OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL: THURSDAY 22ND OCTOBER 2020-LEGALISTIC OR CHRIST-LIKE?
MEMORISE: Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; Ephesians 2:19
READ: Luke 18:9-14
9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon 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 every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
MESSAGE: A Christian is not necessarily someone who follows a set of religious rules, but rather, someone who has a cordial relationship with Christ. A Christian behaves like Christ.
Christianity is about Christ who lives in you and not all about do’s and don’ts. Most people who see Christianity only from the view point of rules and regulations are hypocrites. The Pharisees and Sadducees condemned Jesus for healing on a Sabbath. Jesus pointed out their hypocrisy when He asked if they would not go searching for any of their sheep that went missing on a Sabbath (Mark 3:1-6).
Rules and regulations are good, but they must never take the place of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Ghost in you that helps you live completely holy and not the rules. Adhering to rules does not make a sinner acceptable to Christ, it is only the willingness to surrender that guarantees salvation. You Christianity should be centered on Christ’s love for you, His death, resurrection and promise of eternal life, not some rules to be followed.
For some people, they give preeminence to rules so they can earn the right to boast and arrogantly declare their ‘holiness’ forgetting that “….we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags...” (Isaiah 64:6).
The best thing rules can give us is self-righteousness, which can make one be like the Pharisee who went to the temple to pray in Luke 18:10-12. However, justification by God can only come through God’s Spirit in you.
Legalistic people care more about how people see them than how God sees them. They are always looking for who is breaking the rules so they can attack and even gossip them (Luke 18:11). God does not want you to boast about your holiness because only through His Spirit can you live holy.
“Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:9
KEY POINT: The Christian life epitomize dying to self and being Christ-like in all we do. Are you really Christ-like.