Luke 8:26-39 records an encounter Jesus had with a man possessed and abused by demonic forces. Several important themes are woven throughout the story. The demoniac serves as living parable of the tragic human condition. The story also points us to Jesus who alone wields power sufficient to overcome evil. Particularly instructive is the response of those involved. The man delivered and transformed wanted to follow Jesus, but nearby residents, finding the man “clothed and in his right mind,” asked Jesus to leave their region. Why? They cared more about their present possessions than about the eternal salvation of a soul. Luke subtly weaves one other important theme throughout the story: the universal nature of the message of Jesus.
The hymns chosen for our service will include each of these elements and finish with a call to broadcast the fame of Jesus, just as the former demoniac was commanded to do.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Call to Worship: Isaiah 55:6-9
Notes: We begin the service with a joy-filled anthem of praise that reminds us of the sovereign power of the Lord Jesus. It calls all people of God (angels, martyrs, believing Israel and Gentiles throughout the world) to unite in praise and crown his Lord of all!
Hymn 333 How Sad Our State
Notes: This classic hymn reminds us of the true human condition. At one time, we were slaves to sin, our minds held captive by Satan (v. 1). But God took the initiative to do for us what we could never do for ourselves. His “voice of sov’reign grace [sounded] from the sacred Word” to call us to faith in Jesus.
Scripture Reading: Psalm 32:1-11
Note: David penned an expression of praise appropriate on the lips of all who know the Lord’s transforming forgiveness. In this service, it reminds us of the gracious deliverance Jesus granted to the demoniac in our sermon text: “Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trust in the Lord” (v. 10).
Hymn 335 And Can It Be?
Note: Charles Wesley’s magnificent hymn compresses the Gospel story into 5 verses. The third verse lays before us the wonders of the incarnation. He left his Father’s throne, humbled himself to become one of us, and died for us. We express overwhelming wonder at this Gospel: Can it be? Can mercy this immense and free be ours? Amazing love!
Message: Who Is This (Part 2)
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn HBC 11: For the Sake of His Name
Note: In keeping with Luke’s ever-present theme, this hymn calls us to take the message of Jesus to the world. It expresses our resolve to “love the unloved” and “urge them to flee to the Lamb who was slain” to secure their forgiveness. Trusting Jesus’ delivering power, we rely on him to use our message to exalt his Name.
Prayer Response: Bob Brayman
Benediction: John Miles