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Jesus and Our Mistakes

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"Jesus

and my mistakes"

Luke 19:1-10

September 10, 2006

 


When internal alarms start going off, when sirens of the soul start sounding.  When everything you thought might bring you happiness leaves you unfulfilled and thirsting for something else, when at the end of the day you look in the mirror and you don’t like who you see, you don’t like where you’ve been, you don't like where you’re going.  You get very confused about, “How can my life possibly change? How can I face myself, my family, and my God, considering the mistakes I’ve made?”

 

 

 

Luke 19:1-10, “Jesus entered Jericho and made His way through town.  There was a man there named Zacchaeus; he was one of the most influential Jews in the Roman tax collecting business and he had become very rich.  He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowds.  So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree beside the road, so he could watch from there.  When Jesus came by, He looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name, ‘Zacchaeus!’  He said, ‘Quick, come down for 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 crowds were displeased.  ‘He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,’ they grumbled.  Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood there and said, ‘Lord, I will give half my wealth to the poor and if I  have overcharged 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 son of Abraham.  And I, the Son of Man, have come to seek and save those like him who are lost.”’

 

 

Why Is It Hard For Succesful/Self-Reliant People to Establish a Relationship with God?

 

            1. _________________

Pride will keep all people from God.  Because we won’t say we need God.  The Bible says that if we’re to enter the presence of God, we must have the simplicity and the humility of a child.

            2. False Sense of ___________________

Here’s the temptation if I'm way prosperous and all is going well.  I start thinking, “My money can buy me out of trouble.  My ability can work me out of trouble.  My mind can think me out of trouble.  My insurance can pay my way out of trouble.  I'm covered.  Why should I need God?  I'm secure.” 

            3. False Conclusion About ____________________

Here’s the thinking: “If I'm so bad why is life so good.  What do you mean I need something fixed in my heart?  Look at my life.  Let’s just eat, drink, and be merry.”

The day must have begun like most days for him.  Zacchaeus rolled out of his satin sheets, slipped a robe over his silk pajamas, walked across the marble floor of his bathroom, stepped up two or three rungs on a stepladder to see himself in a highly polished mirror.  And he didn’t like what he saw.  Because of years of stealing, years of being an outcast in society, years of spiritual hunger, all these had left him a little ragged around the edges.  He must have gone, “Huh!” thinking about his own name, Zacchaeus.  It’s a noble name, a thoroughly Jewish name which means “righteous one.”  But a tax collector in those days being named “Righteous” would be like the town hooker being named Chastity.  The name and the character didn’t match.

This is maybe where we need to push the pause button.  Ponder and reflect for a few more minutes trying to break this encounter down point by point to get some clear thinking how a heart like the heart of Zacchaeus could change and how a heart like yours or mine could change. 

In those days for a Jew to be a tax collector made him both a thief and a traitor.    

For Heart Change To Occur . . .

1.   I Must Be Open to the ____________________of God.

 When Jesus came by, He looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name, ‘Zacchaeus!’  He said, ‘Quick, come down for I must be a guest in your home today.’

 

This is the miracle of grace.  Before you ever thought to go on a search for God, God was searching for you.  We watched Zacchaeus, childlike, climbing up that tree.  I wonder how long it had been since that man had climbed a tree?  A little risky I would think.  But I’ve noticed that a spirit of risk accompanies the spirit of those who want to find out more about Jesus.  For some of you, just being here this weekend, is a risk.  It’s a huge risk.  It took a lot of courage on your part just to show up and to check this church out and try to discover more what Christianity and Jesus Christ could mean for you.  I want you to know that I applaud your courage.  I'm glad you’re here. 

Beyond that I think Jesus was proud, proud of Zacchaeus’ quest.  He walks over to the tree and says, “Zacchaeus hurry down.  I need to go to your house today.”  This has been called the Divine Initiative.  That’s how it is with the Lord.  This is the Jesus you need to know.  When you decide that something in your life needs to change, that a few things that need to be shifted within your heart and you discover like Zacchaeus did that God already knows your name, He knows your need, He’s ready to go home with you and start this internal reconstruction, this soul re-creation. 

 

 “God moves near to you in Jesus Christ with

   welcoming arms.  No matter who you are or what you

   have done.  God comes to you, keeps coming to you,  

   keeps extending His love to you, until you come out  

  of the tree and bring Him home.”  --  Brad Johnson

This is how heart change will be for you too.  God moves near to us in Jesus Christ with welcoming arms.  No matter who you are, no matter what you’ve done, God comes to you and He keeps coming to you and He keeps extending His love to you until you come out of the tree and you bring Him home.  Have you sensed that God might be doing that within you?  Drawing you to ask Christ into your life?  Into your home?  Into your business?  Into your classroom?  Into your relationships?  Have you felt the gentle tugging going on at the heart level?  Have people around you perhaps even been trying to point the way?  Do you think the reason that you’re here this weekend is because God brought you here? 

Zacchaeus was surprised that Jesus would make him His agenda. 

2.   I Must Believe that God ____________________ Sinful

     People.

Look at this crowd!  v. 7 says, “The crowds were displeased and they grumbled.”  It’s a very ugly picture.  When Jesus walked towards Zacchaeus, the rich crook, I think right before Jesus spoke His first words the crowd leaned forward licking their lips in anticipation waiting for Jesus to give this sinister man a little hellfire and damnation preaching.  A whole lot of “woe unto you” and finger pointing.  A whole lot of the “turn or burn” preaching that some of us were raised with.  When the crowd heard Jesus say, “Friend, I'm staying at your house.  Let’s have lunch,” the crowd was livid.  Livid!  They could not believe that Jesus would be so free with the love of God. 

Some people believe that God just sent Jesus into the world only to make good people better.  That’s not true at all.  Jesus Himself said in this part of the Bible, “I came to seek and save the lost.”  Jesus came to seek and save the lost.  He came for those like you and those like me who have been far from God, those like Zacchaeus who know that they’re sinful.  But they long to see God anyway. 

 

                “…  Jesus came to seek and save the lost.”   v. 10

Zacchaeus did two things right:

•     He realized he needed ________ _________

•     He went _______________Jesus Christ

“You will seek Me and you will find Me when you search for Me with all your heart."      Jeremiah 29:13

I don't want you to misunderstand what I'm teaching today.  Zacchaeus’ problem at a fundamental level was not a money problem.  It was not a prosperity problem.  It could have been anything.  For him it just happened to be money.  Zacchaeus’ problem was that he tried to use money and use prosperity to fill the place in his life that only God can fill.  His problem at a baseline level was he was a self-centered, self-serving man.  That was the problem.

3.      I Must Never Give Up _____________

Of all the people in the crowd that day, you almost have to scratch your head and think, “Why did Jesus pop up on Jesus’ radar screen?”  Why did Jesus make Zacchaeus His full agenda in that moment?  Because he was the worst man in the crowd?  I don’t think that’s the reason.  I think Jesus knew that Zacchaeus was the hungriest man in the crowd, the most open, the most ready to have his heart and life changed by Christ.  That’s what happened.  You look at this story.  He became a brand new person.  We don’t know what they discussed over lunch but whatever happened, this lost sheep found his shepherd and this shepherd fund His lost sheep.  Zacchaeus emerged a brand new man.  Old things were gone and he was new.  Something shifted within the heart of that selfish tax collector. It was a transformational moment. 

 

A cartoon I saw.  Two caterpillars were crawling along.  They looked up in the sky and saw a butterfly flying way up high.  One said to the other, “You’ll never catch me up in one of those things!”  You never know, do you? 

This church is filled with people who, just five years ago, three years ago, two years ago would have said, “You’ll never catch me in church.  You’ll never catch me giving my heart to Jesus Christ.  You’ll never catch…”  then … the butterfly… the metamorphosis… the change that only God can work within a human heart, took place in you and here you are. 

¨    Jesus wants to change your ________ and make it fresh and new!

¨    What areas of your life have you struggled with to the point of wondering if you can ever change?

 

¨    What Other Person Have You Been Tempted to Give Up On?

¨    Commit to pray for these things:

è     An area of my own life that needs to change:

  __________________________________

è     Friend/Family Member That Needs a Heart-Change:

                        __________________________________

IS THERE ANY HOPE?

•          You can never do anything to make God love you any more.

•          You can never do anything to make God love you any less.

•          God, in His love, will meet you where you are, but will not leave you where He found you.

•          The penalty for your failures has already been paid.

•          God invites you to be in relationship with Him.

"In the same way there is joy in the presence of the angels of God when one sinner repents.""

Luke 15:10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Jesus

and my mistakes"

Luke 19:1-10

September 10, 2006

 


Luke 19:1-10, “Jesus entered Jericho and made His way through town.  There was a man there named Zacchaeus; he was one of the most influential Jews in the Roman tax collecting business and he had become very rich.  He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowds.  So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree beside the road, so he could watch from there.  When Jesus came by, He looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name, ‘Zacchaeus!’  He said, ‘Quick, come down for 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 crowds were displeased.  ‘He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,’ they grumbled.  Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood there and said, ‘Lord, I will give half my wealth to the poor and if I  have overcharged 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 son of Abraham.  And I, the Son of Man, have come to seek and save those like him who are lost.”’

 

 

Why Is It Hard For Succesful/Self-Reliant People to Establish a Relationship with God?

      _________________

      False Sense of ___________________

      False Conclusion About ____________________

For Heart Change To Occur . . .

1.   I Must Be Open to the ____________________of God.

 When Jesus came by, He looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name, ‘Zacchaeus!’  He said, ‘Quick, come down for I must be a guest in your home today.’

 

 “God moves near to you in Jesus Christ with

   welcoming arms.  No matter who you are or what you

   have done.  God comes to you, keeps coming to you,  

   keeps extending His love to you, until you come out  

  of the tree and bring Him home.”  --  Brad Johnson

      Zacchaeus was surprised that Jesus would make him His __________. 

2.   I Must Believe that God ____________________ Sinful

     People.

Look at this crowd!  v. 7 says, “The crowds were displeased and they grumbled.”   

 

                “…  Jesus came to seek and save the lost.”   v. 10

Zacchaeus did two things right:

•     He realized he needed ________ _________

•     He went _______________Jesus Christ

“You will seek Me and you will find Me when you search for Me with all your heart."      Jeremiah 29:13

3.      I Must Never Give Up _____________

¨    Jesus wants to change your ________ and make it fresh and new!

¨    What areas of your life have you struggled with to the point of wondering if you can ever change?

 

¨    What Other Person Have You Been Tempted to Give Up On?

¨    Commit to pray for these things:

è     An area of my own life that needs to change:

  __________________________________

è     A Friend/Family Member That Needs a Heart-Change:

                        __________________________________

"In the same way there is joy in the presence of the angels of God when one sinner repents.""

Luke 15:10

"Jesus

and my mistakes"

Luke 19:1-10

September 10, 2006

 


Luke 19:1-10, “Jesus entered Jericho and made His way through town.  There was a man there named Zacchaeus; he was one of the most influential Jews in the Roman tax collecting business and he had become very rich.  He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowds.  So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree beside the road, so he could watch from there.  When Jesus came by, He looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name, ‘Zacchaeus!’  He said, ‘Quick, come down for 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 crowds were displeased.  ‘He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,’ they grumbled.  Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood there and said, ‘Lord, I will give half my wealth to the poor and if I  have overcharged 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 son of Abraham.  And I, the Son of Man, have come to seek and save those like him who are lost.”’

 

 

Why Is It Hard For Succesful/Self-Reliant People to Establish a Relationship with God?

      _________________

      False Sense of ___________________

      False Conclusion About ____________________

For Heart Change To Occur . . .

1.   I Must Be Open to the ____________________of God.

 When Jesus came by, He looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name, ‘Zacchaeus!’  He said, ‘Quick, come down for I must be a guest in your home today.’

 

 “God moves near to you in Jesus Christ with

   welcoming arms.  No matter who you are or what you

   have done.  God comes to you, keeps coming to you,  

   keeps extending His love to you, until you come out  

  of the tree and bring Him home.”  --  Brad Johnson

      Zacchaeus was surprised that Jesus would make him His __________. 

2.   I Must Believe that God ____________________ Sinful

     People.

Look at this crowd!  v. 7 says, “The crowds were displeased and they grumbled.”   

 

                “…  Jesus came to seek and save the lost.”   v. 10

Zacchaeus did two things right:

•     He realized he needed ________ _________

•     He went _______________Jesus Christ

“You will seek Me and you will find Me when you search for Me with all your heart."      Jeremiah 29:13

3.      I Must Never Give Up _____________

¨    Jesus wants to change your ________ and make it fresh and new!

¨    What areas of your life have you struggled with to the point of wondering if you can ever change?

 

¨    What Other Person Have You Been Tempted to Give Up On?

¨    Commit to pray for these things:

è     An area of my own life that needs to change:

  __________________________________

è     A Friend/Family Member That Needs a Heart-Change:

                        __________________________________

"In the same way there is joy in the presence of the angels of God when one sinner repents.""

Luke 15:10

 

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