For that reason, he “Would not even look up to heaven.” (Luke 18:13) The tax collector beats his breast, a demonstrative sign of penitent humility, exclaiming, “God have mercy on me, a sinner.” (Luke 18:13) The literal translation of this phrase is even more striking: ‘God have mercy on me, the sinner.’
"Take this rule. Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off your relish of spiritual things. In short, whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind -- that thing is sin, however innocent it may be in itself."
Claim The Rescue Provided By A Redeeming, Reconciling God.
“Everyone who sets himself up as somebody will become a nobody and the man who makes himself nobody will become somebody.” (Luke 18:14, J.B. Phillips)
Jesus is blunt and direct: Nicodemus, stop trying to save yourself. Instead, die to self, and be born again, born unto me. (John 3:3) “How can this be?” (John 3:9)
“For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He even gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.”
For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.” (John 3:16-17)
Redefine Maturity: Not As Self-Righteousness, But Child-likeness
“For I tell you the truth, you will never be rescued, you will never know the influence, the reign of God, unless you receive the reign of God, the Kingdom of God, like a little child…” (Luke 18:17)
For when we swallow our pride and depend on Him, when we are born again, God sends the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, and that Spirit calls out “Abba, Father…” (Galatians 4:6)
For despite his greatness, Samuel F.B. Morse knew that the more he encountered it, “…The more I feel my littleness, and the more I perceive the hand of God, He being the great controller. Hence our dependence must first of all be on the Lord.”
“God have mercy on me, a sinner.” The sinner. (Luke 18:13)
“For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He even gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life” (John 3:16)