guard your affections; for they influence everything else in your life."
(Proverbs 4:23, TLB)
"Once again Jesus went out
beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them.
As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax
collector's booth. 'Follow me,' Jesus told him, and Levi got up and
followed him." (Mark 2:13-15, NIV)
After healing the paralytic, Jesus once again
went out beside the lake. It is possible this is the same lake where He
met Simon, Andrew, James & John. A large crowd comes to him and He began
to teach them.
It is so cool that Jesus uses every opportunity
He has to teach them and call people to Him!
I asked myself why is it
significant that Jesus called a tax collector to follow Him!
It is significant to me because tax-collectors
in that day were really despised. I do not believe they were hated just
because they were collecting taxes but also because they were cheating
them while working for the Romans. We are not told much about Levi
except that he was in the middle of his occupation, 'collecting taxes'.
Now here comes Jesus and asks him to follow Him after teaching to the
crowds. Jesus went from calling professional fisherman to follow Him to
asking a despised tax-collector to follow Him.
If Levi was collecting taxes, it is more than
likely that he was becoming rich day by day. He was not just there to
volunteer! As much as the Jewish people were waiting for a Deliverer to
deliver them from the oppression of Rome, there were some Jews who
decided to work for the Romans to benefit their own pockets. Levi was
one of them. We can infer that he was Jewish based on his name and
because it is mentioned that he is the son of Alphaeus. Usually Jewish
people attributed a lot to the family name. He now works for the
It is more than likely that people avoided
tax-collectors as much as possible. Let's be honest, I do not know how
many people have a good opinion of tax-collectors these days too (the
IRS). The IRS has been under investigation many times because of some of
its members. Jesus does not despise Levi but calls to him.
I asked myself what I
could learn about Jesus!
Jesus seems to be counter-cultural. Regardless
of what people think about Levi and how much he maybe despised, Jesus
values him as a person and tells him to follow him regardless of his
background. That must have meant a world to Levi to be asked to go along
with Jesus, who was a celebrity of that day.
If this were to happen today, the media would
have a field day.
The headlines could read, "Despised
tax-collector given autograph by the celebrity, Jesus."
Anyone Jesus asks to follow Him is being given
His autograph in a figurative sense.
I asked myself what I
could learn about Levi!
Levi got up and followed Jesus. He
left what he was doing and went along with Jesus. This is significant
because after having an encounter with Jesus, he was willing to give up
his job that was causing pain to a lot of people. Jesus drew him in. In
a way, Jesus ran to Levi to accept him and Levi came to Jesus!
I saw important
implications for my own life. No matter where I have been or what I have
done, when Jesus calls that is a time to celebrate. I need to put my
guilt and past behind and follow Jesus, being accepted by Jesus, for
Jesus gives us acceptance.
I ask you now dear friend,
where are you looking for acceptance?
Dear friend, human beings were made to be in a
relationship with God and each other. Sin marred that bond and corrupted
it. Yet, deep inside of every human being there is a desire for
acceptance and they look for it in different places. I guess Levi looked
to his job for acceptance even though it hurt a lot of people.
Friend, I don’t know where you go for
acceptance. Many times it seems easier to run for acceptance in
different areas that can be detrimental to our lives. Yet these areas
cannot really give us acceptance but Jesus will and can. He has given
you free will and you can run to Him! Jesus runs to you and wants to give
you new life. Yes, He does! Oh yes, He does!
I want you to know no matter whom we have been,
where we have been, what we have done, why we have done it; the Lord
does not forsake us. Jesus calls to us just as He did Levi. He wants us
to follow Him! This does not always mean dropping what we are doing and
following Jesus if it is not wrong what we are doing unless we know
that's what the Lord wants us for. Wherever we are it does mean
serving Jesus in the area we are in.
Do not ever let guilt or your past keep you from
following Jesus. If you think you are not good enough for Jesus to
accept you, you are on the right track. It is only when we realize that
we are not good enough and humble ourselves before the Lord, He is ready
to take us in. All have sinned and fallen short of
the glory of God as Scripture states. This is why Christ came.
No matter what the scars and stains of the past
are, the Lord wants you. You know how posters say: "Wanted Dead or
Alive: Reward for capture of criminal"? This is done so the prisoner can
be caught and lose his freedom.
Jesus wants you so that He can set you free and
take you on a new path of life. "As far as the
east is from the west, He has removed our transgressions from us."
(Psalm 103:12, TLB)
You can run to Jesus as you are and receive His
blessings and abundant life. He wants you because He loves you. No
matter what others tell you because of your actions, know that Jesus
loves you so much and He is willing to accept you! Allow Him to change
you rather than waiting until you can make all the changes before coming
to Jesus. If that were the case, it would never happen because you would
always feel down upon yourself and feel that you are not worthy for the
The Lord has reached out to tax-collectors,
prostitutes, etc. His love has no bounds and He reaches out to you. May
you come to the point to accept Christ’s caring everlasting pardon
today, allowing now change everyday!
Will of the Human
by Ramesh C. Reddy
Human, Human, what have you done with
your Free will?
What will be your life's final bill?
Will your will take you, up or down
Your mind and heart, how have you
decided to fill?
Is it by taking a high drug pill?
In the end, it will only give you a
Whether you are Jack or Jill!
Cause drugs will give your brain a bad
Is it by watching filth?
In the end, your mind will be
As your conscience won't understand
innocence from guilt!
Is it by engaging in forbidden acts?
In the end, they will make you realize
the dangerous facts!
Is it by joining a street gang?
In the end, there is usually a bang!
As you are hit by a bullet's poisonous
Is it by living your life away from
Who wants to guide you by His staff
In the end, with joy you cannot nod!
Cause life's bill won't still be paid
And these activities you think are fun
will give you a raid!
As your mind and heart start to fade!
Because that's not the reason, you
But there is still a way out!
If you decide to go on that route!
Jesus loves you so much, I have no
Your problems and pain, you can give
Even when the solutions to your
problems look slim!
And your life's future looks dim!
For Jesus paid the ultimate cost!
Upon a rugged Cross for the lost!
That in Him we may have abundant life
and not frost!
His shed Blood was for you and me!
His love and healing power is
available for you to see!
Through life's trials and
tribulations, strong you can be!
For the Holy Spirit will come to Thee!
And be your life's answer Key!
When you give your life to the Savior!
In whom, you can find favor!
For He loves you so much!
There is no love as such!
He will lead you by His gentle Hand!
In this troublesome world we call
In prayer, as you accept the Lord in
And let the Lord do the final part!
“Accept Christ's Caring,
Everlasting Pardon Today, Allowing Now Change Everyday!” (A.C.C.E.P.T.A.N.C.E)/"Where
do you look for A.C.C.E.P.T.A.N.C.E?"
Dear Lord, I want to thank
you so much for accepting us even though we have done so much that has
dishonored you. I thank you Lord that you love us so much and you never
see us as being beyond your reach. You reach out to us now no matter how
stain filled our past has been and want to fill us with your love and
forgiveness; healing us of all our sin and accepting us. Thank you so
much Lord for running to us, putting your arms around us, wiping the
tears from our eyes, and forgiving us. We give our lives to thee and are
sorry for all our sins. Thank you that you wipe them away and we can
have a fresh start! Thank you so much Jesus for the start you give us.
We have a new beginning with you Lord and we can live with you and
follow you. I thank you for calling Levi to follow you. Thank you for
the free will you give us and we can serve you! We acknowledge you as
our Lord and Personal Savior! Please Jesus come into our heart and make
our heart your home. Thank you for living in us and we will live for
your and serve you! I thank you for hearing
us and answering us. In Your Name We Pray Jesus! Amen!
Friend, you may feel something
or you may not but this you can be assured that the Lord Jesus has come
into your life and will give you a new beginning! Amen!
Get yourself involved in a
campus Bible study, fellowship, and most of all find a Bible believing
church and be involved to grow in your Christian walk with the Lord.
They all need to be supplements for your own precious time with the Lord
in prayer and meditating on His Word. If you need a Bible, please let me
need anyone to talk to, pray with, or study the Bible with this Fall of
September 2005, you can email me at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 412-720-4579.
Love in Christ,
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