LUKE 8:34-39 – When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. And those who had seen it told them how the demon-possessed man had been healed. Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned. The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.
THEME OF THE DAY. SIGNS OF A GRATEFUL HEART. Today’s scripture account of Jesus and the demon-possessed man from the country of the Garasenes is exciting, riveting, heart-warming and quite instructive for us by way of illustration. Please take time and read the whole story beginning in verse one of this eighth chapter in Luke’s gospel. If we take time to enter the scene, we will see desperation, helplessness, consequences of sin from the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, and the incredible compassion of the Lord Jesus to a man who had no hope. One more thing as we read the account. We will see what are the signs of a grateful heart touched and changed by the Lord Jesus. To really appreciate this wonderful work of Jesus in the man, imagine what he endured for a long time. I won’t go into the details, but please read the chapter and see the condition this man was in before Jesus came to him. It is no wonder he was grateful. And for us? The responses of him should be ours when we see the work Jesus has done and is doing in our lives. Now three signs of a grateful heart . . .
First, a grateful heart to the Lord for His work in our lives produces a longing to be with Him – a lot. Like all the time. What is the first thing the now healed man wanted from Jesus? To be with Him – The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him. Does that describe us? Today? Grateful hearts want close fellowship with the One who did the work to create a grateful heart.
The second sign of a grateful heart in the life of one changed by Jesus is obedience. The Lord refused the man’s request to literally follow Him. Instead Jesus tells him, “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” Gratitude for Jesus always leads to obeying Jesus. And that is exactly what the man did. No delay. No questions. Just obeyed. How about us?
Finally, in obeying the Lord, the man displays his gratitude by focusing on Jesus – And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him. Pay attention to what he didn’t do. There was no proclaiming how Jesus was using him in His service. There was no deep details of his past. He simply made Jesus the main thing in his obedience and testifying of the Lord. That pattern is for us. Grateful hearts center on Jesus. Self is removed.
So, signs of a grateful heart for the Lord to work in us – desire to be with Him, no delay in obeying Him, and all of life becomes about Him, not ourselves.
PRAYER: “Father, help me to live a life of gratitude for what You work in my life, not sometime, but all the time.”
QUOTE: “A grateful heart to the Lord includes desire to be with Him, obeying Him, and proclaiming Him.”