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persistent contempt

25 Jul

160725Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone,  yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” 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 18:1-14, NRSV)

There is definitely something to be learned here…

The first part of this passage always makes me cringe and I’m not sure what to do with it. It says that God will give into our cries to Him if we are only persistent. Even if it goes against His will, He will relent because we are persistent. That isn’t the God I know. God will never give me something against His will or that is not good for me. And sometimes the things I ask for or seek are not the best thing for me, even though I think they are!  Our justice is not always God’s justice. But the twist to this is the little phrase, “His chosen ones”! Our cries to God, from the chosen ones, will be aligned with God’s will, so our persistent cries to God aligned with His will, will be answered…

And then contempt for others, we can not judge unless we are willing to stand up to the judgement we give. And usually when we judge someone for something it is when that sin is in our lives, and we are hiding it from the world, but not from God. Humble yourself and stand before God covered by Jesus.

God be merciful to me a sinner! and help me to be persistent in following after your heart!

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