Tell Them What He Has Done

Text: Luke 8:38-39
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.’ So he went away, proclaiming throughout the city how much Jesus had done for him. (NRSV)

When I was a heating and air conditioning service technician, when I was working on someone’s system, often the homeowner would want to hang around and watch what I was doing.  I don’t know if they were just curious or if they wanted to make sure I was doing what they were paying the company for me to do.  However, my rule was that if they sat and watched me work, I got to talk about what I wanted to talk about.

I did some of my best witnessing for Jesus Christ in those days.  I was able to engage the homeowners in conversations around God and their beliefs, my beliefs, what my relationship with Jesus had meant to me over the years, and the opportunity they had to have the same kind of relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  Sometimes they stuck around and engaged me in conversation and sometimes they made an excuse and left me alone.  Either way, I was happy to share my story with them.

Tony Campolo, the famous sociologist, theological scholar, pastor, speaker, and evangelist, tells the story of going into the local barbershop when he was a new pastor in the town, and the patrons would be talking boisterously about, well, about things that guys talk about when there are no women present.  He remembered the crude jokes and the bragging statements.  But what he remembered best was when they introduced themselves to him and asked him what he did. “Oh, I’m the new pastor at the Baptist church down the road.”, he said.  You could have heard a pin drop, and then the conversations changed, and no one said much else the whole time he was there.

I think about my experience of sharing my faith when I was a heating and air conditioning technician and Tony’s story about no one talking to him when they found out he was a pastor every time I hear this text.  Jesus was asked to leave after he cast out the demons from the Gerasene Demoniac.  But Jesus called this man who had been changed to return to his home and declare how much God had done for him.

Your best witness to the work of God is right in your hometown.  You don’t need to become a pastor, in fact that might hinder your ability to share your story, you don’t need to become a missionary, all you need is to know is how much Jesus has done for you and then share it with those you know.

Pray with me:

God of love and God of transformation remind me of who I was before I met you.  Remind me of how much you do for me each day of my life.  Give me courage to share my story with others who need to know of your transforming love in their own lives.  AMEN.

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