For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Luke 19:10.
“The chief among the publicans,” Zacchaeus, was a Jew, and detested by his countrymen. His rank and wealth were the reward of a calling they abhorred, and which was regarded as another name for injustice and extortion. Yet the wealthy customs officer was not altogether the hardened man of the world that he seemed. Beneath the appearance of worldliness and pride was a heart susceptible to divine influences.
Zacchaeus had heard of Jesus…. In this chief of the publicans was awakened a longing for a better life…. He felt that he was a sinner in the sight of God. Yet what he had heard of Jesus kindled hope in his heart. Repentance, reformation of life, was possible, even to him…. Zacchaeus began at once to follow the conviction that had taken hold upon him, and to make restitution to those whom he had wronged.
Already he had begun thus to retrace his steps, when the news sounded through Jericho that Jesus was entering the town. Zacchaeus determined to see Him…. In the presence of the multitude, “Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house.”
There are those who have had very meager opportunities, who have walked in ways of error because they knew no better way, to whom beams of light will come. As the word of Christ came to Zacchaeus, “Today I must abide at thy house,” so the word will come to them; and those who were supposed to be hardened sinners will be found to have hearts as tender as a child’s because Christ has deigned to notice them. Many will come from the grossest error and sin, and will take the place of others who have had opportunities and privileges but have not prized them. They will be accounted the chosen of God, elect, precious; and when Christ shall come into His kingdom, they will stand next His throne.
Conflict and Courage p. 301
—–Please pray for me. I am struggling with
several issues and it feels almost
unbearable for me. M
—–Please pray for my son who’s traveling
Back home to Oregon. Iris
—–Please pray for Kael, my friend Christie’s grandson. His mom has taken him to visit Wicca family. She said she’ll bring him back in a few days. But might not. Plead the blood of Jesus for this little boy. He’s 5 years old. He was at 3ABN camp meeting and said “I’m a missionary” . He gave his heart to JESUS. Pray that his mom brings him back to Christie and Scott. So he can go to the Adventist school. Such a previous little boy. Nancy
—–I will have surgery in the morning, June 20 at 7am.(cst) Please pray for me. Thank you. Bettye
My grandparents did not have a telephone, television, or a car. It did not bother them as they had never had those things. In fact, it was rare for my grandmother get out of the house to go to town or to see her friends. The only contact she had with them was by writing letters. In the early afternoons, she would sit in her rocking chair and read any letter she had received or write one to somebody. It was her time of refreshing and relaxation after a busy morning.
One day when she went to town, she bought a love story and spent her free time reading it instead of keeping in contact with her friends. It was her escape from the real world. When she was immersed in a novel, her unhappy life vanished. Much of her unhappiness stemmed from her reading these untrue books. Days went by and she didn’t write to anyone. Her mind was occupied in the little dream world of that book. She thought of little else.
When the mailman came one day a few weeks later, there was a thick envelope addressed to Ida Harmon. She slipped it into her apron pocket and went about her work. After dinner dishes were done, she sat down in her chair anticipating a long letter full of interesting events in her friend’s life.
She opened the envelope and pulled out four pages. To her surprise they were blank except for the words at the top, “Dear Clessa” and at the bottom of the last page, “Love, Ida.” My grandmother sat quietly for a moment and then began to laugh—something she rarely did. She suddenly realized that she had been neglecting both friends and relatives. Immediately she wrote to her friend. She also realized that she had become so wrapped up in the book that she was reading, that she had had no desire for anything else. All of her thoughts and interests were with those imaginary people while the real people in her life were being neglected. She wrote a little more often after that, but sadly, it did not change her reading habits. She still neglected the most important Book of all and spent her time in a made-up world created by some lovesick mind.
How often we neglect our Heavenly Father just as my grandmother neglected her friends. We get so wrapped up in the things of this world that we forget to commune with our Best Friend. All our thoughts and words are centered on the pleasures of this world. We use movies or television as an escape from reality just as surely as my grandmother used her novels. They occupy all of our interest, all of our time, leaving us with a distaste for the only True Story, the Greatest Story ever written, even God’s Love Letter to us, His Holy Word. If read at all, it is rarely more than a hasty surface reading that does little good, rather than approaching the Scriptures with a reverence, an awe that the Great King of the Universe has written to us, a digging for truth as for hidden treasure.
How our Dear Redeemer yearns to hear from us. Think of it! The Great King of the Universe, the One Who is worshipped and adored by countless numbers of unfallen beings, longs to have sweet fellowship with us. His Great Heart of Love is as lonely for us as was the father of the prodigal son. He greatly desires to spend time with us, that He may teach us, lead us, and guide us in the way in which we should go. He is calling, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Rev 3:20 . What a privilege! What a joy awaits us, if we will only open our heart’s door to Him.
Paul advises, “Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thes 5:17 Throughout the day we have the privilege of sharing all of our joys, all of our heartaches, all of our problems with the only One Who can solve them. Indeed, our Loving Heavenly Father is bending over with His hand cupped to His ear listening, listening for even the faintest whisper of a prayer from us. How lonely He is to hear our voice uplifted to our Only Helper. As we talk with our Loving Father, the things of this world fade into insignificance. He pleads, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” Jer 33:3, Ps 32:8 We can have the experience of Enoch, who walked with God for three hundred years and was translated to Heaven without seeing death. Paul says of him, “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death, and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” Heb 11:5
May we, too, walk with our Creator as did Enoch. May we listen to His voice through His Holy Word taking time for meditation and prayer, that sweet communion with the One Who loves us with an everlasting love. May we declare as did David, “O God, thou art my God, early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is, To see thy power and thy glory.” “Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy, at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Ps 63:1,2, 16:11
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Luke 19:10.