(Luke 18:9-14), To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: God, I thank you that I am not like other men, robbers, evildoers, adulterers or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get. But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, God, have mercy on me, a sinner. I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
I had to include the entire parable so that you can grasp the full understanding of today's message. Do you remember this song? "We fall down, but we get up . . . for a saint is just a sinners who fell down but got up?" How does a sinner become a saint in the eyes of the Lord? How can you fall down so many times and still be a saint in God's eyes? Once you get up, why does the Lord call you a saint? Why does He love you so much?
If you read the parable closely, Jesus is speaking about people that look down on others and judge them because they think that they are so righteous. They think that they have never fallen so they are better than you. The person (Pharisee) stood up and prayed to God saying that he was glad that he never sinned or fallen like other people and he assumed that God loved him more. The tax collector did not see himself as a saint, he practically begged and pleaded with God to hear his prayers. He did not even think that he deserved to be in the presence of God. He begged God to have mercy upon him. Jesus is saying that the tax collector has a better chance getting into heaven than the man that thought he was all that.
As long as you are humble in spirit and recognize your sins, God will exalt you before the people that have talked about you when you were down. Even your friends that didn't help you when they saw you fall down, but they talk about how good they are and how horrible of a person you are. God cannot use a person that is not humble in spirit. God will humble the person that shows no compassion for others and will exalt you right before their eyes. They will wonder why you are so blessed when you have fallen down so many times.
The reason the Lord blesses you is because you are most likely to be more humble in spirit when you are in prayer because you feel like you don't deserve the love of God. God can use you as long as when you fall, you keep getting up. You don't brag about all your accomplishments like the Pharisee, but you will hold your head down feeling the shame of being a sinner. If you have friends or family members that keep record of all the bad things that you have done in your life; it's time to change the people in your circle. If you cannot trust them to keep their mouth shut when you confide in them; it's time to change your circle of friends. If you have people around you that think that their sin don't stink and you are worst than their are; it's time to make a change. Some people, even your family and friends would rather keep you down by talking about you because they don't want others to see their sins. You should be happy that you are humble in spirit, rather than God to make you humble. GIVE GOD THE PRAISE FOR HIS MERCY AND COMPASSION! AMEN!