CHANGED!

The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him. —Luke 8:38-39

I was out for a walk yesterday and asked the Lord if there was anyone He would have me talk with. This older man was walking his dog and stopped to talk. At one point I mentioned that we were not getting any younger and if he had considered what will happen after death. He said he didn’t think about it very much, but has a little bit more lately because he knows the end of his life is approaching. He was in his 70’s. Then he said, “I used to go to Sunday School and church when I was a kid.” Apparently, nothing stuck that he had learned. His life hadn’t been changed. He has little desire to talk about Jesus, but he did receive the gospel in written form. Pray for John that he might truly trust Jesus.

Changed lives— that is what happens when people truly trust the Lord Jesus Christ. I have heard so many people say they made “a decision” when they were a child or that they had “asked Jesus into their heart” and yet there has been no change in their lives, no fruit that would bear evidence that they have truly trusted Jesus. On the contrary, their lives look no different than a person who has never professed Jesus.

That is not the case in the above verses. After Jesus drove demons out of this man, he desire to go with Jesus. Instead, Jesus told the man to “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” In obedience, the man did so throughout the whole city where he lived. A parallel passage tells us that the man not only proclaimed what Jesus did in that one city, but “the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed” (Mark 5:20). This was an area which included 10 cities!

A life changed by Jesus is a life wanting to tell others how the change occurred. This man went to 10 cites. Has our life been changed by Jesus? Have we gone to our family to share this good news? Have we shared with 10 people we know? Have we shared with 10 people we do not know? Have we shared in the town where we live? Have we gone to other towns to share the gospel? Are we sharing the gospel? If we are not sharing the gospel, has our life truly been changed by Jesus? If we have truly trusted Jesus and are not sharing the gospel, then we are being disobedient to His statement that we would be witnesses for Him (Acts 1:8) and be involved in making disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). If we are not being obedient to Him then we are showing our lack of love and appreciation for Him (John 14:21). Oh, we whose lives the Lord Jesus Christ has changed, may we be faithful in telling others the good news that we can be forgiven for our sin, have a relationship with God, have eternal life, serve God now and be with Him in heaven when we die. All this is possible because Jesus loves us so much that He died on the cross, taking the penalty for our sin that we could have life. Then He rose from the dead, proving Himself to be the Son of God (Romans 1:4). Be faithful to His call!

Thank You Father for changing my life and giving me the desire to see other people trust You and live for You as well. This is the joy of my heart— to see others know You and grow in You! Oh, that we would live in such a way that we would hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” May it be so!

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