I can look at Sister So and So’s life and see that she just needs to stop doing this or stop acting like that. But can she look at my life and do the same? I am sure of it!
James wrote this to the church:
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.James 1:22-25 NKJV
We don’t want to be that person who looks in the mirror of God’s word, sees something He is showing us, and then walks away with our heads hung because we can’t see ourselves letting go of it, like the rich young ruler. No! We want to respond immediately!
Just this week, as I was before the Lord, He showed me something in my life that I need to cut off. I know it’s the truth! So I repented of that thing and asked Him to help me as I learn to walk free of it. It’s a blessing to realize that He loves me so much He wants to prune me to look more like Him.
Maybe He is speaking to you through today’s blog. Maybe He is using it to confirm something He has already spoken to you. Whatever it is, take courage and cut it off today! Wonderful Jesus!