Watchman: Daily Devotional, Jesus Directed This Parable at Self-Righteous People Who Thought Highly of Themselves and Looked Down on Others. Pride in One’s Spirituality Can Be Devastating. Like Taking Painkillers on a Regular Basis, It Numbs Us to the Suffering That Lies Within
Luke 18:11-14 11 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. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' 13" 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.' 14" 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."
This parable was told by Jesus to those who were self-satisfied and looked down on others. Spiritual pride is a soul-destroying disease. It's similar to taking painkillers on a regular basis, which blinds us to the problems within us. How can we tell if we have it or not? Consider the attitudes of these two praying men.
The Pharisee prayed specifically for himself. He thanked God for not being like other people he considered evil. It is appropriate to thank God for His grace in your life, but the Pharisee commits the fatal error of comparing himself to fallen men. God is the standard, not men. He has missed the great sin of pride by comparing himself only to men. He continues to pray about his righteousness, declaring to everyone within hearing distance that he fasts and tithes. His heavenly reward has vanished. When men praise you, Jesus says, their praise is your reward (Matthew 6:2).
The other man simply beat his chest, realizing he was a sinner. His prayer was for God's mercy. This second man, according to Jesus, went home to be with God. His standard was God. He was troubled by the large gap between his righteousness and God's righteousness. He had a clear picture of his situation.
Prayer sees God for who He is, and in that light, we see our great need. God exalts the humble. He gladly bestows mercy and grace on those who recognize their need and are brokenhearted over their sin. He will prepare a path of humiliation for the proud. That is also grace and mercy.
Lord, grant us eyes to see our true spiritual condition so that we can enter Your presence in prayer rather than praying about ourselves.
The Great Tribulation
It is our belief that the Great Tribulation referred to in the New Testament Book of Revelation (chapters 6-11) is unfolding before our eyes. In the near future, we will devote the "Tribulation" tab on our "Trending" menu to this emerging reality. As people continue to unplug from mainstream media, our commitment is to present the truth and encourage our audience to understand current events from a Biblical perspective. Click here to begin the journey.
In the Bible, the Watchman is responsible for keeping watch and warning others of potential danger or impending judgment. The role is mentioned several times in the Old Testament, particularly in the book of Ezekiel. In Ezekiel 33:6, God says to the prophet Ezekiel, "But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman's hand." Click here to begin the journey.
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