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Be Careful What You Look At

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So if your eye--even your good eye--causes you to lust, 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. Matthew 5:29

In today’s world, seeing visual images that can trigger your mind toward lustful thinking requires you to do just one thing—have your eyes open. Television, magazine covers, the internet, and just about any other form of communication are filled with sexually suggestive—and sometimes explicit—images that make it difficult for a man or woman of God to keep his or her mind and heart sexually pure.

In today’s verse, Jesus is emphasizing the importance of doing everything you can to keep your eyes from focusing on things that lure your mind toward lustful thinking. His point is the importance of ridding your life of things that can cause you to dwell on things that God deems impure and sinful. Far easier said than done in today’s culture, isn’t it?

Job, a man God lauded for his integrity, was onto something when he said, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman” (Job 31:1). It’s difficult, but not impossible, to keep your mind pure in the twenty-first century. It starts with simply making God, and yourself, a promise to get rid of the things that make sexually pure thinking more difficult.
 
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So if your eye--even your good eye--causes you to lust, 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. Matthew 5:29

In today’s world, seeing visual images that can trigger your mind toward lustful thinking requires you to do just one thing—have your eyes open. Television, magazine covers, the internet, and just about any other form of communication are filled with sexually suggestive—and sometimes explicit—images that make it difficult for a man or woman of God to keep his or her mind and heart sexually pure.

In today’s verse, Jesus is emphasizing the importance of doing everything you can to keep your eyes from focusing on things that lure your mind toward lustful thinking. His point is the importance of ridding your life of things that can cause you to dwell on things that God deems impure and sinful. Far easier said than done in today’s culture, isn’t it?

Job, a man God lauded for his integrity, was onto something when he said, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman” (Job 31:1). It’s difficult, but not impossible, to keep your mind pure in the twenty-first century. It starts with simply making God, and yourself, a promise to get rid of the things that make sexually pure thinking more difficult.
Job did what he had vowed to do, but Jesus said how those of old times had performed their oaths unto the Lord, but then expounded on it for the present that we are not to swear at all in making any oath since swearing on that oath is a common practice for those wishing to declare their sincerity to perform it. Jesus explained why we are not to even swear on that oath, let alone make an oath because we cannot make one hair white or black; meaning we can't do God's work in us.

Matthew 5:33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: 34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: 35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. 36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. 37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

Christians make the mistake that God will help them keep their promises, but His word says other wise.

Numbers 30:2 If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.

God says it is his bond and he has to do ALL that proceeds out of his mouth just as God will keep His word. God cannot help a man keep his bond when by His word and his word, says he was going to do it. His bond is his work & his glory.

Ecclesiastes 5:4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. 5 Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. 6 Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? 7 For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God.

Promise Keepers movement swept America and may be responsible somewhat for that mentality that God will give grace for men to keep trying while still calling themselves Promise Keepers when they are not; It is a false witness.

In one Promise Keeper convention, they used the CEV Bible that has completely changed the message in His words to make it read that it is okay to make promises to God in Matthew 5:33-37 CEV.

Matthew 5:33 You know that our ancestors were told, “Don’t use the Lord’s name to make a promise unless you are going to keep it.” 34 But I tell you not to swear by anything when you make a promise! Heaven is God’s throne, so don’t swear by heaven. 35 The earth is God’s footstool, so don’t swear by the earth. Jerusalem is the city of the great king, so don’t swear by it. 36 Don’t swear by your own head. You cannot make one hair white or black. 37 When you make a promise, say only “Yes” or “No.” Anything else comes from the devil. CEV

The CEV even changed the message in Galatians 5th chapter which is the complete opposite of what the KJV and most modern Bible has it.

Galatians 5:1Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. 3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. KJV

The hypocrisy is not lost in the CEV below:

Galatians 5:1Christ has set us free! This means we are really free. Now hold on to your freedom and don’t ever become slaves of the Law again. 2 I, Paul, promise you that Christ won’t do you any good if you get circumcised. 3 If you do, you must obey the whole Law. 4 And if you try to please God by obeying the Law, you have cut yourself off from Christ and his wonderful kindness. 5 But the Spirit makes us sure that God will accept us because of our faith in Christ. CEV

If circumcision is the smallest letter of the law, then where does finishing a vow to God comes in? The biggest letter of the law; and if those who do circumcision must do the whole law, then where does keeping a promise fall in? Keeping the whole law. While a man has a vow on him, he must finish it. Paul understood this.

Acts 21:23 Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them; 24 Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law. 25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication. 26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them. 27 And when the seven days were almost ended,........KJV

Paul did not ask the Gentiles to make a promise in keeping themselves from things offered to idols, and from strangled blood and from fornication, because that would make the promise an open ended promise left unfinished but ongoing. That is why he instructed them to do those things rather than make a promise to do it, because a promise requires to finish it, but living by faith in His promises to help us to follow Him is a daily thing and ongoing until He brings us Home perfect.

In today's world, sex appeal is everywhere. I am not sure if Job would have trouble keeping that promise not to look at a woman in lusting after her if he was alive today, but he did speak rashly and got a reproof from the Lord for doing so below:

Job 38:1Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, 2 Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? 3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.

So if he was alive today and I would say he would be a believer in Jesus Christ, he would rely on Jesus Christ and all His promises to us ALL THE TIME for He will finish His work in us to His glory.

I believe that is the reason why it is simply written that the just shall live by faith; but the law is not of faith, and those who do them, must live in them.

One can repent of having made promises & commitments to God and to men by asking Jesus Christ to forgive us of our sins, to set us free once again, and to rest in Him and all His promises to us for everything that He will help us to follow Him as the Good Shepherd He is and finish His work in us to His glory.

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: ....11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

So I ask believers not to look to themselves in making promises to do good work in themselves or to do good works for God that is really best left in God's hands to do in enabling us for living as His, and it is His work to finish His good work in us to bring us Home and when that happens, He will finish any good work left behind when He takes us Home no matter what we are in the middle of in serving Him. It is to His glory and our thanksgivings and praise of Him in Heaven for.

 
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At one time in my life, I had developed a habit of cussing out at a warehouse I was managing to let off steam when nobody was around. I came across this pamphlet about the words of my mouth by Bill Rudge Ministry's. I was convicted by it but on the back, it led me to make a covenant with my mouth and so I did not to cuss like that ever again at the warehouse.

The very next day, I was worse than I ever was before. I had thoughts in my head, maybe the devil was responsible, but the thoughts said "You are not His ! If you were His, He would have helped you keep your covenant !" I stopped listening to those thoughts which seem like it was coming from the devil, but being at my wits end, I did prayed to God, "God, why aren't you helping me? You know I do not want to do this."

He answered; it was not audible but a small still voice ..weird hearing like that... He answered and said "You made the covenant. You said you were going to do it. I made the covenant with you and I said I am going to do it. All I ask from you is to believe in Me."

I was humbled that day, but He did provide the scripture later on to prove that I was indeed, hearing Him speak to me that day.

Later on, when Promise Keepers movement moved into the valley, I was attending 2 Bible studies held by different groups of Christians whereas one had men speaking positively of their experience at the PK convention in Pittsburgh where they knew better not to make promises to men, because man cannot always be there to help you keep your promises, and so they made only promises to God; but the other Bible study group had men speaking positively citing that they know better not to make promises to God but promises to men as in to each other as they can hold each other accountable and help them keep their promises. I never been to one convention but I knew from the information about the PK movement that it was about both making promises to God and men.

Anyway, as I was trying to share what I had learned in one Bible study group, one Catholic Mason said "Isn't a commitment like a promise?" and then as I was taken aback by this, then he said "Sure it is." That was when I realized my double-mindedness in my walk with the Lord.

I would try to do the best I can in making Jesus Lord of my life and failing miserably, and when I ask Him for help, He forgives me and helps me, but I kept trying to show my appreciation to Him by trying once again to keep that commitment to make Him Lord of my life. It was a vicious circle as He put up with me in spite of my blindness at the time until finally, that Catholic Mason pointed out that a commitment is like a man's promise to do something and he said that you keep that commitment... you did it as in God had nothing to do with any one keeping their commitment "attitude". It is a man's commitment that speaks of himself; his will power, his intention to finish and God's words confirms it per Numbers 30:2 KJV and Ecclesiastes 5:4-7 KJV ) That is why Jesus said not to make any oath nor expound on that oath by swearing to it in Matthew 5:33-37 KJV because we cannot make one har white or black, but God can since we are the work of His hands.

So the Lord broke through to me in that Bible study and applied the lesson learned to how I had been living before in vain as I declared to that Catholic/Mason that I will no longer speak of my commitment to the Lord but declare my faith in Him to help me to follow Him. Apparently, the Catholic Mason grimaced in how I had responded to what he had said.

So the Lord broke that habit of cussing out at the warehouse in letting off steam when no one else was around, and although on occasions I do cuss, He reminds me to stop and I would ask for forgiveness as I leaned on Him to help me let it go.

I am glad to say it has no dominion over my life and it is not a habit any more, but I still need Him to keep me from my sins daily, and He does a better job than I could when vainly trying to keep a covenant, commitment, or promise to do so. That is how I get to know Him and the power of His resurrection when I place my confidence in Him to finish His work in me which is to His glory and my living by the same grace of God I had been saved by.

 
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Thank-you for Sharing your rightly thought out words and experiences on this Brother.

To be succinct if I may.

It is all Him and none of us.

With the Love of Christ Jesus.
YBIC
Nick
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