Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org/
The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional
Written by Dr. Lawson Murry for “SEIZE The DAY” @ https://seizetheday-blog.com
Original post @ https://seizetheday-blog.com/2022/03/09/justified-5/
For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted Luke 18:14 (NIV)
“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 18:10-14 NKJV)
The proud Pharisee and the humble tax man . . . Which one are you? Now don’t answer this question too quickly. Sometimes we reduce Lent to nothing more than a religious observance; one in which we give something up like watching a favorite TV show or eating chocolate. In so doing we think we’re pleasing God. But we’re not. When we commend ourselves for transitory self-denial we’re simply doing what every other Pharisee does.
That’s not to say that Lent isn’t about self-denial, it is. But it’s about more than giving up a favorite TV show or eating chocolate. It’s about giving up the things in our lives that do not please God – things like hypocrisy, duplicity and making excuses as to why we’re too busy to live for and love God. The tax man got it right. What truly delights God is when we confess our sinful attitudes and habits and humbly ask for forgiveness.
And more . . . Lent is about giving up our feelings of guilt. The tax man was justified (made right) before God when he received forgiveness from God. When something good like justification happens, it’s cause for celebration. The point is this: Lent is an occasion for remorse for as long as we’re harboring unconfessed sin, but once we confess our sin, Lent should (in part) be about how we embrace fresh feelings of relief and joy.
I think the best part of the story about the Pharisee and the tax man is hearing how the tax man “went home made right with God.” Isn’t this the desire of our hearts . . . to be made right with God? I think it is. And I think it’s why, having asked for forgiveness, we should stop beating ourselves up about the way we’ve been living (if that’s what we’ve been doing) and start worshipping Him for all He’s accomplished on our behalf.
P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !! If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ?? Here is the truth about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ… https://godsmanforever.com
To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…
You say you are a “born again” believer… “ BUT ” is your soul “ON FIRE ” for the Lord ?? If not, open this link – https://godsmanforever.com/2020/08/01/are-you-a-christian-in-gods-eyes-and-on-fire-for-the-lord-or-not/
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