October 6, 2017 – Trekking Towards Transformation – Pr. Noleen Mendes

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. – Luke 19:1-4

I’ve always loved the story of Zaccheus and although the entire story is a beautiful one, I especially love this part. It shows the diligent and persevering heart of a man who had chosen to not allow his physical challenges to become a distraction to his goal. Instead of hanging his head low and walk away from Jesus because he was “vertically challenged”, he was determined to find a way TO Jesus.

In the story of Zaacheus, I found that my journey with Jesus mirrored his own journey with Jesus. The same action steps Zaacheus took to bring about transformation are the same steps I took myself. I believe that many people want true, lasting transformation and I’m here to tell you that Jesus is the only way!! Here are 3 action steps Zaacheus took, I took, and you can take too, if you want real change:

  1. Run to Jesus…every day!! We need Him…every day!! He calls us…every day!! Don’t allow the “crowd” to distract you from seeking the Savior!
  2. Rest in Jesus…every day!! Resting in Jesus can be a challenge for me, especially when I’m pulled in so many different directions. Zaacheus reminds me to be excited in resting at the feet of Jesus. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) I know that I need this because when I neglect rest, my spirit feels frazzled. Jesus wants nothing better than to take our junk and fill us with His joy! God knows I had a lot of junk and He took them from me, but only as I sought Him out. The process of transformation begins when we choose to rest in His love and His plan for our lives.
  3. Reach out to people! Zaacheus is a man of action! So it’s not surprising that in verse 8, he follows through with “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” I always have something I can give to reach out to people. It took me a while to discover what could I possibly have that people would ever need or even want but as I stepped out of the boat in different areas, God began to show me where my gifts and talents were and He grew me in those areas to become an asset for His Kingdom.

Transformation is possible for anyone who truly desires it. But it takes some trekking, action steps, to bring this desire to full-fledged reality. Without moving forward, I would never have been able to taste and see that the Lord is, indeed, good.

Father God, I am so grateful for my transformation! I am nowhere near perfect, and will never be, but I continue to move forward to make the needed changes in my life to become more like you.  Jesus, please give me eyes like your eyes, that I may see the heart of people who desire to or need to know you. I pray, too, Holy Spirit, that you would help me to discern their needs and reach out to them.  In Jesus Name I pray…Amen!