This week’s Scriptures and devotional thoughts direct our attention on human beings’ greatest longing, to know we are loved by God. Unless otherwise cited, material in quotations is from Embracing the Love of God, Hidden in Christ, or The Magnificent Story, all authored by James Bryan Smith.
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Thursday, March 21, 2019
We only need to become realists as to our condition without God. “The tax collector’s desperate sense of need and imperfection made instant contact with the source of all perfection…he had gotten the thing in proportion. We need not suppose he was an especially wicked man, but he knew he was an imperfect, dependent, and needy man, without any claims or rights. He was a realist. That opened a channel, and started a communion, between the rich God and the poor soul.” (Evelyn Underhill in An Anthology of the Love of God)