Our scripture this week is Luke 19:1-10.

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
Luke 19:8

We have heard stories from Jesus about people who have problems with their wealth. The rich young ruler from Luke 18 was unable to give up his possessions in order to follow Jesus. The rich man in Luke 16 was uncaring toward the beggar Lazarus at his gate. The rich farmer in Luke 12 built new barns with no thought to helping others with his bounty.

Money and material possessions can become stumbling blocks to our discipleship. Anything that circumvents our relationship with God and others needs to be dealt with quickly. Jesus didn’t say money or wealthy people were inherently evil, but He did say you can’t serve money and God (Luke 16:13).

Zacchaeus shows he is willing to live up to the responsibility of his financial blessing by sharing with the poor and the caveat to repay fourfold any overtaxing he may have charged people. He becomes an example of wealth used as it was intended. God blesses us further when we use our gifts to lessen the suffering of others, not hoarding resources for ourselves.

Loving Lord, we may not consider ourselves wealthy, but if we are honest, we know You have given us much and expect much in return. Help us to be good stewards of Your gifts, using them wisely for the good of Your children everywhere. Amen.

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