Today’s Passage – 2 Timothy 3 – 4; Titus 1 – 3
“For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.” (2 Timothy 4:10)
“Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:” (2 Timothy 4:14)
“At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me:I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.” (2 Timothy 4:16)
“Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.” (2 Timothy 4:17)
There are not many people out there that enjoy being by themselves. I’m not talking about having some quiet time away from people for a short time: we all enjoy that, I suppose; but what I am referring to is living in the midst of people, but having none of them be in agreement with you when it comes to what you believe; what you stand for. The world, though filled with billions of people, can be a very lonely place.
Have you ever been the only Christian at a job; or perhaps in a school. I am not talking about someone who merely calls themselves a Christian, but someone who truly believes and lives what he believes. If you have been the only one, you know what it means to stand alone. Everyone else seems to be participating in the entertainments and morality that the world says is acceptable, but you live on a higher plane. They tell their jokes, go out to their bars for lunch, talk about the parties on the weekends, etc. Oh, they would love for you to go with them, they invite you all of the time; but you can’t or won’t. It is funny that when you talk to them individually, they never seem to oppose you or disagree with you. They may even talk about a church service that they attended once, or ask you to pray for a sick family member; but when they get together, either in your presence or not, you become the butt of all of their jokes. Have you ever been there? It isn’t fun, is it? But, remember you are not really alone. Christ is with you.
Sometimes, you may even have to stand alone in your church. I remember years ago my wife had a certain conviction that she was ostracized for by some of the other ladies in the church. How do you think she felt? Sometimes preachers have to stand alone in their fellowship with other churches, preachers, friends from college, etc. The bottom line is that there are going to be times when you are going to have choose between your peers and your Lord. It is not easy to stand alone. The easiest thing to do is to acquiesce and conform to the whims of the people around you. It is much easier to fit in than to stand out. But be assured, when you are standing for the Lord, the Lord stands with you. Remember the three young men in Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace. They weren’t alone, the Lord was with them, and He will be with you too.
Posted in Thoughts from 2 Timothy by Phil Erickson with 1 comment.