I Have Decided 5

listen not
Listen to I Have Decided to Follow Jesus

Though none go with me, still I will follow;
No turning back, no turning back.

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

Matthew was engaged at work (as was every other disciple) when Jesus invited him to “Follow Me.” Matthew was a sinner, an outcast of society, a despised tax collector known for gaining personal wealth by cheating his own people. Every day he increased his wealth and emptied his soul. When he heard the call to “Follow Me” his spirit leapt within him. He left everything—his job, his income, his friends, his all—to join Christ. The hate-filled life that had imprisoned him was broken because of the One who desired to be close friends with him; the One who will save His people from their sins (Matt. 1:21). Matthew is a powerful example of forgiveness. His life would still be scorned, but his soul filled, his conscience clear. He became an eyewitness to Jesus’ ministry, an evangelist, and the author of the first book in the New Testament. He never did return to his former career as a tax collector. He became part of the family of God, chosen as one of the 12 to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit“ (Matt. 28:19).

Matthew’s story illustrates that God calls us when we are engaged in the business of life. We do not need to be in the church or in professional ministry to hear His call. Sometimes, like Matthew, we find that we are laying up treasures on earth, despised by those around us. Such empty pursuits lead us into a longing for a closer relationship with the One whose voice is gentle, whose eyes are filled with love. We begin to lay up treasures that can no longer be destroyed by moth and rust. Instead, our treasures are in heaven. For, where our treasure is, there our heart will be also (Matt. 6:19-21).

Where does your treasure lie? If following Jesus meant that you would have to renounce a well-paying job and embrace a life of poverty and persecution, could you do it? Is your soul empty? Your heart broken? Are you bored with your life? Your job? Your possessions? Today is your day to lay up treasure in heaven. Think for a moment of a possible upcoming challenge that you will face this day. Settle within your heart that you will choose to follow Jesus. “Though none go with me, still I will follow; no turning back, no turning back.”