Do You Trust Your Obedience or Christ?

Luke 18:9-14 ESV.

He (Jesus) also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “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!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other.

Sometimes, if not most of the time, we catch our self judging others based on their outward performance and not coming to know their heart.

Jesus in this parable showcases the problem. These two men, a religious Pharisee and an unwelcome tax collector are in the temple to pray. The tax collector is non-welcoming because the people looked upon them as robbing their hard-earned money. On the other side, the Pharisee established the cultural, religious standard most people believed were living the way God intended.

As the parable highlights, the Pharisee prayed lifting himself up before God while the tax collector humbled himself. The Pharisee focused his opinion on himself before God by reiterating all the activity he does. He stresses his obedience to the law and compares his actions against others. In his eyes he is better than the others; better because he doesn’t do sinful acts; better because he performs religious activities expected of him. He emphasizes his obedience to prove himself more righteous than others.

On the other hand, the tax collector doesn’t look at himself and his actions. Instead he focuses outward toward God and places the emphasis on His mercy and not his personal actions. Jesus concluded the tax collector’ actions were better off than the Pharisee’s self promotion.

Bottom-line: It’s about Jesus Christ and not what we do. He clothes us with His righteousness and His actions justify us. We simple do what is expected of us as children of the living God. We don’t emphasize our obedience, our faith, nor our acts of service. Instead we place the entire focus on Jesus Christ who makes everything possible. He is our Priest, Savior, and Rabbi. We are his apprentice. He is the master, we are the student. His life, death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven has made this all possible.

We don’t emphasize our obedience. Instead we highlight and showcase Jesus Christ.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
Great Business Emulates a Good God
Be Radical…Follow Christ!
Simply The Messenger
Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!

Copyright 2013-2018 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Dancing with God

“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,” Psalm 30:11 ESV

dancing 1

Back before “Dancing with the Stars” made ballroom dancing a current fad, when ballroom dancing was only for the elderly, I learned to move my body within the framework and rhythm of the big band sound of the 1930s. But it didn’t happen overnight.

In high school, I was the quiet, silent type who hid behind a wide smile. Though socially backward and inept, I made up my mind to change. It started at the weddings.

I found out early in life that if you treated the ladies with respect and charm, you could usually move into their territory without fear or intimidation. While sitting at the family table with the band playing, I would look for the girls on the dance floor who didn’t have dates. Then I would join them at their table, start a conversation that eventually led to explaining my desire to learn how to dance. Eventually the girl would offer to teach me. Though I stepped on many a foot and tripped over my steps more often than not, they taught me as their #1 mission in life. That is how we started.

In my early twenties, I was also fortunate to meet a couple of young, culturally mature ladies, who likewise loved to dance. Whenever their dance partners were unable to go out that weekend, they would call me knowing that I wasn’t the best, but was an able learner. Through the Polish, German, and Italian cultural clubs, plus the big band nightclubs, we learn to polka, swing, cha-cha, and fox trot. In the beginning they would lead and I would follow. Eventually, I developed to the point where I led and my partner followed.

So what does this have to do with dancing with God? Everything. I find our relationship with the Triune God is one large dance. That Father-Son-Spirit move together like two partners on a dance floor; individually yet mutually together. That same togetherness is how God wants us to follow Him.

God leads, we follow. Individually, yet mutually together. In sync with the divine music. Sometimes it’s a fox trot. Other times, it is a swing. Then it’s a slow, hip-hop, tango. Whatever the beat, He leads, we follow. Together, the movement is one intimate, fulfilling dance that brings out the best in you and I.

So the next time you want to know what the relationship with God is truly like, learn to experience the thrill of moving around the world’s dance floor with your partner in hand swaying to the divine music He orchestrates throughout the day. You may be pleasantly surprised!

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Consultant, Coach, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married