Jesus said in Matthew 9:13 that he came for those who know they are sinners. Owning up to our choices is part of the process to follow him.
Matthew and other disciples of Jesus have this in common: they left their comfort zones to follow him. What has following Christ cost you?
Think back to when you first made a decision to follow Christ. Look at what God has done in your life since then! Give him praise today.
I have shared in previous posts that my testimony has a lot to do with overcoming fear – namely, the fear of death. I have attended more funerals than I can count, and my experience with death began at an early age. Even though I no longer fear death, I still don’t enjoy having it thrown in my face, which is why I don’t really care for crime scene shows, the zombie craze, Stephen King books, or realistically violent movies.
Psalm 23, one of King David’s poems, is often read at funerals with the intention of comforting people, but to be honest, I always found it a bit creepy: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death …” (v. 4, NJKV). It conjures up images in my mind of something sinister lurking behind a bush, waiting to jump out and snatch me. Shadows are menacing. After all, how many horror movies are set in broad daylight?
It took me many years to come to the realization that the “shadow of death” can be a comforting shade, not a threatening omen, to the believer in Christ. Think about it … how do we gauge parking spaces in the summer heat? The best spaces aren’t judged by distance from the front door, but by proximity to shade! Shade is simply a shadow, and we love it, in that context. Or, consider the story of Jonah, chapter 4 – God allowed a plant to spring up suddenly to provide much-needed shade for Jonah, and he was grateful (v. 6).
The “shadow of death” does not have to frighten us. As followers of Christ, we can find comfort in our mortality because to be apart from the body is to be in his presence for all eternity (2 Corinthians 5:6-8). When life tries to beat us up, we can “take refuge in the shadow of [God’s] wings,” as David wrote in Psalm 36:7.
The time is now. Jesus says to put down the fishing net and follow him. No seminary degree required! Just be willing and trust him.
After Peter denied Jesus, he went back to doing what he did in the old days: fishing. When we decide to follow Christ, let’s not look back.
Are you following Christ because it’s your choice, or are you following the footsteps of a parent, spouse, etc? The decision is yours alone.