February 18 - The Come and Go of the Gospel

By Melvin Eugene Surface

Devotional Scripture: Mark 3:14–15

Central Thought: Jesus calls individuals to know Him and sends them out to make Him known.

    Jesus invites His followers to spend time with Him, and He empowers them to make Him known to others. Critics hoped to silence or send Him away, but throngs of people from far and near still sought Him wherever He went. They were drawn to Jesus because of His great works. He healed many and drove out evil spirits. He made war on the kingdom of darkness and broke its power everywhere He found it. Some came hoping to see a miracle. Many others came desperate to touch Him.

    His enemies claimed Jesus was 'possessed by Beelzebul.” They said He was casting out demons in an evil deception through the very power of the prince of demons. He responded in parables to illustrate how that Satan, like a strong man, would never destroy his own house. Only if he were bound could anyone 'plunder his house.”

    Jesus is greater than Satan. He came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). Even the fleeing demons screamed, 'You are the Son of God” (Mark 3:11). Jesus refused the spiteful endorsement of demons, and He warned the scribes who claimed He had an unclean spirit.

    Today's reading says Jesus 'called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him.” He designated twelve apostles for special ministry, but He calls everyone to come to Him for salvation, nurture, and strength. It is through private and public times of prayer, worship, and study that we learn of Him. We come to better know His love, His holy character, and His teachings. We become more and more like Him, and He shares His mission with us.

    Beyond our personal enrichment, the priority of being with Him is that He may equip, empower, and send us out as witnesses of His transforming grace. Jesus invites us to come, but then He admonishes us to go. Are you ready?

Devotional Prayer: Lord, help me today to learn more of You, to become more like You, and to help others come to know You.

Today's Bible Reading: Leviticus 6:1–7:27; Mark 3:7–30; Psalm 37:1–11; Proverbs 10:3–4