Every culture has its unique refreshments. God has allowed me to travel to a few different countries, and I’ve been blessed with a palette that enjoys “new” tastes. Some I enjoy a 2nd time, but I’ll try new snacks with a grateful heart.
As Paul expresses his thanksgiving to God in verses 4-7, he testifies that the God-given love Philemon has shown has provided great joy and encouragement. Through his words and actions Philemon had “refreshed the hearts of the saints.”
Now in verse v.20 as he gets to the ‘heart’ of this note, and challenges Philemon to provide more refreshment. “I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ.” What was Paul asking? for 1) obedience; 2) godly conduct; 3) specific action; and 4) deeds not just words. Take up the challenge, Philemon, go forward with Christ and with Onesimus.
It is amazing what little things bring refreshment. A kind comment (on Facebook), a quick email, a hand-drawn picture or painting, some token offered to God that brings encouragement. I’m sure it doesn’t take much to bring discouragement. “The power of life and death is in the tongue,” Proverbs 18:21 reminds us.
Thank you Lord for those whom You have provided in my life who have blessed me in so many ways. Help me to be a “heart-refresher” of others. I may have no formal cardiac training, but I pray this day, my words and needs will make an eternal impact on others.
As the hymnwriter wrote in words of consecration –
“O Jesus, Lord and Saviour,
I give myself to Thee,
For Thou in Thy atonement
Didst give Thyself to me.
I own no other Master,
My heart shall be Thine own,
My life I give, henceforth to live,
O CHRIST, for THEE alone!”