Do not judge and you will not be judged.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and it will be given to you.
Luke 6: 37-38

15 April 2017

We must persevere!


John Mark’s desertion

John Mark’s family was an important group of people in the early church. When Peter was miraculously released from prison, he knows that the believers will be gathered at the home of John Mark’s family. (Acts 12:11–13) Due to his family’s significance in the movement and relationship to Barnabas, Paul and Barnabas pick John Mark up on the way back from a mission trip to Jerusalem to take him with them to Antioch. (Acts 12:25)

From there, Paul and Barnabas are sent to Cyrus, bringing John Mark along with them as an assistant. (Acts 13:1–5) But somewhere along the way, John Mark decides that he’s had enough. After sailing to Perga, Acts tells us matter-of-factly that John left them there and returned to Jerusalem. (v. 13). Essentially, he quit when the going got rough.

We don’t know why John abandoned them, but we know that it wasn’t honourable. When Barnabas later suggests to Paul that they go get John Mark, Paul refuses. Such a strong disagreement arises between the two that Barnabas and Paul separate. These two men who had been on multiple mission trips together are so divided over young John Mark that they will no longer work together. (Acts 15:36–41)

Many years later, when Paul is sitting in prison awaiting trial, he writes a letter to the church at Colossae. 
He not only tells them that John Mark is with him and has been a great comfort, but he also tells them that they’re to welcome John Mark if he shows up. This kid that had sorely disappointed Paul had now become a man who brought him comfort. At one time John Mark was a personality that caused division in the body, but now Paul is proudly calling him a “fellow worker.” (Col. 4:10–11)

Principle: We all develop gradually. Failure isn’t always a sign that we can’t cut it. Sometimes we’re trying to operate at a level that we’re not mature enough to handle. We can always outgrow those kinds of failings, provided we don’t give up.

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