A friend let me borrow, Bold Love. As I slowly walk through this book, nuggets jump out, and Jesus is using it in my life. This week, this one took hold.
We anticipate fury, yet what we find is fondness; we expect, at least, cool indifference in light of our disregard and anger, yet what we discover is passionate joy at our return to a relationship with Him. God’s disruptive and scandalous response to our hatred transforms fury into gratitude and deadness into life. Dr. Dan B. Allender and Dr. Tremper Longman III Bold Love
This morning the story of the Garasene Demoniac “happened” to appear in my daily reading. It fleshes out the quote I’d been pondering. Here’s how it starts.
Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. When Jesus had stepped out on land, there met him a man from the city who had demons. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he had not lived in a house but among the tombs. (Luke 8:26-27 ESV)
This man, wild, naked like Adam after the apple, lived not in a house–a physical house, or God’s house, or the house of the Israelites–no house. He dwelt among the tombs. Living in death.
Yet even in death, freedom eluded him, for his tormentor overtook him. His arms and feet had to be bound in chains and shackles. Demons imprisoned him and demons empowered him–for they gave him strength to break those chains, only to lead him away into greater desert desolation.
As I read this, one thought repeated, like pounding rain in my soul. The demoniac is me. I was naked and ashamed, I had no house, I dwelt in death, bound, overpowered by sin.
And this could still be me. It would be me if not for…
Jesus asked the man, “What is your name?”
Outnumbered, what hope did this man have to ever be free from 1,000 demons? What hope did I have against the power of sin?
Then Jesus cast the demons from the man and they went into the swine.
And the townspeople found the demoniac:
clothed–like Adam after God clothed him
sitting–like a trusting child
at the feet of Jesus–those feet that would be pierced
in his right mind–stilled like the storm
How fiercely he must have loved Jesus from that day forward. Memories of his wretched state before the Nazarene sailed across the sea to find him surely remained. The wild gratitude he must’ve felt the next morning waking up not among the tombs, not naked, not chained, but free.
And again, I can’t stop thinking…this is me.
This quote from former slave ship captain, John Newton, says it.
Help me, Lord Jesus, to remember how great a sinner I am, how great a Savior you are, and in response to your “disruptive and scandalous” love for me, let me love others like you do…
Remember friends, he loves you like there’s no tomorrow.