“For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica”(2 Timothy 4:10a).
-2 TIMOTHY 4:9-22
“In Brazil, there grows a common plant, which forest dwellers call the â€˜matador’, or â€˜murderer’. Its slender stem creeps along the ground at first; but no sooner does it meet a vigorous tree than, with clinging grasp, cleaves to it, climbs it, and as it climbs, keeps at short intervals sending out arm-like tendrils that embrace the tree. As the murderer ascends, these ligatures grow larger and clasp tighter. Up, up, it climbs a hundred feet, nay, two hundred if need be, until the last loftiest spire is gained and fettered” S. Coley. As Paul the apostle was preparing to face his final trial and death, he remembered the list of faithful companions and disciples of Christ who have worked with him in the ministry – Timothy, Titus, Crescens, Luke, Tychicus, Prisca and Aquila, to mention a few. These people were holding the touch of the gospel light and marching in victory towards their crown above. In the midst of these faithful brethren, Demas had a bad testimony, for he left his first love and backslid. It was a great concern for Paul to see the one over whom he has laboured on, and served the Lord with, building again what he has destroyed and going back to his vomit. The love of the world’s opinions, habits, tastes, privileges and dispositions diminish faith. It emboldens the visible at the expense of the invisible. It induces satisfaction at the expense of the greater weight of eternal glory reserved for saints.We can overcome the world, this “arm-like tendrils that give the embrace of death”, when we grow in the love, grace and knowledge of our Lord. We must be strong in our resolution against all that oppose the gospel of Christ, desire to know the truth and practice it, deny self and glory in Christ alone.