Thursday, June 9, 2011

I'm here to help!

Are there any Ronald Reagan fans on the Web? I am a fan of Reagan and when I say that I am not necessarily talking about his politics. What I really liked about Ronald Regan were his quotes. He had a lot of great ones.
"I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the US Congress."
"I've noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born."
“If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”
But as I was reading in the book of Mark this morning another one of Reagan's quotes came to mind:
"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"
So what in the world was I reading that made me think of this quote you ask?
Mark 5: 1 - 17 - 1 They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. 2 When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3 This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. 4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.
6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7 He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me!” 8 For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you evil spirit!”

9 Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

“My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.

11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” 13 He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.

14 Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well. 17 Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.
The verse that caused me to think about this quote is the last one. Verse 17 Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region. Jesus, through his actions, said "I'm from God and I'm here to help!" He truly came to earth to help us. However, we tend to like things just the way they are. In the passages above Christ drove the demons out of a man and gave him his life back. But in the process the village lost 2000 pigs. This disrupted their economy, their religious system and probably brought financial hardship on the owners of the pigs. The people may have been thinking - What's next, the sheep, the camels, the goats? Is Jesus going to wreck another part of our lives or our economy? So they pleaded with him to leave!

The question I asked myself is what is my hope and security resting in? What are the pigs in my life? In what area of my life do I need Jesus to say "I'm from God and I'm here to help!" If Christ does point out an area of our lives that needs work, and he begins that work, what will our response be? Will we allow him to complete the work or will we plead with him to leave?

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