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“And [Jesus] did not permit him but said to him, ‘Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.’ And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marvelled.”  Mark 5:19-20

The place held a lot of bad memories for him. Leaving town to start a new life somewhere else would be so much easier than staying. Everyone in the area knew about him, had seen him naked. The people had shackled him with chains and watched how, in a crazed frenzy, he’d wrenched himself free and broken his bonds in pieces. He had made his home among the tombs because only the dead could tolerate him. How many people had he hurt when the voices controlled him? No wonder people feared and avoided him.

So, after Jesus had healed him, the man previously possessed by a legion of evil spirits (Mark 5:1-20), begged Jesus to let him go with him. But Jesus said no.

You see, the miracle terrified the local people. They begged Jesus to leave. So, Jesus told the restored man to stay. Jesus instructed him to go and tell his story — how God had healed him — to everyone who knew him. He wanted the man to explain his transformed life and tell how God had mercy on him.

The man obeyed Jesus. He freely shared his shameful past, God’s great mercy, and Jesus’ incredible healing power. Everyone who heard his story marvelled.

God wants to use your story too, no matter how much pain it involves. Tell how the Almighty God freed you from your bad behavior, the anger that controlled you, or your feelings of inadequacy.

Go — by God’s power — and live differently among the people who know you.

Thank you, Lord God, for having mercy on me and saving me. May your Holy Spirit make me bold in telling everyone what you have done for me. Amen.

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