Luke and The Lost

What is really on our minds when we think about those who are not living with Jesus in their hearts? What do we think about their behavior? Do we despise them? Do we hate what they are doing and show it by our actions when relating to them? Are we so disgusted with their sin that we can’t see them? When given the chance, between judgmental looks, do we sarcastically throw in a few biblical jabs when we see them fail such as, “How did that work for you?” or “If you were doing what Jesus says that might not have happened.” or “You will have more friends if you do what is right.” or “Come to church and all will be well.” (Which is a lie, because church is made up of imperfect humans.)

We Christians piously say, “love the sinner, hate the sin” but I wonder if the “sinner” only sees the hate part on our face? Mm.

I think about all the times I have nervously said the wrong thing at the wrong time in an effort to guide lost souls back to Jesus. Jesus shows us the BEST way to lead a soul to salvation. He loves first. He encourages and gives honor to those who need Him most in their lives. Yes, when it comes to relating to others, Jesus totally turns the tables of what is normally expected and loves ALL sinners (that’s us and others) right into the Kingdom.

The love in Jesus’ eyes led to confession and repentance in Zacchaeus. Jesus did not spell out his sin. He only invited himself to be a part of Zacchaeus’ life. After repentance, comes celebration of joy. The lost, once again, has been found. “Today is salvation day in this home! Mission accomplished. God’s unconditional love relationship is built on the foundation of Jesus Christ!

How can we turn down His invitation to come into our hearts, minds and souls? How can we say no to Him taking up residence in our homes? And how can we learn to point others to Jesus without belittling. Love God. Love Others like God loves us. Revolutionary.

Zacchaeus was stunned by Jesus actually seeing him! He was even more surprised when this popular person of the day invited Himself to his home! The crowd was also stunned AND indignant of Jesus’ actions. Those watching the conversation didn’t feel any love for Zacchaeus, only hate and disgust. But Jesus didn’t…

Luke 19 out of the tree

Luke 19, The Message
19 1-4 Then Jesus entered and walked through Jericho. There was a man there, his name Zacchaeus, the head tax man and quite rich. He wanted desperately to see Jesus, but the crowd was in his way—he was a short man and couldn’t see over the crowd. So he ran on ahead and climbed up in a sycamore tree so he could see Jesus when he came by.

5-7 When Jesus got to the tree, he looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, hurry down. Today is my day to be a guest in your home.” Zacchaeus scrambled out of the tree, hardly believing his good luck, delighted to take Jesus home with him. Everyone who saw the incident was indignant and grumped, “What business does he have getting cozy with this crook?”

8 Zacchaeus just stood there, a little stunned. He stammered apologetically, “Master, I give away half my income to the poor—and if I’m caught cheating, I pay four times the damages.”

9-10 Jesus said, “Today is salvation day in this home! Here he is: Zacchaeus, son of Abraham! For the Son of Man came to find and restore the lost.”

Think about it…
–The crowd was in the way of Zacchaeus seeing Jesus. Do we get in the way at times by what we say or do? Yikes!
–Jesus will find a way to reach lost people and save them. It was and is His mission. Let’s not get in the way but join The Way.
–Lead with love as the first thought we have when relating to all people.

Dear Heavenly Father,
Many thoughts about this familiar story has surfaced for us this morning. We repent of times we have gotten in the way of Your work in us and in others. Thank you for teaching us revolutionary ways to love You and each other. May we learn and live more like you and less like ourselves today.
In Jesus Name, Amen

The band “Whiteheart” (from another era of time gone by) had a great song that is playing in my find right now…

Somehow, someone has hurt you again
And said things and done things you don’t understand
You don’t understand
It’s easy, just to think of your pride
So easy, to get angry inside

But let your first thought
Let your very first thought be love
Let your first thought
Let your very first thought be love, be love
Let it be love

Some people go looking for trouble to start
Oh but those people are hiding a lonely heart
They’ve got lonely hearts
So listen, listen to their silent cries
And touch them with the warmth in your eyes

And let your first thought
Let your very first thought be love
Let your first thought
Let your very first thought be love, be love

The Master showed us what to do time and time again
A gentle word of love can warm the heart of any man

So let your first thought
Let your very first thought be love
Let your first thought
Let your very first thought be love, be love
Let ’em be love, be love
Let ’em be love

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
This entry was posted in Blessings, Christian Living, Christian Perspective, Embrace, Encouragement, Faith, Forgiveness, Grace, Holy Spirit, Hope, hospitality, hugs, insight, Jesus, joy, Leadership, Listen, lost but found, Love, Macedonian Call, Mercy, ministry, Praise, Prayer, Salvation, Searching, Teaching, Thanksgiving, Training, Transformation, trust in God, Truth, Uncategorized, Unconditional love, waiting on God, wisdom and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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