where love is alive 

A long time ago there was a man with a pitiful existence. The unnamed fellow’s life was taken over by a spirit of deep darkness. He lived in a graveyard. He was a source of fear to his community and a source of endangerment to himself. And it appeared that he would remain in that sad condition for the rest of his days.

Then one night, he met Jesus. In an impressive display of mercy and might, Jesus exercised His authority over Satan’s domain. The spirits left and the man returned to “his right mind.”  Thinking, acting, and understanding clearly for the first time in so long, this formerly possessed man made one request to Jesus. He begged to join Jesus and the other disciples. All he wanted was to stay with Jesus.

Certainly this now sound-thinking fellow could be a valuable asset to Jesus and his team. Surely “the crazy man from the Gadarenes” was infamous throughout the region. Jesus could march this man out as evidence of His own power, His authority over evil, and His ability to transform lives.

What if…? What if Jesus had granted this simple request and let him tag along throughout the rest of the gospel. Certainly history would have recorded his name. In response, we would hold that name in high esteem. Perhaps cities, churches, and our own children would be named after this man. Instead, the Lord had another, equally impressive commission for this man:

“Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.  Luke 8:39 NIV

Do you realize that your personal testimony is the most powerful tool you have to influence people toward the transformation Jesus can make. And the people to whom your story is most likely to impact are those “close to home” among your family, friends, co-workers, and/or fellow students.  So, think for a moment: What has God done for you? You may not have been saved from a life in a graveyard, but here are a few possibilities that may well apply to you:

He has paid the eternal debt for my sin.

He has assessed upon me my true value and identity.

He has enabled us to overcome my fear of death.

He has made me fully alive.

He has given me a purpose for living.

People love stories. Tell them yours. Let them know what God has done for you. Bring Jesus up in the conversation and do some bragging on Him..    Jay

Pastor’s P.S. This Sunday I’m going to tell a story-sermon from the Bible about God’s great supply. Will you attend?  Who can you invite to join you?

 

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