Follow Me

JESUS SPEAKING

     ‘As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office.  And he said to him, “Follow Me.”  So he arose and followed Him.’ (Mark 9: 9)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

     The calling of Matthew is one of the shortest conversion stories recorded in the bible.  As a tax collector, he worked for the Roman Empire; earning him the contempt and disdain of his own people.  Still Jesus saw something in him worth saving.  As the Lord passed by He uttered two simple words that would forever transform Matthew’s life; “Follow Me.”  Matthew’s response was simple, immediate, and unwavering.  He arose, abandoned his position, and began following Jesus Christ.

     During the 1880’s, a famous baseball player named Billy Sunday had a similar experience.  One day he and his teammates entered a saloon and began drinking. Upon exiting the bar, Billy spotted a group of Christians singing hymns and preaching about God’s salvation and forgiveness.  With tears rolling down his face, he turned to his teammates and said, “Boys, I’m through!  Going to turn to Jesus Christ.  We’ve reached the parting of the ways.”  Some mocked him, while others encouraged him.  He immediately entered the Pacific Garden Mission, where he gave his life to the Lord.  Later he said, “I called upon God’s mercy.  I staggered out of my sins and into the outstretched arms of the Savior.  I became instantly a new creation in Him.  The next morning at practice, my manager, Mike Kelly greeted me and said, ‘Billy, I read in the paper what occurred yesterday.  Religion isn’t my long suit, but I won’t knock you, and I’ll knock the daylights out of anyone who does.”  Billy Sunday went on to become one of the greatest evangelists of the early 20th century.

     Like Matthew, and like Billy, God is still calling many of us to follow Him today.  Jesus Christ desires that everyone might come to know Him and submit to His discipleship.  Some individuals will respond to His calling, while others will not.  How then can you obey God’s call and receive salvation?  First, find a quiet place; then ask God to enter your heart.  You must profess a faith in Jesus Christ and also turn away from sinful living.  Get involved at a local church and be baptized.  Find an easy to read version of the bible (read it every day; beginning with the gospels.)  As you grow in the knowledge of God and submit to His commandments, you will experience an amazing transformation.  The old things will pass away, for behold, God will make ‘all things new.’

     “Lord Heavenly Father, we thank You for calling us to be Your disciples.  May You dwell forever in our hearts and minds.  Give us the strength to turn away from sin and death, that we might fully embrace the new life we have in You.  You are our Father and we are Your children. Teach us and guide us in all things. Give us more of Your Holy Spirit that we may lovingly serve You and our fellows.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you!


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