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PG-13

Daily Reading: Luke 8


Scripture Focus: Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned. (Luke 8:33)


Devotional Thought: A few weeks ago my 11 year old daughter informed me that she had just read Song of Solomon. My dad (Pastor Scott) asked her, "What did you think?" She said, "Interesting!" There are some parts of the Scripture that require a "PG-13" rating!


One of those kinds of stories is found in Jesus' confrontation with a demon-possessed man. In today’s standards, such a man would have been called insane, or mentally ill, or downright evil. Even then, people knew how unstable the man was and he was kept under guard with chains and shackles. The demons, recognizing immediately the authority and power of the Son of God, begged Jesus to not force them into the abyss. Jesus instead chose to send them into a herd of nearby pigs, all of whom stampede down a hillside into a lake and drown.


While this story may send a chill down our spines, I believe the Lord is showing us something. Could Jesus have sent the demons into the abyss of hell right then? Certainly. We know that Jesus was given “all authority in heaven and on earth,” (Matt. 28:18). Even the demons know it well, and they “tremble in terror,” (James 2:19). So, having the power to cast the demons into hell, why did Jesus choose this horrifying alternative? The text does not tell us, but given the context as we are reading about these beautiful healing miracles of Jesus, I wonder if we were meant to reflect on the stark contrast of such evil against such good. Sin is ugly. It enslaves God’s creation. And it invariably results in death. Jesus, on the other hand, is the essence and the very embodiment of beauty, goodness, freedom, and eternal life.

Jenny


Prayer: Lord, we confess that the evil and sin around us is overwhelming at times. The attacks on your children are horrifying, but we will not despair. We trust in you and in your perfect plan for those who love you and are called according to your purpose.


Psalm of the Day: 10 to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, for his steadfast love endures forever; 11 and brought Israel out from among them, for his steadfast love endures forever; 12 with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, for his steadfast love endures forever; 13 to him who divided the Red Sea in two, for his steadfast love endures forever; 14 and made Israel pass through the midst of it, for his steadfast love endures forever; 15 but overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea, for his steadfast love endures forever; 16 to him who led his people through the wilderness, for his steadfast love endures forever; (Psalms 136:10-16)

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