A case study in humility

Passage:

“Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 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. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 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!’ 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 ‭18:9-14‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

http://bible.com/114/luk.18.9-14.nkjv

Paraphrase:

Jesus spoke this parable to some people who were trusting in themselves, in their own righteousness to save themselves; they also had a hatred for others who were “not as good as they were”. Jesus said: “there were two men who went to the temple to pray: one was a Pharisee and the other was one who collected people’s taxes. The Pharisee stood and prayed but was only heard by himself, not God. He said: ‘God I am thankful that I am not like other people, those who commit such sins as extortioners, adulterers, the unjust or common sinners like this poor tax collector. I fast twice a week, I give my tithes and offerings each week. This is what makes me deserving to be in your presence.’ The tax collector who didn’t even come close to the altar but stood at a distance beat his chest and cried out to God who heard his prayer saying: ‘God show your mercy to me because I am a sinner in dire need!’

Jesus said to this near: “I’m telling you the truth when I say the tax collector went home right in the sight of God because of his humility while the other remained in his sin. Everyone who exalts themselves will be humbled but everyone who humbled themselves will be exalted.

Principle:

Be humble before God.

Confess your need for God. Don’t trust in yourself or your own good deeds to save you.

God hears the prayers of the humble.

Promise:

When we humble ourselves before the Lord He hears us and exalts us based on His mercy.

Ponder:

How have I compared my “righteousness” against others’ unrighteousness?

Do I trust more in my own goodness than in Christ?

Have I ever confessed my need and admitted my need for God’s mercy?

Why do I think God loves humility?

Practice:

Live in light of my own sinfulness and the mercy of God.

Don’t compare myself to others.

Continually admit my need for Christ.

Remain humble before God and others.

Prayer:

Dear Lord, have mercy on me for I am a sinner just like the tax collector. I am in need of your forgiveness. I humbly come and admit that without you I would not be where I am today and I would certainly not have any hope for a better future. I simply want to serve where and how you want to use me.

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