Monday, June 20, 2016

Sermon June 18-19, 2016

Title: Tell of God’s love for you to all!
Text: Luke 8:26-39

39 “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.

A young man was to be sentenced to the penitentiary. The judge had known him from childhood, for he was well acquainted with his father--a famous legal scholar and the author of an exhaustive study entitled, "The Law of Trusts." "Do you remember your father?" asked the magistrate. "I remember him well, your honor," came the reply. Then trying to probe the offender's conscience, the judge said, "As you are about to be sentenced and as you think of your wonderful dad, what do you remember most clearly about him?" There was a pause. Then the judge received an answer he had not expected. "I remember when I went to him for advice. He looked up at me from the book he was writing and said, 'Run along, boy; I'm busy!' When I went to him for companionship, he turned me away, saying "Run along, son; this book must be finished!' Your honor, you remember him as a great lawyer. I remember him as a lost friend." The magistrate muttered to himself, "Alas! Finished the book, but lost the boy!"

Homemade, February, 1989.

26 Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. 27 When Jesus had stepped out on land, there met him a man from the city who had demons.

In Luke’s gospel Jesus, having calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee, now makes land fall in the region of the Gerasenes.


Gadara was one of the Decapolis, or "Ten Cities," that were originally inhabited primarily by Greek people who settled in the region after the time of Alexander the Great's conquest (see Ancient Empires - Greece). After the Romans occupied the region from about 65 B.C. (see Ancient Empires - Rome), Gadara was made the capital of the Roman province of Peraea.

Gadara was located east of The Jordan River on a mountain about 6 miles / 10 kilometers south-east of The Sea Of Galilee. The people of Gadara were known as Gadarenes, although the general area was also known as the "[region] of the Gerasenes" after the city of Gerasa which was about 45 miles / 73 kilometers farther south. They were still mostly Gentiles in the time of Christ, as indicated by their keeping of pigs.

Wayne Blank

The region Jesus traveled was opposite from Galilee, it was not Jewish but Greek, not clean but unclean. But still he came. Those who had lived there had even been living in tombs … another reference to being unclean.

Jesus encounters a man who is possessed by a demon.

28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.”

It is not the man who speaks but the demon that controls and enslaves him.

It is so harsh a trial for the man that he is bound in chains, under guard and even breaking free is driven into the desert by the demon.

Jesus asks the demons name and is told “Legion.” How great a possession this must have been? In Jesus day a Roman Legion may have contained 3000 to 6000 Roman foot soldiers.

This Legion begged to not be cast into the Abyss … and they begged him to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. 33 Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned.


A missionary in Africa was once asked if he really liked what he was doing. His response was shocking. "Do I like this work?" he said. "No. My wife and I do not like dirt. We have reasonable refined sensibilities. We do not like crawling into vile huts through goat refuse...But is a man to do nothing for Christ he does not like? God pity him, if not. Liking or disliking has nothing to do with it. We have orders to 'Go,' and we go. Love constrains us."

Our Daily Bread.

This past week there was an event at Peace. It was our annual Chicken BBQ. This time there was a twist though. It was a focus on going into the community for the community.

Peace President Jay Squanda took a leap of faith and wanted a program with a purpose. Not just our Chicken BBQ that had been fun and a time to celebrate the beginning of the summer season but a purpose and focus on Christ and the community.

It began with the Memorial Day Parade. It was a time to be visible in the community. It was a time to invite. It was a time to bring Jesus to those in need. There were flyers, there was news about the church and there was a day. June12 the Peace Chicken BBQ. How many would come? Where was the food coming from? How many will we feed? Much planning needed to be done. Many volunteers stepped up. Service was outside. God provided a beautiful day. We had some visitors. But more importantly … $565 dollars were raised for Oakland Hope. It is the start of a new outreach … a new focus … a mission of purpose for a place across the lake if you will where those bound in chains and controlled by demons - some from outside influence and some from within – pry and cast people into despair – sending them into the desert of this world with no hope.

How many? What will they eat? Will we have enough? I’m reminded of the loves and the fish. Jesus said: 13 … “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.”

A question was asked at the BBQ about the loves and fish. How many loaves and fish as their family was having a discussion. In one, the feeding of the 5000 5 loaves and two fish with twelve baskets left over. In the feeding of the 4000 there were 7 loaves and a few small fish and there were seven large baskets left over.

9 About 4,000 men were there. He dismissed them 10 and immediately got into the boat with His disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.

It is suggested that this feeding was among the gentiles and that Jesus and his disciples then crossed back across the Sea of Galilee to the region of Magadan on the western shore of the sea.

Jesus went, Jesus fed, Jesus brought Good News. Our Chicken BBQ now has a purpose. Not just a time of fellowship and time of serving, a time of feeding, a time of bringing good news to those in need … both inside and outside our church.


A one-legged school teacher from Scotland came to J. Hudson Taylor to offer himself for service in China. "With only one leg, why do you think of going as a missionary?" Asked Taylor.
"I do not see those with two legs going," replied George Scott. He was accepted. 

Pillar of Fire, January First, 1983.

Jesus came for all and to serve all. It is our joy to be God’s servants to neighbors in need. We do not have to create a pantry to serve the homeless; God has brought people and places in our midst for that. We do not need to invent a new mission or ministry … we can simply insert ourselves into community outreach that exists. We do not have to look for new ways to serve but to be simply vessels of service to those in need with the need of the body and the good news that feed the soul.
May God fill and bless these efforts as we walk among his people with good news for the lost and comfort for the broken.

In the name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit.


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