Daily Insight January 3
Two mindsets to choose from.
“God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Luke 18:13.
The more I know God, and the more I grow spiritually, I know this fact along with many other mature believers. The truth is -I have to apply the benefits of the good news- the Gospel- every day and every moment of my life. I need to remind me and preach to me the truth of the Gospel on an ongoing basis.
The mindset of the tax collector was different from the Pharisee. The religious leader, 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.” He compared himself with the tax collector who was ignored and hated by the society. He thought he is far better than the tax collector. Although he must have known the truth, he acted foolishly in the sight of the almighty God.
The Bible says, “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.”
After watching both, Jesus gave the final verdict- He said this about the tax collector, “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God.”
The tax collector pleaded for mercy on him because he knew he is still a sinner. I believe this is allocating or assigning the gospel in our everyday Christian life. We are the recipients of God’s mercy for sure. Ephesians 1:7 says, “In him (Jesus Christ) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.” Did you notice God lavished His grace, mercy, and kindness on us in the person of Jesus Christ, by putting all of our sins on Him?
Moreover, all day and each moment of our life, we receive God’s mercies and grace, don’t we? Still, I identify myself with the tax collector. I do not want to identify me with the Pharisee. Why? I still need God’s mercy because I still live in the sinful flesh and I need ongoing cleansing and forgiveness from Him. I know I am an object of His mercy because even my best deeds are tainted by sin when God looks at it. I am still a WIP-work in progress. Therefore, I need to pray, “God, have mercy on me.” I still need His mercy. Yes, I do.
Isn’t it true that we need to appropriate and apply the Gospel in my life every day? When I preach to others, I have to preach to me the fundamental points of the gospel. I need His grace gravely and desperately. Lord, Have mercy on me.
In the olden days, I thought Gospel message is for those who did not come to the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, it is true that I need to share the good news, the gospel, with others who do not know the Lord Jesus as their savior. However, as I grow in Him, I understand I need the gospel and apply it in my life on an ongoing basis. I know how unworthy I am like the tax collector in the presence of a holy and awesome God. I haven’t arrived yet on the other beautiful shore. I am still a traveler there. On the way, Satan accuses about our shortcomings. Other people criticize us because we are not up to their expected humanly designed bar. However, when I plead on His mercy and seek His help, Christ reminds me of the gospel that His grace is sufficient for me. He says His power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9).
God sends us home with His justification and blessings when we pray like the tax collector. It is our choice to choose the path of the Pharisee or tax collector. However, I would suggest the mindset of the tax collector. I know my Lord loves it and adds blessings to it.