The Men in Christ's Life: The Calling of Matthew
- Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Matthew also taught me the importance of opening my home to not only those who are saved but also young Christians, lost people, and even my enemies. Take time today to plan a dinner. Invite your neighbors, your drycleaner, your dentist, etc. You never know the impact you will have on their lives.
While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples (Matt. 9:10).
Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous" (Luke 14:12-14).
4. Matthew taught me about following Christ. Matthew was now a disciple. He was willing to be known as a follower of Christ. When he opened up his home, he would be announcing his allegiance to Christ. He took the risk of what that meant. He was even asked the question of why "his teacher" would eat with tax collectors and sinners. Now perhaps this question was not ask of him personally, as he was a tax collector, but he was there when it was asked. It was at the point that Matthew could not be on the fence. His "yes" needed to be a "yes" or his "no" a "no."
In what areas of your life are you still straddling the fence? If you were in a public place where there were lost people and perhaps some saved ones, would you be willing to say whom you followed? How about when you fly on an airplane, at the doctor's office, at your workplace, at your kid's school, or at your gym? If you were to hear an off-colored joke, or received an e-mail that was crude or were asked to go see a movie that was inappropriate, would you be willing to stand your ground and align yourself with whom you followed? Now don't get me wrong, sometimes we stay under the radar and wait for an opportunity to share our faith when the timing is right. I am not talking about those moments. I am simply saying that Matthew, at this particular time, would be put out in front as to whom he was following. Would you be able to do the same?
When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?" (Matt. 9:11).
Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one (Matt. 5:37).
5. Matthew taught me about Jesus' real purpose. That dinner was just a place to announce it. Those lunches, coffee meetings, the gym, game nights, conversations at work, etc., are all for the purpose of the Kingdom. Jesus came for the lost, the sick, the empty and the broken. If we only have dinners, game night, golfing, fishing and shopping with those who are saved, then how are we ever going to reach the lost? Are having times with saved friends important? Yes, by all means, as Scripture talks about this a lot. But we must not live in a box with everyone around us who is just like us. First, we don't grow as our measurement becomes each other. Second, we aren't being obedient to God's Word to reach others for Christ in all the world. Jesus didn't worry what people thought about Him, about who He associated with. Jesus knew his purpose on earth. Do you know yours?
Matthew also taught me that Jesus was the Great Physician. He is the only one who can heal us. Even if His power is used through others, it is still HIS power and we need to give him credit for it.
On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick (Matt. 9:12).
6. Mathew taught me that Jesus wants us to continue to live a life of action. Our walk with the Lord is fluid. He wants us to move toward Him. He wants us to learn. His desire of us is that we would want to give back out of obedience and love, not due to some kind of ritual or law. We shouldn't tithe or serve down at the local mission or donate our used clothes to a shelter because we feel we should. We should do it because of the love from the Lord and from that love, that our faith will produce action (works). Sacrifice means nothing if it is done for the wrong reason. Jesus didn't come for the ones who felt they are following the law perfectly, for they think they are just fine and don't need a Savior. He came for the ones who know they need a Savior because their way isn't working.
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