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God, Be Merciful To Me A Sinner!

God, Be Merciful To Me a Sinner
Whoever Is Without Sin Cast The First Stone

For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. Luke 14:11 (NKJV)

I don't know about you, but I get a lot of emails sent to me.  Sometimes they can inundate me and I might just choose to skim through some of the ones being passed around.  Even so, some of these emails have good little stories in them containing valuable lessons.  I received one such email from a friend, and there was this poem contained within the email from an unknown author.

I was shocked, confused, bewildered
As I entered Heaven's door,
Not by the beauty of it all,
Nor the lights or its decor.

But it was the folks in Heaven
Who made me sputter and gasp-
The thieves, the liars, the sinners,
The alcoholics and the trash.

There stood the kid from seventh grade
Who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor
Who never said anything nice.
Bob, who I always thought
Was rotting away in hell,
Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
Looking incredibly well.

I nudged Jesus, "What's the deal?
I would love to hear Your take.
How'd all these sinners get up here?
God must've made a mistake.
And why is everyone so quiet,
So somber:  Give me a clue."

"Hush, child,' He said,"They're all in shock.
No one thought they'd be seeing YOU!"

There are a couple of great points within this poem worth noting.

1.    We shouldn't judge others in a way reserved for God (Luke 6:37; James 4:12).  

There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another? James 4:12 (NKJV)

We can't look at people and their actions and decide who gets to go to Heaven and who doesn't, this is God's job.  We don't know what is going on within their heart, or whether they have reconciled with God, even in the last moments of their life (Luke 23:40-43).

2.    We should be willing to forgive others in the same way we want to be forgiven (Luke 6:37).

 Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:37 (NKJV)

So many times we think of ourselves as being better than other people based on our actions, but we are not - sin is sin, and it is all equally deadly.   When I hear of this type of thinking it really brings the parable Jesus spoke to light, as recorded in Luke.  

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. Luke 18:10-14 (NKJV)

We need to remember God will forgive all sin for those who confess, repent and believe in Jesus (Rom. 10:9-10; 1 John 1:9).

As for me, I only have this to say, as I come in agreement with the tax collector, "Lord, be merciful to me a sinner!"

STUDY QUESTION: According to the scriptures contained within this devotional, what can we learn about judging others or thinking less of them by what they have done?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to forgive others in the same way you hope to be forgiven?

APPLiCATION: Pray for those who you know are in sin.  Ask God to take off any veil covering their heart and mind keeping them from hearing and receiving His truth.

Father, thank You for Your mercy, love and grace.  Father, help me to see others in the same way You do.  And Lord, please be merciful to me a sinner.  In Jesus' precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000