I consider verse 11 one of the saddest verses in Paul’s writings. The Apostle Paul writes this letter from jail at the end of his life, knowing he will soon die a martyr’s death. After a sacrificial lifetime of planting churches, ordaining elders, shepherding countless people, and numerous beatings because of his relationship to Christ, he writes, “Only Luke is with me.” Where was the dad whose son Paul led to Christ? Where were all of the people who sat under his preaching and teaching? Paul was not berating these people or asking for personal attention. But the personal pain of loneliness is implied. In verse 18 Paul puts the pain of ministry in perspective for me:

The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Visit www.markinc.org to respond and to read Ten Wrong Reasons to Leave Your Church as well as Ten Right Reasons to Leave Your Church.

Dr. Chuck Betters has been the Senior Pastor of Glasgow Reformed Presbyterian Church in Bear, Delaware since 1986. He has a daily radio program, airing since 1994, In His Grip, which can be accessed online at www.markinc.org. He can be seen live via streaming video very Sunday at 11:00 AM ET. Visit www.GRPC.org. Along with the development of numerous audio and video resources designed to help heal broken hearts, he is co-author of Treasures of Faith, Living Boldly in View of God’s Promises, a Bible study of Hebrews 11. To order these resources visit www.markinc.org.