Wings As Eagles: Plain and simple obedience. Immediate obedience.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Plain and simple obedience. Immediate obedience.

Matthew. A tax collector. A man hated by the majority of the people living in the city. A greedy guy. Deceitful and dishonest. What can be learned from this New Testament Bible character?

Plain and simple obedience. Immediate obedience.

During Kid's Klub on Wednesday afternoons, Erinn and I have been working with the kids to listen and obey when we tell them to do or not to do something. And not on the 10th time we tell them; the first time. So as I was reviewing the story of Matthew, I deliberately picked out Matthew 9:9 for the kids to look up in the Bible and read. (What better authority to point the kids to than God's Word?!)

Matthew 9:9 - As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him.

(btw - love this clipart image and the essence of greediness it displays! :))

Now you have to understand that Matthew was a greedy man, a tax collector employed by the Roman government, constantly cheating people out of their money as he collected the exorbitant taxes that he himself raised in cost.

So when Jesus passed by his tax collecting station, why in the world would he leave this place that fed his greedy attitude and lifestyle? Wouldn't he be hesitant to resign from that position? Wouldn't he want to at least finish his day's work? No. His answer to Jesus wasn't, "I'll come follow you after I finish my work today." Or he didn't respond by saying, "Not right now; I'll think about it, maybe tomorrow." Or "Wait just a minute; let me finish this."

No. He dropped everything and followed Jesus. Jesus didn't explain or give any other information than just the order, "Follow Me." And Matthew immediately obeyed. What better example could Matthew give to us than that exact response?

Jesus spoke; Matthew obeyed. Immediate. Completely. Fully. No questions asked.

I was stressing this point to the kids, telling them that when we or their parents or teachers tell them to do something, they should have the same response as Matthew. Do it. Do it now. That's being obedient.

And I found that same exact point convicting to me as well. How many times do I put off something that I know should or needs to be done? Not only with tasks I dread doing and put off, but relationships with others or ministry opportunities that I let pass by and neglect to do. Is my answer to be willing to do it, even when it costs me time and energy? Or do I wait and put it off, when I really know what I should be doing? How better to show my love for Jesus Christ than to respond to Him with obedience? Immediate obedience!

Have I mentioned that I love teaching? :) Not only do I get the opportunity to allow God to work through me and minister to the lives of children, but also I find so many times God teaches me so much more than what I'm actually teaching the kids! How spectacular is that?!

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