“And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” Mark 5:9 ESV
When Jesus stepped out of His boat in the country of the Gerasenes, He was immediately met by a man that had been living in tombs. A man that the bible says had, “an unclean spirit” (Mark 5:2). This man had been crying out and cutting himself with stones (Mark 5:5). When the demon-possessed man seen Jesus, he fell to his knees and proclaimed Him, “Son of the Most High God”. After a short introduction, Jesus cast the demons out of the man, making him sane again.
While most of us have probably never been demon-possessed, some of us have been outcast. Much like the man living in tombs, some of us have been rejected, ostracized, an maybe even cut ourselves. Some of us live in a “tomb” of loneliness. But we don’t have to stay there. Jesus approaches each one of us with love and kindness. He wants a relationship with us. Jesus didn’t heal this man then give him a list of dos and don’ts. Jesus simply asked the man his name, healed him, and told him to go and tell his friends about all the Lord had done for him. This is what Jesus wants for each of us as well, to step out of our “tomb”, build a relationship with Him, and tell others about His great love.
If you’re reading this and struggling, living in your own personal “tomb,” dealing with things all on your own, I beg you, give Jesus a chance to know you. Allow Him to cast out your demons and heal you. God loves you.
“But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:15 ESV
“For I decided to concentrate only on Jesus Christ and His death on the cross.” 1 Corinthians 2:2
Looking back at 2016, I’ve had highs and lows. Spiritual mountaintops and darkened valleys. Like David in the Psalms, I had moments where I praised God aloud for His grace and mercy and then screamed out, “Where are You?!” I’ve had moments where I asked myself, “How did I get here? How did I end up in this situation?” If I were to be completely honest, those times of darkness were often times I turned away from God, thinking I knew better than He did, and trying to do life on my own program. But one thing always brought me back around. One emotion or concept. One feeling, love. The bible says in 1 John 4:8 that God IS love. When I was down and out, feeling blue and sorry for myself, there was always someone there to love me through it. Someone to sit me down and speak truth to my life, not anger or hatred, but love and truth. I thank God for the people He has placed in my life. People of strong faith, people to keep me accountable, people to love me. I’ve seen what my life looks like without the love of God and His people in it and it is not a pretty picture. That is why my new year’s resolution is 1 Corinthians 2:2, “For I decided to concentrate only on Jesus Christ and His death on the cross.” I’ve allowed myself to drift into the cares of this world for too long, forgetting what true love looks like. “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT. God is love. There is no clearer picture of that than Jesus Christ on the cross. That is true love.