luke alone is with me. get mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry. [2 timothy 4:11]
you may remember that back in acts 15 barnabas and paul got in an argument over whether or not they should bring mark along with them on their next missionary journey. barnabas wanted him to come along and paul thought it was a bad idea because mark had previously left them and had pulled himself out of the work. the disagreement was so strong that paul and barnabas ended up going to different places – barnabas taking mark with him, and paul taking silas instead.
why is that relevant here? because now paul is asking timothy to bring mark with him because he is useful to the ministry. clearly paul has come to understand mark’s devotion to the gospel and his gifting and calling to missionary work. but i have to imagine that when paul told barnabas he didn’t want to bring mark along on that previous journey, that couldn’t have made mark feel great. essentially paul was saying, i think this ministry work we’re going to do is going to be better off without you around.
i think many of us can struggle with this thought as well. “the work of ministry is better off without me. i don’t have anything to contribute to this. i’m not gifted like those other people are.” etc, etc.
it’s true, that we all have specific giftings, skills, and talents. not everyone can sing, preach, run fast, make friends with strangers in 2 seconds, or create a beautiful masterpiece out of a hunk of clay. but God has created us for a purpose. and he created you to carry out that purpose. so today, if you are forgetting that God made you to be his image bearer – repent of your mistrust of God and be encouraged by the truth of scripture that…even if you struggle to see it, even if others tell you you aren’t valuable, even if your sin has taken you into rebellion and away from following Jesus…he created you in love and for the purpose of glorifying him.
for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. [ephesians 2:10]
so God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. [genesis 1:27]
for you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. i praise you, for i am fearfully and wonderfully made. wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. my frame was not hidden from you, when i was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. [psalm 139:13–16]
~ keith kozlowski