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Engage with Grand Canyon University's (GCU) vibrant Spiritual Life community and take a deeper look at the various ministries that are happening around the world, in your backyard and on our campus. From weekly devotionals to Chapel highlights and features that reflect God's work in the hearts of our students, staff and faculty, each article is presented by GCU's Spiritual Life team and our special guests. We hope that God will challenge and encourage you through His words and the stories about His people that inspire us all.
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Weekly Devotional: Who You Are in Jesus

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By Lily Cooper
Student, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

“And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.’” (Luke 19:5)

In the book of Luke, chapter 19, we are introduced to a man named Zacchaeus. He was a wealthy, chief tax collector in Jericho. You could probably imagine that he was not the most popular guy among all the people he taxed.

However, when Jesus came through the city, Zacchaeus was curious and wanted to see who Jesus was. Zacchaeus was on the smaller side, so he climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him . When Jesus passed by, He stopped right at the tree and looked up at Zacchaeus and told him to come down and receive Him at his house.

As can be expected, the crowd grumbled in response. Why would Jesus spend time with an evil tax collector? He was selfish and mean; not the type of person Jesus should associate himself with. Right?

Nevertheless, Zacchaeus and Jesus went to his house and they talked. After some time, Zacchaeus came out of that conversation changed and he proclaimed to God that he would give away half his goods and rewrite his wrongs. Zacchaeus had had a complete change of heart in the presence of Jesus.

The story of Zacchaeus is a story that truly shows the nature of Jesus and our relationship with Him, which is what makes the story so beautiful. Zacchaeus was a tax collector who stole money and chased after materialistic things. And yet, Jesus saw him. He took the time to talk to him and show him love.

We don’t know what exactly they spoke about but I imagine it felt like getting brunch with your dad: cozy, fun and full of love. There, Zacchaeus learned who Jesus was. Jesus probably told Zacchaeus how much He loved him, how special he was and that he had a purpose in this life. In learning who Jesus was, Zacchaeus got to know who he was, in Jesus’ eyes.

He saw he was wanted, that he had a place in this world and was important.

After Zacchaeus had declared his change of heart to the Lord, Jesus said, “Today salvation has come to this house… For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).

We are all Zacchaeus. We are all lost and broken without Jesus. We never truly know who we are without looking to Him. By ourselves, we are focused on the materialistic things and no matter how much we may gain, it will never fill us.

But Jesus can. As we learn more about Him, read about Him in the Bible and develop a relationship with Him, we learn who we are through His eyes.

You are not what your mistakes are or how much money you have. Your status, works, the people you know and things you have do not define you.

Jesus does though. He loves every bit of you from the broken and cracked pieces to the pristine and put-together sides. Nothing you do in your past, present and future could ever separate you from the love of Jesus.

You are loved.

That’s who you are.

Grand Canyon University’s Christian identity and heritage give us a desire to follow the will of God in all we do. If you would like to read more devotionals please visit our website and check out the GCU Blog.

About Lily Cooper
Professional Writing Major, Copywriter for GCU Blogs

Lily Cooper is a sophomore at Grand Canyon University and currently studying professional writing with a minor in marketing. She aspires to combine her love for writing and editing into a job in the publishing industry. In her free time, you can find her updating her blog, keeping up with her Instagram aesthetic and water coloring in her Bible. She believes that anything can be solved with a Taylor Swift lyric.

Read more about Lily.