Saturday, September 6, 2014

Tell Me The Stories
Sister Christine Masters  Full Time Missionary   The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints

“Tell me the stories of Jesus I love to hear,
Things I would ask Him to tell me if He were here.
Scenes by the wayside, tales of the sea,
Stories of Jesus, tell them to me.”

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, lived a humble life of teaching, serving others, and exactly obeying His Father’s will.  No preferential treatment was given Him from either the political or religious leaders of His day.  He did not sit in the highest seats of the synagogues.  His  preaching was simple  and yet  profound, sinking to the depths of our souls.  Even when He was teaching the multitudes through stories and parables, His focus was blessing individuals one by one.

One of the stories of Jesus I love to hear is the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican.
“Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a Publican.
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.
I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
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.” Luke 18:10-13

A stark contrast exists between the prayers of the prideful Pharisee and the humble Publican.  The Pharisee considered  himself greater than other men and relied solely on himself and his perceived righteousness.  On the other hand, the Publican relied solely on God to Whom  he begged for mercy and forgiveness.

Jesus lauded the Publican as the truly righteous person in this story saying, “I tell you, this man,” speaking of the Publican, “went down to his house justified, rather than the other: for every man that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”  Luke 18:14

The Publican went to his house justified because he exercised the Chirstlike  attribute  of humility.  Humility acknowledges the continual need for divine help.  Rather than a sign of weakness, humility is a sign of spiritual strength because God is given the honor for accomplishments.

Pride is the opposite of humility because faith is put  in the individual rather than in God.

In every period of history, there have been prideful people who relied solely on their own merits and capabilities, but there also have been humble people who, with thanksgiving in their hearts, followed the divine command to be humble.

Today, in every land and clime, there are Pharisees and there are Publicans.
Which of these bears your name?

Pastor's Corner  Adams County Record   Council, Idaho   2014

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