Friday, September 9, 2016

The Blue, The White and The Red

Bop, bop, bop … “Don’t you know it. That thing is trying to sneak out my window.”  Hubby said referring to the balloon that kept hitting him in the head as he drove.  The wind set it a sail inside our car; and no matter how many times I grabbed the bugger it still got loose and headed back toward his open window. 

We were on our way to celebrate the career change of a friend of ours, only she wasn’t so sure about all the new things she would be experiencing.  In some ways she welcomed the change, but for the most part it scared her. 

Welcome new friends this week from:
See if your city/state/country made the list. 

New on DFB – Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Kuwait; Nicaragua; Norway; Orion, Central Luzon, Philippines; Qatar; Bermuda; South Korea; Panama; Singapore; Ethiopia; Guyana; Mosta, Central Region, Malta; Sagamu, Ogun State, Nigeria.
USA Evergreen, AL; Richmond, CA; Chesterton & LaPorte, IN; Metairie, LA; Eugene, OR; Tower, MN; Bismarck & Buxton, ND; Chambersburg, PA; San Leanna, TX; Vernal, UT; Palmyra & Rocky Gap, VA. 

I am so happy for your visit and hope that you come back each week to participate in the weekly challenges.  God has been faithful and we expect His favor to abound in the lives of those who chose to be Discipled by Jesus on Daily Favor Blog.
You are welcome to leave comments or prayer requests below.  All are private. I would love to hear from you and how Daily Favor has worked in your life.  Contact me by leaving a message in the box at the bottom of this week’s post.  

Don't miss out on this week's challenge (below).
Read Messages, updates on Hubby’s Heart and visit the Q & A or other sections. Tell Me

Unexpected Changes 

It was a good time in the life of my friend and we wanted to share in her joy over a celebratory lunch.  After years and years of saving they were about to move into a new home.  It was all coming together … a great home, wonderful husband and the best career a girl could have. 

Niree loved her job and was a faithful employee, even though she had to travel a distance to get to work each day.  Working for the company over fifteen years she had made a load of friends from every walk of life. 

The local community recognized her as a top notch gal with a passion for people and pets.  No matter who it was she knew the clients of the business well.  She remembered details about the family, their names, their experiences and most of all everything about their pets.   

One day when she showed up for work Niree was informed by her employer that there was going to be a new store manager.  This wouldn’t be such a big thing except for the fact that Niree was the assistant manager and wasn’t considered for the position.  With this unexpected change, our friend looked for a new job and career move. 

Through it all Niree wasn’t bitter and welcomed the changes in her life with admitted reservation, but none-the-less gladness.  In return the Lord showered her with great favor, providing a better position with another company, higher pay, added medical benefits and within five minutes of where she lived. 

Forced Changes 

The forced change in my friend’s life set a spark of excitement in my own.  After I heard of Niree’s news I felt so full of joy I couldn’t hold it back.  In fact the Sunday after I learned about all the changes in her life I couldn’t sleep.  I guess that sounds strange, especially since it wasn’t happening to me, but I was so happy for her I stayed up talking to the Lord and reading the Bible. 

During my celebratory time I thought about the steps the disciples had to take when they made their career changes.  In the past I’ve talked about how scared the first four may have been when they were asked to follow Jesus.  Now the Lord was adding to their list of “called out” followers, what further changes were about to happen to them? 

How would these fishermen buddies fit in with newcomers?  What else was Jesus going to pull on them expecting that they “go with the flow” of His decisions, when clearly they weren’t in their best interest (so they thought). 

And Then There Were Five 

Jesus had recently returned to Capernaum when a man who was sick with the palsy was brought to Him.  As was His custom, Jesus healed the man and sent him home, then kept walking on His way. 

Not long after Jesus went back to His street ministry of preaching.  By now the town was packed with people listening to what the Lord was teaching.  While ministering Jesus noticed a man named Matthew sitting at the receipt of custom office collecting taxes.   

Every time I picture this scene I imagine good old Matt setting up a card table on the beach waiting for trade to occur at any time.  As soon as there was a suspect he’d pounce on the individual to “pay-up” on the spot or risk being sent to jail for not settling the debt. 

Actually, the Bible doesn’t tell us if Matthew was in an "office" or had set up a table outside to catch the ships as they came into port.  One thing for sure, not too many people (other than another tax collector) would be very friendly or receptive to him.   To the general public, a person in the tax collection business was usually dishonest, stole from the people and gouged them with enormous fees making them pretty much among the most hated or disliked people in the town. 

Why would Jesus even think of asking a thief or exploiter to join the bunch of disciples?  Regardless, Jesus gave the same invitation to, "Follow Me". Without question Matthew got right up and did as Jesus asked. Put yourself in that town when Jesus added another disciple to His ministry and more questions start to arise.   

Set another plate, and another and another … 

By now practically everyone in the surrounding cities and towns had heard about Jesus and the wonders He was performing. With only about 1,500 people in Capernaum at that time I'm sure word got around quickly. 

The decision was made and immediately after we learn that Matthew invited Jesus to his home (perhaps to explore all the details of what “follow Me” really entailed). 
Excited about even being asked to be a part of this grouping, Matthew lays out the welcome wagon for his friends and co-workers to join him back at his estate with Jesus and the original four disciples. 

Evidently Matthew was quite wealthy and inviting Jesus over for a meal wouldn’t dip too deeply in his questionably lined pockets.  There were no left overs or skimping on the portions either.  It wasn't a potluck or covered dish dinner hoping the neighbors would chip in to bring extras so everyone could eat with this Man of Fame.   

The Bible informs us that Matthew laid out a grand spread of food calling it a great feast sufficient for a number of guests.  Matthew was throwing a party of sorts, and why not … he was about to step out with Jesus and crew. 

Too Many Unanswered Questions 

Knowing the unpopular career choice I have to wonder, did Matthew really believe at first or was he just curious?  Had he been waiting for an opportunity to speak with Jesus face to face about what the Lord did, and how would he come to play in all of this?  

What about the other disciples?  Were they confused? Jesus had handpicked four blue collared fishermen to join Him on this journey. Now He was going outside the circle of friends picking a white collar worker, and a tax collector at that.  What's going on and won't a publican hinder the work?   

That Matthew fella is going to be a liability, after all nobody likes a tax collector.  He may know how to “hook” a person, but he surely has no idea of how to fish for anything.   What is Jesus thinking? 

You Figure it out for Yourself 

The banquet was in full swing when some of the guests saw an opportunity to question the disciples while they were away from their Master.  The Pharisees got in on the act by questioning Peter, Andrew, James and John concerning why Jesus, a self-confessing man of God, would eat with people like tax collectors and sinners.  Making that statement proves the reputation of a tax collector wasn’t very honorable and ranked in the category of sinning. 

In full conversation with the host, Jesus notices His chosen men being grilled and bombarded with questions they seemingly don’t know how to answer.  Quickly He bails the boys out with this statement: 

“Those who aren't sick don't need a doctor. But you go and figure this out for yourselves and find out what it means.
I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but the sinners to repentance."
(from Matthew 9:12-13) 

Look at it in the New Living Translation 

“Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.
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.” (NLT) 

Can't you see Peter and the other three standing there saying, "Yeah that's right. You guys go and figure this out for yourselves. Don't let the door hit you on the way out." Then after the Pharisees left, leaning over to one another and saying, "What did He mean by that anyway?" 

The meal was over … guests had departed … and then there was Jesus.  Whether he realized it or not, Matthew’s new career as a disciple had already begun.  This could have been a great opportunity to bring in the first catch for “fishing for men,” but he didn’t quite figure that out yet. 

This Week’s Challenge:
The Chosen Career 

Something that crosses our mind when we switch careers is the kind of personalities that we will encounter along our new journey.  We get so used to certain “types” that often we miss out on learning new things and making friends with “the least of these" referring to those who aren't exactly like us.

I encountered such a time when breaking in a teacher’s aide.  It took the longest time to get to the point of being co-laborers with the same goals.  Through the grace and favor of God, the situation turned out to be one of the most successful teams I’ve ever had in the classroom setting. 

When we observe how, when and where Jesus called His disciples there are certain things that string it all together.  The “who” He called teaches us that Jesus calls people from every culture, nationality, gender and career to be His followers.  Anyone who believes in Jesus as God’s Son is called to be a disciple to win souls, which means we have to consider any occupation as a chosen one. 

Our challenge this week will have us look at people as “chosen” by Christ rather than a rich lawyer, doctor, sanitation worker, cafeteria cook, poor man of God, laborer, writer, teacher or “just” a housewife (that one really gets me).  All are needed and equally loved by Christ. 

“For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field,
 you are God’s building.” (1 Corinthians 3:9 NKJV) 

View each career choice and individual as the person God needs in that position for this particular part of the journey.  Recognize the fact that not everyone God’s places in your “group of disciples” will be people you always get along with, accept or understand at first. 

When you encounter people in certain fields of work, do you automatically send out your radar as to how they “rate” as an individual?  Do you think working in a fast food chain scrubbing toilets or cleaning bedpans in a hospital is beneath you?  If so, you’ll have difficulty fishing for men to lead to the Cross, because you don’t see their value to the Kingdom and your labor for Christ isn’t based on the love for souls. 

“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
and he who wins souls is wise.”
(Proverbs 11:30 NKJV) 

Why did the Lord turn things around for my friend?  She is wise and honors God’s choices of the blue or white collar workers that were sent across her path along her journey with Jesus.  Niree accepts everyone without judging them by career status or standards, and stays focused on her tasks.  Her actions spring forth from the labor of love for people, pets and the Promise Keeper. 

“Let them shout for joy and be glad, who favor my righteous cause; and let them say continually, “Let the Lord be magnified,
Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.”
(Psalm 35:27 NKJV) 

Niree also believes in the red … the blood of Jesus that forgives sins and all sinners who call on His name.  Although Niree works with products that pertain to all God’s creatures, she has learned how to fish without “hooks” that harm.  The combination has allowed God to use her as a willing disciple of how we are to lead others to Him and not away from Him based on prejudicial thinking. 

“Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.
Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture. 

Have you figured out what Jesus meant?  If not, please be sure to visit Daily Favor in the future.   If so, your spiritual wardrobe has all the right colors for receiving God’s favor in whatever career you have been called to fulfill for your journey with Jesus. 

“So now I am giving you a new commandment:
Love each other.  Just as I have loved you,
 you should love each other.  Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
(John 13:34-35 NLT) 

If this article has encouraged or helped you, please consider sharing it by using the social media icons provided at the end of this post. 

Until next time, favor God’s Righteous cause. 

Check out my new book progress this week. 

“Favor My Righteous cause and I will show you favor.”
Jesus Christ 

*Unless noted, the names in articles are changed to protect the individual(s) privacy. 

Note: Emphasis is given in some scriptures to show clarity or understanding and is not to take away from the inspirited Word of God. 

When used, the words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives. 

... and yes the word "discipled" isn't a word used by the world, but that of believers. 

Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness. 

What’s New This Week: Click on photo the or link.

Saturate: Being Disciples of Jesus in the Everyday Stuff of Life
By Jeff Vanderstelt 

Maybe you don’t know the Living God that I know, but would like to have this kind of favor in your life also.  Click on the above tab “Tell Me” for more information on becoming a child of the Savior.

Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy. 
Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provided by Gateway Bible.
Image credit: Google Images or Dreamstime Creative Common License if not specified.
Image:  Congrats Balloon  Life Sign  Jesus Calls Matthew  Disciple Matthew's House
Disclaimer Notes: Results may vary due to lack of belief.

Career Change, Discipled by Jesus, Disciples of Jesus, Discipleship, Christian Living, Daily Favor Blog, Favored1, God's Favor, Jeff Vanderstelt,  The Great Commission, Career Moves, The Blue, The White and The Red, Calling of Disciple Matthew, Tax Collectors, Pharisees, Challenge.