Reshaped for Integrity
Key Verse to Read and Treasure
When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. (Luke 19:5-6, NIV)
Life in the Vine does amazing things in our life especially in our character and attitude. It doesn’t matter how we came to Christ or what we were before or even in the beginning of our relationship, as we remain in the Vine as one of Jesus’ branches, we become different people. Always for the better.
Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector in Jericho whose wealth had come due to his unethical practices. He was not popular among the Jewish community because of his practices of cheating people out of their hard-earned money. When Zacchaeus heard Jesus was coming to town, he was anxious to see him and being of small stature, he decided to climb a tree so his view of Jesus was not obstructed by those taller than himself. That one little determination and activity set off a chain of events in his life that not even Zacchaeus could have imagined or planned. When Jesus looked up and saw Zacchaeus in the sycamore-fig tree, he invited himself to Zacchaeus’ house that same day and the rest is history!
Zacchaeus had what we like to call a “come-to-Jesus” moment and his life and career were never the same. His transformation touched every part of his life and he promised to return the money he had cheated others out of.
Life in the Vine will change us. It’s impossible to be so close to Jesus and not be changed in the ways and areas we need to experience change. A thirty-day study, or six week course in change is nice, and they may bring some change, but it’s not until we are engaging in a day after day, year after year, 365/66, every day, all day dwelling and abiding in Christ that transformation, sanctification, and lasting change comes.
If Zacchaeus had such a dramatic transformation from one visit, one day, one dinner with Jesus and became a man of integrity to the point of returning the monies he had stolen from others, can we imagine the attitude, behavior, mind, and heart transformation we will undergo when we commune with the Savior on a daily basis?
As Jesus went from town to town some people were in need of physical healing and received it, but others like Zacchaeus and us today, needed and need healing in their inner being going to the heart and hidden places. Outwardly the body looks good and strong but the heart or mind or attitude is dark and full of sickness and death.
Jesus called Zacchaeus by name just like he calls us by name. Like Zacchaeus, we are on the Savior’s radar to experience new life and show others what even one encounter with the Son of God could do. As the writer of Hebrews wrote,
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion.” (Hebrews 3:15)
Do not resist becoming one with the Vine or finding our resting place in him.
Jesus, we are so blessed to be on your radar for change, transformation, and blessing. All that comes through an abiding relationship with you. Amen
What has abiding and dwelling in the Vine done in your life? Changed your heart or attitude?
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