Levi had a good thing going, and he knew it. He was a Jew who was in good graces with the Roman government because he collected their tax money from the Jewish people. He also did very well for himself. Like most of the other tax collectors, he was a cheat. He often overcharged people so he could keep the extra cash for himself. The Jewish people hated him, but what was that to him? He had everything he ever wanted in life.

Then Levi saw Jesus. Or rather, Jesus saw him. They didn’t have much of a conversation, but Levi would remember it for the rest of his life. When Jesus said, “Follow me,” something in His eyes and tone of voice caused Levi to leave his money table behind and follow. Levi chose to get up, and his life was never the same.

Regardless of how honorable or disgraceful your life has become as a Christian, regardless of the goodness or wickedness you see in yourself, Christ is calling you to follow Him. You might be discouraged after a string of failures, or you may be enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season. You could be at the height of your career or at its low point. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are, or what you’ve done; Christ wants you to follow Him — today. But first you have to get up. You can’t stay where you are and follow Christ at the same time. The moment you choose to get up, the Lord can take your life farther than you’ve ever imagined.

Getting up to follow Christ means leaving some things behind. Levi left his money and career. Maybe you need to leave a relationship behind. Perhaps you need to leave your feelings of self-pity. You might need to leave your bad attitude. Whatever you give up so you can follow Christ will be worth leaving because He will replace it with something far better. Will you follow Him today?

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder