5 1-5 They arrived on the other side of the sea in the country of the Gerasenes. As Jesus got out of the boat, a madman from the cemetery came up to him. He lived there among the tombs and graves. No one could restrain him—he couldn’t be chained, couldn’t be tied down. He had been tied up many times with chains and ropes, but he broke the chains, snapped the ropes. No one was strong enough to tame him. Night and day he roamed through the graves and the hills, screaming out and slashing himself with sharp stones.
6-8 When he saw Jesus a long way off, he ran and bowed in worship before him—then bellowed in protest, “What business do you have, Jesus, Son of the High God, messing with me? I swear to God, don’t give me a hard time!” (Jesus had just commanded the tormenting evil spirit, “Out! Get out of the man!”)
9-10 Jesus asked him, “Tell me your name.”
He replied, “My name is Mob. I’m a rioting mob.” Then he desperately begged Jesus not to banish them from the country.
11-13 A large herd of pigs was browsing and rooting on a nearby hill. The demons begged him, “Send us to the pigs so we can live in them.” Jesus gave the order. But it was even worse for the pigs than for the man. Crazed, they stampeded over a cliff into the sea and drowned.
14-15 Those tending the pigs, scared to death, bolted and told their story in town and country. Everyone wanted to see what had happened. They came up to Jesus and saw the madman sitting there wearing decent clothes and making sense, no longer a walking madhouse of a man.
16-17 Those who had seen it told the others what had happened to the demon-possessed man and the pigs. At first they were in awe—and then they were upset, upset over the drowned pigs. They demanded that Jesus leave and not come back.
18-20 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the demon-delivered man begged to go along, but he wouldn’t let him. Jesus said, “Go home to your own people. Tell them your story—what the Master did, how he had mercy on you.” The man went back and began to preach in the Ten Towns area about what Jesus had done for him. He was the talk of the town.
What would you do with $168.00?
- 16.8 – Weekly
What would you do with $730.00?
- 73.0 – Monthly
What would you do with $8760.00?
- 876.0 – Yearly
It’s pretty easy for us to remember that as disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to give ten percent of our money for God’s ministry. The stewardship season always focuses upon the financial aspect of our life, but there is more to being a steward – a caregiver – someone holding resources in trust for another.
Does the principle of tithing apply equally to our time as it does to our money?
- How much of our time should we set aside for the work of the Lord each week? – 16.8 – Weekly
- How much of our time should we set aside for the work of the Lord each month? – 73.0 – Monthly
- How much of our time should we set aside for the work of the Lord each year? – 876.0 – Yearly
How are you using the time God has given you?
Time is the heritage of every person. Whether a king or street sweeper, an astronomer or truck driver, a business tycoon or grocery clerk, each of us has the same number of hours.
Many necessities and opportunities demand much of our day. Our work takes up a large percentage of our life. Being a good husband or wife, father or mother, employer or employee requires time.
As Christians, we have spiritual priorities as well. How many hours or days in a month should we set aside for evangelism and discipleship and the ministries of our church? What about caring for the poor, the orphans, and widows as God’s Word commands (James 1:27; Galatians 2:10)?
With all these tasks competing for our time, how can we balance our responsibilities to fulfill our temporal and spiritual duties?
As a good steward, you must manage your time wisely. Let me suggest a way to accomplish this task that Christians seldom consider today – tithing your time.
Tithing reflects a thankful, obedient attitude and acknowledges God as the source and owner of all that we possess. A voluntary act of worship, tithing teaches us to put God first. A faithful steward serves because they have such a heart for God. As we should know, everything we have is a gift from God. Every second of every minute, every minute of every hour, twenty-four hours a day belong to God.
Although God’s Word does not specifically require us to tithe our time, our Lord did command us to put Him first in all things (Matthew 6:31-33). Giving back a percentage of our time enables us to give God priority and assurance that we will fulfill our service to Him.
- Give back a percentage of our time.
- Give back a percentage of our time making God our first priority
Isn’t that what the demon-possessed man did?
The former mad man wanted to join Jesus on his ministry, but Christ has other plans for this new disciple: As Jesus was getting into the boat, the demon-delivered man begged to go along, but Jesus wouldn’t let him.
Jesus said, “Go home to your own people. Tell them your story—what the Master did, how he had mercy on you.” The man went back and began to preach in the Ten Towns area about what Jesus had done for him.
This is the first man who’s allowed to talk about what Jesus has done for him. He says ‘go, tell your family’. And this man goes to all ten cities of that region. He goes to every market, every dinner party he can get invited to, and he tells everyone about Jesus. Can you imagine the story from his perspective?
I’d imagine that this former demon-possessed man in telling what Jesus had done for him gave more than ten percent of his time in telling his story of mercy.
What has the Master done for you?
What has the Master done for us?
Are we using our time to share what Jesus has done for us? Are we serving God by giving 16 hours a week, 73 hours a month and 876 hours a year?
Based on commentary by William E. Self, Anne Kennedy and Matt Carter