Okay so I’m getting ahead of myself – what in the WORLD is this all about you may ask. Well this morning I was doing some reading in my “Year In The Word” Bible plan – and came across this story found in Luke 8:26-39, I’ve heard/read it a ton of times but something caught my attention in a new way today.
So here’s the plan – I want you to go read it for yourself – go ahead – here is the link – LUKE 8:26-39. Don’t be afraid – seriously it took me a little less than 2 minutes to read it OUT LOUD – so you can do it in less time – trust me – I’ll wait………
So what a crazy story right – Jesus meets man possessed by demons – the demons have kept the man running around crazy and naked, living in the caves and tombs. Even when bound by chains and guarded the demons threw him into a fit enough to break the bonds and run back into hiding. What a HORRIBLE and WRETCHED LIFE! So the demons in this man recognized Jesus as “Son of the Most High God” and knew that He had the power to control what happened to them, so they asked His permission not to be thrown into the abyss by instead to go into a herd of pigs nearby. Jesus granted that wish – demons entered the pigs and then possibly one of the most intense and crazy scenes in the Bible took place. The pigs went, shall we say it, “HOG-WILD” and ran full blast down the embankment and into the lake and were all drowned – what a wild episode that must have been. (can you picture how quickly PETA would have been all over Jesus if that happened today – oh what a wonderful world in which we live)
In the midst of all that madness – the man was redeemed – he got his life back, his sanity back, and to think even though we don’t know what it was – he got his NAME back – his identity – he was no longer the “demon-possessed man known as Legion”. When the crowds from town heard what had happened and showed up – here now was the man sitting at Jesus’ feet, “dressed and in his right mind” – WOW stop for a minute and just think how peaceful and pleasant those 2 simple things must have been for this distraught & destitute man! Kind of reminds me how thankful I should be for the simple things of life (and how TRULY THANKFUL you should be that each day I am able to be dressed!!! ha ha).
But with all this going on – it still isn’t what my mind focused on and what I walked away with as a lesson for today! Here it is – nothing mind-blowing or deep theologically – it happened sort of as an after thought – as Jesus was leaving. The man went and begged Jesus to go with Him, but Jesus knew this man had another task – and He told the man something simple:
“Return home and tell how much God has done for you.”
Are you kidding? That’s it? That is what this man now gets to do with a story this awesome and amazing? But look deeper into the simple beauty – look to the lesson and principle for all our lives!
For those of us struggling with attitudes of anger or depression or defeat – simply remember the daily provisions of God – that we are clothed, fed, redeemed, and given purpose. Then it is time to “go and tell how much God has done for you.”
For those of us who think we have it made, living in false sense of self-reliance, for those who are working so hard to build our own little kingdoms – it is time to remember that “every good and perfect gift is from above” and that God is the one that provides all that we have and are in this life. Then it is time to “go and tell how much GOD has done for you.”
For those of us who are stuck living in the land of the “high and mighty” who hardly EVER do anything wrong – and thus we believe God has given us the RIGHT to live out our days telling everyone else how wrong they are. Telling them all the things THEY need to change – maybe we need to learn a little something from these words. Simply focus on the goodness and grace and mercy of a God that has done so much for ALL of us. Then it is most DEFINITELY time to “go and tell how much GOD has done for you.”
For those afraid that they don’t “know enough” to share the Gospel with a friend, that they don’t know the Bible well enough, or have all the answers – the great news is that God doesn’t expect us to – He simply believes, as was mandated here by the words of Jesus – that we must simply share OUR STORY – because it resonates with someone. Then it is time to “go and tell how much God has done for YOU.”
For those believing that they have no purpose if God doesn’t intend to use them for something “HUGE or BIG” in the grand scheme of things – that their little life is worthless – this is a reminder that Jesus could have easily allowed this man to go with Him and to encounter all the wild and crazy things that would take place in Jesus’ life and ministry. Instead Jesus gave him a mission within the man’s home area – to realize that the individual lives he would impact with his story would be exactly what God had in store. So many of us should be willing to simply “return home and tell HOW MUCH God has done for you.”
So the moral of this story is that this little man went wee wee wee all the way home and shared the story of “just how much God had done for him” – and left a legacy for each of us to do the same!