God Does So Much
July 26, 2019 • Luke 8:26-39
They sailed down to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across from Galilee. When Jesus stepped ashore, a man from the town met him. He was possessed by demons and for a long time had not worn any clothes. He did not live in a house but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before him, and said with a loud voice, “What do I have to do with you, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torment me!” For Jesus had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. In fact, the unclean spirit had seized him many times. He was kept under guard, and although he was bound with chains and shackles, he would break the restraints and was driven by the demon into deserted places.
Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
He said, “Legion,” because many demons had gone into him. They were begging Jesus that he would not order them to go into the abyss. A herd of many pigs was feeding there on the mountain. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission. The demons went out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned.
When those who were feeding the pigs saw what happened, they ran away and reported it in the town and in the countryside. People went out to see what had happened. They came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet. He was clothed and in his right mind, and the people were afraid. Those who saw it told them how the demon-possessed man was saved. The whole crowd of people from the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were gripped with great fear.
As Jesus got into the boat and started back, the man from whom the demons had gone out begged to be with him. But Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return to your home and tell how much God has done for you.” Then he went through the whole town proclaiming what Jesus had done for him.
Some of you have asked about Thrivent $250 Gift Cards. First, Thrivent is basically an insurance company that helps its members and the community. Here is their definition from their WEB site: “Thrivent is actually a unique kind of not-for-profit called a fraternal benefit society. By definition, a fraternal benefit society is a not-for-profit organization that provides insurance to its members and – this is key – has to carry out social, intellectual, educational, charitable, benevolent, moral, fraternal, patriotic or religious purposes for the benefit of its members and the public. So we can’t simply sell insurance, and we can’t simply do charitable work either. We have to do both.”
So, how do Thrivent members benefit? For example, each member has the opportunity to request a $250 gift card in order to carry out some event, benefit, or charitable activity that benefits the members or the community. We have used these cards to purchase donuts, pizza, carry out benefits, supplies for Camps, and even purchase the church trailer in order to carry out various activities for Helping Hands, Meals on Wheels, etc.. Once we finish the project, Thrivent likes it when we put some pictures on Facebook to use for promotions and advertising. We are willing to do that in order to tell others what kind of work they did for us.