Evening, August 9th, 2021

“Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.”— Mark 16:9

Mary of Magdala was the victim of a fearful evil. She was possessed by not one devil only, but seven. These dreadful inmates caused much pain and pollution to the poor frame in which they had found a lodging. Hers was a hopeless, horrible case.

She could not help herself, neither could any human succour avail. But Jesus passed that way, and unsought, and probably even resisted by the poor demoniac, he uttered the word of power, and Mary of Magdala became a trophy of the healing power of Jesus.

All the seven demons left her, left her never to return, forcibly ejected by the Lord of all. What a blessed deliverance! What a happy change! From delirium to delight, from despair to peace, from hell to heaven!

Straightway she became a constant follower of Jesus, catching his every word, following his devious steps, sharing his toilsome life; and withal she became his generous helper, first among that band of healed and grateful women who ministered unto him of their substance.

When Jesus was lifted up in crucifixion, Mary remained the sharer of his shame: we find her first beholding from afar, and then drawing near to the foot of the cross. She could not die on the cross with Jesus, but she stood as near it as she could, and when his blessed body was taken down, she watched to see how and where it was laid.

She was the faithful and watchful believer, last at the sepulchre where Jesus slept, first at the grave whence he arose. Her holy fidelity made her a favoured beholder of her beloved Rabboni, who deigned to call her by her name, and to make her his messenger of good news to the trembling disciples and Peter.

Thus grace found her a maniac and made her a minister, cast out devils and gave her to behold angels, delivered her from Satan, and united her forever to the Lord Jesus. May I also be such a miracle of grace!

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i believe God tried to get my attention many times as i grew up. Apparently over the years what started out as “innocent” marijuana use turned into a heavy meth addiction. My parents pulled away (they had left me sitting in front of a local small town grocery store in my long black coat smoking a cigarette) and left me to wait for a boy-friend whom i don’t remember dating. 3 weeks in a coma and 3 months of rehab later, they dragged me (in a wheelchair and mute) into Middletown Bible Church in CA where i heard the gospel and believed. i wanted to “Get better and be a missionary Go into all the world…” (Mark 16:15) It took the martyrdom of a young Christian in Colorado who bravely responded that “yes, i believe in God” when she had a gun pointed at her head for me to really understand the cost of discipleship and the opportunity to get involved in spreading the gospel throughout the whole earth. i’ve been serving with the Voice of the Martyrs http://www.persecution.com for over 25 years and i praise Him for answering my daily + prayers that i have been inviting other Christians into the fellowship of His suffering. (Phil. 3: 8-10) “as i go along” (Matt. 28:19,20)…Hebrews 13:3 http://www.persecution.com