Monday, September 28, 2009

Dear Wendy....

Taking the advice of a good friend, I started reading this book a couple weeks ago. He suggested that if I only have time for a couple chapters - I should pick it up and just read the first two.

I am now finished with the first two chapters and here are just some of the things i LOVED and wanted to write back to myself.

The other attitude is one of varying degrees of self-satisfaction with one's Christian life. We can drift into this attitude because we are convinced we believe the right doctrines, we read the right Christian books, we practice the right disciplines of a committed Christian life, or we are actively involved in some aspect of Christian ministry and are not just"Pew sitters" in the church. (i just circled this part and wrote - yep - next to it. unfortunately, i can relate)

When we think in this manner we are in danger of becoming like the Pharisee in Jesus' well known parable (luke 18:9-14). Jesus said "THe Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: God, Thank you that I am not like other men... robbers, evil doers, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get".

Unlike the Pharisee, the tax collector was painfully aware of his sinfulness. He didn't just ask for forgiveness of certain sins, he pleaded for mercy as a sinner. He was concerned with how he measured up before a holy and righteous God. He knew he stood alone before God with his sin, so he pleaded for mercy.

We agree that the Pharisee was dripping with religious pride, but them we think the parable doesn't apply to us because we have trusted in Christ and are already justified. (Ouch! I DID think this was about the Pharisee, not about me!)

We will own up to almost any other sin, but not the sin of self-righteousness. When we have this attitude, though, we deprive ourselves of the joy of living in the grace of God. Because, you see, grace is only for sinners.

I am praying that God will continue to work out the truth of Grace in my life.


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