Do your best to come to me soon. For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry. Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message. At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. Erastus remained at Corinth, and I left Trophimus, who was ill, at Miletus. Do your best to come before winter. Eubulus sends greetings to you, as do Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brothers. The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you. 2 Timothy 4:9-21
Paul always makes his letters personal. He mentions friends and those that have opposed him or done wrong to him. Today he asks Timothy to bring some personal items to him. When I read today’s verses I wonder if Timothy made it to Rome with the items Paul request. Did Mark make it before Paul was executed? I feel Paul’s loneliness as so many of his friends are not with him. It seems only Luke stayed in Rome.
Just as Paul writes personal feelings and longings in his letters, Christianity is a personal religion. Jesus came here to make it possible for each of us to have a personal relationship with God. This is possible the most radical religious concept ever. That mere humans could have a relationship with the god of the universe was unheard of. In fact, except for Christianity it is still unheard of. The rest of religions place God out of reach of humans. He is distant and many times irrational. Only Christianity believes in a personal God. A God who welcomes us into His family.
We can talk to God directly. We have no needs for some priest or holy man to intercede on our behalf. Jesus broke through the curtain that kept the people from God and mad a direct link between God and us. It is there for the asking. We don’t worship a distant God but a God who took on flesh and walked among us. A God who hears us and answers us, not always the way we want Him to answer. He gave us His Word for each of us to read, understand and live by.
So it is no puzzle why Paul wrote in a personal way when he wrote to the churches and individuals. Paul was just imitating the personal God he served. Each of us need to make sure we have a personal relationship with God. He is ready and able; all He needs is for us to do our part. Like any good father He wants to hear from us. It’s not that He needs us to tell Him our thoughts and problems, He already knows, He wants to hear it from us. He wants us to come to Him with of joys and our sorrows. He is ready, are you?
Have a blessed day,