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Summary: To teach our children to not just say thanks but to be thankful is not just for them but also for us,

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Thanks, BUT No Thanks

Luke 18:9-14 Rev. R.B.Hughes

Luke 18:14 “… for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

I. INTRODUCTION

Happy Thanksgiving! I enjoy thanksgiving.

- I like the lack of commercialism.

- I enjoy the atmosphere of home and family

· Children, grandparents, reunions, meal at the table, pie, 60 million calories.

- Thanksgiving tilts our head upwards.

· Element of humility.

· Genuine gratitude to God.

· Counting blessings.

BUT thanks is more than a word. It’s an attitude of the heart.

We’ve used the term “thanks’ in a none thankful manner.

When the telemarketer calls.

- Thanks, but no thanks.

- Yes but no!

When I told a bad golfer that Cal had an extra golf ball in his back pocket.

- Cal gave me the “Thanks a lot” look.

- Not really saying feeling gratitude towards me at that moment.

The point being that we can use the term “thanks” and not mean it.

- We can do that when we thank God as well.

- Unbelievers use the term “Thank God” as a relief rather than gratitude.

RELIGIOUS PEOPLE AS WELL!

Lets look at Luke 18

II. EXPOSITION OF LUKE 18:9-14

Again Jesus is the master storyteller and he loves a surprise ending!

· Look at His audience in verse 9.

A. The Similarities. v.10.

- Both were mere men. (given their vocations)

- Both came to pray.

- Both came to the temple.

- Both came to the same God.

- Both spoke for their condition.

B. The Prayers. v.11-13

1. The Pharisee. v.11,12

His Outward Appearance: “he stood”

- You can stand and pray but this particular time is more revealing.

- He stands to be seen.

- If he thought that kneeling would make him look favorable he would.

Ill/ The defiant child being punished: “I may be sitting on the outside but I am standing on the inside.”

- Position doesn’t always mean something.

- He would be wearing the finest religious robes of the day.

His Prayer: “God, I thank you …”

- If he had stopped there he would have been on the right track.

Note: His prayer was “to himself or with himself”.

“I am not like other men ..”

- I am something!

- I am not a sinner like others are!

“I am not like THIS man in particular”

- This tax collector rated as the worst of the sinners.

- I am not like this child molester.

- I am not like a murdering terrorist.

- WE LOVE TO GIVE A GOOD “BAD” EXAMPLE.

“I am like this …”

- I, I, I, I, I ….. 5 times!!

This was a prayer to himself about himself.

- He religiously started with God …. Thanks God …..

- He doesn’t even qualify it by say “but by the grace of God go I ..”

IT IS AT THIS POINT IN THE PARABLE THAT JESUS HAS CAUGHT ME!!!

BECAUSE I SAY “I AM NOT LIKE THAT PHARISEE”.

Pride is so so subtle!!

A young woman went to her pastor and said, "Pastor, I have a besetting sin, and I want your help. I come to church on Sunday and can’t help thinking I’m the prettiest girl in the congregation. I know I ought not think that, but I can’t help it. I want you to help me with it." The pastor replied, " don’t worry about it. In your case it’s not a sin. It’s just a horrible mistake."

Pride has many masks BUT none prettier than spiritual pride. GOD HELP US.

2. The Tax Collector. v.13.

His Outward Appearance: He too was “standing”

- A far off … symbolic of how he felt within.

- The prodigal .. “a far off country”

- Peter … “followed afar off”

- Lepers in Luke 17 … “stood afar off”.

· “Would not SO MUCH AS raise his eyes to heaven”

- How humble. How contrite.

- Jesus is painting a picture.

- Know how you tell you children … look me in the eyes at tell me.

- The eyes reveal ….

HIS LISTENERS ARE SAYING NOR SHOULD HE RAISE HIS EYES!!!

He would be wearing the robe marking of a Roman employee.

- Rags to the onlooker.

“He beat his breast”

- WHY? Because he knows that herein lies my problem.

ILL/ Ever smack yourself on the head … “smarten up”.

- WHY? Because we know where the problem lies.

The Tax Collector knows his problem isn’t:

- Social standing, Intellectual shortcomings, Financial issues.

He beats his breast because he knows his great issue is an issue of the heart!

- An ungrateful heart. Hardened. Cold. Unyielding. Prideful. Sinful.

He does not come in declaring his positive side … thanking God how good he is … NO .. he comes beating his chest signifying there is something within that is terribly wrong.

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