Tag Archives: change

Lessons from Zacchaeus: Lost and Found

 

Luke 19:1-10

1Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way. 

When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” 

Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled. 

Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!” 

Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” 

 

I love the story of Zacchaeus. I love the lessons in it. The truth that if you want God to change your life, He can, and will. Zacchaeus knew what he was. He knew what people thought about him. But he wanted Jesus. He wanted to change. So how does he teach us to do that? 

  • Lesson 1: Want to see Jesus, no matter what it takes. (v. 3) 
  • Lesson 2: Put your pride aside. It would have to be a humbling experience to be so small that you have to climb a tree to see. (v. 4) 
  • Lesson 3: Accept His invitation and answer His call. Jesus calls to us, but few answer. Be willing to accept and answer. (v. 5) 
  • Lesson 4: Meet Him with excitement and joy. This is your Savior! Be excited about Him, be excited about salvation! (v. 6) 
  • Lesson 5: Let Him find you and change you. He can. (v. 8, 10) 

So there you have it, five simple lessons from Zacchaeus. They worked for him, I’m sure they can work for us too. Zacchaeus was lost, until he found the Jesus that had been looking for him. 

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Diversity

I could be wrong. I could be overreacting. But in my opinion (key words), there’s just too much of a lack of diversity in several areas of our lives. Maybe it’s just my being in the South that plays a part in this.

I believe we have all these unique people created in God’s image to be able to engage with one another. I don’t think He made us different to stay away from one another. I think it’s our differences that enable us to creatively cultivate ideas and concepts.

This is a short post, but I was curious to see if anyone else felt that the lack of diversity was an issue? I’m used to being the only black person in a lot of places, but should I have to be?

I could be wrong. I could be right. I just wanted to invite people to think about whether or not this is an issue where they are. It may not be. In fact, I hope it’s not. However, I do believe that if you can easily count the people in a room that look like you, it just may not be diverse enough.

 

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More

Adobe Spark (3)

 

 

If I had more faith

I could move mountains.

But maybe I should serve

And wipe off the water fountain.

 

I could change the world

If I had more power

Or maybe I could change it

If  I volunteered for an hour.

 

Think of what I could do

With a little more money

Or maybe I could offer tissue

To the person whose nose is runny.

 

Think of the possibilities

If I had a better title

Isn’t the title of servant

The most vital?

 

Wishing I had a better car

Is that so wrong?

Only when there is no gratitude

In your song.

 

More and more

We think that’s what it takes

When really it’s more love

That makes the world great.

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I’m Married Now

Well, I’m married now. I’m officially officially off the market. And it’s different. For him, maybe not so much yet, but for me, yes. I can feel the difference.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good different. Change is good. Marriage is good. And I think a lot of times marriages don’t work is because people don’t want to change. So if you don’t want to change, certainly don’t get married. Don’t even have a relationship if that’s the case.

But yes, I am Chanel Moore now. And when I say it’s different right now, I mean that it’s uniquely different. I sleep in the bed with someone, and it’s good. That’s a fun part.

I share finances with someone else. I make decisions with a counterpart. I have to consider someone else in pretty much everything I do now. And that’s not to say that we hadn’t started doing these things before we married (except sleeping together, please WAIT! It’s so worth it.). But it was almost like we did those things because it was nice to do. Now it’s a must.

I’m sure I will continue to chronicle about marriage. And I know it won’t be easy, but while it’s good, I want to talk about it. I want to have this accountability. I want to look back on this on tough days and remember why we got married.

I am married. And it’s different, but it’s good.

 

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Change Me?

You know, it’s interesting that when we pray for things that aren’t going our way, we pray for people to be changed. You know, my marriage isn’t going right because he won’t change. Or my job isn’t easy because my boss is ridiculous. Those types of things.

I believe we should pray for people. No doubt. But it’s interesting to me that we can be selfish enough to pray for everyone else to change, but not pray for ourselves. We can pray for our boss to change or for our husband to do better. But oddly enough, we’re hurt when God tells us we need to change.

Why would we pray for everything else to change, but feel like we should stay the same? If everythng else needs to be changed, isn’t there a possibility we could use a little reboot as well? Today, I believe God just wanted me to have this little reminder.

When things aren’t going my way. When he doesn’t get it. When they just seem too difficult to deal with. Maybe I should pray to have some things in my heart revealed before I pray that God change someone else. A change is gonna come, and it might have to start with me.

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Spiritual Cutlery, Part 2

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4) Listen – Oh be careful little ears what you hear.

  • Music is said to be used for “mood management.”
  • Have we noticed the correlation of disrespect in our culture with the degradation in the music of today?
  • How does certain music make you feel?

Ephesians 5:18-19; Psalm 95:1; Proverbs 2:2

What if you replaced or at least balanced that music with Christian music or an inspirational podcast?

5) TV – You see it and you hear it.

How much time do you spend watching TV? _________________________

How much time do you spend in prayer?      __________________________

We have a culture of desensitized, fantasizing Americans because we have watched too much TV. Forgive me if the stats are outdated now.

  • 56% of divorces involved a spouse with a porn addiction.
  • Average American spends 5 hours a day watching TV, has 5 social media accounts and spends 1 hour and 40 minutes a day on them.
  • Popular shows: The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, Empire, Basketball Wives, Love and Hip-Hop, Modern Family, HTGAWM, News etc…
  • African Americans watch 218 hours a month, while whites watch 155.3, Hispanics 123.2, and Asians 92.3.
  • The average Georgian spends about 12 minutes a day on religious activities.

Psalm 119:37; Isaiah 33:15

  • A mind is a terrible thing to waste, and to put waste into!

Proverbs 23:7 (KJV) –  For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…

The Main Point

Hebrews 4:12 (NLT) – For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

  • In essence, the only way to keep your mind sharp, is to keep it filled with the Word.

Vending machine – I put $1.00 in, I get $1.00 worth of food or drink out. I put the Word, and out comes the Word. I put in trash, well, eventually I start to smell it.

Transformation Chamber 

WE are called to live a different life. And that is going to require different time commitments and changes in what we put into our minds.

  • Romans 12:2 (NLT) – Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
  • Philippians 4:8 (NLT) – And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Remember the transformation chamber from Family Matters? When Steve mixed the right ingredients, he had the right formula to transform himself. In essence, he looked the same, but he was completely different when the right ingredients went into the chamber. When we step into the Word, our transformation chamber, we may look the same, but we don’t step out the same.

5-Minute Challenge: For one week, spend the first 5 minutes of your day with God (pray, read a devotion, listen to gospel music, or a podcast).

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Change in Relationships Bible Study

Embracing Changes for Good in Relationships: T.I.C.S.

Relationships are important. Relationships are good (Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). And even though they are important and good, there are still times when we don’t want to embrace the new things that come with them. Is it fear? Do we not want to change? Is it the fear of change? Tonight, we will discuss a few components that have to take place in true relationships.

  1. Trust – “Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”—Stephen Covey
  • Why is it hard to trust?
  • Trust equals vulnerability, we don’t like to be vulnerable.
  • Read Proverbs 3:5-6: If your trust is in the Lord, He will give you the ability to wisely trust others.
  1. Identity – “The value of identity of course is that so often with it comes purpose.”—Richard Grant
  • We don’t like to change who we are, no matter how much we need to, but why?
  • Galatians 3:26; Romans 8:14-16 – I am a child of God.
  • Your most important part of your identity never changes.
  • You don’t know who you are until you know Whose you are. —Ronnie Williams
  1. Compromise – “Let no one think that flexibility and a predisposition to compromise is a sign of weakness or a sell-out.”—Paul Kagame
  • Why not compromise?
  • I have to give of myself and trust you will do the same (thus leaving me vulnerable) …
  • Read Philippians 2:3-4: Show others that they matter.

Note: John 14:15: Compromise anywhere you can, but certainly not your beliefs.

  1. Sacrifice – “The most sublime act is to set another before you.” —William Blake
  • We don’t like or want to give up anything (especially if we don’t like to compromise).
  • Read John 15:13 – If giving up my life is great love, why can’t I give up my time, money, pride, etc.?

How can we cope with change?

Reprogram from society’s thinking: Have to v. Get to Mindset

  • We get to grow in these areas.

Question of the Day: If we struggle with these changes, and we are meant to be agents of change what are the steps that we are taking to build relationships with those in our communities who will struggle with the same things?

Beauty and the Beast – The transition of a flourishing relationship when one learns to trust, compromise, and sacrifice to become a better person.

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