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The Day Demons Were Driven Out

For Jesus, this day started out like any other. Getting up early, taking a walk in the wilderness, and spending time in prayer. Yet, when the disciples woke up, they began to panic, unaware of Jesus’ morning routine. According to John Mark, a frantic search for Jesus began until he was found sometime after the sun rose. Rather than follow the whims of the disciples, Jesus went to the exact place where God wanted him to go.

And in the morning, long before daylight, He got up and went out to a [u]deserted place, and there He prayed. 36 And Simon [Peter] and those who were with him followed Him [[v]pursuing Him eagerly and hunting Him out], Mark 1:35-36.

How you ever felt like you woke up on the wrong side of the bed and never felt right all day long? Have you thought you knew exactly what you want to do today only to find out it was a waste of time? Based upon the passage above, the 12 disciples were in a full-blown panic. Instead of asking God for help, the disciples were frantically searching for Jesus. These were the emotions racing through the minds of these 12 men before Jesus led them to the place where God wanted them to go.

And they found Him and said to Him, Everybody is looking for You. 38 And He said to them, Let us be going on into the neighboring country towns, that I may preach there also; for that is why I came out. 39 [So] He went throughout the whole of Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons, Mark 1:37-39.

This group traveled to Galilee where Jesus began to preach, teach, and heal. John Mark doesn’t go into specifics on who were demon possessed, but something Jesus said scared the hell out of these demons. Perhaps this encounter was similar to the slave girl that followed Paul around in Acts 16. Whatever the circumstances, the truth that Jesus spoke struck a nerve. Before the day was over, the power of the Holy Spirit was unleashed as these demons were driven out for good.

by Jay Mankus

Soul Control

In view of the live shooting deaths of a reporter and cameraman at the CBS affiliate WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia, gun control proponents have arrived on the scene, taking advantage of this tragedy.   Following the PC Playbook, members of the media are blaming the gun, not the individual.  Depending upon which article you read or interview you see, its almost if guns are demon possessed, taking control of the soul.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world, 1 John 4:1.

One of Jesus’ disciples provides an intriguing insight about the spirit world.  Though its unclear where or how this information was obtained, John gives unguided souls something to think about.  Whether its a thought that pops into your head, a gut feeling in your heart or a whisper, don’t assume the Holy Spirit is talking to you.  Rather, test everything to discern if these voices are from God, the world or the Devil, 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour, 1 Peter 5:8.

In a world filled with guns and violence, its essential to control your own life.  Choices, decisions and investments open the door to good and bad.  Unfortunately, the more careless one becomes, evil is lurking right around the corner, ready to pounce at a moment’s notice.  Therefore, to avoid future pitfalls in life, control your soul by keeping in step with the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:25.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

 

Euphoria and Misfortune

Whether you’re participating in a competition, watching a game or witnessing an accident, emotions vary depending upon the outcome.  Winning elicits smiles, encourages applause and promotes praise from those in the attendance.  Meanwhile, losing can trigger tears to flow, depression to linger and disappointment to reside within heartbroken souls.  Thus, anytime someone experiences euphoria, misfortune will visit those on the opposing side.

So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed, Mark 5:20.

The gospel of Mark contains one of the first exorcisms ever recorded.  Although there isn’t any evidence of this man’s head twisting around like Hollywood’s version, the demon possessed man exhibited super human strength.  Nonetheless, as Jesus performed another miracle, John 21:25, few people recognize the misfortune of this pig farmer.  Two thousands pigs is a lot of bacon, pork and income lost.  Without any warning, an entire life’s savings was gone, floating away like the devastation citizens of Texas are coping with following historic flooding.

Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened, Mark 5:14.

As the summer approaches, the weather will cause business owners to either praise God or curse Him.  Beach resorts are hoping for sunny and warm weekends while farmers pray for rain to water their arid fields.  Though car washes and golf courses long for dry skies, shopping malls wouldn’t mind an afternoon shower to fill up their stores.  Whatever happens, euphoria will come to the victors and misfortune to the defeated as this roller coaster of emotions will continue until your time on earth comes to an end.  Therefore, prepare yourself for every situation with the calming force of prayer, Philippians 4:6-7.

by Jay Mankus

Snuffing Out Life

One of the largest and longest snakes known to exist on earth is the anaconda.  Native to the tropics of South America, some of these species have been discovered in the Florida Everglades over the last decade according to Animal Planet.  Similar to a reticulated python, this non-venomous snake uses its teeth to hold on before squeezing its victim to death.  The power of this beast essentially snuffs out the life of its prey through suffocation.

Lucifer or Satan is portrayed as a crafty serpent in Genesis 3:1 and Revelation 12:9.  However, the ruler of the air, Ephesians 2:2, known as the devil, only has one of his demons referenced in the New Testament.  While the term legion is used by John Mark in Mark 5:9 in context with a demon possessed man, the word actually refers to a number, commonly used by Roman military leaders.  This leaves Acts 16:16 as the only place an individual demon is named.  The King James version uses the phrase “spirit of python,” translated into most modern translations as a spirit of divination or foretelling the future.

The thought of money had blinded this girl’s owners from the internal struggle within her soul.  Upon seeing Paul in Acts 16:16-18, she cries out for help, a last ditch effort before having any chances of a spiritual life snuffed out.  Entangled by the grips of a demon, Paul saves her life while endangering his own.  The devil poisoned the minds of these greedy owners, convincing the towns people to place Paul, Silas and Luke in prison.  Immediately following one victory, Acts 16:19-24, Satan tries to squeeze out of the love of Jesus from these men.

Today, the devil is up to his usual tricks, using defeat, failure and trials to suck the life out of individuals.  John 10:10 isn’t just something written over 2,000 years ago that no longer applies.  Rather, every day is a spiritual war, a battle that won’t end until heaven and earth pass away.  Therefore, if you feel the presence of depression, stress or worry begin to wrap around your neck, use prayer to put on the full armor of God, Ephesians 6:13-18.  Fight fire with spiritual fire, 1 Timothy 6:12, to avoid having your life snuffed out prematurely.

by Jay Mankus

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