Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Today Jesus Is Coming To Your House

Luke 19:1-10
Today Jesus Is Coming To Your House

      “And He entered and was passing through Jericho. And behold, there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; and he was a chief tax gatherer, and he was rich. And he was trying to see who Jesus was, and he was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. And he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” And he hurried and came down, and received Him gladly. And when they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner. And Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

     This story brings me to tears. I can’t help but feel the joy and thankfulness that Zaccheus must have felt when our loving Savior said, “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” How can I expound on this? Zaccheus did it the best when he hurriedly came down and received Him gladly.
      Today Jesus is coming to your house. How will you receive Him? Zaccheus’ response was one of complete gratefulness and transformation. He immediately wanted to make right anything that he could, giving away his money and paying back those whom he had defrauded. These are things that will happen when Jesus comes to our house. Many of us are Christians who have felt this complete change of heart. This desire to make up for anything we have done against our neighbor and from then on to completely live for Jesus. It is a radical change that comes over us on the day we invite Him in. Our lives have never been the same! This demonstration of Zaccheus salvation is so touching and reminds us again of that day that Jesus came to our homes. The reason I wanted to ask the question, “How will you receive Him?” is because sometimes we forget our first love and we push Jesus out of our house as we bring things in that are displeasing to Him. Jesus makes His exit slowly as we allow these other things to take His place until finally we forget all about Him or even notice that He is gone. Our lives are too busy to notice that He has gone. Then one day as we are cleaning we see a Bible lying on corner table under a pile of magazines and coffee cups and realize that it has been a very long time since we actually sat down seriously for an evening with God. We don’t remember why we haven’t but something must have come up as it always does the moment you try and set aside some time for God. And suddenly we realize that we have allowed all sorts of vices and temptations to take root in the house and that it will need a thorough cleaning if we are going to invite Him back in again.
     So, again my question is, how will you receive Him? With gladness or with heartache that He will require you to let go of the things that have displaced Him from your house? Are you willing for Him to take charge of cleaning your house from the things that displease Him? We have a very crafty and intelligent enemy who is always looking to infiltrate our home with the things that corrupt our minds and hearts. Things that make us forget what was so wrong with the world’s pleasures and pursuits. The Devil’s goal is to get us into arguments with our conscience over whether or not something is really that bad. The argument worked with Eve in the garden and it still works today. Are we willing to take an honest look at our lives and see how they measure up to the Ten Commandments? Are we willing to not let ourselves off the hook so easily and ask ourselves if we are really obeying them? Obedience to God’s laws will change our lives and seem to restrict us from the things we are so used to doing. Are we willing to accept the fact that God’s laws will not change and that it is we who must change. God’s Ten Commandments will be our laws for eternity. If we don’t like them now then we won’t like them in eternity either. This is a simple truth and is a good point to ponder. In John 3 Jesus talks about bringing the Light and that men loved darkness rather than the Light. What is the Light? It is the clear view of the perfection of God and His glorious righteousness. And why do men hate it? Because they love to live outside of God’s rules. Jesus calls it Lawlessness, that is, breaking the laws of God. Jesus is not going to change His laws simple because man does not want to obey them. The law shall remain. Jesus says that if we love Him we will keep His commandments, that is, we will strive to live in obedience to His laws. He also says that if we love Him we will not find His commandments to be burdensome. And David says it clearly in the Psalms that his delight was in keeping the laws of God. Obedience is delightful and full of the fruits of joy!
     Jesus says that we will have joy in our trials. However there are two types of trials, trials that come because we have broken the law and trials that come because we are obeying the law. The trials that come from breaking the law are meant as chastisement and not meant to be joyful anymore than you would expect your child to enjoy being punished for doing something wrong. In fact, it would be very inappropriate for him to be joyful in being punished, but rather, you expect him to humble himself and apologize for his actions. The other trial comes from obedience to Gods laws and having an enemy who is bent on keeping us from obeying them and encouraging others to do the same. There is joy that comes from God which comes welling up within our hearts when we keep away from temptation and honor His laws. Every day that goes by in which we stay out of the sins that have continually made us stumble in the past, our joy grows stronger. Our time of reading the Bible becomes clearer with greater understanding and our love for the Lord grows. This is why Solomon said that the fear of the Lord brings wisdom. The fear of the discipline of the Lord keeps us from sinning and the farther we stay from sin the more God gives us understanding in His ways. A child that drinks poison every day will live in an unhealthy state without the full use of his mind, but the moment he stops drinking the poison his mind starts to recover. Sin is poison! We need to stop drinking it!
     So I just want to encourage each of us to look closely at our lives and ask God how He wants us to live and then to be willing to have our lives cleaned up and made fresh and clean. Jesus is coming to our homes; let us receive Him with gladness!



21 comments:

  1. Just brilliant and inspiring, Seth! One of my favorite thoughts was this one:
    "Jesus makes His exit slowly as we allow these other things to take His place until finally we forget all about Him or even notice that He is gone." Wonderful! Let us clean up our houses and rejoice that the Lord is coming to us! Wishing you and your dear family the blessings, peace, joy, love, and presence of God in the coming year, Seth! Love you, Aunt Sue

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  2. I was reading Psalm 10 this morning and read verses that related to Seth's message of cleaning ones house through followinging the commandments. Seth is implying that when we don't have God in our lives and live without obeying the commandments, we have a unclean house. The verses in Psalm 10:4,11, speak of these people and they are called wicked. "In his pride the wicked does not seek him, in all his thoughts there is no room for God." He says to Himself, "God has forgotten: he cover his face and never sees."
    But don't be discouraged if you are one with a unclean house and one called wicked in the bible.You can do like Zaccheus did...clean your house for Jesus. Thank you Seth for the message.

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  3. I apologized to my Lord this morning. When I live in CT, I generally, every morning when I first wake up,before getting out of bed, I say,"good morning Father God good morning Jesus". BUT, I forgot to do so each morning since I been traveling on the rd to Florida. I've also been forgetting to talk to Him in day. Today is my 4th day in Fl (I will be here till April) and because of all the excitement, I FORGOT GOD. :( Father God and Jesus, "I am sorry for forgetting you. I love you. Let me be the same in heart for you here in FL."
    Claudette FL

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    1. Dear Claudette, I'm glad to hear that you are safely in FL. I have to admit too, it can become crazy, chaotic by letting go just about "a cm of Christ's garment" There were just so many things to reorganize and to get out of the way with the new year. And sometimes this can involve own friends and family members:) Let's continue to pray for each other. GOD Bless you, Claudette.

      Sophia, CT

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    2. Thanks Sophia for the encouragement.And, Yes, let's continue praying for each other. Claude FL

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  4. HI Seth . Read most of your message, but I now got stuff to tell Jesus. Jesus,i have a problem my girlfriend has a husband his name is christopher he rapes control and is very abuisve to her i dont know what to do she is in love with both of us but she is in love with him more . jesus i need her help. im cody from fort myers age 22

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  5. jesus visited zacares home to let him know that there could always be a radical change in everybodys home life. every person should be kind and given to all those, even if they are wealthy or poor. Acepting jesus into your home is a way to believe and expected good things in all humanity. Zacares from there on peasant and given even to the poor, sinners and the good ones. the moral of thisis for every chridtian to accept jesus into there home and be more involved in their faith. Pick up the Bible from time to time and read it. God is in veryones home. God bless and have a Healthy and Happy New Year. Millie Ft Myers

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  6. Dear Seth,
    I recall the story of Zacchaeus. I heard this in my Sunday School when I was 10-12 yrs.:) But thank GOD, b/c all this information is really recalled in memory. Then, it was a story; but now I see the important meaning to this BIBLE message. Seth, I am happy that I am learning more from your BIBLE studies. My life as a Nurse becomes "chaotic" at times. I, all the times have to ask GOD for directions. Most of the times I come home to talk to HIM and fellowship with HIM. About two nights ago, I talked to GOD all the way home from work. I felt that I wanted to cry to get rid of the mental overload from work (this was in driving home) but the tears didn't come. I however found myself in a conversation with GOD. This was such a Blessing... the space inside my car. The comfort I felt in just talking to GOD about all these things that were bothering. Talking about a "burden" that I needed to be relieved of?
    However, back to your message. I find that I do need a place where I can meet with GOD. A place with little distraction. I recently packed for disposal a lot of DVD's I watched in the past. The stories are not applicable to a relationship with GOD. Some things I have an attachment to but I have to get rid of them.
    My loving SAVIOR has helped me to understand that the closer I get to HIM, the more I understand the need to get rid of of these things, associations. Thanks very much again Seth,
    GOD's many Blessings to you.

    Sophia, CT

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    1. Sophia. I love your comment . I LOVED the way you focused on your time and space with God. Very inspiring.
      Claudette FL

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  7. I AM CONTENT IN MY LIFE
    I am not acriminal I am a good mother and wife.
    I rescue animals and pay my taxes.
    I am not wealthy and do not induldge in things that Jesus would object to.
    I have read the bible many times and was a church goer for most of my life until a preacher told my children that i was a sinner and would burn in hell because i was not married to their father.He did not know that he tried to kill me, and abused my children. I talk to god in my own way and treat people the way i want to be treated. I do not fear god. I respect myself. If reading this story makes you feel great and cloder to your god that is wonderful. Always remember though just because we are different in our beliefs we are all the same.
    Michelle 39 Lehigh Acres, FL

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  8. Well ,what I got of this is that we want to welcome Jesus into our home joyfully and we should follow'Jesus's laws and the more we follow them the closer to Him we will be. Linda Indiana

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  9. Dear Michelle,
    My name is Sophia and I read your comment. I must say that I learn something from each person's comment. I am sorry to know that b/cause of someone else's negative way of speaking, that destroyed your trust in GOD.

    I would like to encourage you to seek the LORD. HE created us and loves us more than we ever know. Humans (man) do not know how to genuinely show love and concern to each other, but GOD does. GOD loves us and does not want us to hurt b/cause of others. HE protects us that's why we refer to HIM as our FATHER. I hope that reading my response to your comment that it will make a difference. GOD's Blessings to you and your family.

    Sophia, CT

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  10. Very inspiring , makes People reevaluate their connection with god. Makes people change how they think about god and how they treat him.
    Jason CT

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  11. I think that this piece is very inspiring. I think a lot of people don't realize that to be one of god you don't have to go to church. We should all really stop and think how we can receive him , good work .
    Tahjai Ct

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  12. I feel as though the passages were deep and insightful because the repetition of the question "How will you let The Lord in?" made you keep thinking about how would you really try to incorporate The Lord in your life. You must try to rule is out of your life and let Jesus take the wheel.
    Donice Ct

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  13. I read another verse today in Psalms 18;19 which goes further into Seth's message. It is a verse I found I had to pause and rest upon.( I think David uses the word "Selah" for this kind of pause). David is talking about God and says, "He rescued me because he delighted in me". I had to pause because I had to talk to God . I told him I also want to be a delight to him... to please make me a delight...that I want to be like David .... (keeping a clean house for The Lord ).
    Claudette FL

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    1. I realized , after rereading Seth's message last night, that Seth already brought up in the paragraph next to the last about David and God's delight in him in psalms. I sort of like the way I was on the same train of thought as Seth before I realized he said it...were walking on the same path :)

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  14. sandylovesgod06770January 7, 2014 at 6:25 PM

    Michell, I am sorry that a preacher's words were discouraging to you. remember he is just a man,but one who will be accountable to god for what he says.Jesus calls you and your children precious.you are his beloved child.jesus will never leave you or forsake you, he is with you always.he will stick closer to you than a brother.God's desire is for you to know him, and begin a relationship with him. Jesus is not a man that he would lie Ask God to help you. he will, step by step Jesus sees you as beautiful, with gifts, and talents to be used for his glory his love is with you.....

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    1. Hi Sandy. You know how in your comment you said to Michelle that Jesus will never leave you or forsake you...many times in my Christian walk I have relied on those words. They ALWAYS gave me comfort. Thanks for your comment. God bless. Claudette in FL ;-)

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  15. reading this has openend my eyes to what the life really is about and how the choices we make everyday effect us all in our daily life. If i were visited by a spirit of the lord and asked this question i would be both moved and filled with joy over it and my response would be the same i would discard of all worldly things and live my life by "His" word. Tavaris From Ft. Lauderdale Age 20

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  16. Hi Tarvaris
    I'm so glad to read your comment it is such a joy respond to you the Holy Spirit is what gives us the insight and teaches us all things. Reading the bible which is the word of God will help you to live right. Carmella Ct.

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