Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Authority Over Evil ~ Lent 2015

God’s Faithfulness ~ Our Everlasting Hope!
LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You and praise Your name, for in perfect faithfulness
You have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. Isaiah 25:1 NIV


During this season of reflection and renewal, join me in exploring God’s Faithfulness. Do you find strength for every circumstance in God’s Faithfulness? God IS Faithful!  God’s Faithfulness is our everlasting Hope! ~ Donna Oswalt

…But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him. Then they were all amazed, so the they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him. Mark 1:21-27 NKJV

Capernaum, a wealthy and sinfully decadent city in the Roman Empire, flaunts its pagan influences. Prosperous and influential, the city by the Sea of Galilee represents a melting pot of Jews and Gentiles. Currently teaching at a synagogue in Capernaum, Jesus encounters a man who is possessed with evil spirits. Recognizing Jesus, the spirits begin shouting to Him, calling Him by name, mocking Him. Jesus tells them, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” They leave the man, but the audience is stunned, begins asking what happened, and how. These who watch begin to ask about this Jesus who has such absolute authority.

The primary purposes of Mark’s Gospel are to identify Jesus as Messiah, and to reveal His authority. In this story, Jesus demonstrates His power over evil. Like Capernaum, America is a highly influential power, that values money and beauty, thrives on diversity and individuality; its worldview often chooses political power over divine power. Poverty becomes a political platform while faith must take a backseat in public forums. Have we truly lost sight of God’s faithfulness by attempting to replace His power with our own? Do we constantly question the role of faith, the place of prayer, the need for redemption? Can we no longer hear Jesus teaching the Scriptures in our neighborhoods and families? Evil still recognizes Jesus and taunts us, but His absolute authority will always be stronger. 

Holy One, hear my heart’s disillusionment. Living in times where the powerful demand attention, I hear the cries of those who live on the margins of life. They need to know the power of Your authority, the peace in Your presence. Empower me to speak Your name in the presence of evil for great is Your faithfulness, great is Your hope for all. – dho


Focus Point:  Evil still recognizes Jesus and taunts us, but His absolute authority will always be stronger.

All rights reserved; copyright 2015 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

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“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”