3.23.2018

DEVOTION. Not desertion!

Have you ever been reading Scripture when a verse jumps off the page and surprises you?
This very thing happened to me today.

Paul writes:
Do your best to come to me soon. For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. II Timothy 4:9,10

Oh - my - WORD!
Can you imagine having your name and actions forever recorded on a page of Scripture this way?
A deserter, one who abandoned an apostle of Jesus in his time of need.
And not for a good reason. No sickness. No emergency at home. Just SIN. He loved his sin more than the Savior. So he left the work of the Gospel to pursue worldly pleasures.
And he will now be known as the faithless friend, until the end of time.

The dictionary definition of the word faithful reads ...
faith·ful
adjective
Loyal, constant, steadfast
1: steadfast in affection or allegiance
2: firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty
3: given with strong assurance
4: true to the facts, to a standard, or to an original
synonyms: loyal, constant, true, devoted, true-blue, unswerving, staunch, steadfast, dedicated, committed

Demas failed to live up to this definition.
And worse, he failed to meet God's expectations of faithfulness.

Only fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things He has done for you. I Samuel 12:24

Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 3:3

Love the Lord, all you His saints! The Lord preserves the faithful, but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride. Psalm 31:23

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17

There are countless examples of disobedient men and women in Scripture. 
Adam & Eve - Cain - Jonah - Eli - King Saul - Ananias & Sapphira - Euodia and Syntyche - Judas
Each name evokes negative thoughts. Their reputations tainted. Forever.

BUT GOD.
With the long list of disobedient and defiant men, women, and peoples recorded between the covers of His Word, God also highlights the lovely, the righteous, and the faithful. Praise Him for providing excellent examples of how to live, and how not to live. 

"For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica."
How not to live.

Contrasted with this wonderful passage.
And while He (Jesus) was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as He was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over His head. There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. 
But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to Me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have Me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.” Mark 14:3-9

How TO live.

May we all seek to be like this woman! Wholly, purposefully, and passionately surrendered to the service of the Lord.

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