"There is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah"
2 Nephi 2:8 (The Book of Mormon)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Receiving Him Joyfully

My family and I are going on vacation!  For the month of July I will be posting short videos which inspire me.  In August I will resume writing posts each Sunday.  Happy Summer!!!

And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.
And, behold, there was a man named Zacchæus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.
And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press because he was little of stature.
And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.
And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchæus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house.
And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.
And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.
And Zacchæus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfould.
And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

I LOVE the energy and joy of this story.  I can't help but smile as I visualize Zacchaeus zipping about and perching in a tree.  The zeal with which he approached the Savior, I believe, was his existing life practice.  The fact that prior to meeting Christ he was already giving half his goods to the poor and restoring to any he had wronged four times that which he had taken, indicate to me an enthusiasm and love for goodness.  His outward action was evidence of the inward condition of his repentant heart.  Having cultivated a warm and receptive place within, he was able to receive the Savior... which, in turn, enabled the Savior to abide with him.  The Savior delights to bless and honor those who bless and honor Him.  Indeed He came to seek and to save that which was lost... which includes every single one of us... but He will never force Himself on anyone.  To be found by the Savior... we must seek Him.  

What is the press which blocks our view of Him?  Fear, struggle, addiction, peer opinion, temporal pursuits, and general busy-ness are a few to consider.  

How do we climb out of the press so that we can see Him... and in turn place ourselves in position to be seen of Him? 

Surely, Christ knew every person who was present in that crowd... but it was the one who demonstrated the desire to see Him with whom the Savior said he "must abide".  Notice that the reality of the press didn't disappear, Zacchaeus simply made the the effort to rise above it.  

A beautiful truth that I have learned is that as I seek the Savior, He helps me to identify those things in my life which block my view of Him.  He then illuminates my mind as to where I can find the tree to climb up and out.  Climbing is always work, but without exception He is there to lift and aid me in my struggle to rise above. 

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