April 16, 2018
THE SIMPLE YET POWERFUL PRAYER FOR MERCY
Jesus told a parable about a Pharisee and tax collector who went to the Temple to pray. The Pharisee thanked God for his superior position above others in this life. He compared his own righteousness to that of those around him and considered himself right with God. The tax collector confessed that he was a sinner and prayed for God’s mercy. Whose prayer was answered? Both. The tax collector received the mercy from God he requested and went home in a right relationship with God, his sins forgiven. The Pharisee who asked nothing from God, for he felt self-satisfied and self-justified, went home having received nothing from God.
We live in a world where people are like the Pharisee. They are self-satisfied and self-justified. They see no need for God’s mercy. For they consider themselves as good. Yet, to those who confess their sin and admit their need for a Savior, Jesus will hear and answer their simple yet powerful prayer for mercy.
April 17, 2017
Many come to Jesus, attracted to His person, but unwilling to admit their own spiritual bankruptcy. So it was for the RYR (“Rich Young Ruler”). He thought to add Jesus to his portfolio of good works. Yet, Jesus saw his heart. Jesus challenged him to die to his former life and leave everything behind to follow Him. This filled the RYR with sorrow, for he had great worldly wealth. It also revealed his failure to keep even the first of the ten commandments, putting his love of money ahead of his love of God.
The invitation to follow Christ is not a call to religious effort (i.e. “What shall I do?”), but a call to come and die, that you might be born again in newness of life in Christ Jesus (Rom. 6:4, 11).
April 17, 2015
When a blind man begging on the roadside near Jericho heard that Jesus was passing by, he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Luke 18:35). So, Jesus stopped and asked him the above question. Why would Jesus ask this? Couldn’t He tell that the man was blind? Wasn’t the blind man’s need obvious? Yet, Jesus insisted on him making a specific request. When the blind man responded that he wanted to receive his sight, the Lord healed him, commending his faith. The currency of the kingdom is asking. “Ask, seek, knock” (Matt. 7:7-12), this is the teaching of Jesus. Do you have the faith to ask God for help? Get specific with God. Ask.
April 17, 2014
As Jesus and his disciples traveled the road from Jericho up to Jerusalem, he once again spoke to them concerning his impending death. They didn’t understand the significance of these predictions until after Jesus was raised. Yet, Jesus was very specific in these predictions. He was fully aware of his identity, taking the Messianic title “Son of Man” and claiming to be the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Anointed One. He was also specific in the details of how the Jews and Romans would conspire to kill him and the means thereof. Knowing what was awaiting him, Jesus continued “going up to Jerusalem” and finally up Calvary’s hill. After all, this was why he came into the world.
April 17, 2013
A person rich in worldly things doesn’t easily recognize their own spiritual poverty. And if they do get an inkling, then they seek to add some Jesus stock to their already fat portfolio, hoping to diversify and cover all bases. But the kingdom of God cannot be earned, it can only be received. It only comes to those who declare spiritual bankruptcy. It requires surrender of ownership and control, confessing Jesus as both Savior and Lord. The kingdom demands not part, but all of us.
April 17, 2011
Jesus told them this before entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, but they didn’t understand. They would before the week ended. Do you understand?