Day TWO: Nov 15-21

HOPE in the Freeze

It can be tough following Jesus. The way of Jesus calls into question every area and facet of our lives; however, this is a lifelong process.  Remember, you were made in the image of God. God’s work of sanctification is to renew you back fully into this image. Take 5 deep breaths and repeat this after me.

I am made in the image of God.  

This week we talked about contempt.  Contempt is an attitude of scorn particularly towards others.  You were made in the image of God; in addition, everyone you will ever encounter is made in the image of God.  Contempt was a common attribute of a particular group of people Jesus interacted with regularly in His ministry on Earth.  While interacting with a group of Pharisees, Jesus would tell this parable,

“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 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. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 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!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted”

Luke 18:10–14, ESV

The pride of the Pharisee was rooted in the understanding that they knew what was going good and right and everyone else was mistaken. Their own pride would lead to the murder of the Son of God. Contempt would blind them from the Kingdom of God. It’s all too easy for our own pride to cause division and ultimately contempt for those that do not act, live, think, look, or speak like us.  When we degrade someone’s worth by their actions or thoughts we discount what is ultimately true – like us they are made in the image of God.  In the division of our world it can be tempting to foster contempt against those that think differently. Could it be that we all fall short of perfect understanding of the complex systems of our world? Today, take some time to allow the Lord to humble any areas that need to be addressed. Jesus is wisdom. Jesus is King. 

The Kingdom is the ultimate equalizer. Everyone will be humbled, either by choice or circumstance.  When we can treat others as equally fallible and equally worthy we participate with the Kingdom of God that is renewing all things.  Pray this prayer with me.

Lord, I thank you for taking time to mold and shape me. You have had to instruct and correct many areas of my life. I join in the prayer of the sinful man, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” Help me to honor those I come in contact with today and going forward. Forgive me Lord for an attitude of contempt. Continue to renew me. Amen.

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