The Penitent Man Will Pass

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I love that scene in Indiana Jones, where “Indy” has to follow a clue that will help him avoid the giant saw blade on his quest to find the Holy Grail. At the last second he realizes “the penitent man will pass” and he falls to his knees and survives the test! There are times when I feel super close to God and perfectly at home in prayer and His presence. It is usually when I am ‘doing well’ living life as He desires. There are moments when I am simply overwhelmed with my utter sinfulness and feel unworthy to even draw close. I am not one who gets too caught up in thinking I am right with God because I am better than somebody else or that I don’t exhibit their obvious sins or that I have done some righteous act. Want to know what posture reflects the heart of a person being saved? Is it the confident, chin high, clean outward appearance of a proud self-righteous person who by all measure is ‘better than’ those around him? Or is it the humble (humiliated) man who realizes his woeful inadequacy before the Holy God? I think you know. Jesus illustrated which one in a story to set us all straight.

Now He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  The Pharisee stood and began praying this in regard to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, crooked, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’  But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to raise his eyes toward heaven, but was beating his chest, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’  I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other one; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 18:9-14 NASB

How close to God am I right now? Is there any unconfessed sin in my life? What is my posture before Him?

God, as this day begins- I sit before You, a sinner, yet a son. Please in Your great mercy overlook my shortcomings and draw me close. May You declare me righteous and go about the work of making me righteous in every way,… in word, thought and deed. I look forward to today, because its Sunday, the gathering of Your people. Draw many into heartfelt worship and fellowship in person and online. Amen.

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