2 TIMOTHY 4:11
“Only Luke is with me. Pick up Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for service.”
I have to tell you that this verse warms my heart. Mark had joined Paul, Barnabus and Silas, but split at Perga in Pamphylia (Acts 13:13). So when Barnabus wanted to bring his cousin Mark back on the next journey (Acts 15:38) it lead to a split between Barnabus and Paul, causing each to go their separate way – Paul with Silas an Barnabus with Mark.
But skip ahead to today’s verse, almost 20 years later, and who does he ask Timothy to bring with him – Mark. Why? Undoubtedly Mark had redeemed himself through his missionary work. Sometime between 50-60 AD Mark wrote his gospel. Paul had heard of his growth and work and now he wanted to see him in his last days. We can learn some lessons from this verse.
These are applications for us all, not just parents and not just children. And they are not original. Credit belongs with the author, Kevin Laymon – http://glorybooks.org/paul-barnabas-split-progression-john-mark/.
He gives us four lessons we can learn:
- Our past mistakes don’t have to define our future. God constantly works within us to make us more like Him. No matter the extent of our failure, we should learn from it, and allow God to continue to work out his sanctification process in us. It’s never too late.
- If you mess up in ministry, or in life, don’t ever feel like you can’t get back in the game. Mark was a late bloomer, as are some of us. Sometimes God works in people for years, with many falls along the way, before they are ready for ministry. Be patient.
- It’s never too late to reconnect with someone you’ve let down. We’ve all failed someone in our past. Time spent being sanctified can be a powerful healer.
- It’s never too late to forgive someone who let you down. Just as we’ve all failed someone else, we’ve also had someone fail us. Sometimes people go years without speaking because of a falling out. Someone hurts us and we assume they’ll always be that type of person–unchanging. But we need to always remember that if we can change over time, so can someone else. Reach out to them. They just might surprise you.
Lord, let this forgiving, redeeming spirit reign through me. There are many to whom I need to extend grace now after years of separation.