Trinity Bible Church Ottawa
Sunday's A Coming - June 8 2012
My Dear Friends:
A couple of weeks ago a number of you joined at the front of the church to pray over Theresa in preparation for the surgery she was about to undergo to address the cancer that was in her body. Since that time many of you have been asking for updates on her. Below is her update in which she shares what is really important. Praise God for her witness to Christ in our midst. (Theresa has given me permission to share this.)
Good morning Shawn,
I cannot tell you how excited I am to be able to come to church on Sunday!!! I want to worship and praise the Lord for all that He has done, along with the Body of wonderful friends He has blessed me with. Your Sunday's A Coming really spoke to me with regards to Hope. Not only have I grown closer to the Lord through my journey so far, but closer to my family and friends, including the people at TBCO, my Christian brothers and sisters. When we're in a place of "needing" hope, we truly realize that HE is the provider of that hope and He is the reason for that hope. To have fellow believers praying with me, over me, and for me, asking for His peace, and hope, has demonstrated to me (& MANY others) how the Lord brings us closer to one another and to Him, through His people, His body, and how He answers prayers. Relationships are so important to Him, and He made that very clear to me through all this.
I am so blessed to be part of a wonderful Church, full of loving people who are so faithful………………………
See you Sunday!!!!
My Dear Friends:
So Jesus is traveling. He’s on the move. His custom, as He moves from town to town is to chose someone to eat with. In Luke 19 we learn that Jesus is traveling down to Jerusalem with a crowd to celebrate the Passover feast. Of all the houses in Jericho, of all the people who Jesus could have picked to stay with, he chooses a guy who others would avoid, and causes a scandal. He chose to dine at the home of a tax collector, Zaccchaeus.
As Jesus enters Jericho with the crowd, the camera angle shifts and focuses on a tax collector in the town. Tax collecting was like legalized extortion. Everybody hated the tax collectors, because they broke you. The chief tax collector for a particular region leased from the Romans the right to collect taxes, and then oversaw subordinate tax collectors from whom he collected a commission. The situation allowed Zacchaeus to get very rich, and the chief tax collectors were hated even more than their subordinates.
If you were the chief tax collector for a region this is probably what would have happened to you. One, your family would disown you. Two, you would never be allowed to worship in the synagogue, and Three, you’d be looked at as negatively as a murderer.
Based on this, it is safe to conclude that Zacchaeus was miserable on the inside. How do I know that? It’s very simple. I know because you can’t have a guilty conscious and feel good about yourself at the same time. He knew that he was ripping people off, and that would have caused him to lose most of his self-respect over a period of time. What we have here is a guy who has a lot of money but doesn’t like himself. But one day, a brief encounter with Jesus, changed his life. Why? Because he learned how much he mattered to God.
I love this story. It’s an awesome story for those days when you wake up and you look in the mirror and conclude that you aren’t the person you wish you were. It’s an important story for it offers hope to all of us. Since Jesus could point to Zaccaeus and call him by name and request fellowship with him then I know that God will and does call me by name and invite me to have fellowship with him. The great news is this. God does, and is, pointing to you and saying that He wants to have fellowship with you. Imagine that, the God of the universe is calling you by name and wants to be close to you.
On Sunday we will take an in depth look at this message of hope for all. See ya Sunday.
God loves you and so do I, shawn.