A change of heart

Date: Saturday, April 12

ScriptureLuke 19:1-10

Verse: For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost. (Luke 19:10)

From time to time, I meet people who wonder if God loves them. They are not proud of their jobs or their grades. They have made mistakes that have hurt people. They sense others judging them rather than loving or befriending them. Suddenly, they feel unworthy, and if they have a religious background, they feel unworthy of God’s love, even wondering if God has left them. I would imagine there have been times most of us have been there to some degree, but nothing could be farther from the truth.

Everyone in town told Zacchaeus he was unworthy. He was a sellout, a tax collector working for the oppressive Roman government to make a good living exploiting his own people. Yet Zacchaeus had a spiritual curiosity. When the crowds made sure he could not see Jesus (I’ve always wondered if the crowds did that on purpose), he took an extreme route. Zacchaeus must have sensed an emptiness in his heart and life which caused him to do whatever he could to see if Jesus was the real deal. In the end, he meets Jesus, has a change of heart, does the right thing, and is declared “a son of Abraham.”

Jesus the declares that people like Zacchaeus and us are his mission. He came “to seek and to save the lost,” not to congratulate the already good and those who have it all together. Far too often we are discouraged by the crowds. We give up because we don’t fit in, don’t think like they do, don’t feel worthy. Zacchaeus, on the other hand, was willing to make a fool of himself to get close to Jesus in spite of the crowds. We must be willing to do the same, and we must be willing to make room for the other Zacchaeuses around us to be able to see Jesus.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for inviting yourself into my life, as you did Zacchaeus, and showering me with your love. Amen.

Action: Sing “Jesus Loves Me” several times today, and let the knowledge of Jesus’ love for you sink into your soul.

Respond: Who are the Zacchaeuses of our society today? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below.
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About Joe Iovino

Christian, husband & father, Associate Pastor in Monument CO, guitar player, motorcyclist, Mets fan.
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