The Great Commission

We have seen Jesus demonstrate His power over disease, nature, the spirit world, and sin. He continues to show His limitless power because He is omnipotent. All these miracles are to authenticate who Jesus is so we will follow Him. If you are following Jesus, you will do these five things: Win, Quit, Resist, Connect, and Remember

Today, let’s look at winning the lost (Matthew 9:9-10 ) Christ Jesus is on a prayer walk along the seashore (Mark 2:13) in Capernaum, when He sees Matty Nice sitting at his tax table. Our gospel’s author is AKA Levi Levy, the one who presses out the tax of his people. He’s an unscrupulous Jew extracting the Juice of Jewish wallets for Rome. Taxes pay for the Roman domination of Israel and collectors were notoriously corrupt, overcharging people, and keeping the difference. In our culture, Matty Nice would be lumped in with the pimps and pushers peddling sin. When Jesus sees him sitting at his tax booth, He says, that’s the guy…Levi Levy, join my posse’ Matthew 9:9~ …and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. (ESV) 

That guy? The indecently immoral, the profligate prodigal, Levi Levy? No one wants to be his friend, to offer him grace, or to share any good news for fear it would cost them. He’s a tax collector and there’s no telling the hourly rate they charge on joy. Christ Jesus looks at him and says, he’s perfect and ripe for a change, come Matty Nice, join the journey through life and faith. Salvation is a wonderful miracle, changing us from death to life. Grateful for the love and acceptance Matty wants to reach his lost friends for Christ, so he throws a party. As Jesus kicks it at Matty’s table, many tax collectors and sinners come to eat with Jesus and His disciples (Matthew 9:10) Just as He did with Matthew, Jesus calls all His followers to be fishers of men and women (Mark 1:17). If you are not fishing for men and women, you are not really following Jesus. 

Who has the Lord brought near your life that you could share the amazing life of faith with? I bet if you pulled back a little, you would notice that someone has been around a while, looking for a life-altering change. Today, let’s take time to pray for them and yourself. Ask God to help give you a moment and the words to say as He wins their heart.

Join Project Pray

Today is First Friday. From 6pm tonight until 6 pm tomorrow many will be praying, and I want us to partner with Project Pray. Let’s take extra time to pray for the lost, pray for those who are struggling and straggling, pray for unreached people groups, pray for missionaries to have the support, words, and opportunities to share God’s precious and holy word, pray for our nation (we need a revival, holiness, sane thinking), pray for our community, pray for our families, pray for yourself. Ask God to move, ask God to guide your prayers. 

The Freedom of Forgiveness

Have you allowed Jesus to forgive you? I am not asking if you have asked the Lord to come into your heart. What I am asking is have you given Him everything, maybe there is some act so egregious you have not let it go, or something said that your struggle with. No matter what it is, Jesus can and will forgive you. We all need forgiveness of sin in our our lives. When Jesus gets back into the boat, He goes back to His own city, Capernaum and performs His greatest miracle so far. Matthew 9:2~And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” (ESV) Sin, what, I want to walk. Has the Lord ever met a need or done something other than what you asked? Sometimes we are simply focused on the wrong thing. 

Our greatest need is having our sins placed under the precious blood where we are forgiven. It is the greatest of all miracles. Matthew 9:4-6 ~Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said…which is easier…forgiven or…Rise and walk…he then said to the paralytic…pick up your bed…(ESV) This is the voice of His command, Christ Jesus speaks and life is forever altered. Has the Lord changed your life? Jesus Christ has the power to forgive you, to forgive us, of all our sins. This man gets a double blessing in his life, he is forgiven of all his sins and he gets up and goes home. 

The crowd is wonderstruck. When is the last time the Lord left you in a state of awe and wonder? I only need to count my blessing and I soon realize God is so amazing. Matthew 9:8~When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men. (ESV) Some said blasphemer, but others recognize Jesus has power and authority that can only come from God. It is not altogether different from any given Sunday. Where some say, that’s so irreverent and others say, wow, I never saw the Gospel like that before. Billy Graham used to say, “The same sun that melts butter hardens clay.” 

So, today I ask you, will you grow the seed of faith? This week we have witnessed Jesus demonstrates three miracles here in Matthew. Each time proving He is the Lord over all. Jesus can calm our storms, He cast out our demons, and most importantly, forgive all of our sins. Isaiah 55:6~Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. (NIV) As you journey out into our wide and beautiful world, remember it needs men and women who will take a stand for the Lord, and He is near today. I want you to know that Jesus will meet you right where you are. So go ahead and take that step of faith, minister, pray with and for, share the love of Christ with everyone you meet.