Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Monday, July 18, 2016
Today’s Scripture Focus: “Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.” (Mark 5:19).
We are focusing on sin recovery principle number 12 of 12: “We had a spiritual awakening through these steps, and now we give this message to others.”
Freedom is much sought after these days. We’re looking for freedom of religion, freedom to own property, freedom to speak our minds. We’re looking for freedom from debt, bad relationships, and freedom to make decisions. In all of this seeking, it would be well to seek freedom from sin.
God has made every spiritual resource available to give us this ultimate liberty. Having received the power of God to live for Jesus, it is our privilege also to be free to witness. We cannot be a witness for the Lord before we have a personal relationship with Him.
You Have To Be Free To Serve
If we are still in bondage to ungodly habits and thoughts, we cannot honestly share good tidings about God’s ability to save. We are not saved ourselves. Jesus illustrated this point in His interaction with a man who was bound by unseen chains.
“And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.
“And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.” (Mark 5:1-8).
The man was finally free. The devils had to leave at the command of Jesus. What would he do with his new-found liberty?
The Witness You Know
He went to Jesus with a heart full of gratitude and wanted to follow Jesus wherever He went, but Jesus did not allow him to. What good would it have been if the man went with Jesus to preach the same message? Who then would go to Decapolis? Jesus told him to go home and tell his friends what the Lord had done for him. “And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.” (Mark 5:20).
This man exercised his freedom to witness because the Lord delivered him from a life controlled by the devil. Has God delivered you from anything? Are you exercising your right – your freedom to witness?