The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

10/14/2009

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Trust Three


"He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife, but he who trusts in the Lord will be prospered. He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered" (Prov. 28: 25 & 26).

There is an old saying in the medical profession that says, "a person who treats himself has a fool for a patient." In the legal world it goes like this; "The person who defends himself has a fool for a client." As much as I don't like to go to doctors and lawyers, I certainly understand why it is sometimes necessary. They have an expertise in their chosen field that I can only scratch the surface about. When it comes to the spiritual aspects of our lives, we ought to defer to the "expert" also. Trusting in ourselves in the religious part of our lives is tantamount self-diagnosis of a medical condition. We are putting ourselves at risk.

In Luke the 18th chapter we find The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. You know the story...Two men went to the temple, a Pharisee and a tax collector. Both prayed. In his prayer, the Pharisee extolled his own virtues. "God, I thank you that I am not like other men---extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector." He goes on..."I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess." Now this man is certainly self-medicating! The tax collector was humble and contrite in his prayer. He even felt ashamed to look up but beat himself on the chest and said, "God be merciful to me a sinner." Jesus said that this man went away justified and not the other. He did because he did not trust in his own righteousness but in the righteousness of God. The lesson is a simple one for me. We cannot trust in our own goodness because it will not get us into heaven. Only God's mercy and grace can do that.

Trusting in our own goodness may be a tragic error. We are not saved by works but are saved to do good works. I remember back in high school bringing home a less than stellar report card. I tried to justify it to my mom by letting her know that my friend Aaron had gotten poorer grades than me. You all know the end of that story....She had no interest whatsoever in anyone's work but mine. We are not looked at by the Lord as satisfactory just because we are better than someone else. The Word is our measurement for comparison and Jesus is our role model.

Finally, we cannot trust in our own strength. It again is like going into court defending ourselves when there is someone who is so much more qualified to do the job. The prophet Isaiah said, "In quietness and trust is your strength" (30:15). Paul knew his limitations and abilities when he wrote, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:13). It was true then and is true today...

Have a wonderful day... Let your light shine for Him... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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