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Daily Devotionals

Day 23 – Issue 12

todayMay 1, 2015 6

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Be Still Know

Luke 18:13 NLT

But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ 

Visiting my mother the other day, she began to tell me about how informal she found life today. Asking her what she meant, she told me about just how many people seemed to eat on the move as they walked up her street. She wasn’t especially critical, yet to her mind it didn’t seem an appropriate way to eat one’s lunch. Certainly she and Dad had always sat down at a table to eat their meals.

In a similar way I sometimes wonder if we have all become somewhat casual in our approach to God. Reading the story of the Pharisee and the tax collector, we see that Jesus contrasts their attitudes. The Pharisee is brimming with confidence verging on arrogance and boldly approaches God. He lists all of his merits and assumes God approves of him as a result. There is no space for acknowledgement of any human frailty or fracture. Then the tax collector arrives and stands ‘at a distance’. He acknowledges the space there is between himself and God. Not a distance in acceptance, but one created by God’s holiness contrasted with the tax collector’s sinfulness.

In much the same way that I hardly notice the sandwich I grab to eat on the run, I can all too easily offer my worship to God without ever really directing my full attention towards him. However, just as when I sit down to eat a meal I have prepared for myself and others, I savour flavours, textures and colours and am acutely aware of the dining experience, as God is our nourishment so we are invited to take time to acknowledge and enjoy the dining experience.

QUESTION: How do you normally approach God? Is it with the confidence of the Pharisee or the humility of the tax collector?

PRAYER: Lord, you welcome in the humble and oppose the proud. Humble me with your love and grace again. 

Written by: Matt Weet

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