2.9.13

Are You on a Lovely Island or a Lonely One?

by Sally Matheny
      
                     
Does an island get-away sound lovely to you?
Would it be lovely if you were deserted there?

What if there were many people, yet you are still left alone? What if your only company were the demons tagging along inside of you?
There are many lonely people in the world. Learn from this man’s success story:
  “When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs.”


Did this demon-possessed man hear Jesus was coming? Did he have enough of his own senses to run and seek out Jesus?  
Whatever the case, Jesus knew exactly where he wanted to land his boat. He took the first step towards the man in need.

 “When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet…
 For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man.”
 

Whether it was the man, or the demons inside of him, they fell at the feet of Jesus Christ. The impure spirit was commanded to come out. Jesus has the authority. Jesus is Ruler of all.

“Many times… [the man] had been driven by the demons into solitary places.”

Solitary places can sometimes be lovely—for a while--but, not for very long. Succumbing to live in the cold desolation of a cemetery; this man's only companions were graves and demons.

 
 “Jesus asked him, ‘What is your name?’

 ‘Legion,’ he replied, because many demons had gone into him.

And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.”
 
Jesus knows everything. So why did he ask the man his name?

 




Other people gathered, curious about the man landing on their shore . When the demon-possessed man stated his name aloud, there would be no questions later, if this was truly the same man whose life Jesus changed.

The demons begged Jesus. Why?
Because even the demons know who is the Master of all.

It’s ironic that the demons tortured the man into a dark and lonely existence yet, they begged Jesus to spare them from such a place.
 
 
 “A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them his permission.”


Again, Jesus is in control. He knew what the pigs would do. The pigs were so crazed by the demons they ran off a cliff and drowned in a lake.
 
Those who witnessed the event ran off to tell others of this startling event. More people came. They stared at the changed man who was now dressed, and in his right mind.

They found him sitting at Jesus’ feet--probably kissing and hugging them. 
 
Wouldn’t you drop to the ground, faint with amazement, if you were set free from such an evil and lonely existence? 
The bystanders were astonished, too. They wondered how this transformation was possible.
 
And where there is no faith, there is fear.

 
“Then all the people…asked Jesus to leave… so he got into the boat and left.”

 
Even now, Jesus takes a step toward the lost and the lonely. People ignore Him. They tell Him to leave; choosing to live in fear and bondage rather than live in the freedom of faith. One day, Jesus may turn to leave; never to seek their hearts again.

Some people choose to live in the dark abyss. But not everyone… 

“The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him,
but Jesus sent him away, saying,
‘Return home and tell how much God has done for you.’”


The saved man desperately wanted to go with Jesus—to fellowship with His other followers.

Standing on the shore, his tear-filled eyes fix on Jesus and the boat slowly drifts away.

His heart pounding in his chest, he wipes his eyes so he can see more clearly. He wants to go and leave this forsaken place!

Then, he notices the compassion in Jesus’ eyes--and he understands.
 
When he can no longer see Jesus, he turns to face the crowd of people. The crowd who sent his Healer and Savior away.   

Some stand with their arms crossed, eyes glaring. Others are murmuring and laughing as they walk away. Concerned parents hurriedly gather their children toward the path back to town; back to the life of which they are accustomed.
  
 

The man realizes not one of them understands God’s love.

 
He is the only one.

 
However, this time he does not feel alone. Jesus did not abandon him. He feels His Presence within him. The joy inside is as miraculous as his healing. It is amazing, and Jesus asked him to stay and share it. 
 

So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.”  (from Luke 8:27-39)

 


Are you in a lonely place?

Call out to Jesus. He heals and comforts. He freely gives wisdom and peace. He loves. He saves and He stays.
 
“Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
Psalm 73:23 

Christian, do you sometimes feel like you’re in the battle alone?

Call out to Jesus. He is in control. He is the captain of the winning team (of which you are a member!) He restores and strengthens. Remember your first love and your reason for joy.

You are never alone.

“The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I  always do what pleases him.”    
John 8:29 (NIV)

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”   
Philippians 4:7-9 (NIV)



Take your thoughts captive. Remind yourself of God’s love and blessings.
Rest assured you are in a lovely place.

Share with us. Are there times when you feel like you're the only Christian around? How do you stay strong in your faith? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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