Where Are You in Your Christian Experience?

The message was brought by Rev. Eddie Foster on May 7, 2023.

II Timothy 4:9 Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: 10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. 12 And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus.

There are several people mentioned by Paul in this portion of scripture. They represent where we can be in our Christian experience.  Let’s take a look at these men.

Tychicus A religious, utility man.  In baseball, the utility man plays different positions as needed.  He’s not an everyday player but is asked to step in and be “Johnny on the spot.”  Timothy was the Pastor at Ephesus and Paul wanted him to come visit.  Paul sent Tychicus to fill in.  We need people in the church who are ready to fill in. They step in when needed.  Tychicus was willing to fill in while Timothy was gone. We have people like this here at Adwolfe.  We can’t do without these types of people. Some tasks aren’t as noticeable as others, but let’s all remember that a cup of water given in the name of Jesus is noticed by the Lord.

Mark He was unfaithful at one point but became faithful. Verse 11 notes Paul’s request for Mark to come “for he is profitable to me for the ministry.” This wasn’t always the case for Paul when thinking of Mark. In Acts 15 there was contention between Paul and Barnabas when the mention of taking Mark on their journey came up. Barnabas wanted to take him but not Paul. On another journey Mark didn’t complete the trip. We don’t know why but he left and now Paul refused to allow him to go on this trip. God can take anything and make something good of it. Barnabas took Mark on his journey and Paul took Silas. There were then two missionary teams instead of one.  Paul and Barnabas didn’t let the disagreement stop them from serving God. We must continue serving the Lord no matter what. Don’t let anything or anyone get in the way. We won’t always get along. Mark is an illustration of one who doesn’t let “IT” get him down. We have bumps along the way. There will be deep valleys; the devil whispers “quit” but don’t.  The real world drags us down but don’t give up. Let God use you. That’s why we see Paul now asking for Mark to come. He now saw him as profitable.  Peter denied the Lord three times, but when the women came to the tomb on Easter Sunday morning to anoint the body of Jesus they were told to go tell the disciples AND PETER that Jesus was alive. Peter realized his mistake and wept bitterly. God forgave him. On the Day of Pentecost he preached and 3,000 were saved.  Don’t let failure get you down!

Luke The wise, old veteran of ministry. He didn’t quit when things happened to him. He hung in there year after year. We must have those who are the backbone of the church. They are “Timex” Christians–they take a licking and keep on ticking. They don’t throw in the towel. They stay faithful through splits, name calling, gossiping, and whatever else may happen.  Some people are just stopovers. We need stayers!

Titus He was faithful but had a tendency to get discouraged. He wanted to leave the church at Crete but Paul wrote a letter for him to hang in there. When Satan opposes you, hang in there. When people discourage you, hang in there.  When you see others living a loose Christian life, don’t let it hamper you.  Don’t let sickness get you down. Grow in the Lord. Come to church. Be faithful.

Crescens We don’t know much about this man. There is no fanfare around him. The vast majority of Christians aren’t recognized, yet they’re busy working for the Lord. Hebrews 11 is the faith hall of fame. So many are mentioned but verse 36 says “others” and their names aren’t mentioned. They just kept on living for the Lord. The success of the local church comes by those not looking for constant recognition for what they do.

Demas He had forsaken Paul. He gave us his ministry and went home. He set his affections on things of earth, not God. Even if you become a billionaire you’ll not take it with you when you die. Invest in eternal things. Where your treasure is, that’s where your heart will be. That’s what the Bible says. Demas cared more for this world than the next one. Eternity is forever. We can’t comprehend that. It won’t end. Don’t wrap everything up in this life. Let’s keep our priorities straight.

Where are you in your Christian life? Used where needed?  Unfaithful? You can become faithful. Admit it and make the changes needed. Discouraged? Ask God to help you. Be willing to serve without applause. Take a look at yourself.  Where are you?

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