A Beginner’s Guide (Part 1)

My Hope.
My Hope with Billy Graham.
Massive effort.
Matthew and Friends.
Media event.
You’ve heard the buzz about the “M” word (ok…maybe phrase), My Hope with Billy Graham, and all of the other “M” words that go along with it. Beyond that, do the rest of the details surrounding My Hope with Billy Graham begin to jumble together, fade into the distance and leave you wondering what really is My Hope with Billy Graham?
Be honest.
If your answer if “yes,” it’s OK. We understand. Hence, our new blog series with the sole purpose of providing you with a tangible starting point – the basics!

Basic #1: Who is Matthew and How Does He Apply to YOU?

The format of My Hope with Billy Graham is based upon Jesus’ encounter with Matthew, a tax collector at the time of this scripture:
“Passing along, Jesus saw a man at his work collecting taxes. His name was Matthew. Jesus said, “Come along with me.” Matthew stood up and followed him.
Later when Jesus was eating supper at Matthew’s house with his close followers, a lot of disreputable characters came and joined them. When the Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company, they had a fit, and lit into Jesus’ followers. ‘What kind of example is this from your Teacher, acting cozy with crooks and riffraff?’ Jesus, overhearing, shot back, ‘Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? Go figure out what this Scripture means: ‘I’m after mercy, not religion. I’m here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders.’”
—Matthew 9:9-13 (The Message)
Bottom line: In biblical times, tax collectors were despised. For example, the tax collectors could walk up to someone at anytime and tax them even for what they were carrying. Jesus saw past all of that, and called Matthew to be his disciple. Matthew now wanted others to meet the Person who had radically changed his life. So he invited Jesus, as well as the fellow “characters” that he knew, to come to his home for a meal so they too could experience Jesus’ mercy firsthand.
Look inside & Apply: As you plan to share what Jesus has done for you, ponder the full picture. For starters, make a list:

  • How has Jesus made His presence known to you when you felt hated or despised?
  • How have YOU experienced the Lord’s mercy firsthand?
  • How has He changed your life?
  • Who do you know who needs to hear the good news of God’s love and forgiveness?

Following Matthew’s example is a simple strategy you can use to invite your friends into your home to get to know Jesus, the Person who has changed your life.