Monday, May 23, 2011
"SELF IMAGE MAKEOVER"
Good Evening to All!
He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. He ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.
When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. "Zacchaeus!" he said. "Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today."
Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. "He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner," they grumbled.
Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, "I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!"
Jesus responded, "Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to see,k and save those who are lost."
Jesus didn't act like other religious leaders. His acceptance and His teaching triggered an inner makeover in Zacchaeus and a change of outward behavior as well.
Real change starts inwardly but needs to be confirmed by changed behavior. Some people may not accept that we have changed, and still watch and wait for our old behavior to return. They may continue to talk about our old, bad ways, but Jesus will stand with us. Each day we can examine our actions and words and ask ourselves if we need to change certain aspects of our being, and then CHOOSE TO DO SO. Always remember it is our choice whether to change or not. God will help us if we allow Him to, but He will not force us to change. It is our choice and we will suffer the consequence for our bad choices.
Many people refuse to change because they feel they won't be accepted anyway, no matter what they do. After so long of having people look down on you, criticize you and ridicule you for your mistakes and choices, a person tends to start giving up on themselves. The only thing that will bring them out of it is encouragement and acceptance. Believe me I know. For I'm living proof. I won't go into my personal testimony on line, but I will say in my younger days, before I met my present husband of 25 years, and before I got serious about my relationship with God, I made some HORRIBLE CHOICES for my life. I am so thankful for a loving and forgiving God.
Do you know someone who has made many mistakes? We as Christians need to speak to them in love, with kindness and acceptance. Our words could start an inner makeover just as Jesus' words did for Zacchaeus.
Before jumping to conclusions, or judging (which we aren't suppose to do anyway), we need to remember that WE ALL have made mistakes. Luke 6:42 NLT reminds us 42 How can you think of saying, ‘Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. May each of us remember this verse when we start allowing the devil to put judgments and criticisms in our minds about people. Everyone has a story. We just don't know what it is. Instead of judging and criticizing, we should be loving and understanding toward people. This will go a long way in helping them to put the effort forth to change and lean toward God. We are to be instruments of God and help to bring others to Christ, not be stumbling blocks pointing out their mistakes and short comings.
The answers to the Bible Challenge "Laws and Rituals" are as follows:
1. b) His angel passing over the blood-marked homes of the captive Israelites when killing the Egyptians' firstborn. (Exodus 12:27)
2. True (Exodus 23:19)
3. True (Exodus 23:24)
4. c) eagle wings (Exodus 25:1-7)
5. a) death (Exodus 31:15, 35:2; Numbers 15:32-36)
6. b) anger at the Israelites and their golden calf (Exodus 32:19)
7. c) Jubilee (Leviticus 25:8-13)
8. a) with an ox and donkey yoked together (Deuteronomy 22:10)
9. a) clothes made of different materials in combination (Deuteronomy 22:11)
10. kindling a fire (Exodus 35:3)
Good Night to All and May God Bless!