Luke 19

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    One of my favorite Bible stories is found in Luke 19.  Jesus is walking into Jericho, and a guy named Zacchaeus wants to see Him and so climbs up into a tree.

    “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.” (Luke 19:5)

    I take several encouragements from this. 

    First, Jesus was on the way (He is always on the way and IS the Way) and He stopped.   It was a strategic stop.   It seems like we are not on the way anywhere right now, that we have been “stopped”  in many ways.  But perhaps this is a season to pause with purpose.   Jesus had a purpose in this story.

    He looked up at Zacchaeus. He took the time to look up at a rich tax collector who would have been despised and looked down upon by many in the crowds.    Jesus also spoke some uplifting words.   We are living in times when we have many opportunities to speak uplifting words.  Maybe this is a strategic stop to find ways to lift up encouraging words to others.

    Notice that Jesus spoke to Zacchaeus by name.   He knew his name.    These days are an amazing opportunity to get to know who your neighbors are and pray for them.  Keep your distance but at least let them know YOUR name.  There are creative ways you can do that.  We had some kids visit us the other day, dropped off a note by the door and stepped back about 10 feet and just encouraged us.

    Also notice there is an urgency to the call of Jesus,  “Quick” is the word Jesus used.  And there is a compelling call, “I must be a guest in your home today.”  In his home, a strategic place.   We don’t want to invite ourselves in to a neighbors house these days, but we can pray that Jesus is invited in. 

    This is a time to pray.  Let’s not miss the opportunity before us get to know people by name, including in our church family.  Use the church directory and pray for others.  And pray for your neighborhoods.  And find ways to share uplifting words of encouragement. 

    BE encouraged and encourage others.



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