“For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica” (2 Timothy 4:10a ESV)…
Towards the end of his life, in some of his last recorded words, no doubt with a broken heart, the apostle Paul tells us that Demas has deserted him, and not only him, but, out of love for the world, has deserted Christ. Just before this Paul said of himself, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7 ESV). But, Demas had not fought the good fight, he did not finish the race, he did not keep the faith.
You see, faith and love are directly linked. The only real love that matters is love with faith. And the only real faith that matters is faith with love. True faith is true love; faith is not only believing in God, but it’s believing God, trusting God, and treasuring all that God is for us in the person and work of Jesus. And that’s really what loving God, loving Jesus is. It’s been said that faith is the eyes of the heart, and that’s appropriate, because it is with the eyes of faith that we come to truly love and thus trust and treasure Christ.
Jesus said, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21 ESV). What we treasure and invest in is what we love. Therefore, if we are to truly fight the good fight and not only run, but finish the race of the Christian life, then we must truly love Jesus. We must love Jesus more than anything or anyone else. We must love Jesus more than the world. Demas fell away because he loved the world more than Christ. So if we hope to stay faithful, we must, not only love Jesus, but seek to have an ever-growing love for Jesus. We must seek to stir our love and grow it so that it never runs cold, but only burns with greater intensity.
So, do you love Jesus, or do you love the world? Are you intentionally seeking to stir and grow your love for Jesus, or are you opening your heart to the world? Christian, fight… run… love… stay with Christ. Let go of the world and treasure Jesus; for you will find now, and especially at the end of the race, that Jesus is infinitely better than the world.
I am nothing; Christ is all!