Thursday, April 15, 2010



2 Timothy 4:9-11 Do your best to come to me quickly, (10) for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. (11) Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry.


Paul was virtually alone and probably lonely. No one had come to his trial to speak in his defense (2 Timothy 4:16), and Demas had left the faith. Crescens and Titus had left, but not for the same reasons as Demas. Paul did not criticize or condemn them. Demas had been one of Paul's coworkers (Col 4:14; Philemon 1:24), but he had deserted Paul because he loved "the things of this life." In other words, Demas loved worldly values and worldly pleasures.

There are two ways to love the world. God loves the world as he created it and as it could be if it were rescued from evil. Others, like Demas, love the world as it is, sin and all. Do you love the world as it could be if justice were done, the hungry were fed, and people loved one another? Or do you love what the world has to offer—wealth, power, pleasure—even if gaining it means hurting people and neglecting the work God has given you to do?


The name "Demas" means popular. As I read this verse again with that definition in mind, it spoke to me that sometimes we back off of our commitment to God and others because we strive to be popular with other people. Paul said because Demas "loved this world" he had deserted "me". My friends, the "popular" pull of this world has effected many people. Leaders are especially susceptible to this pull. It is easy to make the decision to never "rock the boat" or to never lead towards change. It is comfortable to just remain the same. But my friends, we can't lead or serve God for popularity.

If you let it, criticism will (a) steal your individuality, (b) rob you of your creativity, and (c) stop you from fulfilling your God-given assignment. Insecure people will always criticise you. Why? Because they're threatened by things that don't conform to their way of thinking.

On the other hand, secure people can allow you to be different, because they themselves are secure in who they are. They don't need to blow your light out, in order to let their own light shine.

Paul says Jesus, "made himself of no reputation" (Philippians 2:7). Sometimes the worst thing that can happen to us is a good reputation, because then we have to promote it and protect it.

Jesus wasn't concerned about what others thought of Him. He had a goal - to do His Father's will; no more and no less. And he knew that to do it, He had to be free from the opinions of others. So do you!

The greatest tragedy in life is growing old, knowing that somewhere along the way you lost yourself, and never succeeded in being who God called you to be.

That's why Paul wrote, "It matters very little to me what you think of me, even less where I rank in popular opinion… the Master makes that judgement" (1 Corinthians 4:3-4 TM). Can you say that too? If not, you have to be careful that the "popular" way doesn't become your driving force!


"Lord, please forgive me for being like Demas at times, where I desert your direction or will because of the fear of man, or the desire to stay 'popular'. I cannot, must not lead that way. I pray that you will continue to lead, and guide. Help me to have the courage to follow YOUR direction. I do not want to desert you for fear of man! In Jesus' name, amen"