Sermon Reflections from A Lighthouse for the Wounded and Weak | Stephanie Murphy | February 12, 2023
We had the privilege of hearing from Stephanie Murphy this Sunday. She challenged us to look at a familiar passage in Luke 19:1-10 in a new and different way. Knowing that Jesus is the ultimate Spiritual Director for our lives and uses the Holy Spirit to guide us as we read His Word, we need to look deeper to see what Jesus has for us.
The story begins with Zacchaeus being vertically challenged as he sought to climb a nearby tree to see Jesus as he passed by. He knew he could not push his way through the crowd as no one wanted a Jewish tax collector standing anywhere near them. They were despised and seen as ‘thieves’ and traitors as they worked for the Roman government for their own financially good. Jesus knew where Zacchaeus was and what he needed. God always knows as He is omniscient and sees our every need. Not only does he see us but he knows exactly what we need. He knew Zacchaeus needed to be with him and be confronted about his lifestyle so He called to him to come down. Zacchaeus responded to Jesus’ call. Jesus’ call is one with a promise like in Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” And Luke 6:47 “As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like.” Because He sees us, He calls us with purpose that is filled with His love and grace.
When Jesus called Zacchaeus to come down, he spoke with him and invited himself to Zacchaeus’ home for dinner. He wanted to build a relationship with him and get to know him on a personal level. This invitation caused Zacchaeus to be aware of his sin and seek Jesus’ forgiveness. Meeting Jesus always causes us to confront our sins. Zacchaeus knew immediately that his money practices were not right and proclaimed he would change them ASAP. James 4:17 reminds us that “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” Zacchaeus knew that what he was doing was wrong and meeting Jesus personally caused him to be confronted with his own sins and repent. Likewise the Samaritan woman who Jesus met by the well, desired the living water he offered. He confronted her about her 5 husbands and she saw immediately that he was a prophet. She asked further in Luke 4:25-26 “ The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.” Jesus will meet each of us personally just like he did Zacchaeus and the Samaritan woman. He will reveal our sin and lead us to repentance if we are willing.
When Jesus meets us, he transforms our lives like he did Zacchaeus. 2 Corinthians 5:17 describes this change the Holy Spirit brings within us: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! Zacchaeus was a new man! He was transformed by his Savior and freed from the guilt and sin that shackled his life. He knew he was forgiven when Jesus said, “Today salvation has come to this house!” Luke 19:9
What about you? Are you listening for His call? God’s word promises we will hear his voice and know it. John 10:27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
Are you seeking a relationship with Him? Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” What is on your to do list? Are you looking for a good Bible study so you can get into His Word and discover more clearly who Jesus is? Do you pray and seek his guidance and connection daily? Do you worship regularly and surround yourselves with other believers to talk about God and what He is doing in your lives? All these are things seekers do to encounter and stay connected to Jesus.
Do you know the freedom from sin that Jesus brings? In 2 Corinthians 7:10 Paul puts it this way,” Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” Take a look at your repentance. Is it godly and based upon His holiness or are you just trying to compare yourself to the world and be good enough? Godly repentance is complete and leaves you free as Jesus intends. I love John 8:36 “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!”
Thanks Stephanie for challenging us to engage our emotions and feelings as we look to scripture and see what God would have us do in response to Him. Jesus desires to lead and direct us on the pathway of our lives that would be for His glory and our good.
The Unknown Love | A Lighthouse for the Wandering and the Lost
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Sermon series, "The Unknown Love " Today Stephanie Murphy share how to Christ is directs us to God
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