I don’t know if I mention this on Friday, but the prayer talk from last Sunday was actually two parts. Here’s the first part if you missed it. I also didn’t write as much as I should have…most because I was still feeling all yucky from being sick-ish.
This is something from last week that I didn’t write down… Imagine this is coming from Jesus.
You didn’t choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit. Fruit that will last. The the Father will you give you whatever you ask in my name. 2 Corinthians 4:17
Last week they talked about the story from Luke 18:1-8 about the Widow and the Judge. This week touched on the story from Luke 18:9-14, The Pharisee and the Tax Collector. For those of you that aren’t too familiar with this part of history, let me briefly fill you in. Rome had gotten pretty strong and had it’s hand in just about every country in Europe and the western part of Asia. For any government to run, money is required. So just like what most Americans are having to do right now, the Jews had to pay tax to the Roman government. Now the Roman’s hired Jews to collect the taxes from their fellow Jews, but most of the time the tax collectors charged a little bit more than what was required by Rome, and took the difference for themselves. This did not make the very popular with their fellow Jews, and most people considered them to be the lowest of the lows.
Jesus tells us the story in Luke 18:9-14 of two men going to the temple to pray. One a Pharisee (a religious leader) and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee thanks God that he isn’t like other sinful men, not like the tax collector. He tells God of all the good things that he has done. But the tax collector only asks God to be merciful because he knows that he’s a sinner.
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”Luke 18:14
You and I are no more worth to be chosen than a thief, a murder, or a horrible sinner. We don’t deserve salvation more than anyone else. Whose righteousness justifies you before God? The answer, Jesus! Romans 3:22-24 We are called to live righteous lives.
1. The righteousness that justifies us before God is based on faith in the atoning death of Jesus Christ. Romans 10
2. Our faith causes God to input Christ’s righteousness to us. Romans 4:23-25
3. We have been Chosen, called, justified, and adopted by God. Romans 8:29, 1 Peter 2:9
4. He has given us a new nature (The DNA of God) and the Holy Spirit is in us. 1 Peter 1:23
5. We can participate with the Holy Spirit in living more righteous lives 2 Timothy 1:9, Galatians 5:16
6 Remember as we pray: Where we came from, How we got where we are, who we belong to, and what we’re created for.
-Doing good works Ephesians 2:10
-Making Disciples Matthew 28:19-20
-Declaring His Praises 1 Peter 2:9
If those things aren’t encouraging enough to pray with persistence, then I don’t know what is! :)