"Then Jesus entered and walked through Jericho. There was a man there, his name Zacchaeus, the head tax man and quite rich. He wanted desperately to see Jesus..." - Luke 19:1-4 from The Message
Have you ever caught yourself dreaming about making more money or getting the big promotion? Why do we sometimes do that - think about what we would do if we suddenly became rich or super successful? It's because we realize there is more out there - and mistakenly think that what we want will be found through more money or prestige or professional advancement or some stuff we don't yet have. If we just had X then everything would be so much better. Sure, if you can't pay your rent or mortgage, yes, a bit more would be nice. But that's not where we usually are coming from, is it? Usually its all about the "one more thing" perspective that says "If I just get that one more thing, then I'm good".
The shock comes when you talk to someone who has that "one more thing" that you want and often they have realized it still doesn't satisfy! In Luke 19, you read about Zacchaeus who was at the top of his field in his town, very wealthy and yet he desperately wants to see Jesus. Is Jesus just his next "one more thing" experience? No - Jesus is the end of that quest - He actually IS that one more that delivers on the promise.
The Way. The Truth. The Life. Whatever you find yourself searching for beyond Jesus today, it is a false promise. Learn contentment with Christ. That little man named Zach realized where MORE is truly found when he sought on Jesus. He was satisfied - you can be too. Choose to stay focused on Jesus and what he offers - the rest is just marketing and madness, promising everything but ultimately delivering little.
SPARK - to turn over your engine.
“When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. The son started his speech: ‘Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son ever again.’
“But the father wasn’t listening. He was calling to the servants, ‘Quick. Bring a clean set of clothes and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a grain-fed heifer and roast it. We’re going to feast! We’re going to have a wonderful time! My son is here—given up for dead and now alive! Given up for lost and now found!’ And they began to have a wonderful time. - Luke 15:20-24 from The Message
Okay, so is God not listening to us sometimes? This version (The Message) seems to say so. Another version (The English Standard Version) puts it this way:
21And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' 22But the father said to his servants...
Same idea - the guilt stricken son is unloading his shame filled soul, and the Father doesn't even respond - He's too busy planning a celebration for His son who has come home!
Simple SPARK for today - whenever you feel the need to tell God what a lousy loser you are, how pathetic, how unworthy, how... oh just stop. He's probably not even listening. He LOVES you and is just glad you are home with Him safe and sound. Yes, own your wrongs. No, don't waste your time wallowing in guilt - Jesus has paid for it, and your Father isn't at all interested in beating you down - you are home with Him and He's wanting to celebrate redemption with you right now. Leave the guilt. Embrace your Father's love!
Spark. Big roaring fire to warm your heart.
what is "spark"?
Its a small thing - like the flash on a spark plug that hopefully ignites something bigger to propel you forward.