What God is Saying

Sing to the LORD; praise his name. Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. — Psalm 96:2-3

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Easter Devotion: A Life Changed (Day 7)

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy.
He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore‑fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner.' "
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."
Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."  Luke 19:1-10

What kind of man was Zacchaeus?
Why do you think he wanted to see Jesus? 
Why do you think Jesus wanted to eat at his home for dinner?
What did the people around Jesus think of His decision to eat with Zacchaeus? Why?
What did Zacchaeus decide to do after being with Jesus?
What lessons can we learn from Zacchaeus?

Final Thought 
Zacchaeus showed his faith in Jesus by what he did. First, he wanted to see Jesus so badly that he climbed a tree. Then, he gladly came down and hosted Jesus for dinner. Jesus didn't tell Zacchaeus to pay back the money he had stolen. Being with Jesus for even a short time caused Zacchaeus to want to do what was right and thus show his love for Jesus. Just an afternoon with Jesus totally changed his heart and his life. When we follow Jesus, we will want to do what is right also.  

 Thank Jesus for accepting us just as we are but not leaving us like that. Thank Him that the Holy Spirit changes us on the inside once we accept Him as our Savior. 

Song - Just as I Am, without One Plea    (esp. the second verse)

Just as I am, without one plea, 
but that thy blood was shed for me, 
and that thou bidst me come to thee, 
O Lamb of God, I come, I come. 

Just as I am, and waiting not,
  To rid my soul of one dark blot,
  To Thee, Whose blood can cleanse each spot, 
O Lamb of God, I come, I come. 

Here is a music link. Just as I Am

You may also want to sing the children's song: Zacchaeus was a wee little man. Here is a link with music and words: Zacchaeus

For further study 
There are many children throughout the world who are very bold in their faith in Christ, especially in nations where it is hard to be a Christian. Sharing their stories can encourage a bolder faith in your children. A wonderful resource is Kids of Courage

* Some of the content of this blog is based on the book Family Celebrations at Easter by Ann Hibbard.*

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