Give Yourself Generously to Jesus – 7-27-22

And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:9-10 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Luke chapter 19 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

Jesus Comes to Zacchaeus’ House

19 Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up [a]and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, [b]make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” So he [c]made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all [d]complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”

Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”

And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

The Parable of the Minas

11 Now as they heard these things, He spoke another parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately. 12 Therefore He said: “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten [e]minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’ 14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’

15 “And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16 Then came the first, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’ 17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’ 18 And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’ 19 Likewise he said to him, ‘You also be over five cities.’

20 “Then another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. 21 For I feared you, because you are [f]an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 And he said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow. 23 Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’

24 “And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.’ 25 (But they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas.’) 26 ‘For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 27 But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.’ ”

The Triumphal Entry

28 When He had said this, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 And it came to pass, when He drew near to [g]Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here. 31 And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’ ”

32 So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them. 33 But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?”

34 And they said, “The Lord has need of him.” 35 Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him. 36 And as He went, many spread their clothes on the road.

37 Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, 38 saying:

“ ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

39 And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”

40 But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”

Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem

41 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

45 Then He went into the temple and began to drive out those who [h]bought and sold in it, 46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house [i]is a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”

47 And He was teaching daily in the temple. But the chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people sought to destroy Him, 48 and were unable to do anything; for all the people were very attentive to hear Him.

Footnotes

  1. Luke 19:5 NU omits and saw him
  2. Luke 19:5 hurry
  3. Luke 19:6 hurried
  4. Luke 19:7 grumbled
  5. Luke 19:13 Gr. mna, same as Heb. minah, each worth about three months’ salary
  6. Luke 19:21 a severe
  7. Luke 19:29 M Bethsphage
  8. Luke 19:45 NU were selling, saying
  9. Luke 19:46 NU shall be

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Romans 6:1-2-

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

1 Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.”

I love this! I love this so much. This man would be happy to just see Jesus, to just put his eyes on Jesus, nothing more. But Jesus invited himself to come over to his house and stay with Him.

I have been telling my testimony more and more lately – we overcome by the word of our testimony.  So as I think back to my childhood in the church – I was just happy to be there, to see what there was to see.  Quickly Jesus became real and invited himself into my life. Even though I was a sinner, even though I was a child. Then offenses happened and people pushed me out. And a lot of bad things happened to me. But this is not about my testimony – it is about Jesus, picking out the least likely and inviting himself in. Because over and over, Jesus picked me.

Now I am all grown up in the Lord, not yet where I will be, but not where I was. And every day I still seek to see Jesus. I run ahead to my Bible and I sit down and pour through it. I write notes and thoughts, I look up other things. I look up cross references. I double check my dates and my verses. And a few hours later I am still mulling it over in my mine and going back to it. And even after more hours I am chewing on a verse or two. And when my friends say – what are you thinking about? Out rattles a sermon or Bible study. Because even though Jesus has invited himself in, I still seek him in His word daily! And with the same zeal of short little Zacchaeus, running ahead as to NOT miss Him.

Are you excited when it is time to read?

But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”

Immediately the attack comes. The puppy wants to play, the neighbors are outside screaming, the phone rings. And more often than not it is ‘words’ that come to distract from The Word. Like actions come to distract from actions. For example, I get sick when I need to go do something.

Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”

But there is ONE action that breaks all distractions and breaks through – HUMILITY.
Yes, it is here again today. Zacchaeus repented in the most pure and humble way he could think of, he paid restitution. He gave unto God by giving to the poor and back to those he took too much from.

And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

It is the whole if you give, then you receive principle. Finances, talents, spiritual things, and salvation – they really are all the same with God. And there is SO MUCH to receive if you are generous with God.  

Luke made that connection and set the parable of the minas (‘talents’ in Matthew) next to the salvation of the generous tax collector. It’s all about giving of yourself generously and completely to God.

11 Now as they heard these things, He spoke another parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately. 12 Therefore He said: “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’ 14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’
15 “And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16 Then came the first, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’ 17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’ 18 And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’ 19 Likewise he said to him, ‘You also be over five cities.’
20 “Then another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. 21 For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 And he said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow. 23 Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’
24 “And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.’ 25 (But they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas.’) 26 ‘For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 27 But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.’ ”

We could dig around in here for a while.

First, did you know I have never read the word ‘minas’ before? Nope. I am MOST familiar with King James Version and it says “pounds” (how very English of Him!). I use many versions of the Bible for study but decided to use New King James for the Bible readings here. Strange to read the Bible and find a new word. Last year I think I used NKJV here but I was reading my paper Bible in King James – so I apparently missed it.

The wicked servant did not want this man to rule over him. He buried his share because it kept it out of his mind and he could pretend he was not ruled by him while he was gone away. Jesus needs our surrender. Surrender to His service and His will. He makes the interest grow or the profits grow, or the seed multiply. We merely need to be humbly repentant and submitted to Him.

Verse 26 obviously doesn’t mean all who have something, because the wicked servant had a mina. It means that if you are humble and generous with God, He is generous with you. And I you withhold yourself from God he withholds Himself from you.

This humble servitude and surrender is something He not only asks us for – it is something He practices.

28 When He had said this, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 And it came to pass, when He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here. 31 And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’ ”
32 So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them. 33 But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?”
34 And they said, “The Lord has need of him.” 35 Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him. 36 And as He went, many spread their clothes on the road.”

In a time when kings arrived in gilded chariots with a parade of armed forced surrounding them and bands and singing and all sorts of show. Our king rode a colt, a donkey, or a jackass – whatever you call it… it’s pretty humble.

His parade was a bunch of disciples who were traveling with him and were travel dirty. They laid their clothes on the donkey, miss-matched mayhem, instead of fine purple cloth of the royalty of the day. It is fitting for a king who was born in a barn and laid in a feed troth, whose parent’s ripped apart their clothes to make a swaddle to wrap Him in.  Humility. It is key.

37 Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, 38 saying:
“ 
‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

At least they sang and worshiped. Our King doesn’t need fancy worship, fog machines and light shows. Our God needs truth. Just be honest with Him and love Him. Worship is giving to God from a right state of the heart and not just singing. You can worship in giving of tithes and offerings too. Again being generous with God.

39 And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”
40 But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”

Oh yes, prophecy must be fulfilled – even if it is stones who cry out. You see Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem at this time fulfills prophesy. He had already been there, but now it is different. This is the beginning of Passion Week. 7 days later He will be rising from the grave. Yes, Jesus knows this. He has tried to talk to the goofballs he is teaching but they think this is the start of some militant of governmental takeover – they still have not put the pieces together.

The Bible does not say if Jesus and His disciples visited Jerusalem during the 3 years of His ministry. Jewish men were supposed to go for the feasts and holidays (some when they could while other were required), yet this is the first Passover that we see Him showing up in the city for.  It would seem by the reactions of the disciples, they had not been to the city either.

41 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

If our years begin at the Birth of Christ, then this is the year 33 (assuming Jesus started His ministry at 30 and was in ministry for 3 years). 40 years from Jesus speaking this (more or less) Rome overthrows Jerusalem and tears down the temple because they failed to know the time of their visitation. SO much was about to happen to that beautiful place in 40 years and it would be physically and spiritually unrecognizable after the changes. God would give His all for us, and Jerusalem would give her all. Let us know the time we are in that we will not fail – and let us surrender to His will.

45 Then He went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it, 46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house is a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ 

Jesus had been in the temple before. He was dedicated there as a baby. He got lost there, teaching, when he was 12 years old. And I am sure He was there when it was first build – when Nehemiah built walls with a sword in one hand. Or when Ezra was the Priest. I am sure He was there when Solomon built the first one and when David drafted the plans.
I cannot even imagine what he was feeling. These are big emotions even for us humans.

After Jesus cleaned it out, he set up camp there – yep, He came back daily and taught. The people were hungry. Hungry like the little guy Zacchaeus.

47 And He was teaching daily in the temple. But the chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people sought to destroy Him, 48 and were unable to do anything; for all the people were very attentive to hear Him.

Luke sets up a structure in His writing comparing those who gave all with those who didn’t. We’ve been reading it for a few days now.  We see that pouring out our oil and surrendering all, reaps earthly rewards and well as spiritual. And that loving things of this world and ourselves gets in the way and we lose everything in the end – Something these chief priests, scribes and leaders were about to learn.  Let’s reread verse 27:

27 But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.’ ”

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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