The Men in Christ's Life: Zacchaeus
- Tuesday, May 13, 2008
My stepfather is only one example of a man who has impacted my life as a result of his relationship with Christ. Throughout this series, I want to share with you about some of the other men who have impacted my life solely because of their relationship with Jesus. I believe as I share that you, too, will connect with them and discover for yourself how God has always had a plan for you, is working it out in your life and will never leave you.
Do you sometimes think you don't matter? Do you feel insignificant in this big world? That all your hard work, building your life hasn't amounted to much? Or at least you think much?
I used to feel this way. I can remember when I was a young adult; I was searching for my purpose. What was God doing in my life? I am just one little person. How can my life be that valuable to God? I am one in a zillion of people. Yeah, yeah, he knows the hairs on my head so he knows me. Yada yada yada! I knew he knew me. I had read Scripture and understood that he even loved me, unconditionally. But what I didn't know was how I could be used by God. I wanted to not just exist. I wanted to make a difference. But how?
During this struggle to figure out who I was and what God wanted to do with me was also a time when I still had a foot in the world. Have you ever been there? Living almost two separate lives. I was still partying, hanging with some folks who weren't the best influences in my life, watching TV and movies that didn't edify anyone, smoking cigarettes, etc. Well, you get the idea. But what was so cool was that I may have had one foot in the world, but I also had one foot in Christ. And that foot was desperately searching for value, for importance in this world. That foot would be the first step toward a life saturated with purpose in Christ.
At this time in my life I was flat broke, due to being in a relationship with a guy who borrowed (uh, took and didn't pay back) thousands of dollars from me. I was working two jobs to pay back the debt. My parents came to visit me and saw I wasn't doing that well. They decided to take me home, back to Raleigh, N.C. They brought me back into their home … to get my life back together. They knew I was a good kid but somehow had gotten off track. They gave me another chance to turn my life around (just like Christ does over and over).
It was at this time that I got down on my knees and recommitted my life to Christ. I had been saved for several years but being a young person like most, I had fallen away … tempted by the colorful imagery of this world. Within three days, I had a job in my field. It was also during this time that a new friend told me about a ministry called "SOLO" … Singles Offering Life to Others, led by Pastor Tom Harris. It was a huge citywide ministry for young singles ages 22 to 34. My first time was overwhelming as there were hundreds of people there. For the first several months I literally hugged the wall (and if you know me personally, that was a major feat as I am usually very extroverted). What was this world of people? They are all Christians, doing everything right. How could I be a part of this? Do they know my past, my mistakes? Do they know I am still struggling with things? If they knew me would they shun me or ignore me?
What was amazing about SOLO is that everyone there was on the same journey that I was. Some were still living in the world while others had managed to get out of it. Some were from overly fundamental religious backgrounds, while others were from legalistic, and others had never even been to church. Some were the devil in sheep's clothing, using the church to only find dates and some were authentic followers of Christ. And you know what, I was one of them. With all my scars, scrapes and hurts … with all my mistakes … with all my questions, I was one of them.
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