Devotions

Zacchaeus

Bible Background: Luke 19:1-10

From the Deep Blue Storybook Bible: Jesus was walking through the town of Jericho. A tax collector named Zacchaeus was there in Jericho and wanted to see Jesus walk by. He was too short to see over the crowd, so he ran ahead and climbed a tree.

When Jesus got to the tree Zacchaeus has climbed, Jesus looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, come down. I must stay at your home today.”

Zacchaeus immediately climbed down the tree, happy to welcome Jesus to his home.

The crowd was very unhappy with Jesus for being a guest of a tax collector. They grumbled because tax collectors were known for being unfair.

Zacchaeus heard what the crowd was saying. He looked at Jesus and made this promise, “Lord, I will give half of everything I own to the poor. And if I have cheated anyone, I will repay them four times what I have taken.”

Jesus knew Zacchaeus meant what he said. Jesus said “Zacchaeus, today you have been saved.”

When Zacchaeus met Jesus, his life changed forever. Zacchaeus cared about other people!

Have a conversation:

  • Zacchaeus had never seen Jesus before. He saw the crowd gathering and heard someone say that Jesus was coming to their town. With the crowd that had gathered, Zacchaeus thought that Jesus must be a very important person. When Jesus called Zacchaeus by name and told him that he was coming to his house, how do you think that made Zacchaeus feel? (Scared… Excited… Special?) Jesus knows your name too! He knows what you need and He cares for you!
  • In the story, it says that the people in the town were not happy that Jesus was going to Zacchaeus’ house because a lot of people did not like Zacchaeus. He was a tax collector, and often was unfair to the people in the town. Jesus offered Zacchaeus forgiveness and loved Zacchaeus anyway! Jesus loves everyone and wants everyone to believe in Him! How can you share this same love with others and encourage others to believe in Jesus?
  • When Zacchaeus met Jesus, his life was changed forever. Zacchaeus cares about other people and wanted to help them by giving back four times what he took from them. Jesus calls us to help and care for others, who can you help and care for today?

 Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you for calling us by name as your children! Thank you for your love and forgiveness that never run out! Help us to show this same love and forgiveness to others so that they can come to know you! In you name we pray, amen!

Activity:

  • Mission Project: Decorating Lunch bags for Sack Lunch Ministry
    • On Sundays when we are worshiping at the church, we have a ministry called Sack Lunch Ministry! Church members and families volunteer to make 40 sack lunches that are served to our community guests who are in need of a meal.
    • We invite you to join in this ministry by decorating paper lunch sacks with scripture and messages of God’s Love! We will share the decorated bags with volunteers to be filled at a later date!
    • Bags can be given to Kimberly, Katie Ryan, or Jennifer when we return to the church!

 

Posted by Jennifer Golden with
in Church

Fear Not

“We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.” -2 Thessalonians 1:3

These are unprecedented times, and it’s been inspiring to see so many neighbors, churches, communities, and companies stepping up to meet the challenges we are all facing. When news first broke of businesses and churches closing to prevent the spreading of Coronavirus (COVID-19) there was some panic. For some, that panic did not result in fear for themselves, but rather fear for their elderly neighbors, school aged children who lack resources for food, and downtown neighbors who depend on churches  and nonprofits for meals. In the midst of panic and fear of the unknown, many individuals have expressed love and faith for their brothers and sisters when it is needed the most. I cannot imagine a greater love for one another than an act of selflessness during a global pandemic. Fear is only time wasted because God tells us to "fear not," his message encouraging us to have faith in him instead. For he knows what has been, what is, and what will be. Our intentions during this time, our actions during these challenges demonstrate an opportunity to creatively show that our faith has no boundaries. So instead of fear, share kindness. Instead of greed, share grace... instead of desperation, share hope. Although we might not be together, you brothers and sisters are in our prayers. May your faith be growing and your love for one another be increasing to sustain us through this tough time.

-Kimberly Liebowitz

Posted by Kimberly Liebowitz with

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