Did Zacchaeus Know His Name?

Zacchaeus: meaning “Pure and Righteous.”

When I review his life I have to wonder; did Zacchaeus know his name? His parents named him in hope that his lifestyle would match his name. However, Zacchaeus had long forgotten what it was to be pure and righteous in his dealings with his fellow-man.

Photo by uempe

A tax collector by trade, Zacchaeus had compromised his integrity until he became calloused to the virtues that comprised the meaning of his name. Gathering from the poor, enriching the enemy; his habit was to take more than was owed that he might line his pockets with the silver of his own people. Certainly, Zacchaeus did not know his own name!

Being small of stature and few of friends, he was relegated to perching in a sycamore tree if he was to see what all the fuss was about in Jericho. As Jesus passed under the tree he looked up and called, “Zaccheaus, come quickly! I must eat at your house today.”

“What is this? He knows my name?”

Yes, Zacchaeus, he knows your name; even when you have forgotten. He looks beyond the person that you have become as a result of the decisions you have made. He sees beyond your faults and failures. He looks past the outward man, hated by your neighbors. His gaze is fixed on that which is beyond the blood; the man who He has called you to be and He says, “I must come into your house today.”

And when He comes in, he will help you remember your name.

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Love and Holiness

I recently read an article highlighting the letters of Francis Schaeffer. The post called attention to Shaeffer’s emphasis on the Christian’s responsibilty to reflect both the love and the holiness of God. It was Schaeffer’s conviction, and I believe he was correct, that these two characteristics could coinside in an individual only by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Photo by leicadog1

Here is the quote from an undated letter:

Increasingly I believe that after we are saved we have only one calling, and that is to show forth the existence and the character of God. Since God is love and God is holy, it is our calling to act in such a way as to demonstrate the existence of God–in other words to be and to act in such a way as to show forth His love and His holiness simultaneously. Further, I believe that the failure to show forth either of these is equally a perversion.

Of course, in one’s own strength it is only possible to show forth either love or holiness. But to show forth the holiness and love of God simultaneously requires much more. It requires a moment by moment work of the Holy Spirit in a very practical way.

In the flesh we can exhibit a pharisitical vengance against sin or we can exhibit a benevolance that dismisses sin. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit do these characteristics come into balance.

“All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.” Psalms 25:10

Rushing to Nowhere

The way of the Christian is the way of the tortoise, not the hare. In a world that moves at the speed of thought, it is easy to get caught up in the rat race of ministry and the Christian life. However, speed is not the imperative in this way – direction is. And many people are rushing to nowhere.

Photo by Calsidyrose

I like what A.W. Tozer said:

Scriptures exhort the runner to patience and say nothing about speed. The LORD would seem to be more concerned with where we are going rather than how fast. A steady pace in the right direction will lead to the right goal at last, but if the life is aimed at the wrong goal, speed will only take us further astray in a shorter time.

You may have the fastest rocket, but if you are a few degrees off, you will miss the moon. This scenario played out in real life in 1979. A large plane carrying 257 people left New Zealand for a sightseeing tour of Antarctica. Unknown to the pilots, the coordinates were changed by a mere two degrees. This small error put the plane 28 miles from their original destination. As they approached Antarctica, the pilots lowered the altitude so the passengers could get a good look at the landscape. What they did not know was that the error had put them in the path of Mount Erebus. The plane crashed into the side of the volcano killing everyone on board.

We must constantly review our path to be sure that we are on course with our final destination. Tozer also said, “If we should seem at times to be a bit slow, let it be remembered that we do know the direction we are called to go.” Stay the course. Do not turn to the right or the left.

I would hate to rush forward only to find out in the end that I was the first one to nowhere.

A Good Confession

by Frederic Faber

The chains that have bound me are flung to the wind,
By the mercy of God the poor slave is set free;
And the strong grace of heaven breathes fresh o’er the mind,
Like the bright winds of summer that gladden the sea.

There was nought in God‘s world half so dark or so vile
As the sin and bondage that fettered my soul;
There was nought half so base as the malice and guile
Of my own sordid passions, or Satan‘s control.

For years I have borne about hell in my breast;
When I thought of my God it was nothing but gloom;
Day brought me no pleasure, night gave me no rest,
There was still the grim shadow of horrible doom.

It seemed as if nothing les likely could be
Than that light should break in on dungeon so deep;
To create a new world were less hard than to free
The slave from his bondage, the soul from its sleep.

But the Word had gone forth, and said, Let there be light,
And it flashed through my soul like a sharp passing smart;
One look to my Savior, and all the dark night,
Like a dream scarce remembered, was gone from my heart.

I cried out for mercy, and fell on my knees,
And confessed, while my heart with keen sorrow wrung;
‘Twas the labor of minutes, and years of disease
Fell fast from my soul as the words from my tongue.

And now, blest be God and the sweet Lord who died!
No deer on the mountain, no bird in the sky,
No bright wave that leaps on the dark bounding tide,
Is a creature so free or happy as I.

All hail, then, all hail, to the dear Precious Blood,
That hath worked these sweet wonders of mercy in me;
May each day countless numbers throng down to its flood,
And God have His glory, and sinners go free.