Luke 18 Part 1–Tenacity and Humility

As Jesus continued to prepare His disciples for His departure, the Lord stepped back and addressed some basics.  In this discussion, Jesus focused on things that move God and on things that put barrier between us.  First Jesus discussed tenacity.  He told a parable of a heartless judge and a tenacious old woman. The woman hounded the judge day after day until the judge relented.  The judge that did not fear God or man, finally succumbed because the lady wore him out.  Jesus wanted His disciples to understand that they needed to be passionate and tenacious as they sought God.  He needed them to know that there were times when tenacity became more effective than might or craftiness.

Next Jesus addressed the issue of pride.  He told the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector.  The Pharisee stood before God proud and smug that he had checked all the boxes and was one of the good ones.  He was so happy he had it all together.  He thought it only polite to drop by ad high 5 God, since the two of them were so much alike.  Meanwhile,  across the room, a sinful tax collector kneeled, in need of a touch from God.  This man knew he was far from perfect.  Infact, the tax collector knew God was his only hope.  Jesus wanted His guys to understand that both of those men were hopeless without a touch from God, but only the humble one was ready spiritually to receive God’s touch.

In our lives, we face a broken world each day.  We do our best to meet the daily challenges, and we seek the Lord’s mercy and provision.  As we do, we can never quit.  We must be as tenacious as the widow and as humble as the tax collector.  None of us has arrived, in fact, we are not even close.  We need to seek God with all our hearts, daily, in fact, continuously, as we recognize our own inability to manage this life without God and His grace.  We are not perfect, nor, have we somehow spiritually arrived.  David, Moses, Elijah, all men God adored were frail and defeated on their own.  Their greatness came as they humbly sought the Lord.

We can do the same–recognize our imperfection, seek God, and follow Him closely. Finally, we must never stop praying for the Lord’s blessing and direction!

God Bless You


Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

13 “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.’

14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Matthew 15 part 1–Lip Service

How much of your faith is lip service and human rules? As Christians, when we evaluate our relationship with God, this is the tough question to ask.  It is so easy to begin to slip into a rule based walk with God. Don’t eat this, drink that, watch that or be seen there–causes such a stir among the family.  Clearly we have to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Truly when we walk, we need to do so in a way that honors him.  But when the things we do and don’t do become more important than simply walking with and following his lead—we struggle with selfish Pride and self righteousness.

Christians can  often represent a huge threat to bringing folk to Christ.  If they focus on their religious activity more than their relationship with God and others—like the Pharisees, they push folks from the God they serve.  This Easter, lets walk in a way that is substantive not based on lip service and human rules!!!

God Bless You

Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2 “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”3 Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’[a] and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’[b] 5 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ 6 they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:

8 “‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
9 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’[c