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Jesus gave ten examples to help us understand that the kingdom is a matter of the heart. We will explore three more here. Because they are examples, the “doing” of these sayings is easier to identify – and that is a good thing. However, we must remember that Jesus’ focus remains on our hearts, not our performance; the goal is to be made into a kingdom citizen, not to make or justify ourselves.

Guard the Lamp of Your Body

You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not commit adultery.” But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:27-28

The house that stands in the storm will be the house of the man that guards his heart from the lusts of his eyes. This is an incredibly important issue for the church in America; particularly when you consider the houses that are being built around our pastors and our fellowships. Of all the judgment that will come to the house of God (1Peter 4:17), the judgment for this sin will be one of the most severe.

Consider the statistics. A Leadership Journal survey reports that four in ten pastors online have visited a pornographic Web site; and more than one-third have done so in the past year. reports that, of the 1,351 pastors that Rick Warren’s website,, surveyed on porn use, 54% said they had viewed internet pornography within the last year and 30% of those had visited within the last 30 days.

According to Patrick Means (2006), 63% of pastors surveyed confirm that they are struggling with sexual addiction or sexual compulsion including, but not limited to, the use of pornography, compulsive masturbation, or other secret sexual activity. Furthermore, 75% of pastors do not make themselves accountable to anyone for their Internet use.

The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! Matthew 6:22
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Bible with Cross ShadowThe sayings of Jesus challenge our subjection to His reign. Are we wholly His bondservants? Are we willing to obey regardless of the discomfort and cost? Are there ever excuses for ignoring His instructions?

The fact that self-professed Christians are divorcing at the same rate as the world suggests something is wrong in the church. Clearly, she has not been up to the challenge of this saying:

Furthermore it has been said, “Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.” But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery. Matthew 5:31-32

I lean heavily toward literal interpretation of the Scriptures when I am searching out a matter. I believe it is much more preferable to allow the word of God to shatter my paradigms, than to force His word into my way of thinking. Twisting the truth to fit my situation is a risk I am not willing to take.

Consequently, I believe this passage to be one of the most compromised in all of the Holy Bible; and, just to be clear, I mean compromised in the church.

At the risk of sounding harsh, most divorce in the church happens because the children of God do not seriously consider this passage before and during their marriage. Many do not believe going in, during, or in deciding to get out, that the consequences of divorce are so severe. How severe? Read the rest of this entry »


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