Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Demon Comes to Church

In the synagogue there was a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, (Luke 4:33 NASB

My intention was to take multiple verses this morning and cruise right past this one, but here we are. A man was in the synagogue that day, and he was demon possessed. Just so we are clear, the Greek word here is dī-mo'-nē-on, and, according to Vine's Expository Dictionary, it means an agent of the devil, an evil spirit that seduces us into wickedness and idolatry. We can certainly come up with evil on our own, but the demon's job is one of luring us into evil and, if possible, keeping us there indefinitely. I realize it is not politically correct to believe in the existence of demons, but either the Bible is 100% true or it's merely an interesting book.  If it is not true, then we are a pitiful people, basing our eternal hope on a fairy tale. The good news is that Scripture IS truth, including the passages about demons. They exist. 

Starting from that premise, let's talk about this man who was possessed by the demon. It was an unclean demon, so it filled him with impure thoughts that surely led to wrong actions. We don't know what those actions were, but it's obvious that the demon had him under tight control, because in the meeting, he began to shout at Jesus. 

Selah. Pause and consider. 

Think about this demon-possessed man and his presence in the synagogue that day. How likely was that? As a Jewish man, he was expected to be there, so perhaps he went as a matter of routine. It could have been that a concerned friend or family member invited him to hear the visiting preacher. Maybe he went out of curiosity. 

Regardless of how he thought he arrived in that church, Scripture tells us that prevenient grace drew him there. He had a divine appointment with Jesus, and the only way to keep it was by attending the synagogue meeting that day. 

It is the prevenient grace of God that draws all of us to Jesus. Sometimes, it's like a warm, inviting fire on a dark and cold night that draws us in to the light. Other times, it seems the Hound of Heaven pursues us relentlessly until we are captured by what turns out to be His great love for us. 

I suspect someone had been praying for that man, just as we have prayed for our loved ones.  When they least expected a miracle, Jesus came. He WAS  the miracle. 

Today, continue to pray that our Lord will draw our children and our loved ones to Christ. Pray that God will use someone they trust to bring them to Jesus in a redemptive, transforming way. Pray, too, that as parents, we will come to Jesus again and experience His grace in a fresh way today. 

Take heart. He has overcome the world. He can handle any problem we or our children face. He can handle any sin in which we indulge, and wash us clean. He is able to deliver.