Author - Denise Gambs

Luke 18:9-14
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable:

I love that the parable starts out this way, just to make things really clear in case there is any question about who might need to hear this. Who hasn’t been guilty of this at some point in time or another?

The world tells us that if we follow all the rules and check all the boxes that we will be worthy. We will find ourselves worthy, not like those other lowly people not doing the same. We maybe are even thankful that we haven’t hit any speed bumps to put us in the category of evildoers who haven’t seen the inside of a church in a long time. We go to church every Sunday and we tithe, we check all those boxes. And God tells us that this all gets us nowhere with the wrong heart unless we humble ourselves and ask for his mercy.

He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

In my mind, you can ask for something without even having humbled yourself. To me, this verse sounds like pleading or begging, which I think would be appropriate in this case. God’s mercy is worth begging for. Think about the word beg. You can’t really beg unless you have already humbled yourself. When was the last time that you begged for something? What do we need to beg God for in our lives right now? What is worth begging for?

From the world's view, what do we think of those who we see begging on the streets? Have you ever thought about humbling yourself before that person and asking how you can serve them? What would Jesus’ view of your decision be?

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

I have certainly exalted myself over the years. It’s been my own personal experience that although it may be a long time that God allows this to continue, the time will come when the world becomes too important, or I fail to humble myself, and God will certainly take care of that for me. He’ll take away things of such importance to us, like ripping duct tape off your skin. But all this is to bring us as children, back into his fatherly embrace. It was at one of these times that I was compelled to my humblest, and as a result, cried out to God begging for his grace and mercy in a way that I had never experienced. What a true blessing he has transformed that experience into for me.

God, please humble me. Strip away any ideas or idols that encourage me to exalt myself over others. Keep me close and convict me daily if I move away from you or the decisions you desire for me. Thank you for so graciously forgiving me over and over again. I am in wonderment of your teachings that are the opposite of the world's view, please show me over and over again how they are always better than my inclinations. I love that you as a Father always want to bring me in close, in your arms.