christian fellowship2002-11-09 - Your Resume!

Recently I was asked the question “How do you identify yourself? What does your resume say about you?”

When I thought about this question, I was quick to answer:

Child of my Lord
Christian
Teacher
Leader in the church
Student
Computer Technician
Servant
Friend
Prayer Warrior (Am I?)
Bible-Reader (Am I?)

I thought that was pretty good, until I read the resume of two men Jesus tells us about in the book of Luke Chapter 18.

Luke 18:10-13 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 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.” And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto Heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” (KJV)

It should be noted that The Greek word translated “tax collector” (tax gatherer, NASB) is incorrectly rendered “publican” by the KJV.  Publicans were wealthy men, usually non-Jewish, who contracted with the Roman government to be responsible for the taxes of a particular area of the imperial Roman State, and were often backed by military force. Tax collectors, as referred to in the New Testament, were Jews employed by publicans to do the actual collecting of monies in the restricted areas where thy lived. They could be seen in the temple (Luke 18:13) and were usually not very wealthy (with the possible exception of Zacchaeus ).  The people from whom they collected taxes knew them.  They were classified as “sinners” (Matt 9:10-11; Mark 2:15), probably because they were allowed to gather more than the government required and then to pocket the excess amount.

From the hearts of these two guys, how do you think their resumes would look?

What would the Pharisee’s resume look like?

****Pharisee****

Is one of God’s chosen people
Is pure
Is undefiled
Is just
Keeps the law
Prays
Participates in leading temple services
Reads the Scripture
Does good works
Keeps the Sabbath
Is not a thief
Is not an adulterer
Thinks he is perfect
Is thankful he’s not like the publican

What would the Tax Collector’s resume look like?

**** Tax Collector ****

Steals
Cheats
Recognizes he is a Sinner
Attends temple services
Is willing to give mercy
Is humble
Is ready to trust God by faith.
Seeks for God’s mercy

Now let’s compare my resume to theirs.

Pharisee - One of God’s chosen people, who is pure, undefiled, just, a keeper of the law, who prays, participates in leading temple services, reads the Scripture, does good works, keeps the Sabbath, is not a thief, not an adulterer, thinks he’s perfect and is thankful he’s not like the publican.

Me - child of my Lord, Christian, teacher, leader in the church, student, Computer Technician, servant, friend, prayer warrior, Bible-reader (Am I?).

Tax Collector – steals, cheats, recognizes he is a sinner, attends temple services, is merciful, is humble, is ready to trust God by faith and seeks for God’s mercy.

Isn’t it interesting how my resume looks more like the Pharisee’s than the Tax Collector’s?

My resume doesn’t say that I am a sinner.  But if I say that I don’t sin, then I am a liar.  Hmm, chalk up another two points for my resume.  A liar, and a sinner.

Jesus responded by asking, “which of these two men went away to their house justified?”  Jesus said “the Tax Collector.”

We need to recognize our sinful condition, and that this is the same sinful condition of those that we know as the lost, who are condemned and going to hell apart from God.  We need to recognize we are no different than they are, except for our relationship with Christ.  If we are not abiding in Christ daily through prayer, Bible reading, fellowship, breaking of bread in the remembrance of the finished work of Christ, and evangelism, how are we then to abound our love to others?  If we don’t remain in Christ, then we are no different than the Pharisee.  Do we love God, and do we love others too? What does your resume say about you?

Friend, come in close and listen to my heart. We need to come into agreement with God, that we are as bad as He says we are in Romans 3:23. For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.

By recognizing this, we recognize our need for a saving relationship with Our Lord and God that abides in Him daily.  And if we truly love God, we would not hate any neighbor, but rather we would love our neighbor and seek to lead him or her to Jesus out of love, and not out of a requirement to do good works.  The good works flow from us, in abounding love to others.

If you had $1,000,000, and you could give to every person you met, do you love your people enough that in spite of how they may treat you, you would give them the money? 

Would you share the most valuable gift in the world with every person you meet? Are you willing to do it? 

The most valuable thing you could ever share with another person is your living faith in Christ, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

You could share that like me, you are a sinner, and that it says in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” NIV

What about you, friend?  Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Have you looked at what God has done for you and realized how much God values you, and that God had to work to restore a relationship that is broken because of your sin?

Romans 1:16-17 says “ I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation of everyone that believes – first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: Tthe righteous will live by faith.” NIV

Have you realized that you are a sinner -- and that no good works or belief in any way, other than faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection -- can save you?

A lot of us believe that if we do enough good works as Jesus did, that we could work our way to Heaven.  If our good works outweigh our bad works, we think that we will be okay. If that were the case, then why did Jesus have to die?  Why would God have to send his only Son, whom he loved, to die a horrible death, if we could save ourselves? 

Hebrews 10:10 says,”And by that will we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” NIV

If we recognize our sinful condition and believe that God loves us so much that He sent His only Son as an offering to die on the cross for our sin, we will be saved.  If we recognize daily how much God loves us, we will abide in him daily.  If we abide in Him daily, we will have His heart for the lost. 

Because we have received the most valuable gift anyone could ever receive, good works flow out of or lives, in love for God and other people.  Our love for God should lead us to share Christ with others.  Just as a bride speaks highly of her husband to others, we should speak highly to others of the love of God for all and the gift of salvation He has given to us through the saving work of our Lord Jesus Christ.

So now how do I identify myself? What does my resume say? Does my heart show that I am guilty of loving God and others?

Rob’s Resume!

I am a sinner  - God loves me so much, that He gave His one and only Son, that if I believe in him I shall not perish, but have eternal life with him. He did it for me; He did it for you.

I am a Christian – I am becoming more Christ like in all that I do, because the Holy Spirit lives in me, helping me love God and helping me love you. He lives because He’s in me, and He can live in you, too.

I love Him and I love you – Christ loves you and He loves me, too.

I talk to Him daily through prayer, because in this relationship, He loves me, and I love Him, too.

I read the Bible because it is God’s love letter to you and me.

I serve God and all people – Christ served God, you and me, too.

I teach people about God’s love in all that I do – I am a student, daily learning of His love, too.

I am leader in the church - I follow my Lord, too.

I am a Computer Technician - I work just like you. (Well, actually, now I am a Student Minister at seminary).

I am a Manager – yep, I went to school for that too.

I want you to know that no matter what we have done in our lives, that He loves you, and He loves me, too.

May I tell you about His love? He offers the His gift of His love to you and me. He wants to know you; would you like to know him too?

Examine your resume today, and know that God loves you! Ask yourself, “do I love God and do I love others, too?”

What does your resume say about you? Does your heart show that you are guilty of loving God and others?

Rob – I want my life just to be for the Glory of God.

[email rob] rob@cfdevotionals.org
http://www.cfdevotionals.org