Saturday, 30 April 2016

True Restoration

True Restoration

Scripture:  Luke 19 v 8 - 10:
"And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him four-fold.  And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, inasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham." 

Zacchaeus was a very rich man who lived near Jericho, and some of his goods were obtained by blackmail.  Yet when Jesus visited his town, this short little man longed to see him, but was unable to get a glimpse of Him because of the crowds.  So he climbed a tree to see Him better.

Jesus always knows our hearts, and He knew Zacchaeus!  He stood under that tree and told him, I am coming to have a meal at your house!  Immediately, Zacchaeus stood before Him and the power of the Holy Spirit on Jesus convicted him of sin.  I will make restitution, he said, half my possessions to the pour and four times the amount I extorted!

Jesus said now is salvation come to this house.  He knew that there is a curse on every one who steals, or uses His name as a blasphemy.  (Zechariah 5 v 3-4).  He also knows that it is not enough to just have forgiveness of sin, we need to make right with those we have wronged.  We need to restore to them if we have taken from them - goods, respect, forgiveness.

God says unless we forgive He will not forgive our sins.  How many people are struggling with their faith on this point alone?  Mark 11 v 26.  How many are struggling financially because they need to confess that they have conned people, stolen goods, blackmailed family for drugs or alcohol etc etc.?  The Lord says My people perish for lack of knowledge.

We don't know what is required of us.  We are ignorant until the Holy Spirit convicts us of things which we need to put right.  It brings salvation to your house.  A strong faith and testimony.  Like Zacchaeus who is remembered to this day for his obedience.

So take this opportunity to examine your heart and allow the Holy Spirit to shine into every nook and cranny of your soul.  If there is anything lurking there then fix this area quickly so you will be free of any barriers that may stand between you and Jesus, preventing a true freedom of worship and serving Him in Spirit and in truth.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the testimony of Zacchaeus to show us that confession of sin includes a restitution clause to show that we don't just use forgiveness of sin as a cop out.  True restoration is to love others more than ourselves, and to treat them the way we want You to treat us.  Help us to know and understand the depths of our commitment to You. In Jesus' name. Amen.