Summary: A look at Jesus' story comparing the hearts of the tax collector and the pharisee.

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Humility - October 23, 2016 - Luke 18:9-14

Worship. Worship. There is nothing like worshipping God. There’s nothing like being in the presence of Jesus and adoring Him.

And that’s because there is nothing and no one more beautiful than our God. Father, Son, Holy Spirit, God who is three in one.

He fills our praises with his presence. He ministers healing to us, and we have the incredible privilege of entering His presence and focussing on His worth, His goodness, His glory and majesty.

That’s what we’ve been doing this afternoon. That’s why we gather on Sundays, to worship God.

We also learn about God, enjoy the community of God’s people gathered here, but mainly we come to worship the living, true God, revealed in Jesus, in Whom all the fulness of the Godhead bodily dwells.

Where do we get that word, worship? The word ‘worship’ comes from the Greek word ‘proskyneō (pros-kü-ne'-ō)’, and it means to bow in humble reverence, to lay prostrate before the living God. It’s a profound act of submission and adoration.

It’s also symbolic because when we’re laying prostate (demonstrate) we can’t go any lower. We can’t be more reverential toward God.

Whether we are actually laying prostrate or bowing, or standing, it’s all about the attitude of our heart.

Worship is an act of profound personal freedom too. Because we personally and willingly bow ourselves down low.

We affirm that God is God and we are not God. I want to suggest that worshipping the living God in humility and honesty and truth is why we were made, ultimately.

It will be our greatest joy, in eternity. With all the angels who cry ‘Holy, holy, holy’, we will join our voices to that great chorus.

When we worship here and now, we are touching eternity, because we are, yes, joining our voices to heaven, joining our voices to the believers who have gone before us and to the whole heavenly host.

So the word worship means to, in our attitudes if not in our bodies, lie prostrate, flat on our faces, before God.

There are other ways to go low. Sin can take us low. Sin humiliates us. Sin strips us of dignity, removes from us our sense of worth.

It creates shame and embarrassment. And it distorts something very basic and beautiful about you and me.

That is simply that we are made in the image of our Creator, and we’re intended to live as a reflection of our God.

So the believer, who perhaps once was brought low by sin (that’s me. Perhaps that’s you too), comes to worship the living God, the Creator of heaven and earth, the Redeemer and Saviour of our soul.

And in our hearts if not physically, we bow deep before our majestic and beautiful king.

And here’s the thing. As we willingly bow before God, we are brought low. But that ‘lower state’ is in truth much higher that the state that sin brings us to.

Today’s passage is a powerful one that makes us take a hard look at ourselves, if we are willing. It’s very clearly directed to a specific audiences.

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