William did an amazing thing this past Christmas. The eleven-year old son of Cindy and David carefully selected each Christmas gift for his parents and his older brother, Walt. The dynamics of this family are not unusual. The oldest son has close ties to his dad while the youngest is close to his mother. That is why William’s gift was so special. William desired to have a better relationship with his father. So he wrote David a touching letter that pointed out his own understanding of why their relationship was weak. Then he mentioned his desire to be close to his father. Inside the letter was $10 William gave to his dad to purchase a fishing pole so they could go spend time together as father and son—fishing.
Philemon 20,21--Yes, brother, may I have joy from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ. Since I am confident of your obedience, I am writing to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say.
The Apostle Paul evidently led a runaway slave named Onesimus to Jesus. Through Paul’s mentorship, Onesimus grew to become a wonderful disciple and close “son” to the elderly saint. But Paul knew that Onesimus belonged to Philemon, a slave owner who had also become a Christian. Sensitive toward doing the right thing, Paul sent the young slave back to his master with a personal letter. In the meditation above, the context of the request is that Philemon would do the right thing by granting Onesimus freedom and sending him back to Paul who earnestly desired his help in furthering the gospel.
The hallmark of followers of Jesus is sensitivity. The Holy Spirit works within our conscience through His quiet but firm voice, leading us in how we should treat people. Cindy was my high school classmate in the Philippines. She shared with me how William’s letter and the ten-dollar bill are framed on a wall in their home as a reminder to his dad of his son’s love. Paul was an amazingly discerning man—careful not to offend others and to build up those around him. Both are good examples for us. Brothers and sisters, we must be careful that we do not become so focused on our reputation, rights and needs that we become insensitive to those around us. Look for opportunities to bless people, especially those with whom you struggle. Be sensitive. By doing so, you reveal love—the kind that originates in heaven. For God was so sensitive to us in our rebellious condition, that He sacrificed His own Son to give us a Savior. Something to think about . . . in reveration!
The Holy Spirit makes us sensitive to things we never thought of before. Never object to the intense sensitiveness of the Holy Spirit in you when He is educating you down to the scruple; and never discard a conviction. If it is important enough for the Holy Spirit to have brought it to your mind, that is the thing He is detecting.—Oswald Chambers in Studies in the Sermon on the Mount
©2006 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)