Friday, April 29, 2016

Stay, Therefore, and Make Disciples

“As He was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed was imploring Him that he might accompany Him. And He did not let him, but He said to him, “Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you.” And he went away and began to proclaim in Decapolis what great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed” -Mark 5:18-20 The Great Commission is a beautiful and necessary calling to all of us as Christians. It is not geographical. The Lord always wants us to “go,” but sometimes “going” means “staying.” He leads some of us to Africa and He leads some of us across the street. While many a godly missionary has sacrificed all for their called people-group, staying in the neighborhood with family might be the more difficult assignment. Bob Bennett wrote a song in the 80’s called ”Man of the Tombs.” It’s easily one of the best-written songs I have ever heard. It describes the story of Jesus and the demon-possessed man, as written by Mark. Check out the lyrics of the song below. You can also watch a great video of the song at Man of the tombs, He lives in a place where no one goes, And he tears at himself, And lives with a pain that no one knows, He counts himself dead among the living, He knows no mercy and no forgiving, Deep in the night he’s driven to cry out loud, Can you hear him cry out loud? Man of the tombs, Possessed by an unseen enemy, He breaks every chain, And mistakes his freedom for being free, Shame and shamelessness equally there, Like a random toss of a coin in the air, Man of the tombs, he’s driven to cry out loud; Underneath this thing that I’ve become, A fading memory of flesh and blood, I curse the womb, I bless the grave, I’ve lost my heart, I cannot be saved, Like those who fear me, I’m afraid, Like those I’ve hurt, I can feel pain, Naked now before my sin, And these stones that cut against my skin, Some try to touch me, but no one can, For man of the tombs I am; Down at the shoreline, Two sets of footprints meet, One voice is screaming, Other voice begins to speak, In only a moment and only a word, The evil departs like a thundering herd, Man of the tombs, he hears this cry out loud Underneath this thing that you’ve become, I see a man of flesh and blood, I give you life beyond the grave, I heal your heart, I come to save, No need to fear, be not afraid, This Man of Sorrows knows your pain, I come to take away your sin, And bear it’s marks upon My skin, When no one can touch you, still I can, For Son of God I am; Dressed now and seated, Clean in spirit and healthy of mind, Man of the tombs, He begs to follow, but must stay behind, He’ll return to has family with stories to tell Of mercy and madness, of heaven and hell, Man of the tombs, soon he will cry out loud; Underneath this thing that I once was, Now I’m a man of flesh and blood, I have a life beyond the grave, I found my heart, I can now be saved, No need to fear, I am not afraid, This Man of sorrows took my pain, He comes to take away our sin, And bear it’s marks upon His skin, I’m telling you this story because, Man of the tombs I was. What strikes me the most about this story is the directive by Jesus for the man to stay put and tell his story to the people in his hometown. Don’t you know he wanted to go with Jesus and the disciples so badly? He would have left his past and reputation behind and started anew with people that didn’t know. But God shines brightest in the darkness. He loves to use the least. So pray to the Lord of the Harvest to use you. If He says, “go,” to the other side of the world, then best go. If He says “go” across the street, then go there as well. You don’t have to hand out tracts or hold up a sign. Just share your story of Jesus. And God will use you as you go… ..and as you stay. By Eric Joseph Staples ©

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