“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. 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!” (Luke 8:27-28, NKJV).
Have you ever felt as if your life is completely out of control – almost as if all your dreams are nothing more than distant memories; shrouded by the nightmarish reality of today? It is amazing how quickly consequences fold in on us from decisions we made decades ago.
I’ve spoken with people I went to high school with who started out smoking weed either to be cool like everybody else, or who simply smoked a joint passed around in a crowd, who later struggled to shake an addiction to meth.
I wonder what the tipping point was for our friend in the passage above. I mean, let’s be real; I think it’s safe to say most people don’t find themselves bound by a legion of demons overnight. What was it that opened the door to the point this man finds himself living in a graveyard, naked, crying out in torment, cutting himself, and desperate to be free?
For me, hanging with those friends from high school only encouraged me to smoke the same weed, drink myself into a stupor and make many other damaging decisions along the way; until one day Jesus stepped into my life, and in one 24 hour period, my life was radically transformed. No longer did I have a desire to party, try to impress everyone around me, or self-medicate my pain away.
On that pivotal day in the graveyard, Jesus came and found the man bound in the chains of a lost and hopeless life. But know this – you don’t have to be demon-possessed to be lost and hopeless. That is every one of us until we accept God’s forgiveness and salvation. We can’t earn it. Nothing we can do will ever make us good enough for it. It is only by His grace.
“Then the demons went out of the man… 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.” (Luke 8:33&35, NKJV).
The man, so grateful, begged Jesus to let him follow Him. But wanting to restore the man to his family, Jesus wouldn’t permit him. He told him instead, “Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you.” (Luke 8:39, NKJV).
Maybe you’re having to live with the consequences of your sin. If you are, remember, Jesus wants to break your chains, set you free, restore you and send you to tell everyone about the great things God has done for you. All you need to do is cry out to Him.
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Rob Granger and his wife, Becky, serve as Executive Pastors of Grace Church San Marcos under Senior Pastors Brian and Melissa Bauer. Located at 855 E. Barham Drive, San Marcos, Grace San Marcos meets at 10 a.m. Sundays and 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays with meetings for youth, children and other groups scheduled throughout the week. Visit www.gracesanmarcos.net for further information.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Times-Advocate.