February 24, 2013

It's KINDNESS that Brings Men to their Knees

I believe Jesus had his sights set on Zacchaeus all along:) 
This man did not climb the tree because he was too short. While he was a little man.....and a wee little man was he :p.....I can only imagine that because the crowds KNEW this man...they knew his character, his reputation....they pushed him out. 
The only eyes that met him were eyes of judgment. 
Not kindness. Not understanding. Not grace. I'm sure he felt lonely and isolated. No doubt his own sin and choices brought him to this place but he never found what he needed until NOW. Maybe he was intimated by Jesus. 
But Jesus had an appointment with Zacchaeus that would change him forever. 
We all know the story....he climbed a tree, just to watch. To SEE Him. There's no way He could talk to Him....Jesus would never see HIM!!! But when Jesus approached him.....it wasn't about the money. It wasn't about the sin. He wasn't inviting relationship with Zacchaeus to bring rebuke,chastisement or to teach a lesson. 
*IT WAS ABOUT AN ENCOUNTER WITH THE LOVE AND KINDNESS AND GRACE OF JESUS* 
"I want to have lunch with you. Where YOU live. In YOUR neighborhood. Just as you are." It is the KINDNESS of the Lord that brings men to their knees. It is KINDNESS and GRACE and understanding that leads men to repentance and CHANGE. Romans 2:4
He doesn't ask us to come only once we have our act together.
He LOVES us. In SPITE of us. Just BECAUSE. HE. IS. LOVE. He KNEW what He was getting into when He approached Zacchaeus. He KNEW who Zacchaeus was. He still wanted to spend time with Him. Not to bring condemnation. Just to love on Him. Only JESUS could see where this LOVE ENCOUNTER was going. It was for the sake of LOVE only that Jesus invited Zacchaeus into friendship and fellowship with Him. *AS A RESULT*....suddenly Zacchaeus felt an overwhelming need for CHANGE.
When we come face to face with Jesus and the LOVE of GOD......we MUST change.
It requires change. We'll never be the same again. It's not about who we ARE....but it's about who HE is and HOW HE LOVES US SO.
                                    
                                         
We come "broken to be mended,

                                                  wounded to be healed,
                                        desperate to be rescued, empty to be filled,
                                                guilty to be pardoned......
                                            and welcomed with open arms"

                                                .....JUST AS WE ARE.
Where people need kindness and understanding, they are instead met with judgment and condemnation. That will only drive them further from the cross. But when we approach the others in our lives with that same GRACE and understanding and KINDNESS.....and allow them to ENCOUNTER the LOVE of Jesus....which is a LOVE I cannot explain or ever understand.....
A love so
RELENTLNESS it will chase you DOWN no matter how FAR you run or how FAR you've FALLEN.......
They will come face to face with GOD Himself and feel compelled to respond.

Grace is not mine to decide who to give it to or when. It's just HIS to give through me to WHOMever. Jesus never withdrew His touch from those who needed it most and deserved it less. He made no distinction between social status, peer groups, political standings, the rich, the poor, the sick or the well. He simply gave unrestrained by opinions or judgments. He simply changed lives with an audacious Grace that never showed differential regard for any one person. Perhaps if we all look beyond ourselves and our need for Grace and begin to pour that same Grace we need onto others we will begin to see a supernatural healing permeate the environment.
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