Summary: This series is adapted from Tony Evan’s book "Dry Bones Dancing. It deals with our passion for God.
ARE YOU HUNGRY?
Problem: “I can’t seem to find time for devotions.”
Wrong definition. It was a hunger problem, not a time management problem.
-When you are hungry, you don’t have to find time to eat. When your stomach is growling, it shows up in your choices. Hungry people don’t wait for food to happen upon them. When you are hungry, you adjust your life to make time for a meal.
-God’s wants us to go deeper in intimacy with Him. We’ve let ourselves feel satisfied when God wants us to feel hungrier. The Bible declares over and over again that God feeds hungry people.
Matthew 5:6 says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
I want to ask you this morning, “Are you hungry for the spiritual renewal that God promises? When athletes want to move to the next level, the coach asks, ‘How hungry are you? How bad do you want it?” One way doctors determine the health of an individual is related to appetite. The loss of a desire for food is an indication that something deeper is wrong.
-How then, do we explain Christians who have no spiritual appetite, who don’t have a hunger for God? Hunger is the prerequisite for spiritual passion. The Bible shows us many helpful pictures of how that hunger manifests itself. Let’s take a look at one of them. (Read text)
Zacchaeus was an up – and – outer with a plush job. (v.2)
-He was, however, among the most despised people around.
-Zacchaeus needed nothing from anyone because of his wealth, but his prosperity came at the expense of popularity.
-Verse 3 tells us this man was seeking Jesus but it wasn’t working out. The masses blocked his view.
-At this point he could have given up and walked away left with “if only” as his excuse.
-Zacchaeus didn’t do that. He wasn’t about to let circumstances or other people stop him from realizing his desperate desire to see Jesus. (v.4)
-Zacchaeus was so hungry to see Jesus that he set aside his dignity to do it. You do it only if what you want to see from that treetop is bigger than you think you are and if your hunger and desperation drives you to do it.
-perhaps our problem today is that we are not really hungry yet. We aren’t desperate. Because when you get hungry, you take desperate measures and you don’t care who’s watching. Zacchaeus didn’t care that the crowd watched him climb that tree.
-What made Zacchaeus different from the rest of the crowd that day? Zacchaeus had something deeper going on. He was hungry for forgiveness. He was starving because of his sin. Zacchaeus gave up his dignity to get a look at Jesus because he was hungry for what Jesus could feed him.
-Verse 6 tells us what happened next.
-In the next few hours, right in his own home with Jesus as his guest, this crooked tax collector learned that what Jesus had to offer was exactly what he’d hoped for and so desperately needed. (vv. 9-10)
-Let’s back up and notice something else going on in this text. Jesus called out Zacchaeus by name. Why this man and not others? Because Zacchaeus was a hungry sinner. The crowd was full of sinners, but they were hungry for what they could see Jesus do; they weren’t hungry for Jesus. God’s salvation was poured out on a desperate man.
-We know Zacchaeus was different from the rest of the crowd. Note verse 7.
-This didn’t fit their theology. It didn’t match their understanding.
-How many of them grumbled? All of them! They all had something in common with each other and nothing in common with Zacchaeus.
-What was their problem? They’d become so enamored with the miracles of Jesus that they lost sight of the mission of Jesus.
-And what was the mission of Jesus? Verse 10
-Jesus majors on sinners. And since everyone’s a sinner, what kind of sinner does Jesus focus on?
-Jesus gives His attention to sinners who desperately want Him to address their sins because they know who He is.
-Could it be that many of us are just too righteous for Jesus? We’re too “okay” for Jesus.
We’re part of the crowd.
-We haven’t discovered that unless you are galvanized to into Jesus’ mission, you’ll miss Jesus. You see, Jesus didn’t do miracles tot flex his muscles; He did miracles to emphasize His mission.
-If you are genuinely hungry, there’s a sycamore tree nearby for you to climb.
-God’s got something He wants to give away to the hungry man or woman, or boy or girl who doesn’t just want to be part of the crowd.
Illustrate: When paramedics rush to the aid of someone who’s hurting, they move back the bystanders who are watching. They clear them away because paramedics have one goal in mind: to assist and rescue the hurting.