Damaged by Distractions
Imagine being mentioned by name in one of the epistles written by Paul. Not only was Demas mentioned, but he was mentioned twice. First Paul wrote in Philemon, "Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you his greetings. So do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my co-workers" (1:23–24). Then Paul mentioned him a second time: "Demas has deserted me because he loves the things of this life and has gone to Thessalonica" (2 Timothy 4:10).
So why would Demas leave Paul? Because he loved this present world. He loved the things of this life. The Bible says, "Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world" (1 John 2:15–16).
When the Bible speaks of the world, it is speaking of a culture, a mentality that is hostile to God. In the Parable of the Sower, where Jesus talked about the seed of God’s Word that was choked out by thorns, those thorns represent "the worries of this life and the lure of wealth" (Matthew 13:22).
There are a lot of things that can cause us anxiety and keep us up at night. But Jesus said, "Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?" (Matthew 6:27). And Job said, "You have decided the length of our lives. You know how many months we will live, and we are not given a minute longer" (Job 14:5). We will not extend our lives by worrying. So let’s leave things in the hands of God.
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