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“YES!!”

Zacchaeus being called down from the tree. Fro...

"Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must come to your house to today." Luke 19:6

The Sunday after Christmas, Jim and I worshiped with his family in his home church.  As the moment arrived in the service for the children to come to the altar to have time with the pastor, the minister asked the kids what did they do or have special during the holidays. One of the young boys stated that he and his family had steak and eggs for Christmas breakfast. The minister responded by saying “I’m coming to your house next Saturday for breakfast!” “YES” exclaimed the little boy.  He was excited just at the mention of the pastor coming to his house. However, I am sure the mom of this sweet little boy was gradually sinking in her pew.

As Jesus entered Jericho, a short little man named Zacchaeus was anxious to see Jesus. However, there were so many people gathering that he was having great difficulty seeing over the crowd. As the story is told, Zacchaeus climb up  a tree  just to see Jesus.  Yet, as Zacchaeus sat in the tree anxiously anticipating just a simple view of Jesus,  Jesus approached Zacchaeus and told him to come down out of the tree.  Zacchaeus did as he was instructed and then heard the simple words ” I must stay at you house.” Knowing how anxious Zacchaeus was to see Jesus, I am sure that when he heard Jesus speak those words he responded with a “YES!”

If Jesus were to approach us today and say that He was coming to our house, how would we respond? Would we respond with  “YES!” as the little boy did in the worship service and as Zacchaeus received Jesus in his home. Or, would we gradually start sinking and think to ourselves, “the beds aren’t made”, “I don’t have a thing to cook,” or the biggest thought of all “I am not worthy of His visit.”

 Zacchaeus was not a popular man. He was a tax collector. Of all the people for Jesus to single out, He called out Zacchaeus and said He was coming to see him no matter  Zacchaeus’ condition at  home and in his  heart.  Once Jesus left, Zacchaeus was a changed man. He no longer cheated people and he helped with the poor. He learned humility and unconditional love for others  from the Master.

Today, we have the opportunity to invite Christ into our home.  We invite Him to our home through our devotional time and prayer time. But, devotional and prayer time is not the only way we invite Christ to our home. He says He is coming to our house everytime our door bell rings.  It is through our receiving others into our home that we are receiving Christ. It is through the fellowship of these unplanned visitors that we are changed and we have the opportunity to practice the humility, hospitality and unconditonal love that Christ came to demonstrate to us.  Thus, the next time you get that  phone call or the door bell rings when you weren’t planning to receive guest, how will you respond? Will you say “oh no!” or will it be a “YES!”? 

I encourage you to read Luke 19:1-10 in the days ahead. Remember the words of Christ; “I am coming to your house.”  “YES!”

Blessings

{Click my picture on Let’s Get Acquainted -just added more pics to the album!}

Reality

8 cameras wait

True Reality

It is Saturday afternoon and as I channel surf, I see nothing but reality shows.  It amazes me how much we are all guilty ( myself included) of wanting to see what other people are doing and how they live. But, somehow, we all can’t help but sit and stare at what some I call train wrecks!  Then, as we sit and watch these train wrecks, we become desensitized to what they are doing and the language.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think all reality television are all train wrecks. There are some out there that do have a positive message and make positive changes for others and their lives. Some  examples of positive reality shows are Undercover Boss, Extreme Home Makeover, and Clean House.  There are a few more out there that I have missed and will see and be reminded of  as I channel surf once again later in the day or week.

Although we are hooked on reality television, are we really seeing what is truly real?  If we truly want to be real, we need to turn our attention away from these television shows and turn our attention to Christ.  When we focus on real life in Christ, we are compassionate people, kind, and we learn true humility. Along with these characteristics we also learn what true forgiveness means and unconditional love. So many times, these train wrecks of reality television amplify the opposite. The members of the shows don’t forgive and hold grudges, and appear to be more concerned about themselves than others. It makes my heart-break when I see people unwilling to forgive and self centeredness. I think to myself “they are missing what we are truly placed here on earth for and that is to encourage and love one another.” Colossians 2:12-14 says it well; Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. This is reality living.

My challenge for you as well as myself is the next time a train wreck comes on and it has you hooked in, remember that the true reality of life  is with Christ.  In John 14:6, we are reminded by Jesus himself that ‘I am the way, the truth, and life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”  Thus, the reality shows may try to influence us and attempt to desensitize us. But, when  we hold tight to what John 14:6 tells us along with ALL  the bible tells us, then we know the true reality of life. Now, that is REALITY!

 

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