Today’s devotion is taken from 2 Timothy 4:9-22
This would be Paul’s last words from prison. He was awaiting his imminent death sentence and he wanted to see Timothy before he died. Paul remembers Demas who has forsaken him. Demas was a fellow worker for the Gospel but he went astray because he loved the present world (v.1 and Colossians 4:14).
Lesson from Demas:
He began well and seemed to be faithful but drifted back into empty pleasures of this world. You can feel Paul’s heartache as he writes these words. Paul lived a life of persecution, hardship and likely poverty and perhaps Demas could not endure this as he is “in love with this present age”. How many of us have seen or heard of Christians who began well in his walk with the Lord only to end up going back to worldly desires. We need to guard our hearts constantly (Proverbs 4:23). Matthew 6:21 says for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. What is our treasure? Is it God or pleasures of this world? This is why God looks at the heart of men because he knows where our treasure is (1 Samuel 16:7). Jesus must be sovereign in our hearts and our lives and only then we will not be moved by the pleasures of this world but moved by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Faith of Paul
When Paul was brought up for his court hearing, no one defended him and all forsook him. Understandably and evidently no Christian wanted to risk their life for standing up for Paul. Paul, just like Christ, did not hold any grudge and forgave them (V.16). Paul could have given up hope, he could have focused the abandonment by his friends but no, he focuses on God. Paul said, the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength”. In Paul, we see an amazing spiritual maturity. Even to the very end of his life, his faith in God did not waver. He said “the Lord will deliver me from every evil deed and bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom” (v.18). Even through his pain and suffering, he gave God all the glory and Paul glorified God to his very last breath. Paul lived out his words in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, he did not lose heart and he understood that this momentary pain is nothing compared to the meeting Jesus in heaven. We must cultivate our hearts and mind to have a kingdom mindset like Paul and focus on the eternal and not the temporal.
Heavenly Father, we praise you and we love you. We pray for your strength to run this race of faith with endurance. We pray for our hearts to be guarded against the pleasures of this world and every temptation that will distract us from you.