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Read Introduction to Philemon

 

Philemon1:24 “…as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow laborers.”
 
as do Mark,
Mark was the nephew of Barnabas (Co 4:10; Ac 12:12).  His mother Mary had a large house in Jerusalem where the church assembled for prayer (Ac 12).  Barnabas was the brother of Mary.  Peter led Mark to Christ (1 Pe 5:13). 
Paul and Mark had a sever falling out (Ac 15:38-40; 2 Ti 4:11) because Mark wanted to go home to his mother.  He found the going rough.  Missionary work was too difficult for him.  His first attempt at missions was a complete failure.  When Barnabas later attempted to take Mark again on a missionary journey, Paul would have none of it, “Mark is not going this time.”  As a result of this, a great schism occurred between Paul and Barnabas.  Paul took Silas instead of Barnabas.  Barnabas parted ways with Paul and took Mark on a separate way. 
Later, Mark grew in maturity and by the writing of Colossians and Philemon.  Paul and Peter both affirm the value of Mark in ministry. 
John Mark made good on his second attempt.  He finished strong.  One indication of this is that Mark’s name is listed here.  Mark himself is a reminder of the forgiveness that Philemon needs to extend to Onesimus. 
2 Ti 4: 11 “Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry.”
1 Peter 5: 13 “She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son.”
PRINCIPLE: 
God is a God of second chances. 
APPLICATION: 
Some of us do not start out well but we end well and that is what counts.  When it comes to Christian work, it does not matter as much how poorly you begin, what really counts is how well you finish.   The score at half time is not nearly important as the score at the end of the game.
If we do not have tenacity in ministry, we will become cynical, critical, negative and bitter.  If God leads us into ministry, we must love people, including our detractors.  We understand that our critics keep us from pride.
How many people go into the ministry and do not make it the first time?  They are of sensitive spirits and people hurt them.  Criticism beats them down and they become discouraged and leave the ministry.  Then God gives them a second chance.  In their second ministry, God uses them together in a marvelous way.  Jonah was a failure the first time out but God gave him a second chance.  God is the God of second chances. 
Do you have the caliber of character not to hold a grudge against someone who hurt you in the past?  Can you let past injuries go by the boards? 
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