2 Timothy 1:16,17-- May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he diligently searched for me and found me.
Almost nobody wants to be in the company of a loser. Clearly prisoners would constitute a class of society that many would gladly avoid altogether. If a person is behind bars the natural inference is that he or she is for whatever reason a failure, a lawbreaker, or person not to be trusted. But what if God put you behind bars? What if He loved so much those people unloved that He made you His Cell Ambassador?
My good friend, Andre has languished in prison in his home country for three years. Prior to his arrest he was a counselor to the President of his nation and a very successful pastor. So imagine his pain when he was tried and convicted for a business mistake and thrown behind bars. Away from his wife and children, his friends and coworkers, if anyone had the right to be bitter it would be this tall, winsome saint. But Andre is not bitter. He is lonely, hurting, often discouraged and so ready to be free. He is also sharing Christ with his fellow prisoners, training them in how to be followers of Jesus and maximizing his time as a convict to model holiness and humility. He chose to be like Paul and praise the Lord in prison.
I can think of times in my crazy busyness when I was lonely and I wished someone would diligently search for me; for someone to make the time and effort to be an encouragement. I’ve never been in chains. My life is exceedingly blessed. Yet if I could in some tiny way feel this way I can only imagine what Paul and now Andre have felt. So I don’t want to just lift his need before God. I want to be a blessing to him.
How about you? Have you ever had times when you longed to be refreshed? If that is the case, may I pray for you. “Lord, please bring an Onesiphorus to remind my friend how important she is! Bring an Onesiphorus to let him know that he matters and that You love him. Let her be encouraged, let him be warmed beyond measure because You eternally care.”
To refresh the hearts of the saints is the kind of ministry which everyone can fulfil and which can reach everywhere. In the valuation of God it is without price.—Watchman Nee in Love not the World
©2013 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)