Don’t Be a Demas!

Here’s something that I wrote a long time ago, and it’s something that comes to mind often.

Demas is not a famous Biblical character, even though he obviously played a large role in Paul’s missionary team. Where do we meet Demas, and who was this man?

We read of Demas in Colossians 4:14 that he was with Paul and Luke on great missionary travels. In Philemon 24 we see Paul sending greetings from Demas, Luke, and Mark. Demas was in great company, surrounded by men of outstanding faith. He witnessed great moves of God, heard marvelous messages, and saw mighty acts of the Holy Spirit. He saw churches begin, the new faith of many thousands springing into reality, and probably took part in great times of prayer and praise.

However, in the last letter of the apostle Paul we see that in spite of all of these wonderful, spiritual times, Demas decided upon a different path. In Second Timothy 4:10 we read that Paul was disheartened because, “Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world.”

What a tragic thing! Demas, a man who had seemingly started well, had great influences upon his life, and saw mighty movements of God, did not finish well. We do not read more about Demas because he chose the way of the flesh and the world rather than the way of the Spirit.

John writes in first John 2:15, 17, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. And the world is passing away… but he who does the will of God abides forever.”

Let’s remember that we are not immune to the lust of the flesh and the temptations of the world. We will always be faced with temptations. We always have a choice. But, what are you going to choose – the way of the world, or the way of the Spirit? Let’s choose the way of the Spirit and be with a part of those who finish the race well.

Jed Gourley
April 3, 2003
Kyiv, Ukraine

Jesus always knows what He’s going to do!

Feeding 5000 mosaic

5th century mosaic discovered near the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee

In John’s account of the feeding of the 5000, Jesus sees a great multitude and asks His disciples a question, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” Was Jesus taken by surprise by the large crowd? Was He dumbfounded as to what to do? Perhaps he was trying to inspire the disciples to come up with a plan to work together with Him? No. Jesus actually said this “to test them, for He Himself knew what He would do.”

There have been, and currently are, many overwhelming and impossible situations in my life. I must admit that I usually find myself first seeking a human or logical solution to these issues. My natural inclination is to find a physical resource that will meet this need or solve this problem. Does that mean God doesn’t use physical resources to meet physical needs? No, of course He does. He used bread to meet the physical needs of the 5000.

What Jesus does when we trust Him is to do things beyond our imagination. I can’t organize Him, or strategize the way that He is going to work in my situation. I can’t limit Jesus with my own plans. I can only come to Him with my lack, my weakness, and my inability. Jesus can and wants to fill us, strengthen us, and do all that He wants in and through us. If He went to the cross to redeem us, how much more willing do you think He is take care of “impossible” things in our lives?

Be encouraged. Jesus has a plan when we don’t. Jesus knows our frailty, and just smiles and forgives us for giving Him advice. Perhaps you are going through a time of testing, as I am. Jesus knows what He is going to do. It doesn’t make the path we are on any easier, but perhaps it does make it a little more bearable. We are not alone, and our simple work that we must do is to believe on Jesus. Let’s labor for that today!