I'm reading through the New Testament this summer. In addition to studying one passage deeply, I wanted to get an overview of the NT by simply reading it through without stopping to look at the notes or the parallel verses. I've never just read it like a book. I know that by doing this it will give me an overview that reading slowly won't. It is just a new angle by which to approach the word of God. During summers when I'm home and not working, I have an opportunity and a responsibility to consume as much as I possibly can. There are so many wonderful truths I want to stop and savor, or side trails I want to pursue. I keep a notebook so I can return to those later. I've read Matthew, Mark, and half of Luke so far.
I keep a box of tissues next to my reading area also, because the word of God is unbelievably moving and I never can read it without tears. It's just so touching, so amazing, so piercing, that my soul crumbles and quakes as I take in His truths.
I'm in Luke 8. I want to take a pause for a minute and ponder something. I've always been fascinated by the man possessed by a legion of demons. The Gadarene demoniac was well known to all people around. Luke recorded something I don't think the others did: he had been that way "for a long time."
So after Jesus exorcised him, the man was healed. He was sitting at the feet of Jesus- and he was clothed.
It's the clothing that gets me. Where did he get the clothes from? If he had been running around in a demonic state "for a long time" and not having lived in a house (Luke 8:27), the likelihood is that the clothes were not his own.
Who gave clothes to the man? Maybe Jesus did. But for sure, someone came alongside the man and clothed him. Can you picture the scene? They weren't scared of the man any more. Someone brought him a tunic and helped him on with it. Whoever it was obviously loved Jesus, but also loved his fellow man and saw to his needs. He had the clothes on by the time all the people came running back. (Luke 8:35-36). What a picture of love and discipling. It's like the first responders at a flood helping the people they rescue out of the water and covering them with a blanket. So beautiful.
We often celebrate that a new believer has been converted from death to life. But then what? Don't pat them on the back at the altar and then leave them hanging as you go to Cracker Barrel. Blanket them with love, include them, and bring them alongside a teacher. See to their needs.
It is such a kick to see the energy with which a new believer operates. Jesus said to the ex-demoniac, "Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him." (Luke 8:39). LOL, being in a relationship with a person who is so fervent for the Lord would be energizing for you too.
This was first published in January 2014 on this blog. ---------------------------------------------------------- When satan was created,...
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