Luke 19:5-6 Will You Welcome Jesus In?

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

Many people like to plan when they are going to invite someone into their home. They want to be able to make sure that their home is cleaned up and ready for a visitor.

Often most people have a somewhat to very messy home that they do not want others to see. Therefore, they do not like any unexpected visitors to show up at their doorstep.

As Jesus was walking along, a man, Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector (hated person) wanted to see Jesus. When Jesus saw Zacchaeus, He told him that he needed to come down and bring Him to his house that day. Zacchaeus was very pleased to do so.

Keeping a clean house is something that many people do not do. Most people know others who keep their house much cleaner and don’t want those people to show up at their house, for fear of judgement about a messy or messier house.

Jesus is desiring to come into the life of every person. His life is perfect, without any sin. He keeps an immaculate house (life) that is picture perfect.

Yet, no person has a perfect life when compared to that of Jesus. It is common to hear some people say that they do not want Jesus in their life, because they are so bad with sin. However, it is those people who Jesus wants to come and eat with. He is willing to go see the worst of the worst to give them a chance to be changed and cleaned up.

Jesus is willing to come in and help clean up the life of every person that is willing to accept Him.

You may look at your life and think that your life is so filled with sin that you cannot allow Jesus in. He wants to spend time with you and help you change.

Do not be afraid to allow Jesus to come into your life. Right now He is not coming to condemn, but to help you clean up your house.

Instead of fearing allowing Jesus into your life, welcome Him gladly in. He is coming to bring you an abundant life, not judgement. Allow Him to make the needed changes.

Will you gladly welcome Him in today?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will allow Jesus into your life and home; that you will allow Jesus to change your life; that you will be glad to have Jesus with you; and that you will trust God with all of your life.

Decluttering

Clutter

My wife and I live in a double-wide manufactured home with seven children. It is somewhat crowded. With having that many living there, it is easy to accumulate a lot of things.

We have eight children total, with one now off and married. The youngest is only three years old. With that it means we have a lot of stuff for everyone of all the ages. Over the years we have gained more clothing. We hold onto the clothing to pass down the line of younger siblings.

The number of books seems to be extreme, with several large bookshelves full of books. There are books for schooling, since we homeschool. These cover many different subjects and different types of curriculum. There are also books just for reading. Several whole series of books for younger children and some for older children to read. Along with all those books, I have my own books I have accumulated from bible college and ministry.

Overflow Of Toys

The amount of tows seems to never end. Toys for all the different ages. Many of which were passed down over the years to younger ones. Even many “broken” toys are held on to, because a child does not want to part with them. New toys keep coming in every birthday and Christmas time.

I cannot count the number of movies that we own, both VHS and DVD! It is in the hundreds. This number is very high, because we do not subscribe to any television channels, cable or satellite. Again, these movies cover a broad range from educational, inspirational, and just good family movies or television show series.

With all of this stuff, it can get very cluttered very easy. It is difficult to find the space needed to have a place for everything.

Right now my wife and I are in the process of trying to declutter some of that stuff. It is a difficult process to do. Some of those things hold precious memories. Other things we hold on to because we might need them again someday, this is especially true with clothing and movies. Today the children watch one set of movies, but in a few months, suddenly they “discover” some other set of movies and watch them over and over again for several weeks, before moving on to a new set.

Then the challenge of what to do with all the stuff we decide to get rid of. Do we try to sell it? That is not like us, we would rather give it away. Or do we donate it? Then come the question of where to donate the stuff. Then when and how do we get the stuff to the donation location. It creates a lot of challenges.

Declutter

Since there are so many challenges to getting rid of the extra stuff, it is easy to just put it aside and try to ignore it. We will do it some day, a day that does not seem to come. Or we will do a little, then get overwhelmed and stop.

As we are in the process of doing this, I have noticed that life is like that in the same way. Our lives can become cluttered with old, no longer useful things. Or our life can be cluttered with things that are no good for us, broken things.

Some things that clutter our lives are sins. We hold onto sins that are “fun” and really do not want to give it up. These can be gossip, drunkenness, theft, lying, cheating, adultery, pornography, abuse, and many more. They may not be real huge sins, but they are sins nonetheless and they will clutter up our lives. Sins will hold us back from being able to do more or to enjoy more the life God has given us.

hebrews-12_1.jpg

Other things that can clutter our lives are the things in our lives. Our focus on the things take the place of spending time with God. Even good things in our lives can pull us away from God. Social media can be a good thing, but too much of it can also be a bad thing. Ministry is a good thing to do, but not at the expense of spending time with God. Cleaning the house or working a job, can often clutter our lives, shutting God out of the picture.

Most people have something in their lives that is clutter and not needed. You may be able to identify some things in your own life. Ask yourself, what is holding you back from knowing God more?

2 Timothy 2_15

What is keeping you from reading and studying God’s Word more?

What is keeping you from hearing from God more in your own life?

All these things are clutter and need to be removed. Work on decluttering your life and strive to get closer to God. Get rid of the things that really don’t matter or are hurting your relationship with God.

As you do this, you will know that your relationship with God is the greatest thing you can ever have. It will be the foundation on which the rest of your life will find purpose.

Psalm 66:10 Tested And Refined

For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. Psalm 66:10

Very few people look forward to a test. Unless a person knows that he is completely ready for that test, with absolutely no fear of failing it, tests are usually dreaded.

Even once the test is over and a person has passed the test, very few enjoyed it. Most look at the test wondering why they had to take it or why some of the questions were even on the test. Tests are rarely looked at as a good thing, unless given to someone else.

The psalmist had been talking about giving God praise and singing songs of praise to God for what He had done. One of the things he praised God for, was for being tested and refined.

Testing is a process of verifying what a person should know and how they would do things. It is also a refining process.

Refining silver is the process in which a person removes all the bad stuff out of the silver metal. Silver, straight from the ground, has many other things, than just silver, mixed into it. It needs to be cleaned out. The best process of removing that garbage is heating up the metal and putting it through the test of fire. Doing that is hot and painful.

In your life as a believer, God does the same testing and refining process. As God puts you through a test to refine you. He is working at removing the garbage, sin, in your life. God wants you to walk, talk, think, and act just like Jesus.

That testing and refining period can, and most likely will be, painful. It is the time of removing things from your life that you have allowed in, that God does not want there.

Some people look at that time of process as a time when God hates them or is being mean. Do not look at it that way. It is God showing His true love for you. If He did not love you, then He would let you live with garbage in your life, but He does love you and care for you.

God will not allow garbage to remain in you.

Will you give God praise for what He is doing in your life, even if it is painful?

Allow God to test and refine you into the image of Jesus.

I pray today that you will see God’s testing of you as an act of love; that you will allow God to change you; that you will give God praise for all He does; and that you will shine like Jesus.