Driving in to work this morning after enjoying some fellowship and coffee with a friend at the local bagel haunt, a question came back to mind from last night… “Which one are you?” “Which one is going to heaven?”
This question was asked by Sinclair Ferguson who preached from Luke 18:9-14 on the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. I had a rare treat to enjoy hearing this man in person as he was in town for a local pastor’s conference. He brought this text to life and presented it in the setting of that day, such that my eyes and ears were opened to understand more fully, by God’s grace, what I hadn’t seen or adequately considered before… at least not as I did last night and again this morning.
As I continue to ruminate on the Word shared last night, my own thoughts and heart are responding to this question, ‘Which one are you?’ Several thoughts and scriptures come to mind as important daily necessities.
Turning – “Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.” Is 45:22
Thinking – “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Phil 4:8
Transformation – “…to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” Eph 4:22-24
I am the tax collector; completely undeserving though desparately in need of His propitiating mercy. I often get caught in the messed up thinking of the pharisee… sounding off about how well I’ve contributed to make myself a better man in God’s eyes. Lord, thank you that You are the Spotless Lamb of God who took my sin away. Thank you for giving me a new heart… eyes to see and ears to hear the wonder of the Gospel. Thank you for showing me my sin and for showing me Yourself, our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.