The Magnet of Grace

That night, after the sun went down, the people brought many sick people to Jesus. They also brought people that had demons inside them. All the people in the town gathered at the door of that house. – Mark 1:32-33

When people see the power of Jesus to change a person’s life, they are drawn to him. As believers whose lives have been touched by Jesus, the power of Jesus in our lives is just as powerful. People can be drawn to the grace of our Lord when they see his power at work transforming us. He asks us to be ready to share the hope that he has given us through his power in our lives and to live in a way consistent with his character and grace. Let’s display and proclaim what his power has done for us so that others will be drawn to him. O LORD God, my Abba Father, let the power, grace, and beauty of Jesus be seen in my life so that others can come to know him. 1 Corinthians 4:20 – Revelation 12:10 – 1 Peter 3:15-16

Gone in an Instant

Jesus and the followers left the synagogue. They all went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was very sick. She was in bed and had fever. The people there told Jesus about her. So Jesus went to her bed. Jesus held her hand and helped her stand up. The fever left her, and she was healed. Then she began serving them. – Mark 1:29-31

Jesus leaves no doubt in his power over illness; he sees the illness and cures it. It is gone in an instant. With the touch of Jesus’ hand and the power of his grace, Peter’s mother-in-law goes from bedridden to healthy hostess preparing a meal. As impressive as this kind of miracle is, think about the change that same grace has in our spiritual lives. Salvation is a great miracle in each life God’s grace and Jesus’ love touches. Our sin is gone in an instant. Our future is changed for the better in an instant. Our hopes are raised in an instant. While our lives as disciples will be gradual progressions of transformation to become more like Christ, our lives are changed in an instant. Such is the power, love, and grace of our Lord! Father in heaven, thank you for the life-changing power of your grace demonstrated to me in the sacrifice of Jesus and the work of your Holy Spirit. 2 Corinthians 5:17 – 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

The Authoritative Voice

The people were amazed. They asked each other, “What is happening here? This man is teaching something new. And he teaches with authority (power)! He even gives commands to evil spirits, and the spirits obey him.” So the news about Jesus spread quickly everywhere in the area of Galilee. – Mark 1:27-28

Jesus has authority. Not just rank so he can give orders. Not just power so he can obliterate his enemies. No, Jesus has true authority—rank, power, and integrity so that he can authentically rule and destroy evil. This authority should not just be admired. This authority should not leave us spell-bound. No, this authority should lead us to watch Jesus and learn from his actions, because they are gracious and compassionate as well as mighty. This authority should make us listen to what he says, because Jesus’ words are not only true, they are life-giving and liberating. We should be excited. We should tell others about Jesus. Most importantly, we should obey him and follow his example of sacrificial service. My dear and precious Father, the One True and Living God, please give me the courage to believe and obey the words of Jesus and to follow his example of sacrificial service. Matthew 28:18-20 – Mark 10:42-45 – Mark 3:31-35

Power over Evil

Jesus said strongly, “Be quiet! Come out of the man!” The evil spirit made the man shake. Then the spirit made a loud noise and came out of the man. – Mark 1:25-26

Jesus had power over the evil one and the vile power he seeks to wield. He defeated him during the temptation in the wilderness. He defeated him in every encounter during his life. Most gloriously, he defeated him in the place of Satan’s greatest power—death. Jesus’ victory over Satan and death will be most gloriously realized when he comes again in glory with victory for all of his disciples. O LORD, God Almighty, the Sovereign God of Israel, thank you for giving me victory through Jesus over Satan, sin, and death. I praise you for your grace that has saved me. I praise you for your Spirit that indwells in me and gives me power. I praise you for the coming glorious return in which I will share. To you belongs all glory and honor, now and forevermore. Hebrews 2:14-15 – Mark 6:5-8 – 1 Corinthians 15:25-26, 56-58

The Demons Even Confess

While Jesus was in the synagogue, a man was there that had an evil spirit from the devil inside him. The man shouted, “Jesus of Nazareth! What do you want with us? Did you come to destroy us? I know who you are—God’s Holy One!” – Mark 1:23-24

One of the things that we will see again and again in the Gospel of Mark is that the demons know who Jesus is: he is the Son of God. They know he is more powerful than they: he casts them out and they obey his commands. Jesus is stronger than Satan and he can defeat Satan and his demonic cohorts. Even though the demons know who Jesus is, Jesus doesn’t permit them to spread the news because he doesn’t want the testimony of demons. Jesus will define his own identity by his life of service offered to others and given to honor God. Holy God, guard my heart from desiring titles, accolades, and earthly notoriety. I know, dear Father, that Satan can use my pride to bring me to ruin. I also know, dear God, that the evil one can twist my reputation and use it to keep others from the Gospel. Holy Father, please protect my reputation and guard my heart so that my life can be used to bless others and help them know the truth about your Son. Mark 3:22-27 – Mark 1:35-39 – James 2:19