|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Christian community”
Our Bible verse for today: “I tell you, this one went down to his house justified rather than the other, because everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 18:14 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “No strutting roosters, please”
In order to fully appreciate the point being made in this morning’s devotional, I encourage you to take a moment to open your Bible and read Jesus’ parable about the Pharisee and the tax collector, found in Luke 18:9-14. It will only take you a few moments.
In the parable two men go up to the temple to pray. One is a puffed-up self-righteous Pharisee who clearly thinks too highly of himself. He prays with a sense of smug arrogance as he stands before God and pats himself on the back for his own perceived piousness. The other man, the tax collector, saw himself for what he was and he was grieved by the realization of it. You can read Jesus’ response in verse 14 (above).
The lesson is clear – the Lord has little patience for strutting roosters. The lesson is also clear that the puffed-up self-righteous person is actually the greater sinner – and that’s true despite their self-perceived holiness.
One of the big problems in the Christian community today, including in our conservative evangelical circles, is we have too many modern-day Pharisees who are entirely too impressed with themselves. This often results in a holier-than-thou mentality and it creates a bunch of strutting religious roosters. I suspect that few things are more likely to repulse the unbelieving world than a bunch of religious posers. The world is turned off by that. Heck, I’m turned off by that too (although, I’m sure that on occasions I’m also guilty of it.)
Good Christian community depends on simple, humble, honest transparency. It begins with the realization that in our flesh, none of us are righteous or holy before God. It’s only the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ that saves us from judgment and gives us any standing at all before a holy and righteous God.
As a community and as individuals, we need to adjust our attitudes and see ourselves as we really are. There simply is no justification for any of us to be a puffed-up strutting religious rooster. You are a sinner saved by grace. Period. And so am I. So, let’s not be too impressed with ourselves.
(Please join us at Oak Hill Baptist Church every Sunday at 10:00. Join us in-person if you are close-by. Or, if you are geographically distant or if you are a shut-in, join us online at www.YouTube.com/oakhillbaptistcrossville)
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