Mark 9[9.43-48] “If your hand or your foot gets in God’s way, chop it off and throw it away. You’re better off maimed or lame and alive than the proud owner of two hands and two feet, godless in a furnace of eternal fire. And if your eye distracts you from God, pull it out and throw it away. You’re better off one-eyed and alive than exercising your twenty-twenty vision from inside the fire of hell. [9.49-50] “Everyone’s going through a refining fire sooner or later, but you’ll be well-preserved, protected from the eternal flames.
Lord Jesus--This is one of those spots that the words get twisted and the message gets lost. The message is of the importance of focus on your kingdom not on body parts thrown away. The focus is on your kingdom not necessarily the church. The focus needs to be on the message and on the interactions with that message among the people we meet along the way. Anything that distracts or distorts that interaction needs to be jettisoned for the sake of the mission.
My interactions with the people that surround me are important. The relationships are of eternal importance. This warning is found just after you pointed to the fellow travelers on the road to kingdom come and reminded me of the need to protect those who are just putting their roots down into the faith.
You want me to be a light the shines in the darkness even if the darkness doesn't notice. There are times when it feels as if the darkness that surrounds is suffocating. There are also, those times when it feels as if the darkness is intoxicating. Your quiet and reoccurring call to me is to shine without distraction. The call is to focus on you on your life and light, on your grace and hope, not the darkness that surrounds and at times seeps inside me.
In this day, help me to be redemptively aware of the hope that infuses every moment that I allow myself to focus on you.
Peterson, Eugene H. (2006-06-15). The Message Remix 2.0: The Bible In contemporary Language (Kindle Locations 30877-30881). NAVPress - A. Kindle Edition.