Matthew 9:9 (Weekly Devotion)
When Jesus called Matthew to follow Him, Matthew was a very corrupt person. He was known to steal money from the people by collecting more money than the people owed for their taxes. For example, if a person owed $5 for his taxes, Matthew would ask for $10. He then gave the $5 to the Roman Empire, and he would keep $5 for himself. Many tax collectors were wealthy because of their corruption. However, in spite of the money that he was making as a tax collector, he was not happy. He was still seeking for a much better life. It was not until Jesus called him that his life changed.
Interestingly, Jesus called Matthew when he was still a bad person. Jesus did not wait for Matthew to change to be a good person before calling him. The reason was that Jesus was the only one who could change his heart. As Matthew followed Jesus, he started learning how to live as a good person. Matthew started to change when he started following Jesus. He had to surrender his life to Jesus in order for him to experience God.
There was a person who grew up in a rough family. His mother was divorced and remarried four times. His stepfathers abused him, so to get out of his situation, he joined the military. He became a fighter pilot for the Marines during the Vietnam war. As he was excelling in his career in the military, his life was also growing out of control. He had so much hate and unforgiveness in his life that it led him to be an alcoholic. He was seeking for an answer, and it was until he believed in Jesus and followed Him that His life started to change. He ended up forgiving all those who abused him, although it was difficult for him to do. When he finished his career in the military, he became a pastor in California.
As we follow our Lord, God will change our lives. Going to church, Bible Study, or church activities will not change us if we are not willing to follow Jesus. Matthew and the pastor in California would never experience their new life in Christ if they had not made the decision to follow Jesus. It was not easy for them to follow Jesus, but they made the sacrifice to do it because they knew that the only way that they could have a new life was to follow Jesus.
Write down the challenges that you are facing today and lift them up to God.
Let us ask God to help us to follow Him.
Father in Heaven, thank you for your word that speaks truth in my life. Please help me to follow you with all of my heart even when I don’t feel like it. I know that your ways are better than my ways. Please help me to follow you and change my heart. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.