“All the people saw this and began to complain, ‘Jesus is staying with a sinner!’” Luke 19:7 (NCV)
"I don't know where feel like you are – up a tree, out on a limb financially or relationally or health-wise. But I encourage you to jump out of the tree and into the arms of the God who loves you, who sees you, who knows you, who wants you, and who notices you."
No matter what other people say about you, what matters is what God says about you. Everyone called Zacchaeus a sinner, but Jesus affirmed him and called by his name, “pure one.”
Everyone complained about Jesus having dinner with this man, but Jesus didn’t care. He affirmed Zacchaeus in front of them and said, “This man is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:9-10 NIV). When Jesus called Zacchaeus a son of Abraham it was code for “he’s one of us; he’s in the family.”
When you realize how much you matter to God, how should you respond? You should do exactly what Zacchaeus did. He came down from the tree at once and received Jesus with joy.
Zacchaeus’ encounter with Jesus’ love changed him. This man who had cheated people for a living immediately said this to Jesus, “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” (Luke 19: 8 NIV). The most selfish man in the community said, “I’ll give,” and became the most generous man in the community. Only God can do that.
How do you know when you’ve genuinely met Christ? Your attitude toward giving changes. All of a sudden you want to help people. You want to be generous. You want to help the poor, your neighbors, your friends. You want to give. It’s not about you anymore. You become like Christ – generous, giving, unselfish.
I don’t know where feel like you are – up a tree, out on a limb financially or relationally or health-wise. But I encourage you to jump out of the tree and into the arms of the God who loves you, who sees you, who knows you, who wants you, and who notices you.
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