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"for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.""

Luke 18:14   .


  Sermon Excerpt: How Then Should We Pray? Luke 18:9-14, RevJan

I suppose every one of us knows someone who is "stuck up," someone who makes us feel less important than they, less human than they. Some of these people might be ones we admire. They seem to have it all together manicured lawn, neat-as-a-pin house, designer clothes, beautiful children, fancy cars. They have all the right toys, the cool T-shirts, the name brand jeans and shoes and jackets. Yet, when you try to make friends with these people, you get the distinct impression that, well, they can't be bothered. They don't have the time for you. They would be doing you a favor by being your friend. And, that makes you feel second-class. Today's scripture lesson is about two people, both of whom believed in God, both of whom worshiped God.

One was a first-class citizen, an elite member of society. This was a person who, by all measures, we should admire. He participated in the worship services of his church: Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night prayer meetings. If there was a special service, he was there. He often served as worship leader, or ushered. He attended Sunday School, even taught now and then. He was on the Church Council, and served on one of the Annual Conference committees. If something needed to be done around the church, he did it. He gave generously to the church, 10 percent of everything. Most people in American churches give less than 1% of their income to their church. His minister had suggested giving 5% only of your net earnings. But this man gave the entire 10% tithe of everything he earned from his stock options, savings interest, Certificates of Deposit, rentals he owned everything.

Fred Craddock has pointed out that "the Pharisee was a faithful man, the kind that puts his tithe in the offering plate to support the pastor's salary so that the pastor can preach a sermon on the Pharisee and the tax collector!" ...Subscribers: click here for the full sermon and more