Self-Righteousness

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"Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee, and the other a tax-gatherer. "The Pharisee stood and was praying thus to himself, God, I thank Thee that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax-gatherer.

I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get. "But the tax-gatherer, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted." (Luke 18:10-14).

We are far from perfect when we become Christians and we certainly remain so after we become members of God's family. All while we are on earth, in this life and until Jesus comes again, we will be imperfect. There are far too many people, many who devote much of their time in Christian service, who become righteous in their thinking of themselves. They believe they have the answers. They are haughty and talk down to others. They think of themselves as being holy and right.

If we were perfect we would not need a savior. If we could become perfect, even after Jesus suffered on the cross, we would minimize His sacrifice and establish ourselves as being better than everyone else, qualified to judge others with impunity. This can never be. The parable above was told by Jesus. The teaching is clear; "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:3).

Proverbs 30 - Teaches us today?

Proverbs 30:12 "(12) There is a kind who is pure in his own eyes, Yet is not washed from his filthiness."

Psalm 56:5-7 (Theme: Faith Banishes Fear). "(5) All day long they distort my words; All their thoughts are against me for evil. (6) They attack, they lurk, They watch my steps, As they have waited to take my life. (7) Because of wickedness, cast them froth, In anger put down the peoples, O God!"

Today's question. Do the self-righteous repent?
They of course will say that they repent, but most self-righteous people are busy looking down upon and judging others. I get goose bumps when I think of what God has done for me. It makes be cringe when I think that my sins, even today, inflicted pain on my Lord Jesus Christ while He was on the cross. I am astonished that God would use me by providing gifts of the Spirit, with which I can use to accomplish God's will and plan.

I am happy that God does things through His children, giving us an opportunity to grow and mature and forgiving us when we make mistakes.

Yet, even with all of that, I do not feel that I am humble enough. Each night I pray for His direction, I pray for His insight, I pray for His anointing and I pray for a word or thought from Him. For I know that His thoughts are not my thoughts and His ways are not my ways but if I can do a little something to help somebody...If I can through my own inadequacy cause someone else to reach for the stars then I know that I did, at some point in my life, walked in the same direction as God.

"and my people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Dear God, forgive me of my inadequacies. Help me to be your servant. Amen.

The Newness Of Life Daily Bible Message is designed for those who like to take a short respite from the day's responsibilities to enjoy the contemplation of God's word. This daily message is based primarily upon the belief that to read some of Proverbs and some of Psalm everyday will provide us with great spiritual growth and development when done consistently with discipline.  Phillip Saxton and contibute to Newness Of Life Ministries (NOL) Phillip Saxton, www.NewnessOfLife.com. Phillip can be reached at saxton AT MiTowne dot com

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