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Showing posts from January, 2014

WHO IS SEEKING WHOM?

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At the beginning of Zacchaeus’ tale, we find a crooked man who is curious about Jesus. He is bold enough to go after what he wants. He is a ‘little person’ who is used to being stared at. Perhaps this has shaped his boldness. 

Like all of us, he has ways of compensating for insecurity, weakness and rejection.
Some find a false security in drugs, alcohol or sex. Some create elaborate public images that they can hide behind. Wealth and power can mask the inner poverty and weakness.
But Zacchaeus hears about Jesus and runs up a tree to catch sight of this holy man. This is very important to him. He is seeking Jesus.
When Jesus comes close, we find out that Jesus is actually seeking Zacchaeus. Who is seeking whom? His immediate request for hospitality shows that Jesus is not above Zacchaeus. He accepts him and wants to be drawn into the hospitality that Zacchaeus can provide.
Why would Jesus want to enter the home of Ebenezer Scrooge? Why would he show favour to such a notoriously, despised w…

THE WAR ON DENIAL

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The gospel story of Zacchaeus illustrates the effect that Jesus can have on a person with poor moral history. Think about your own fascination with Jesus and where that curiousity takes you. 


Inevitably an encounter with Jesus leads us to war against our own sense of denial about right and wrong.

Luke 19:Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him,“Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions t…

INTO THE JUNK ROOM

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Listen to this quote from a recovery website:
Most alcoholics have a deep—almost pathological—sense of justice. If we are wronged (meaning often that we did not get what we wanted), or even conjure up the notion that we might have been wronged, we find full justification to express anger or harbor resentment. It then seems almost a duty to carry a justified resentment. Otherwise those who have wronged us would get off scot-free. And that wouldn't be right, would it? So, we waste our God-given lives judging and punishing our fellows. Relinquishing a justified resentment is one of the most difficult experiences known to the alcoholic.[i]
Have you ever had a messy garage or basement or junk drawer that needed sorting through? Right now I have all three.
When I finally get the nerve to go through my stuff, I usually discover things that I should have thrown away long ago. I also find some surprises as I discover things I need and things I did not need to buy all over again.
We usually kee…

BEFORE YOU FALL

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Before you have to go to the hospital—before you file for divorce—before you lose your job—is this the time for you to pull out of the spiral dive? God is with you when you are utterly failing and wants to give you a window of opportunity.
The Apostle Paul told us to look at the stories from Scripture to see examples of God’s willingness to work with us.

1 Corinthians 13:12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

It starts with realizing that you are on common ground humanly speaking and God wants to restore you. God can show you the way when you have exhausted all of your own ways. He has a path for you that will build endurance.Jesus said,
Luke 12:57 “Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? 58 As you are going with you…