Pause

deliver:
verb / de•liv•er

: “to set free”
: “to take and hand over”
: “to give birth to”
: “to speak, sing, utter”
: “to send to an intended target or destination”
: “to come through with”

From Merriam-Webster, “Deliver.”

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Listen

When those who tended the pigs saw what happened, they ran away and told the story in the city and in the countryside. People came to see what had happened. They came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone. He was sitting at Jesus’ feet, fully dressed and completely sane. They were filled with awe. Those people who had actually seen what had happened told them how the demon-possessed man had been delivered.

Luke 8:34-36

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Think

We have two choices in life. We can give into the story that the world tells us about ourselves. Or, with God’s help, we can choose to write a different story.

In today’s text, the world tells the man that he is worthless. They keep him at arm’s-length, and he lives in caves on the outskirts of town. We don’t even know his name, because no one cared to remember it as this story was being passed down. The people in the story certainly don’t treat him like he has a name.

But with Jesus’ help, this un-named man begins to believe the story that God has for him — a story of healing, hope, and new beginnings. When the townspeople find him dressed, clean, and alert, they are shocked. Who could believe that story was even possible?

What is the story the world is telling you about yourself? What is the story that God is telling you about yourself? Do you have the courage to re-write your story?

Mary Alice Birdwhistell

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Pray

Deliver me, oh God, from the stories the world tells me about myself and from the temptation to believe they are true. Give me the courage to live into the story that you are re-writing for me. Amen.

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Go

May our good God fully deliver you
from whatever it is that is
holding you back,
dragging you down,
locking you in,
or drowning you out,
so that you might be free
to do what God is calling you to do
and to become who God is creating you to be.
Amen.

Mary Alice Birdwhistell

Mary Alice Birdwhistell serves as the associate pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Waco, Texas, where she enjoys sharing life with a beautifully diverse community of people. She is a graduate of Georgetown College in Kentucky and Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary in Texas, and she claims both states to be “home.” Mary Alice loves the color purple, anything chocolate, and Kentucky basketball.

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