Different members of our church family write these reflections each week to go along with the message preached the previous Sunday. It is our hope that these reflections help you to get in to your Bible throughout the week and be challenged by the word of God.
Read Luke 8:10-14
There are two people in this story, one who is right and one who is wrong. And the truth that this story portrays is that God’s standards are different from what we think God’s standards should be. The one who is right, in this story, is not the one that that displays righteous behavior. In fact, the Pharisee, in this prayer, is building himself up, and he thinks he has already earned his own salvation. He even thanks God for giving him the power to earn it himself. The tax collector, however, has a true understanding of man’s relationship with God. He knows that the only way to escape his sin is to rely on God’s grace alone.
Question for Reflection: Do you ever identify with the Pharisee in this story? In what ways do you try to earn your own salvation or glorify yourself?
Read Psalm 51
When the tax collector in the last passage says, “Have mercy on me, a sinner,” this is the scripture he is actually referencing. It shows perfectly what a right relationship with God looks like: A person fully confident in his won distance from God, and God’s own ability to bridge that distance. Notice the language of this section. David doesn’t dwell long on his own sin, reveling in false humility. Instead, his repentance is a sincere and important first step. As you continue through the psalm, you can see that he uses repentance as a springboard for God’s glory. Ultimately, he uses this to inspire others to experience God’s glory as well. Repentance leads to sanctification.
Question for Reflection: What does repentance look like for you? Do you ever pray scripture back to God like the tax collector did? If you haven’t, this psalm is a great one to try.
Reflections by Amy and Wayne Giacalone