[Jesus] entered Jericho and was passing through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. LUKE 19:1- 3 ESV
There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, and it lies heavily on mankind: a man to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so that he lacks nothing of all that he desires, yet God does not give him power to enjoy them… ECCLESIASTES 6:1- 2 ESV
I have an emotional bank account that money and honor cannot fill
For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water. JEREMIAH 2:13 ESV
So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. LUKE 19:4 ESV
Real joy is on a radically different path
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. PSALMS 16:11 ESV
And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. LUKE 19:5-6 ESV
When I receive Jesus, I receive everything I need
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. JOHN 15:11 ESV
And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” LUKE 19:7 ESV
And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” LUKE 19:8-10 ESV
Courage to give, starts with giving myself to Jesus
And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. 2 CORINTHIANS 8:1-5 NLT
Personal Reflection Guide
Take a few deep breaths, setting aside the events of the day; invite God into this time, asking him to help you be real with yourself and him right now. On a scale from 1 to 10, how “safe” do you feel (emotionally, financially, etc.) in your life right now? Confess to God those areas where you feel vulnerable, and ask him to meet you in those places. As you do this, imagine God sitting next to you in those vulnerable places. What does this feel like? Ask God for reassurance that he sees you, that he knows you, and that you are valuable to him.
As you ask these questions, journal through your thoughts and experience in the space below, and, if you are comfortable, share with the group what God revealed to you during this time.
Personal Reflection: Take the first few minutes of group time to do the Personal Reflection Guide (linked on the sermon notes), perhaps playing some quiet music in the background. Have someone close this time in prayer, asking God to open your hearts to him and each other as you discuss the questions below.
- Real With Self: What are some ways that money has changed your heart?
- Real With Self: When have you used money or honor to feel good about yourself? What was that like? What would it look like to rely more on God to meet those needs?
- Real With God: Recall an incident in which you gave to someone (your time, your skills, or your money) and received back much joy. What do you think God was teaching you through this experience?
- Real With God: When Zacheus was real with himself, it got the attention of Jesus. What would it look like for me to do the same? What things might be holding you back?
- Real With Others: Satan wants to keep us distracted and exhausted. What are those things in your life that are an exhaustion or distraction that keep you from experiencing all God has for me?
- Take Action: Read Philippians 4:19 (NLT). Consider the resources God has given you in time, money, and skills. Rest in his promise that he will meet all your needs. What is one action you can take this week to help unleash a culture of generosity in your home, your workplace, your relationships?