Tag Archives: perseverance

“[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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“But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand.  When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”  (Matthew 7:26-27, NLT)

Most of our personal calamities or failures occur for lack of obedience to Jesus’ teaching.  It is not because the calamity is God’s “payback” for our disobedience; rather, it is because we have ignored God’s blueprint that we discover, frequently in tears, that our own designs are inadequate for the stresses of life.  In this instance, we are responsible for our choices.

It is helpful to note that in Jesus’ parable, both houses are beat upon by the rains, and assaulted by the floods.  However, only the house built on a solid rock is able to withstand the events that test our foundation.

When the next storm of life arrives, will your life’s foundation prove adequate?  Jesus says, “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.” (verse 24)  – Luther

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“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.”  (1 Peter 3:8, NIV)

Whether in the natural human family into which we were born, or the spiritual family of God into which we both chose and were chosen; success depends on:

1. Having the same values and goals (like-minded)

2. Showing sympathy for each other

3. Displaying love for one another

4. Showing compassion

5. Displaying humility in all things

Beginning today,  in the daily installments of “Daily Encouragement,” we will address each in turn.  For today, please consider the whole of 1 Peter 3:8, which was written to disciples that were attempting to live holy lives under extremely challenging circumstances.

Peter’s letters remind us today that we are never alone in our trials; and that God always provides us with the grace, and the tools to stand with integrity and with courage.  – Luther

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