Happy Thursday friends! It’s time for another weekly dose of encouragement. Recently I stumbled upon the scripture that talks of the Pharisee and the publican. I really love this story, and it teaches us a lot. The publican is the man I want to be like. I want to humble myself in front of the Lord, ask for His mercy, and tell Him I am a sinner, unworthy. The publican couldn’t even look upwards because he was so ashamed of his sin. I read this over a few times, and the more I read it, the more I just feel so inspired.
You see friends, I have a little bit of Pharisee in me. I do. There are times in my life where I look at someone else, a murderer for example, and think, well I least I haven’t killed anyone Lord. I’m not that bad of a sinner. Thank you Lord for not allowing me to do something that bad. I know what you’re thinking – I need help, right? And you’re absolutely right. I do need help, from the Lord. I don’t want to have those feelings. I don’t want to compare my life to others, or try to boast myself in any way. I want to get on my knees, beg for mercy, and share with the Lord what a wretched person I really am. And I don’t want that feeling to go away.
Read this portion of scripture from Luke…..
“Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”
Jesus says that the man who humbles himself will be exalted. The one that puffs himself up and acts like a Pharisee will be abased. Friends, God doesn’t want us comparing our lives to the lives of others. He wants us to do what we can, when we can, and however we can. He wants us to humble ourselves before Him. As much as the world today doesn’t like the word sin, it is a word that we need to think of every day. That white lie you told your kid? It’s a sin. (side note – I am totally guilty of this one, pray for me. I don’t even know why my fingers typed those words) That evil thought you had in your head about a coworker – sin. The lustful thought that may come to mind when seeing (or **ahem** reading) a handsome man, sin if you take it too far. You see? Even the smallest things we do on a daily basis are worthy of humbling ourselves before the Lord over and asking forgiveness.
Who do you want to be? The Pharisee or the publican? My prayer is that we all strive to be more like the publican. Each and every day.
Now it’s your turn friends. What verse is on your heart today? Make sure you visit these other wonderful blogs for some more encouragement!