Do you ever sit there listening to a sermon and think, “I wish so-and-so were here to hear this”? (Come on, I can’t be the only one!)
During the sermon on Sunday I was looking at a handful of young people sitting in front of me and thinking of how I could reach out to them. The young man had visited our Bible study and asked a lot of questions. Then during the sermon I saw his face lighting up with interest as he listened. That had to be a good sign! The pastor even quoted the passage (from Revelation) that we had studied the previous week. Could God use this as confirmation?
Then I had to laugh, because the main passage was about the Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18); how the Pharisee stood there praying and “thanking” God for being righteous and not at all like those poor sinners. And here I was staring at someone else, waiting for HIM to realize he was a sinner. Surely the sermon is for the visitors, and not for the expert Christians, right? ;)
To be honest, I don’t think it’s a bad thing to recognize someone else is a sinner (well, separated from God) and to pray for God to touch him. But I felt a little embarrassed that instead of testing my own heart, I was looking around to see who might receive this message. The question is, am I a Pharisee? Am I proud? Am I sincerely setting a good example for others, or just playing a role?