Jim Burns Homeword Daily Devotional for Parenting and Christian Family

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HomeWord - June 8, 2009

Can God Use You? 
This devotional was written by Jim Burns

As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you." So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed. Mark 5:18-20

If you want to read a great Bible story, take a moment to read Mark 5:1-20. It is about how Jesus used a crazy person to spread the word of God.

Imagine with me for a moment that this conversation took place on the boat between Jesus and the disciples:

One day Jesus and his disciples were out on the Sea of Galilee. They were headed in a southeasterly direction out of Capernaum. The disciples asked Jesus where they were heading and for what purpose. Jesus said to them, "Oh, we're heading over towards the area of the ten Greek cities, the Decapolis."

They asked, "What for?" He replied, "We're going to get the message of the kingdom out throughout that entire region."

"My," Peter said. "That's quite a task. How many weeks will we be there? I didn't really come prepared." "You don't understand," said Jesus. "We'll just be there a few hours, maybe the better part of the day."

"Well, frankly, Lord, I'm totally confused. How in the world can we get the message out in such a short time?" "Oh, I've got it all figured out," said Jesus. "I've got a man picked out over there that we'll be meeting a bit after we land. He's going to spread the word."

"Well," said Peter, "now I understand. Is it anyone we know?" "No, you've never met this fellow before."

"He must be quite a guy if he's going to take on this territory all by himself. He must have some charisma or training. I'll bet he's one of those sharp, well-educated young Pharisees who were converted down at the seminary in Jerusalem during our last visit there! Right?"

"No," Jesus said. "Actually, he hasn't had any training at all. And frankly, he hasn't gone to school much either. As a matter of fact, mostly he has just been hanging around the cemetery lately." "The cemetery? What is he, a funeral director? Or a gravedigger? What does he do at the cemetery?"

"Well, mainly he runs around, breaking chains, cutting himself, banging his head on the stone markers. As a matter of fact, right now he's full of the devil and running around half nuts."

Do you get the idea? If God can use a demoniac to spread the word (Mark 5:20), then he can surely use us as well.


  1. Why do you think Jesus used "regular" people (or even very needy people) to further God's kingdom—as opposed to the most talented of his day?
  2. How can this story be meaningful to your life?

FURTHER READING: Psalm 136:1-9 

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