Mark 2:14 Leave The Past And Follow

As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him. Mark 2:14

People often do not like major change in their lives. They like things to always remain the same. Many, however, will jump onto something new and popular, often because everyone else is doing it.

A new fashion fad comes out being promoted by some famous person, and suddenly everyone is doing it. They are quick to drop the old ways for the new fashion.

As Jesus was walking along one day, He goes up to Levi and tells him to follow Him. Levi immediately gets up, leaves his work and follows Jesus.

While many people are quick to change ways and follow a new fad in this world, it is not as popular with following Jesus. He is still going around telling people to follow Him.

Many do not want to follow Jesus, because it means major change. In order to follow Jesus it means one has to leave his past behind, get up and follow Him. One is not to hold onto the past and say they are following, staying in sin and sinful ways, but to leave it all behind.

Just as Levi got up and left behind a lucrative business, people are to leave behind the things of this world to follow Jesus. This may or may not mean a change of a job, but it does mean leaving sin behind. It will mean a change in activities and friends. It is going wherever Jesus is leading, with no questions being asked.

God will always lead a person on a new path, when he begins to follow Jesus. This path is a new path of a full, abundant life that goes into eternity.

Jesus is also calling you to follow Him on the path He has for you. It is more than just words, but will require some change and sacrifice upon your part to follow Him.

God does not call you to follow without some change. You cannot stay where you are, physically, emotionally or spiritually, and still follow Jesus. You have to get up, leave the past behind and follow Him. Become the new creation God is making you to be.

Are you willing to follow Jesus today? Or will you stay where you are in this fallen world?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will hear God’s call to follow Him; that God will give you strength and direction to leave your past behind to follow Him; and that you will know all God has for you.

Matthew 4:20 Leave And Follow

At once they left their nets and followed him. Matthew 4:20

There are times when some new person comes on the scene with some new great idea, toy, song, word or something, and everyone appears to drop everything to follow that person. People are very quick to follow major celebrities in whatever they do.

Things that will catch their attention to follow are new ideas, objects or performance. People love to follow new ideas, hoping or thinking that it will make life better, thus they are quick to change what they follow.

Jesus came up to two men who were fishermen, working on their nets and boat. He told them to follow Him, and they immediately dropped their nets and followed Him.

Most people are not quick to drop everything to follow a complete stranger, whom they have never met before. Questions are usually asked first. People want to know the who, what, why and where first. This becomes especially true when they must drop their job, their livelihood. It is their means of provision for themselves and their family.

Every day there are people who choose to believe in Jesus. They will say a sinner’s prayer and be saved. However, it is another thing for them to leave their past, change and follow Him. In many church circles, the emphasis is to believe in Jesus, with no mention of change of life and following Him.

Believing in Jesus is the first step to living for God. The next step is turning away from the old life and embracing a new one. God will show a person what He desires of Him. The new goal in life is catching people for God, being His witness. Every believer must be willing to drop their past as they begin to follow Jesus.

God is calling you today. First, if you are not a believer, to believe in Jesus, His one and only Son. Then Jesus calls you to be His witness and strive to catch men for Him.

This means you must be willing to let go of your past and embrace the new life. Change your way of acting, thinking and speaking. Your new goal will be to be His witness everywhere you go, with every opportunity you have.

As God is calling you, are you willing to let go of your past, trust Him and follow Him? God has a plan for your life when you choose to follow Him. Embrace it today,

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will follow God with all of your life; that God will strengthen you to leave your past behind; and that you will embrace what God has for you now.

Psalm 78:42 Forgetting God’s Abilities

Thumbs up

Again and again they put God to the test; they vexed the Holy One of Israel. Psalm 78:42 

Those who are in authority often have the power to get things done that others do not have the ability to do. Having the ability to provide finances or other needed resources, they can accomplish larger things than what is normal for others.

The workers at the bottom have very little authority and cannot see how something can be accomplished. All they can see is a large mountain of a problem in front of them and no way around or over it. They begin to fear the challenge in front of them, rather than trusting those in authority.

Asaph looks back at when the Israelites were wandering in the wilderness. The people would constantly complain to God and not trust Him. They had forgotten the power that He had displayed with bringing them out of Egypt.

Every believer has to believe God has some authority just to become a believer. He has to believe that God has the power and ability to remove all sin and to save the person, or else he will not follow Jesus or trust Him.

God works in a person’s life doing great things, removing sin and providing what is needed. Yet, many believers quickly forget what God has already done in their lives or in the lives of others and begin to complain to God about some challenge in their life.

The believer has been redeemed from a life of sin and death. He has been released from the bondages of sin and given a new life. Yet, often one goes back to those chains and puts them back on. He doesn’t trust God to provide for him in every area needed.

If God has the power to remove sin, He also has the power to take care of every need a believer has. This has to be remembered.

Think about the things God has already done in your life. Why did you choose to follow Jesus? What made you believe and trust Him?

Now remember those things and trust that God can meet your current needs that are looming in front of you.

Don’t put God to the test by complaining and fearing what is in front of you. God is greater than anything you may face. Remember what He has done in lives of others already and in your past. Then trust Him.

I pray today that you will see what God has done for you; that you will know you can trust God’s power and abilities; that God will help you remove all fear of situations in your life; and that you seek God for all of your needs. 

Regrets

Burden of regret

Burden of regret

Regrets are something that most people have. Regrets are a sadness or disappointment over something that had happened in the past. The past might be the immediate past, or something that had occurred many years before.

Young children may have some regrets. They regret taking that cookie they were told not to take. Or maybe regret getting caught taking the cookie. Others may regret something they said or did to someone that got them in trouble. Many of these regrets are quickly forgotten and the child moves on.

Later, when in the middle school and high school years, the regrets stay about the same. Not really changing, not having much of an impact upon the person. When the regrets really begin to happen is when the person gets a little older, or into the middle years of life.

Most people look back on their lives and have a lot of regret for things that they had said or done in the years past. Some of those things were done in the name of fun. Others were done because of a lack of knowledge or wisdom. Still others were done on purpose at the time of being done, but had a lasting negative impact on the life of someone.

Choices made

Actions and words that a person can do and say can have an impact for many years upon some people. How many people can remember a harsh word said by someone they loved and trusted when they were young, and now they are much older? How many can remember being the one who said that harsh word when they were much younger and to this day regret ever having said it?

Many believers in the church have the same problem of living with regret. They regret their former way of life. They regret failing God time and again. The regret not taking the opportunities that God had placed in front of them out of fear.

While it is good to regret doing wrong and sinning before God or others, it is not good to stay in that regret. Regret keeps a person living in the past. Regret does not allow a person to move on. Regret does not allow a person to live the abundant life that God had planned for them.

One thing that regret does that most people do not see is that it tells God that He is not big enough to forgive the past.

1 John 1:9 New International Version (NIV)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

It is true that every person has made a mistake in his past. There are things that both you and I have done that now we regret. All those things that we did wrong fall under the category of sin. Sin on purpose, or sin by accident, or sin by omission, all is sin.

As a believer in Jesus, you have to confess all those sins and repent of them. That is you must admit that you had done wrong and strive to never return down that same path again. If you have not confessed your sins or repented of them, then you are not really following Jesus, which means you are not saved.

I'm Sorry

If you have confessed your sins, God in His great love and mercy is willing to forgive you and purify you of all those sins.

Psalm 103:11-12 New International Version (NIV)

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

When God purifies you of your sins, He casts them out as far as the east is from the west. Think about that. No matter how far you travel east, you will never meet the west. You have to turn direction to meet the west. God has gotten rid of those sins, never to be remembered any more.

Micah 7:19 New International Version (NIV)

19 You will again have compassion on us;
    you will tread our sins underfoot
    and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

God has so much love and compassion for you that He will get rid of all your sins forevermore. They will be cast out to where no one can ever get to them again.

Now you may ask, what does all this have to do with regret? Glad you asked.

Going back to what was said at the beginning: regret is a sorrow, sadness or disappointment over something that was had happened in the past.

Many Christians have repented of a past sin, but have not forgiven themselves or gotten past the regret of doing it. They are constantly going to the altar asking God to forgive them of some past sin or regret.

If you believe the words found in the bible, you will know that Jesus has already paid for that regret and forgiven you of it. If God can forgive you of your sin, why can’t you forgive yourself? You are not better than God.

Let It Go

Let go of the past and look forward to now and the future. The past is already done, good or bad, and there is nothing more you can do about it. Once you seek forgiveness it is gone and done away with. God no longer remembers it.

Stop living with regret and start living for God. Jesus said that He came to give you a full life.

John 10:10 New International Version (NIV)

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

The world and Satan wants you to live in bondage to regret of your past. God wants you to live a full life in forgiveness, mercy and grace.

Every time you are reminded of something in your past that was wrong that you have already repented of, remind the devil that Jesus has forgotten that sin, and you do not need to regret it anymore. You have a future as a child of God, an heir to all that heaven holds. Do not live in the past. Live for today and the future.

No Regrets

Take all your regrets and mistakes and give them to Jesus. Let Him cast them out. And don’t pick them up again. Do not live with regrets anymore. Jesus has paid the price for them.