Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Monday, 23 March 20:
Mark 5:17-18 – “And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their region. As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him.”
Ultimately, people will seek either to draw closer to Jesus or further away. Those, like the man in today’s story, who have received God’s grace and healing in a life-changing way naturally desire only to remain in Jesus’ presence, enjoying fellowship with Him. How about you? Do you beg to be with your Savior, ever closer to Him with each day? Is that your heart’s desire?
– Psalm 84:10 — For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
– Psalm 63:1-4 — O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.
– Psalm 105:4 — Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!
– Genesis 4:16 — Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
The formerly demon possessed man begged to stay with Jesus, but Jesus said, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” (Matthew 5:19) So, the man “went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.” (Matthew 5:20) Later, as a result of the man’s testimony, large crowds from the Decapolis would seek Jesus when He returned to the region (Mark 7:31-36 and Matt. 15:30). God doesn’t want us to simply enjoy fellowship with Him, He wants us to share Him with others, which requires getting out of our comfort zones. For the formerly demon possessed man, a new life didn’t mean moving away to a new place and starting over. He was charged with going back into his community and displaying a new life and sharing a new message with those who had already known him for a long time. Sharing Christ with people you know is often more uncomfortable than sharing Christ with people you really don’t know. However, the reality of the new you will be more apparent to those who knew the old you than to those who didn’t. Many of your old friends, perhaps even some family, won’t accept the new you, but others will be blessed by your ministry and message of reconciliation. At the heart of a new life in Christ is a heart desperate to share with others Jesus Christ, the greatest gift of love anyone could offer another.
– Philippians 1:21-26 — For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.
– 2 Kings 7:9 — Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news. If we are silent and wait until the morning light, punishment will overtake us. Now therefore come; let us go and tell the king’s household.”
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 23 Mar 20: Get out of your comfort zone and share Jesus with someone today.