The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people–robbers, evildoers, adulterers–or even like this tax collector.’ Luke 18:11
Jesus told a parable of two men going into the temple to pray. One of them, a Pharisee, prayed with great pride. The other, a tax collector, prayed with extreme humility. Jesus commended the tax collector.
Pharisees were considered the holy men and leaders of the temple during the biblical times. They were supposed to be the people closest to God. While tax collectors were considered the scum of the earth. Very few people were considered as less than the hated tax collector.
Although when a person prays to God, there is no hard command on how to pray, there are some things that show up in how a person prays. One of the things that can show up is humility.
One common way some people pray is as though they are God’s gift to this world and to God. They feel as though God owes them everything, because they are such a ‘good’ person. There is very little humility in their lives.
Although the Pharisee may have been correct in that he was not same as some of those others in his outward actions, he was still the same and worse in other ways. Every person has sinned, and in his own being does not deserve a right to stand before God.
The right to stand before God has nothing to do with what a person has or has not done. It has to do with the heart. When a person has repented of his sins and is following Jesus, he, then, has the right to stand before God. At that point he has been made a child of God.
This is unlike the Pharisee, who thought he had the right to stand before God, without Christ.
You, nor anyone else, has a right to stand before God without the forgiveness and righteousness of Jesus Christ.
When you take time to pray, you must ask yourself how you pray. Do you demand God listen to you? Do you feel you are a better believer than others?
Or do you allow God to be ruler over your life and humble yourself before Him?
During times of prayer, humble yourself before God. Allow God to be the king of your life.
I pray today that you will know who you are in Christ Jesus; that you will know true humility before God; that you will allow God to rule your life; and that God will help you remove all pride in your life.
“Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ” Matthew 21:5
Jesus was getting near the end of His ministry. He had been telling the disciples that He would be killed. Now He comes riding into the city, sitting on donkey’s foal. This was to fulfill a prophecy made by Zechariah.
Kings, leaders, presidents and others in high authority are known for arriving with a lot of pomp and circumstance. There is always a lot of fanfare going on to bring in someone of high leadership.
When the President of the United States arrives at a building where he is going to speak, he arrives with a great fanfare and group of people. There are multiple vehicles in front and behind him. When he walks out into a room, there is always some music playing, people rise up for him, and He is announced.
The same goes for famous celebrities. There is a lot of pictures being taken. They arrive in a large limousine. There is flashing of jewelry and expensive clothing. It is a show of pride and luxury, with no sign of humility.
In many countries, when their leader arrives, there is also a great show of their military power. Soldiers, weapons, and military equipment go before the leader to show who is in control and has the power.
Jesus did not do any of this. He came in riding on a baby donkey. In the biblical times, a king would arrive on a horse showing great power. Jesus did not show any of that, even though He had more power than all the kings on the earth combined. He created the earth and all who are in it.
The purpose of His riding in that way, was to show love and compassion. He is a king who can understand where people are, so He comes in humility. Most people do not have the grand horse to ride on, but just have the donkey.
Even today, Jesus comes to you in love and compassion. He does have the power, but will not show a force of threat to get you to follow Him. Jesus wants you to want to follow Him. He understands where you are and is there for you. He is not untouchable.
Do not fear your king. He is gentle.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your king; that you will know Jesus is gentle and loving; that you will seek to find Jesus in your life; and that you will show His love and humility in your life.
The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.” Matthew 8:8
A Roman centurion had come to Jesus to tell him about a servant of his who was paralyzed and needed healing. Jesus offered to come and heal the servant, however, the centurion stated that he did not want Jesus to come to his place. He did not feel worthy of the presence of Jesus in his home. All he needed was for Jesus to just say the word to heal his servant.
In this world there are some famous celebrities, actors, singers, sports-players, who believe that they are the best. They are worthy to have only the best in their presence or can go to anyone they want, at anytime that they want. There is no humility in their lives.
Even in the church there are many people who feel that they deserve to have God in their presence and are worthy of being healed or getting some prayer answered. This is often felt because of some action that they had done in the past or because of how they prayed. In thinking this way, there is little to no humility in their lives.
The centurion knew who he was before Jesus, but also had faith in Jesus. He was willing to allow Jesus to just speak the word to heal his servant.
Some people want Jesus to heal in a certain, big miraculous way. They are not willing to just take His word at it. Taking the word of Jesus at face value is showing true faith in Him. It is not about being better or worse, but just faith and humility before Him.
You are a child of God and have the right to stand before Him in His courts. You do have the right to go into His presence any time you want. However, that right is only because of what Jesus has done for you. If He had not died on the cross for you, you would not have that right.
When you go before God with a need, go with humility, knowing that in reality you do not deserve to even be heard. However, at the same time, go in faith, knowing that God loves you, will hear you, and will answer you. You are a child of God.
I pray today that you will know who you are in Jesus; that you will know that God hears your prayers; that you will know that God can meet all of your needs; and that you will have true faith in God.
Here is a post from a great blog that I follow. Denise Pass is a worship leader who has some great insights from God to share. Here is one of her posts concerning shame. It is a part of a series that she is doing. Please check out her blog today.
Scripture of the Day: 2 Samuel 13:13 (NLT) “Where could I go in my shame? And you would be called one of the greatest fools in Israel. Please, just speak to the king about it, and he will let you marry me.” Shame Rx: Each person bears the shame for their own actions. Watching a […]
When the Lord has finished all his work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he will say, “I will punish the king of Assyria for the willful pride of his heart and the haughty look in his eyes.” Isaiah 10:12
Judah, the southern nation of the split Israel, had chosen to walk away from God and follow false gods. God chose to punish them by using the king of Assyria to take over the land and crush Jerusalem. The king of Assyria did not follow God in any way and was very harsh in his treatment of the Israelites.
Judah and all the Israelites were an enemy to Assyria, so as the king of Assyria conquered Judah and Jerusalem, he did it with great pride. He considered himself better than the Israelites. God saw his heart and promised that once the punishment of Judah was done, He would punish the king of Assyria for his pride.
Pride over the destruction of an enemy is something that many people have. They like to see the enemy fall. It is especially great pride when the enemy falls at their own hands and power.
The world feels that pride is a good thing. Everyone deserves to be proud when they are able to crush and destroy their enemy.
Yet, God hates pride. Pride looks at self and says that self did it all. The only reason the king of Assyria was able to destroy Jerusalem was because God allowed it to happen. In himself, the king had no real power.
The same is true in your own life. In yourself you have no real power. All of your abilities have been given to you by God. There may come times when God allows you to crush your enemy. When this occurs, it should not be done with great pride.
Jesus said that we are to love our enemies. Having pride in their destruction does not display true love. As a follower of Jesus, you should be weeping over the destruction of your enemy. You should be praying for their souls and redemption.
Jesus redeemed you when you were His enemy. Can you not do the same for your enemies?
Remove pride from your life and allow God to work through you to touch others for Jesus.
I pray today that God will reveal any pride in your heart; that God will strengthen you to remove all pride; that you will remain humble before God; and that God will use you to touch many lives for Jesus.
Welcome. My blog is a place where readers will find writings of personal experiences, thoughts, and the peace that the Lord provides throughout my walk. I intend to bring inspiration and insight, as well as providing a very personal and transparent view into my life, in order to help others see their own lives in a different perspective. I strongly believe that we all need a different view at times, in order for our own personal growth to take place.
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