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Do you want to be somebody significant? Luke 5:27-32

November 11, 2009

Luke 5:27-32:  After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him. Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?” Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Early this morning I led a church service and my brief message was around how Jesus is interested in the poor and the destitute, and therefore so should we be.  As I drove to work after the service God got me thinking. I was thinking about how so many people, including me, are seeking significance.  We want to be something and someone. We want to look good, have an amazing job or meaningful occupation, be a brilliant parent or friend, and be respected by those around us.  And I am no different.  God is working on me.  I want to be significant and important, to have a meaningful life full of rewards and interesting experiences.

And then I arrive at work, and open the Bible to Luke 5:27-32 and I am immediately challenged.  My desire to be significant and important is actually a desire to be righteous and healthy.  And yet I read here that Jesus is seeking after me, calling me not because I am righteous, significant or important, but because I am a sinner.   I want to succeed, to live a significant life, but I realise now that my motivation is more about me and my needs rather than God’s needs.    If I am brutally honest, I am pursuing my own goals in life way too much.

So what am I to do?

Jesus approaches Levi, the tax collector, someone hated in his community.  His job was to take money off people, and many of the tax collectors could be particularly cruel in how they went about this.  No one liked a tax collector.  And who does Jesus spend time with?  The one person the community hated.  It was possible that even by associating with Levi, Jesus’ reputation could have been damaged.  But Jesus didn’t care, He went to this sinful man and said something quite amazing: “Follow me,”. In the greek ‘follow’ means to imitate.  So Jesus was saying, Levi, come with me and be like me.  And Jesus is saying to me, come with me and be like me.

So I can seek significance, be someone special, but only through being like Jesus. Wow. Be thinking about that one for quite a while.. wow.

God bless,

Rev Mark Brown

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25 Comments
  1. Rae Woodrow permalink

    I think its increadable no matter who or what we are Jesus wants us -thats something worth hanging on to.

  2. Lynn permalink

    These words, given to me from God, through Rev. Mark are profoundly what I needed today! Thank You Lord for speaking with me! 🙂

    • I could not have said it any better, Lynn…these words for today, and EVERYDAY!

      Rev. Brown, thank you for your honesty, and most of all the heart and desire to hear, know, and follow the Lord wherever He may take you. In that humility and obedience God has allowed you great significance – as shepard over a multitude of sheep…(All of us on facebook – and those He has given you.) Our Father is good!…nothing goes unnoticed.

      I will close with one of my most favorite devotionals – that just happened to be on my birthday. But then, that is how God seems to work with me.

      In Him,
      Linda

      October 22

      God…knows the secrets of the heart.

      Psalm 44:21

      [God’s] heart is the most sensitive and tender of all. No act goes unnoticed, no matter how insignificant or small.

      Richard Foster

  3. terry permalink

    i like this scripture because to those who are at a point in their life and they don’t know what to do or who to turn to….. the drug heads, the prostitute just all those who r lost n life theres still hope because jesus died just for them n others words no matter where u are at n your life right now theres always a way out only if u choose to walk in it because the path has already been made. It’s up to you to follow his will for your life.

    • Yes, to follow Jesus is to strive to become more like Him. To live by God,s Word we are enabled to do this on a daily basis. We are all sinners & we all need Jesus to walk with us.

  4. Amen, I think to many times we get caught up in our church life and forget that we are suppose to be out on the street telling the people caught up in the drugs,the prostitute’s,the poor and the lonely.That they are the one’s Jesus died on the cross for. That to him they are special enough that God gave his only son just for them to have a way out, and up into the heavenlies. Thank you Jesus

  5. Kyle permalink

    I always get something out of your daily readings Rev Mark, and I am very thankful of that. I am a new believer, and sometimes the Bible gets hard to understand, though I get encouragement from you when you breakdown these verses and pose it to everyday life. And Terry you are so right, I was in that boat about 2 months ago, did not know which way to turn or who to go to. But i chose to go to the Lord, and he has been so GREAT to me, I must stay faithful and obedient to his word.

  6. Patsy Bond permalink

    I love God and this is one of the scriptures that pulls me closer. I too, am a sinner. I have veiw points and oppions, no matter where I go someone always disagrees with. Then, there is Jesus….my Lord and Savoir, who still wants me to be a part of his kingdom. It is the sinners in the Bible that pull me closer to God. If they can be saved and do wonderful work in the name of the Lord, I surely have a place too. Amen. 🙂

  7. Im so thankful for this message see I just on facebook sayin u know im not happy about where I am in life and basically I’m not happy with my level of success and spirtual and this message let me know that jesus is callin me to be like him. Letting me know that Im to worried about me and I shouldn’t be to be more worried about being like him and thats were success and significance comes from. thanks for this message God is so good!

  8. 1 Thessalonians 5:14-21; 1 John 4:1; Philippians 4:8 (King James Version)
    1 Thessalonians 5:14-21

    14Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

    15See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

    16Rejoice evermore.

    17Pray without ceasing.

    18In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

    19Quench not the Spirit.

    20Despise not prophesyings.

    21Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
    ______________________________________________________________________

    1 John 4:1

    1Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
    ______________________________________________________________________

    Philippians 4:8

    8Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

  9. That is definately something to think about. I feel alive most when I am helping/serving someone. Thanks for the insight. You have been a blessing to me. Keep up the good work. It is not for nothing.

  10. Jane Mbendo permalink

    I feel touched by the scripture and idnetify with you when you say we are persuing our goals and not God’s most of the time as human beings. My ambition is not always grounded inn the word and in what God wants for me..but in what i think I want!!Surely you have planted a thought in my mind. You keep blessing me with the ‘journey deeper into God’s word’

  11. Lydia Reyes permalink

    I know some people that call themselves Christians that don’t want to be with people of the world.[As they put it.] If we are to follow Jesus’ footstep we should be doing as he did. Look for the lost , show them love and guide them to the God you serve. We should love the sinner, not the sin. This is what I get from this reading. If we just hang out with Believers and turn our back on the people who need to know the way to God , we miss the point . I know ,I was once there myself,and God send someone to me , to lead me to Him. Never feel so self righteous, that we can spend time with people that walking in the wrong path. We may be the only way they’ll have to get to know Jesus. May the Holy Spirit guide all of us to keep our eyes on Jesus so we could imitate him on our journey. Amen.

  12. MARILYNN permalink

    oH TO BE LIKE THEE PURE AS THY ARE IS A SONG THAT IS DEAR TO MY HEART AND THOSE WORDS CAME TO MIND READING ABOUT LEVI AND MY JESUS. THIS IS WHY HE CAME TO SHOW US THE WAY SO THAT WE COULD FOLLOW AND HEAL ALONG THE WAY JUST AS HE DID. THERE IS NO GREATER ONE OF US WE ARE ALL THE SAME SOME RICH, SOME POOR BUT YET ALL HAVE SINNED AND FALLEN SHORT, THE HIGHWAYS AND BYWAYS ARE CALLING OUT AND HEY WHAT SHALL I SAY, LETS KEEP IT REAL AIN’T NO ROCK GONNA CRY OUT FOR ME. CRY LOUD AND SPARE NOT. IT’S 5min. to midnight saints, the bridegroom is near.I LOVE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU, PRAY FOR ME AND I FOR YOU
    AMEN

  13. David permalink

    Thank you for all that you share. This is the answer to a struggle I have had for so long. I haven’t been listening but too busy trying to make my life what I think it should be! I haven’t been happy with my career and financial abilities in life. God keeps pushing when we have faith in him! I have finally began to hear him through your message. Thank you so much!!!

  14. Susanna Liew permalink

    This passage reminds us that we are to follow Jesus and be like Him. The love of our Heavenly Father prompted Him to give His son, Jesus to save us that through Him we are able to be in union with God, our father in heaven.
    As the Christmas season is approaching, it reminds me of God’s great love. I pray that each one of us will have the love and compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ! Besides God also wants to be honest and truly love Him and to be able to surrender to Him totally. I take this quote from a book I read,
    “Our service to others in the name of the Lord has its place and should flow out of our love for Jesus. But Jesus values even more our personal devotion, treasuring a love centred on Him, a love lavishing gifts on Him and for which no sacrifice is too great, a love that has eyes only for Him.”
    Let us love others like Jesus loves us and let the love of Jesus shines through us as we continue to reach out to others in our walk with Him. God bless!

    • Susanna Liew permalink

      Last night, our social concern ministry committee meeting was held at my home. As we prayed and seek Him as how to go about and what to get for those we are going to visit and reach out at this Christmas season, I realised that only God’s love can bring us together in this manner. As we discussed and shared, the ultimate aim is to let His love shines. Praise the Lord!
      I thank God to be able to serve Him and learn to love others likes He loves us. May His name be glorified!

  15. I have learned we are significant in out identity through Christ. We are heirs to his throne, children of the king, sons and daughters of God Almighty. righteous ones,chosen ones the list goes on and on, I am his!

  16. Fritz Hubertus Vaziri permalink

    Thank you, Mark, for your honesty.

    A great and encouraging message.

  17. Aline Mohorko permalink

    I want to be like Jesus, that is my daily prayer, that He will influence my life more and more each day.

  18. Dannette Rivers permalink

    I want to be significant. I am everyday trying to be like Christ. Christ continues to walk with me, and keep me safe. Granted I’m truly thankful. I notice I come up short each time, but I pray and ask forgiveness. I try to be like Christ the next day, next moment,etc. Thanks be to God.

  19. Mona permalink

    If we would just take a moment when we are all self-absorbed and remind ourselves that we are heirs to the throne of God Almighty and put all of our attention on Him and His works, we would be so much happier and fulfilled.

  20. Dorie permalink

    Wow, I really like how you take the scripture and turn it into an understanding that makes us realize what it is all about. We go through our lives wanting more and trying to get everything right and we don’t stop to think about what He wants for us and from us. Thanks for your wonderful insight again today!

  21. Beth permalink

    I am 15 and I can relate to this. Sometimes we teenagers can get self absorbed just like Mona said and we need to be reminded that GOD is the only one we should focus on and put the time and effort on HIM. I thank the LORD for blessing us all to be able to have HIS word at hand and for giving us HIS only SON Dear JESUS CHRIST our SAVIOR who died for us, for the forgiveness of our sins and lived for us so that we may know and believe in GOD’S word, which is the light, love, and life of our lives.

  22. cathy haynes permalink

    I just wanted to say a word about having a significant life. What may seem insignificant to the world may have all significance in our Father’s eyes. What we do unto “the least of these”, we do unto God. Few people may know our significance in this world. We won’t even know who we’ve touched until He reveals all.

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