VIDEO Where Did He Go?

Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world. 2 Timothy 4:10

 

Some of the Bible’s greatest warnings can only be uncovered through careful study. In reading the letters of Paul, we find the name Demas three times. When Paul was first imprisoned in Rome under house arrest (Acts 28:30), he wrote to the Colossians, saying, “Luke the beloved physician and Demas greet you” (Colossians 4:14). He also wrote this to Philemon: “Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you, as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow laborers” (Philemon 1:23-24).

But just a few years later, when Paul was facing his second Roman imprisonment under far worse circumstances, Demas was nowhere to be found. In his final letter, Paul wrote, “Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world” (2 Timothy 4:10). What happened to Demas? Where did he go? No one knows. He is never mentioned again. 

This will become a sign of the Last Days—as more and more apparent Christians fall away. Let’s guard ourselves and our hearts closely. Keep courage, and stay close to the Lord. Be a disciple, not a Demas.

Standing between Demas and Paul, with the world all before him, Luke chose for Paul while Demas chose for the world. Then Demas disappears, and Luke’s memory lives in perennial honor. Charles S. Robinson 


2 Timothy 4:9-10 | Demas Has Forsaken Me

With Us in the Valley

I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Psalm 23:4

As Hannah Wilberforce (aunt of British abolitionist William Wilberforce) lay dying, she wrote a letter in which she mentioned hearing about the death of a fellow believer in Jesus: “Happy is the dear man who is gone to glory, now in the presence of Jesus, whom unseen he loved. My heart seemed to jump for joy.” Then she described her own situation: “Myself, better and worse; Jesus, as good as ever.”

Her words make me think of Psalm 23, where David writes, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley [the valley of the shadow of death], I will fear no evil, for you are with me” (v. 4). Those words leap from the page because it’s there, in the middle of the valley of the shadow of death, where David’s description of God turns deeply personal. He moves from talking about God in the beginning of the psalm—“the Lord is my shepherd” (v. 1)—to talking to Him: “for you are with me” (v. 4, italics added).

How reassuring it is to know that almighty God who “brought forth the whole world” (90:2) is so compassionate that He walks with us through even the most difficult places. Whether our situation turns better or worse, we can turn to our Shepherd, Savior, and Friend and find Him “as good as ever.” So good that death itself is vanquished, and we will “dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (23:6).

By:  James Banks

Reflect & Pray

How does it comfort you to know that Jesus our Shepherd is always with you? How can you share that hope with someone today?

My Shepherd, thank You for Your perfect faithfulness and kindness to me. Help me to stay near You today.

Answered Prayer

John 15:7-11

After Jesus told His disciples to pray in His name, He promised they would receive their requests. Some Christians have taken this as an open-ended guarantee that every petition they make will be answered as long as they end the prayer “in Jesus’ name.” But such thinking only leads to dis- appointment and confusion when they don’t receive what they’ve requested.

Throughout His earthly ministry, the Son of God did only what His Father desired. Praying in Jesus’ name means following in His footsteps and asking according to His will, not our own. And how do we know what His will is? He tells us in His Word. Jesus said if we abide in Him and His Words abide in us, whatever we ask will be done for us. That means the more we pray according to Scripture, the more effective our prayer life will be.

Praying in Jesus’ name is also an act of dependence upon God. We don’t always know how to pray as we should. Though our knowledge is limited, God’s is infinite, and He knows every step He’s planned for our lives. When we come to Him in Jesus’ name, we’re trusting Him to answer according to His great wisdom.

The Heart of Stone

“Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.” (Ephesians 4:18)

The blindness mentioned in our text is the same word used to describe a kind of stone. In verb form, this word indicates a process and means “to make hard or to petrify.” Often the word is translated as “hardness.”

The people of Israel developed a hard heart and mind toward God and the things of God (2 Corinthians 3:13-15), which continually brought grief and anger to the Lord Jesus (Mark 3:5). Even the disciples suffered from this hardness (Mark 6:52; 8:17).

Our text is directed toward New Testament believers who are challenged not to become blinded or petrified as are unbelievers. This petrification in the moral realm can be compared to the loss of sensation in the physical realm—a kind of spiritual paralysis as when sensor and motor nerves no longer respond. “Who being past feeling have given themselves over to lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness” (Ephesians 4:19).

Petrification of once-living tissue usually takes place over the course of many years, as each organic molecule decays and is removed, with the space it occupied refilled with stony material dissolved in groundwater percolating through the host material. Or it may take place as material is injected into the living tissue, thus stopping all life processes. In just such a way, the hardening of the heart can take place slowly, but finally petrification is complete. Petrification of wood can be stopped by removing it from the decay-and-replacement process, but natural processes cannot return it to its former state. Praise God that we can “put on the new man” (v. 24) with a renewed (new) mind and spirit (v. 23), no longer hardened toward the things of God. JDM

Precious Promises

Zayin

Remember [Your] word to Your servant, through which You have given me hope. This is my comfort in my affliction: Your promise has given me life. The arrogant constantly ridicule me, but I do not turn away from Your instruction. Lord, I remember Your judgments from long ago and find comfort. Rage seizes me because of the wicked who reject Your instruction. Your statutes are [the theme of] my song during my earthly life. I remember Your name in the night, Lord, and I keep Your law. This is my [practice]: I obey Your precepts (Psalm vv. 49-56).

Your decrees are the theme of my song!” What a mandate for the Christian musician! What a mission statement for a godly artist! As Christopher Smart said in 1763, “Glorious the song, when God’s name the theme,” The content of our art must be the magnificence of God’s truth. Yet it is so easy to water it down, leave it out, or yield to the temptation to explore other areas of thought that are more appealing, more commercial.

This servant had discovered the rock of God’s truth during a particularly painful time of suffering and opposition. The precious promises contained in God’s Word had given him hope and comfort. Even in the depths of his dark night, he remembered these promises and recited them. The habits of holiness he had developed sustained him at the time of his greatest need. Therefore, because God’s Word has been tried and tested in his life, these precepts now occupy all of his thought. There is no room for lesser interests!

My theme song is that which consumes me because it has been tested and proved. As I experience the truth of God’s Word daily and am convicted by it’s power, my goal or mandate is to set God’s truth to music in simple, powerful form.

Personal Prayer

O Lord, your promises preserve my life and comfort me. May your decrees be the theme of my song for the rest of my days.

The Great Creator

Yahweh … who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it.—Isaiah 42:5

The Bible never argues that there is a God; everywhere it assumes and asserts the fact. Majestically the opening verse of Scripture says: “In the beginning God …” Its paramount concern is not to persuade us that God is but to tell us who God is and what He does. This is why the first thing we see Him do in the Scriptures is to act creatively, to show His might and omnipotence.

I love the story about a group of researchers who set out to discover what really happened when the earth was created. They spent months gathering information and feeding data into a computer. Finally they hit the print-out key and waited. Soon a message appeared with these words: “See Genesis 1:1.”

Many think the only reference to God’s creative act is the one that appears in the first two chapters of Genesis, but this truth is woven inextricably into the very texture of both the Old and New Testaments. One example of this is found in our text for today. We cannot have a right conception of God or contemplate Him correctly unless we think of Him as being all-powerful. He who cannot do what He wills and pleases cannot be God. As God has a will to do good, so He has the necessary power to execute that will. Who can look upward to the midnight sky, behold its wonders, and not exclaim: “Of what were these mighty orbs formed?” A great and powerful God brought them into being simply by saying: “Let them be.” This kind of God can have my heart anytime.

Prayer

Father, I sense that the more enlightened my understanding, the more my soul responds to that enlightenment with thanksgiving, adoration, and praise. Enlighten me still more, dear Father. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Further Study

Ac 14:8-15; Neh 9:5-6; Ps 102:25; Heb 11:3

What did Paul and Barnabas declare?

How do we understand that God formed the universe?

Dedicated to Truth

John 17:15-20

The depth and beauty of Christ’s prayer for His disciples overwhelms, even

startles us, while viewing the scene of our Lord’s intercession before the ordeal of the Cross. At each coming we remain a little longer within the circle of those for whom Jesus prayed—Himself, His disciples, His Church, and us. It is a stupendous thought that in His prayer nearly two thousand years ago Christ included you and me. “I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message” (John 17:20).

It is a passionately earnest prayer that God will save this group of men from the attachment to corruptible treasures that is the mark of the world. Christ pleaded with an intensity beyond our comprehension that His disciples should be consecrated to the real, the eternal.

The burden of Christ’s prayer is that His disciples shall be sanctified by the truth. They are not merely to admire truth, or do no more than value it; they are to be dedicated to it. In the New Testament the word “truth” means more than merely true as opposed to untrue. It means genuine as opposed to spurious, perfect as opposed to imperfect. It is the property of substance as opposed to shadow.

We may say that our material possessions, our financial position and our properties are as a shadow compared with the only kind of position that really matters to God. Our rank or our position, even when and if deserved, is only as an imitation compared with the genuine qualities that make men great in the sight of God. Our intense activity is spurious unless it is a means to that great end for which we were called.

To be consecrated to the eternal means more than valuing incorruptible riches for ourselves. It means we shall desire eternal wealth for others. Jesus said,

“For them I sanctify Myself” (John 17:19). This meant that He desired the sanctification, or dedication to truth, of His own people so much that He was willing to pay the extreme price to bring it about. For us, this means being drawn by something outside of ourselves so vast and irresistible that we cannot see ourselves at all. It involves a kind of caring of which we are not capable at all without Christ.

When we ponder the Lord’s last prayer and through it know God’s will for us, we would be discouraged did we not believe in the timeless words, “I have finished my work” (Romans 15:23). He who saw the harvest in the seed of corn saw too the saints in the stumbling loyalty of the disciples. And so it is with us.

Catherine Baird, Evidence of the Unseen