Tuesday – Philemon 1: 4-7
I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.
Paul immediately praises Philemon for his love and faith. He commends him because of not only the personal benefits it must have for Philemon, but for the things it does for others as well. Paul was so joyful when he thought about the change and story Philemon had to share. He went from this wealthy and prominent man in the city of Colossae, and now was being described as worker for Christ. His life, his values, his passion, and his heart had been changing because of the gospel.
One thing we forget when it comes to God’s work in our life is just how encouraging it can be to those around us, when we decide to let go and serve God. When we do it modestly, and with humility, people see us changing and serving and they are encouraged as well. Paul was encouraged just hearing about how much Philemon was changing. Paul felt a great joy knowing how much Philemon was coming along. Others had as well – they were “refreshed” by his change.
Sometimes, because we’re embarrassed or ashamed, we don’t want people to know what God is doing. We don’t want to share that He is moving in our lives and making changes in us. However, all we’re really doing is depriving those around us of the joy and celebration that comes in God’s victory in our life. We keep people out and they never get to laugh with us, praise with us, and share in our growth.
Paul loved this guy because everyone knew about his, he was one of the rich people. But as the gospel made changes in his heart, people saw him changing and as he had small victories, others were able to rejoice, and celebrate with him. They were refreshed in it.
Are you celebrating God’s work in your life? Are you letting others see His victories in you, so that all those around you can have joy and refreshment from your faith? Or, are you keeping it all to yourself, hiding the work of God? He wants us to share, he wants us to celebrate, he wants our faith to encourage those around us to press on and move forward. God is working in the hearts of men, we just need to be bold enough to show it.