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03-20-11 Leverage 3

March 20, 2011

Think about celebrities in the news over the years… Tiger Woods, Brittany Spears, Charlie Sheen, etc. Have u ever thought that if u had what they had then you could do a better job at it than them? How bout in the church? You family? Could it be that in leveraging your life with Christ you are still missing one final price?

Luke 19:1-4 NKJV

Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way.

Short Guy. Not the point. Not significant. What is? That he was a tax collector. The Romans taxed the Jews and the Jews didn’t like it. Some Jews saw the opportunity in it. Zachias was not only one of these Jews who turned on other Jews to collect taxes from them and become rich, but he was the cheif tax collector of the region. People hated him for it. But the religious church officials basically said if you are a tax collector you are banned from the church and also from the face of God (according to the Jews).

Now we have him considered unclean and then he goes and climbs a sicamore tree (also considered an unclean tree). Why would he do this? Perhaps he figured that despite all the religious people excluding him, maybe Jesus wouldn’t exclude him? And he was right.

1-Jesus is not into catagoric exclusions or limitations.

Sometimes we gotta get up in a tree to see over the religious people. Metaphorically speaking for us but no metaphors for Shorty. We as Christians should be like a Mosaic. A whole bunch of individuals with a common belief coming together to make a beautiful picture of who Christ is. And yet far too often the church;the body of believers catagorically outs people and judges them… felon/adulterer/etc. Why? This isn’t Biblical. It isn’t Christ like to out the sinner.

Luke 19:5-8 NKJV

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.” So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” 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.”

It’s sad that far too often for a person to experience Jesus they need to get through/past our judgement and condemnation. Ask yourself; challenge yourself: do people have to see over or around us to experience Jesus or can they see Him in me?

Take sin for an example. When others sin and it becomes or is made known, do you turn from them, or judge them, or make them feel bad for it? Or, do we act as Jesus and show them love and acceptance. Love the sinner as your are loved.

Our sin is only part of what Jesus is after. We come to Jesus and He takes care of our sin right away. Then we start to read the Bible, memorize Scripture, go to church, stop cussing, switch to light beer, etc. u do all these things on a check list, but perhaps life doesn’t feel like the fullest. Perhaps even though you have Jesus and He is your fulcrom to leverage your life you just don’t feel free. Maybe it’s because you came to Jesus and gave Him your sins, but you continue to carry the burden of the pain in your story.

This is not a sin issue; it’s a brokenness and pain issue. We come to Jesus and we are willing to let Him carry our sins but we don’t want to let Him help to lighten the rest of the load. We don’t fully give Him the burdens and scars of our past.

Luke 19:9-10 NKJV

And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

What’s been lost in your life? In your story? If the pain from my life and your life is not transformed, it will be transmitted. We need to look at the pain from the past and stop believing all the lies that Satan has told us about those things that happened in the past. Stop believing that your life tomorrow can’t be any better than today. Life doesn’t need to be this heavy.

Do u believe that you have nothing to offer the world or you’re too fat or too skinny or too ugly or too stupid or undesireable or incapable as a man;as a woman? Have you fallen victim to the luggage of believing in the lies? What’s been lost in your story?

Jesus wants to take your hopelessness and replace it with hope. He wants you to release the lies so that you can take hold of the truth that Jesus offers. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. This is truth. You are valuable to God and you have a purpose to fullfill. That’s truth. You are loved deeply and eternally by God regardless of your past.. that’s truth. When you were consciously baptized as an adult, you chose to die of the old you and be ressurected as a new creation in Christ. Your past has no hold on you. Invite Christ to come into those painful things of your past and help you to lay them down before God. Invite Him to help you lay yourself down before the Lord and received grace and let freedom become the song of your heart.

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