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July 23, 2013 – Mark 5

Click here to read Mark 5 on BibleGateway.com

campSince it’s summer, it’s only fitting that we talk about camp now and again. After all, it’s the one week a year that young people get away from their parents, spend time with God, and of course try to talk to a pretty girl in the Snack Shop. (“hey baby, i think God’s calling me to ministry. The ministry of smooch.”) Nothing draws a young person closer to God like than freezing showers, reconstituted eggs, and a round of dodge-ball.

In all seriousness, some of the times that many of us felt closest to God were at those summer Bible camps. For whatever reason, be it the focused time, the air of expectation, or just God’s divine Will, He seems to speak often at camp. More than one camper has really felt God’s presence for the first time, and what is the natural reaction? “Let’s have camp all year.”

UP UP UP IT GOES

Wanting to stay on that spiritual high point is not unique to our culture. Several times in the Bible, people experience God’s presence, and they want to just stay in that one place (Peter on the Mount of Transfiguration, for example). In today’s chapter, we meet a demon-possessed man whom Jesus delivers, and his reaction is probably similar to ours: he wants to stay with Jesus.

But Jesus turns him down. Why? Is it because Jesus is leery of having a chain-breaking lunatic in his little club? Not at all. He tells the man “you should stay here and tell people what God has done for you.” It’s more important that the man’s neighbors and friends see the change in his life.

GO TELL IT OFF THE MOUNTAIN

The mountain-top experience that we have God are great, and we should cherish those moments, but we need to be careful not to be so caught up in our time with God that we miss Jesus’ command: Go into the all the world. To focus on our own time with God at the expense of others can be not only immature, but also selfish and self-destructive. If our lives are to be a reflection of Jesus, we should imitate his choices as best we can. Notice that Jesus left his position of sharing in God’s glory (in God’s literal presence) in order to share with us. Should we do any less for our fellows?

How can you share your latest mountain-top experience with someone else today?

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