June 26 – Religious Bondage

“The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.”Luke 18:11-12

Self-righteousness can be bondage . . . a bondage of performance-oriented religion. If you try to measure up to perfection on your own, you will end up disappointed in yourself every time. You will also become disappointed in OTHERS and become very critical and unloving.

Jesus told the parable in Luke 18:9 to those who TRUSTED IN THEMSELVES . . . they were self- righteous and despised others. The Pharisees were the most religious people of their day, but, because of their self-righteousness, they became some of the most hateful people.

Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by GRACE [GOD’S LOVE] are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the GIFT of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Emphasis supplied.)

Be grateful for God’s wonderful love gift of salvation and rest completely in His righteousness for yourself and for OTHERS. In this, God is well pleased!

PRAY: “Loving heavenly Father, I have no righteousness of my own. YOU are my only claim to perfection. Help me to see OTHERS through Your loving eyes of grace. In Jesus’ Name, amen.”

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