May 3, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO CHANGE A PERSON (part3)

LUKE 8:35 Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid

*Luke 8:28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high?

Remember, if Jesus changed this man, Jesus can change anybody. The change came when:

HE SAW JESUS

HE CRIED OUT

HE FELL DOWN BEFORE HIM

This was an act of HUMILITY. He bowed down before Jesus. The verse says specifically that he “fell down”. This has happened so often in my life. I fall flat on my face, and then God brings a change in my life. Sometimes, that is what needs to happen for us to get desperate enough to let God change us. We must “fall down”. This man in chapter eight had obviously hit bottom.

Samson hit bottom when He was blinded and broken. David hit bottom when he was hiding in the cave of Adullam. Jacob fell on his face wrestling with the Angel of God. Paul fell on his face when he was blinded on the road to Damascus. Peter hit bottom when he denied Jesus, something he never thought he would do. Jonah hit bottom in the bottom of a whale. Moses fell on his face before God in the cleft of the rock.

Have you ever hit bottom? Have you fallen before God?

This man in chapter eight had devils in him. We have devils around us. Satanic influence is prevalent in our world. Demons had “possessed” this man. Demons can “oppress” us. These demons had affected this man’s mind. That’s exactly what happens to us many times. The spiritual battle rages in our minds. It possesses our mood, our spirit, our attitude, and our thinking. We find in verse thirty-five that when Jesus changed this man, he was sitting at Jesus feet “in his right mind”. Only God can make our minds right. And let me say this, nothing in your life will be right until your mind is right. As you are reading this today, it just might be that you need God to change your mind. God can’t change your mind until He changes your heart. How did this man’s change take place?

God changed his heart, then his mind, and then his life. I am persuaded that He is able to change anyone.

May 2, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO CHANGE A PERSON (part2)

LUKE 8:35 Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid

*Luke 8:28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high?

How did the change in this man’s life happen? We discussed number one in the last devotion.

HE SAW JESUS

HE CRIED OUT

The first thing this phrase tells me is that there was DESPERATION. This man was desperate. Yes, he had some major issues, but deep down, he did not want a life like the one he was living. There is a lot of people like that. They act as if they do not want a change, but deep down they do. People are desperate. They try everything to find contentment. There is nothing like seeing a spiritually lost individual, who finally becomes desperate enough to cry out to God. There is also nothing like seeing a believer, who has wandered away from God, who becomes desperate enough to cry out.

The second thing this phrase tells me is that there was DISTANCE. You don’t need to cry out if you’re extremely close to an individual. You “cry” out because there is a distance. And there was a distance between this man and Christ. There was a distance between all of us and God, but Christ bridged the gap between us and God. The way this man was, there would appear to be an insurmountable distance between him and Christ. But because Jesus loved him, Jesus eliminated the distance immediately. You may be reading this today and think that you have put so much distance between you and Christ that there’s no way you could make your way back to closeness with Him. Remember:

* James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you..

*Hebrews 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

Jesus can make a change in our life, but before there is a change, there must be a “cry”. Are you “desperate” for a change? Is there a “distance” between you and God.

Then my friend, cry out!

May 1, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO CHANGE A PERSON (part1)

LUKE 8:35 Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.

We affectionately call this man the “maniac of Gadara”. He was quite a character. You talk about crazy, this man was crazy. I guess we all are a little bit crazy in our own way. But this guy was “out there”. He spent his time roaming around graveyards, had no clothes on, and was demon possessed. Just your average, everyday visitor at church. This man had quite a reputation. Everyone knew of him and I can see why.

If you look at this specific passage, Jesus had just calmed a storm and rebuked the disciples by asking them, “where is your faith?”. Then we are immediately told about this crazy man. You see, we need to learn that God can control circumstances, but we also need to learn that God can change people. What better way for God to prove that, than for him to change the most challenging person. Nobody wanted to go near this man, but Jesus loved him. It reminds and encourages me that even when I act crazy, God still loves me. So, the Lord casts out the demons, but the demons asked to be put into a herd of pigs instead of Jesus casting them into the sea. So, Jesus ordered the demons into the pigs, and you guessed it, the pigs ran off a cliff right into the sea. They committed “SUEYcide”. I know, bad joke.

I also find it interesting at the end of this verse that after this man became clothed, and in his right mind, now they were afraid of him. You don’t see anything where people were afraid of him before, but after he became a believer in Christ, suddenly people are afraid. The name of Christ makes people nervous. Why is that? Because there is power in His name. So how was the change in this man made?

*Luke 8:28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high?

1.) HE SAW JESUS

You and I become so busy that many times we overlook Jesus. He can make the changes that are needed in our life, and only God can by the way. But we do not see Him. We see our critics, we see our social circle, we see the faults in others, and we certainly see our burdens. But we tend to overlook Jesus. We will continue with this tomorrow but let us look at how a Godly man named Job finally saw Jesus.

*Job 42:   1 Then Job answered the LORD, and said,  2 I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.  3 Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.  4 Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.  5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.  6 Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.