This post was written by Maggie Dillard.
You can read more from Maggie on her blog, A Simple Hallelujah
This morning I read about Zacchaeus and the time he got to spend with Jesus (Luke 19:1-10) in a book called “Jesus is .” by Judah Smith. Smith asks, “What was it that Jesus said to [Zacchaeus] that changed this lifelong taker into a lavish giver?” Smith believes the Bible skips over what they talked about because we’d try to turn it into a “recipe” or a program to save other people, but it really wasn’t what Zacchaeus talked about—it was the person he talked with. It was simply just being with Jesus. This one moment that he spent with Jesus changed everything.
We all struggle with sins, even if they are secret sins that no one even knows about. But, Jesus did not come to accuse us, prosecute us, or shake His finger in our face. He came to redeem us, rescue us, and sacrifice His life for our sake. Smith says, “Like Zacchaeus, just spend time with Jesus. Don’t hide from Him in shame or reject Him in self-righteousness. Don’t allow the opinions of other people to shape your concept of Him. Get to know Him for yourself, and let the goodness of God change you from the inside out.”
It’s all about having those moments with Jesus that “…change everything.” It’s about realizing your sin, and deciding that having nothing but Jesus is better than having everything instead of Jesus. When we avoid spending time with Jesus, it becomes easier to sin and not feel conviction. This sin creates the impure, dirty thoughts that prohibit the light of Jesus from shining through us. It forms a film, a layer of dirt that keeps our beauty hidden.
A lot of people, women and girls especially, desire for others to think of them as beautiful. We are constantly comparing ourselves to the pictures we see in the magazines and the movies we see on TV. However, the beauty that is found there is a false kind of beauty. It’s manipulating and fleeting. It’s the kind of beauty that is wrapped up in sin and covered in that layer of dirt.
But when we spend time with Him, focus our thoughts on pure, holy things, and allow the Holy Spirit to penetrate our lives, the light of Jesus is able to shine through us much more brightly causing us to look beautiful in the eyes of each person we meet.
Instead of allowing my sins to control me, I will give them to Jesus, and allow Him to form something more beautiful deep within my heart, and “let the goodness of God change me from the inside out.”
1 John 1:7-9 ESV “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
Have a great week!