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Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday Morning Devo--Parable of the Pharsee and the Publican

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 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. Luke 18:10-13, KJV

There's a little more to this story. It actually begins in verse 9 and continues through 14. The upshot is that the publican was forgiven, and the Pharisee went back home just as filthy inside as when he entered the temple.

God doesn't abide self-righteousness. In looking at the two men above, I definitely like the publican better too, don't you?

And yet...and yet. I'm as guilty as the Pharisee on occasion. Maybe it's human nature to occasionally feel superior to someone else. That doesn't make it acceptable to God. He asks us to be humble. He says to serve others--washing their dirty, stinky feet no less. He wants people who don't "lord it over" anyone, whether out loud or inside your heart.

Prayer: Lord, here is my whole heart. I offer it to you once again, scuffed and dirty as it is, and ask you to clean it up one more time. Forgive me for one-upmanship, wanting to feel better than someone else in any area, feeling entitled to more of Your love than you give to another. Free me from myself to love as You love. Amen.