The Need For A Sycamore

Luke 19:1-10
“And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.” Luke 19:1

By this point is Jesus’ earthly ministry, people from far and wide had heard about him and his supernatural miracles.  They had heard of him feeding the 5,000 with just a small lad’s lunch and his ability to heal diseases with a simple touch.  People from all over had head of Jesus and wanted to know more about him.

This particular day, at the beginning of Luke 19, Jesus was passing through Jericho.  As word spread throughout the city, a multitude began to form around Jesus (as usual).  People from all parts of the city had come to see the man that they had heard so many stories about, the man that claimed to be the Son of God.

In the midst of the crowd was a man named Zacchaeus.  “And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.” (\Luke:19:2  He lived a very busy life as the chief among the publicans, but apparently had still heard enough about Jesus to be interested in his passing through town.  He wanted to see the man behind the stories.  The man that performed all these miracles with seemingly no effort.  There was only one problem… Zacchaeus was a short man and couldn’t see Jesus through the crowd of people.

You see the problem?  There is a man who is interested in Jesus, but has no way to get to him on his own!

As Zacchaeus looked around for a solution to his problem, he saw a sycamore tree.  Verse 3 says, “And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.” On his own, Zacchaeus was unable to see Jesus but with the help of the sycamore tree he was able to clearly see past all the crowd and see Jesus for the first time!

Looking at this story, I realize that I have alot of sycamore trees in my life that I am thankful for!

1) Bro. Tony – I was saved at the age 7 in Bro. Tony’s Sunday school class.  I needed someone to explain sin to me, show me that I am a sinner, and then tell me about Jesus and his saving grace!  I am very thankful for Bro. Tony and his willingness to be a sycamore tree in my life.

2) My Parents – I am thankful for my parents raising me in a good church.  There were times that I didn’t really want to go, but they made sure I was there regardless.  When I was 16, I was tired of church, started working on Sundays, and stopped going to church most weeks.  My parents switched churches to one closer to our house and convinced me to give it a shot.  After one Sunday I was hooked!  The people of the church were so friendly and invited, they really made me feel like family.  My parents have been a great sycamore tree in my life!

3) Bro. Earl – Once I started attending church faithfully again, the youth group became a big part of my life.  Bro. Earl was my Youth Pastor during this time and he was my biggest role model!  I looked up to him in every way.  He always made sure that we were in good environments to make good decisions.  He was there when I rededicated my life to God, got called to preach on a youth trip to New Mexico, and when I was trying to decide where to go to college.  Bro. Earl was a crucial sycamore tree in my life and I am thankful for him every day!

There are many other people that have been sycamore trees in my life, but these are ones that stick out in my mind first.  The point is, everyone that is following God’s will for their life can look back and see the sycamore trees that God placed in their lives to help them get there.

There is a world full of people out there.  Most of them have heard the stories of Jesus.  They have heard of the miracles, the healings, and the supernatural events in his life.  There is no doubt people out there that would like to know more about Jesus but they lead very busy lives  (like Zacchaeus) and don’t really know how to get to Jesus on their own.  They need a sycamore tree!  Maybe it’s a teenager in the youth group who comes every other week but isn’t too involved, so you don’t pay much attention to him.  Maybe it’s your neighbor who sees your family leave for church every Sunday morning but isn’t sure if they would be welcomed to join.  Whoever it is, they are out there trying to find Jesus… They just need a little help.

I wouldn’t be where I am today without the sycamore trees in my life.  Let’s strive to be sycamore trees for others every chance we get!  Help others get to Jesus!

Written by Ty Campbell, Assistant Pastor/Youth Pastor at Hillcrest Bible Baptist Church, Arkansas City, KS

3 Things to Do Everyday (part 2)

You can listen to the podcast version of this post here!

As a Christian, we should live everyday to magnify and honour Christ. We should live in such a way that the people around us know that we are a Christian. Your lifestyle should set you apart from the world. Your walk and talk should let people know that there is something different about you.

As a Christian, you should not fit in with the worldly crowd. We should always be good examples of Christ everyday, everywhere we go.

I was thinking about this and I thought of three things that we can do to help us in standing out from the world.

In part 1 of this series, we talked about GLORIFYING GOD on a daily basis and giving the honour and glory for everything He has done in our life.

Today, I want to talk about the 2nd thing we should do every day and that is to GIVE TO GOD.

GIVE TO GOD

  1. As soon as we hear the phrase, ‘Give to God’ we automatically think of money. God really doesn’t need our money, He just wants our obedience.
  2. We can give more to God than just our money (treasure)
  3. We can give our time and our talents also.
  4. Treasure – “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:21 KJV Yes we need to tithe and give our offerings, but we can also use our money to be a blessing to those around us.
  5. Time – “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.”  Proverbs 8:17 KJV We need to give God some of our time every day. He desires to have a relationship with us, He wants to fellowship with us. God has done so much for us, He has given us so much, that we in return should be willing to spend some time with Him everyday. You can read your Bible and pray everyday. It is simple, but I fear most Christians probably don’t even think twice about spending with God.
  6. Talents – “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” Ecclesiastes 9:10 KJV If God has given you the ability to be good at something, be the best you can at it and use it to serve God. Too many people let their talents go to waste or use it for their own selfish gain. God gave us the talent so that we in return can use it for Him and to further His Kingdom.

 

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Which Typical Christian Are You?

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In the WordPress world, the daily prompt is ‘typical’. I try to look at the prompts each day and see if it sparks an idea to write about. I looked at today’s prompt this morning and have been thinking about it all day.

The first thing I usually do is see what the word actually means. So here is a definition of typical: having the distinctive qualities of a particular type of person or thing. 

I got to thinking about how this word typical can apply to the Christian life. My question is are you a typical Christian? Are you a typical Christian according to the world’s standards or to God’s standards?

A typical Christian in the world’s eyes may consist of someone who goes to church Sunday morning, doesn’t party too much and tries to live a clean life. I am sure there are other reasons that the world would give in there definition of a typical Christian, but I want to focus on God’s view of a typical Christian.

What is God’s standard of a typical Christian?  I believe it is someone who walks with Him on a daily basis, they have a close relationship. A typical Christian in God’s eyes is someone who worships Him. They worship Him in a biblical sense giving Him all the honour and glory and praise for everything in their life. Another standard of a typical Christian is one who works for God. They don’t do the right thing because men are watching, they do the right thing because God is watching.

If we base our Christianity off of the world, than yes we will be a typical Christian in the world’s eyes. But we will fail to hit the mark that God has set for us. It is all up to you to decide which kind of typical Christian you want to be.

via Daily Prompt: Typical

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