After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi (also known as Matthew) sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed Him. – (Luke 5:27-28)
There are several really remarkable steps to Matthew’s story. First, he was a tax collector, and therefore, no friend to the Jews. Additionally, his position had likely been a very lucrative one for him, yet at Jesus’ invitation, he willingly walked away from it all, to faithfully follow Him. Even more than Matthew’s willingness to leave his life of luxury behind, He desperately wanted others to discover what he had found in Christ, so he held a great banquet, inviting all his friends, so that they too, might meet Jesus and choose to follow Him. Matthew laid down his material possessions to gain spiritual wealth, as he was overjoyed to be associated with Jesus.
Each of us has a story; a moment in time when we heard Him whisper an invitation to come and follow Him. What have we set aside to serve Him? Do we go out of our way to share the joy that we have found with those whom we care most about? May our stories each include passion, promise, and pride in He who grants us new life, as we willingly set aside whatever He asks, and choose to follow Him with all that we are.
and calls us by name;
what will we lay down?
Money? Fortune? Fame?
Where He asks we go,
requires us move;
giant steps of faith,
our fears He’ll remove.
All trust is needed,
as are faithful steps;
when we go in peace,
we’re His righteous reps.
Help our hearts let go,
of temporal things;
and to You, Lord God,
we forever cling.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the remarkable examples of men and women that have gone before us, that willingly walked away from what was comfortable and known, into the unknown, as they trusted in You. Thank You that the benefits far outweigh the burdens for all of eternity, no matter what the cost seems to be in the here and now. Forgive us for our hesitation when we hear You call, and help us to move immediately, just as Matthew did. May our willing obedience be a blessing to all whom we encounter, and may many come to know of Your loving kindness as a result. Help us to love as You love us, and keep our hearts tender to hear from You. Be glorified, O God, as we faithfully follow You. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.
The joy of the Lord is your strength. – Nehemiah 8:10
This is EXCELLENT. I am going to reblog this today. I want my readers to read this. Thank you for sharing. It gave me an idea for a similar post about Matthew. God bless.
Thanks so much, Steven. I am continually in awe at how God works. I was absolutely exhausted yesterday morning when I wrote this, yet I got up, trusted that His will would be done, in spite of me, and did what He calls me to do. He is so very good. 🙂 Blessings to you as well.
Thank you and God bless.
Reblogged this on For His Glory and commented:
Shannon Moreno writes a wonderful blog I read daily. Today she wrote about the things Matthew gave up as quickly as Jesus asked him to follow. Shannon asks what have we given up to follow Jesus. Enjoy.