January 12: “The Blessings of Acknowledging Our Sinfulness”

Today’s Bible Reading:

Genesis 26:17-27:46
Matthew 9:1-17
Psalm 10:16-18
Proverbs 3:9-10

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Matthew 9:12-13 (NLT): “When Jesus heard this, he said, ‘Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.’ Then he added, ‘Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: “I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.” For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.’” 

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

We like for people to think well of us. We want them to be pleased, to be impressed with us. Conversely, it would mortify us if we knew that people were talking about our various faults and failures.

This pride is what Jesus was addressing in the verses that I have chosen for today. The Pharisees, the religious leader of Jesus’ day, were saturated with pride. They were incredibly concerned with how people thought of them. They went to great lengths to be seen as holy by the masses.

In that spiritual arrogance, they noticed the company Jesus was keeping. Some very sinful people were getting close to Jesus, and the Pharisees observed that He wasn’t distancing Himself from them. 

How did the Pharisees respond? With humility? Did they acknowledge that they, too, were sinners? Did they also seek the company of Jesus to help them with their sin problems?

Of course, not. Since the religious leaders didn’t think they were sinners, since they were saturated with spiritual pride, two things happened:

First, they looked down their noses at those who were engaged in sin. 

Second, they had no desire to enjoy being around Jesus.

Friend, this is what spiritual arrogance will do to us. We will respond just like the Pharisees if we are not aware of and broken over our sinfulness. We will look down our noses at people who sin differently than we do, and we will not desire to be with Jesus.

Do you want to develop compassion for others who struggle to live a godly life? Do you want to be drawn into a deeper, dependent, cleansing relationship with Jesus?

Then begin with yourself. Ask God’s Holy Spirit to make you keenly aware of the specific sins you commit. Remind yourself of how offensive those sins are to a holy God, and then look to the cross to see what your sins did to Jesus.

It is out of the awareness of our own sin that God can do some great things in our life. We will be drawn to Jesus so that we can experience forgiveness and cleansing. Further, we will be much more patient and loving with others who sin differently than we do.

So, where does all of this start? 

1). Acknowledge that you are a sinner, 

2) build your case by identifying the specific sins you commit, and 

3) let your heart be broken over your disobedience to a Holy God and what it did to Jesus. 

In that humbled condition, your view of other sinners and your desire and need for Jesus will come (almost) naturally.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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