“For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure… Do your best to come to me quickly, for Demus, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful in my ministry. I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments. Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message. At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them.” (II Timothy 4:6, 9-16)

I think if I were Paul I would have asked God a couple of questions: “So Lord, is this the way it was supposed to end? Me sitting in prison with only a few loyal friends, realizing that so many have either deserted or betrayed me? Who is going to want to walk in my path?”

And God might have replied: “You have been faithful, Paul, to walk Jesus’ path… and that is what you are inviting others to do. Remember, you wanted to know My Son. It is quite a blessing to experience His power, but you also asked to know Him in His sufferings… and there you have found a different type of blessing. You have fellowship with My Son! And just as I poured Him out to the world, so I am pouring Him through you… to those that accept Me and to those who don’t. You’ve followed the Risen One and others have been blessed. Rejoice! You’ll be with Us soon!”

Oswald Chambers once wrote: “Our Lord’s teaching is always anti-self-realization. His purpose is not the development of a man; His purpose is to make a man exactly like Himself, and the characteristic of the Son of God is self-expenditure. If we believe in Jesus, it is not what we gain, but what He pours through us that counts. It is not that God makes us beautifully rounded grapes, but that He squeezes the sweetness out of us. Spiritually, we cannot measure our life by success, but only what God pours through us, and we cannot measure that at all.”

“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that is from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:7-11)

Quote from “My Utmost For His Highest” by Oswald Chambers; ©1935 by Dodd, Mead, and Company, Inc.; p 508

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