Sunday, November 29, 2015

Mark 5:18-20 (NLT): Our Christian Mission

Mark 5:18-20 (NLT): Our Christian Mission

As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon possessed begged to go with him.  But Jesus said, ‘No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.’ So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them.

Once I truly came to Christ in May of 2012, I felt truly liberated. At that moment grace was tangible, for I could have scooped it up and held it in my hands to display to all the world.  There is no way to explain this new beginning as other than miraculous; the agony of stress, fear, and deep-seeded emotional pain were gradually released and became manageable. My life is certainly not perfect now, nor will it ever be on this earth, but through Christ’s work in me, all things, both celebrations and setbacks, now have purpose. The overriding question still remains, however: How can I be a better, more effective disciple for Jesus? Early in my walk with Christ, my answer was naive and misguided: I focused on legalism and a devotion to everything “church.” But  through time, prayer, and grace, God speaks through “that still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12-13) about my mission, a mission that always lies in front of me in the simplicity of the everyday.

In the above passage, Jesus frees the demoniac from a grueling spiritual and corporeal prison. In the exuberance of this liberation, he “begs to go with [Jesus].” Devoted discipleship, naturally, would be the response of someone liberated from a terrifying, debilitating force. The liberated man is flooded with grace and wants to witness that grace as one of Christ’s intimate disciples. Instead, the liberated man is given another mission. He is to “proclaim the great things” of the gospel to his own family and community.  Jesus says, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.”

Sometimes the most important mission we can serve for Christ is to be His witnesses among our own family and neighbors. Our calling is more often not formal ministry. It is, instead, spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ among the most intimate communities in our lives, our own families and friends. Most likely, this mission does not require preaching or evangelization in the strict sense, but it asks us to witness, through our character and lives, the light of Christ’s love. Through this mission, we become the living stories of Jesus’ love, mercy, and liberation in the world.

Please keep each other and our special intentions in prayer this week.  

May you all be blessed and encouraged in the love and peace of Christ.  

Stan