October 31, Luke 18:13, God, Be Merciful to Me

Luke chapter 18 verse 13

13But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ 

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/100/luk.18.nasb>

Where do I stand with God?

In this parable, Jesus shows the contrast between the Pharisee and the tax collector. The Pharisee, the righteous religious man, told God what he did for Him and how much better he was than other people. He thought he did not need to move towards God, he was already there. The loathed and hated tax collector positioned himself to a place with God that shows his dependency on his God. He understood he needed to move, to approach God.

When I am praying about my sins to God where should I stand? God already knows about my struggles with sin in my life, why does he want me to acknowledge them to Him? It is all about our relationship with God. I cannot do for myself what God can do for me? I or anyone else cannot forgive my sins except for God. Only a loving God can make the impossible task of removing sin from my life possible. Why do I not ask? How should I step closer to God, repent and ask for forgiveness?

My relationship with God is built on trust. When I go to God asking for forgiveness do I think, “He cannot possibly forgive me, I have been so evil, I am not worthy of His love”? What does that say I know about God. God has promised forgiveness all we need to do is ask. The real question is do I trust God? God has already come to me, He sent His Son to die as the sacrifice for my sins. God wants me to come to Him. By trusting God I open my life and innermost thoughts to Him, I move towards him, vulnerable and trusting. The tax collector came and stood before God just as he was.

Where do I need to go?

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/100/2pe.3>

Author: Charlestown Road church of Christ

Charlestown Road church of Christ What are we all about? That’s a great question that deserves to be answered. In many places today, the modern church has become a ministry to serve the whole of man. You may find in some churches educational, recreational as well as spiritual ministries. Having a good time and eating for some is as much "church" as is worshipping. The modern church has come a long way from the way grandma and grandpa worshipped. Progressive, cutting edge, developing are terms used by many today. We, at the Charlestown Road congregation, are going a different direction. Instead of moving ever forward, adapting new ideas and a changing theology, we are interested in going backward to the way God designed the church. We feel it is time for the church to once again be a church. The apostle Paul praised the Thessalonian Christians for "imitating" the Lord, the apostles and the churches of Judea (1 Thessalonians 1:6; 2:14). A person might have an old car. He can fix it up with big wheels, fancy paint and make it very impressive to look at. Or, he can restore it to the way it was originally. Restoration is the spirit of returning things to the way they were originally. This is what we are interested in. We feel God designed things in a certain way on purpose. We want to please God, so we are interested in doing things the way God intended. In Philippians we read, "The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you" (4:9). In our services you will find that we offer the Lord’s Supper each Sunday as the early disciples did (Acts 20:7). Bible preaching is a part of our worship, as it was among the early Christians. We raise money only one way, by the members giving. We are organized according to the Bible fashion with overseers and deacons. We teach baptism for the remission of sins as the early Christians believed. We are not a restaurant, a gym, a nursing home, or a movie theater. We are a church that belongs to Christ, nothing more and nothing else. We want to please the Lord. We are interested in going to Heaven. We hope you are interested in the same things. Come and visit us!

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