Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Be God's Friend

He darted around a Pharisee whose arms were raised so high and straight, Chatta was amazed they didn't fall off from weariness. Goodness, they hadn't even entered the temple yet!

Chatta rushed into the temple, head down, eyes focused on the dirt he didn't deserve to touch. The Pharisee's endless prayer seemed to echo off the walls and bounce into his heart. He skidded to a halt  at the Pharisees next words.

"God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector."

Why did the words sting so much? It was like a lion had run his mighty paw down his face, ripping away the fa├žade and exposing just how worthless he was. Why was he even in here? He shouldn't be.

His voice broke as he uttered the only words he could say to God. "God, be merciful to me, a sinner!"

It was all he could ask.

Based on Luke 18:10-13

Do you ever feel like the confused main character from a Disney movie?

I grew up on Disney movies like Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, Aladdin, and The Little Mermaid. One theme I always see is self worth.

The characters always discover their self-worth by the end of the flick, but our lives are not an hour and a half movie filled with soul-bearing songs and talking animals. So how do we figure out our self worth in the real world? How do we determine our self worth when it comes to God.

It's easy. God's already given it to us.

"No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you." John 15:15

Friends of God. Friends of the King. Friends of the Creator. I mean, is there a higher honor then that? Our worth has never been determined by our actions. Our worth is off the charts high because of God's love for us.

"Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.' But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!'" Luke 18:10-13

Look at the parable of the tax collector and the Pharisee. The tax collector knew how retched and horrible he was. Everybody did - the Pharisee made that clear. None of that mattered though, because God's love covered the tax collector just as much as it covered the Pharisee.

You don't have to be the self-righteous, pompous Pharisee to gain God's love, or to understand your worth in Him.

You just need to understand this verse.

"No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you." John 15:15

You are God's friend. You are worthy because He said so. Stop trying to do everything right. Stop trying to ignore your faults. Stop trying and just be. Be God's friend. You are worthy because of His love and grace. If it can cover a tax collector, a Pharisee, a murder, and endless other sinners, it can cover you.

V. Joy Palmer

2 comments:

  1. We are so often guilty of the same attitude of the pharisee. but we need to remember that God loves us because of who He is, not because of what we do!

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  2. Amen! God bless you!
    -V. Joy Palmer

    ReplyDelete