The Light of Christ Journey

Encouraging people on their journey with Christ

After Matthew had been called by Jesus, he invited Jesus, his disciples, tax collecting friends, other disreputable sinners to a banquet to meet Jesus. It seems that during this party the Pharisees and teachers of the religious leaders were complaining about the people who were there. They asked the disciples of Jesus, who was the guest of honor, how He could eat with such scum. As Jesus responded to their question, He showed them what was important. Matthew 9:12 When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” 13 Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” [1]

What is mercy? Why is mercy so important? Mercy is to have leniency and compassion toward offenders. We have offended God by our sin and deserve His wrath. But in God’s mercy, all those who place their faith in Him receive mercy not justice. Justice is getting what we deserve. Each person who believes in Jesus as their Savior has experienced His mercy.

Jesus did not want the Pharisees simply to go through their rituals, but He wanted their hearts to change. Instead of being self-righteous, Jesus wanted their hearts to be filled with mercy for those who did not know Him. The call of Matthew is just one example of many Bible stories filled with compassion. These stories of compassion are a call and challenge to the followers of Jesus today. They speak of a God who has compassion for Israel. They tell of a Savior who suffers for the world, and then asks us to live and act with the same compassion and mercy.

To help you embrace compassion in your life, I have listed two of my favorite Bible verses that point to a compassionate, merciful God and Savior. May your compassion be encouraged and empowered by the truth of these scriptures.

Ephesians 2:4But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much.

Titus 3:5Jesus saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.”

Our ministry loves to connect with our readers. If you have a prayer request or a comment, please let us know. Also, if this devotional helped you, please share it with others.

To hear more about the call of Matthew, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/the-call-matthew


[1] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Soon after Matthew was called to follow Jesus, he threw a party and invited his friends to meet Jesus. Other tax collectors and other disreputable sinners were invited to come to the banquet. Most of the people were like Matthew. They had to befriend each other because the general population wouldn’t have anything to do with them. The Pharisees and teachers of the religious law watched with disdain. They wouldn’t enter the house but complained to the disciples of Jesus. Jesus does come and give them an answer. Today we might call it a “parking lot” conversation.

Luke 5:30 But the Pharisees and their teachers of religious law complained bitterly to Jesus’ disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with such scum?” 31 Jesus answered them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. 32 I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.” [1]

While the religious leaders had lots of knowledge about God, they did not see a need to turn from their sins and turn toward God. (This is called repentance.) They were spiritually blind to their own condition. Those who had limited knowledge of God realized their need for Jesus because they knew they were sinners. The religious leaders had knowledge without spiritual transformation.

As we open our hearts to the Lord, we realize like the tax collectors and other disreputable sinners our need for Jesus. Paul writes in Romans 3:23, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”[2] Paul also writes in Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. [3]

Recognizing our need for Jesus is the first step in coming to faith. Calling us to faith is what God does and it is the work of the Holy Spirit. The Lord receives all the credit for this as He is the one who calls us. Jesus made a way for us to be forgiven because all our sins were placed on Him at the cross. Jesus paid for our sins, which is something we could not do. Because of what Jesus did for us on the cross He is able to call us to faith and we are able to be forgiven.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for revealing to me my need for you because I am a sinner. Help me Jesus to turn from my sin and turn toward you so I can be forgiven. I praise you Lord for your wonderful gift of salvation that I don’t deserve, but you have given it to me as a free gift. Amen.

Our ministry loves to connect with our readers. If you have a prayer request or a comment, please let us know. Also, if this devotional helped you, please share it with others.

To hear more about the call of Matthew, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/the-call-matthew


[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Lk 5:30–32). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

It was not long after Matthew was called by Jesus to be his disciple that he invited many of his friends over for a banquet. Matthew 9:10 Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. 11 But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” [1]

Matthew was putting his faith into action by giving his friends access to Jesus. These were people society considered deplorables, but they were eager to meet Jesus. How many people in this group came to faith and had their lives changed because one man invited them to meet Jesus? This takes place soon after Matthew was called yet being a brand new follower of Jesus didn’t stop him from showing others the Jesus he knew. He didn’t wait until after he had been with Jesus for three years, he started immediately.

Sometimes in our modern thinking we believe we have to have some kind of special training before we can share the good news of Jesus. Although there is nothing wrong with training, we can’t let that be an excuse why we are not sharing the good news.

I remember several years ago when a little girl in first grade wanted to share Jesus with another little girl that lived near her house. So, she invited her to vacation Bible school like Matthew invited friends to meet Jesus. The little girl’s friend did not know anything about Jesus, but she came. In time, this little girl became a believer in Jesus and so did her mother. This all happened because one child was excited to share Jesus with a friend.

There are many different ways we can share the message of Jesus with others. Most people join a church today because someone invited them. As we develop relationships with others, it gives us an opportunity to share the message of Jesus with them. You may simply tell others about Jesus as you tell them how that has changed your life.

One of my friends came to faith as an older adult and the Lord has given him a zeal to share Jesus with others. He knew what it was like to go through life without Jesus, and he did not want anyone He knew to experience that same thing. Who is the Lord prompting you to share the message of Jesus with? Think, you could be the person the Lord uses to change their life now and in eternity.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, give me the words and the courage to share your wonderful message of salvation. Help me, Lord, to hear Your still small voice as your prompt me to share with the right person. I thank you, Lord, that you can use a simple person like myself to reach another person with the saving message of salvation.

Our ministry loves to connect with our readers. If you have a prayer request or a comment, please let us know. Also, if this devotional helped you, please share it with others.

To hear more about the call of Matthew, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/the-call-matthew


[1] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Mt 9:10–11). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

As Jesus walked by Matthew’s tax collector’s booth, He called him to be one of His disciples. Matthew 9:As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. [1] When we begin to follow Jesus there is an action related to it. Matthew got up and physically began to follow Jesus. Following Jesus meant giving up a good paying job as a tax collector to become a builder of the Kingdom of God.

As a tax collector Matthew was focused on the riches of this world, but God was calling him out of that. Matthew would now begin to focus on things of eternal value. To be a disciple of Jesus was to be taught by Jesus. For the next three years Matthew would be instructed by the Lord Himself. What a privilege.

Today it also takes action to follow Jesus. We may not be able to follow Jesus in a physical sense, but we begin to follow Him in a spiritual sense. As a disciple, or follower, we trust Jesus alone for our salvation. We worship Him and love Him with our whole heart. In addition, we imitate His life and seek to obey His teaching. As we walk out our faith with the Lord, He transforms our hearts and minds and gives us a new purpose in life. In our story, Matthew has a new and greater purpose in life as he follows Jesus.

As we spend time in God’s word and are guided by the Holy Spirit, the Lord begins to mold and shape us. This can be exciting and challenging at the same time. Leaving our old life behind is not easy and to do so we need the Lord’s help. We may come to faith in an instant but the molding and shaping part continues through our entire life. Isaiah 64:8 And yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand. [2]

How has being a follower of Jesus changed you over time? Where is Jesus calling you to take another step as you follow Him?

Our ministry loves to connect with our readers. If you have a prayer request or a comment, please let us know. Also, if this devotional helped you, please share it with others.

To hear more about the call of Matthew, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/the-call-matthew


[1,2] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Matthew was a tax collector going about his daily duties at his tax collector’s booth when Jesus came and called him to follow Him. During this time in Jewish history, tax collectors were looked down upon because they collected taxes for the Romans. They were considered traitors to the Jewish faith.

Matthew 9:As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. [1]

What does this call of Matthew to follow Jesus tell us about our Lord? The call of Jesus to follow does not originate with us, but with Jesus. It is the Lord who calls us. We can’t call ourselves or receive the credit for it. The Lord sees what we can become and wants all to be saved.  2 Timothy 2:3b God our Savior, 4 wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.[2]

When the Lord calls us, He calls us out of the old to the new. He called Matthew from being a tax collector to a disciple. When the Lord calls us to faith, He calls us out of darkness into the light. When we are in darkness we can’t see. When we don’t have faith in Jesus as our Savior we are in spiritual darkness. 1 Peter 2:But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. [3]

During our lifetime we can experience different callings from the Lord. A call to faith, which is the most important, or a call to go deeper in the faith. When did the Lord call you to faith? Is the Lord calling you to faith as you read this? What is the Lord calling you to do right now in the Kingdom? If you obey the Lord’s calling, how will that change your life and those around you?

Our ministry loves to connect with our readers. If you have a prayer request or a comment, please let us know. Also, if this devotional helped you, please share it with others.

To hear more about the call of Matthew, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/the-call-matthew


[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

What does it mean to follow Jesus? In our story of Peter, he left everything and followed Jesus. Luke 5:10 Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” 11 And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus. [1].

Following Jesus means leaving our old life behind. You may need to change friends. The old friends may be dragging you away from Jesus. You may even need to change jobs or move. When I was called into ministry, I left my job to follow where the Lord was leading me. In other cases, the Lord will use you right where you are. When we truly follow Jesus, we leave the old life behind. You may be doing the same thing, but you are making a difference for Jesus there. Maybe you are a mother of young children. Your job has now changed to training up your own children to be followers of Jesus.

As we grow in fruits of the Spirit (Fruits of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control.[2])  other people notice and ask, “Why are you so different now?” This gives us an opportunity to tell them about our relationship with Jesus. The Lord maybe calling you to be a prayer intercessor to change the spiritual atmosphere. Pastor Mike Bradley writes, “What is in the air makes a difference.”

Following Jesus is an adventure. He will take you places you never thought you would go and enable you to do things you never thought were possible. This is possible as the Lord changes us.

The Apostle Paul writes about old and new life in Ephesians 4:22Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. [3]

When we truly follow Jesus, we will not be disappointed because true satisfaction in life is not about our dreams but fulfilling God’s dreams for our lives.

Prayer: Lord, help me to put my plans aside for something much greater that You have for me. Lord Jesus, help me to continue to throw off the old self and renew my thoughts and attitudes. Thank you, Lord, for letting me be part of your Kingdom by following You.

Our ministry loves to connect with our readers. If you have a prayer request or a comment, please let us know. Also, if this devotional helped you, please share it with others.

To hear more about the call of Peter, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/the-call-peter


[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Peter had been a fisherman his entire adult life. He knew the right time of day to fish. He knew how to prepare the nets. He knew that to catch fish you had to go where they were. You were not going to catch fish miles away from the water. Peter was comfortable being a fisherman, yet the Lord desired more for him. As it has been said, “God desires more for you, than you do for yourself.”

Luke 5:When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.” For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him. 10 His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed. Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” 11 And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus. [1]

The Lord’s plan for Peter’s life would now be fishing for people. As we turn to Matthew 4:19 it gives us additional insight on Peter’s call. Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”[2] The Lord was calling Peter to be a fisher of people, and He was going to show him how. The Lord does the same for us today. If the Lord is calling us to do something, He will equip us for that task.

Jesus came so we could have eternal life. He came to die for all of us. If we repent (Turn from our sins and turn to God.) and allow the Holy Spirit to lead us to faith, then we are ready to be fishers of people. It is crucial that we share Jesus as the Holy Spirit directs. We become fishers of men as we go about our lives.  

God calls us wherever we are. Peter and Andrew were fishing. You might be at church, at work, or taking a walk through the woods. Jesus wants us to help Him bring others into the Kingdom. We don’t have to be anyone special. We just need to love Jesus and obey like Peter and Andrew did as they threw down their nets and followed Him.

To hear more about the call of Peter, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/the-call-peter


[1,2] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

As Jesus walked by Matthew’s tax collector’s booth, He called him to be one of His disciples. Matthew 9:As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. [1] When we begin to follow Jesus there is an action related to it. Matthew got up and physically began to follow Jesus. Following Jesus meant giving up a good paying job as a tax collector to become a builder of the Kingdom of God.

As a tax collector Matthew was focused on the riches of this world, but God was calling him out of that. Matthew would now begin to focus on things of eternal value. To be a disciple of Jesus was to be taught by Jesus. For the next three years Matthew would be instructed by the Lord Himself. What a privilege.

Today it also takes action to follow Jesus. We may not be able to follow Jesus in a physical sense, but we begin to follow Him in a spiritual sense. As a disciple, or follower, we trust Jesus alone for our salvation. We worship Him and love Him with our whole heart. In addition, we imitate His life and seek to obey His teaching. As we walk out our faith with the Lord, He transforms our hearts and minds and gives us a new purpose in life. In our story, Matthew has a new and greater purpose in life as he follows Jesus.

As we spend time in God’s word and are guided by the Holy Spirit, the Lord begins to mold and shape us. This can be exciting and challenging at the same time. Leaving our old life behind is not easy and to do so we need the Lord’s help. We may come to faith in an instant but the molding and shaping part continues through our entire life. Isaiah 64:8 And yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand. [2]

How has being a follower of Jesus changed you over time? Where is Jesus calling you to take another step as you follow Him?

Our ministry loves to connect with our readers. If you have a prayer request or a comment, please let us know. Also, if this devotional helped you, please share it with others.

To hear more about the call of Matthew, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/the-call-matthew


[1,2] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Mt 9:9). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Peter sensed there was more going on than a catch of fish and turned to humble himself before Jesus. Luke 5:When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.” For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him. 10 His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed. Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!”[1]

Peter knelt before the Light of the World and reflected on his own sinfulness. Peter knew who he was, and he knew who Jesus was. Peter knew he was a sinner. He knew he had fallen short and this was a humbling experience. Peter did not puff himself up or think he was someone he was not. The Apostle Paul writes about this in Romans 3:23, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”[2]

All of us fall short of God’s gold standard, but God does not leave us where we are. In His grace, the Lord extends the olive branch of salvation to each person. Paul writes in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” [3]

When we humble ourselves before the Lord, He opens doors for us that we can’t. It takes humility to say, “Jesus I need you.” It takes humility to tell Jesus, “I have fallen short.” It takes humility to submit ourselves to God. As we humble ourselves before God and accept His free gift of salvation, He begins to change our life. The Lord begins to mold and shape us and over time we become different people. If you follow the life of Peter, he is not the same person three years after this great catch. That can also be true for you and me as we humble ourselves before the Lord. Ask the Lord: What are you teaching me through this situation? What do You want me to be about today? From personal experience I can say, I am not the same person I was 10 years ago. Praise the Lord!

Is the Lord calling you, like Peter, to take a step of humility? Take the hand of the Good Shepherd and let Him lead you. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. [4] James 4:10.

Our ministry loves to connect with our readers. If you have a prayer request or a comment, please let us know. Also, if this devotional helped you, please share it with others.

To hear more about the call of Peter, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/the-call-peter


[1-4] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

As Peter let down his nets, he was astonished to catch an abundance of fish. Luke 5:“Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking. [1]

When we let our nets down and follow Jesus, He leads us to spiritual abundance. We see this demonstrated in the book of Acts chapter three when Peter and John are going to the temple for prayer. There at the temple gate a crippled man was begging for money.

Acts 3:Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ, the Nazarene, get up and walk!” Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened.[2]

What did Peter give him? What he had, an overflow of spiritual abundance. The man was healed in the name of Jesus. As believers we can share our spiritual abundance with others. We can share the love of Christ by our words and deeds. We can be prayer intercessors for those in need. By living out the Christian life with the Lord’s help, we can be an instrument in the Lord’s hand to build His Kingdom.

The world looks at abundance in the terms of gold and silver, but God does not think like man. As you share your spiritual abundance with others, it takes the focus yourself and places it on the source, Jesus. Jesus wants to bestow a spiritual abundance on you, and it begins with your relationship with Him. The natural overflow of your relationship with Jesus is spiritual abundance. Where is the Lord encouraging you to share your spiritual abundance? As you pray for opportunities don’t be surprised who the Lord brings into your life.

Our ministry loves to connect with our readers. If you have a prayer request or a comment, please let us know. Also, if this devotional helped you, please share it with others.

To hear more about the call of Peter, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/the-call-peter


[1,2] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

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