Tag Archives: overcoming challenges

“[Zacchaeus] 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 19:3-4, NIV)

Our circumstances will often conspire to keep us from seeing Jesus — which includes doing the thing we know in our heart that we ought to do.

Zacchaeus was short.  The crowd was large — and taller than Zacchaeus.  But Zacchaeus didn’t curse the crowd.  He didn’t blame God; and he didn’t shrug his shoulders and surrender his desire to see Jesus.

Although short in stature, Zacchaeus’ mind was as good as anyone’s.  His will was as strong as anyone’s.  So, he didn’t focus on what he lacked; instead, he used what he had. The scripture says that Zacchaeus “ran ahead. . .”

Today, circumstances may conspire to keep you from following Jesus; but don’t give-in.  Do not focus on what you lack; seize and employ the things you have, as Zacchaeus did — and you will not only see Jesus, but Jesus will see you!  – Luther

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“Come near to God and he will come near to you.” (James 4:8, NIV)

How does the disciple of Jesus address internal conflict and external strife?

According to James: First, draw near to God, and submit to His rule in your life, and; second, resist the devil.

Yesterday, we focused on the latter.  Today, let’s look at the former.

The act of “drawing near” to God can be as simple as taking time to pray, but it is always intentional, and it always reflects our desire to enter the presence of our heavenly Father. It is in the presence of God that the child of God receives the wisdom necessary to address internal conflict and external strife.  – Luther

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