We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Jacob Reed.
Philemon 1:23-24 (NLT)
“Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you his greetings. So do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my co-workers.”
2 Timothy 4:10 (NLT)
“Demas has deserted me because he loves the things of this life and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus has gone to Dalmatia.”
Where does perseverance end? When, after striving and pushing and putting off your gratification, is it ok to let go and pursue what you want? In these 2 passages, we are given a quick mention of a man named Demas. What we can tell in the book of Philemon, written by Paul, is that Demas is a key figure and likely a close friend of Paul’s. Demas was undoubtedly doing important work and facing the same persecution that Paul and his inner circle faced while sharing the message of Jesus with the world. He was doing good work with perseverance.
What we see in the book of 2 Timothy, written a few years after Philemon is that Demas is gone. He loved the ‘good things’ too much and moved away. When we read this we get the image of Demas grabbing a big pile of money, some wine, and some beautiful women, taking off and having nightly parties in His new home. But what if that’s not it at all. What if he just liked swimming in the ocean, sleeping in, comfortable living without the threat of persecution. And what if he decided that after all his hard work it was time to retire and enjoy life a little bit?
Either way, we see that Demas gave up, retired. He had perseverance, yes, he probably endured some major hardships and gave his heart and soul to the work that was given to him by God. Can we say he TRULY had perseverance though? No. Why not? Because true perseverance- falling and getting back up over and over again- doesn’t have a timeframe.
Do you consider this in your relationship with God in the calling and purpose HE has given you? That there is no finish line here on earth? That there is no retirement package, no promises of golden years spent on the beach. This is something for us to consider when stepping into the work that God has given us on earth. When we decide to be one of the few workers of the harvest. It’s going to cost us. And we won’t be truly done until we hear Him say, “Well done.”
Where does perseverance end?
When we quit or when we die.
God strengthen me daily to first hear your voice and then to carry out your will, loving those around me. Help me to do this every day, only by your spirit in me. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Journal. Write down all the times you have persevered and be encouraged! Write down what you think following God’s calling and doing His work might cost you and pray for the daily strength to let go. Share this with your inner circle and be strengthened by those who are on the same mission.
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