Wednesday, October 5, 2016


Remember forgiveness today. The forgiveness God gives you.

In Luke 18 a Pharisee and a tax collector head to the temple to pray. The Pharisee stands in a prominent place of the temple, as close to the holy of holies as he can get, and proceeds to pray. His prayer volume is barely short of a shout. The words he says are recorded for us, “‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.”

This Pharisee has it together. He isn’t in the list of people who won’t make heaven, cheaters, sinners or adulterers. Instead of fasting once a year, this Pharisees amps it up and fasts twice a week. He even returns his tithes. But he feels his goods works will gain him entrance to heaven.

In the shadow of the corner is a tax collector. A man who is in the same category as those the Pharisee is thankful he is not a part of. This tax collector who makes his living by cheating people is praying to God. His words are simple, “O God be merciful to me a sinner.” He sees that he is utterly unworthy of heaven, and pleads to God to do whatever it takes to justify him. He recognizes he can do nothing of himself. And so he admits his complete dependence and need.

Pray today as did the publican in Luke 18, “O God be merciful to me a sinner.” Recognize that there is nothing you can do to earn this salvation. You will not be allowed into heaven because your good works outweigh the bad. The only chance of heaven you have is your Savior’s death. It is based on this knowledge that the publican returned home justified before God. This is also the basis of our justification. Will you recognize this in your prayer today?

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