“The Wednesday Word” Devotional & Podcast
We thought it would be a great idea to have a mid-week recap & refresh of Pastor David’s Sunday sermon. Let’s make sure that we are learning all we can from them!
Pastor David’s Wednesday devotional will be related to the Sunday sermon in some way. It could be an expansion on a theme, a different twist, or other content related to Sunday’s sermon. Various staff members and parishioners will gather to discuss the devotional and how it relates to our lives and maybe give some practical application of the word.
“Influencers & Followers” – August 18, 2021
Matthew 9: 9-11
9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.
10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
Last Sunday I started a new sermon series entitled “Influencers.” Influencers are people who influence how we think and act. All of us have people in our lives who influence us. Some of us have “influencers” we follow on social media.
Can you name a person or people who are influencers in your life? What are the reasons the person (or people) are influencers in your life?
In Matthew chapter 9, we read Matthew’s story. Jesus encountered Matthew while Matthew was working collecting taxes. Jesus simply said to Matthew “Follow me,” and Matthew got up and left work. In the very next scene, Jesus was at the home of Matthew having dinner. Matthew had invited some of his friends—other tax collectors! Somehow, the Pharisees got word and questioned Jesus disciples about what was happening at the home of Matthew. When Jesus heard about the concerns of the Pharisees, Jesus made it clear that he came to influence sinners. Jesus is an influencer.
I remember the day when I decided to follow Jesus. I was born into a Christian family and raised in the faith. So, I knew about Jesus and grew up in the church. But there are no grandchildren in the family of God—just because my parents were Christian didn’t mean I was. I was 16 years old that I made the decision to follow Jesus. My parents’ faith became my faith. How about for you? For some, the decision is very gradual, and its hard to pinpoint and for others the decision is dramatic, and the moment is easy to remember.
What is your story? How did you come to follow Jesus?
When Matthew decided to follow Jesus, his life changed. He not only become a disciple of Jesus Christ, but he also became one of the 12 apostles. Tradition holds that after Jesus’ ascension, Matthew preached the good news of Jesus Christ in Judea and then in other countries. The sinner in chapter 9 of the Matthew’s gospel became an evangelist and ultimately a saint.
My life has changed too. I no longer deal with fear of failure. I no longer worry about things I can’t control. I no longer have to be “right” and I no longer have to win at everything I do. Instead, I am much more patient and accepting. I am quick to forgive and slow to judge. And increasingly my faith is impacting every aspect of my life.
How has Jesus influenced your life? What changes can you point to in your life because of Jesus’ influence?
Matthew started traveling with Jesus—he literally followed him! So, Matthew heard Jesus teach, he saw Jesus’ work miracles, and I can imagine that every day in some way Jesus was influencing his life. How about for you?
How is Jesus influencing your life today?
Spending time reading the teachings and stories of Jesus help open me up to Jesus’ influence. So does prayer.
What helps open you up to Jesus’ influence?
We don’t know much about Matthew. The Bible doesn’t tell us much about him. But we do know his life was influenced by Jesus. That alone tells us a whole lot about the man. Thanks be to God.
God bless you and I will see you in church.
Podcast & Sermon Video Links
Audio Podcast on Soundcloud. Also available on Apple Music & Spotify
“Influencers & Followers” Sermon Video