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12-26-10 Luke 8

December 26, 2010

Are you in a storm?

(short story I heard that related to the msg as paraphrased by me) I really love to drink coffee.Sometimes when I’m in a hurry though, I will pour the coffee and sugar and head out (not always making sure the lid is on tight).When I hit the first bump, I am reminded quite quickly of the importance to have the lid on tight.Coffee spills everywhere and I am left with a mess.There is no question as to how full my cup was.

Here in Luke 8, we are examining the disciples in a storm and we find that their attitudes during a storm directly reflect how much faith is in their cup.So it is with us also that when a storm, trial, or tribulation hit us, our reactions to that storm will display the level of faith in our cup.Are we filled to the brim?If so, will not faith overflow and be seen for all by our actions?Also a key to think about here is what we look to during our storms.Do we look to Jesus, knowing that He has power over the storm?Or do we forget the Master we serve and become filled with fear, doubt, and hopelessness?

Luke 8:22-25 NKJV

Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.” And they launched out. But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!”

Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. But He said to them, “Where is your faith?”

And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!”

Luke 8:26-27 NKJV

Then they sailed to the country of the Gadarenes, which is opposite Galilee. And when He stepped out on the land, there met Him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time. And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs.

John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” The contrast of what Satan’s aim is vs. why Jesus came.This demon possessed man can still be seen today in the culture of society.We see him nude and self mutilated from his state of possession by demons.We look in the world and see nudity/porn/self mutilation among teens and persons of all ages.Satan was using this guy as a messenger of darkness whilest Jesus is the message of light.Notice how much brighter a light seems when shone into a dark place?This isn’t anything new.The battle has been waging since the beginning.Are you in the darkness and of the darkness of this world or are you the taking the light of Jesus to shine into the darkest places the love of God?

Luke 8:28 NKJV

When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!”

So this is a conversation between demons and God.Notice that the demons (as with those indulged in the darkness of this world today) want nothing to do with Jesus; nothing to do with salvation.Instead the demons show their selfish nature in that their first concern is their own well being.They don’t want the torture that they know they not only deserve but that Jesus is capable of delivering.

Luke 8:29 NKJV

For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles; and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness.

So this shows societies thought of how to deal with a demon.They shackle the one affected, and under guard keep him hidden.This is a blatant show of ignorance.Why didn’t the people know what to do with this man?Because only Jesus can heal a person from spiritual warfare and bring out demons.When we attempt something such as this, we must use the power of the name of Jesus Christ for we cannot alone attempt of our own authority to call out that which is under our master’s authority without the word of the Master.

Luke 8:30-31 NKJV

Jesus asked him, saying, “What is your name?”

And he said, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him. And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss.

Legion is 6000.So here we have 6000 demons possessing one man.

Abyss is “bottomless pit”.No wonder the demons weren’t for that idea.

Luke 8:32 NKJV

Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So they begged Him that He would permit them to enter them. And He permitted them.

Why did Jesus allow that?Have you ever wondered?Think about it for a second.Your goal is to bring a message to a people whose hearts need to be prepared for the message.You aren’t valued by the people yet.You must get their attention.And the message that you have prepared for them is one that will require the loss of every earthly thing you would place as a priority before God.What do you do to both get their attention and begin sharing this message?Well, during this time, the pigs would have been a source of income for the locals.Jesus knows their attention will be quickly gained and their priority quickly laid plain for all to see if He loudly messes with the income of the community.There is something far greater and more important than their current lifestyles.There is an urgent reliance on the Lord that is required of all who would realize their sin and the price to bridge them to the Father.

Luke 8:33 NKJV

Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned.

The Bible is clear about Satan and demons and that we are not to be ignorant to their powr and how real they are but also not to give them too much credit.The book of revelation says it was just one angel that stopped satan in the end.Michael said, “the Lord rebuke u”.And when we bring God into it, we have victory.Just as Jesus was victorious here and is always victorious over demons and Satan.

Luke 8:34-37 NKJV

When those who fed them saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. They also who had seen it told them by what means he who had been demon-possessed was healed. Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. And He got into the boat and returned.

Youd think theyd be rejoicing when they encountered the power of God working in someone’s life.We see this so often today also in our walks with God.When we take a step forward and make positive change or a sacrifice for the sake of our walk with the Lord, often we find that others (associates, colleagues, friends, and even family sometimes) want nothing to do with us as a result of it.

We also must see that the unbelievers here made the request for Jesus to leave just as so often today they by their actions deny Jesus.Notice that Jesus grants this request to the unbelievers.God can make the world believe in Him and follow after him.But that’s not the goal.The world has free will.They have a choice to make.You have a choice to make.If you request the Lord depart from you, He will.Careful what you request in life.You may get it.But also notice that He doesn’t leave without leaving a missionary.In other words, he didn’t just give up on the people because they didn’t want the Lord yet, He instead left a witness to testify that the Lord may continue working in the hearts of those not yet ready to receive salvation.He does this still today.Look around your life and you will either find a man or woman of God that was strategically placed (often unbeknownst to them) to be a witness to you, or you will find that you have shut out all the witnesses in your life with one excuse or another (often influenced by the demons that redirect your thinking).

Luke 8:38-39 NKJV

Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged Him that he might be with Him. But Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you.” And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.

Oddly you may say this man had no training, no college, no degree, no pastoral experience, etc. and so then how was he left to be the missionary for the Lord?So unqualified are the many examples chosen in the Word of God.Think about almost every author in the Bible.Can you say that any of them before their engagement for the Lord were qualified for the duty He completed through them?These are exactly the type of people we all as Christians are when we come to Jesus.We are unqualified.One of my favorite sayings is, “God doesn’t call the qualified; He qualifies the called.”We don’t get hung up on what we can’t do when we come to salvation.We instead can immediately begin sharing with others what God has done in our lives.This testimony is a powerful witness and lives can be changed when we share what God does in us.I once was __________, but now, by the power of God’s saving grace I’m ________.Go tell the world.

Luke 8:40-43 NKJV

So it was, when Jesus returned, that the multitude welcomed Him, for they were all waiting for Him. And behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue. And he fell down at Jesus’ feet and begged Him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter about twelve years of age, and she was dying.

But as He went, the multitudes thronged Him. Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any,

Jairus was a ruler of the synagogue and thus was risking everything to come to Jesus Christ.He was desperate for help and this type of desperation is often the type of desperation that brings us to Christ.He had a daughter in need and nothing would stop him from seeking help.Those with children I’m sure understand this desperation.Do u realize how desperately u need Jesus in your life?

We also see a contrast here of these two females.The 12 year old girl in need has likely had a life of great advantage and wealth having every desire met,and the woman who for twelve years bled likely had the opposite.Consider her condition.Bleeding for a Jewish woman meant uncleanliness.This meant that for 12 years of her life, she was outcast by those around her.She could not even be touched for she was considered unclean.Un holy.Her life had for 12 years been devastating.Here, she in desperation seeks the one that she knows can heal her, just as Jairus in desperation seeks the one that he knows can save his daughter.

Luke 8:44 NKJV

came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.

Picture this in the crowd that pushed every which way.A man whose daughter is dying fights through the crowd to reach the one that can save her.A woman presses onward until she is able to reach only the border of His garment knowing that this alone was enough to heal her.What faith is shown here!How amazing to have an all powerful merciful God that can heal us when we call.

Luke 8:45 NKJV

And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?”

When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ”

Jesus isnt worried about the multitude pushing this was and that (throng).He is concerned with the singular person of faith.He already knows this person’s story needs to be told so that Jairus can hear her testimony and receive hope.Can you picture the crowd here?Jairus is going to need this stoy to have his faith boosted as his daughter is fixing to die.We never know when God has this set up that someone needs to hear what we have been saved from; what the Lord has brought us through and thus we need to continuously share.We must live in constant testimony of what the Lord has done for us.I know some that say it’s not their responsibility, but they are wrong.It is all Christians’ responsibility to share their faith.God only knows whose ears are needing to hear.

Luke 8:46-49 NKJV

But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.” Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately. And He said to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.” While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, “Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher.”

Try to picture the situation.Put your self mentally there.All the pushing and shouting and shuving to get close to Jesus (picture it like when you are in line in a crowd of people that seem to think that pushing you harder into the person in front of you is going to move the live forward).Now picture your desperation to get to the front of the crowd because this is the only way to save your daughter.You are anxious, impatient, perhaps angry, but desperately trying to get through the crowd.Just then, your cell phone rings and you get the message that your daughter is dead… you were too late.Don’t even bother anymore.Just come back.How down hearted Jairus must have been until he heard through the crowd how Jesus had just healed a woman simply from her touching His cloak.What faith is needed as Jesus tells Jairus to just have faith?Has this man been prepared for this moment in just a few moments in the crowd?

Luke 8:50-54 NKJV

But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.” When He came into the house, He permitted no one to go in except Peter, James, and John, and the father and mother of the girl. Now all wept and mourned for her; but He said, “Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping.” And they ridiculed Him, knowing that she was dead. But He put them all outside, took her by the hand and called, saying, “Little girl, arise.”

Sometimes we need to just put all the mockers and all of those that ridicule us and all the scoffers outside of our relationship with Jesus and spend some intimate time with our Lord.Here we see a great picture of Jesus’ power and also of his gentleness as he held her hand.What a gentle powerful God we serve. Who has power over storms, demons, and death?My God!Who holds my hand or gently embraces me when I am in need?My God!We must reorganize our desperate need for Him today and every day.Remember when you first came to Christ?Remember when you first realized you were a sinner before a holy God and that you needed salvation?Remember that moment?Remember that you called upon the name of the Lord and you were saved upon surrendering your life to Him?

If u haven’t done this yet; if you don’t yet know Jesus; if you are in storms and wanting to become stronger, then cry out and fall to your knees desperately before the risen Lord Jesus Christ and confess today. If this is you, know that God has power over the demons that are gnawing at you. He has power over the impurities in your life. He has power over the storms that toss you about. He can pick you up and set you on the solid foundation that doesn’t move. He can clense you, stop the storm and build you up. If you want help, send me a private message and I will pray with you, speak with you, try to answer your questions today. Be blessed.

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