January 25 – Taking Another Look at Success

Luke 19:1-27; Genesis 32; Genesis 33; Psalm 25

“And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.’” (Luke 19:9-10 NKJV)

Sometimes it’s hard to understand what Jesus does. In yesterday’s reading, he told the rich guy to sell all that he had and give it to the poor. Today, in the story of Zacchaeus, Jesus seemed to be satisfied with Zach giving half away and making restitution to people he’d cheated. If you focus on the events in the story, it doesn’t seem completely fair. Jesus wasn’t focusing on the events, though. He was reading the hearts of the two men.                 The ruler, even though he was searching, was pretty self-satisfied. He could check all the boxes society told him he needed to check. He was looking for more to do, and Jesus saw that his heart was still focused on himself. Zacchaeus, on the other hand, was searching for Jesus. When he met Jesus, his heart melted, and he looked for ways to show His new-found love for God. The ruler looked to himself while Zacchaeus sought God. That’s what brought the approval from Jesus. How easy is it to get so caught up in doing the right thing, that we don’t become the right person? That reminds me of the people who came up to Jesus bragging about all the things they did for God, and Jesus responded by telling them that He never knew them. Perhaps we’ve got this whole success thing wrong, in the US. Success isn’t found in how much money we have, it’s found in how close we are to God. And, if you’re really successful, you won’t realize it.

Was today a day you worked so hard that you didn’t build relationships with customers, co-workers, and bosses? Or did you take the time to let people know that they’re important to you? Think back on how you interacted with people today and make plans to show people that they have value.

Lord, it’s been said that one of our problems is that we use people and love things. Stop me from doing that. Help me to use everything you’ve given me to love people.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

About rockyfort

I am a retired Middle School Teacher. I share each day what God is teaching me from reading His word hoping that people can benefit from reading what God has taught me.
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