Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Have you Heard Him Call Your Name Yet? He is Calling Now!

Mark 3:7-15 NLT  
  7 Jesus went out to the lake with his disciples, and a large crowd followed him. They came from all over Galilee, Judea, 8 Jerusalem, Idumea, from east of the Jordan River, and even from as far north as Tyre and Sidon. The news about his miracles had spread far and wide, and vast numbers of people came to see him. 
  9 Jesus instructed his disciples to have a boat ready so the crowd would not crush him. 10 He had healed many people that day, so all the sick people eagerly pushed forward to touch him. 11 And whenever those possessed by evil spirits caught sight of him, the spirits would throw them to the ground in front of him shrieking, “You are the Son of God!” 12 But Jesus sternly commanded the spirits not to reveal who he was. 13 Afterward Jesus went up on a mountain and called out the ones he wanted to go with him. And they came to him. 14 Then he appointed twelve of them and called them his apostles. They were to accompany him, and he would send them out to preach, 15 giving them authority to cast out demons.

Jesus began his public ministry after 30 years of prayer and preparation. There was not a moment of a day he hadn't prayed for and planned. People heard his message and flocked to him from all across the nation of Israel and surrounding regions. Everywhere the Lord went, the people came to hear him and be touched by him. It quickly became obvious to the Jewish leaders that this 'Messiah' was not going to give them the power and glory they had been yearning for. But the masses came to him instead. And he healed them. There were far more healings than the ones named in scripture who were healed. We know that because of verse 10 "He healed many people that day" We see such phrases throughout the record of his earthly ministry.

Then there were the demons. They tried to stir up the crowd by revealing Jesus' true identity before the people would be ready to receive it. Jesus' response can assure us that even today, as you and I may face demons, He has power to stifle them. And through Him so do we if we will but believe and trust. there was a time when Jesus gave the Apostles power to cast out demons. We know from the Book of Acts that other disciples secondary to the Apostles also exercised such ministry of Jesus in themselves. We can trust that if we are called upon to do so, Christ Jesus the Lord will cast out evil beings through us-- but only if He calls to such a ministry. Any time we think ministry is about ourselves we are embracing evil and need to repent. That was the error of the religious leaders of Jesus' day, and of some today as well. When people try to put Jesus into a little box that they, themselves have defined for him, then they deny the limitless power and nature of God in Christ. They try to make God into their own preferred image.

When people surrender to God's touch and call to a moment-by-moment relationship with him-- when people rely on Christ alone to fulfill them and satisfy their innermost desires then they are blessed in ways that exceed their abilities to 'ask or imagine' (Eph 3:20). These are the very ones that Jesus today is calling out from the crowds. Have you heard him call your name yet?
Your servant

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