Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

What has the Lord done for You?

Meditation for the week of July 29, 2012

Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged Him that he might be with Him. But Jesus sent him away, saying, "Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you." And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.  (Luke 8:38-39)

This man had been controlled by a legion of demons.  All men could do was restrain him with chains so that he didn’t hurt himself or others.  Today we would have given him Prozac and/or Valium and said he was mentally ill.  But there would have been no cure.  The Lord came along one day and released Him from the bondage of those demons.  They went into pigs and killed them by causing them to run into the lake.  The man in whom the demons were, was freed from their dominion.  He was a changed person.  He was now clothed and in his right mind where before he was naked and out of control.  The Bible says he was healed.   This was indeed a notable miracle.

The man who was healed wanted to follow the Lord, but the Lord had something better for him to do.  He wanted him to go to his family and tell them “what great things God has done for you.”  The man not only told his family, he broadcast his good news through the whole city. 

Most of us will never have demons cast out of us.  However,  if we have been saved from the bondage of sin to live with and serve Christ forever, we have had something great done for us.  Those of us who are Biblical Christians may not feel that we have the gift of evangelism, but we do have one good story to tell those that we know.  It is the story of how we came to know the Lord as our Savior.  It is a great thing to be able to say in the words of the well known hymn:

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found
Was blind but now I see.

However, I personally find it easier to complain about the circumstances of life than to tell people about the great things God has done for me.  I am like the children of Israel who continually forgot the miracles God had done in delivering them from Egypt.  Instead of praising God for His goodness they complained about what they considered to be difficult circumstances; and, yes, their circumstances were difficult at times.  When they complained about the circumstances, they were really complaining about God who had allowed the circumstances.  Yet, even with all their complaining, God never forsook His people but brought them into the promised land just as He had promised.  His people experienced miracle after miracle but they quickly forgot the miracles and never seemed to expect the next one.

Those of us who can look back on the miracle of our coming to the Lord in salvation should thank the Lord daily for that.  We also should thank the Lord that He is a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1). Those who don’t know the Lord also go through problems but they only have themselves, their families, their friends, and their doctors to rely on.  Should they die they have no future to anticipate with joy.  We who are saved “have it made.”  We know our future is going to be better than our present.

We who are Biblical Christians likely have many “great things” in addition of our salvation experience that we can tell people about.  Some of us have been healed of diseases.   Even though doctors might have been used, the Lord gave those doctors the wisdom and the resources to do whatever they did.  Many of us can attest to the Lord’s miraculous financial provisions in our lives.  It may be true that we have good jobs and good incomes, but the Lord led us to those jobs and gave us the ability to do them.  Some of us have experienced the Lord’s provision when we have had no visible means of support.

The Lord has done great things for us.  The power of the Gospel is seen in our praising the Lord about those great things.

Bruce Collins


Comment by Chukwuebuka

August 6, 2012 @ 5:44 am

Gudday sir, pls i will like u 2 help me on this: i am right now with one of my relation learning trade. He is into mothers care products and that is what i hv come 2 learn in lagos Nigeria. But my problem is that he recently went into another business, importation of wine which has some alcoholic content. 2 me, it seems that the new business will yield more than the old. But as christian, is it good 2 deal with wine. Cos i want be a distributor 2 both line of business of my master.

Comment by bruce

August 16, 2012 @ 6:19 pm

This has been a difficult question for me to answer. There is no doubt that wine and probably beer were used in Biblical times. The Christians at Corinth were getting drunk before coming to the Lord’s Supper. The Lord turned water into wine at the marriage in Cana–I do not believe for a minute that he turned the water into grape juice as some say. Wine in moderation is accepted (not necessarily encouraged unless you have an upset stomach). Drunkeness is a serious sin in the Bible. Nazarites (those who dedicated themselves to the Lord abstained from wine, so abstinence was associated with spiritual zeal. I do believe that the Lord used wine however, he was a Nazarene (from Nazareth) and not a Nazarite. He used wine in the upper room at the last supper as that is what the feast would have required.

So buying and selling wine would seem to be ok, however, because of the potential abuse associated with it and because of society’s perception of one who engages in buying and selling wine, I personally would not get involved in this business out of “love for my brother.” I would not want to do anything that might encourage others to sin (or stumble). So the “high ground” would be to say that while this is permissible, it might be better to ask the Lord to provide for you in other ways.

Hope this helps,
Christian love,
Bruce Collins

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