Jesus was known for traveling throughout the country, healing, teaching, and performing miracles. I always have loved to read the stories and wished I could have been there.
Mark 5:1-20 tells of a man possessed of many demons. This man was called Legion because of the many demons inside him. Back then, a legion was the largest unit of the Roman army–3,000-6,000 men.
Jesus sailed to the country of the Gadarenes, and as soon as he disembarked a man came out of the tombs with an unclean spirit. He was living among the graves because no man could bind him. He was able to break free of the strongest chains. He was wild and untamable, spending his days and nights wandering throughout the mountains and tombs, crying and cutting himself with stones. This made me think he wanted to be normal and truly was trying to get rid of the demons by cutting them out.
Yet when he saw Jesus, even though he was far away, the possessed man recognized who he was. (The devil is very much aware of God, and fears Him.) The possessed man cried out to Jesus, “What do you want we me, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I beg you by God not to torment me.”
Verses 8 and 9 seem transposed. When God gives a command it is instantly obeyed. Yet it reads like Jesus commanded the demons to come out, then they chatted a moment before going heading into the pigs. Then I thought that maybe because Jesus used the singular only one demon came out, leaving the other thousands behind. So Jesus asked his name. I’m certain Jesus knew how many were there and what the lead demon’s request would be, but this might have been a test for Satan.
The devils begged not to be sent out of the country and requested to be placed in the large herd of swine feeding nearby. Jesus gave them leave. The devils went into the swine and raced down the hill into the sea. There were around 2,000 pigs. Even at one demon per pig, that was a lot of demons in the man! My Bible has notes at the bottom of the page that help to clarify some points. Here it explains that the demons wanted to go into the pigs probably to avoid being sent into the abyss, which is their ultimate doom.
The herders took off and went into the city. They told told everyone and a group went back with them to see for themselves. The possessed man was sitting peaceably, clothed and in his right mind. Instead of being happy, they became afraid and demanded that Jesus leave. Most likely, they were not too happy to have had their herd destroyed. Jesus opted to go. The healed man asked to join him, but Jesus gave him another job. He told him to go home, to his family and friends and tell them what happened–how Jesus had compassion and healed him.
We all have a small niche that can only be filled by God’s presence. You may try to fill the void with wealth, alcohol, sports, sex, wisdom, or whatever, but nothing can fill that yearning except God. Once He’s in your heart you feel complete.
Have a blessed day!
Sometimes I find this easy to do, but mostly I feel like I’m confusing the reader more than helping.
Originally posted on A Writer's Path:
If there was one piece of writing advice I disliked most as a new writer, it certainly was “Show, don’t tell.” Initially, I had no idea what it meant. Self-help writing blogs often toss this phrase around without examples. I even had a critique done on my writing once, and the person critiquing said this phrase several times but offered no help on what showing actually meant.
Finally, I stumbled upon a quote that changed my outlook on writing forever.
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It’s not fair that we don’t forget as easily. Of course, I’m sure there’s a lot that I should have asked forgiveness for, but have forgotten.
Originally posted on An Unrehearsed Life:
If you ever want to shut down a conversation with God, I know a way.
– Bring up your past.
– Try to talk about your old sins, the ones you’ve already confessed and walked away from.
– Ignore the fact that they are forgiven and forgotten.
Sins. Seriously. Forgotten.
If we try to bring up dealt-with failings from our yesterdays as a source of conversation with Him, He’s only going to have one response:
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Because our awesome God has a character trait, an ability, that we can’t even comprehend.
He can forget the very things that once most offended Him.
We say we believe that He forgives us, that we’ve claimed and accepted that forgiveness, but we keep living in this place of shame, coming back to Him again and again over what’s already been thrown away. As if He operates like…
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I was going to do a blog on this, but I like his version better!
Originally posted on Scribblings of the 22nd Year:
Sometimes Bible readers see a disconnection between the Old Testament
(39 books, largely about God’s interaction with ancient Israel) and the New Testament (27 books, largely about God’s interaction with Jesus and His followers). The Old Testament appears to be all about obedience and judgment and the New Testament seems to be all about salvation and love.
Without giving a complete defense as to why I think the two Testaments are inseparably connected, I do want to point to an Old Testament story that I recently did a in-depth study on for school. The story begins with sin and judgment, but there is a surprise ending to it.
This story is found in 1 Kings 21 and maybe you heard it in Sunday School at some point. It is a story about a wicked king Ahab and his also-wicked wife Jezebel. Ahab wanted his neighbor’s vineyard (even though Ahab obviously didn’t…
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Such a sweet story. God is so good!
Originally posted on Morning Story and Dilbert:
I would not consider myself to be a prayer warrior. But, I do pray. Not because I believe in the power of prayer, but because I believe in the power of God. At times, I have prayed big, brave, badass prayers; but for the most part, in tough situations I try to pray “make it count” before I pray “make it better”.
So, keeping my general cowardice in prayer in mind, I have a story to tell you.
I’ve waged a long war with illness this winter, and early in January, I lost hearing in my left ear. A course of antibiotics and a bunch of other medicines could not clear it up. Instead, it grew worse, and after a month, my right ear decided that since misery loves company it, too, would start to block up.
Coupled with weeks of coughing, sewer drama, pneumonia…
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With being a retired nurse, I should have thought of this. Clever!
Originally posted on M.C. Tuggle, Writer:
I think writers are as necessary as doctors. Like a doctor, the writer performs the vital functions of diagnosing patients, advising them, and healing them.
Diagnosing: Through the generations, writers, like doctors, pretty much say the same things over and over, but in fresh, personal language. That’s because the human condition does not change. We must be told we are mortal, that we can and will get hurt, and that we should take better care of ourselves and loved ones.
Ernest Hemingway’s magnificent tale of war and loss in A Farewell To Arms remains one of the most powerful and vivid tales of the madness of World War I. Of course, its narrative is timeless because humanity is still being dazed and bloodied by conflict and loss. I still recall reading that book in high school, and how it shook me to the core the way it made…
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