Summary: God is always looking for all people, even the once hidden in a tree
Are we looking for our Zacchaeus
Many times in life we go through stuff and it cause us to have the “Oh me syndrome”. When this happens All we think and notice is ourselves and what’s going on in our lives.
We might think, well isn’t that what life is all about. It’s all about me. But the more I live and work on my Heart, the more I find that life is so much better, went it’s not all about me, but it’s about other’s.
Jesus taught us some great principles of life and that it’s a much greater life when we put other’s before ourselves.
John 15:13 (NKJV) Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.
Acts 20:35 (NKJV) I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' "
Jesus taught us That were to go out of our way and look for the lost, the hurting and the outcast:
Matthew 18:12-14 (NKJV) “ What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety- nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? 13 And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety- nine that did not go astray. 14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish
Luke 14:12-14 (NKJV) Then He also said to him who invited Him, "When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. 14 And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just."
Matthew 25:34-40 (NKJV) Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' 40 And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'
Sometimes in life we have to go out of our way to find what I want to call Zacchaeus people. People who are short and unnoticeable.
How does your church rate?
A church newsletter mentioned a man who visited eighteen different churches on successive Sundays. He was trying to find out what the churches were really like. He said, “I sat near the front. After the service, I walked slowly to the rear, then returned to the front and went back to the foyer using another aisle. I smiled and was neatly dressed. I asked one person to direct me to a specific place: a fellowship hall, pastor’s study, etc. I remained for coffee if served. I used a scale to rate the reception I received. I awarded points on the following basis:
10 - a smile from a worshiper
10 – a greeting from someone sitting nearby
100 – for an exchange of names
200 – invitation to have coffee, if served
200 – invitation to return
1000 – introduction to another worshiper
2000 – invitation to meet the pastor
On this scale, eleven of the eighteen churches earned fewer than 100 points.
Five actually received less than 20.
The conclusion: The doctrine may be biblical, the singing inspirational, the sermon uplifting, but when a visitor finds nobody who cares whether he’s there or not, he is not likely to return.
Now this hurts when people come to our churches and see everyone fellowshipping and having a great time, but no one say’s hello to them.
Let’s look at this story of Zacchaeus:
Luke 19:1-10 (NKJV) Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, "Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house." 6 So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. 7 But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, "He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner." 8 Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold."