"As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's booth. 'Follow me,' he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him." Matthew 9:9
People ask me all the time, "How can I get my life back on track?" My answer never changes, no matter the person, no matter the circumstances: JESUS. The only way we can truly live is to live in Jesus. God created us in His image...physically, emotionally, and spiritually. To believe that we can truly live this life and live it fully with joy and satisfaction apart from God is to believe a lie straight out of the mouth of the father of lies, Satan. From the very beginning, Satan spun that lie with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. He's been spinning that lie ever since...that we don't need God...that we can meet our own needs...that we can be our own god. Every step away from God is a step toward destruction. Every lie from Satan's mouth that we believe is a lie that leads us further and further away from joy and satisfaction that can only be found in God. Jesus is the answer. Jesus loves us. Jesus lived for us. Jesus died for us. Jesus defeated sin and death for us. Jesus is the Way and the Truth and the Life. We need Jesus. We need Jesus every second of every minute of every hour of every day!
I love the gospel of Matthew. Matthew's focus is on the promised Messiah. Jesus is the promised Messiah, the One who would come to redeem and to restore mankind to God the Father. Matthew saw Jesus face to face. Matthew experienced true life change in one moment when Jesus spoke two words to him: "Follow Me." Matthew's response to the invitation Jesus gave him: "Matthew got up and followed him." And that's not all. Matthew 9:10 tells us that Matthew celebrated his life change. Matthew threw a party and invited everyone he knew to celebrate Jesus with him. We need to remember, Matthew was a tax collector, and his friends were probably tax collectors. During this time, tax collectors were not embrace or accepted as loving or worthy people. Tax collectors were known to take advantage of people financially. They took advantage of people for the state and for themselves. They were despised men. However, Jesus went straight for Matthew. It reminds John 15:16, where Jesus said, "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit - fruit that will last - and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you." Jesus has the authority and the power to save! Jesus has the authority and the power to save anyone, anywhere...even a tax collector! Matthew certainly didn't deserve salvation. He certainly didn't earn salvation. But Jesus freely offered it to him. And today, you and I are no better than Matthew during his day. We don't deserve salvation. We can't earn salvation. It is a free gift of God that is offered to us from Jesus. My prayer is that we will receive it like Matthew received it. My prayer is that we will get up from our tax collector's booth and follow Jesus wherever He leads us. My prayer is that we will celebrate the life change that Jesus gives us by inviting others to meet Jesus like Matthew did. If you are a Christ follower, and you are asking that question: "How can I get my life back on track?" The answer is JESUS. If you are not a Christ follower, and you are asking that question: "How can I get my life back on track?" The answer is JESUS. We all need Jesus. We need Jesus to save us. We need Jesus to sustain us. Jesus is the promised Messiah, and He is available to you and to me today. Jesus has the authority and the power to save you and me today!!! Celebrate life change today!!! Celebrate Jesus today!!!