2 Timothy 4:10 (NKJV) for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica—Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia.

The final chapter of 2 Timothy are probably Paul’s last written words. It is Paul’s deathbed testimony, if you will. Paul is all alone in the cold Mamertine prison. All of his fellow workers in Christ have left him except for doctor Luke. Demas took off for Thessalonica, because the situation there in Rome was too much to bear. Titus left for Dalmatia, but in his defense, Paul probably sent Titus there to conduct a ministry on Paul’s behalf. However, the reason why Crescens went to Galatia is not known. Only Luke is with Paul. Good old doctor Luke stayed with Paul to the very end. In Paul’s final charge to Timothy, his son in the faith, we will hear from God the things He wants us to hear. First of all, Paul admits his mistakes. Paul was wrong about Mark, and he confesses that he was wrong. Paul now says that Mark was profitable to him in his ministry. In ministry, we need to be able to recognize when we are wrong, and we need to accept the people who God has sent to work alongside us in the ministry. We may not agree on every point, but we need to recognize that it is profitable to work together. Second, Paul sent Tychicus back to Ephesus because he was the pastor of the church there. God will send people to help us in the ministry. And when these people are serving in other ministries, we are not to keep them in the ministry that we are in. It is good to learn from them, but it is not good to hang on to them. When they feel that they have done their duty and therefore want to return to the ministry in which they serve, then we have to let them go. We need not feel abandoned. God has sent them to us for a time, and we need to be appreciative of their efforts and support. And we need to let them go. Third, everyone working in the ministry will need physical and mental strength. We need to be physically and mentally fit to take on the demands of ministering to people. It won’t always be a smooth journey. There will be storms, and sometimes you’ll feel cold and all alone. Ministry can be a physical and mental challenge, so keep yourself fit and do things to exercise your mind as well. Fourth, when people come against you, don’t take matters into your own hands. Leave room for God’s judgment. Leave it in God’s hands. And simply continue on with the task that God has assigned you to do. Fifth, in ministry, you will find that there are people who wear two faces. In front of you they are very supportive of you, but as soon as your back is turned, they will put a knife in you. You need to be able to discern who these people are and watch out for them. Sixth, be faithful in the ministry for God will stand with you. Know that God is with you, and He will deliver you out of every hardship you face in the ministry. Seventh, know that you are not alone in the ministry. There are friends whom you can rely on. They share the same goal as you do. And they are there to help you in every step along the way in achieving that goal. And lastly, keep the faith my friend, continue to fight the good fight. Run your spiritual race, keeping your eyes on Jesus, run towards Jesus. And He will hold you in His arms at the finish. And He will say to you, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” These are the things that God wants us to know. Everyone who wants to get into the ministry, should know these things. If you are not prepared to accept these things, then you are not prepared for the ministry.

God Bless and have a great day in God’s Word.