Summary: A small sin can be the cause of a Christian's stumbling block if not dealt with properly. It is like a cancer that grows and destroys our soul in hell. We will learn three ways to protect ourselves from the spread of sin and live a life of holiness.
Matthew 5:29-30 (NIV) 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
Today, we will talk about protecting ourselves from stumbling.
The word stumble is an action verb which means to strike the foot against something while walking or running.
This can happen accidentally or unexpectedly to everyone resulting to a person's stumbling, staggering, falling or tripping his feet.
And so, picture yourself walking alone unsteadily down a dark passage without any light to guide you.
And as you walk, you suddenly saw a dark shadow coming towards you.
Suddenly, you are overcome by fear, alarm and apprehension.
Instantly, you lost your balance, you stumbled down the alley and you fell hurting yourself badly.
You woke up the next day in the hospital without any recollection of what happened the previous night.
It was a horrifying experience.
And you begin to blame yourself.
"If only I did not walk that pathway alone at night.
If only I walked with groups.
If only was in church.
But it was too late.
You already stumbled.
You made a mistake.
And so, before that happens, you must learn to protect yourself from stumbling.
You must learn what to do and you must acquire the needed information to safeguard your life.
The same word "stumble" can also be used in terms of a person who made a mistake.
It is used to describe a person who made a blunder in life as a consequence of his past action or words uttered.
And so, picture yourself again taking that first smoke of cigarette many years ago when you were young.
Many people already told you to stop smoking because it will destroy you over time.
But you ignored the warnings and continued your puff.
As years passed by, you became addicted to smoking and you cannot get out.
Then, in and old age, you had lung cancer.
You have difficulty breathing.
You only have a few months to live.
And that was the time you remembered the warnings and many advices given to you.
"If only I listened.
If only I did not take that first smoke.
I only I ignored my so-called friends when they gave me that first cigarette.
If only I stopped smoking earlier.
But it was too late, you have already stumbled and fell and you cannot stand up anymore.
And so, before that happens, you need to guard yourself from the traps that can cause you to stumble.
You need to defend yourself from the invasion of the enemy.
You must learn to keep yourself away from those slippery ambush.
You and I need this message.
We must learn to protect ourselves.
Actually, "Stumble" is not a good word.
As much as possible, we don't want to experience this.
We don't want to stumble.
We don't want to make blunders in our lives.
We don't want to trip over and fall.
Because if we stumble, it will totally affect our future.
But sad to say, this can happen to any person, anytime, anywhere.
Anybody can stumble unexpectedly.
And so, today, we will talk about overcoming stumbling.
How do I protect myself from making that mistake.
How do I take care of myself so that my walk will always be consistent for the rest of my life.
How do I guard myself from harming myself and others who sees me?
Our Text says in Matthew 5:29-30 "29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell."
Our outline for today consist of the following:
HOW TO OVERCOME STUMBLING:
1. Be Careful with what you watch. The things that enter your life. You must learn to protect your eyes. You must have a clear outlook of life.
2. Be careful with what you do. The things that you show to people. The way you use your hands. You must be a blessing to others.
3. Be aware of the destruction that sin can do. You must learn to deal with sin when it is small. Do not allow it to grow and eat you up. For sin not dealt with can have a destructing consequences to your soul.