Thursday, March 31, 2011

Loving Others No Matter What

Valentine's Day is for Lovers.Image by susan_d_p via Flickr

Are You Scared of Loving Zacchaeus?
Laura MacCorkle, Senior Editor

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” Luke 19:5, NIV

I’m scared of some things—and some people—but I’m not too scared about spending time with those who don’t know Jesus. Never have been.

In fact, I enjoy people who are vastly different than me. I must say, though, that I am nowhere even close to the greatest friend-who-knew-no-stranger-of-all-time: Jesus. And so I admire his ability to walk toward those who might scare you and me … those who we might walk away from today.

Zacchaeus was one such character. He really was a despicable little man. As I’m sure you know, tax collectors in Bible times were not the sort of person you invited over for a potluck to your home on an early spring evening. No, they were viewed as the lowest of the low. The pond scum of society. The ones you wouldn’t even let in your front door.

Amazingly, though, Jesus didn’t adjust his course when he was walking through Jericho one fine day. With his eye on the tax collector, Jesus walked right to where Zacchaeus was perched in a sycamore tree. Because he was small in stature, Zacchaeus had climbed up this tree so that he could see who Jesus was when he passed by in the crowd of people. He had heard about him, and now he wanted to see for himself.

Had he heard how he’d performed miracles? How he’d attracted and fed large crowds of people? How he’d touched the untouchables and healed those with leprosy? How he’d stood up to the religious establishment and called them on their legalistic teachings?

Who knows for sure. But whatever he had heard, Zacchaeus wanted to see this man who defied everyone’s expectations of what the Messiah would be.

“Zacchaeus,” Jesus said as he addressed him by name. “Come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”

Can you imagine what Zacchaeus must have thought? He knows me! Wait, HOW does he know me? And why is he coming to spend time with me? Doesn’t he know that everyone despises me because I take all of their money? Why would he want to spend time with ME?

But whatever Zaccheus may have thought didn’t stop him from scrambling down the tree and welcoming Jesus “gladly.” He was smitten with the love of the Savior. And he knew that this was the Christ.

“Look, Lord!” Zacchaeus said to him. “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 what was lost.”

How amazing is that? Jesus didn’t shy away from someone who the rest of society was shunning. He also didn’t get up in Zacchaeus’ face, make him feel like dirt and then strike him down with the Law in his initial effort to love him. No, he just said, “Hey, I see you and I’m going to spend some time with you. Come on, let’s go!”

It’s the “great commission” in action. “Go ye into all the world.” Even to the parts of town that you usually avoid. Even to the societal groups that offend you. Even to the family member who has chosen to live a different lifestyle. He, she, they … any of these people can represent Zacchaeus in your life.

But don’t walk away from them. Walk toward them. And extend an invitation for a better way of living and the hope of a glorious eternity. Just like Jesus did for you.

Intersecting Faith & Life:

So maybe you think I missed that one part of the Zacchaeus story with the crowd. Well, I didn’t. I just saved it for last. When the crowd witnessed Jesus make his invitation to Zacchaeus, they muttered, ”He has gone to be the guest of a ‘sinner.’” How sad. But isn’t that also you and me? We all have a person or a people group who is hard for us to love. Don’t be scared of loving the Zacchaeuses in your life. The Lord will help you follow his example as you love others to him.

Further Reading:

Mark 16:15, NIV

John 13:34-35, NIV

1 Peter 4:8-11, NIV
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011


JesusImage via Wikipedia

The First Step tells us that our flesh and our spirit are always at war with one another and we are powerless in respect of trying by ourselves to win the war.

The Second Step tells us that coming to believe in Jesus Christ is the only way to overcome the flesh.

The Third Step tells us that unless we turn our entire will and lives over to the care of Jesus we will be still be acting as if we have the power to overcome.

The Fourth Step tells us that Jesus wants us to begin the process of healing our relationships both past and present so that we can become a disciple who can witness with no hanging baggage.

The Fifth Step tells us to continue the healing process by confessing our sins to another human being.

The Sixth Step tells us to be sure that this is what we want to do and if it is then we must be entirely ready for God to heal us of all sinful effects brought upon us by either our doing (victim) or someone else (perpatrator) or both.

The Seventh Step tells us to ask God outright to heal of the effects of our sins.

The Eight Step tells us to be willing to partake in the healing of the relationships we discovered in Step Four.

The Ninth Step tells us to actively move in conjunction with the Holy Spirit towards healing all of our relationships.

The Tenth Step tells us how to keep a Daily Inventory about our relationships and when we are wrong to try to prompltly admit it. Note: our relationships include that with God as well!

The Eleventh Step tells us to talk to God (prayer), to praise Him, to meditate on His word, and to ask that His will be done for us in our lives.

Step Twelve tells us to go and do the "great commission" given in all four gospels by Jesus.
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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What will you say?

When we get to heaven what if God asks us why did so many of his children suffer and starve to death?

Why were his children tortured, chopped to pieces?

Why were his children raped?

Why were his children murdered?

Why were his children blown to pieces?

Why were his children dying horrible deaths from disease?

Why were his children afraid?

Why were his children all alone?

On and on and on……………What if God asks you? What did you do to help people? What did you do to help people?

All the different people suffering and dying everyday. Are you or me held accountable?

How the bible says God hates a person who is lukewarm over the matter, the matter is now. The time has come that all God’s people need to decide if their with God or their not. Pick up your cross and do what you know God would do.

Stop the bull of those people are way over there. If they are way over there they don’t mean anything, that’s bull. God’s people are everywhere sitting right next to you. 10 thousand miles away, a child hurting so bad with only skin over his tiny bones, starving a slow miserable death from lack of food.

What did you do to help?

What if when I get to heaven my Lord says _______(Your Name) one of my children was being sold for sex at the age of six. Everyday living a nightmare she didn’t understand. Why is this happening to me? WHY? Adults hurting her body, her mind. Everyday over and over and over in pain. All the big people around her not helping her. All the big people around her not stopping the ugliness that keeps happening to her day after day. The little girl goes to sleep and hopes she won’t wake up the next day. The next day the little girl dose wake up. The next day is the same as the day before. She doesn’t understand. She can’t understand. Her little body hurts so bad she can’t bare it. Her nightmare won’t end. Her nightmare doesn’t stop.

WHY? Why doesn’t anyone help her? WHY?


When we get to heaven will God ask us why? Why did my little child suffer?


You were on earth ________(your name)You, you and you over there. You were on earth why did you allow this to happen to my little child?

Look over there, the child she’s here with me now. Why didn’t you help her? Why did you close your eyes? Why did you say she is so far away? I’m not responsible for her, she’s too far away. I don’t know that little girl. That girl died when she was 9 years old. Her little body was torn to pieces. Her little mind was scarred. Her heart was broken.

You let Satan have his way! You let Satan torture her! You let Satan rape and abuse that little child! My little child needed you, you people who live on earth. My little child needed you. WHY? Why did you allow this to happen to my little child?

You pray to me. You want me to answer your prayers. One on this side of the world, one on that side of the world. One over here they all call on me. They expect me the living God to be with them no matter where they are.

I the Lord your God expect you and you to protect my children. I don’t want to hear your lame excuses. I don’t want to hear how far away the children are. I don’t want to hear anymore of your unloving, ungodly words of how you can’t. You can’t help my children. How dare you call on me?


Why do my children suffer? Why do you do nothing? Why don’t you help my children? Why?

If you don’t help my children then you are not with me. If you are not with me then you are against me. If you are against me then you are with Satan.

Lukewarm? Lukewarm, one foot on this side of the fence and one foot on that side of the fence. Part of your mind with me and part of your mind with the devil. One foot in heaven while the other foot is in hell.

Who is your God? Jesus? Satan? Decide. Decide today. You don’t know if you have tomorrow to make up your mind, do you?

You call on me, but I …. call on you. You are my little children.

You are to protect each other.

You are to feed each other.

You are to care for each other.

You are to love each other.

Clothe, house, keep warm,……

Don’t turn your face, don’t close your eyes.

Don’t pretend it’s not happening.

Don’t say they are too far away I don’t know them.

If you turn your back on my little children……….

Will I be lukewarm to you? Will I close my eyes to you? Will I say you are too far? Will I say don’t call on me I can’t hear you? Decide whose side you are on. Help my children. Help your brothers and sisters no matter how far. You are all the children. You are all the body. You are all part of each other. Unite all the people for all the people are one family. My family, your family we are all together. We are all responsible for each other and ourselves. Don’t turn your back on me. And I the Lord God will not turn my back on you.

Written by Linda Wright Fellow sister in CHRIST
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