Day 222 – Not Fit to Stand
On: June 10, 2015   |   By: SWLadmin   |   Under: Blog   |   Comments: Comments are off

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone 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 by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people – robbers, evildoers, adulterers – or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ Luke 18:9-12

Oh that this were simply an entertaining caricature! We must, however, take it entirely seriously. For I will not be the first to notice that religious types can get a little on the haughty side. Yet, they can’t see what is obvious to others: that their superiority is, in fact, no more than hypocrisy. This is not good, for the church is misrepresented and the name of Jesus is brought into disrepute. Alarmingly, also, I am alerted to the fact that I might behave like the Pharisee more often that I would care to think?

The church is not a bunch of do-gooders; nice people who enjoy the warmth of a holy huddle. It is Christ’s Hospital for the terminally ill; a place of refuge for the desperate; a rehabilitation centre for those who are damaged. The illness is sin. The desperate are those who have seen their helplessness. The damaged are those who have realised that their efforts at living a good life are doomed. If I think I am OK and am worthy of my place, I am wrong.

I am one of the ill, one of the desperate, one of the damaged. And the only way I can find my true place is on my knees or, better still, face down on the floor.

For I am not fit to stand before Jesus on my own merit. I am entirely reliant on His grace and mercy – shown by His coming to live on Earth, and His death on the cross.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, I come before You. Not standing with confidence, but on my knees with head bowed. For this is where I can best lay my sin at Your feet, express my thanks and offer You my worship. Amen.

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