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Following Jesus

Power Point / Jack Graham
The Truth Network Radio
January 26, 2022 7:00 am

Following Jesus

Power Point / Jack Graham

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January 26, 2022 7:00 am

There is much confusion today about what a Christian actually is; so many think that Christianity is just a long list of rules and regulations. Join us for today’s PowerPoint and Pastor Jack Graham’s message, Following Jesus, as he reveals what it truly means to be a Christian.

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Welcome to this additional PowerPoint program tell you how you ran moments. First, here's the message following Jesus series of messages called you the Christian I were talking about what it really means to be a Christian identifying followers of Jesus Christ through conversations and conversions that we find in the stories of the gospel as people met Jesus.

Their lives were transformed and they began to follow him. Today were going to meet a man by the name of Matthew who met Christ of his life was changed forever.

I mean radically change take your Bibles and turn would be the Matthews gospel chapter 9 now out of all of the end of the close followers of Jesus. Matthew is also known in the Scriptures as Levi was the most perhaps the most notorious and irreligious center of the mall and the transformation of this man is truly one of the most vivid illustration of what it means to follow Christ previously.

Matthew was a tax collector or known as a public when Jesus called them to himself and he would've resumed being a tax collector.

Having sold out to the Roman government.

The Roman government constantly taxing the people more and more, and then these Jewish tax collectors were invited to not only collect the taxes but to take off the top anything they desired so they were known not only for their dishonesty, whether they were dishonest or not but they were certainly known as traders as turncoats as extortioners, and they were despised and hated and along the most least likely to follow Christ and yet this man became a leader in the church. The writer of the gospel that bears his name. The gospel of Matthew. This disgraceful man. This despised man this lowest of the low. If if you want to think just how low, so surely this guy was in the eyes of the Jewish people, at least, of even the Romans considered these Jewish tax collectors as we can as turncoats themselves greedy if you want to know just how low this man was think drug dealer or think pornographer just a social outcast, but notice what happened to his life. In verse nine of chapter 9 Matthews gospel as Jesus passed on from there he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax and he said to him, follow me, and he rose and followed him. And as Jesus reclined at a table in the house, behold many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, and when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners, but when he heard it. He said those who are well have no need of a position, but those who are sick, go and learn what this means, I desire mercy and not sacrifice, for I came not to call the righteous, but sinners think for a moment about the call to follow Jesus. Matthew is sitting at his booth near Capernaum and he's taking the tolls.

He's taking the tax and then, seemingly out of nowhere on this ordinary day.

Jesus calls him to himself just to works to commanding and compelling work, not just an invitation, but a command written in the imperative written in the present, active, and that is follow me start right now and for the rest of your life. The rest of your days follow me now again I want to mention that Matthew was an unlikely candidate for the band of believers that follow Jesus. Matthew must've heard of Jesus and his miracles of Jesus was the talk of the town.

Jesus had now settled near the Sea of Galilee is home away from home was Capernaum, the Burke, the home of Simon Peter and others of the fishermen who followed Christ so certainly Matthew being a public figure would've known about Jesus is also clear, especially when you read the Gospel of Matthew that this man was well versed in the Scriptures when Matthew wrote his gospel after following Christ. He often referred to Old Testament Scriptures that promise and predicted the coming of the Messiah, so perhaps Matthew was wondering is this amazing man.

This man he was doing miracles is is this one called Jesus of Nazareth could he be the one we been expected. No doubt he admired Jesus but on the other hand, he realized that Jesus no doubt didn't come for people like himself, a tax collector hated man. He wondered if it was too late for me. My life is a mess. While he would be maybe a great thing to follow after Jesus there. There's just no way that he would include someone like me. I wonder how many people are like that today wanting help who want to know God, but wonder if he would include them. Wonder if there really love by God to admire God you believe in God. Did you know that nearly 75% of the people who don't attend church in America believe in God but they wonder if God believes in them. Sometimes, often because of the way they've been treated by those of us who claim the name of Christ. They feel like outsiders.

They feel excluded from the presence of God. That's the way Matthew must've felt then get on that day it was different because the Scripture tells us that, especially in Luke's account of the same story that Jesus passed by, and he looked at Matthew and the word that is chosen by the Holy Spirit in Luke's account. He looked as if it means a long focus look. It literally means he was staring at him. Jesus was looking at him and as he was looking at Matthew Matthew no doubt feels his eyes. The eyes of our Lord. Looking at him. We've ever had that experience of being somewhere, being in a restaurant and you feel some eyes on you and and and you look and sure enough, someone's looking right at you, staring at you turned back and you try to go about your visiting your food but you still realize somebody is looking at you need when you look back and they're still looking at you.

You think he whines this person looking at me or maybe it's in church. I've had this happened a time or two, I'll be preaching along in it.

I like to lock eyes with people in and connect and communicate with people in and sometimes people what it will walk out as it was he looking at me was he talking to me. But what if I know what if I preach this whole sermon about half to get up just looking right you just staring at you honey would you think the message was for you sure you are well well. Matthew feels these eyes on him. He felt eyes looking at him before eyes full of anger. I eyes full of hatred people.

He passed them by.

Sneered at him who kinda looked at them, but just really did look at he just went away just ignored him because he was so despised and so rejected and so hated. He was he was a wealthy man. He had the money sold out to the Romans to have a good career in this despicable thing of taking taxes but but it cost him everything with people maybe his own family and friends didn't care much for so he feels the eyes of Jesus and he thought, you know he's looking right at me and Jesus knows what is in the Hardy look past the surface he looks beyond the faades in our lives we looking right into our heart and he knows what's there and so Matthew realizes he knows what kind of man I am. He knows my heart, but as he looks in the face of Jesus as he returns the look he realized that Jesus is coming his way. Right now his heart is beating his his his pulse is racing.

What's he going to say to me as a unit. Is he going to judge me like everyone else, especially all these religious types around here is he going to call me a loser of a lousy person. What kind of what kind of words in my going to hear in his Jesus gets closer, he realizes that his Jesus is walking there in his eyes.

His eyes are smiling, no doubt in my view, Jesus is smiling a big broad beautiful smile on his face don't get the idea that Jesus was some kind of a pale, sanctimonious religious recluse. The Bible says he is not annoying me with the oil of gladness more than any of my companion. And so Jesus is looking at him with eyes full of compassion, with eyes full of love and understanding and mercy and grace and forgiveness. And rather than the looks of confrontation, came words of invitation.

Follow me.

Just two words follow me leave this life behind and began a brand-new life with me, a journey of faith and adventure that starts now and last forever, and with those simple words follow me know!

Not a message or sermon, but just two words so compelling, so amazing was our sole heir.

Resist was his call that Matthew left everything behind and he began to follow James just like that instantaneously, miraculously, he began following Jesus. And this is what we call conversion he was converted and every person needs to hear the words of Christ, follow me, and that means to leave your old life behind and begin your listening to PowerPoint with Jack Graham in today's message following Jesus when he set aside daily time to connect with God to give me the ability to live a godly life and fulfill his plans for you in the coming year and we'd like to help me walk even more closely with the Lord in the year ahead by sending you pastor grams 180 day devotional moments in the way its power way to thank you for your gift today to help proclaim the gospel to more people around the world to PowerPoint.

This is the last week of this offer to call today. Call 1-800-795-4627 that's 1-800-795-4627 can also text the word PowerPoint to 313-1316 PowerPoint to 313131. And don't forget to visit Jack shop E store online or sign up for Dr. Graham's free daily email our website again is Jack Graham.Forge. Now it's get back today's message following Jesus. So just walks away from his past. He walks away his money and his lucrative career he walks away the sin and his skill. Why would a man do. Why would he pretty obvious really when you think about it.

Down deep in his heart. This man was a God-fearing Jew probably raised by religious parents and yet he had abandoned his faith that he had settled in life.

It is sold out in line and he left his religion behind and now he's empty. And now he's lonely and now he's alone. He had this career, but he lost his character and something on the inside of him was crying out for for meaning he had money but he didn't have meaning.

So we thinking why am I throwing my life away in the moment that Jesus called them to something greater, something better. The moment that God's grace touched his life he was ready. He was responsive because God has a purpose for your life and every life to know in the love him to follow him and and who wouldn't want the privilege of following him. Yes he counted the cost.

Yes, there was a price to pay as he left the old life behind, but he recognized that this is an amazing privilege to follow Christ while he had given up something to gain so much while he gave up his security gained eternal life while he gave up on old life that wasn't going anywhere. He gained a brand-new life and abundant life and eternal life of following the Lord Jesus Christ that call that is so compelling, he became a Christ follower. Matthew left behind. This dull distasteful job of being counting impacts collecting and enjoying Jesus changing the world. That's what it means to be a Christ follower.

You can leave your past behind you can leave your sins behind. You can leave your emptiness behind you can walk the rest of your life following Jesus and Matthew stands as a remarkable illustration. An example of the fact that Jesus loves outsiders. Jesus loves outcast. Jesus loves the most despicable people on the planet and when he meets them at the point of their needy changes their lives for follow me is the same compelling call that the spirit of Christ is giving today. Follow me, follow me. Well, it didn't stop with the initial call and conversion because, as noted, that word, follow me, means a continuous active follow. Matthew didn't hit it and quit it, but he became a follower.

In fact he was so change that. It appears that Jesus gave him a new name. He was known as Levi.

But Jesus called them Matthew which means gift from God, and Nancy was a wonderful gift to Christ and his church because the first thing apparently that Matthew did was to invite his friends to meet Jesus. As we read the account here in Matthew chapter 9, it jumps into the story of Jesus having been invited to a party at Matthew's house that Luke's gospel tells us more of the story that Matthew had this big party this great feast to celebrate his new birth, his new life in Christ, and everybody was having a great time for you seeing Jesus was there but not only was Jesus there. Matthew all his friends were there now. One thing about a tax collector didn't have many friends and the friends of the head where the other lowlifes in town. The other despicable types. The other outcast and socially reprobates of the city and so Matthew Wiley left his pass to the left is sins of the left his job elect all that he did leave his friends behind. He wanted his friends to meet Jesus. So he's think okay I care about these guys, these are my friends and if somehow they could just hear this good news if somehow they could just meet Jesus he could change their lives like he's change my but how am I going to do this and he thinks well. Option number one is I could do.

You know I could deliver a test when I could give them a firm but he wasn't training just started following Jesus. He was barely getting started. He didn't think he could do that and and he certainly didn't have any seminary training are courses and apologetics. He couldn't confront them and communicate with them all the reasons yet the Jesus was the Messiah.

So he says that's not going to work empty so I guess I could take them down to the temple and no that's not a good idea.

That would certainly scare them all the way.

That would be accepted there anyway and and and maybe thought well maybe I could just sort of follow Jesus and hope for the best and maybe these guys will see it in and a couple things that I know that's not happened really is unreasonable.

So he's he's wondering what what can I do to connect my friends with Jesus. What can I do. What's unique to me was my gift, and he remembers that all of his friends like to party and so they do have a party and and in Matthew Staley back East.

He's watching all this in and Jesus is having conversations with these suspicious characters and in some of these people are already connecting to Christ.

There feeling the power Jesus and about that time the religious establishment shows up, and Matthew says okay this is just right.

I'm trying to do something good and now these guys show up and now Jesus is in their target zone. Their negative attack Jesus and and and now the whole thing down that I he's on home Jesus looks at a he hears all this going on the commotion. He sees the Pharisees pointing and sneering and sobbing, and so on and so Jesus says Matthew were about this. Let me him. So Jesus walks over and he says something like this. You guys just don't get it. Your clueless as to who God is and what I'm about because I didn't come for healthy people are people who don't think they needed one. I came for sick people, I didn't come for righteous, especially self-righteous people.

I came for sinful people.

You see, just because you have all the credentials and because you know all the Scriptures and you got these beautiful roads and you have these hard attitudes you think that God doesn't love people like this you think that I don't care about people like this, but I do and that's why I'm here so the Pharisees, you know they storm Jesus must've walked over to Matthew says Matthew love the part love being in love everything about.

I really like your friends. Some your friends start following me the thing that I love about what you've done. Matthew is that nobody told you to do this. Nobody taught you how to do this you just have a great heart for people who need me you care about people.

Matthew like I care about people and I can really use a man like you sees you follow Jesus you can't go to heaven by yourself. You must go to heaven by yourself. You must do everything possible to reach your friends for Christ. God love sinful people. Jesus came to forgive people to change their lives in the fall of Jesus Christ means that we are willing to lay aside and take some risk and with compassion to love people. When was the last time you had a party at your house and you intentionally invited some people from your neighborhood or your office needed Jesus so that you could build a relationship with them and have the opportunity to talk to them and introduce them to your Savior was the last time that happened was the last time you had a foursome play golf and you included somebody in your foursome.

The didn't know Jesus for the express purpose of loving that person and maybe just maybe leading that person to Christ, what, when was the last time you had a watch party of some ballgame overture house and you bought invited some your old buddies from college.

Some of the people that you hang out with and again I know this is messing you know why this can be messy because most people do. What loss people do and lost people do what some of you use the day before you met you when is the last time you called up an old friend from college essay had come over the house. Let's watch the game together like old times and you somehow work it into the conversation how Jesus is transforming change your life with the last time that happened. Matthew had no evangelism training.

He had no theological expertise at this point in his life. He just had a heart for Jesus and he had a heart and he used to give Hattie's that I know how to do a good party and I would get Jesus involved in my life there listening to PowerPoint project ran in today's message following. Looking ahead to a new year can fill you with expectation. They can also fill you with desperation. What if things get worse.

But if the world gets crazier.

But if you don't have the strength to face what comes your way. It's their spending daily time in God's word that we find the strength, peace and hope. We need and we want to help you do that by sending you pastor grants 180 day devotional moments in the way moments in the word is our special thanks for your gift this month. This is the last week of this offer today: 800-795-4627 that's 1-800-795-4627.

You can also text PowerPoint to 313-1316 PowerPoint 3 3131.

And don't forget to visit Jack shop he stored online or sign up for Dr. Graham's free to email our website again is Jack Graham.Ward pastor. What is your PowerPoint. I want you to think about Jesus. Follow me for a moment they were written in Matthew 99 as an imperative, which means it is a command.

Jesus then asked Matthew to follow him if he felt like it know Jesus commanded follow me start today. Follow me for the rest of your life. Don't ever stop following me but please understand this. The words follow me actually mean to walk alongside the road with me now is truly incredible Jesus, the great God of the universe told Matthew, a social outcast to walk with him and you know Jesus says the same thing to you and to me today the great savior of the world. The God of creation is saying to you. Follow me not walkway behind me. But walking with me. God, the Lord Jesus Christ wants to be your master and friend but you know you could be thinking well there some things in my past things that God could never forgive. It's really too late for me while I'm here to tell you today that Jesus Christ is passing your way and he's calling your name and say follow me now that is an incredible deal.

You can leave your sin and leave your past and walk into a brand-new life changed by the power Jesus and live a life with him forever and ever you want to take Jesus up on his offer to follow him today will you say yes to the Lord Jesus Christ. I want to invite you to receive Christ by praying this prayer, Lord Jesus, I hear you calling me and I am coming to you. I will follow you. I believe you died on the cross for my sins and rose again and right now I put my faith in you. I turned from my past and my sins and I trust in you and by your grace, I will follow you all the days of my life until you come for me now if you will sincerely pray a prayer like this and invite Christ into your life then you can count on the fact that he will hear your prayer and give you a brand-new life in the Christian life is not just a brand-new start is not just starting over is being made brand-new so I want to welcome you into the family of God that is today today if you prayed that prayer with Dr. Graham and accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior would love to hear from so help life talks at 1-800-795-4618 79.

Join us again next time.

Dr. Graham brings a message about how you can be set to live your life. God created next PowerPoint with PowerPoint with Jack Graham is sponsored by PowerPoint ministries

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