*These next 4 weeks, we are taking a pause in our usual sermon-based curriculum for you to take time to review our One Life curriculum. We hope this will encourage you and equip you to take steps in sharing your faith with the people around you!
For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” Luke 19:10
If you ever play board games with me, know that I have a laser focus. I get so locked in at times when I am trying to come up with a strategy to win that I stop talking. And if you know me, I am pretty talkative. At times, I have to remember that while I am playing I should probably talk with my friends and family members whom I am playing with and just enjoy the game. There are times though when having a laser focus becomes really important. When you’re a part of an organization or company, having this type of awareness helps keep you on mission and on point. If you face stress or feel the pressure of a lot of people who need things, you are able to see what is most important. Jesus had this type of laser focus. When He walked the earth, so many people wanted to be close to Him. They wanted healing, miracles, a free meal, and so much more. Instead of being distracted by the pressing needs pushing in from every direction, He was laser focused on saving the lost. When He walked through the streets of Jericho and people were crowding in, He spotted Zacchaeus who had climbed up into a tree. Jesus looked beyond the rich, lying, tax collector’s appearance, to his potential to be changed and made right. He went to dinner with Zacchaeus even though the people scorned the idea. As a result of that encounter, Zacchaeus repents of his old way of living and makes amends for the mistakes he made, allowing Jesus to make the statement, “Today salvation has come to this house… (Luke 19:9).” This happened because Jesus was zeroed in on the target of seeking and saving the lost. I wonder if we as a church have the same focus on Jesus. Do we have eyes to see that one person in the crowd who is often forgotten and disregarded by everyone else? Do we wake up in the morning with a passion to seek out those who are far from God and to reach out to them in love? The hope is that we would understand the Difference One Life Can Make.
Are you a friend to those who are sinners? That is a weird question, but there is a purpose to it. At times we as followers of Christ distance ourselves from lost people. After receiving Jesus, we find all Christian friends and we start to slowly isolate ourselves from other people. The goal is that we would break the cycle of closing ourselves off to those who are far from God, but actually build bridges with those who are sinners. This takes a quick gut check for most of us and self-evaluation. Today, take some time to write out a list of 5 people that you know and are in relationship with who are not yet followers of Jesus. Then commit to praying for those 5 people over the next 4 weeks.
Luke 19:1-10 (NLT)
"Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. 2 There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. 3 He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.
5 When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”
6 Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. 7 But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.
8 Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”
9 Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”
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