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AND THEY MARVELED


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MARK 5:19-20

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“‘… Go home to your friends and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.’ And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled.”


Back in my younger years, when telephones were still attached to the wall, there was a commercial that invited phone users to “reach out and touch someone.” The ad showed old and young alike happily sharing their good news. We’ve moved on from those pre-cell phone days, but we still have great news to communicate. God never intended everyone to be a pastor or verbally teach, yet we’re still called to reach out and touch someone. In Mark’s gospel, Jesus told a newly healed man to “go home” and tell of the great things He had done.

Family and friends are both the easiest and the hardest people to tell about Jesus. The easiest because they know us, the hardest because they know us. Home is where others have seen us at our best… and our worst. The man Jesus touched lived in torment, so it was easy to see that something had changed. But tormented or not, when you rub shoulders with the other sinners living at your address, difficulty is guaranteed, and it’s those times that they’ll be watching to see and ready to hear about your encounter with Jesus. Tell them of how He’s working in you, and your kids, your parents, your siblings will have the saving power of Christ impressed on their lives too. This is something I’ve personally experienced.

The words “I love you” were never said in our home until after I got saved. That night, my dad was reading his newspaper, the Orange County Register. You never touched my dad’s chair or his newspaper. I walked up to him and pushed down his newspaper. He looked at me with his stern look. I said, “I love you, Dad.” You would have thought I’d thrown a bucket of ice water in his face; he was shocked. I caught him completely off guard. What caused a 19-year-old to do the unthinkable? I had heard Pastor Greg Laurie preach the love of God and it hit me like a ton of bricks. “Wow! God loves me!” It was then and only then that I could begin exhibiting and telling others of His love.

Let’s make it a point to reach out and touch someone. They may argue about their particular pet peeves with God or want to debate all sorts of topics, but there’s one thing they cannot dispute: the reality of a changed life. So, give them the opportunity to marvel. I encourage you to use whatever opening God hands you to confess, “I was once a great sinner” and then tell of His merciful love. Keep it simple and certainly be discreet in the details, but be honest. People need to hear that we’re all the same; each of us come to Jesus as one who is unworthy. I appreciate the down-to-earth way the Apostle Paul expressed it, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” 1 Timothy 1:15.

Don’t be silent. It might be scary, but you know every detail and subplot to the story of you and Jesus. And, it’s the best news ever!

– Pastor Jack

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