My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. I follow the readings and journaling from lifejournal.me. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
Monday, December 10, 2012
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.
(2 Timothy 4:6 NASB)
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;
(2 Timothy 4:7 NASB)
Make every effort to come to me soon;
(2 Timothy 4:9 NASB)
Only Luke is with me. Pick up Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for service.
(2 Timothy 4:11 NASB)
Paul is now facing death in Rome and is writing his final letter to
his dear disciple, Timothy. He wants Timothy to come and join him
while he awaits what he knows will be his final days here on this earth.
Interestingly he wants Timothy to stop by and pick up Mark and bring
him along. This is the very same Mark over whom Paul and Barnabas had
such a bitter dispute many years before resulting in the two of them
going separate directions in their ministry. Paul had been frustrated
with the young Mark because he felt that he had been irresponsible. But
now, in writing he tells Timothy that he wants to see Mark and that
Mark is useful to him. Not only is this an acceptance of Mark, but an
affirmation of Mark and a willingness on Paul's part to reconcile his
relationship with him.
She sat on the back pew of the church with her head down most of
the service. She looked tired and worn out, at least ten years older
than her actual age. About ten feet from her, on the same pew was a
beautiful young woman, tall and slender with flowing dark hard and
brilliant blue eyes. At the end of the service the older woman raised
her hand that she wanted to accept Christ into her life. In
conversation later she shared that she had given up everything in life,
including her relationship with Christ and with her children for what
she thought was the love of a man. Of course he had turned out to be
less than loving, and more taking than anything. Now she found herself
at a complete and total loss. She had nothing. No children. No man.
No Savior. Weeping she poured her heart to God, asking for his
forgiveness and desiring to put her life back on track. She mentioned
to me the loss of relationship with her children, and then pointed out
that the beautiful woman on the other end of the pew was her daughter.
They hadn't spoken in years.
Our world is filled with broken relationships. Yes, we have those
who disappoint us in life and we may become frustrated. Even the
Apostle Paul became so frustrated that he and his dear friend went
different directions. But I believe that Paul mellowed with age, and I
believe that Mark matured with age. Here, near the end of Paul's life,
Paul wants to mend his relationship with Mark. It is Paul who is
willing to go out of his way and ask Timothy to please bring Mark to
him. He even compliments Mark -- in writing. It takes a big person to
do that -- be willing to reach out and be affirming after having been a
bit obnoxious in trying to prove who was "right" so long ago. Paul had
been on a spiritual journey throughout his entire life where God had
been transforming him into the very likeness of Jesus Christ. Paul
acknowledged this along the way, and now, before his death, we see the
love of Jesus reflected in him. We may have broken relationships and we
may be embarrassed about the way we acted somewhere along the way. The
question is whether we are allowing God to transform us to the point
where we are willing to reach out to the individual with whom we may not
have a relationship and ask for forgiveness and allow for healing. I
don't think that Paul wanted to die with things still rough between he
and Mark. He reached out to him. We may need to reach out to someone.
About an hour after the church service ended, the lady came and
motioned for me to join her in the hallway. Again there were more tears
as she gave me a giant bear hug. "I just talked to me daughter and I
asked her for forgiveness." It was the first step in a process of
healing and reconciliation. That day she had set things right with God,
and then began the long journey home to a relationship with her
daughter. Reconciliation is not an easy thing. It takes putting our
egos aside and allowing God to speak in and through us, and reaching
out, allowing God to pour out his oil of healing on old wounds.
Lord, may I be an instrument of reconciliation. Amen.