Saturday, June 6, 2009

Life, More Abundantly


Okay, hopefully, I have your attention. Now, are you ready to have your life changed and made bigger and more wonderful than you ever dreamed? Here we go ...

In Mark 5, we find the account of a man living among the tombs. This man was possessed with demons. Think about this for a moment. This man literally LIVED in the graveyard. He walked every day among the dead. He was tormented by so many demons that they called themselves "Legion." This man was living in death.

Sidebar: What a clear picture of life without Christ! For isn't that what life is before an encounter with Christ, merely existing with no hope for anything beyond the here and now?

Okay, back to the demoniac. He was truly a tormented man. He was alone. He was afraid. And then, he saw Jesus. How did this man, this possessed man who was in the control of Satan's demons, recognize Jesus? I've wondered about this often as I've read and studied these verses. My conclusion is two-fold.

First, the man saw what was missing in his life. He recognized His Creator. He saw the Savior. And he KNEW he needed Jesus. Second, the demons knew exactly who Jesus was. James 2:19 tells that that even the demons recognize Christ. So, what we find is simple - the revelation of Jesus Christ and His offer of life in the midst of sin's trap of death is always clear to both us as humans and to the forces of Satan. For us, that revelation brings hope; for them, fear.

So the man knew who Jesus was and so did the demons. When Jesus spoke to the demoniac, his tormentors revealed themselves. And the amazing, beautiful, miraculous next event can be described in just one word- COMPASSION. Jesus saw the man with compassion. (Aren't you thankful that is how He sees you?) He saw the individual, not the legion of demons inside. Jesus saw the man. He saw one in need of forgiveness and grace. And that is exactly what He gave.

The rest of this story is that Jesus allowed the demons to possess the swine nearby. The swine upon their possession immediately jumped off a cliff into the waters below and died. But that's not the part I want to consider. What about this man? This new man with new life? Do you think for one minute this man stayed in that graveyard? Of course not!

Once we have life, what appeal does death have? And yet, I find, in my life and so many others, that we are satisfied with just the beginning of life. We never move to that next level, that part Jesus promised in John 10:10 - LIFE, MORE ABUNDANTLY; LIFE, TO THE FULL. That isn't just the promise of our life in heaven, that is what our precious Savior desires to give us here and now.

And what is life more abundantly? Living life to its fullest, every day, in Christ. It is seeing - people, places, miracles, beauty, suffering, pain. It is hearing - hurts, joys, birds, babies, and that still small voice of God. It is experiencing - mountains, valleys, plateaus, rivers of mercy, streams of peace. How often do we spend an entire day without any new revelation of God? When that happens, we must understand it is our failure to recognize Him, not His failure to reveal Himself. We fail to see His beauty in the sunrise. His cleansing in the rain. His wrath in the storms. His grace in the rainbow.

My prayer for me, for you, for all Christians is this - that we strive for life abundantly. That we yearn for the fullness and richness of living completely in Christ. And, that in doing so, we find abundance that we never imagined.

Oh Holy God, Giver of life
Give us a seal for living
Take us from our complacency
And move us into Your abundance
Let us live in Your fullness
And may You dwell fully in us.
~ Amen


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