34 When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent out into all that surrounding region, brought to Him all who were sick, 36 and begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well.
38 Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged Him that he might be with Him. But Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you.” And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.
In sequence, the Luke passage was before the Matthew passage. In Luke 8 we read about the first trip Jesus took to the land of the Gadarenes during which time he met a man possessed of a legion of demons. Jesus cast the demons into the herd of feeding pigs who ran and drowned them in the sea. The townspeople asked Jesus to leave but the man now cleansed of the demons wanted to go with Jesus. Jesus told the man to stay and to be a witness to His power. Apparently the man did just that for on Jesus’ return trip the people recognized Jesus and came to him for healing. The second visit of Jesus was very different from the first and the man whom Jesus sent back was the human reason for the different response.
My friends, I am more convinced than ever that the power of the gospel flows through people who faithfully follow Jesus Christ. The once demon possessed man could not help but tell the townspeople what happened to him how that Jesus did a miracle of freedom in his life. We don’t know what this man did to bring in the demons only that Jesus did a miracle setting him free. The man was so changed that his life clearly reflected the power of God. We who claim to know the Savior, we who claim to have been set free from all of the sin of our lives, set free to live for Christ, should be similar walking billboards of God’s power and grace.
What would happen if all of those around us knew we are not the person that we were? What if all of those who know us knew that we were set free from the sin that enslaves them? What if the change in our lives was as dramatic as this man’s change was? Let me tell you something, the change in us should be as dramatic as the change in him. We were lost, separated from God, bound by sin and lust, anger and bitterness. We were filled with Satan’s ideas, the world’s ways and our fleshly desires. Only the God of heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior could come in and make us new, and He did! We are not the men and women that we neither were nor would be; we are new, totally new! The change in our lives from the lives of those around us should be so different that when Jesus comes to the door of their hearts they should want what they have seen in us. Are you living the “set free” life? Are you set free or does your life show more of you than of Jesus? Maybe, just maybe you still need to be set free to live for Christ and to openly prepare others to meet Him. If you have lived the changed life, begin asking the Lord for unique opportunities to bring Him into the hearts and lives of those who know you.
This Sunday, Dave Smith, the director of Illinois Family Institute will be bringing the morning message. He will probably be speaking from Romans 14 looking at our responsibility as Christians to human government. This will be a timely message and one that will bring clarity to a cloudy subject.
I am leaving today for a pastor’s conference in Manila. This is a very interesting opportunity to meet men who are serving the Lord throughout Asia in an effort to network with them as they train men and women to serve the Lord. Pray with me for God to prepare the way for us to work toward establishing a training center/seminary in Jakarta.
We are also praying for God to provide some more musicians for our church. Sunday will be Stefani’s last Sunday as she leaves for college next week.
Pray for our many children who start school this week and next week as they are getting ready for the new year. They face many challenges and some fears as they make this next step in their lives.
Last Sunday’ sermon will be on the App and on the website today.
Have a great day in the Lord,