Thursday, February 28, 2013

Preparing for Easter ~ Mark of "Counterfeit Holiness"

[God...made a lasting mark through the sacrifice of Jesus. Hebrews 13:20 MSG
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore the visible evidence that identifies us as faithful followers of Jesus. Can others see Jesus in our lives? ~ Donna Oswalt]

“Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’”
 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Andrew Murray, pastor and missionary in South Africa in the 1800’s, gives us great insight into holiness and humility. He writes: In the individual, humility is the one thing needed to allow God’s holiness to dwell in and shine through him or her. He continues: The chief mark of counterfeit holiness is its lack of humility.* Seeking to be in the presence of God, whether through worship or prayer, we must focus on God, not self. Pride so easily claims us, exhorts us, and justifies our self-promotion. Holiness and humility must walk hand-in-hand within our heart and in our outward lives. Jesus, the pattern we need to follow, is the most Holy One and the most humble.
  • Which of the two men praying best reflects my prayers? 
  • How do I try to justify myself before God? Where do I hide my humility?

Lord, search my heart, reveal my pride. Open my eyes to Your holiness. I long to focus on Your humility and pattern my life after You. –dho

*Humility, The Journey Toward Holiness, by Andrew Murray

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2013 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
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“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

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