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The Importance Of Encouragement

(2 Tim. 4:11)“Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.”  These words were penned by the Apostle Paul shortly before his death in AD 68,  35 yrs. after the death of Christ, and 20 yrs. after John Mark quit the ministry and went home during Paul’s first missionary journey. Why are these dates important, because the John Mark of 35 years earlier was not the same man of faith in (2 Tim. 4:11). What was different about himMaturity! John Mark was used by God after Paul’s death to write the Gospel of Mark, but as a young man he was certainly not qualified. The early John Mark was there at the betrayal of Christ in the garden in (Mark 14:51-52), and like the other disciples of Jesus he too ran in fear, but he also failed the Apostle Paul and quit. So bitter was Paul over his quitting that he refused to take him on his second missionary journey in (Acts 15), however Mark’s uncle Barnabas believed in him and took him with him on his missionary journey instead. So, what caused the maturity in John Mark? I believe his uncle Barnabas had a big part in it. Just as failure is a part of every Christian’s maturity, so also is repentance, but repentance alone cannot do what the forgiveness and encouragement of others can do. After the Apostle Paul got saved only one man stood by him, and that man was Barnabas, and if it was not for his compassion and love for Mark and Paul, both would have had a much more difficult time being accepted.

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