Moving Beyond a Little Religious Excitement

Note from JesusDear Follower,

My half-brother James warned that simply believing in the existence of God was nothing special — even the demons believe in God and shudder in fear at His power (James 2:19). In today’s story from My life on earth, you meet a man tortured by a demonic spirit. This demonic spirit knew My name and knew Who I AM. In fear, this demonic presence shouted at Me to leave because it knew that I would cast out every tidbit of demonic influence that had a hold on this man. And that is what I did. My power over evil was demonstrated as I cast the demon out of the man with just a few words.

People were excited and amazed at My power. However, don’t confuse their reactions with meaningful faith. Don’t confuse their reactions with discipleship. Believing in Who I AM, saying the right words, getting excited about My power, even doing some things in My name, should never be confused with being My disciple (Matthew 7:21-23). A disciple follows his or her teacher to become like the teacher (Luke 6:40).

My disciples follow Me to become like Me. They do what I call them to do. They put into practice what I teach. So in many ways, the excitement of the crowd and the fear of the demons in today’s story are very much the same things: a lot of emotion and commotion without devotion to Me.

As we journey through this year together, I hope that you will move beyond mere emotion and religious commotion to heartfelt devotion! Verses to LiveEven though the religious leaders should have recognized Me during My time on earth, most of them did not. However, the demon in today’s story did recognize Me and even confessed Me before the people in the synagogue, albeit in a confrontational way. Your response to Me needs to be much more than a confession of Who I AM. Just as the demon-possessed man’s life was dramatically changed by My power, your life should also change dramatically because of Me. Your life should acknowledge Me just as your words do.Next He [Jesus] went to Capernaum, another Galilean city. Again He was in the synagogue teaching on the Sabbath, and as before, the people were enthralled by His words. He had a way of saying things — a special authority, a unique power.

In attendance that day was a man with a demonic spirit.

Demon-Possessed Man (screaming at Jesus):Get out of here! Leave us alone! What’s Your agenda, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know Who You are: You’re the Holy One, the One sent by God!Jesus (firmly rebuking the demon):Be quiet. Get out of that man!Then the demonic spirit immediately threw the man into a fit, and he collapsed right there in the middle of the synagogue. It was clear the demon had come out, and the man was completely fine after that. Everyone was shocked to see this, and they couldn’t help but talk about it.

Synagogue Members:What’s this about? What’s the meaning of this message? Jesus speaks with authority, and He has power to command demonic spirits to go away.The excitement about Jesus spread into every corner of the surrounding region.
(Luke 4:31-37)Response in PrayerAlmighty God, open my eyes, my ears, my heart, and my mind to fully see Jesus for Who He is. I want to follow Him with wholehearted devotion. I offer You my life to be a follower of Jesus. Shape me to become like my Savior as I journey with Him each day. In the name of the Lord Jesus, I pray. Amen.’A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware. © 1998-2023, Heartlight, Inc. ‘A Year with Jesus’ is part of the Heartlight Network.All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Moving Beyond a Little Religious Excitement
Source: Passion for Praise