The more I read the Bible and listen to God’s Word, the more that is revealed to me. I watched Pastor Rick Warrens new sermon which is part two to the series Jesus Makes Headlines, titled “The God of Second Chances.” I knew that I was going to like this sermon just based on the title, I am so thankful for second chances. (okay who are we kidding, third and fourth chances are pretty awesome too!).
It starts in the book of Matthew 9:9-13 ” Jesus Calls Matthew”. I always liked the name Matthew, it’s a Biblical name that I named my oldest son after. It means a gift from God.” I always perceived that to mean, that Matthew the name, meaning my own son was a “gift from God.” Looking back now, I realize of course that it probably meant the same thing even before I named my child that, but after today’s reading I realized it was much more. (smile).
Starting in chapter nine, verse nine through thirteen, it talks about how Jesus called Matthew.
Matthew 9:9, ” As Jesus was walking along, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow Me and be My disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed Him.” (NLT).
When you read it like that, it seems so simple, so black and white, but to fully understand the Grace and Mercy of Christ, you must dive deeper into the passage. In the passage above, it says that Jesus “saw a man named Matthew.” In order for Jesus to physically see and call Matthew, ( or take note of Matthew), he must have had knowledge of who Matthew was, and what his character was about. We know this because we know that God is all-knowing, (omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscience). It is safe to say that he would not have called Matthew over had he not had prior knowledge of what Matthew about, so we know that He made a conscious decision to use a lowly, sinful, tax collector .That is the one of several really cool things about Jesus, He uses ordinary, imperfect, sinful people to do the will of God. He takes the ugliness and turns it around for His Glory. It is safe to assume that we see story after story of Jesus using people to do His will, so that means knowing he uses imperfection and turns it around, He can surely use either you or I today. I will list below things that we have discovered about Christ. (I will use the emphasis of I or me).I love that if He did it for others, He will also do it for you and I.
1. Jesus see’s me as I am.
2. Jesus loves me for who I am, a sinner.
3. Jesus will call me and use me in the state that I am now.
4. Jesus loves me so much that He will not leave me like I am.
5. When Jesus says “Follow Me” He is inviting those he calls to a whole new life.
I love this statement the most, “Forgiveness and Salvation is God’s greatest gift to you. How will you respond to God’s calling ? Will you do like Matthew did, get up and leave everything, stepping out on Faith to serve God?
I love that Jesus saw past Matthew’s imperfections and sins, He saw what Matthew could become for God. Everyone else in Matthew’s life looked at his past failures (taken from the sermon notes).
My question to you is this, “Knowing that God loves us, looks past all our shortcomings and failures and still loves us unconditionally, will you be willing and waiting to serve God? How can you personally with your talent, desires, and gift’s further the Kingdom of God to bring Him Glory?
To see the sermon go to http://www.saddleback.com and click the watch icon.