Monday, September 22, 2008

The Sadducee and the Outcast

We don't dare class or compare ourselves with some of the people who advertise themselves. In measuring themselves against each other and comparing themselves with each other, they are simply stupid...because it is not the one who recommends himself who is worthy of approval, but the one whom the LORD recommends. 

~ 2 Corinthians 10:12, 18 (CJB)

Has the LORD recommended you?  HIS is the only commendation that matters during our stay on this earth.  Paul wrote two letters of admonition and encouragement to the Corinthian fellowship who were entrenched in a pagan society.  Tension and strife were common occurrences within the Corinthian fellowship just as it is this day.  Paul uses the Greek words ou suniemi which literally means ‘void of understanding/comprehension’ (above, rendered as simply stupid).  When we compare/measure ourselves one to another, we reveal that we have failed to grasp something mentally.  You and I are not The Standard.

Two extremes - one self-righteous, the other hopeless - still exist today within the church.  Both extremes are deceived and equally dangerous.  We will call the self-righteous a Sadducee (since he is sad, ya see) and the hopeless one, an Outcast.  First of all, if there were no outcasts, the Sadducee would have no one to look down upon.  The Sadducee measuring himself against the sinfulness of others, says ‘I have no sin’.  Whereas, the Outcast has believed the Father of Lies who has told him that he is the exception to the rule of God’s favor.  He has rendered the man hopeless.  There are no ‘exceptional cases’ by the way.  There is a third party, however, and he is a Tzaddik - a righteous man in the eyes of the One Whose opinion really matters.  And he measures himself in Light of The Word of God.  His imperfections are always known to him and are viewed through the atoning lenses of the grace of God.  Therefore, he condemns no one - help them to change? Oh Yes!  And the LOVE of God compels a Tzaddik to pray for and actively love the one whose change is imminent by the Spirit’s power.

Deception hovers over both extremes. IF these two would dare look UP rather than around, they would perceive that the Grace and Truth of the LORD has atoned for all iniquity (Proverbs 16:6).  IF in their gazing upward at Yeshua Who is full of grace and truth (John 1:14), they would take His hand, He would give them a new understanding.  They would see that either the heavy debt they bore OR the heavy debt they did not know existed has been stamped ‘Debt Relieved’.  And no longer would they waste their time, energy, and breath on something so futile as comparing themselves to someone else made from the same earthly dirt.  

You see, I figure that if I am already accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6)... I have absolutely NOTHING to lose by being Him.  And guess what, neither do you!  May you feel His High Recommendation today!  

For who can receive any higher recommendation?

Father God, forgive us for the sin of blinding arrogance and inferiority.  I ask that You make Your people a changed and truly set-apart fellowship in union with our LORD Jesus Christ.  Even today, You are answering the prayer of Your Son for the ‘oneness’ (John 17) of His own.  Thank You for the reminder that Jesus spoke that ‘all will know we are His disciples by our LOVE for one another’.  Continue to pour out Your Spirit, Abba, upon all flesh so we may see...and may Your recommendation of each one of us fill our spirits with a peaceful satisfaction, in that we have fully pleased You and glorified Your Name, my LORD of Grace and Truth! 


A Message from Judy (Prison Ministry Mentor/Prayer Warrior):

Hey there prayer warriors,
Visited the ladies yesterday morning and most women in Y-Pod were outside however I'm sure those who were not there to write their requests treasure your continued prayers.  Was able to visit with our 17 year old being kept in isolation.  She told me she had just been praying and asked God to give her a sign if He did indeed have plans for her.  She said right after that the door to her cell was opened and there I was....the church lady =)  and I'm always talking about the great plans God has for her future.  Don't we just love His perfect time?!

Tara -  In Jesus name I pray for your holy grace.  I give thanks to you for hearing  and answering prayer.  Forgive me for my tongue.  Hear and answer the prayers of these ladies heavenly father. Comfort and relieve the hurricane victims Lord Jesus.  Bless me with your favor heavenly father.  Bless me with a bed at T.L.S. Bless me with a hunger for you.  Reveal yourself to me Lord.  Make a way for me. Bless me with a wholesome relationship with you. In your holy name I pray.  Amen.

Pam - (Pam had just returned from visiting with her attorney while we were there and was too upset to write her prayers.  Her prayers are for the judge to allow her to have two weeks to get her health concerns taken care of as well as her affairs before serving her time at the regional punishment facility.)

Michele - Please pray for my kids that they will be safe and ok while I'm gone.


Amydeanne said...

good food to chew on this morning. You know there was a point where I was a full fledged Sadducee; and wouldn't have been able to identify myself as such.. now i'm learning... i still have my moments.. but i'm learning... working on having mercy on myself and on others...

Susan said...

Wow, this was just incredible!! What a gifted teacher you are Carmen.

Thanks for taking the time to share these awesome teaching with us.

Yes, I want HIS recommendation!!

Blessings to you my friend~

PS I'll keep those women and their requests in prayer.

Carmen said...

Thank you Susan, for both your compliment and your prayers for these are much too kind to be living on this ol' earth!

...neither the planter nor the waterer is anything, but it is God Who gives the increase (1 cor. 3:7)

lori said...

You know EVERY time you write I copy it and file it so that I can go BACK and re-read it...It's just incredible what you do with words...
Susan is right, you are gifted to teach us...I'm in awe each time...


I just noticed on your profile that you are a Toby Mac know I was walking the other night with..."When love is in the house, the house is packed..."
I knew you were COOL...but THAT cool!!:)

thanks for ANOTHER blessing!

Tiffany Stuart said...

So thankful to find someone who has a heart for those behind bars. I used to volunteer with the incarcerated girls with Youth For Christ Ministries. So enjoyed pouring love on them and walking with them through the dark times.

I'm surprised you can use pictures and names. That's awesome. We weren't allowed to share any info like that, so I would always have to say pray for "A." Great to be able to put a face to a prayer request. God bless you as you give to those in need.

Darryl Schafer said...

There are definite echoes of Jesus' parable of the Pharisee and the publican (Luke 18).

My problem? I have, more than once, prayed, "Lord, thank you that you have humbled me like the publican. Thank you that I'm not like the Pharisee."

I have a lot to learn.

jesnicole said...


Tracy said...

First, thank you so much for stopping by with those kind words of encouragement and also for your prayers. Means the world to me.

How I love this challenge, Carmen! I too want His recommendation!

What an awesome blessing you have in your Prison ministry! Thank you for sharing thier requests with us. They'll be in my prayers.

Blessings and thank you again,

JesusRulzMe said...

Hello sister Carmen!

Thank you for your kind comment on my blog!

And thank you for this wonderful teaching! I LOVED IT!! It reminded me of Galatians 6:3-4

Bless you sister! I will certainly continue to pray for those who are in prison.


Carol said...

What a good word. I always learn something new when I drop in for a spell. And tell Judy, I'm still praying for her and these sweet ladies. I am going next week to visit in a prison myself. Take care.

Your BFF,

Bek said...

Thankyou for sharing and I will be praying for thoes ladies.


Amydeanne said...

Happy Birthday Carmen! :) Mine was on the 24th, and it was the 3rd anniversary of my 30th! lol

But as for me, Heaven forbid that I should boast about anything except the execution-stake of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah! Through Him, as far as I am concerned, the world has been put to death on the stake; and through Him, as far as the world is concerned, I have been put to death on the stake.  For neither being circumcised nor being uncircumcised matters; what matters is being a NEW CREATION. And as many as order their lives by this rule, shalom upon them and mercy, and upon the Isra'el of God! 

~ Galatians 6:14-16

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