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. Luke 19:2-4
For a couple of months now, the story of Zacchaeus has been lingering on my mind. I had planned to write on it sometime in early October last year, but I kept pushing it aside. But the Holy Spirit kept at it and hence I had to surrender.
For the most part, his story might seem far removed from our own reality. But looking closer… you realize that in so many ways than one his story is mostly like your story! Lets face it, Zacchaeus had much going against him than for him. He was public enemy number one; a tax collector. He was short; everyone around him had a better view…meaning he had to do with the second-hand eyewitness account of what was happening around him. He was a curious man; he wanted to see who Jesus was…not so much as to know him as a friend but rather as the new kid on the block. And above all, he was a wealthy man.
Let’s face it. In life, you and I will encounter difficult situations. Like Zacchaeus, you may suffer from many shortcomings not of your own making…but others which are self-made. You may be limited by a physical, emotional or mental disability which continually hinder your progress. But God is saying to you and I today… GO THE EXTRA MILE and I will meet you along the way. Use what is at your disposal to gain what you are missing. Like Zacchaeus… there is a sycamore tree for each and everyone of us. Climb yours… STAND TALL AND BE COUNTED. Jesus is coming your way!
If you make the Most High your dwelling- even the Lord, who is my refuge- then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near you. Psalm 91:9-10
The other day I got to read Psalm 91 but incredibly it was the two verses above that drew my attention. For most of us Psalms 91 speaks volumes. But for me… in a different way God made me see another point: THE DWELLING PLACE and my choice in it either as a permanent residence or an occasional visitor.
You see, when things are going our way, our plans are following into place, our enemies are at peace with us… we tend to stray away from our DWELLING PLACE. We find pleasure in other temporary places which seem to offer the best deals and service. There seems to be no danger around us.
Then trouble strikes! We are bruised and broken. Then we remember…yes, there was a place for hiding. There was a shelter in SOMEONE greater than our troubles. What the Lord wanted me to understand was; as His Child, my home was with and in Him. I am not a guest but a permanent residence in His DWELLING PLACE. But I have to make the choice to stay and enjoy all the benefits that comes with the place.
Maybe like me, you have strayed from THE DWELLING PLACE. COME BACK HOME… the FATHER IS WAITING!!!!
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. Matthew 25:13
I missed the weather forecast yesterday. Hence, I did my washing today only to be confronted by a heavy downpour. I mean….CATS & DOGS! To begin with, I hate tracking the weather forecast. My husband on the other hand is a vivid tracker… which is understandable. Having grown up in Africa myself where the weather is almost always predictable and without the disadvantage of the four seasons in a year, I didn’t quite appreciate the importance of the weatherman till I came to Europe.
Hang on, what I am trying to say here? As a child of God… I have another different kind of weatherman. Is he accurate in his prediction? Is he reliable to the letter? Long before Jesus walked on the face of this earth, God had spoken of him through the ages. His forecast of the coming of His ONE AND ONLY BELOVED SON came true 2000 years ago.
While my heart looks forward to the forecast of his soon return, sometimes I miss out on the signs written all over when my heart becomes preoccupied with my today. Like the 5 foolish virgins, I have enough supply for today, and I lack the wisdom to stock up for the long haul. I constantly miss the forecast.
May the Lord help you and I to keep watch…. because the BRIDEGROOM is surely coming and at an hour we expect him not!
Let all who are simple come in here! she says to those who lack judgment. Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways and you will LIVE; walk in the way of understanding. Proverbs 9:4-6
Last Sunday as I sat in church listening to the preacher, I heard the Lord put these words into my heart; SEEK ME. Of course I knew exactly what He was asking of me. For a long while I have allowed my ways to be simple. I have allowed the ways of the world to dictate to me, to define me, to lure me into conforming to their way of thinking and doing things.
To my simple heart the Lord spoke once again…. SEEK ME. You need food… MY ETERNAL WORD, You need drink…MY SPIRIT. I have to make a choice to leave my simple ways….and make another choice to walk in the way of understanding. You and I are invited to join the club of WISDOM FOR SEEKERS….and yes….YOU and I will LIVE.
Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Take note of the highway, the road that you take. Return, O Virgin Israel, return to your towns. Jeremiah 31:21
Psalm 112:1 Praise the Lord. Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds GREAT DELIGHT in his commands.
Every man on the face of the earth wants or desires to be successful. And while..its right to desire to be successful, there are only two ways to get there. SUCCESS can either by FEAR-DRIVEN or FAITH-DRIVEN.
FEAR-DRIVEN SUCCESS says:
Blessed is the man who wakes up early and stays up late; the man who has a life insurance; the man who has savings for a rainy day; the man who exercises and eat health; the man who knows the rules of the game etc.
Psalm 127:2 In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat_ for he grants sleep to those he loves.
But…something goes missing for this man….HIS HEART! No matter how sure or secure he is at his present or perceived future….HIS HEART IS ALWAYS FEARFUL. Why? Because he has no fear of the Lord in his heart.
On the other hand…the man who has the fear of the Lord in his heart walks securely. His present or future is sure…as he walks by faith.
Genesis 28:16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, ‘Surely the LORD IS IN THIS PLACE, and I was not aware of it.”
I just opened my email randomly this morning…and was excited to find a reply email from my blogging friend, Dora from Hong Kong. As I began to read her mail…tears began welling up in my eyes. But one sentence…one sentence in her email….made the tears begin to flow down my cheeks unstoppable. She was praying for me…and my family. She was praying for the very things…I have been praying for privately, and which I wouldn’t have thought of sharing with people outside my inner circle. Then, God took me back to Jacob’s encounter. Yes….GOD IS IN THIS PLACE…and I didn’t know not. It was as if…God was telling me….that He knows my thoughts ten years from now. He knows….what I will think, ask or do….come ten days, weeks or years down the room. GOD IS IN THIS PLACE….not because He comes and goes….God is in the place when I am at the present, God is in the place where I have been in the past, God is in the place where I will be in the future.
The tears are unstoppable, friends. GOD IS IN THIS PLACE…as He was with Jacob, so He is with each and everyone who looks up to Him…and even when we are unaware of it….GOD IS IN THIS PLACE. Continue reading →
Isaiah 52:11 Depart, depart, go out from there! Touch no unclean thing! Come out from it and be pure, you who carry the vessels of the Lord. But you will not LEAVE IN HASTE, or GO IN FLIGHT; for the GOD OF ISRAEL will be your read guard.
Today, I had planned not to post due to my busy schedule. But as I pressed on doing what I thought was important, the Lord impressed these words upon my heart. YOUR STEPS ARE ORDERED! In other words, I don’t need to be in a hurry to get there…because without Him in the picture, I can and will easily stumble. And of course, when you and I stumble, that means, some unnecessary delays. Continue reading →
John 3:8 The WIND blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of THE SPIRIT.
Last night, as I put my head down to sleep, I heard the Lord speak gently into my spirit. “THE WIND IS CHANGING.” Let me explain a bit. You see, sometime at the end of November last year, our landlady came with this unexpected announcement. Our house…where we moved in on our wedding night…and where our daughter has called home was soon going to be sold. Suddenly, our lives were turned upside down. For one…renting a house in our town is almost an impossible affair. Most houses are built for sale…and rarely do you find a house for rent. Secondly, because of the scarcity of rental houses, those available are at exaggerated rates.
But earlier in September, we had began thinking of looking for our own house to buy and settle down. We had an eye on a particular house…and the excitement was getting on as we prepared to get things moving in the right direction. Then…again, quite unexpectedly, the plans to relocate were soon interrupted. God closed the doors on us. Yes…the time for CHANGE was here but THE WIND OF CHANGE was not. Finally, when our landlady gave us notice of three months to move out…something happened to both of us, my husband and I at the same time. It was as if God had been waiting for this ONE MOMENT in time for a long time. Without a a long discussion or compromise, we knew that NOW…was the time for us to move out. Not out of our house…but rather to move on with THE WIND OF CHANGE.Continue reading →
Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
Last week was a trying one for my family…because our daughter was down with a bad cough…and ear infection. She is still here with me today…missing another week of preschool. And because of that…I feel she needs my attention more at the moment. For this whole week, I am therefore going on a sabbatical and hopefully will resume my normal post on 31st May, 2010. Meanwhile I leave you with a vision of where I will be as I HANG OUT with MY SHEPHERD! Continue reading →
Psalm 76:1-2 In JUDAH God is known; his name is great in ISRAEL. His tent is in SALEM, his dwelling-place in ZION.
Does God have a meeting place? Where did you or do you meet with God? Even though we might not realize it, when we come to meet with God, we meet Him…in either of these four places mentioned in Psalm 76.
In JUDAH God is known…represents your first meeting place with God…where you recognize that you are a sinner in need of a Saviour. It is by KNOWING and calling upon that name that you receive salvation. Judah, in other words represent the PERSONAL MEETING PLACE BETWEEN GOD AND AN INDIVIDUAL.
John 17:26 I have made you known to them and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.
Joel 2:32 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on the Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the survivors whom the Lord calls.
His Name is great in ISRAEL….represents the place where God meets you, not as an individual but as a part of a nation. Abraham met God as an individual…but his descendants, Israel down in Egypt meet Him as a nation. He addressed and dealt with them, as a nation. Hence, in other words, ISRAEL represents THE CORPORATE MEETING PLACE BETWEEN GOD AND NATIONS.
Isaiah 44:6 This is what the Lord says_ Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the FIRST and I am the LAST; apart from me there is NO GOD. Continue reading →