| Luke 18:9-14 God be merciful to me a sinner.|
This was given to me as a blessing when I went to visit a brother...
Luke 18:9 Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank You that I am not like other menextortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 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! 14 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.
With SI members visiting this week, I saw something that was not right within me.
I for the last three years have been searching for the "perfect church." I was in the wilderness. In this last month God has shown me the error of my ways...my vain imagination. And it all came to this Scripture...
This thought was birthed in me this past Wednesday...
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank You that I am not like other menextortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.
This was the condition of my heart when I left the church I was suppose to love with patience and longsuffering.
Now, I see another sin that the Lord has brought into the light. I have been wonderfully blessed in this last month. I have found that I cannot exist outside His church. I have found that I need all the wonderful fellowship that comes at a price. The price is learning all the lessons of what it takes to love one another as Christ loves us.
Are you drifting in the open sea as I was?
| 2007/4/9 1:40||Profile|
| Re: Luke 18:9-14 God be merciful to me a sinner.|
Thank you Jeff, this is a brave testimony. The Lord make your path straight...
| 2007/4/9 16:31||Profile|
| Re: Luke 18:9-14 God be merciful to me a sinner.|
Thanks for sharing this, I am going through something similar right now. When looking for a church, I often find myself being prideful and arrogant. Just last Sunday God powerfully rebuked me on this.
We were singing worship songs, and I thought to myself, "I wonder what would happen if I broke down crying right now and worshiped God? I bet the guy next to me would look down and ask, 'Are you all right?' to which I would respond, 'If you had ever prayed like this before you would know.'"
To my utter shame at thinking such a thought, the guy next to me broke down in the middle of the songs, took his seat, and wept into his hands so much that he had to leave at one point. Meanwhile I continued to sing like everyone else. I was so shamed...I thank God for rebuking me and my arrogance.
| 2007/4/9 17:25||Profile|
bless you my brother. tears don't come for no reason my brother. it's amazing how God is working in his sons and daughters. i went through the same trying times with a heart that was full of judgement..until God's spirit really started convicting me about it. so now, Glory be to him for i am so shy in so many other ways- when i feel a need to weep and worship i do...i am most of the time shaking my wits out while doing it, but i do. i stand in the midst of 200-300 people and do it- by the power of Him and love expressed to Him. and the judgment part- by the grace of God when i start to focus on others and around, if i am standing, i sit down, and bow my head and start praying- to focus on Him only- all this was His work, and all glory to Him
| 2007/4/9 18:36|
and the judgment part- by the grace of God when i start to focus on others and around, if i am standing, i sit down, and bow my head and start praying- to focus on Him only- all this was His work, and all glory to Him
Yeah, I need to stop focusing others during worship and focus on God. That's something to continually work on.
| 2007/4/9 19:56||Profile|
15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the headChrist 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
What I have come to understand in my own walk is that I need to participate in a local church. Otherwise I will not see how the Lord works through His gifts to individuals to make the "body" whole. I cannot experience the love that comes through His church, If I choose not to participate.
I was the Pharisee wondering why these people don't get it. I was also the one not willing to sacrifice myself for those God entrusted me with. Love of fellowship can only come when we give ourselves to the Holy Spirit's leading in the day by day events the Lord brings before us.
Do not forsake the gathering together, you may be like me, forsaking the ways of our Lord and His church.
| 2007/4/10 0:46||Profile|
Jeff, I appreciate your testimony but I must add balance to it.
We live in a day where much of what is called the "church" is a babylonian harlot that we are commanded to come out of. God forbid that anyone here out in the wilderness should join themselves to the great whore in the name of "gathering together".
To paraphrase Carter Conlon "Better to find a bible study with 5 believers who care for the poor then to take part and join in a false unity".
In Christ - Jim
| 2007/4/10 9:30|
Jeff, thank you for sharing this. I have been wrong in the same ways and am also in the same position of needing to find a body of believers to be a part of.
"I was also the one not willing to sacrifice myself for those God entrusted me with"
Think this is big. Maybe we only think of laying down our lives on mission fields, or in prison some where. Is it possible God could be calling some of us to lay down our lives in a sense, among ourselves?
Nile, that was powerfull. It hits the mark. Thank you.
Jim, as a sort of counter-balance am reminded of what the Lord said here...
[b][color=660033]The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.[/color][/b]
There is a Bible teacher that is heard on the radio here in Philadlephia that has quite a bit to say about the [i]church[/i]. I have met at least two people who it seems were [i]followers[/i] of this man's teachings to some degree or another. Before they ever told me so in our conversations I could figure out that they were listening to him.
In trying to find words to put this in, one question continues to come to mind: [i]are we speaking with the authority of Heaven?[/i]
One night I heard a man call into this program and challenge the speaker about his doctrines concerning the church. What he(the caller) said was really powerfull to me. I looked for the passage that he was referring to in the Bible and I think it was this, from Zechariah chapter 12
[i] In that day, saith the Lord, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness...[/i]
Wishing you all grace,
Christopher Joel Dandrow
| 2007/4/10 18:17||Profile|
Im not really sure what the point of your comment on my post is.. can you please clarify further.
in Him - Jim
| 2007/4/10 19:15|
Hi Jim, I'm sorry, I will try to clarify a bit more.
Will put this up again to have it in view:
[b][color=660033]The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. [/color][/b]
Would just point out here that the Lord did not tell multitude to abandon the religous system that was in place(not saying you are either), even though from what the New Testament reveals, it apprears as though it was very much corrupt. Peter says of them(the people and their rulers, see v17)
[i]...ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; And killed the Prince of life...[/i]
And this is my concern, not with you specifically, but that some are saying we should abandon the religous system of the Churches altogether.
Moving on though, I am concerned that we can even make blanket statements altogether concerning [i]the churches[/i]. I say this, and I have been inclined to do so myself, but not publically, but still I am concerned that we may say these things.
The [i]Church[/i] still belongs to God. My caution then is in what words we use to speak about His things.
The scripture also says
[i]The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.[/i]
Be it far from me to stand in the way of any man that speaks with the authority of Heaven. Let him say what he will. But this seems to be one of those cases where we should be very carefull what we say. Know what I mean?
Hope this helps to make my thoughts more clear. And let me know what you think.
Christopher Joel Dandrow
| 2007/4/10 20:53||Profile|