'Demas...loved this...world.' 2 Timothy 4:10 NKJ
Again we ask, ‘What happened to Demas?’ Maybe his faith involved too many scrapes. When Paul came to town, some came to faith while others came with stones. Beatings, imprisonment, arguments probably featured in a big way on Paul’s morning prayer–list. Maybe Demas signed up thinking all life’s problems would vanish by following Jesus. Church conferences today, especially for young people, can sometimes have this flavour: ‘Hands up who wants life to be smooth and effortless? Great. Hands up those who want to follow Jesus?’ (Not a direct quote, but you get what we mean?)
Think of the bits we leave out when we talk about our faith. How often do you hear, ‘Follow Jesus. Be misunderstood by people. Be the butt of jokes. Take the heat for controversial issues. Say “no” to fun stuff. Right, who wants to become a Christian?’ Ok, maybe this is not the way to win people over. But perhaps there is room in our evangelism for a fuller picture to be painted. Jesus certainly didn’t hide the tough stuff: ‘If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.’ (John 15:18–19 NKJ) If we want more Paul–people and less Demas–dudes, we need to balance what Jesus Himself taught—taking the rough with the smooth.
SoulFood: Gen 7-9, Jn 12:37-50, Ps 102:18-28, Prov 30:24-28
word4U2day (an adaptation of The Word for Today authored by Bob & Debby Gass) is published under licence by UCB Australia. 2014 UCB International Ltd