Behavior that reflects beliefs is real salvation

In Luke 19, we read the story of Jesus and Zacchaeus.

Zack had been doing wrong, but he had a change of heart. He not only decided to do right and follow Jesus, but he also decided to make right the wrongs he had done by paying back four times as much as he had stolen.

Jesus’ response is found in Luke 19:9: “Today, salvation has come to this house.” This is what it looks like when salvation is real. An encounter with Jesus will change the way you think, the way you act, the way you live. It’s not just a matter of belief. It’s a matter of behavior.

Are you open to making restitution to those you have wronged? It is a bold and courageous thing to do. I am convinced that God will honor you if you do it.

Is it possible that you need to make restitution to a former employer? Should you pay back something you have taken or return something you have borrowed for far too long? It could be anything from office supplies, to your neighbor’s chainsaw, to those hotel towels. Maybe you need to send someone a check. If you feel like it needs to be anonymous, send a money order. Provide a brief explanation of what happened.

Restitution provides a wonderful witnessing opportunity. Can you imagine being able to say, “I am making restitution for something I have done in the past because I have become a follower of Jesus Christ and I want to do what’s right.” The freedom and joy that come from a clear conscience cannot be bought. It really is a great way to live.

The Bible makes it clear that no dishonest person will be allowed into heaven. That means none of us stand a chance unless we have a savior.

We have all been dishonest in different ways. That’s why Jesus Christ took upon himself our sins on the cross. He paid the penalty for our sin. There is no way I can earn my way to heaven on my own. I have done the wrong thing. I have sinned. I need to receive his mercy, grace and forgiveness.

The good news is when we repent of our sin, Jesus has promised to cleanse and forgive (See 1 John 1:9). We get into heaven on his ticket. He offers every single one of us this incredible gift of eternal life. I am thankful that “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

You may read Steve Greene’s blog at pastorgreene.wordpress.com or you can email him at steve@gotothepoint.com.