Lost People Do What Lost People Do

Posted: January 19, 2012 in Rubber on the Road - brief lessons from everyday life
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Lost people do what lost people do” – something I often hear my pastor say in response to the actions of others.  This saying frequently comes to mind when I hear people around me saying hurtful, damaging and degrading things or I see the sad choices that are made out of greed, lack of purpose and no self worth.  Truth be told, I have often been challenged being in and staying around those situations.  In previous blogs, I’ve shared about some of my struggles at work where many people use horrible language and talk about some of the most demeaning things. I’ve often thought, ‘I wonder if they act like that at home around their wife and kids?’  Yes, I know, the Lord has challenged me on more than one occasion about judging others… and again I am reminded that ‘lost people do what lost people do’ – it’s what they know. Besides, I am far from perfect myself. I just know that I’ve found hope and forgiveness in Jesus. Like Amazing Grace… I once was lost, but now I’m found or the blind man who said, “I was once blind, but now I see.”

Which brings me to the story I was reading this morning out of Luke 19:1-10.  This is the account of the short stubby tax collector, Zacchaeus, who Jesus calls out of a tree and invites Himself to his house for dinner. Now, that’s something you certainly don’t see everyday!

As I read this story, I was again challenged in my own life as I read Jesus’ response to this ‘lost’ tax collector.

  1. Intentional Friendships: vs. 5 reads – When Jesus came to that place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down! I must stay at your house today.”  Jesus intentionally put himself into the ‘world’ – into the environment of those He wanted to change. How do I expect Jesus to use me to love, encourage and share Him with the lost if I am not willing to intentionally put myself in their midst? It is exactly this ‘wrong crowd’ that Jesus wants to save and He wants to use people like you and I do be His hands, feet and voice.  I am reminded of what Jesus spoke in Mark 2:17 “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
  1. The Eyebrow Raisers: vs. 7 reads – All the people saw this and began to complain, “Jesus is staying with a sinner!”  When people heard about this, they were ‘shocked’ that the Rabbi, Holy man, Jesus would intentionally choose to eat dinner with such ‘vile’ people.  When we choose to be like Jesus, not everyone will think it’s a ‘cool’ thing and jump on our bandwagon. In fact, we may feel like we are venturing out alone.  But, Hebrews 13:5 says that God will never leave us or forsake us.  Besides, doing what Jesus did will always involve on some level, risk, adventure, trust and faith. But, it is so worth it!
  1. Just Be: vs. 8-9 read – But Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “I will give half of my possessions to the poor. And if I have cheated anyone, I will pay back four times more. Jesus said to him, “Salvation has come to this house today…” Notice Jesus said absolutely nothing to Zacchaeus prior to his response.  It would appear to me that simply Jesus’ desire to spend time with someone like himself and Zacchaeus knowing who He was, was all it took for him to make the decision to change his life. Powerful… powerful… powerful!!  Jesus was just himself. The message here… is just simply that. Life change comes more prevalently and profoundly when we just ‘be’ instead of trying to ‘do’.
  1. Bringin’ it Home:  in vs. 10, Jesus recaps this awesome story by simply stating why he was there in the first place and why we should be ‘there’ also – The Son of Man came to find lost people and save them.  Again, Jesus was being intentional in finding/looking for lost people.

This challenges me to think about the people I hang with.  Do I have ‘lost’ people that I would consider in my circles of friends; those I would choose to spend time with.  And when I am around people who swear, are a bit vulgar at times and maybe aren’t making the ‘best’ choices, is my attitude one of being judgmental, or is it one like Jesus, “Dude, hurry up, you and I are gonna have some fun today.” May I be more like Jesus – who doesn’t want any to be lost, but all to find hope, peace and salvation in Him.

‘Grace is the face that love wears when it meets imperfection.’ – from the book TrueFaced

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