December 5, 2011
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Jesus says to the man, "no, you can't go with Me. I want you to go home and spread the Good News. Go tell your family the good things the Lord has done."
And in verse twenty the text says: "He went and spread the good news in the Decapolis." "Decapolis" means "ten cities". Brothers, when we go home, God says, "you are going to have so much energy, based on what I have done for you, that you are going to allow Me to work through you to do more than you set out to do."
The whole community was impacted by this brother's transformational testimony; not just his home, not just his family, but the whole community was amazed. That's why I know what Dr. Cain Hope Felder said about this text has to be true. He said, "This is an area inhabited by black folk, and so he had to be black because can't nobody talk like a black man." This man had to be hip-hop, because this is how he answers the folks when they asked him what happened to him: that is what that is--"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." That is what that is.--"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" That is what that is.--"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." That is what that is.--Cast your cares upon God because God cares for you. That is what that is.--Can't nobody do me like Jesus. Can't nobody do me like the Lord. That is what that is.
Because of this man's testimony, the people are getting saved, and the beauty of this is that Jesus told him, "no, you are not going to hang with me. You are going back to your community." Brothers, don't get delivered, and then get amnesia. God deliver me from saved, blessed black folk, who get what God has blessed them with and then get amnesia about where they came from. You have to go back to your community because there is some black boy who needs to know that he can go to a school in the hood, and turn out to be good. God deliver me from black folk with amnesia.
Now, this is what gets to me: the man sets out to go home just to his family. But when the Lord changes you, you get some energy where you can't just tell one person; you can't just tell the folk in your house; you can't just tell this person or that person; it's like everywhere you go, you are going to let your light shine.
God is so good that you will set out to do one thing, but God will use you to do that one thing and a whole lot of other things as well. All Frederick Douglass wanted to do was escape from slavery, but he ended up becoming the silver-tongued orator of the liberation struggle of abolitionists for African-Americans. All Nelson Mandela wanted to do was fight apartheid in South Africa, but Nelson Mandela went from being prisoner to president of the First Republic of South Africa, and now he is a world-renowed elder statesman. Martin Luther King, Jr., just wanted to pastor a little church down in Montgomery, Alabama, but God had bigger plans for him. That is all I am saying--even if God is saying no to what you thought you had to do, when God says yes He will give you a whole lot more than what you set out to accomplish. Can you testify that you set out to do one thing, but God used you to do a whole lot more?
The Apostle Paul says it best in Ephesians 3:20: "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us." It simply means that sometimes God will do things for you that you didn't pray for, you didn't ask for, and you never thought about.
Sometimes God may say no to what we want because He has a different plan that He wants us to say yes to. When you go home, you may set out to do just one thing, but God is a "more than" God, and He gives us the grace and strength to do more than what we set out to do. If you're honest, you will admit that if God had just answered your prayers like you specifically stated, you wouldn't be all that you are right now.
You have come to the end of this book, and if you know good and well that you are not saved, that you are not a Christian, and you know that there is a whole lot of stuff in you that you need deliverance from, and that is hijacking your hopes, hindering your plans, and causing you to get in the way of you, may I encourage you to give your life to Christ? The beauty of it is, God has a whole lot that He is up to in your life. God has a mission for you. God has plans for you. God is up to something big in your life. You may want one thing, but God may have a whole lot more for you.
If you're not saved, please don't hesitate to give your life to Christ. The Lord is speaking to you. The Bible says: "The day you hear God's voice, harden not your hearts." You may ask, "preacher, how do I know God is speaking to me?" You know. Your conscience is being messed with right now. Something inside of you is saying, "you ought to give your life to Christ." That's God speaking.
Since God is speaking, here's the deal: you have a choice to make: you can choose to stay right where you are and allow things to stay the way they are, or you can make the choice to go the other way. If you do what you've been doing, you are going to keep getting what you've been getting. But here's the good news: today, you can make the choice to go the other route. You can experience a new life, a fresh start, a new beginning simply by giving your life to Christ.