Monthly Archives: April 2016

Ahead of the crowd

“He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.” Like 19:3-4*

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Zaccheus wanted to see Jesus but he was a short man and couldn’t see over the crowd. That didn’t stop him; he found a work around. He ran ahead of the crowd, climbed a sycamore tree and waited for Jesus to pass by. He intentionally put himself in a spot to see Jesus.

What stands in our way of seeing Jesus? For Zaccheus it was the crowd. Is it being too busy? Too tired? Work conflicts? Family opposition?

Like Zaccheus, we have to look for a way to get ahead of the crowd. Maybe it’s getting up 15 minutes earlier to read the Bible, finding a church service time that works, joining a Bible study or making time to pray. Maybe it’s leaving a crowd that blocks the view.

Be proactive. Get ahead of the towering crowd and find a place to see Jesus. And He’ll see you as he passes by…

“When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zaccheus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.'” Luke 19:5*


All I wanted

was to see Jesus pass by.

But the crowd

towered too high.

Running ahead

I climbed a sycamore tree.

I saw Jesus,

and He saw me!

Now He’s coming

to my house today,

not simply passing by

He’s here to stay.


photo and poem by Patty Perkins


*The One Year Bible, April 18, NIV, copyright 1986, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois

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A good place to be

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'” Luke 18:13*


Awareness of sin can feel like defeat. Again. It can feel frustrating. Again. But if that awareness causes us to call out to God, to plead for his mercy because we realize just how much we really need him—it can become a good place to be.

To know our own sinfulness—to see who we are in the flesh before a perfect, holy God—is not a bad place to be. That awareness can be a knotted rope swinging by to grab hold of, to lift you out of the pit, to a restored relationship with God.

Like the tax collector, let the defeat cause you to plead for God’s mercy. Grab the knotted rope swinging by and land at the feet of Jesus. That’s a very good place to be.

*The One Year Bible, April 16, NIV, Copyright 1986, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois.

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“Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I  would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.” Psalm 84:10*

“…no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” Psalm 84:11*



Better to be small here and right with God, than to be big here and miss out on God’s forever good. The smallest tasks he calls us to are great in the kingdom of God. What matters is his calling to the task and our willingness to do it—then doing it. Being right with God is worth whatever we have to let go.


I’d rather be right with God—

Know deep peace of soul,

Than have temporary happy here

And miss the good He must withhold.


For one blessed day with my Lord—

Though just a doorkeeper to man,

Is better than a thousand elsewhere

When heaven’s keys are in hand.


photo and poem by Patty Perkins


*The One Year Bible, April 15, NIV, copyright 1986, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois.

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