Tag Archives: repentance

Repentance: A Little Man’s Perspective

JesusZacchaeus

I’ve always been intrigued by the story of Zacchaeus. I’m amazed that so many lessons can be learned from 10 bible verses which tell the story of an inquisitive man’s encounter with Christ.

Today I’d like to discuss Zacchaeus’ response to Christ, how his encounter caused a change in his character and God’s ability to exceed our expectations of Him.

The first thing to note in this story is that Zacchaeus had no intention of MEETING Jesus when he climbed in that tree. In verse 3 of Luke 19 it says that

“he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature.”

Put frankly Zacchaeus simply wanted to put a face to the name of a man everyone was talking about, but because he was short and the crowd was thick he had to take what could be deemed as extreme measures to accomplish his goal. When he climbed into that tree on the day that  Jesus was passing he was not expecting to have an encounter with God. He really just thought he had figured out a way to overcome the problem he faced: being too short to see.

That day however, Zacchaeus got more than he bargained for and his encounter with Christ made Him a better man. In the account of this story, the bible tells us that Jesus stood under the tree and acknowledged Zacchaeus by name and then proceeded to go to his home to share a meal with him. Can you imagine Zacchaeus’ surprise when Christ decided to meet with him, a dishonest man, who was hated by many?

The exhilarating part of this story for me is how Zacchaeus responded to being in Christ’s presence. Verse 8 of Luke chapter 19 says

Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”

What we see is that while in God’s presence Zacchaeus not only acknowledged his wrong doings but he also made decisions to do what was necessary to reimburse those persons whom he stole from. Zacchaeus’ response to Christ has within it a clear model of what repentance looks like. Repentance is the acknowledgement of your sin and a decision to no longer do that thing which displeases God. It requires us to confess to God that we were wrong and sometimes it means doing what is necessary to undo some of the hurt we caused through our ungodly actions. Zacchaeus also teaches us that Godly encounters – through prayer, worship, the word of God, prophesies, dreams, visions, etc. – help us to change those things which are displeasing to God while building our character.

In addition to Zacchaeus’ response in this story I can’t help but admire and appreciate God’s ability to meet us at the point of our needs – even when we don’t realise how badly we need Him – and to exceed every possible expectation we have of Him at the same time.

I remember once I prayed and asked God for a new job because I felt stagnant in the one I had at the moment. Mere weeks after talking to God about it I got an answer to my prayer in the most unexpected way. God did not give me a new job. Instead, he allowed the managing director of the company I worked for to see my potential for a position I was not qualified for and because of that, I was transferred to another department and promoted. The ironic thing is, I wasn’t only unqualified but I was the youngest and most recent addition to the staff. Most of my colleagues could not understand the decision made by my manager but I knew it was God’s way of exceeding my expectations of him. Needless to say I went on to be very successful at that job and before I resigned I was responsible for spearheading major developmental projects for the company.

I guess what I’m getting at ideally, is the fact that it is possible to encounter God and see a change in our lives and circumstances because of that encounter. It is possible to experience the power of God to influence change in us and to see ourselves move from a place of sin to a place of repentance and restoration in Christ. Like Zacchaeus, we may not be expecting a life changing encounter with God but once we have a desire or an expectation of Him, He can meet and exceed all that we desire.

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Testimony – True Repentance Is Key

repentance

First i give all thanks and glory to the Holy Spirit for using my brother Michael, as an instrument or better said as my spiritual father, for he is the one who spent so much time and patience in helping me to know the truth of Jesus Christ.

My life as a youth was a troubled one because at a very tender age i got involved with drugs and this led me to a life full of sin such as lies, women, alcohol and the list goes on. Somewhere along the road of destruction i met and fell in love with a Spanish girl who also played; and is still playing, an important role in my life.

We have been married for the past 38 years now. I think it was in 1975 when I first traveled to Venezuela and there I got married to Rosa Amelia, the girl i met and fell in love with in Trinidad. After living in Venezuela for a few years I returned to Trinidad leaving my family in Merida. At that point we already had two children Carolina and Patrick Joseph. While being in Trinidad all by myself my sinful life became more aggressive. I started to cheat on my wife, I got involved with harder drugs. I found hope in the book of Acts.16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shall be saved, and thy house.

Once again the Lord sent my Brother Michael to my rescue. Michael provided me with the needed funds and I returned to Venezuela and was reunited with my family. At this point let me just say that I had already been baptized and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my savior. However I never really fulfilled all the requirements for truly accepting Jesus as my Lord and savior. The book of Acts 2:38 says  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

REPENT. I got baptized but I didn’t repent totally as I continued to live a life in darkness. It was not until I found myself on a hospital bed on the verge of a heart attack due to my drug addiction that I finally became aware that without JESUS I couldn’t make it. Being there I remembered one of the scriptures in Jeremiah that says Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is his name; Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not (Jer 33:2-3). At that point I called out I really cried out “Beloved Father please get me through this one” and you know what? The Lord heard my cry and he answered my prayer because he saw that finally I was really sorry for my sins. I made the Lord a promise to serve him from that day on.

I give all Thanks, Honor and Glory to the King of Kings for He has allowed me to be serving Him for these twenty years now. (Hallelujah)!!!

– Patrick Scantlebury

 

If you have a testimony you’d like to share with us feel free to contact us on facebook @Testimonies of His Goodness or email it to testifywithme@gmail.com 

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Daily Dose – An End To Mourning

mourning

Matthew 5:4  Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.

How often do we think of mourning as a good thing? When it comes to sin, it is.

Those who sorrow over their own sinfulness will turn to God for forgiveness. When he willingly responds to their repentance, mourning ends.

Comforted by God’s pardon, transformed sinners celebrate – and joyous love for Jesus replaces sorrow.

 

*Everyday Encouragement – Pamela L. Mcquade

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