My Onesiphorus

“The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain; but when he arrived in Rome, he sought me out very zealously and found me. The Lord grant to him that he may find mercy from the Lord in that Day—and you know very well how many ways he ministered to me at Ephesus.” 2 Timothy 1: 16-18

The apostle Paul is inarguably among the most influential Christians of all time. A large portion of the New Testament has been attributed to his writings. Paul, who was once known as Saul of Tarsus, was radically and miraculously changed while traveling from Jerusalem on the road to Damascus when Jesus very literally blinded him.

The man he once was, Saul, persecuted and beat Christians, but after his encounter with Jesus he couldn’t be the same. Paul went on to preach the Gospel of Christ with passion and zeal. He testified to kings of what Jesus had done in his life. I imagine people were amazed to witness the man who once sought to destroy the one who carried Christ’s name, now pleading for them to be saved by that very Christ. Paul said of himself in Acts 26: 11 “And I punished them often in every synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities.” But such is God’s ability to completely take charge of even the coldest of hearts. The determination he once knew in persecuting the church took a different direction. Paul now sought to tell people of the redeeming grace that freed him…of the miraculous power that blinded him, yet somehow managed to allow him to truly see.

Certainly Paul never struggled. Certainly he never needed any encouragement. This was Paul! …and yet he did. The Word says that Onesiphorus, a friend of Paul, often refreshed him. In fact Onesiphorus would seek him out, sometimes searching for him until he found him to speak good things to him. The Word doesn’t specify all the many ways that Onesiphorus ministered to him, but by Paul’s thankfulness I would imagine it was more than just a general pat on the back. In reading this my heart became stirred regarding Onesiphorus.

My heart began longing to be that type of encouragement for others who are needing those words of affirmation. There’s much truth to the Word in Proverbs 18:21.. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue..” In a very literal sense it’s awesome for someone notice the good work that you’re doing. Validation is great. When good work is recognized it makes you want to work harder. In the same manner, an individual who is beaten down and told they are worth nothing may not truly attempt to be more than that.

So be someone’s Onesiphorus. Seek someone out to speak life into their hearts. Life is hard. Work is hard. Living, though rewarding…can be troublesome…and like water can quench a dry thirst, your words have the ability to refresh the dry and tired spirit.

I count myself very blessed. I have an Onesiphorus. My best friend is sickeningly sweet. I have told her several times that she is one of the best people I know and I sincerely mean that. She and I have been best friends for many years. In the course of those years she has seen me at my absolute worst. On those days when she knows I’m struggling she will seek me out and find me. We’ll talk it out usually, or she’ll allow me to talk it out, and then she refreshes my spirit. It’s a very natural thing for her to do because her walk with the Lord is revealed in her words and her actions. I can’t help but be refreshed when I’ve spent time with her.

Onesiphorus wasn’t ashamed of Paul’s chains. I’m not certain what those chains were, but they bound him evidently. Personally, my chain is depression. I battle it and it’s struggle’s make me tired. My best friend is always quick to remind me that the depression will pass and I will again feel like myself, but more than that, she calls my name before the Lord in prayer. She reminds me of Christ’s faithfulness to see me through the uncertain times.

We all go through times where we question life. Things change and chains are formed. At times the chains we wear are only visible by those who are closest to us, and at other times those chains can be seen by everyone in our world. Paul said Onesiphorus could see the chains that bound Paul and he didn’t care. He wasn’t ashamed of the hard times. When other might have turned their back on Paul he sought them out. Onesiphorus wasn’t ashamed of those hard places in life. In prayer to God Paul said.. “You know very well how many ways he ministered to me while in Ephesus.” Paul’s stay in Ephesus was a trying one. Because of his belief and unbridled passion for preaching the Word of God Paul was imprisoned at least once in Ephesus. It was a profitable time for Paul because of the vast opportunities he had to spread God’s Word, but it was a hard time. Ephesus drained him. And even in this hard time, Onesiphorus ministered to Paul.

I want to be like Onesiphorus. I want to be an encouragement to others. I want the words I speak to others to point to the Savior that can truly refresh a broken spirit. I want to be the one who walks a little farther to reach the hurting heart that needs to be reminded of God’s healing. I remember the Onesiphorus in my life. Onesiphorus’ name literally means ‘Profit Bearer’. Indeed these people are such a great profit to have. The Onesiphorus’ that stayed when others left, the ones that made a point to remind you of a great Savior who’s made provision for a great future.

So Father, would you please bless my Onesiphorus, please be a fence and shield of protection in their life. Please allow me the opportunity to bless them in times of need. More importantly, let me remind them of how great you are.

Author: Britney Wilkes
Copyright © 2010-2013 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved

Published in: on January 21, 2013 at 6:33 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Love it! Thanks for sharing today. I have been meaning to read this since I saw you post it but it was definitely meant to be seen today! =)

  2. You are Onesiphorus to many of us who read and pray over these devotions. We gain strength, knowledge, comfort and yes, a pat on the back at times through the words on this page. Thank-you and God bless.

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