The Little Man That Made A Big Change

zacchaeus

Zacchaeus was a short man that was probably looked down upon by a lot of people(no pun intended)for his profession as a tax collector. However, he had heard about Jesus, had a desire to see him, and he came up with an unconventional way to accomplish his goal. He climbed up in a sycamore tree.

Jesus, as he was passing by, looked up, called Zacchaeus by name and told him to come down because he would be going to his house that day. Zacchaeus was instant to do what Jesus had commanded. Although the Bible gives us no record of what happened in the home of Zacchaeus, we can read that he(Zacchaeus) indicated he was going to be making some changes in his life. There were things in his life that he knew were wrong, and he was determined to make them right and then some!

A real encounter with Jesus, when we are not living right, can and should produce in us a desire to repent and even make restitution as needed. Zacchaeus took this first important step in having a right relationship with God. This “wee little man” that many of us first learned about in Sunday school has an important lesson to teach us.  When Jesus “comes to our house” through way of a sermon or something that convicts us of sin in our lives, may we respond to it rightly as Zacchaeus did.

 

Mini Monoverse Tribute To Zacchaeus

 

Trek began

short guy ran

had a plan

crowd to scan

find God-man.

 

Carefully

climb a tree

patiently

wait to see

this, the key.

 

Jesus came

called Zac’s name

not to blame

or to shame

love, His aim.

 

Without flack

down came Zac

they went back

to his shack

had a snack.

 

And so thence

Zac was tense

soon relents

then repents

his offense.

 

Did restore

to the poor

stole no more

settled score

evermore.

 

 

 

2/16/17

 

Luke 19:1-10  And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 

And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. 

And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. 

  And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. 

And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. 

And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. 

And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. 

And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. 

And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. 

For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. 

 

 

 

The Man, The Survey,The Study

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Last week, our church was blessed to host an Evangelism and Home Bible Study Seminar conducted by Brother Shawn Dunahoe. One of the first things this man of God said that immediately arrested my attention was that he was an extreme introvert when he first came to God. However through prayer and gaining more knowledge of the Word of God, the Lord has helped him to improve in his ability to communicate with people. Being an introvert myself who still struggles from time to time, I am always encouraged when I hear of those who have made strides in overcoming this inhibition.

 

Brother Dunahoe shared with us the number one reason why we don’t get more Bible studies with people.

Do you want to know what it is? I’m going to tell you whether you want to know or not. 🙂

 

 

WE DON’T ASK!

 

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This public opinion survey is one of the tools that Rev. Dunahoe has used effectively to secure more Bible studies. Of course not everyone you survey is going to say yes to a Bible study, but the more surveys you do, the greater your chances of getting a Bible study.

In thinking about this later, I wrote a poem.

 

So

opened

he his mouth,

and words came out:

an invitation

for a Bible study

that he was willing to teach.

And wonder of wonders to him,

the man that was asked gladly said yes.

Thus began the gospel sharing journey.

 

2/10/17

 

A group of us met together on Saturday morning. We prayed, paired up into teams, got some survey cards and went to a neighborhood close by our church. To make a long story short, we came back after about an hour and 15 minutes with six yeses to home Bible studies! A few more yeses were acquired later that day from individuals that did some asking on their own.

 

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Here is the Bible study. It is usually taught in 2 lessons and really does a great job explaining what the first church taught(the original one immediately founded after the resurrection or Jesus Christ). I am looking forward to teaching my first one soon and to seeing what God is going to do through these Bible studies. Already we are seeing doors of opportunity to the Hispanic community opening, and I am believing God is going to do great things.

Stay tuned for more!

 

 

 

You Might Be On An Extended Fast If…..

You’re at work and 3 people graciously decide on the same day to bring donuts for everyone.

 

The food in the dog bowl is actually looking and smelling pretty good.

 

You’re a woman going through menopause, and you suddenly start having “cold flashes.”

 

The refrigerator is on lock down.

 

Hot water is what you’re drinking just to keep warm.

 

While at a client’s house, you smell something sumptuous cooking in the oven.

 

Your baby face suddenly starts to disappear.

 

And the list goes on .On the more serious side, our church just recently completed an extended fast(for those who were physically able to do it)coupled with prayer, and God is already blessing the sacrifice. We know the Bible has a lot to say about the subject of fasting, but I also found some insightful quotes about fasting too, that I will share here. Believe me, fasting is not one of my favorite things to do, but I know it does make a difference for me personally, and I have seen in the past after a season of prayer and fasting how God has given us spiritual breakthroughs that we desperately needed. I’m thankful that God honors the sacrifice  of prayer and fasting!

 

Fasting confirms our utter dependence upon God by finding in Him a source of sustenance beyond food.

Dallas Willard

 

Is fasting ever a bribe to get God to pay more attention to the petitions ? No, a thousand times no. It is simply a way to make clear that we sufficiently reverence the amazing opportunity to ask help from the everlasting God, the Creator of the universe, to choose to put everything else aside and concentrate on worshiping, asking forgiveness, and making our requests known-considering His help more important than anything we could do ourselves in our own strength and with our own ideas.

Edith Schaeffer

 

Prayer is reaching out after the unseen; fasting is letting go of all that is seen and temporal. Fasting helps express, deepen, confirm the resolution that we are ready to sacrifice anything, even ourselves to attain what we seek for the kingdom of God.

Andrew Murray

 

Prayer is reaching out after the unseen; fasting is letting go of all that is seen and temporal. Fasting helps express, deepen, confirm the resolution that we are ready to sacrifice anything, even ourselves to attain what we seek for the kingdom of God.

Andrew Murray

 

In Shansi I found Chinese Christians who were accustomed to spend time in fasting and prayer. They recognized that this fasting, which so many dislike, which requires faith in God, since it makes one feel weak and poorly, is really a Divinely appointed means of grace. Perhaps the greatest hindrance to our work is our own imagined strength; and in fasting we learn what poor, weak creatures we are – dependent on a meal of meat for the little strength which we are so apt to lean upon.

James Hudson Taylor

 

Our greatest victories are won on our knees and with empty stomachs.

Julio C. Ruibal

 

When the devil, the foe and the tyrant, sees a man bearing this weapon [fasting], he is straight-away frightened and he recollects and considers that defeat which he suffered in the wilderness at the hands of the Saviour; at once his strength is shattered and the very sight of this weapon, given us by our Commander-in-chief, burns him.

Isaac of Syria

 

Do you have a hunger for God? If we don’t feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because we have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because we have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Our soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great. If we are full of what the world offers, then perhaps a fast might express, or even increase, our soul’s appetite for God. Between the dangers of self-denial and self-indulgence is the path of pleasant pain called fasting.

John Piper

 

Luisa’s Baptism

  1. Yesterday was a happy day for Luisa and our church as we witnessed her being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of her sins. For me, it never gets old to see someone getting baptized or receiving the Holy Ghost. There is nothing like this precious Acts 2:38 new birth experience! I’m looking forward to seeing what God will do in Luisa’s life as she continues to grow in Him!!

The Word Is Still God

While at West Coast Conference, one of my favorite things to do is take some time to peruse the bookstore that is set up each year. I was walking around scanning titles, and my attention was drawn to this book. I picked it up because I recognized the name of the author. If this was the same person, he was close to my son’s age and someone we had met through our involvement in Bible quizzing when our kids were younger. Sure enough, when I looked at the author’s picture on the back cover, there was no mistaking that this was the same young man, who back in the day, was an incredible Bible quizzer. 

“Wow, Garrett wrote a book!” I thought to myself. Upon reading more about the book, I saw that it was a study of the Oneness of God, which has always been interesting for me. I bought it, and I have been enjoying it!

Garrett starts with the book of Genesis and goes through each book of the Bible in order, bringing out different aspects of the Oneness of God. I’ve been amazed at some of his insights and nuggets of truth that he shares. It’s so amazing to see the Oneness of God in each book of Scripture. 

I haven’t finished reading the book yet, but I’ve read enough to know that this is a book I would recommend. If you want a fresh, new appreciation for the Bible doctrine of the Mighty God in Christ, this book is for you.

The Most Important Words

 

 

I have loved words for as long as I can remember.  One of my vivid memories from childhood was of the great joy I felt over being able to sound out a word using phonics.

 

tr   +  uck   =  truck!

 

In eighth grade we learned about poetry in English class and were encouraged to write down words to create a poem of our own.  Irritated by girls in school that I perceived to be stuck up and haughty, I recall writing the following words.

 

I don’t care too much for conceited lasses

They coo and boo and cuss and fuss

Things of non-importance, they will discuss

At unmarried lads, they’ll make passes.

 

There was more to the poem, but I threw it out a long time ago, and I have forgotten the rest of it.

 

Interjections, to me, have always been fun because of the way that they sound.

 

Clunk!

Wham!

Plop!

Thud!

Kaboom!

And the list goes on.

 

Being a Scrabble enthusiast for many years, and with the advent of cell phones now a Words With Friends enthusiast, I like high scoring words, especially when I’m the one putting down the word! 🙂

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Having studied Spanish for a little while, I have some favorite words in that language, basically because I like the way that they sound.  Here are a couple of them.

 

Indiscutiblemente (It means without controversy. I learned it from reading the Bible in Spanish.)

 

Sacapuntas=pencil sharpener

 

 

There are two words that are very important for those times we mess up.

“I’m sorry.”

 

And there are 3 words that should be spoken often within our families.

 

“I love you.”

 

The most important words however are the ones that can make a difference in determining where we will spend eternity. These are saving words.

 

1Corinthians 1:21  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

 

1Peter 1:25  But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

 

God’s chosen method to bring salvation from sins to a lost humanity is to give a God called man His words to expound and explain to people what they need to do to be saved from eternal damnation.

 

In Acts 10, we can read the story of Cornelius. We read this description of Cornelius in verse 2 of Acts 10.

A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. 

 

While Cornelius possessed all these wonderful qualities listed here, we know from another verse that he was not saved.  In Acts 11, Peter is recounting the story of Cornelius and how God brought their paths together.

 

“And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God.
And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him,
Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.
But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them, saying,
I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even to me:
Upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and saw fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat.
But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth.
But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.And this was done three times: and all were drawn up again into heaven.
And, behold, immediately there were three men already come unto the house where I was, sent from Caesarea unto me.
And the Spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man’s house:
And he shewed us how he had seen an angel in his house, which stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter;
Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.” Acts 11:1-14

 

God had spoken to Cornelius through an angel which told him to send for a man named Peter who would tell him words whereby he and his household shall(future tense) be saved. We can read the words that Peter spoke to Cornelius in Acts 10:34-48 and see the response of Cornelius and his household. We see that while Peter was speaking, the Holy Ghost, evidenced by their speaking in other tongues, fell upon Cornelius and his household. Peter then commands that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.

 

“Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? 
And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.” Acts 10:47,48

 

Our new birth experience begins with hearing and obeying God inspired words, but it doesn’t stop there.   We need to continue to hear and obey the Word of God.

 

“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;” John 8:31

If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;” Colossians 1:23

 

The apostle Paul gave the following exhortation to Timothy, a minister of the gospel.

 

1Ti 4:16 ” Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”

In the English Standard Version, this verse reads:

“Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.”

 

This post is getting lengthier than I anticipated, so I will just recap by saying that the most important words we can hear are the God inspired words of the Bible, preached by a God sent preacher. May we hear them, do them and have them become engrafted in us, that one day, we will make heaven our eternal destination.

 

“Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” James 1:21(ESV)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Shoe Leather Of Repentance

 

Weeping bitterly at altar

Shoulders shaking with heart felt sobs

She kneels.

 

Determined to forsake old life

With all of its ugly bondage

She stands.

 

Later pulling out her cell phone

Humbly asks dad for forgiveness

Broken.

 

The sordid books and magazines

Which once held her so spellbound, put

In trash.

 

Going to the walk in closet

She removes clothes she plans to wear

No more.

 

The music that filled her senses

Stirred up ungodly lusts, she now

Deletes.

 

A process that she must go through

She begins to walk on the path

To God.

 

Doing her best to be thorough

The path of repentance, she knows

Is right.

 

10/10/16

 

2Corinthians 7:10,11(ESV)  For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.

For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter.

 

2Peter 3:9(ESV) The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

 

This type of poem is called Synchronicity. For instructions on how it is written, click the link.

http://www.shadowpoetry.com/resources/wip/synchronicity.html