THEME: THE PHARISEE SPIRIT
“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
-The Pharisee spirit is proud and considers itself more highly than others. When the Pharisee prayed at the temple, he did not consider himself a sinner but judged other men including the tax collector as being an extortioner, unjust and adulterous. Pharisees were commonly known to pray long prayers so that may be seen by men. Jesus taught that when we pray, we should go to our room and pray to our Father who is in the secret place and sees in secret, and He will reward us openly. (Matthew 6:5-6). The Pharisees also boasted of fasting twice a week but Jesus taught that when we fast, we should anoint your heads and wash your faces, so that we do not appear to men to be fasting, but to our Father who is in the secret place and sees in secret, and will reward us openly (Matthew 6:17-19). The Pharisees also failed to evaluate their own character and only judge other people by their mistakes. Those who have the Pharisee spirit only focus on the specks in another’s eye but fail to first remove the log in their own eyes. Jesus cautioned us against judging others saying; “do not judge and you will not be judged, do not condemn, and you will not be condemned, forgive, and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37). The Pharisee spirit is self righteous. It does not consider its own weaknesses but condemns other. In Matthew 9:11-13, we find Jesus eating with tax collectors and sinners. When the Pharisees asked why Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners, He responded saying, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Jesus calls us to repentance, for He desires mercy and not sacrifice. We are thus called to have humility and seek His counsel during prayer and fasting, and God our Father who sees in secret, will reward us openly.
Abba Father, thank You for Your mercy and kindness upon our lives. Thank You for Your grace and love upon us, our families and nation. Thank You for opening up our churches and economy for growth and prosperity. Thank You for Your blessings upon us from everlasting to everlasting. Thank You for Your love upon us Jesus, for even when we were still sinner, You died on the cross for our sins, and resurrected so that we may have life everlasting. Forgive us Jesus for we have sinned and fallen short of Your glory. Forgive us merciful Father and cleanse us with Your precious blood. We humbly come to Your throne of grace merciful Father, so that we may obtain mercy and grace to help us at our time of need. You have said in Your word Lord that humility comes before honor, help us dear Jesus to humble ourselves before You, and lift us up. Deliver us from judging and condemning others but give us the grace to forgive others unconditionally, for if we do not judge we will not be judged. Protect us from all evil and surround us with Your hedge of fire Holy Spirit. You are our Helper, Counselor, Intercessor, Comforter and Strength, we count on You at every moment of our lives. Our Father who art in heaven; hallowed be Your name; Your Kingdom come; Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptations but deliver us from evil; for thine is the Kingdom the power and the glory; forever and ever. Amen
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