8Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”
Zacchaeus was a tax collector. He was despised because he was a deceitful man, cheating people of their money and resorting to false accusations to get what he wanted.
One day, Jesus visited him. The Bible makes no mention of Jesus rebuking him for his dishonest lifestyle the whole time they were together. Instead, Jesus showed him grace and honour by spending time with him. Before long, Zacchaeus stood up and declared to Jesus that he would restore fourfold to anyone he had taken from illegally, and would even give half of his goods to the poor.
A moment with Jesus completely changed Zacchaeus’ heart. A moment with grace in person — without accusations, condemnation or judgment — caused such an inward transformation that in a short time, Zacchaeus was doing outwardly what was right and in a measure no man would have expected of him!
Many people want to live right. Their concern with right living makes them focus on themselves and the things they struggle with. But it is right believing that produces right living. If you are trying to break free from an addiction that has bound you for many years, believe that Jesus loves you so much that at the cross, He paid the price for you to be completely free from any addiction. Believe that by His stripes you are healed and delivered.
One member in our church had a smoking addiction. But each time he lit up a cigarette, he would believe that God was not judging or condemning him, and that he was still the righteousness of God in Christ. One day, he woke up impressed by the Spirit that that day would mark the start of a smoke-free life. Expecting to be assaulted by the usual cravings to smoke, he prayed this throughout the day: “Thank You, Jesus, for by Your stripes I am healed.” Before he knew it, the day passed without him lighting up or suffering any withdrawal pangs! And since then, he has been totally free of this addiction.
Today, if you want to experience right living, find out what Christ has done for you and what you have in Him — and believe it!