Read Luke 17-18
Highlight: Luke 18:10-14
“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.’
“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 all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
The Pharisee, a believer, came to the temple and prayed by himself and to himself for he was not like “other” people and wanted all to hear how faithful and good he was. He did not ask God for anything and he did not receive anything from God. The tax collector understood that he needed God’s help and asked God directly to have mercy on a sinner like himself.
We are not perfect and we are all sinners, we try to become more like God each day but it is a difficult task living in the world. We need to understand that it is God’s value system we desire to emulate and therefore we must humble ourselves to God and ask for his forgiveness and ask for his guidance.
God of compassion, forgive me when I let pride and judgmental attitudes cloud my thinking and separate me from others, as if they are less worthy before you. Forgive me when I exalt myself and look down on others. Jesus became as nothing to bring me into his kingdom, he who deserves all honor and praise. Let me follow his example of humility and obedience, to the glory of your name. Amen.