Summary: I see the path of forgiveness of sin in this text. 1- We cry and the Lord forgives 2- We wait and the Lord gives hope 3- We believe and the Lord redeems
INTRO.- Have you ever been stopped by a police officer for any reason, speeding, incorrect lane crossing, etc.???
ILL.- A policeman pulls a man over for speeding and asks him to get out of the car. After looking the man over he says, "Sir, I couldn't help but notice your eyes are bloodshot. Have you been drinking?" The man gets really indignant and says, "Officer, I couldn't help but notice your eyes are glazed. Have you been eating doughnuts?” WRONG QUESTION.
ILL.- Here are things you don't say this to a cop.
- I can't reach my license unless you hold my beer.
- Sorry officer, I didn't realize my radar detector wasn't plugged in.
- Hey, you must have been doing 125 to keep up with me, good job.
- I thought you had to be in relatively good physical shape to be a police officer.
- I was going to be a cop, but I decided to finish high school instead.
- You're not going to check the trunk, are you?
- Is it true that people become cops because they are too dumb to work at McDonalds?
- I pay your salary.
- So uh, you on the take or what?
- I was just trying to keep up with traffic.
- What do you mean have I been drinking? You are the trained specialist.
These sayings may be somewhat similar to what people say to God or would like to say to God about the wrongdoing in their lives. It seems like we are full of excuses for our wrongdoing or sin, but seldom do we want to admit error and humble ourselves before the Lord. Remember this is how it went in the beginning of time: Adam blamed Eve. Eve blamed the serpent and the serpent didn’t have a leg to stand on!
Everyone seems to want to blame someone else for their wrongdoing. “It’s my parents’ fault that I’m this way.” “I was raised on the wrong side of the tracks.” “I was raised in podunk junction where folks didn’t know any better.” “The reason I like to drag race is because of my older brother!” “I failed in one class because my twin sister wouldn’t help me.”
We all are guilty of wrongdoing and sin (Rom. 3:23) and we all like to blame other people for our sins. It’s the nature of our sinful pride that keeps us from humbling ourselves before God and acknowledging that we are guilty.
Here is how it should be: Luke 18:13 (quickview)  "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'”
The prideful Pharisee prayed about himself and thanked God that he wasn’t like other men: robbers, evildoers or adulterers. And tax collectors. The right attitude to have is to cast ourselves on the Lord and admit that we are sinners and need His mercy. That’s the best and safest prayer in the Bible.
How’s your record? A record of good versus record of wrongdoing or sin? I don’t think most of us would want to know. We all probably have more sins against than good for us. Consequently, we need the forgiveness that only the Lord offers.