I have two thoughts to share with you from my reading in Luke 11 today…
5Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’
7“Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
9“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
So I’m not going to be good at interpreting this passage, but it almost sounds the same as the old adage…”the squeaky wheel gets the grease”. God answers the prayers of the people who pray in earnest. And I guess that kind of makes sense…by continually approaching God for an answer instead of looking for one elsewhere, I am making a statement that I believe the answers are only found in Him. That is what the Bible calls “faith”. The prayer of faith is a mighty thing; one that heals the sick and causes all sorts of miracles.
37When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table. 38But the Pharisee, noticing that Jesus did not first wash before the meal, was surprised.
39Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? 41But give what is inside the dish to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.
The pharisees (and, I guess, us) are so concerned with being ‘righteous’ that we often miss the boat. If we concentrated on the inside, we would have true change in our lives. For the pharisees, they wanted to be righteous…like God. But God has compassion on the poor…shouldn’t they as well? If they focused on others ahead of themselves, they would be closer to God than their law would ever allow them to be.