11/3 2 Timothy 4:11

11 Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry.

This is a story about second chances. Mark had deserted Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey. Paul didn't want to take Mark on the second journey but Barnabas did. So Barnabas took Mark and went without Paul, and Paul took Silas (Acts 15:39). Even contention between godly men can result in a doubling of the ministry outreach. God will use all kinds of things to reach people with the good news of His loving sacrifice for us.

Our text today is near the end of Paul's ministry when he was awaiting trial in Rome, many years after that first journey. Most of the brothers have deserted Paul or gone to minister in other areas. To help a Christian prisoner would expose oneself to the possibility of arrest and imprisonment. Luke alone took that risk and faithfully took care of Paul's needs.

No doubt Paul had heard of Mark's faithfulness following his early failure. Perhaps the backsliding of others had given Paul a new perspective on those who stumble but get up and continue to serve the Lord. Now Paul sees how useful Mark is for the ministry and invites him to join him in what may be Paul's last days.

Consider: We all stumble in one way or another. What is important is that we get back up and rely even more on the Lord. Perhaps you have refused to work with someone that failed you in the past. If he or she has continued to serve the Lord, perhaps a second chance is in order.