‘…Matthew got up and followed Him.’ Matthew 9:9 NIV
Collecting taxes for the Romans was a lucrative job. But for a Jew like Matthew it meant betraying your own people. As a result he was despised and excluded from religious worship. But that didn’t stop Jesus from calling him to be a disciple. And when He did, Matthew didn’t hesitate; he ‘got up and followed Him.’ Here’s a man most of his fellow citizens would have considered a traitor. Jesus saw latent loyalty in Matthew, the hidden promise, the waiting potential. Others might have seen a loser but Jesus saw the man who would record His words and deeds and write a Gospel to bless future billions. It doesn’t matter who we are or what we’ve done, Jesus has a plan for us. And He wants each and every one of us to fulfil our God-given, divine purpose. It’s natural to be apprehensive when you’re facing change and uncertainty, but God says, ‘Take courage!…Don’t be afraid.’ (Matthew 14:27 NIV) Jon Walker writes: ‘God knows it involves a challenging stretch… He knows our abilities and resources aren’t what strengthen us for the journey (Philippians 4:13). When we fear we can’t do the things God calls us to do…that He won’t protect and provide…we embrace the lie that our circumstances are bigger than God, and our faith gets placed on the altar of our own perceptions. If you’re like me you often fear what’s behind the curtain of God’s call, and—frustratingly—He won’t let me peek… He keeps the curtain of our future drawn so we’ll learn to live by faith and not by sight, so we’ll become certain of what we hope for, and become sure of God even when we can’t see how He’s working in our current circumstances.’
SoulFood: Lev 8–10, Luke 1:39–56, Ps 42:1–5, Prov 1:20–23
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2021
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