Luke 19:9, Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house.”
High School reunions are very common in the summer bringing together individuals who graduated at different years from their high school. If you’re like me, I get an invitation every year inviting me back to the school where I graduated and reuniting with old classmates of years gone-by. This reminded me of a recent conversation I had with one of my classmates who was contacting her high school classmates about their 40th reunion. Many of those who responded to her invitation were quite excited about seeing their old friends. One man wrote back stating he had the five B’s: (1) baldness, (2) bifocals, (3) bridgework, (4) bulges, and (5) bunions. Another woman quipped, “I wasn’t half the woman then that I am today” (referring to her weight). However, another woman said this, “I can’t wait to see everyone. I’ve changed completely. You see in high school I was the class tramp. I didn’t have any standards and everybody knew it. A few years after high school I received the Lord Jesus as my Savior, and my life was transformed. Because of Jesus Christ, I’m not the person I was, and I want my classmates to know of the change that occurred.” Let’s change our focus now to one character out of many mentioned throughout God’s Word. I’m reminded of Zacchaeus who was small in stature, a cold-hearted, money-loving tax collector. But then he met Jesus Christ, and his life was completely transformed. This is evident from his willingness to make complete restitution as recorded in Luke 19:8, “And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold”.
So, what makes life worth living? Is it popularity, power, and influence? Not according to Harold Hughes, who after serving as Iowa’s governor he was elected to the United States Senate. What makes life worth living, according to this distinguished American, is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In his autobiography, Hughes sadly confesses that in his earlier years he had been “a drunk, a liar, and a cheat.” Hitting rock bottom, he decided in his shame and despair to commit suicide. However, before trying to kill himself he felt he had to tell God why. As he sobbed in distress, something miraculous happened. “Like a stricken child lost in the storm, I had suddenly stumbled into the warm arms of my Heavenly Father.” And as he experienced God’s forgiving grace and mercy he promised, “Whatever You ask I will do it.” That was the beginning of a new life for Harold Hughes, a life really worth living. Any one, no matter how defeated and broken, can undergo that same transformation by simply opening your heart in faith to Jesus Christ. That’s the promise our Savior gave to Nicodemus one night long ago (John 3:16), the promise of a new life, a life abundant and eternal, a life worth living. My friend, this is the same promise that Jesus gives today. Receiving Christ as your Savior marks the beginning of a new and changed life for you. Then as you grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord, sinful attitudes are replaced with godly traits. Selfishness gives way to caring, greed to generosity, and lust to purity. I will conclude with two simple questions:
(1) Has Christ transformed your life?
(2) Can you honestly say, “I’m not the person I was?”
There is a longing in every heart that only Christ can satisfy.