31st July 3017

Don’t Give Up On Yourself

“Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry.”
2 Timothy 4:11 (NIV)

Have you ever had a bad school report? Here are some famous people who clearly could have done better according to their school reports:
This boy will never get anywhere in life.” said of Eric Morecambe
He must devote less of his time to sport if he wants to be a success…You can’t make a living out of football.” said of Gary Lineker
Certainly on the road to failure…hopeless…rather a clown in class…wasting other pupils’ time.” said of John Lennon
Judi would be a very good pupil if she lived in this world.” said of Dame Judi Dench
He has glaring faults and they have certainly glared at us this term.” said of Stephen Fry
He has no ambition. If he were to exert himself he might yet be first at the end of term. Very truthful, but a regular ‘pickle’ in many ways at present…Is a constant trouble to everybody and is always in some scrape or other. He cannot be trusted to behave himself anywhere.” said of Winston Churchill
He will never amount to anything.” said of Albert Einstein 

After receiving these comments on their school reports it would have been easy for these people to have given up on themselves and not gone on to excel in their particular field.

Another person who was given a bad report was John Mark in the Bible. He was given the opportunity to travel with Paul and Barnabas on their very first missionary journey. Yet he didn’t last long; running back home to Jerusalem (Acts 13:13). Reading on in Acts, as Paul and Barnabas began their second missionary journey, John Mark became a source of sharp contention between the two. Barnabas was determined to give John Mark another chance, but Paul didn’t want to waste time on someone who had proven himself a deserter (Acts 15:36-40).

That’s a pretty damning judgment to have on your ‘school report’. Was that the end for John Mark? Had he given up on himself? Apparently not! Later John Mark becomes part of Paul’s ministry team. Paul mentions him by name as being present with him (Colossians 4:10), and he was regarded as a ‘son’ in the faith by Peter (1 Peter 5:13). When Paul wrote his final letter from prison before being executed, he called for John Mark who he said was very useful to him for ministry (2 Timothy 4:11).

John Mark was indeed a profitable servant, going on to write one of the four gospels about the life of Jesus Christ. An important lesson from Mark’s life is that if you’ve failed before and you are given a bad report, don’t give up on yourself. God uses imperfect people like John Mark, and like you and me. Don’t quit because of past failures, thinking you will never amount to anything. Be encouraged, with God’s help you too can be profitable in ministry.

Prayer
Father, thank you that you never give up on us and that you use us despite our failures. Help us never to give up on ourselves as we seek to be profitable servants in your service.
Amen

Study by Barry Robinson

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About the Author:
Barry Robinson is an Elder and pastoral worker in the Greater London area, particularly the Camberwell and North London congregations of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Camberwell
The Salvation Army Hall
105 Lomond Grove
Camberwell
LONDON SE5 7HN

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11 am

Local Congregational Contact:
Barry Robinson
Email: barry_robinson@wcg.org.uk

 Summer Educational Programme Today is the first day of activities at S.E.P., which is a two-week summer activity camp that takes place on the bank of Loch Lomond, Scotland. It is sponsored and run by the Worldwide Church of God UK, a part of Grace Communion International. The camp is Christian in ethos but accepts campers from all denominations and faiths. For more information about S.E.P. visit www.sepuk.org

You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

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