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October 8      Today’s Reading: Mark 4-5

Jesus suffered him not. (Mark 5:18)


A more pitiful sight can hardly be imagined than the sight of that wild, naked, filthy Gadarene demoniac living in a graveyard, running to and fro among the tombs, crying and cutting himself. Once the Savior healed him by His grace, from the inside out, how things changed! A more delightful sight can hardly be imagined than the sight of that same man, after the Son of God saved him by His grace. We see him sitting at his Savior’s feet in adoring wonder, gratitude, and love, “clothed and in his right mind.”


Desire Denied

When the Lord Jesus is about to leave the coasts of Gadara, as He got into the ship, “he that had been possessed with the devil prayed Him that he might be with Him.” I cannot imagine anything more reasonable. Can you? What a wonderful change grace had wrought in him. He, who but a few minutes before was a terror to everybody, is now so heavenly composed that he desires never to leave his great Savior. His heart is fixed upon his Redeemer. He wants to be in His company permanently.

            Is that not the case with every heaven born soul? The sinner who has experienced the mighty transforming power of God’s saving grace in Christ, being called of God and turned by omnipotent mercy “from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that he may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith” (Acts 26:18), desires “that he might be with” the Savior. Having once tasted that the Lord is gracious, we cannot but long to be absent from the body and present with the Lord. But the Lord Jesus refused to grant this beloved soul the desire of his heart.

“Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel” (Mark 5:19-20).


Blessed Reason

Soon, the Lord Jesus would bring him home to glory, but for the present he must remain among the Gadarenes, and tell his family and friends, all among whom he lived, what great things the Lord had done for him, how He had performed them by His omnipotent mercy, and how He had compassion upon him.

            That is precisely the reason our Savior has left us in this world. He has left us here to tell eternity bound sinners what great things He has done for us, how He has done them, and how He has had compassion upon our poor souls. I can think of no reason for God leaving us in this world except to use us as instruments in His hands for the salvation of other chosen, redeemed sinners. Every believer is completely fit for heaven (Colossians 1:12). We are completely forgiven of all sin, perfectly righteous, and approved of by God through the sin-atoning blood and perfect righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. And we have been given our Savior’s own righteous nature in regeneration. Righteousness has been imparted to us by the Spirit of God. Why then has God left us in this world to live in this body of flesh? It seems to me that the answer to that question is obvious. — It is because He has chosen to use saved sinners to carry the Gospel to other sinners for the saving of His elect!


Our Work

Saved sinners are to go home to their unsaved friends, and show forth “the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9), until we have fulfilled the purpose for which our God put us in the world. Let us ever live with our eyes and our hearts in heaven with Christ, longing to depart and be with Him who loved us and gave Himself for us. Yet, we ought to be content to live on this earth for as long as our Savior is pleased to use us for His glory and the calling of His elect.

            The thought that the God of Glory might use such things as we are to build His house, His Church, His holy temple, that He should condescend to use us, putting into our hands the treasure of His Gospel, to save His elect is thrilling. Is it not? That ought to make us happy, as we wait all the days of our appointed time, until our change come (Job 14:14). That ought to inspire us to devote ourselves to this noble purpose and work. — “Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.”






Don Fortner








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