Luke 18:15-17 (NLT) 15 One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering him. 16 Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 17 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.
Luke 19:1-10 (NIV) 1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. 5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. 7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner.'" 8 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." 9 Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."
What we know about Zacchaeus:
1- A chief tax collector(A despised sinner)
2- He was rich
3- He was vertically challenged
A Childlike heart…
The Childlikeness of Zacchaeus- He Ran & He climbed a tree.
“Remaining curious about God is something we must maintain lest we become bored spiritually.”
Embrace mystery as an invitation.
Things that squelch curiosity:
1- Making excuses
2-Being a know it all
3- Looking elsewhere
“So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.”
Joy reciprocates: joy carries joy, the joy of Jesus.
Luke 12:32 (NLT) It gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.
Romans 14:17 (NIV) The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
“The lasting impact of our encounters will determined by how much of the joy of the Lord is present to carry them forward.”
He gladly gave up everything…..
Holiness that isn't happy isn't holiness.
1. Position Yourself
2. Respond to the invitation
“JESUS IS INVITING HIMSELF INTO OUT LIFE.”
Psalm 36:7-8 (NLT) 7 How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings. 8 You feed them from the abundance of your own house, letting them drink from your river of delights.
3- Posture Yourself
John 8:2-11 (NIV) 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" 11 "No one, sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."
Jesus provides freedom from….
Revelation 12:10, John 8: 44
The spirit of accusation…
Focusses on individuals not issues.
Labels and values people according to their weakness, failures & sins.
“One can be right in their assessment yet wrong in their assertion.”
Ephesians 4:15 (NLT) We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ.
Romans 8:1-4 (NLT) 1 There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. 3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
Condemnation &. Conviction= can feel the same.
Condemnation: Drives us away from Gods presence.
Conviction: (from Godly sorrow) Drives us into Gods presence. Invites us to share in holiness.
Shame is an identity issue.
“Go and sin no more” Not just forgiveness but Freedom!
Walking in Freedom: freedom & fellowship
1. Focus(not on our sins or the sins of others, not on the past)
Psalm 34:5 (NIV) Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
1 John 2:28 (NLT) Dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame.
John 3:17-18 (NIV) 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.
John 5:1-5 (NLT) 1 Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. 2 Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. 3 Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. 5 One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?” 7 “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.” 8 Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” 9 Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking!
The Urban legend Verse 4- An angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was made well from whatever disease with which he was afflicted.
Excuses of the Victim-
Verse 7: “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”
1. People- “I have no one….”
We will all deal with let down and disappointment but we control the condition of our hearts.
2. Methods- “into the pool”
“We need to make sure don't look for our encounter in a way that will keep us from receiving it!”
Psalm 20:6-7 (NIV) 6 Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand. 7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
3. Timing- “When the water bubbles up.”
We don't live from season to season we live from Glory to Glory!
“We are not waiting for a event to happen we are living from an event that already happened.”
4. Resources- “Gets there ahead of me.”
Isaiah 59:1 (NIV) Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.
Ephesians 3:16 (NLT) I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.
Living in Victory
Verse 8 Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”
1. Stand up
Arise from your circumstance up)
“Jesus puts an end of our excuses by providing a solution for our issues.”
2. Take up your Mat
The excuse you have been lying on. Pick it up and “move along.”
3. And walk.
Move forward…. into your destiny.
Bethesda: The house of mercy.
Mark 10:46-52 (NLT) 46 Then they reached Jericho, and as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road. 47 When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 “Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him. But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.” So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, he’s calling you!” 50 Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus. 51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked. “My rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road.
Set up for an Encounter…
1. He couldn't see but he could Hear.
In the Kingdom Hearing comes first:
-Faith comes by hearing. Rom 10:17
-Faith is the substance not Seen. Heb 11:1
“You may not see Gods promises but you can hear them!”
What we listen to drives our anticipation!
Because he COULD hear he COULD believe.
Because HE COULD believe he COULD hope.
Isaiah 49:23 Those who hope in me will not be disappointed.
2. He couldn't see but he could shout.
“Use what you do do have until you get what you don't have.”
Krazo: very loud scream.
“He might not have had the loudest voice but he had the deepest cry!”
Matthew 5:3 (NIV) “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
3. He couldn't see but he could shout… again
Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV) 7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
Vs 49 When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.” So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, he’s calling you!” 50 Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus. 51 “What do you want me to do for you?”
“What do you want me to do for you?”
Luke 12:32 (NKJV) It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Vs 52 Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road.
SOZO: Complete salvation. Physical, emotional, spiritual wholeness.
HE can fix everything in one encounter.
Mark 2:1-12 (NIV) 1 when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." 6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 "Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?" 8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, "Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins...." He said to the paralytic, 11 "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!"
John 1:17 (NIV) For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Verse 5 “When Jesus saw their faith…”
The Faith of Friends
“The encounter we need is often times connected with those we are community with.”
1. Built through community
Acts 2:42-44 (NLT) 42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. 43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders.
When we become isolated We loose our power.
2. Driven by Compassion
“Some people will only encounter the Lord because you are in there life.”
3. Carried out by carrying weight
Friends make a way.
Romans 12:15 (NIV) Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
What Jesus reveals in Encounter.
verse 5: “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Ephesians 1:7-9 (NIV) 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.
“Jesus was not just showing the man and his friends he could heal, he was showing them that He is God.”
2. Our identity
3. Our position
4. Our condition-
Verse 11 “Get up, take up your matt and Go home.”
Luke 12:32 (NLT) “It gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.”
1 John 5:4-5 (NIV) Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
Mark 5:21-34 (NLT) 21 Jesus got into the boat again and went back to the other side of the lake, where a large crowd gathered around him on the shore. 22 Then a leader of the local synagogue, whose name was Jairus, arrived. When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet, 23 pleading fervently with him. “My little daughter is dying,” he said. “Please come and lay your hands on her; heal her so she can live.” 24 Jesus went with him, and all the people followed, crowding around him. 25 A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. 26 She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. 27 She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. 28 For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition. 30 Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?” 31 His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” 32 But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and told him what she had done. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”
She had Issues:
1. Physical Issues
2. Financial Issues
3. Social Issues
4. Emotional & Mental Issues
1- Believe the rumors
Verses 27 She had heard about Jesus….
“As good as you heard or imagined that he is, He is better.”
2- Leave your safe space
“Sometimes you got to leave your safe space to get to the safer space”
“We can have an excuse or we can go after an encounter.”
3- Push through
“He has authority over the issue we take him to or the issues we bring to him.”
“He is not overly consumed with the drama in humanity to deal with your issues.”
4. Reach out and touch Him
Luke 8:45-46 (NIV) "Who touched me?" Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, "Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you." 4 But Jesus said, "Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me."
“We don't touch him with our hands. We touch him with our faith.”
Verse 34 “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”
“Faith places us in proximity to experience breakthrough!
Malachi 4:2-3 (NIV) 2 But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall. 3 Then you will trample down the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I do these things," says the LORD Almighty.
2 Corinthians 5:16-17 (NLT) At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.
SAUL OF TARSUS
Acts 9:1-9 (NIV)(See also Acts 22, 26) 1 Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" 5 "Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. 6 "Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do." 7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
5 Realities Concerning Encounters
1. Jesus wants to encounter us.
“ITS TIME FOR A DIVINE INTERRUPTION!”
2. Encounters demand a response
“Who are you, Lord?”
Encounters provoke intimacy
To Know: ginosko: Knowledge through personal experience.
….“Lord?” The second part of that response.
“Encounters that don't lead to a greater level God’s leadership are simply educational experiences.”
3. Encounter facilitate revelation.
“I am Jesus.”
Encounters are always an invitation to have Jesus revealed.
Ephesians 1:17 (NIV) I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
4. Encounters carry alignment.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NIV) 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
5. Encounters carry assignment.
“and Go to…”
Encounters are often times a result of somebody else’s assignment….
The tension of a testimony
Acts 7:58-60 (NLT) 58 (They)and dragged him(Stephen) out of the city and began to stone him. His accusers took off their coats and laid them at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died.