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Keeping Sight of the Beginning (2 of 3)
Series: Staying Faith
I heard a story as a kid that has really stuck with me. Bird Dog: ''That dog is the only one who has actually seen the bird. The other dogs are just caught up in his excitement, but simply sharing in his excitement can't motivate them to keep going when the pursuit gets difficult.''
That reminds me of what happens in the church. A church is this big movement of people. A lot of people are excited, many are sacrificing, but a lot of people get so swept up in the excitement that they never actually see the vision. And so they never make it to the end.
To change analogies on you, because I'm going to use both of these today: balloon smacking. God wants you to become the kind of person who soars spiritually without needing to be smacked.
[Jesus] entered Jericho and was passing through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich.
Chief tax collector:
• Tax collector is probably not going to be on anybody's list of favorite jobs today (I read an article where the term ''IRS agent'' had become so unpopular that they introduced a new name: ''tax policy compliance directors''- Yeah, that's a lot better). But back then, a tax collector was more than just an unpopular government official, a tax collector was considered a traitor and a thief.
• When the Romans took over a city, they wanted to tax the city pretty heavily. But they knew that if they transplanted a Roman official there to collect the tax, he'd never really understand the city well enough to know where all the money was hidden.
• So, the Romans hired someone from the city, a native, who knew the city well, to collect the tax for them. And they told them, ''This is how much we want. Anything you get beyond that you can keep for yourself.'' And they would give them a squad of soldiers to help them enforce the tax.
• These guys would extract hug ...
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