RESTITUTION: EVIDENCE OF SALVATION I
Memorise: And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. Luke 19:8
Read: Luke 19:1-10 (KJV)
19:1 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.
19:2 And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.
19:3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.
19:4 And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.
19:5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.
19:6 And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.
19:7 And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.
19:8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.
19:9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.
19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Bible in one year: 2nd CHRONICLES 24-25, EZEKIEL 39:21-40:4
When you are genuinely saved, you will desire to find out what you can do for the Lord Jesus Christ. There will be a strong desire in your heart to reciprocate the Saviour’s gesture of love. Is it so with you? When I newly got born again, there were quite a few people around me who got saved at about the same time also. We all had certain characteristics in common, one of which was: anytime there was work to be done for God, we volunteered. We did it joyfully, spending our money, time and energy. Unfortunately, when you ask some people who claim to be born again to do some work in the house of God today, they will charge you double the job’s worth, while some unbelievers would just give you a normal bill. Such people need to seek genuine salvation!
Moreover, another sign to genuine conversion is the desire to right your wrongs. True salvation yearns for restitution. Nobody will experience genuine salvation without asking questions such as these: How much of my past iniquity can I correct? How much can I salvage of the damage I have done? These questions will come from your heart even without being taught the doctrine of restitution. This happened to Zacchaeus in today’s Bible reading. Immediately Jesus entered his house, Zacchaeus responded to His love with these words in Luke 19:8:
“…. Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from my man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.”
Zacchaeus, even without being instructed, decided to give 50% of his wealth to the poor, and offered to return four times whatever he had taken from any man by false accusations. This pleased the Lord. Indeed, restitution pleases God. When you restore whatever you have stolen, and whenever you right your wrongs, it becomes a testimony to be genuineness of your repentance.
When you make restitution to people you offended or cheated, it softens the ground for you to eventually present the message of the gospel to them. If you hold back what you stole, even after you claim to have been saved, you will retain the enmity of those you defrauded, and because of you, they may never respond to the message of salvation. Is there any pending restitution you need to make? Go ahead and right your wrongs. For controversial and very weighty cases, please seek counselling before going ahead.
Key Point: The practice of restitution gives you a clear conscience before God and man.
Open Heavens Daily Devotional Lessons was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God