38 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 "Return home and tell how much God has done for you." So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.

Luke 8:38-39 (NIV)

Believer, how much has Jesus done for you? Has He set you free from bondage? Has He set your feet upon a Rock giving you a firm place to stand? Has He let you rest your head “between His shoulders”? Has He bestowed upon you His love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and faithfulness and gentleness and self-control in ever increasing measures? Then by all means, let others know. Paul tells the believers in Philippi:1 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Phil 2:1-4 (NIV)
Our demoniac turned disciple begged to go with Jesus. The word translated “begged” is from the Greek word “Deomai” meaning to want, need; it is necessary, it must be, making a request as an inferior of a superior (The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible New Testament Lexical Aids). He greatly desired to go with Jesus in much the same way as others in Scripture whom Jesus had released from bondage. Interestingly, all believers have been set free – some of us just do not seem to have that awareness or appreciation. Shame on us! If this man was not allowed to continue on with Jesus then he was certainly going to tell others about his experience. I am reminded of the encounter of the Samaritan woman at the well with our Lord. After their conversation she became quite the evangelist! John tells us: 39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I ever did." 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers. John 4:39-41 (NIV)
Personal testimony plus the message of Jesus is still God’s modus operandi for the salvation of others. There is no greater testimony that bears witness better for our Lord than a changed life and one that is willing to share that change with others. Every believer has a story to tell and every story ministers for Christ. Our stories are most passionately told by ourselves and who can refute what has happened to us personally? Again, I am reminded of Scripture that addresses this matter. A man, blind from birth, healed by Jesus then subsequently questioned by the Pharisees: 24 A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. "Give glory to God,” they said. "We know this man is a sinner." 25 He replied, "Whether he is a sinner or not, I don't know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!" John 9:24-25 (NIV) 28 Then they hurled insults at him and said, "You are this fellow's disciple! We are disciples of Moses! 29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don't even know where he comes from." 30 The man answered, "Now that is remarkable! You don't know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will. 32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing." John 9:28-33 (NIV)
This man’s witness was clear and he refused to deny what he absolutely knew for certain. Believers across our nation need to speak out about what we know for certain. As a friend of mine wrote me yesterday, “We must keep sharing our faith. God is the only answer to this sinful, sad, sick world”. Do not think for a moment that Christians are the only group out to “evangelize” America. I recently read an article about a new breed of atheists on the scene mounting an aggressive crusade to “evangelize” our country. The article goes on to say: “Atheists are a minority of the population, but they have made startling inroads into centers of national influence: the media, the educational system, movies and television, and more. Famed market researcher George Barna ominously warns Christians: ‘The new evangelists are atheists’.” We sit back silently and do nothing. Again, shame on us! God has placed us in this time of His-story to be a beacon of light in this dark world. We are to shine like stars. We are to be salt that has not lost its saltiness – the preservative that permeates this decaying world. May we take seriously Jesus’ command at His ascension when He states: 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matt 28:18-20 (NIV)

What I Glean

  • I am to tell others what Jesus has done for me.
  • My testimony and the message of the cross is God’s path for reaching the lost.
  • I am not to sit back silently and do nothing. Jesus tells me to go and make disciples in the power of His authority.