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Without Mercy All Is Lost

October 28, 2016

Greetings,

“To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable:  Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself:  God, I thank you that I am not like other men – robbers, evildoers, adulterers – or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.  But the tax collector stood at a distance.  He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, God have mercy on me, a sinner.  I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God.  For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled. and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”      Luke 18: 9-14

Wow, Jesus was very straightforward here, even to the point of directing this parable right at those who were acting smug and holier than thou towards others.  With pinpoint accuracy Jesus called out those who were full of themselves and lacking in grace, mercy and Spiritual maturity.

The Pharisee exalted himself by comparing himself and his self righteousness to others who were obviously sinning.  Then he listed his qualifications (fasting, tithing) as if he were applying for a position with God.  He totally misses that the only standard we are judged by is Jesus and that nobody ever really measures up without His abundant mercy and grace.

The tax collector was totally humble in approaching God, fully knowing that he did not measure up to God’s standard.  Then instead of listing his good deeds he called himself a sinner and simply asked for God’s mercy, knowing full well that his life falls way short of God’s best.

Too many times in my life I have been the self righteous Pharisee, showcasing my best attributes and minimizing my sin.  Hopefully, this occurs less often as I age and mature in Christ; but it still happens at times.  I can all too easily be a smug bastard and look down on others as I compare my good works to theirs.  Deep in my heart though I am not that person, but in my insecurity there is so much fear and pride that I get sidetracked and focus on works instead of grace.  Sometimes I think that I cannot trust God, His grace, or anyone else; and that I need to earn acceptance and forgiveness on my own.  I know this is warped thinking, but I think it comes from my childhood and never being able to trust my natural father because of the way he raped, molested and abused me.  Trust is a MAJOR issue for anyone who has been abused.  In my heart I know I can trust Jesus, but in my mind at times I still struggle.  So here I am this very deeply flawed individual very much in need of grace and healing.  My only hope? God have mercy on me, a sinner?

Love and ……

Kirk Out !

 

 

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16 Comments
  1. Tom Ball permalink

    You speak for us all, Chris. Lord, have mercy on ME, a SINNER. It is Christ and Christ alone who makes it possible for us to have a relationship with God the Father. NOTHING we do, have done, or possibly can do would be in any way sufficient. It is Grace, and Mercy which make a way.

  2. Sue heumann permalink

    Yep, none of us are exempt. We all are totally dependent on Jesus for everything. You have your reasons I have mine. They all describe people in need of redemption…..thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord!! There is therefore now no Condemnation for those in Christ Jesus❤️

  3. i am so glad his grace is sufficent because mine is as filthy rags. if we say we are christian and dont love our neighbor ?
    every man and woman and child on earth is our neighbor. think

  4. love the person not the act

  5. ajdances permalink

    Thank you Kirk 4 u honesty & transparency! & thank u again 4 sharing the scriptures with insight in how they affect our lives. Truly goodness & mercy shall follow me “all” the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Thank God 4 the indwelling Christ Who lives in our spirit. May the Lord continue to heal u of the pain endured as a child. Faithful is the Lamb of God!!

    Amy J

    • Thank you for sharing Amy. The indwelling Christ….what an awesome concept and reality that is.

  6. Cameron Brown permalink

    Point well made. In Him we live and move and have our being. In His light, we are aware of betrayed values and stand in candid recognition of self will. Humbling but cleansing! Thanks for sharing Christopher!

  7. Cameron Brown permalink

    Point well made Christopher. In Him we live and move and have our being. In His light we are aware of betrayed values and stand in candid recognition of self will. Humbling but cleansing! Thanks for sharing!

  8. janet permalink

    Now the trick is to not be prideful in our unworthyness! I will shout from the mountaintop that I fail daily and totally struggle with selfishness. Yet he hears my prayers, as sinful as I am. Has anyone seen that movie ” devils advocate”? Really illustrates the sneaky nature of pride.

    • Janet, I agree that pride can be tricky. Once they gave a man a blue ribbon for being humble and they took it away when he tried to actually wear it. Thanks for sharing babe. We all sin and fall short of HIS Glory, but Jesus totally took care of and atoned for that.

  9. Sue heumann permalink

    Love the ribbon story, Christopher…..will look for that movie, Janet!…not that I’m not aware of sneaky pride, but another chance to notice it might be good…..

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