Archive for the ‘Outsiders’ Category

March 26th, 2009

Focused Determination

“Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.” Luke 19:1-4 (NIV)

On His way to Jerusalem, Jesus passed through Jericho. This city was one of the greatest taxation centers in Palestine and featured world-famous balsam groves, which perfumed the air for miles. On this particular day, something else was in the air. We meet a chief tax collector named, Zacchaeus. He was at the top of the financial pyramid and had many tax collectors under him. Though Zacchaeus was big in wealth, he was little in stature.

Jesus was coming through town and Zacchaeus wanted to see Him. Unable to see over the crowd, Zacchaeus decided to climb a “seek-Him-more” tree, that is, a sycamore tree. Now he was up in the air at a level where he could see Jesus clearly. Zacchaeus was determined to see Jesus, even if it meant climbing a tree.

What motivated Zacchaeus to go to such an extreme to see Jesus? Had he already heard about Jesus healing the blind beggar on the edge of town (Luke 18:35-43)? Maybe Zacchaeus was searching for the true meaning of life and had not found it. Perhaps his income was not sufficient to meet the deepest need of his heart.

It is possible to lose your focus in this world filled with so many voices and allurements. There are countless distractions that dilute our devotion to the One who has given us life. Would you be willing to climb a tree if that is what it took to encounter the Lord? Are you making room for a daily, unhurried connect time with Jesus? Do you truly seek Him daily?

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, March 26th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Desperation, Jesus, Outsiders, Seeking God.
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February 16th, 2009

Simplify and Focus

“Jesus answered them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’” Luke 5:31-32 (NIV)

The Pharisees missed their reason for existence. They thought the purpose of life was to be religious and to strictly observe their legalistic religious customs. They thought too highly of themselves and critically judged others through the grid of their own rigid religious system. Jesus ministered among the Pharisees and often spoke directly to them, yet they missed the Messiah.

Jesus clarified His purpose as that of calling sinners to repentance. Jesus came to build the Kingdom of God with those who need His mercy, His grace, and His forgiveness the most. The self-righteous behavior of the Pharisees blinded them from the truth. The Truth was standing right in front of them and they missed Him!

Jesus came to call people just like you and me to repentance. We were bankrupt spiritually and morally before Jesus came to our rescue. We were enemies of God and saturated in our sinfulness and selfishness. We were unfit and unclean for entry into the Kingdom of God. Our greatest need was for the Great Physician to remedy us from our spiritual disease and to restore us to a right relationship with Himself. Jesus provided the opportunity for us to turn from our sin and to trust Him alone for salvation.

His mission is our mission. Now, simplify and focus your life on bringing others into a growing relationship with Jesus. Your assignment from the Lord is to be actively populating Heaven.

Why are you here? You are here to do what Jesus did!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, February 16th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Clarity, Jesus, Mission, Outsiders.
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