Remix: Student Devotionals

Sin and Temptation: Week 3, Day 2

Day 2: Under the Knife

A woman in Bucharest, Romania, weighed 176 pounds with a benign tumor attached to most of her back and continued halfway down her thighs. Lucica Bunghez, 46, suffered from neurofibromatosis, or NF, a progressive disorder of the nervous system that causes disfiguring tumors to form on nerves throughout the body.

An American surgeon, Dr. McKay McKinnon, and a team of Romanian doctors led by Dr. Loan Lascar removed the tumor and performed several skin transplants to cover the part of her body affected by removing the giant tumor.

What do you think she weighed after the tumor was removed? Just 88 pounds! Yes, the tumor weighed as much as she did! The growing tumor had absorbed blood and nutrients from her body like a giant parasite, doctors said.

Dr. McKinnon offered his services for free after the Romanian government said it could not afford the $300,000 needed to send Bunghez to the United States for the surgery.

Read Mark 9:43-47.

Lucica did nothing to cause the tumor to grow on her body. She did, however, decide to allow it to be removed. She knew the surgery and long recovery would be painful. However, she also knew that the pain and disfigurement of allowing the tumor to continue to grow on her would be an even worse fate.

Jesus was speaking in exaggeration in today’s Scripture. He was saying if anything is continually causing sin, we must get rid of it. Nothing is worth constant disobedience. You may never know what an 88-pound tumor feels like, but you have likely already felt the sting of constant, nagging temptation and sin. Christ is capable of removing anything sin produces, including guilt and shame. So what do you need to surrender and confess to Him today? Allow His “surgery” on your heart and mind.

Time Out:

Is there any sin in your life that you have been carrying around? Is there anything in your life that causes you to have a lingering feeling of guilt?

Look up 1 John 1:9. What is the first word in that verse?

We have a choice if we want to live with the tumor (the sin) or get rid of it once and for all. Is there anything you need to talk to God about today?

According to Psalm 103:10-12, write down three things that God does with our sin when we confess it over to Him.

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8