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A New Reason and Purpose For Living

The Reverend Thomas Chalmers, a nineteenth-century Scottish preacher, once preached a sermon using LUKE 8:26-39 as his text.  He titled his sermon:  “The Expulsive Power of a New Affection.”   In this sermon, Chalmers points out that the Gerasenes demoniac had lost the power to control himself.  He was in real bad shape.  He ran around naked.  He lived in a graveyard.  He was self-destructive—suicidal.  According to Mark’s gospel, the man took sharp rocks and tried to slit his wrist.

When Jesus appeared on the scene, however, things changed.    Chalmers says that Jesus expelled the demons and delivered the Garasene of his demons by giving the man a affection—a new love.  The Lord Jesus Christ not only defeated the authority of Satan over this man’s life, he also gave this man a new purpose for living.

The story about the healing and deliverance of the Garasene demoniac vividly portrays the extent of Christ’s power, offering us the assurance that Christ really can make a difference in a person’s life.  Jesus Christ can redeemed, save, heal, and deliver the most helpless and hopeless individuals in the human race.

This is good news, isn’t it?  It is good news for those of us who sometimes feel like the circumstances and situations of our life are beyond our control. It is good news for those of us who sometimes feel tempted to give in and give up.  It is good news for us at those times when we feel we have nothing worth living for and we might even be better off dead.  This story reminds us that no matter how bad the state of affairs in our life might be—the Lord Jesus Christ can save us.  He can deliver us.  He can give us a new affection—a new love—a new reason and purpose for living.

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