Then [Jesus] asked him, “What is your name?” And he answered, saying, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” Mark 5:9
The army of the Roman Empire was nothing if not organized. The largest division was a legion, consisting of 6,000 soldiers. Legions were divided into ten cohorts (600 soldiers each), and each cohort was divided into six centuries (100 soldiers each).
In the fifth chapter of Mark we are introduced to the Gadarene demoniac. Upon His arrival in the country of the Gadarenes, Jesus was approached by this deranged man, who cried out, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?” (verse 7) Jesus responded with a single command for the “unclean spirit” to come out of the man. And then Jesus asked him his name. The man replied, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” That didn’t mean the man was possessed by 6,000 demons; it only meant that there were “many” demons in him, not just one. Once Jesus ordered the demons to leave the man, they did, and he was immediately restored to his right mind—a miracle of restoration.
The use of the military term “Legion” was appropriate for this man during his torment, for it represented the multitude of demons that plagued him until he met Jesus and he was healed. When we meet Christ, we are set free from the chains that once kept us captive to our sin as well.
We can call out even to the demons in hell, “Which of you is going to condemn me?” And there will be no answer. John R. W. Stott
The head of my seminary once commented that constructing anything worthwhile requires a firm foundation. So a chicken coop may not need much of a base, but a high-rise office building must be erected upon tons of buried steel and concrete.
The most valuable thing you can build is your life, which could be likened to a skyscraper. No foundation is stronger or steadier than Jesus Christ, so to build wisely, you must …
Apply the Word of God. Believers build a lasting scriptural structure through study and application of God’s Word. The Lord’s principles and commandments are the blueprint for an abundant life.
Give sacrificially, forgive willingly, and love extravagantly (Acts 2:45; Eph. 4:32; 1 Peter 1:22). Pride and selfishness have no place in this edifice. Using these as construction materials results in a teetering shack that is susceptible to fire.
Use your gifts to glorify God. The Holy Spirit has equipped every believer to serve the Lord. We want to use our time on this earth courageously, glorifying our Father with our talents and resources.
Share the gospel. Telling others about Jesus Christ is the greatest service we can offer to God and to our fellow man. The Lord Himself has called us to this task (Matt. 28:19).
Kingdom builders aren’t creating monuments for the world’s pleasure. Rather, they are raising spiritual skyscrapers that reflect God’s glory. The truth is, many acts of obedience are seen only by the Lord, but He remembers every grace-filled word and deed, and He intends to reward each one.
“Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land. And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 7:2-3)
When God calls a dedicated leader into His service, He almost always gives a vision to go with that calling. With Moses, the vision was given at the beginning, specified in advance throughout the implementation, and reiterated as the great exodus came to fruition.
The 10 plagues were thrusts from the mouth of God at the gods of Egypt’s polytheistic pantheon. Just so, our warfare is “not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Just as Moses was told Pharaoh would resist each display of God’s power, so we are told to “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Yet, even the Enemy of God’s people is subject to the Word of the Creator. While Satan may “roar” and “devour,” he will also “flee” when God’s leaders “submit . . . to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
There are times when the bad guys seem to have it their way. God does not see time the same way we do and will expect His godly saints to wait patiently for Him. Our instructions are to not be “envious against the workers of iniquity” but to “trust,” “delight,” and “commit” our way to the Lord, “and he shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:1-5). HMM III
Acts 15:1, 2, 4-20, 30, 31
Acts 15:1, 2
And certain men which came down to Antioch
Acts 15:1, 2
It was time that this question was settled once for all, before division grew up as the result of it. The first question—”Can the Gentiles be saved?” had been answered; the second was the one before us—”Must they not be circumcised?”
The old leaven showed itself. How closely do old ways and thoughts cling to even regenerate men!
This is the vital doctrine of Christianity—salvation by grace, and that grace revealed in our crucified Lord. Luther says, “We must not yield nor give up this article though heaven and earth should perish.” Peter’s short and telling speech was a noble contribution to the Gentile cause.
These addresses would have great weight in the discussion.
Acts 15:18, 19
Thus James summed up the evidence, and the brethren saw their way clear to a decision which was hearty and unanimous, Barnabas and Silas were sent to Antioch with a letter containing the opinion which had been so ably stated by James and supported by the whole body of disciples. Oh, that all disputes among Christians could be settled in such a manner!
Acts 15:30, 31
And a great comfort it was, for the saints were confirmed in their freedom from the Jewish yoke, those who troubled them were silenced, and the Gentiles were still further encouraged to receive the gospel. The Antioch Christians had done well to seek a settlement of a vexed question.
Ye Gentile sinners, ne’er forget
The wormwood and the gall;
Go—spread your trophies at his feet,
And crown him Lord of all.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)
Jesus calls us to His rest, and meekness in His method!
But, we may be assured, the meek man is not a human mouse afflicted with a sense of his own inferiority.
Rather, he may be in his moral life as bold as a lion and as strong as Samson, but he has stopped being fooled about himself. He has accepted God’s estimate of his own life.
He knows that he is as weak and helpless as God has declared him to be. Paradoxically, he knows at the same time that he is, in the sight of God, of more importance than angels. In himself, nothing! In God, everything!
The truly meek man rests perfectly content to allow God to place His own values. He will be patient to wait for the day when everything will get its proper price tag and real worth will come into its own—when the righteous shall shine forth in the kingdom of their Father!
Having attained a place of soul rest, he is willing to wait for the coming of that day!
“The Lord will be with you.” 2 Chron. 20:17
This was a great mercy for Jehoshaphat, for a great multitude had come out against him; and it will be a great mercy for me, for I have great need, and I have no might or wisdom. If the Lord be with me, it matters little who may desert me. If the Lord be with me, I shall conquer in the battle of life, and the greater my trials the more glorious will be my victory. How can I be sure that the Lord is with me?
For certain He is with me if I am with Him. If I trust in His faithfulness, believe His words, and obey His commands, He is assuredly with me. If I am on Satan’s side God is against me, and cannot be otherwise; but if I live to honor God I may be sure that He will honor me.
I am quite sure that God is with me if Jesus is my sole and only Saviour. If I have placed my soul in the hands of God’s Only-begotten Son, then I may be sure that the Father will put forth all His power to preserve me, that His Son may not be dishonored.
Oh for faith to take hold upon the short but sweet text for today! O Lord, fulfill this word to thy servant! Be with me in the house, in the street, in the field, in the shop, in company, and alone. Be thou also with all thy people.