Advent Devotional: Friday, December 7

Scripture: Luke 19:1-7 NLT
Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. 2 There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. 3 He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.
5 When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”
6 Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. 7 But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.

Devotional Thought:
Zacchaeus was joyful…the others were displeased. That has always fascinated me. A notorious sinner repents. An enemy of the Jewish people becomes a friend and benefactor. What is not to like about that? Why can’t the “others” find joy in that? Ahhh, we don’t like it when God crawls out of the neat box we have set for Him and begins to interact in ways we are unaccustomed or don’t desire. We like God in our box. Controllable. Reasonable. Predictable. But that is far from what God is all about. I’ve noticed something about people filled with joy. They are people that do not need to be in control. They operate well when God leaves the tidy spaces he normally traffics and does something outrageous.

Lord, disassemble my box and put it away forever. I desire you more than control of my life. Well, I want to desire that and you know that I am unable to make it happen. So, will you do what I cannot do myself?