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Mid-Week with Christ
October 23, 2019

Stand By Me

2 Timothy 4:9-18

9 Do your best to come to me soon. 10 For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry. 12 Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. 14 Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. 15 Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message. 16 At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! 17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Prayer for the Day

Gracious Lord, when the hour of trial draws near and the forces of evil gather against us, may you cause our Lord and Savior, your Son Jesus Christ, to stand by us and grant us strength. May we be quick to stand by those who need our encouragement when their hour comes. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Saul stood high in the council of the Jews. A Pharisee of Pharisee, blameless according to the Law. Sent to Damascus to round up Christians, he found himself face-to-face with Christ Jesus. A few days later Saul became Paul, a baptized Christian, now sent to proclaim the Good News of salvation in Jesus’ name.
There were high points and low points in his ministry, for sure. Paul saw some come to faith and others revolt against him. He suffered the ignominy of jail (Acts 16:23) and the ecstasy of seeing “the 3rd heaven” (2 Corinthians 12:2). But gradually, by the power of the Spirit, through Paul’s faithful proclamation, the Christian church grew.
If his life was directed by Hollywood, we would expect a comforting ending to Paul’s life. Instead, as his time on earth grew to a close, Paul felt abandoned and alone. “Demas… has deserted me. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia… At my first defense no one came to stand by me.” Only faithful Luke – scribe of the Gospel and the Acts – remained.
Paul realizes, however, that is not the whole story. When everyone else was gone, the Lord Jesus stood by him and strengthened him. Whatever would come next, the Lord would be there to rescue him and bring him into his kingdom.
All of us have experienced times of being alone, when it felt like everyone had abandoned us. In those moments, we must remember that our Lord has promised never to leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). When no one else is left, Jesus will always stand by us.
Copyright © 2019 Mission to Quebec and the Caribbean, All rights reserved.

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