Double The Refreshment: Philemon 4-7

January 15th, 2010

By Patti Gibbons  As I write, the Easter season marathon has just ended; the most joyful of holy days, the lynch-pin remembrance of the Christian faith.  I have no doubt that we all marked the day with worship and family, and probably some excellent food. Just as surely, I have no doubt that we're tired this week – perhaps both exhilarated and exhausted.

Special events, extra services, experiences of the way of the cross, each and every one crafted so carefully to help communicate the momentous, history-changing moment when it was realized that the tomb was empty.  It took time for the news to ripple out, washing over those closest to Jesus, and eventually reaching us.  We want for it to reach the students, families, communities we're called to – that helps us keep going when the exhaustion seems like it's winning.

I want to pause here and repeat to you a very important message Paul sent to a friend named Philemon, but it's for you, too. Ready?

I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.

The care and creativity you apply to your ministry – that you apply to actively sharing your faith – makes a difference.  Not only does it reach new people with the transforming message of Jesus Christ, risen and alive, but, it refreshes the hearts of those who already knew. It also refreshes you.  Sit with that for a bit, rest in it, and be refreshed by the great joy and encouragement you have given to our Savior as you've shared his story.  Be refreshed.


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