Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1 John 2:15.
Among Paul’s assistants at Rome were many of his former companions and fellow workers. Luke, “the beloved physician,” … was with him still…. Demas and Mark were also with him….
Since the earlier years of his profession of faith, Mark’s Christian experience had deepened. As he had studied more closely the life and death of Christ he had obtained clearer views of the Saviour’s mission, its toils and conflicts. Reading in the scars in Christ’s hands and feet the marks of His service for humanity, and the length to which self-abnegation leads to save the lost and perishing, Mark had become willing to follow the Master in the path of self-sacrifice. Now, sharing the lot of Paul the prisoner, he understood better than ever before that it is infinite gain to win Christ, infinite loss to win the world and lose the soul for whose redemption the blood of Christ was shed. In the face of severe trial and adversity, Mark continued steadfast, a wise and beloved helper of the apostle.
Demas, steadfast for a time, afterward forsook the cause of Christ. In referring to this, Paul wrote, “Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world” (2 Timothy 4:10). For worldly gain, Demas bartered every high and noble consideration. How shortsighted the exchange! Possessing only worldly wealth or honor, Demas was poor indeed, however much he might proudly call his own; while Mark, choosing to suffer for Christ’s sake, possessed eternal riches, being accounted in heaven an heir of God and a joint heir with His Son.
If we would permit our minds to dwell more upon Christ and the heavenly world, we should find a powerful stimulus and support in fighting the battles of the Lord. Pride and love of the world will lose their power as we contemplate the glories of that better land so soon to be our home. Beside the loveliness of Christ, all earthly attractions will seem of little worth.
Conflict and Courage p. 349
—–Please pray for Carolyn who is not feeling well after being in the hospital for sepsis last week. Rose
—–Asking for all prayer warriors to pray for our oldest son who found out that he has stage two colon cancer. Milton
—–I’m asking for prayers for Lydia who is losing her battle with cancer. Veronica
Toward the end of our vacation, I went for a short walk that resulted in days of misery. Everything seemed fine at first, but later I found that my arms and legs were covered in chigger bites. Those tiny bugs had burrowed into my skin and caused me great trouble. I tried every remedy I could think of to stop the itching but nothing helped.
Because of the intense itching, I did something that I knew I should not do—I scratched. Of course that made matters worse. Knowing that, one would think that I would stop, but I continued to scratch. It became a vicious circle—itch—scratch—itch—scratch as infinitum.
Now that I am less itchy, I have been thinking how much like sin those tiny chiggers are. We might partake in some little pleasure that results in great misery for ourselves and others.We become infected with the results of that one indulgence until we are as Isaiah writes, “the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.” Isaiah 1:5,6
How much we need deliverance from the ravages of sin! How much we need to be saved from ourselves! Praise God! There is One who is mighty to save! Isa 63:1 There is One who pleads, “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?” “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” “For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD.” Eze 33:11; Isa 45:22; Jer 30:17
May the words of this song by James Orr be our prayer today.
Search me, O God, and know my heart today,
Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray;
See if there be some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin, and set me free.
I praise Thee, Lord, for cleansing me from sin;
Fulfill Thy word and make me pure within;
Fill me with fire, where once I burned with shame;
Grant my desire to magnify Thy name.
Lord, take my life, and make it wholly Thine;
Fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine;
Take all my will, my passion, self and pride;
I now surrender, Lord, in me abide.
O Holy Ghost, revival comes from Thee;
Send a revival, start the work in me;
Thy Word declares Thou wilt supply our need;
For blessings now, O Lord, I humbly plead.