Monday, September 13, 2010



OK, so Jesus says "Where two or three gather together in His name, He will be in their midst", but is there any other indicator about seeing Jesus at work in your life? I think there are a few helpful guidelines in finding Jesus at work around you.

FIRST-Jesus is focused on those in need, therefore look for Jesus as you are able to show concern for and offer help for the needy around you. This is where His heart is. He even says that when you feed, clothe and love those in need, you are actually ministering to Jesus, Himself.

SECOND-Jesus is focused on children, therefore look for Jesus to be hanging around them. Children do see things differently and say things innocently from the heart.

THIRD-Jesus doesn't make appointments; He will show up unexpectedly. If your day is interrupted, look for Jesus to show up in that interruption. Instead of being annoyed with your schedule being interrupted, look for Jesus there. In examining the life of Jesus you will see that He walked in and out of people's lives on His calendar. Although there are a few times Jesus initiates encounters with people, most of the time people seek Him out personally or on behalf of loved ones. In either case, when Jesus encounters a person in need, His touch is always healing and life-giving. None of these encounters were on anyone's appointment book. Each was an interruption to their daily routine.

If you are met with irritations or troubles, look for Jesus to show up through these. I have found that some of the most irritating people I know have been used by the Lord to teach me something I really needed. Look for Jesus to show up in the midst of your troubles, too. It's not that Jesus causes us these irritations or troubles; He is always present to use them for our benefit.

You see, the reason why you can find Jesus around you throughout your day is that Jesus is relentlessly searching for children and child-like faith, those who are in need and those who are caught up with irritations and troubles. And He uses all of these players and situations to grow us up spiritually.

In the fifteenth chapter of the Gospel of Luke Jesus offers three stories about His relentless search for those who are lost-the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost child-the prodigal son. All of these illustrate the primary theme of Jesus' day every day. He is out to seek and to save or rescue those who have lost their way.

No matter what the touch of Jesus accomplishes in the life of a person, there is always the same result. Each and every person comes to the point of repentance. "Repentance" gets a bad rap. Most think of repentance as a highly emotional decision-a dramatic conversion experience. Now, repentance may include such emotion, but basically repentance means to change your mind about something or change your direction-turn around. It is usually referring to turning back to God-getting back on track. I like to think about it as simply coming to your senses.

There is an interesting encounter with Jesus that Jesus actually initiates. It's when Jesus met a tax-collector by the name of Zaccheus. Let's look in on what happened: Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He 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.

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a sinner."

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."

NOTE that Jesus invites Himself to lunch at Zach's house. And even before they made it to his house for lunch, there is an immediate change in the heart of Zaccheus. It's amazing to me how quickly Zaccheus wants to rectify his wrongs against the people he had over-taxed. He repented. He came to his senses about what he was doing.

I see this all of the time with people. When they encounter Jesus, there is a dramatic coming to their senses about material things, about their family responsibilities, about their finances and about their sense of mission. This initial response to an encounter with Jesus indicates a genuine heart decision to follow Jesus.

Now note what Jesus' response was to the changes in Zaccheus. Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost." (Luke 19:1-10)

When you're looking for Jesus everyday, you will find Him actively seeking those who have lost their way. What Jesus wants from you is to be aware of His activity, cooperate with Him in His many encounters with people around you and to do whatever you can do to advance the conversation of Jesus in the marketplace. You see, when you are looking for Jesus every day, you begin to partner with Him. To be a partner with Jesus is to participate in bringing people to their senses. By the way, your life will begin to make more sense, too.

So, seek for Jesus and you will find Him every day. He is setting up all kinds of random appointments every day. All He wants you to do is to show up!

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