01/25/S – Following Jesus’ Ways

Genesis 27:1-45; Matthew 9:9-17; Psalms 11:1-6; Proverbs 5:1-6

NT: “As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the toll booth, and he said to him, “Follow me,” and he got up and followed him. While he was reclining at the table in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came to eat with Jesus and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Now when he heard this, he said, “It is not those who are well who need a doctor, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy and not sacrifice. For I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners… No one patches an old garment with unshrunk cloth, because the patch pulls away from the garment and makes the tear worse. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. No, they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”” (‭‭Matthew‬ ‭9:9-13, 16-17‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

Jesus’ way is not conventional. It is not ordinary. It is not same-old, same-old. When Jesus says, “Follow me,” He isn’t going to lead us down familiar and well-worn paths. He isn’t going to lead us to the comfortable. He isn’t going to cater to our preferences. His way is dynamic and living. His way has purpose and is suited for the times. His way is effective and impactful. Jesus didn’t come to abolish the conventional – He just won’t allow Himself and those who follow Him to be constrained by the conventional. Wherever the Father leads Him, He is going to lead us as we listen to the Holy Spirit. Don’t try to contain what He is doing with your preferences and well-worn patterns. Jesus way isn’t comfortable – but He will comfort us along the way as long as you release your rigidity and trust Him in His dynamism.

Psalms: “I have taken refuge in the Lord. How can you say to me, “Escape to the mountains like a bird!” …The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord —his throne is in heaven. His eyes watch; his gaze examines everyone. The Lord examines the righteous, but he hates the wicked and those who love violence.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭11:1, 4-5‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

On several occasions in his life, David’s life was in danger by those who wanted to snuff him out (and the light that his life represented). The temptation during those times was to, instead of trusting in the Lord and following Him, flee to “safety” away from God’s calling – like a skittish bird flees to the mountains. David, however, would do no such thing. Though it seemed foolish to the advisors around him to stay the course, David took his refuge… his hiding place was in the Lord Who is ever watchful. David would rather go against conventional wisdom to be on God’s righteous side than to be considered God’s enemy. By following the Lord, he knew that his enemies were the Lord’s enemies – and his enemies would be dealt with by the Lord.

Proverbs: “My son, pay attention to my wisdom; listen closely to my understanding so that you may maintain discretion and your lips safeguard knowledge.” (‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭5:1-2‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

If we will pay attention to the Fathers wisdom and listen closely to His understanding, He will prevent us from being seduced by the immediate and the comfortable.

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