God of Mercy
“God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” Luke 18:9-14
How often do you come before God with a self-inflated view of goodness? Maybe not in the words you say to God, but deep in your heart and mind. Do you try to justify yourself by quickly going through in your mind all of the good that you have done, or comparing yourself to someone you deem to have been the worst offender? Often this can be because we really see ourselves as “not that bad” but at other times maybe it is because of the embarrassment and shame for who we really are before God. So we try to convince ourselves otherwise.
The tax collector in this verse saw himself before the Holy and Just God of Heaven. He knew he could bring nothing of his own “goodness” before the throne of God. He knew his sins were evil. No comparison needed, no looking at the other man in the room to see who was more sinful, just bringing himself in humility before God. He didn’t start with pleading his case by first pointing out any good he had done, or showing the evil he had refrained from doing. He simply acknowledged who he was, a sinner before God.
But he also knew God to be merciful. Not because God simply had pity on a sinner kneeling before Him, because sin must be punished. God is merciful because He saw a broken and contrite spirit, one who hated his sin, one who was redeemed by the sacrifice of God’s own Son.
Let’s follow this powerful example. Don’t approach God’s throne bringing anything of yourself to justify yourself. Bring before His throne a broken spirit and cry out to our merciful God who is Just and Right to forgive.
Brother Titus Cannon