Sunday, August 21, 2016

How Much the Lord Has Done

Today's Reading: 
Amos 4:1-6:14 
Mark 4:26-5:20 
Proverbs 24:23-34 
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Focus Verses: Mark 5:17-20 
17 Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region. 18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you." 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

The man Jesus healed was an outcast from society. His condition had driven him away from family and friends and left to fend for himself among graves and near pig herds. It's completely understandable that he would want to leave his past behind and go with Jesus. The prospect of a new start in a new place must have seemed more desirable than going back to broken relationships and a shattered reputation. Yet Jesus told him to go home to his family and friends, and to show and tell them how much God, in his mercy, had done for him.

What a shock and wonder it must have been to family and old friends to see him healed and restored to his right mind. How much more healing and renewal did the man experience as a result of going home? What a powerful testimony it must have been to all who heard his story!

Response and Action:
I must look to Christ for the healing and renewal I need. Following Jesus is not is not about withdrawal from my world, but rather the sharing of my experience and story. I must tell my family and friends about how God's mercy is restoring my life and what God is doing for me. My changed life can be a meaningful message of God's saving power.

O God, by the power and grace of Christ Jesus, make me new. Forgive my sins, heal the wounds of my failure, take away the guilt of my transgressions, strengthen me in my weakness, free me from my bondage to sin, and restore my life. Give me the courage to be honest about my problems and needs, and help me give witness to the ways you are helping me to overcome them. Through Christ, I pray. Amen.
Spiritual Formation Verses: Ephesians 4:22-24 
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
by C. S. Lewis

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