Wonderful Merciful Savior

All you have to do is turn around!

My pastor yesterday gave us a beautiful message that I would like to share today.  It was the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19, starting in verse 1.

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through.  A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and a very rich man.  He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd.  So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.  When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him “Zacchaeus come down here at once.  I must stay at your house today.”  So he came down and welcomed him gladly.  But all of the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”  And Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord!  Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”   And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. “

I had read this story many times and I must say that I missed the meaning completely.  First of all let’s take a look at the reason that Jesus is in town today.  To find Zacchaeus right?  Because he already knows the heart of Zacchaeus, and he is searching him out.  I think that it important to realize that we are not saved because of something we do.  It is all HIM.  HE looks for us, HE finds us and HE lives in us, and with HIM I can do all things because HE gives me strength!

This story could have gone so differently.  What would have happened if Zacchaeus would have gone with his gut and right about the time he became the center of attention, when the people were saying “oh look it is Zacchaeus the man that steals our money for himself”, he backed away?  What if he just hung his head and walked away thinking they are right I am a failure.  Isn’t it our nature to do that?  Especially as women?  But Jesus was right there!  Jesus gave him the strength to stand up in front of all of those people and admit……”What I did was wrong; I want to make it right”!  Isn’t that what we need to do?  Search for Jesus, even if it means climbing a tree to see him.  Because when we search for him we will find that he is already looking for us, and no matter what terrible things have happened in our lives, no matter what we have done.  If we are truly sorry and want to change our life, He is waiting for us with open arms, he has been looking for us too, just waiting for us to turn around and see him.  He has always been there; we were just too blind to see!  What a perfect plan that God has for us if we let him lead our lives!

I think as women and especially as mothers we are taken down by the mundane tasks of everyday life.   How many times have I picked up this same toy?  Where does all of this sticky stuff come from?  How many diapers have I changed today, what did you eat?  Being a stay at home mom is a challenge, not only to my sanity, but sometimes I don’t feel very important.  And it is so easy to fall into the vicious trap that the enemy has laid right in front of my path.  Instead of walking toward Jesus’ smiling face, it becomes easy to hang my head and walk away a failure.  God designed me for such a special purpose to raise these precious little ones, and to teach others how to see the importance of even the most mundane, everyday task.  He made me so perfect!

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