KICKING GOD OUT

SCRIPTURE TEXT

Matthew 12:43-45,  When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.  (44)  Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.  (45)  Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A DEMONIAC KICKS GOD OUT

In the post-modern world in which we live, a lot of people, including Christians, deny the reality and existence of demons. They allege that demon possession is a myth and fairy tale that people in an unenlightened age invented to explain abnormal human behavior.

But the fact that (1) Jesus taught on demonic possession; (2) Jesus spent a huge portion of His time casting demons out of demon possessed people; (3) Jesus commissioned us to cast demons out of people (Matthew 10:8, Mark 16:17); and (4) the early church cast demons out of people (Acts 5:16, 16:16-18); all tell us that demonic possession is very real. It happens. And I’ve got news for you: it’s still happening to this very day. I’ve cast demons out of Christians and these Christians will be the first to tell you that it’s possible for people today to be possessed.

Anyways, when a demon is cast out of a person it goes thru dry, arid, waterless places looking for rest. In ancient history, deserts were known to be habitations of demons.

Anyways, this cast out demon goes thru waterless places looking for rest. Now you’d think that out in the desert where there’s nothing to do there’ll be lots of time for a demon to kick back and relax. We equate rest with sleep or leisure, taking a break from working. But for a demon, rest is not inactivity or not working. In fact, it’s the complete opposite. Rest, for a demon, is to be busy possessing and afflicting a human being. Demons don’t like it when they’re not living inside people and oppressing them.

So this demon decides to return to the person that he was cast out of. You see, when a demon is cast out of you, you need to know that this demon is going to want you back. He’s not going off to possess someone else–not if he can help it. This demon wants you because he knows you pretty well. He knows your weakness. He knows which of your buttons to push to get you to do some pretty shameful, wicked stuff. This demon knows you, he loves you, he wants you, and he’s coming back for you.

Now when the demon comes back, he finds you empty, swept, and garnished (verse 44). You know how a lot of renters will totally trash a house out. When they leave, you go in there and look dishearteningly at the mess that you’ve got to clean up and what it’s going to cost you to get that house back in a livable condition. You get right to work and get rid of the mess, repair and paint the walls, lay new carpet down, get new appliances, hang up a few paintings, and, wow, that house really looks nice now! That’s what Jesus means when a house is empty, swept, and garnished.

When a demon has been cast out of you, you do some house cleaning. You get rid of the stuff that got you possessed in the first place: you get rid of the booze, drugs, porn, anger, lying, and stealing. You clean up your act and your life. You go to church, read your Bible, and pray. You hang out with Christian friends and live life differently. You bear the fruit of the Spirit. You’re all nice and clean. And do you know what? You feel really good about yourself! You’re happy and you haven’t felt this good in a long time!

Guess what. This demon isn’t done with you. He wants you back. But he isn’t going to live in a clean house. HE CAN’T GET BACK INSIDE YOU IF YOU KEEP YOURSELF CLEAN AND WALK CLOSE WITH THE LORD.

That demon doesn’t give up easy. He wants back inside you and he’s going to keep on trying. So what this restless demon does is he goes and finds seven other demons who are a lot worse and more wicked than himself.

There are varying degrees of wickedness among demons. Some demons are not as bad as others. This explains why there are varying degrees of wickedness among men. Some murderers will kill only once or twice, while others will keep on killing until they’re dead. Some alcoholics will drink occasionally, while others drink on a daily basis, while still others drink on an hourly basis.

So now you’ve got 8 demons after you and 7 of these demons are a lot worse, a lot more wicked, a lot more alcoholic, a lot more drug addicted, a lot more rich, a lot more sexual and perverse, a lot more tempting, appealing, and irresistible.

They can’t come inside you unless you open the door of your soul to them. If you don’t do the right thing and resist these temptations, if you decide you want to enjoy these sins again, you’re opening your house back up to these demons. They come in and you’re 7 times worse than before. You thought you were really messed up before when you had 1 demon. Now you’re really really messed up, you’re more hooked, you get yourself more booze, more drugs, more guns; you watch more violent movies, you learn the ways of mass murderers, then you go out there and do what these demons have taught you to do.

Jesus closes this lesson by saying in verse 45, Even so will it be to this wicked generation. In other words, this generation of Jews were possessed by one demon, as it were. Jesus came along, cast these demons out, and helped them clean their lives up. But now, because of their religious leaders, they’re starting to turn away from the Lord. The furnishings are coming down. The house is getting dirtier. And in turning away from the Lord they’ve become like the repossessed demoniac: they’re a lot worse off than before.

HOW MUCH MORE WICKED IS OUR SOCIETY TODAY

Jesus declared that generation of Jews to be wicked, evil, and adulterous; possessed like a guy with 8 demons. That was before they had TV, movies, porn magazines, and the internet that made sexual sin so easily and readily available.

That was a time when everybody was pretty well covered up and there wasn’t a lot of skin exposed. Now we’ve got so much skin showing that there’s little left for the imagination.

That was an evil generation before they had gobs of factories churning out beer, meth, cocaine, and sex slaves. How much more evil are we today?

This generation of Jews in Jesus’ day were evil at a time when sodomites stayed hidden in the closet for fear of being stoned. Now the gays have come out of the closet with a vengeance, brazenly advocating for equal rights and legitimacy. Marriage is being redefined and the gay lifestyle is being legitimized and legalized. I don’t hate homosexuals. I just don’t like the fact that they’re contradicting God, twisting the Scriptures, and trying to convince everybody that God and Heaven are cool with their lifestyle. God destroyed the sodomites of Sodom and Gomorrah. And I just don’t think that He’s changed His mind about sodomites. All I’m saying is, if that generation of Jews was really wicked to Jesus, how much more today!

KICKING GOD OUT OF OUR SCHOOLS AND NATION

During that wicked and evil generation in Jesus’ day, the Old Testament was the only thing they taught in their schools. Today we’ve kicked God, the Bible, and prayer out of school. And look at what has happened to our schools and children since then.

I ask you, what harm was there in having God and the Bible taught in our schools  Who did God hurt that He was expelled from school? What did He do wrong that we sent Him home? What was so wrong with teaching our children to pray? For generations of time God, the Bible, and prayer were taught and encouraged. Society turned out alright when God was in school. The older folks that went through that education turned out okay. They weren’t all saints. But they weren’t monsters eithers.

Now look at what’s happened since God has left our schools. Look at the state of our schools, our communities, our nation. Most of all, look at the state of our kids and ourselves. I believe we will see in all fairness and honesty that we’re never better off when we kick God out of our lives, our schools, our communities, our nation. Like a demon repossessed person, we’re gobs worse off when we turn our backs on God. And, sadly, the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School is a sad and tragic lesson of what happens when we kick God out and let the devils in.

KICKING GOD OUT OF OUR HOMES

We see very graphically what happens when we kick God out of school. We see where this nation is headed as we begin to kick God out of our nation and our social consciousness.

But let’s bring the tragedy closer to us and ask, Are we kicking God out of our homes? Oh, we’re not doing it blatantly and brazenly. But when we don’t teach our children the Bible, when we don’t take them to church, when we don’t have a spiritual, godly mindset and atmosphere in the home, when we teach our children by example that life is all about working hard and making good money so that we can buy the fine things of life and enjoy life to the hilt—with no mention of God, no time for God—haven’t we kicked God out of our homes? And if that evil, wicked and adulterous generation was 7 times more wicked and demon possessed than before, how in the world do we expect our homes and our families to be anything less than 7 times more wicked and possessed without God?

KICKING GOD OUT OF OUR LIVES

Let me bring it even closer yet. Let’s not talk about our children and family. Let’s talk about ourselves. Are we kicking God out of our life? No way! We’re Christians, you say. Yes, thank God for that. That’s what we say.

But what do our actions say? Do we talk to God much during the day or the week? Do we read our Bibles? Do we think about God? Do we think about what we heard in church? Are we spiritual? Do we talk about God and spiritual matters in the home? Do we sing Christian songs of worship to Him? What kind of music are we listening to? What kind of books are we reading? What kind of movies are we watching? How do we spend our leisure time? We have time to study or pray, but what do we do instead? Watch a movie. Surf the channels. Go shopping. Hang out with friends. Browse the net. Facebook. And before you know it, gasp, the night is done and it’s time to go to bed. No talk of God. No thoughts of God. No time with God. And we say we’re not kicking God out of our life? Who are we kidding? Certainly not God.

BRINGING GOD BACK IN

Brethren, if we don’t bring God into our life we’re going to be spiritually dead, wicked, evil, and adulterous as a demonically repossessed person. We’re not going to fare better than our schools, our communities, our nations, or the demon-possessed people living all around us. The evil that visited Sandy Hook can visit us at any time.

Do you know who I want to visit us? The Spirit of God in a fresh outpouring of repentance and revival! Do the research. Read the history books. Whenever revival swept a community or nation the crime rates went down, social conditions improved, families were strengthened, and people were a lot nicer to one another. Saints didn’t kill sinners. Sinners were saved, not killed. Isn’t this what we want? Isn’t this what America needs today?

This is Christmas time. Over two thousand years ago there wasn’t much of any room for Jesus in Bethlehem. It was as if the little town was kicking Jesus out. Thankfully, a stable was found where Jesus could be born.

In the Bethlehem that we call our homes, our churches, our communities, our nation, our world; can we let Jesus back in? Jesus is the answer for a sin-sick world. That’s why God gave us Jesus. Jesus is the Savior that can kick the devils out of our life, clean us up, and make us look good, feel good, and live right again.

We’ve seen what happens when we kick God out. Brethren, it’s time to kick the murdering devils out. Today, let’s bring God in. Let’s clean house. Let’s begin right here. Right now. Let it begin with me.

SPIRITUAL REJECTION PART 6

GETTING CURED OF REJECTION

1. ACKNOWLEDGE THE PROBLEM. So how do you get rid of rejection? You first of all have to acknowledge the fact that you’re rejected, that is, you’re battling feelings and thoughts of rejection. You can’t deal with the problem if you don’t recognize there’s a problem. As long as you minimize the problem, or worse yet, refuse to admit you’ve got a problem, then you’re not going to be rid of the problem. Rejection will linger in your life as long as you allow it to linger. It’ll be a part of you as long as you coddle it and refuse to get rid of it. And this brings me to a second step in the cure for rejection.

2. YOU HAVE TO WANT TO BE FREE OF REJECTION. Unbelievably, some people don’t want to be free from rejection! In an absurd or insane way, they like being rejected and want to be rejected! Why is that? Because they relish the pity and attention they get from well-meaning people who try to help them get set free from rejection. People who battle rejection don’t necessarily love rejection: they don’t necessarily want to be rejected. What they want is to be accepted. They want to be the object of people’s time, care, concern, and help. When people give them that care and help they’re feeding the rejected person’s desire for acceptance and thus, unknowingly, strengthening the grip that rejection has in that person’s life. For many people who battle rejection, rejection is their ticket to acceptance. That’s why some people will not be freed from rejection. For them, rejection IS acceptance. 

As long as  you feel this way about rejection and acceptance you will not be freed from rejection no matter how long and how hard people try to help you. Rejection will be a lingering part of your life as long as you coddle it and refuse to let it go. THERE ARE OTHER WAYS TO GAIN ACCEPTANCE. WHEN YOU USE REJECTION TO GET ACCEPTED YOU’RE ONLY ASKING FOR REJECTION TO STAY PUT IN YOUR LIFE AND CONTINUE BEING THE MASTER AND TORMENTOR OF YOUR SOUL.

If you want to be free from rejection, if you want it gone and out of your life, then hallelujah you’re on the right track. It’s a good start. But don’t stop there.

Closely related to the desire to be free from rejection, you have to be willing to do whatever it takes to be free. As in many areas of life, people want things without having to work too hard or too long to get them. They want something for nothing. Or next-to-nothing.

That kind of mentality doesn’t work for rejection. Rejection is a warfare. And no warfare is ever won without blood, sweat, and tears. Freedom requires a fight. And you’ve got to be willing to fight for your freedom.

If you’re ready to fight and do what it takes to get set free from rejection, then take the next step.

3. GET READY TO FIGHT THE DEVIL OF REJECTION. As I pointed out earlier in the previous posts, rejection starts out as a feeling or thought. This is a natural part of being human and we all battle these feelings and thoughts. All of us do. Without exception. We’ve all been tempted to think we’re no good, nobody loves us, God doesn’t want us.

If we don’t deal with these feelings and thoughts, if we keep entertaining them and don’t nip them in the bud, we unwittingly open the door to demonic oppression. As I explained in the previous post, there are demonic spirits whose sole task in life is to get you to think and feel you’re rejected. To your unawares, they’re constantly talking to you, persuading you, convincing you. I can’t tell you exactly when the oppression takes place. Somewhere along the line, feelings become more than just human feelings. They become human feelings manipulated by demonic spirits and, at some definite point in time—to your unawares—you become a slave to these spirits.

It’s like a nicotine addiction. You start out with one cigarette, then it leads to another, then another. At first you have some control and you can decide when, or if, you’re going to smoke another cigarette. But, by and large, the more you smoke the more you want to smoke again. In time, you get to a point where desire becomes addiction and enslavement. Instead of being a casual smoker you are now a chain smoker.

It works the same way with demonic spirits of rejection. These spirits don’t come against you and control you against your will. It’s not like they overpower you and decide they’re going to control you for the duration. You hold the key to your soul. You control what thoughts you allow to enter your mind. You decide what kind of feelings you’re going to experience in your soul. Like cigarettes, the more you “inhale” the feelings and thoughts of rejection, the more you’re becoming addicted to rejection and you wake up one morning not realizing that the addiction to rejection has become full-blown enslavement or oppression by demonic spirits.

Persistent and longstanding feelings or thoughts of rejection, I’m saying, is a demonic spirit. If you’ve been battling long and hard against rejection, then a demonic spirit is involved and you’re going to have to do battle with that spirit.

One of the biggest hindrances that keeps Christians oppressed and enslaved to rejection is the belief that Christians can’t be oppressed by demons. Since they’re a Christian, they’re not oppressed. The continual presence and mastery that rejection has in their life is explained as a weakness or struggle, but not as a demon.

It’s not my purpose in this post to prove that Christians can be oppressed by demons. I’ve seen it happen. I’ve taken Christians through deliverance. I’ve seen demons manifesting in Christians. So I know what I’m talking about. And I’m not alone. There are gobs of Spirit-filled Christians throughout the world who’ve taken Christians through deliverance or who were themselves oppressed and subsequently delivered.

Many Christians believe that the Spirit of God cannot live in the same body with a demonic spirit. They believe that people can have only one spirit—either the Holy Spirit or a demonic spirit—living inside them. But, on a wider scale, our homes, our communities, our nation, our Earth, is the habitation of both the Spirit of God and demonic spirits. God by His Spirit lives on Earth, where demons also live. So what’s the difference between living in a body and living in the Earth? Do you see what I’m saying? If the Spirit of God can inhabit the Earth even though the Earth is chock full of demons, then why can’t the same thing apply to the human body?

Christ gave us the power to cast demons out (Matthew 10:8, Mark 16:17). He set the gift of the discerning of spirits in the church (1 Corinthians 12:10), which tells me that there are demonic spirits in the church.

If you want to believe that Christians can’t be oppressed by demons, you’re entitled to believe that. I don’t suggest you do. As long as you refuse to combat a demonic spirit working against you, or inside you, you’re not going to be free from rejection and I, among many others, will not be able to help you. The war will always rage on until you confront and defeat the enemy.

If you’re ready to concede that a demonic spirit is working against you, then you’re ready for the next step.

4. GO TO GOD IN PRAYER. The unbelief that keeps you from believing and receiving God’s love and forgiveness is a sin. It’s a rejection of His love and forgiveness. That’s why you need to go to God in prayer, repent for your unbelief, and ask Him to forgive you. Ask Him to give you the grace to believe that He really loves you, wants you, and forgives you.

5. FAITH, POWER, AND AUTHORITY OVER DEMONS. As a Christian God has given you authority over demons. You have the God-given power and authority to command the demons in Jesus’ Name (Matthew 10:8, Mark 16:17, Luke 10:19-20). When you use Jesus’ Name it’s like Jesus Himself is  present and He’s commanding these demons Himself. Just as demons obeyed Christ’s command and came out of oppressed people when He was here on the earth, so these same demons must obey you and do whatever you command them to do in Jesus’ Name.

Before you get freed from rejection you must believe you’ve got the upper hand over them: you’ve got to believe you have the power, right, and authority to command them and expect them to leave you alone in Jesus’ Name. If you don’t believe you’ve got power over the spirit of rejection, then that spirit isn’t going to leave you. Demons know when you’re believing and when you’re not. They’re not going to listen to you when you’re not listening to God, that is, when you’re not believing what God said about you having power over demons.

If you don’t believe you can command demons and tell them what to do, the first thing you need to do is believe. Faith comes before freedom or deliverance. Study the Scriptures I cited earlier. Read the New Testament and focus specifically on how demons obeyed Jesus and the apostles. And by the time you’re done reading from Matthew through the Book of Acts you should believe. Christ has already given you the power. You have it right now. You just need to believe it and use it in Jesus’ Name. Once you believe that you’ve got the power to command the spirit of rejection, you’re ready to command.

6. REBUKE THE SPIRIT OF REJECTION IN JESUS’ NAME. Before I command demons I like to open up in a word of prayer to God and thank Him for giving me the power and authority over demons. I ask our Heavenly Father for protection and deliverance.

I then speak directly to the demons involved. In this case, you’ll be speaking to a spirit of rejection. Speak to the spirit by name, rebuke him, and command him to come out of you or leave you alone in Jesus’ Name. Say something like this: Spirit of rejection, I rebuke you in Jesus’ Name and I command you to come out of me and leave me alone in Jesus’ Name. I no longer want you in my life. I’m kicking you out in Jesus’ Name. Jesus Christ sets me free from you and you must go in Jesus’ Name.

It’s as simple as that. It doesn’t take a marathon of time of get delivered and set free from demons. All it takes is a simple command of faith spoken in Jesus’ Name. And within moments you’ll be set free.

If you’d rather have someone pray for you and take you through deliverance, then find another believer who’s willing to do that for you. Above all, make sure the believer is filled with faith, is righteous and not enslaved to demons, and knows how to command demons effectively in Jesus’ Name.

Sometimes demons do resist at first. They’re testing your mettle to see if you really believe and expect them to go. If this happens, if you feel like nothing’s happened and the spirit of rejection hasn’t left you; just stand your ground, remind the spirit that you’ve got the power over him, and command him to leave you right now in Jesus’ Name. If you stand up to him, the demon will leave you and you’ll know it, you’ll feel it, and you’ll be free. Hallelujah for Christ’s power and deliverance! Be sure to thank the Lord for setting you free!

7. BE PREPARED TO FIGHT TO STAY FREE. Human beings can live out in the open or out in nature. But, let’s face it, even from the most ancient of times, our descendants made homes for themselves because homes were more comfortable and secure from the elements, the beasts of the field, and the enemy.

Demons are much the same way. They like homes to live in and the homes they like to live in are people. When a demon is cast out of a person that homeless demon doesn’t like being homeless. He’s going to want to find someone else to inhabit. More often than not, the cast out demon will come back to you and try to get back inside of you. Matthew 12:43-45 tells us what goes on after a person has been set free of demons. Read it for yourself. After reading it you’ll come to the realization that freedom is a fight to stay free. You’re free right now. But the spirit of rejection is probably coming back to try and oppress you once again. This is normal. Just be aware of it and be prepared to fight the spirit back.

So how do you fight to stay free?

  • Start out with faith. Believe and receive God’s love and forgiveness. Reading my post on THINKING ‘ABOUT ME might help you receive the reality of God’s endearing, unfailing love for you.
  • Cultivate a mindset of power and freedom. The spirit of rejection took control of you because you didn’t believe God’s Word. You believed what the devil told you. This is the mindset that got you oppressed and it’s a mindset that you mustn’t return to. You’ve got to cultivate a mindset that believes you’re loved, forgiven, and accepted by God. A mindset that believes you have the power to get set free from demons and stay free from demons. How do you cultivate this mindset? Say over and over again, “God loves me, God’s forgiven me.” Meditate on the many promises and comforts of Scripture, such as those that we’ve already read in this blog. Confess these promises. And refuse to entertain any thoughts that contradict God’s Word and promises.
  • When the spirit of rejection comes and talks to you, refuse to listen to, or entertain, any of his lies. Remember, they’re lies. These are the lies that got you in trouble and bondage to oppression in the first place. Don’t go that route again! No matter how good or convincing the devil sounds, refuse to listen to him and shut him up instead with the Word of God: There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). God has made me accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6). God has forgiven all mine iniquities (Psalm 103:3). God loves me and He loves me with a great love (Ephesians 2:4). Counter the devil’s lies with Scriptures such as these and you will prevail against rejection, you will walk in victory, and the Lord’s peace and joy will return to your soul.
  • Wherever possible, don’t hang around people who don’t love or encourage you in the Lord. Negative people will drag you down. Remember, the devil works through people too and he’ll make sure there are people who cross your path who will try and make you feel like you’re so totally worthless and no good. Stay away from them. Find a good church to fellowship in and surround yourself with people who will edify and encourage you. Find good Christian friends who will take time to pray with you, pray for you, and help you walk in victory. Pray and ask the Lord to give you a friend and a church who can help you. This is one prayer that God will definitely answer!
  • Lastly, praise the Lord in song. Thank Him for what He’s done for you. Magnify His grace and love. Instead of looking at a past sin, look to Jesus’ shed blood on Calvary and bless Him for His love and forgiveness. Every time you’re tempted to think on past sins, praise God in song and prayer. Thank Him for ridding you of the demonic spirit that kept you rejected. As you praise Him the Lord will minister to you and fill you with the assurance of His love and forgiveness. May God bless you, dear saints of God, and keep you free from rejection.

THE JESUS I DIDN’T KNOW: LOVE I’VE NEVER KNOWN

How well do you know Jesus? We all like to think we know Jesus pretty well. I’ve had close to fifty years of wonderful, sweet communion with Jesus. I’ve devoted over forty years of my life to studying and teaching His Word. I’m talking about going back to the original languages and learning as much as I can about Jewish culture, institutions, and beliefs. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a Know-It-All. And you can ask my kids: I’m not inerrant or infallible. But still, knowing what I know, I’d like to think I know Jesus pretty good. To my pleasant surprise, however, I don’t know Jesus as good as I think I do. To this day, He still shows me more about Himself. Here, let me give you some snippets of the Jesus I never knew. 

LOVE I’VE NEVER KNOWN

For those of you who have real, true love—the love of family and friends—you are so blest. You are richer than the richest guy around! Here, let me tell my story.

My name is Legion. And for as long as I can remember, no body loved me or wanted me—not even my family. Of course, I was a nut case and there really wasn’t much to love about me. That’s because I was a demoniac. I had all kinds of demons living inside me. You may scoff at the idea and think I’m off my rocker. But believe me, and you can ask my parents and all the townsfolk, I was possessed. That’s why my name is Legion—because there were gobs of demons living inside me. (Just so you know, a legion of the Roman army in Jesus’ time was about 600 soldiers.)

Anyways, I very clearly wasn’t normal. I was full of demons. I’d act like an animal and howl like a hyena. I’d constantly be hurting myself, cutting myself. No, I wasn’t suicidal. But long before Leopold von Sacher-Masoch came along, I was the ancient poster child for masochism. Every part of my body was tattooed with the scars of self-inflicted abuse. I looked like a monster right out of a horror movie. I was a danger to everyone. That’s why nobody wanted me around. They were all scared of me. They tried all sorts of ways to restrain me. One time, people even tied me up in chains. But I tore the chains apart as easily as if they were made of paper. That’s the kind of power I had because of these devils. That’s when my parents and the townsfolk decided that I couldn’t live among them anymore. I was so strong and violent that I was a real danger to everyone. So, in one of my saner moments, they took me to the cemetery at the outskirts of town and that’s where I lived.

As you would imagine, I didn’t get very many visitors. People didn’t want to die because they didn’t want folks coming to the cemetery. I guess I can’t blame them. It was a pretty lonely life. It was just me and the demons, constantly hurting me and driving me nuts, that I really wanted to die. It’s a miserable way to live. What’s even more miserable is not being able to die. The devils got a big kick out of hurting me that there was no way they were going to let me kill myself.

One day, several guys came by the cemetery. I was genuinely surprised! It wasn’t a funeral. There was no bier. No women wailing. They were headed my way! It was like they were coming to see me! One Guy in particular, at the forefront, seemed unafraid and intent to see me. I didn’t know Him from Adam. But strangely, at the sight of Him, I ran towards Him. When I reached Him, I promptly fell prostrate at his feet and said, What have I to do with you, Jesus, you Son of the most high God? I beg you by God, please don’t torment me (Mark 5:7).

Apparently, the demons in me knew who the Guy was and they were genuinely scared of Him. Imagine that! Demons scared of a Fellow! It was always the other way around: it was always people who were afraid of demons. But, for the first time in my life, these devils inside me were genuinely afraid of the Guy! He must have been someone special. Someone powerful.

The Guy started talking to me. What’s your name?, He asked. My name is Legion, because we’re many, I said. Really, it was the devils in me that were speaking. Anyways, Jesus looked me straight in the eyes and commanded all the demons to come out of me. I couldn’t believe it! No one had ever done that to me before! I didn’t even know it could be done! I always thought the devils were gods that couldn’t be pushed around. But here was this Guy, telling these demons what to do. And He was calmly standing there, waiting, and expecting, these demons to comply with His order. He definitely acted like He was the Guy in charge. No wonder the demons in me were afraid of Him!

To make a long story short, all the demons came violently out of me and headed towards a herd of swine nearby. The pigs all ran off a cliff and drowned in the Sea. But I felt a strange calm and relief. For the first time in my life, I felt peace and rest. I was a human being again! I laid there in the dust, savoring a peace that I’d never known.

Jesus picked me up and, for the next few minutes, we talked. The love and care that He had for me brought tears to my eyes. I couldn’t stop crying. I didn’t think anyone could ever love me. I didn’t think anyone cared. For some unknown reason, I mattered to Him.

The townsfolk came up a short while later. They were shocked to see me in my right mind! But they were afraid of Jesus and they asked Him to leave. I guess they didn’t want any more pigs getting killed: that would surely ruin the town’s economy.

So, like a Gentleman, He complied with their request and He, His disciples, and I started walking back to the coast where Jesus’ boat was moored. I wanted to get in the boat with Jesus and serve Him. But Jesus told me I could serve Him more by going around the district and telling everyone what He did for me. So, with tears in my eyes and joy in my heart, I waved them off and thanked God Almighty for setting me free.

No one ever loved me the way Jesus did. I didn’t think this kind of love was possible, or that it even existed.

I forgot to tell you that Jesus lived in Capernaum across the Sea. He sailed across the Sea last night and a furious storm arose that nearly sank their boat. Come to find out, it was the devil trying to kill them and stop them from coming to me. Anyways, Jesus knew what was happening. So He rebuked the storm and there was an immediate calm on the Sea Mark 4:34-41).

Anyhow, He came to see me. He set me free. Then He got back in His boat and sailed right back to Capernaum. In other words, as busy a Teacher and Healer that He was, He dropped what He was doing and made a special trip across the Sea—and nearly got Himself and all His disciples killed—just to set me free!

That, dear friends, is love. And who was I? I was a nobody. A worthless reject. A vile sinner and abject demoniac. I walked around in the buff: I was stark naked. I hadn’t had a haircut or shave since time immemorial. I didn’t shower or clean up after myself, so I stunk to high Heaven. I was truly a sight to behold. My scraggly looks and body odor would have driven everyone away!

But Jesus came and loved me! He saw worth in me! And He went through death’s doors to save me, give me back my humanity, and make my life worth living. I’ll never forget Him. I’ll never stop serving and praising Him. I never knew this kind of love existed.

I know He loves you too! Jesus is Love Incarnate. He can help you, save you, and change you. Like me, He’ll give you a life who’ll never forget or regret. I didn’t think life could be so fun. So meaningful and worthwhile. That’s because I didn’t know Jesus. But thanks to Him, now I know.