Posted by: mikenicholsblog | July 7, 2014

tell it today!

On countless occasions over my lifetime I have read the account of Jesus, the demon-possessed man and a large herd of pigs. What a fascinating story! What a great picture of God’s power over Satan! Can you imagine experiencing the scene in person as the men were released from demon possession and the evil spirits then entered the pigs? And how about standing by and watching a large herd of pigs rushing down a steep bank into a lake and drowning? I’m sure that in my years of reading this account, I’ve gained some knowledge and understanding of the healing power and love of Jesus. I’ve concentrated on the demon-possessed man, the pig stampede and the demons, but not much more. Sometimes, if you’re like me, reading Scripture becomes more about the process and less about gleaning great principles for life. Contained within this event was an incredible life lesson for today, and I have missed it for years. Maybe you have too.

To set the context, Jesus gets out of a boat and is confronted by two demon-possessed men (Matthew’s gospel mentions two). The account of this story in the book of Luke focused on one of the two men.  Luke’s account told that he had not worn clothes or lived in a house for a long time, but had lived in tombs. Picturing this scene gives us all the mental picture of a sick, hopeless, violent person. We have all encountered people who caused us to feel uneasy or even fearful, but I don’t think that any of us has come upon a scene quite like this one.

The legion of demons that controlled the men asked Jesus to send them into the pigs. Jesus obliged, and the pig stampede began. Once the evil spirits left the men, we find our singular man in the Luke account dressed and in his right mind. He was a new creation! But there is more to the story. After the event, people pleaded with Jesus to leave (interesting). As Jesus was getting in the boat, the converted (I believe) and healed man asked to go along. Jesus wouldn’t let him go, but His instructions were words that every believer should follow … and I have missed them for most of my Scripture reading years.

Later, a great many people from the Gerasene countryside got together and asked Jesus to leave—too much change, too fast, and they were scared. So Jesus got back in the boat and set off. The man whom he had delivered from the demons asked to go with him, but he sent him back, saying, “Go home and tell everything God did in you.” So he went back and preached all over town everything Jesus had done in him.
Luke 8:37-39 (MSG)

Think about the monumental life change for this once scary creature. The healing hand of the Master changed everything. When you and I came to faith in Christ, everything changed for us. On this side of eternity, the most important decision in our lives was when we went from darkness to light, and became new creations in Christ Jesus. However, Christians often shy away from sharing their spiritual heritage with those they love. The words of Jesus to the healed demonic are very relevant today. We, like him, should tell our story. Why did Jesus tell him to share what happened? Because Jesus wanted others to hear of His mercy!

So here’s the challenge: If you are in Christ, who needs to hear what He has done for you? Will you pray for them? If Christ opens a door of opportunity, will you share your story with them? It’s easy to make excuses, but if Christ is your Savior, do not be afraid to tell your story. After all, it’s authored by the very hand of God and is your spiritual birthright.

Not every story is as “exciting” as a pig stampede, but that’s not the proper measuring stick.  If fear is the primary excuse for stories not being shared, a close second is “mine is just not that interesting or compelling.”  God authors no worthless stories.  He creates nothing of lesser value.  Be reminded that you are the masterpiece (Eph 2:10 NLT) of the Creator of the universe, and the very hand of God himself wrote your story.  That story needs to be told. Tell it today!


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