So, then, as Christians, do you have any encouragement? Do you have any comfort from love? Do you have any spiritual relationships? Do you have sympathy and compassion? Then fill me with joy by having the same attitude and the same love, living in harmony, and keeping one purpose in mind. Don't act out of selfish ambition or be conceited. Instead, humbly think of others as being better than yourselves. Don't be concerned only about your own interests, but also be concerned about the interests of others. Have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.Acting Out:
When children's parents are going through touch relational times, sometimes we state that the kids are "acting out". They become confused; their world gets turned upside down. Generally speaking, we have more patients with them. We have compassion and are tender hearts, extending much mercy.
Sometimes, we state people are "acting out of character". We usually say something like this when someone has a consistent pattern of how they act, respond etc. If there is a point which this person's character or familiar way of acting is altered for a period of time we wonder what has gotten into this person. We can be referring to something positive or negative.
Christ's actions, words and persona were congruent with the word of God. He was above reproach on all levels. He never once aligned himself with selfish ambition. Philippians goes on to state:
Although he was in the form of God and equal with God, he did not take advantage of this equality. Instead, he emptied himself by taking on the form of a servant, by becoming like other humans, by having a human appearance.I do not know about you, but I am a human form. This very plainly states that I will have a human appearance and I am to empty myself of the desires which would "take advantages" in order to "give advantages" to others (and the clincher) to also have an attitude that they are better than me.
Doesn't that incite your flesh to stand up and object? Well....do what I did and tell it to sit itself down, be silent and listen to what Mark is illustrating in attempts to perceive the truth. (This a submissive spirit)
As Jesus stepped out of the boat in the territory of Gerasemes, just the other side of the Sea of Galilee, a man came up to meet him. This man, Mark tells us, lived among the tombs and was controlled by evil spirits. The following details intrigued me:
- The man saw Jesus and ran to him, he bowed down in front of him.
- The evil spirit asked Jesus, "Why are you bothering me now?" "Jesus, Son of the Most High God"
- Jesus demanded the evil spirit come out of the man prior to asking the spirit to identify itself.
- The evil spirit avoided full disclosure by using a generic name; "Legion (six thousand) because there are many.
- Legion asked him to swear he would not torture him.
- The "demons" begged Jesus not to send them out of this territory, but instead to send them into the swine; to allow them to enter the swine.
- The man ran to Jesus and bowed down
- The spirits asked Jesus "why are you bothering me, now"
I found it curious that instead of being overwhelmed with gratitude for ridding their territory of the screaming, self-mutilating , chain breaking, streaking, wild man running around their deceased loved ones, they were so frightened of Jesus that they BEGGED him to leave. Why were they so scared this man being sane or in his right mind, eating with utensils, clothed and, from this illustration it appears, in quiet an equitable mood.
When this man heard the others carrying on so, did you notice, he requested to go away with Jesus. Do you think it was due to adoration and gratitude or perhaps these "sane towns people" were freaking him out a bit. Maybe it was a bit of both!? None the less, Christ asked that he stay. But don't miss the most important part: This is the first person Mark has shared that Jesus wanted the person to "Go home, tell EVERYONE how much the Lord has done for you and how merciful He has been to you."
Because this mind heard the Good News, allowed it to alter his way of thinking, believed it to the point it altered his character - he was transformed. He accepted the call of the cause presented to him and went to the neighboring 10 cities preaching the Good News........and people were AMAZED!
Now that's a great story line for one of God's characters to have the privilege of playing out. We all have one; a part that was created with only YOU in mind. No one else can play your character. I look forward to seeing you at the "After Party"! Till then break-a-leg or 'hatzlakha u-brakha' (blessing and success).
©Candace Huffmaster 2012, All Copyrights Reserved
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