Tag Archives: love

An exposed heart

The meeting of Zacchaeus and Jesus is one that reminds me of the importance of not judging a person by their past, and not defining a person by what they do.

Zacchaeus was a very rich tax collector. His wealth was gained due to sinful ways of deception and stealing. He was well despised by the Jewish people, because he worked for the Romans, and it was clear to them that his wealth was begotten from their taxes.

Outwardly, he should have been the last person that Jesus would have considered a suitable host for tea. But thankfully for Zacchaeus, (and for us), He looks at the heart. The Holy Spirit had been working on him to realise his sinful ways, and how he could repay his theft. If he had not, then he wouldn’t have climbed a tree to try and catch a glimpse of someone that could potentially publicly rebuke him.

Zacchaeus was lost, and he knew it. He realised his downfall through his ways of deception. And when Jesus sought him, he openly confessed his sins and repented. His heart had been transformed and this was what Jesus could see.

Hebrews 4:13

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before His eyes, and He is the one to whom we are accountable.

1Samuel 16:7

But the LORD said to Samuel, Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.

Zacchaeus was surrounded by people who appeared to be good and wholesome, but inside their hearts were riddled with judgement. For if they were truly God fearing people, they would have rejoiced when Jesus wanted to dine with the sinful tax collector.

In Luke chapter 18, Jesus spoke a parable to people that believed themselves to be more righteous than they truly were. It too was about a tax collector, and his humble plea before God to have mercy upon him – a sinner. He also described a pharisee that also came before God, and thanked Him that he was not like other sinners, not even like that tax collector. He then proceeded to list his great virtues as a “righteous” tithe giver and a regular faster. On the outward appearance, it would seem that the pharisee would be justified, but rather it was the lowly and humble tax collector that left justified.

Luke 19:10

For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.

Zacchaeus had an exposed heart before Jesus. To make yourself so vulnerable to chastisement and rebuke is what often stops us from fully letting God dwell in our hearts. When we spend so much time trying to hide our undesirable past, we fail to recognise that all that time was wasted and could be better spent with Him. Zacchaeus realised this, and desperately sought Jesus to make that right. That’s what we are to look at, not at his past, but rather that he saw his future with Jesus.

It is my prayer that in every dealing that I have with other people, that I don’t exercise my judgement on them. Judgment should be left to God, for only He can see their hearts exposed.

 

 

Home Time

Two words.

That’s all it took for our parents to send “grief” and “agony” to our young hearts. As a child at the playground, having the time of our lives, the thought of going home was like pure torture, it felt as though they killed our soul. There may have been tears, sulking, stomping of the feet, gripping on tighter to the swings, and quite possibly a very public and embarrassing tantrum.

Our parents would have threatened to leave without us, they would get in the drivers seat, close the door and start the engine. We feared for our lives that they may not have been bluffing. So we quickly ply open our fingers from the swings’ ropes,  and make our way to the car for a very solemn ride home.

These are the thoughts that run through my mind when I think of the words: “home time”. To leave something so enjoyable and fun as the park, to go back to the “boring” home was grevious to say the least.

But our Father in Heaven will come to take us home soon. But when He comes, there won’t be sulking tears, but rather tears of joy; there won’t be stomping feet, but steps of love to the Father’s arms; our hands won’t be gripping to this earth, but reaching out to grab His; and we won’t hesitate to follow Him home, because we know that’s where life begins.

John 14:2-4 KJV

 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so , I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

The second advent will be the most joyous occassion, and I can’t wait to go home.

Patience is a virtue 

Recently I have been looking more into the importance of being patient. What it means for me, and how to better apply it to my everyday life. 

1 Corinthians 13:4 says that “Love is patient”, but what does that really mean?

 Does it imply that I wait in a long line at the supermarket without complaining (this includes in my thoughts)? Does it mean that I’m more tolerable to people and their different ways? Am I to wait patiently for my pay to come into my bank account before I buy something that “I just HAVE to have!!” (when really I don’t)? 

I think patience encapsulates all of those things and more. For the bible says that “Love is patient” and we know that “God is love”. Therefore God is patient. He is the most patient one of all, and He is waiting on us, just as we should wait on Him, and others. 
As hard as it is to be patient with others, we must, because if we can’t wait on others – how can we ask God to wait on us, and to be patient with us? 

I don’t know about you, but personally for me, I am the most patient person with other people. I will wait and wait without complaint, whether it be for my food in a restaurant, in line at the supermarket, etc. 

But when it comes to my close family, I’m afraid my patience has a very low tolerance. I think I expect more of them, and I expect them to think of me as someone important enough to hurry their time along for. Which I’m not, at all, but I think this is where it stems from. 

And I too expect more of them. I think “they know better!”  or “can’t they just be more like me? and be more wise with their time?” It’s really a terrible habit!! And I’m working on it, trying, day by day to improve. I think it’s working though! There have been times when I want to get mad, but I hold my tongue and bite my lip, and I just think “If this is frustrating for me, how much more so am I frustrating God?” 

Because being patient is about applying that to EVERYONE!! Not just to strangers at the checkout, not just to waitstaff at the restaurant, but everyone – including those closest to you.  

So yes, patience is a virtue, and I’m a work in progress. 

Letter: Part 3

And welcome back! If you haven’t already, you will need to read A letter to fishermen, Simon and Andrew and Letter: Part 2 to understand what this post is about.

However, when we don’t see God working in our lives, we can become discouraged, and the pull and attraction to go back to former ways grows stronger. It is in these moments that God is testing our strength and faithfulness to Him.

In Matthew 4:19, Jesus finds Simon and Andrew fishing, which is when He asks them to follow Him. Then for three years they witness Jesus working miracles, and blessing others. When Jesus was crucified and resurrected the absence of Jesus’ physical presence left Simon Peter at a loss. And in the time that Jesus wanted them to be strong for the Lord, and spread the gospel, Simon Peter succumbed to his old life of being a fisherman.

John 21:3

Simon Peter saith unto them, I go afishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.

When we act without God in our hearts (see 1Corinthians 13) and when knowing the truth, our actions are fruitless. In a rebellion of sorts against the three years of following Jesus, he reverted back to his old life, he thought that on his own he could satisfy his needs, but alas their fishing trip proved unsuccessful.

It was then that Jesus appeared to them for the third time and asked them yet again to do something out of the ordinary, something that a carpenter wouldn’t do:

John 21:6

And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.

With Jesus, life can be an abundance of blessings. But when we leave the fold, He will search endlessly for us. He has a plan for our lives, more than we could imagine, to make us into fishers of men. The mission field is His specialty, and there is no hiding from Him.

 

Thanks for reading, and God bless x