Friday: Matthew 4:18-25

This segment of Matthew is so well known that it is easy to dismiss it, as something we’ve heard before. Matthew narrates how Jesus called simple fishermen to follow him. Since the Love and Respect study I have a greater appreciation for  how important work and the need to provide are for men. How charismatic Jesus must have been, to have Peter, Andrew, James and John abandon their work and families to follow Him with no conditions or promises. I believe they followed Jesus because He inspired them to a greater calling; a new adventure. They yearned to be taught, mentored, to be part of something above their ordinary lives; for a gift they didn’t realize they could have, a relationship with our creator.

Just like Peter and Andrew, when I truly met my creator, I sought to be guided by Him. I wanted to know His will for my life; to grow closer to Him; and by His grace closer to who He created me to be.  Like James and John, what my family and friends thought of me was no longer the most important thing. Honoring God through my choices was. I gained new confidence and joy, not in myself but in Him.

On reading N.T. Wright’s devotional for today, I had to smile, because I knew Travis  and my husband Joe, would love the sports analogy but it put these verses in a light I hadn’t considered.

This chapter is the beginning of a new season. Just like the anticipation that is in the air at the beginning of a sports season, there was a new energy in Judea. Jesus was teaching, healing, performing miracles; the crowd was excited. “Was this the Messiah?” Maybe some of them had witnessed John the Baptist baptizing Him. The spectators were watching. The coach, Jesus, had to assemble a team. Radically, He chose from the spectators who were not ready. This really hit home with me ,( sorry for the pun,) when asked to do this blog. I really did not feel ready to be here, in front, rather than back in the congregation. I couldn’t say no; because I heard His voice calling me to join His team a long time ago. As a kid that was often the last person picked for any sports team, being asked to be on Jesus’ team changed my perspective and is changing me every day. He gave me a mission to encourage  people to stop being spectators. We are not called to just   go through the motions of being Christians but to realize the awesome privilege of being on Christ’s team. It is not only preachers, missionaries, or lay leaders, who He calls. We are His church. Each of us have a part to play. We are his hands and feet.  We may not feel ready; but how exciting that He calls us to work with Him, imperfect as we are.

Are you the next batter up?

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