Hope for the Hopeless (2)
Scripture Reading — Mark 5:1-20
They saw the man who had been possessed ... sitting there, dressed and in his right mind. Mark 5:15 —
Earl D., a prisoner in Texas, continues his story from yesterday: "Behind bars, I began to treat Christians as badly as Paul did. I became a high priest of Satanism--and even let others drink my blood. I joined a white supremacist gang. Six times I've been in prison, and each time I became more violent. I was ordered to segregation and eventually to the psychiatric ward. I was the possessed man of Mark 5.
"One day a friend invited me to church. I said, ?No way.' He said, ?Four ladies are going to sing.' I said, ?OK.' The preacher preached, but I felt nothing in my heart of stone. Then the ladies sang ?Break My Heart, Lord.' Their voices were like angels; they were covered in the brightest light I had ever seen. And something else was different: where there were four, now there were five.
"I thought it must be the drugs. Wrong. A gentle voice spoke to my heart: ?I love you, Earl.' He showed me how filthy I was, and I saw his nail-scarred hands. ?Jesus loves me,' is all I could think. My eyes were so full of tears that I could not see, and when I tried to speak, I had no voice. That day I repented of all my sins and asked Jesus to be my Savior and the Master of my life. Now, I study God's Word every day so that I can be ready for life on the outside."
Lord, only you have the power to truly set captives free. "Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing [our] great Redeemer's praise"! Break our hearts, Lord, and fill us with your love. Amen.