Digging in Deeper: Mark 5:2-5

“As soon as he got out of the boat, a man with an unclean spirit came out of the tombs and met him. He lived in the tombs, and no one was able to restrain him anymore–not even with a chain–because he often had been bound with shackles and chains, but had torn the chains apart and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains, he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

We’ve talked before about the interest people have long had in the spiritual world and specifically the demonic. There is enough out there that is nothing more than wishful thinking and unhelpful. When we encounter real information in the Scriptures, then, it is worth our time to try and learn what we can from it. When Jesus and the disciples arrived in Gentile territory they were met by a demon-possessed man. Let’s talk about how Mark describes this scene.

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The Secret Weapon

As we have worked our way through the story of the first church in Acts, we have seen them overcome challenges again and again and again. How did they do it? What was their secret weapon? We find out what it is and how we can put it into practice ourselves in this message. Keep reading to learn about it in this gripping story.

The Secret Weapon

For the last several months, I have been reading through the Harry Potter series with Noah and Josiah. At the end of last week, we finally started on the seventh and final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I’m speaking a little carefully right now because they’re going to listen to this sermon (well…they’ll be in the room for this sermon) and I don’t want to spoil the story for them. But, I don’t think I’m saying anything that’ll give away significant plot points when I tell you that the major quest for the seventh book is that Harry and his friends are going looking for horcruxes.

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Digging in Deeper: Mark 1:23-26

“Just then a man with an unclean spirit was in their synagogue. He cried out, ‘What do you have to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!’ Jesus rebuked him saying, ‘Be silent, and come out of him!’ And the unclean spirit threw him into convulsions, shouted with a loud voice, and came out of him.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Exorcisms make for a popular subject within the horror genre. Beyond the obvious horror elements, I think there’s a reason for this. Good horror movies (and by that, I mean ones that go beyond simple gore and cheap scares) explore the human psyche in ways that few other films really do. They allow filmmakers and moviegoers to examine what it is that scares us and why. And one of the things that frightens many people is the unknown, especially when it comes to the spiritual world. People have always had a sense that there is a world beyond what we can see and that it isn’t necessarily all sunshine and roses. Stories like this one in Mark confirm that notion, but in ways that should give us confidence, not fear. Let’s talk about it.

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Digging in Deeper: James 4:7

“Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

This morning we started looking at James’ thoughts on spiritual warfare. We talked about the fact that we often turn to the occult to give ourselves what feels like an edge against the spiritual forces in the world we are aware of but don’t understand. We settled on the fact that the occult won’t actually help us in this quest at all, and on the question of what we can do instead. James tells us right here. I’ve been meditating on this verse for a few days recently. I’ve read it many times before. I’ve preached it at least once. I have it memorized. But for whatever reason, this time really caught my mind and hasn’t let go. I knew I had to write something on it this time and I think this was it. 

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Morning Musing: James 4:7

“Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

Have you ever felt like you were up against something you weren’t prepared to fight? Something you didn’t have the power to overcome? There are times we all feel like that. When it comes to spiritual warfare this is generally even more true. What power do we have to stand against the spiritual forces of darkness in this world? James offers us one here that is both simpler and more powerful than anything else the world has produced. Check it out with me. 

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