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Length of Days - Search for Freedom

Monday, March 5, 2012


He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax-collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax-collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’ But the tax-collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted." (Luke 18:9-14)

"Man, you should have been at our church yesterday. There had to be six-hundred people there. I have worked hard all year. I started a new youth group, a Wednesday night family night with Bible Study for adults and Mission projects for the kids. I remember when we were a small church like yours. You’ll catch up to me. I have put in about eighty hours this week," the pastor of Every-Third Church said as he rubbed his eyes.

How many "I" and "me" words can you count? How often is "God’s will" or "Give God the glory" acknowledged in the boasting of this man or woman of God? Is s/he a Pharisee or a tax-collector? Or, is s/he a misguided pastor of their flock who has gotten caught up in the growth and outreach of his/her church and has mistakenly believed it was due to their own charismatic personality and their own gift of preaching. When a church is based on the eloquence of the pastor and not the worship of the King, it is no longer a Christian church, it is a social club or cult.

Come to the Lord’s church, His people in praise to Him, and find loving support and your spiritual family. One does not have to leave their current place of worship. Find your church within the church. But, don’t make the Pharisee’s mistake and view yourself and your group as the true and loyal Christians who meet there for worship and everyone else as heathens.

The same is true within Denominations. There should not be distinct factions who view themselves as more holy than others. You would defame the body of Christ with those thoughts. Love every single one of them, the ones you agree with and the ones you do not, and let God whisper His love through you. Love another into Heaven, don’t believe that criticism will get them there. Let us pray:

"Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I humbly bow before you. I ask that your kingdom of Love and grace surround me and draw me into your home. Father, please let me discover your face on everyone I see. Let me not boast of you but bear witness to your work and presence in my life. May whatever I do for your glory, be hidden from my eyes and seen only by those in need of your vision. With your great love, let me see myself as equal to all your children, just on a different step of the same path. I know I cannot drag someone into Heaven and my own bragging will not get me there either. Fill me so full of your love, that others will see only you when I pass by. I thank you that my humble days of service can begin today, because I believe you have heard my prayer. In the name of and by the power of Jesus, my Lord, I pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp


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