Focal Passages: Luke 19:1-10; 2 Corinthians 8-9; 1 John
Anyone who has traveled in larger cities has come across
beggars and panhandlers. They often gather along well-traveled thoroughfares,
whether the off-ramps of freeways, heavily-trafficked sidewalks near stores and
restaurants, or just by accosting you while entering or exiting your vehicle in
a parking lot. They “look” needy, but are they really? USA Today once wrote some of these
“panhandlers” make over $70,000 a year — just by looking pitiful!
As believers, those who profess to belong to Christ, we are to
be different from those outside of a relationship with Christ.
This means we view the world, ourselves and what we have
differently. We are no longer of this world since we belong to Christ and His
kingdom. Since our “citizenship” is to another King, we should also act
One of the most important characteristics of this difference
is how we treat our belongings, our things.
When we reach the point we view our money, our stuff and our
goods as not ours, but that money, stuff and good belong to Christ, it is then
that people can see Christ in our lives most clearly!
In Luke 19:1-10, Zacchaeus demonstrates the changed nature
of someone who has encountered Christ in a life-changing way. Jesus had
announced to both Zacchaeus and the crowd He was going to the house of
Zacchaeus was so overjoyed, he stood and proclaimed how
Jesus had changed him — he was going to give away “half” of all he possessed
and restore four-fold what he had swindled. No one forced him.
Jesus had not made this a requirement of salvation.
Zacchaeus was a changed man.
When we realize who we are, then we have a chance to
demonstrate what we are.
Only after coming to this conclusion will anyone else be
able to determine to whom we belong.
When we see Jesus, really see Him like Zacchaeus did, we
will be unable to react in any other way except joyful worship! The Lord of all
Creation has made us His!
We will desire to tell everyone about the one who “called us
out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
This will affect our character, our relationships and our
We’re His, and all we have is His.
By giving some of His things away to accomplish His
purposes, we will experience a joy beyond description and give proof of His
love within us! What better reason is there to be generous?