December 08, 2010

Release From Prison

Mark 5:1-20

The LORD has anointed me to proclaim … release from darkness for the prisoners.
Isaiah 61:1


A minister told a story about a prisoner he met while visiting a maximum security prison in the United States. During their conversation the inmate told the pastor that since he had turned his life over to the Lord, he felt freer than he had ever felt before. Though in prison, he had become free. That man experienced firsthand what Jesus meant when he said he came “to proclaim release from darkness for the prisoners.”

In our Bible reading Jesus shows his power over a host of demons that had imprisoned a man. Today, Satan and his legions are still holding people hostage. Satan and the powers of evil can latch on to us when we give in to temptations to all kinds of sin (rebellion against God), especially if we sin deliberately or, even more dangerous, if we seek out occult practices, such as worship of Satan or dabbling in demonic activity (Wicca, Ouija, fortune telling, mediums, and more). But Satan is no match for the power of Jesus, who sets us free.

Perhaps you have been a prisoner of Satan for years, or maybe you are living with someone who has been held hostage that way. If so, do not give up hope. The Savior who had power to send evil spirits away from the man at the tombs has the same power today. Come to the Savior and ask him to help you find the freedom he wants for you. That’s why he came!

Lord Jesus, thank you for showing your power over demons, still today. We pray for all who are struggling to be set free from the powers that hold them prisoner. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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