Make every effort to come to me soon;
(2 Timothy 4:9 NASB)
for Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia.
(2 Timothy 4:10 NASB)
At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them.
(2 Timothy 4:16 NASB)
Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus.
(2 Timothy 4:19 NASB)


The American TV show about friends was popular for more than a decade. Weekly the world watched with interest the relationships which ebbed and flowed out of this core group of individuals. Paul, too, had his core group of people, those who stuck with him through thick and thin. However, there was another group of people who called themselves friends and yet, when things were difficult they simply could not stick it out. Now, Paul, in prison in Rome sounds rather lonely. Demas has decided that he loves the things of this world more than the things of God and so has left Paul and gone home. Others have left as well. He was called before the court and no one showed up to defend him. They left him alone. And yet, there are the friends which have remained faithful, albeit from a distance. Prisca and Aquila seem to be a rock to him. They remain true to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Onesiphorus and his household stay true to the faith and continue to support Paul as well. They are the true friends who are willing to suffer the consequences of being Paul's supporters.


What does Christian friendship look like today? It is in the very deepest time of need that Christian friends stick with their brothers and sisters, standing up in their defense when the world comes against them. This past week via facebook I have watched an incredible display of Christian friendship and support. A friend of ours, married for just 32 years lost his dear wife to cancer. As if this weren't enough, just a few months ago his 19 year old son suffered a tragic medical accident leaving him in a coma from which he has yet to awaken. And so, with his son in a hospital bed in the remodeled garage, and his wife in a hospital bed in the living room Mike made his way back and forth day by day hoping to just make it through each twenty-four hour cycle. When he lost Carol last week my heart broke for she had been his anchor. However, as I've read the notes throughout this week I've been amazed at the Christian friends who have come to surround this brother. They have taken over the care of his son, they have helped make the funeral arrangements, they have taken care of the house and they have simply loved this man of God. Today there will be a memorial service for Carol and I know that Mike will be surrounded by friends, both physically and emotionally. That's what God intended. He intended the Bride of Christ -- the Church -- to be a community of faith and friends who would love and care for one another.


Lord, please be with Mike and his children today as the celebrate Carol. Amen.


  1. Beside you, this morning, praying for Mike in his grief, giving thanks for those surrounding him in the love of Christ.


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