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He's Looking for You

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
April 2, 2021 8:00 am

He's Looking for You

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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April 2, 2021 8:00 am

Insights and encouragement from Zacchaeus’ encounter with Jesus; based on Luke 19:1-10.

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I want to ask you, are you in a crowd that's preventing you from seeing the glory of God? And if you are, you're going to have to make some special arrangements because Jesus is coming for you.

He's looking for you, and you're going to have to be in a position where you can see Him and He can see you. He couldn't see Jesus because of the crowd, so He climbed a tree. His story comes your way next on this Good Friday edition of Destined for Victory.

Hello and thanks for spending part of this special day here with us. Well, at one time or another, we've all had a little trouble seeing Jesus. Today, Pastor Paul Sheppard reminds us that when those times come, we may have to do something out of the ordinary.

And if we really want to see Jesus, that's exactly what we'll do. Today's message comes your way next, so stay right here. Or stop by pastorpaul.net anytime to hear any recent Destined for Victory message on demand. Again, that's pastorpaul.net. Here is Pastor Paul with today's message.

He's looking for you. Jesus said, before I get to Jerusalem, I've got to go through Jericho because I have a divine appointment with a man who needs his life changed. That tells me a lot, and I want you to understand how it applies to your life. Sometimes you and I need the Lord to intervene because there's stuff in our lives, in our heart, in our lifestyle, whatever the situation that needs changing. And God loves us so much that he wants to be the change agent, and so he creates divine appointments. A whole lot of us who are believers, a lot of our church family that's watching me right now can attest, yes pastor, I remember when the Lord had a divine appointment for me. I remember when the Lord touched my heart and showed me my need for him. I remember when God allowed things to go from bad to worse in my life. I remember when he helped me get to the place where I realized unless I invite him in, I am not going to make it. What a blessing it was when each of us had our encounter that changed our lives. And I want to let you know if you're a not-yet-believer, today is the day that the Lord is saying to you, I've come to your town because I'm looking for you. Jesus is a man of divine appointments, and he's going to Jericho just to meet this one man. God will go out of his way to meet you at the point of your need. And so I want you, my friend, to open your heart as I continue to unpack this passage and say, Lord, I think you're talking to me right now.

I want to hear your voice. I can't keep going the way I'm going. Things are closing in on me. Trouble is coming my way.

I need your help. I want to let you know Jesus is looking for you. In fact, he loves Achaeus so much, he was willing to go down the Jericho road. Now, if you know the Scriptures, you know the Jericho road was notoriously dangerous. It is the road that Jesus spoke of when he gave us the parable of the Good Samaritan, because that road was known in Jesus' day to be inhabited by robbers.

And if you ventured down that road and didn't have security with you, you were likely to be robbed of all of your valuables and left sometimes for half dead, if not actually killed. And that is the kind of road that Jesus was on. But Jesus loved Zacchaeus so much that he was willing to put himself in harm's way to save and change Zacchaeus' life. In fact, he put himself in the ultimate harm's way when he got to Jerusalem and allowed himself to be crucified so that you and I could have life abundant and everlasting. If you ever feel depressed and feel like nobody loves me, I want you to know that lying feeling needs to be corrected by the truth. The truth is God loves you. Jesus loves you so much. He went to Calvary's cross.

He was tortured and he hung on a cross between heaven and earth, between two common thieves on either side of him. And he hung there because of how much he loves you. For God so loves the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him would not perish but have everlasting life. My friend, you are not just loved.

You are so loved. For God so loved the world that he gave his son. And I want you to know he loves you. Now look at this passage. He gets to Jericho, but as he's approaching the town, Zacchaeus says, I heard Jesus is coming. I got to see this guy.

Here's the first question I want you to consider with me. Why does Zacchaeus, a tax collector, want to see Jesus? I am sure it is because in the process of dealing with the people, collecting taxes and going about his business, which included extortion and taking more than he should have taken, in the midst of doing his dirty work, he heard about a guy who had changed people's lives. Imagine him collecting taxes and he sees a man who for years he had owned this guy to be blind. He knew the guy's name was Bartimaeus and he was blind. But now he goes to collect his taxes and Bartimaeus can see. And no doubt he ran into people like that. If Bartimaeus was one of the people that Zacchaeus would have run into, you know what would have happened. He would have said, wait, wait, you're Bartimaeus, right? Yes. But you were blind all your life.

Yes, I was. What happened? Well, this man named Jesus came my way and he touched and healed my blindness and I can now see. Imagine the impact that that kind of miracle would have on Zacchaeus. Maybe Zacchaeus ran into the woman who was caught in the act of adultery one day and he had never seen her lively and excited. But now he sees her. Her countenance has changed.

And he says, something is different about you. And she says, yes, the Pharisees were about to condemn me. They were about to stone me. But a man named Jesus intervened, told them, if you want to have a stoning, let the man among you who is without sin cast the first stone. Since no one took him up on it and he started writing in the ground, the people saw what he was writing, whatever it was, it showed them that God knew their business as well and they walked away. And the woman said, and finally Jesus, after he had cleared out all of my condemners, he said, go and sin no more.

I no longer live the way I used to live. Maybe Zacchaeus ran into the woman who for long years, 12 years, had suffered with a bleeding condition, a hemorrhaging that would not stop. And he runs into her and says, you used to be so weak and so frail and you seem healthy and your skin is healthier now.

What happened? And perhaps he ran into her and she said, oh, a man named Jesus. And he said, don't tell me, I know, he healed you. And once he ran into enough people like that, he said, I've got to see this man for myself. And so Zacchaeus hears Jesus is coming to town and he says, I want to lay eyes on him. But we just saw because he was short of stature, he was unable to see over the crowd as Jesus was approaching the town. But he said, I am not going to let the crowd prevent me from seeing this man. I want to ask you, are you in a crowd that's preventing you from seeing the glory of God? And if you are, you're going to have to make some special arrangements because Jesus is coming for you. He's looking for you.

And you're going to have to be in a position where you can see him and he can see you. And so I want you to think about your life. Who are the people? What are the circumstances that you're involved in that are preventing you from seeing the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords? I want to tell you, some of us have folks in our lives that we're going to have to swap out. They might still remain in your life, but they can't be in the inner circle. They can't be so close to you that they're blocking your view of spiritual matters, that they're blocking your view of who Jesus is and what he wants to do in your life. You've got to understand the Bible is really clear that your crowd determines your course. If you show me who you spend your time with, I will be able to lock in on what you're truly involved in because your crowd determines your course. And so I want to encourage you to look at the people and the things that are crowding your view, that are keeping you from seeing what you need to see about yourself, about other people, and about God's plan for your life. Here we are in the year 2020, and I've been saying since New Year's Eve 2019 that this is a season where we've got to get clear spiritual vision. And I want you to know that that means you're going to have to move some things out of your main view, and you're going to have to make sure you do whatever it takes to see God's plan for your life.

or make a safe and secure donation to the ministry online. And stay tuned after the message when Pastor Paul joins me in the studio. But right now, let's listen as he shares the rest of today's message. He's looking for you. And in this case, Zacchaeus said, I'm short, but rather than complain that people won't let me see Jesus, he said, I'm just going to get creative.

So he ran ahead, and he climbed a sycamore tree. That's what some of us have got to do right now. It's time for you.

I'm speaking to you right now. You know what's going on in your life. You know what's preventing you. You know what's bogging you down.

You know, and sometimes it's people, sometimes it's attitudes, sometimes it's your disposition, and you're going to have to make arrangements to get ahead of those things. He ran ahead, and then he climbed a sycamore tree so that he could rise above the crowd. And Jesus wasn't there yet, but he already positioned himself. I know he's coming this way.

I can hear the crowd getting louder and louder as he comes down the road, and he just sat there and looked to see Jesus. And I want to encourage you. This is the time in your life when you need to make some changes. Run ahead and climb above. Don't stay in the place where you are. If you stay where you are, you're only going to get what you've already gotten.

You're not going to experience anything new, and so it's time for you to run ahead and to climb above. That's what Zacchaeus did. And did you notice what happened when Jesus got to that part where Zacchaeus was? The Bible says that Zacchaeus, while looking at Jesus, saw Jesus look up and identify him.

Now I want you to realize they had never met in person before. Jesus has never laid eyes on him before. But when Jesus, who came to town for this very purpose, got to the place where Zacchaeus was, the Bible says he looked up, saw him, called him by name, invited him down, and told him, I'm going to your house.

That is absolutely amazing. Can you imagine what Zacchaeus thought and felt in that moment? This guy knows, how in the world does he know who I am?

Not only know who I am, but know my very name. And what's he talking about inviting me to come down and then saying he's going to my house? He didn't even ask me if I wanted him to come over. He just said, I'm going home with you today. I love that about God. God so loves us that he reaches out for us. People often say, you know, I found the Lord in 1993 or whatever the case might be.

I beg to differ. You didn't find the Lord because he wasn't lost. He found you because you were lost. And I love the fact that Jesus came to town for this very reason to meet up with this man. He came to town for the very reason of connecting with Zacchaeus. And we're going to see that Zacchaeus took him home and his life is changed.

Just as Jesus came to town that day looking for Zacchaeus, he's looking for you right now. Even if you're already a believer, he's got some changing that needs to take place in your life. See, you got to understand, just because we're saved, believer, doesn't mean that there's no more change that needs to happen. Sometimes the greatest changes that happen in our lives only begin with our accepting Christ as our Savior.

But that's like being in a race and the gun goes off and you begin running. That's what getting saved is. I'm beginning to run with the Lord. But that journey is going to be a marathon of change. God's doing work in your life. He began a good work in you, believer, and he is going to bring it to completion. And so in the next message I want you to think through with me the things that God wants to do in your life and in mine. But to the person who is watching me right now, who has never yet accepted Christ as your Savior, this is the moment when you are to do that.

I'm absolutely sure of it. And that's why the Lord gave me this message for this time specifically with you in mind. I want to pray for every man, woman, boy, girl who right now realizes Jesus is looking for you and you're ready to say yes to him.

If that's you, I want you to open your heart right now. I'm going to pray for you and pray with you. And as I pray for you, I want you to be praying in your own heart saying, Lord, come in and make me the person you have ordained that I am to be. You know, by the way, Zacchaeus' name, he was named by his parents to be Zacchaeus. And that name means righteous or pure. Imagine he was born and given the name righteous and pure.

No doubt that's what his parents wanted him to be, but only Christ could make him that. And Jesus said, well, I've come to town because I don't intend to leave Jericho until this man is righteous and pure, not because all of his activity ceases in a moment, but rather because he turns his life over to the one who can forgive you in a moment and then teach you to live the way he's called you to live. And so God wants to do that in your life, my friend. Open your heart right now. Pray with me.

Mean it in your heart. God's going to come in and do a mighty work in you. Father, I pray for every man, every woman, every boy, every girl who has watched this message and listened to the words you've given me to share.

They know that you're looking for them in the same way you looked for Zacchaeus. And God, I pray right now that as they open their hearts to confess you as Savior and Lord, I thank you that by the power of your spirit, you are bringing new life. You have forgiven us our sins on the cross of Calvary. Living you loved us, dying you saved us, and buried you carried our sins far away. Rising you justified, freed us forever.

One day you're coming. What a glorious day. God, thank you for saving this man, this woman, this boy, this girl right now. Thank you for redeeming them by the blood of Jesus. Thank you that they're cleansed. Thank you that they are now naming the name of Jesus, and they're confessing you as their Savior and Lord. We rejoice in the work you've begun, and I rejoice that you're going to complete that work in their life. In Jesus' name, amen.

My friend, here's what I want you to do. If you opened your heart to receive the Lord during this Resurrection Sunday service, I want you to get in touch with us. Call our office, 510-782-3000, or drop us an email. Email at destinybayarea.org.

Let us know your name. Let us know, hey, I prayed to receive Christ with Pastor Paul this past Resurrection Sunday, and we will get you some information. I wrote a booklet called Welcome to New Life in Jesus Christ.

I want to get that to you. If I can't get it to you by standard mail, I'll get it to you by digital version, and you'll be able to read it on your computer until I'm able to get you the physical copy, because you are now my brother, my sister in Christ, and we know great things are going to happen in your life, and we want to be part of your spiritual journey. And so thank God that the Lord loved you so much. He sent you to receive this word today, and this is the first day of a brand new life in Jesus Christ. We rejoice with you at Destiny Christian Fellowship.

We thank God for you, and if we can continue to be a blessing to you and help you as you grow. Now, if you're not in the Bay Area or you're unable to get to our church, once we get to the place where we're able to assemble again, keep meeting us right here online, and then when you can, worship with us. If you can't get there, I want you to find a Bible-believing, faith-walking, soul-winning church where people are serious about following Jesus. At Destiny, we say our purpose is introducing people to Jesus and teaching them to follow Him, and that's what we're about, and we want to be part of your spiritual journey. Thanks for worshiping with us today. I want you to enjoy the rest of your day in Christ, and I want you to know that God, who began a good work in you, is going to bring it all the way to completion.

Thanks so much for being here for today's Destined for Victory message, He's Looking for You. As promised, Pastor Paul joins me now from his studio in California. Well, Pastor, we've all been so concerned, and I know your heart has been heavy as you've watched the church divide over political and social, even racial issues, but as followers of Jesus Christ, how should we respond in front of a watching world? Well, Wayne, I'm eager to see the church seize this moment and maximize it for the kingdom of God. When I say that, what I mean is, I think we've got to get back to what Jesus called us to do and to be.

He said that we are the light of the world, and that tells me that when the church sees darkness rather than decrying it, we need to make sure we're turning on the light. And I think we're spending a little too much time decrying the evils and the things in the culture that we don't like. I get it. We don't like living in a sinful environment. We don't like ungodly decision-making and all of that sort of thing.

I get it. But we're not called to decry the darkness. We're called to turn on the light. So I think we've really got to get down to the business of saying, Lord, help me to let my light shine. During the pandemic, I preached a series, and I led it with the thought of get your shine on.

That's just a colloquial way to say it. Yeah, I remember that, yes. Yes, sir. And I think we've got to get our shine on because that's what we're called to do.

So, yeah, it is like Charles Dickens' classic book. This is the best of times, it's the worst of times. But we can seize this moment and make sure that the light of Jesus Christ and the light of the gospel is proclaimed throughout the world. Well, as you said in a recent letter, Pastor, it's easy to look out at the world and curse the darkness.

We've got to get better at turning on the light. Thanks so much for those words of encouragement. You know, in times like these, the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ remains a source of hope for all who embrace it.

And now more than ever, many are searching for that hope. And this is why your prayers and financial support of Destined for Victory is so critical. As you give your generous gift today, we have a gift of our own to share with you, Pastor Paul's booklet, Built on a Solid Foundation. In this life, storms and trials are inevitable, but surviving them depends on how strong a foundation we're built upon.

In this booklet, Pastor Paul describes the importance of building our lives on the rock, which is the word of God. That's Built on a Solid Foundation, our gift to you by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory. Just give us a call at 855-339-5500 or visit pastorpaul.net to make a safe and secure donation online. And as always, you can mail your gift to Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538. Again, the address is Destined for Victory, P.O.

Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538. I want to begin by making sure no one here sets the goal of trying to live a storm-free life, because you're on the wrong planet for that. If you want to live a life free from storms, free from challenges, free from things coming against you, pounding against the house of your life, you're in the wrong planet altogether. God did not say if you build right, you won't have to worry about it. That's next time in Pastor Paul Sheppard's message, Storm Proof Your Life. Until then, have a blessed Easter weekend. And remember, he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are Destined for Victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-08 14:32:20 / 2023-12-08 14:41:54 / 10

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