Pause

It’s all about determination—the decision to accomplish something in spite of all the resistance that wells up inside.

When you want to make a change, when anyone wants to shake things up, there is always “push back.” Moving from old to new, even when everyone agrees it’s a good idea, is hard.

That’s true even for God’s good ideas about transformation, which often encounter resistance. Still, God has a pretty good record when it comes to changing things—and people. Now might be a good time for you to decide it’s time to give in.

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Listen

Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.”

Luke 19:8

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Think

During this time of year, many students have already returned to school or classes will soon start. In a way, it’s a new year—a new school year. Maybe it’s a new school or new classes. When you hear the word resolutions, most people think of New Year’s Day and what they want to do differently in their lives or something new they want to do, like exercise more. But returning to school is a great time to make new resolutions.

We know that Zacchaeus was a tax collector who had a profound encounter with Jesus. Jesus’ call to give away half of his possessions and right wrongs went way beyond what people expected.

What changes do you need to make? Who do you need to ask forgiveness from? Make a resolution to right those wrongs. It’s never too late.

John Ryan

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Pray

God, give me the strength to be bold like Zacchaeus. Give me the strength to respond to the call of Jesus in my life and let others see the changes in me. Help me to right a wrong and be kind to those who are not always kind to me.

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Go

Every single encounter with God
Holds the promise of
A new direction;
A new perspective;
A change of heart and mind.

Go now resolved that your life will be
Different;
Transformed;
Made over again
By the overwhelming grace of God.

John Ryan

John Ryan is the director of youth and family ministries at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Georgia. He has also served churches in north Georgia and Cincinnati. Currently he is in training for a 150-mile bike ride along the Danube River in Austria.

Fallow Ground

Carter Harrell

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