Today’s Scripture: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. 2 Timothy 4:10-11 

Churches tend to attract people who need help. Some might put on a good show, but they might be really broken. Church people are taught to be kind. Often the true nature of these people isn’t found out until they go through hardships, and they act in an ungodly manner. It is frustrating to see this because, by that point, you’ve invested so much time into them.

A couple started attending a church on the west coast. The woman could sing and play the piano and the man had a great singing voice. The church was happy to have them help in different areas. The man mentioned he had a prison record. He had gotten saved in prison and dedicated his life to the Lord.

After a few months, the pastor found out the man was trying to have the church board give him money so he could start his own ministry. The pastor suggested he become a member first and put the proposed new outreach on hold. The man became angry. He wrote terrible reviews of the church and the pastor on social media.

The pastor and the church had accepted this man in good faith in spite of his prison record, and yet, in time he showed his true colors. During these times, we need to understand God is doing some weeding. Thankfully, there are also people who, when they go through trials, show their desire to serve God. They are the ones who are a delight to shepherd. One thing for sure, it won’t be until your people go through difficulties that you will see where they are in their walk with Christ.

Maybe there are some people in your church right now who aren’t living as they ought. They don’t want to follow the Word of God, and they are instigating trouble. Say the words that need to be said from the pulpit. Talk to the troublemakers. Be kind but make your position clear. Don’t allow dissension in your church. Instead, allow God to purify it.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder