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!