tale of two sinners

Luke 18:9-14

9And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt:

 10“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

 11“The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.

 12‘I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’

 13“But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’

 14“I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Self-examination

11“The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.

Things to take away:

Being religious doesn’t make you right with God.

Not being like others doesn’t make you like God/Jesus.

Questions:

Are you self-righteous?

Do you compare yourself to others or to Christ?

Where do you stand when you pray? Do you ever kneel?

Self-denial

12‘I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’

Things to take away:

Doing the minimum is not a sacrifice.

Giving and giving up should be an act of love not duty

Questions:

Do you keep track to be impressive or justified?

Do you ever do more than is required or asked?

What do you do out of love?

God had one son on earth without sin, but never one without suffering.
Augustine

Spirit-controlled

 13“But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’

Things to take away:

God invites the humble in and up close.

God is merciful to those who admit they are sinful

Questions:

Do you feel distanced from God?

Have you confessed your sin to God lately?

Are you willing to humble yourself before God and man?

The confession of evil works is the first beginning of good works.
Augustine

God became like me so that I might become like Him.

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

2 Corinthians 5:21

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