Monday, April 28, 2014

A Proper Response

This week's blog will be a little different because I didn't preach yesterday. I had a friend, Ayo Gbode (pronounced I-O boe de) from Nigeria, preach so my blog will consist of a few notes from his message - and some thoughts that came to mind as I reflected on the message. Later this week, I plan an entry on the string of "Christian" movies that have recently come out of Hollywood.

Ayo's message was on the call of Levi (Matthew) from the account of Luke (5.27-30).

5.27 is Jesus' invitation - "Follow Me"

  • We do not know what Levi thought of Jesus, but Jesus certainly giving him a chance to make a difference
  • Jesus called a tax collector. In the first century, tax collectors were tools in the hands of the oppressor (Rome). Jesus took a tax collector (and a full group of nobodys) and made them tools in the hands of a King.

5.28 is Levi's response

  • Levi left everything - Levi could not offer anything he had...he simply followed. Contrast the rich young ruler who wanted to follow, but went away sad because he would not leave what he had. Jesus said we can't serve both God and money...which do we choose?
  • Levi rose - Levi got up to follow. He was sitting at his table - the place he earned his living. It was his livelihood. Israel would have seen the table as a table of oppression. Levi left this table and truly learned to sit at the table of grace. Levi got up from the table of indulgence because Jesus gave him a reason to hope.
  • Levi followed. - Many may get up. Many may leave things behind. But will they follow? And will they follow Jesus? There are a lot of great organizations that do wonderful things to help people. These organizations are not against Christ, but are they for Him. Can a Christian engage in such organizations? Absolutely. Should a Christian feel this satisfies the call to follow Jesus? Absolutely not!

In 3 years, Jesus showed his disciples all they needed to do. Effectively Jesus said, "All I do, you will do." He left the Kingdom agenda in the hands of ordinary, or even rejected, people. Yet, He gave them a great opportunity to make a difference. He gave them purpose. He gave them hope. And believers today are the fruits of their labor 2000 years labor.

Will we respond by leaving everything, rising up, and following Him to make a difference in the generations to come?

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