Wooh! It's been awhile since I posted anything! This is a short bible study that I recently prepared for my small group in our young adult ministry. Be blessed!
As I write this, I’m reminded of a conversation I had with someone a few days ago. She was telling me about how she felt that she was done with the young adult ministry in our church, and I was encouraging her not to miss out on the special portion that the Lord has for her.
Today, I want to tell you the same thing. That The Lord has a special portion for you, and He’s waiting for you to come receive it with open arms!
Our verses today start with Luke 19.
Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”
And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
– Luke 19:8-10
We all know the story: short man climbs tree, sees the Messiah, gets called down, dinner ensues, pharisees are scandalized, his life is changed forever.
But have we ever considered it from the ‘Zacchaeus Perspective’? He’s physically disabled, definitely not as strong, or even considered handsome by those around him. A social outcast – possibly slighted, he ran to the Romans (I imagine him to be something like Elphialtes in 300) and they gave him what might have been a semblance of hope. But what he found in the wealth and riches that followed was that while he could afford a house, good food, servants…etc, he could never afford happiness.
But one day, this miracle worker came along. A man who others say can open blind eyes and raise the dead. “Perhaps he can heal my heart and raise my dead self-esteem?”
But Jesus did so much more than that. “Zacchaeus quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today!”
Zacchaeus climbed that tree to take a glimpse at a Man hoping to see a miracle. God came to Jericho to seek out a short guy hated by the world so He could heal his broken heart.
Friends, sometimes we go to church, to youth ministry, or to a care group or cadre meeting…etc to catch a glimpse of God. But I want you to know, that God goes to church, to youth ministry, or to your care group or cadre meeting to SEEK YOU OUT, and provide for your every need!
But could you imagine if Zacchaeus didn’t climb that tree? Or stayed home to count his money?
What do we experience when we plant ourselves in church?
1. His Presence
3. The Word
Friends, with His PRESENCE comes healing
Through WORSHIP we find intimacy, a GREAT BIG GOD becomes accessible, tangible and relatable.
“I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”
– Luke 19:40
By HIS WORD, the revelation of His sacrifice is made real to us
And what about COMMUNITY?
While our plans go awry without Godly counsel, in the multitude of counselors they are established. A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season (I wonder by who?) how good it is!
– Prov 15:22-23
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
– Ecc 4:9-12
In 2 Chronicles 29 – Hezekiah “opened the doors to the house of the Lord and repaired them”.
And in that house, the sacrifice was made real, bringing His promises down.
Then King Hezekiah rose early, gathered the rulers of the city, and went up to the house of the Lord. And they brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs, and seven male goats for a sin offering for the kingdom, for the sanctuary, and for Judah. Then he commanded the priests, the sons of Aaron, to offer them on the altar of the Lord.
– 2 Chron 29:20
Worship was brought forth
And he stationed the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, with stringed instruments, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, of Gad the king’s seer, and of Nathan the prophet; for thus was the commandment of the Lord by His prophets. The Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets.
– 2 Chron 29:25-26
And the people experienced His presence
Then Hezekiah answered and said, “Now that you have consecrated yourselves to the Lord, come near, and bring sacrifices and thank offerings into the house of the Lord.” So the assembly brought in sacrifices and thank offerings, and as many as were of a willing heart brought burnt offerings.
– 2 Chron 29:30
And IN THAT HOUSE – the Gospel was preached to the Freedom Generation (because of the Passover, they were freed from Egypt)
So the children of Israel who were present at Jerusalem kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with great gladness; and the Levites and the priests praised the Lord day by day, singing to the Lord, accompanied by loud instruments.
– 2 Chron 30:21
But check out the result!!
And Hezekiah gave encouragement to all the Levites who taught the good knowledge of the Lord; and they ate throughout the feast seven days, offering peace offerings and making confession to the Lord God of their fathers. Then the whole assembly agreed to keep the feast another seven days, and they kept it another seven days with gladness. For Hezekiah king of Judah gave to the assembly a thousand bulls and seven thousand sheep, and the leaders gave to the assembly a thousand bulls and ten thousand sheep; and a great number of priests sanctified themselves. The whole assembly of Judah rejoiced, also the priests and Levites, all the assembly that came from Israel, the sojourners who came from the land of Israel, and those who dwelt in Judah. So there was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the time of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem.Then the priests, the Levites, arose and blessed the people, and their voice was heard; and their prayer came up to His holy dwelling place, to heaven.
– 2 Chron 30:22-27
When you spend time in His house, not only will you find yourself partying with a great community, you will find that BLESSINGS abound, and y’know what, you will find joy unspeakable, a peace that will guard your heart, and a soul that will not sink.
The devil might do all he can to make you think that “I’m not wanted here”, “I don’t belong here”, “I don’t deserve to be here”, or even “my time here is done”. But I want you to know that your Daddy God’s house is ALWAYS open! And when you go to church, He’s going to be there too, with every answer that you need, every healing that you want, and every miracle that He bought on the cross for you.
Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.
– Psalm 92:13