Out on a Limb (Part 1 of 2)
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Out on a Limb (Part 1 of 2)

 




A very religious man was once caught in rising floodwaters. He climbed onto the roof of his house and trusted God to rescue him. A neighbor came by in a canoe and said, “The waters will soon be above your house. Hop in and we’ll paddle to safety.” “No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me”

A short time later the police came by in a boat. “The waters will soon be above your house. Hop in and we’ll take you to safety.” “No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me”

A little time later a rescue services helicopter hovered overhead, let down a rope ladder and said. “The waters will soon be above your house. Climb the ladder and we’ll fly you to safety.” “No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me”

All this time the floodwaters continued to rise, until soon they reached above the roof and the religious man drowned. When he arrived at heaven he demanded an audience with God. Ushered into God’s throne room he said, “Lord, why am I here in heaven? I prayed for you to save me, I trusted you to save me from that flood.”

“Yes you did my child” replied the Lord. “And I sent you a canoe, a boat and a helicopter. But you never got in. 

”How often has the Lord sent us the answers we needed, but because it did not come in the way we expected it to come, we missed it? We think God isn’t answering our prayers, when the problem isn’t God, but our ability to discern and accept what He has for us. To receive what the Lord has, may require us to step out of our preconceived ideals, fears, and do what we have never done before. The opportunity of a lifetime begins with letting go. Let go of your past sins, let go of that relationship, let go of the pain, This may be your divine appointment, divine connection or an opportunity to help you transition into your God given destiny.

Luke 19:1-3 says, “1 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature."

These three verses tell us a lot about Zacchaeus. Most people names are not mentioned in the gospels, but his was. He was a real person who lived a life that most people judged and hated him for. Zacchaeus collected taxes for the Roman government from his own people. That in and of it self isn’t wrong someone had to collect the taxes—it was just a job. We have tax and bill collectors today; we simply avoid them or hang the phone up on them. But, you couldn’t do that in Rome, you either paid what was owed or asked, or go to jail. There was no payment plan, no debt consolation, or bankruptcy. 

However, if we read further he was rich and chief among the publicans. Zacchaeus was rich because he most likely taxed the people more than he should have and kept a portion for himself. He was chief publicans, and rich at other people’s expense. 

Zacchaeus was little in stature, and may have been ridiculed and the brunt of most childhood pranks or jokes. He at this point in his life didn’t care what they thought of him. He was rich and admired by friends who were thieves and rejected by the multitudes— just like him.

One day an opportunity arose that would change Zacchaeus life forever. This was a divine opportunity for something better. Scripture says he sought to see who Jesus was. Perhaps Zacchaeus heard of the miracles of healings that Jesus did, or the feeding the multitude with five loaves of bread and two fishes. Could he have heard Jesus say to others, go and sin no more? Maybe he too could be forgiven and healed. If only he could get a closer look at Jesus he just might be given an opportunity to change, not just his lifestyle, but his heart. Healed of a lifetime of pain, rejection, and ridicule from his own people. 

Christians today are wounded and rejected just like Zacchaeus was. Jesus is more than our Savior, He is also our Healer, Deliverer, Restorer, and so much more. Sadly, many stop at the Son of God, who took our sins on the cross, paid the price for our redemption. We stare at the empty cross, and fail to see the Resurrected Christ who has fulfilled all things, and has become all things to us. Surely Zacchaeus must of heard that Jesus was a great teacher, a mighty prophet, a miracle worker, could Jesus be the Messiah? The only way to find out who Jesus was is to get a closer look at Him. This has not changed; we must still seek Him, to know Him...To be continued


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