Friday, March 18, 2011


I am trying to memorize a large section of verses right now - at least it is large to me. I am working on memorizing II Timothy 3:16 - II Timothy 4:8. Again, that might mot be much for some of you but for an old guy like me it is tough to get it to stick in my Teflon coated brain.

This morning as I am reading these verses and trying to recite them back to myself I am drawn to another verse on the opposite page. It was almost as if it were saying "Look over here!" "Look at me right now!" so I did. Here is what jumped off of the page at me:
II Timothy 1: 16 - 18 - 16 May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. 17 On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. 18 May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus.
The first thing that spoke to me in these verses is that Paul allowed someone to minister to him. Many times we are too prideful or to macho (men) to allow someone to step in and refresh us. We too can be in chains, not literal chains but spiritual chains. We can get chained to a number of issues that take us out of the race. We can get chained to lust, to compliments, to pride, to laziness, to a whole host of things that can keep us from doing what God called us to do. How many times have we refused allow someone to refresh us? How many times have we been so out of it that we did not even realize we needed to be refreshed? We need to allow Onesiphorus to refresh us from time to time.

Second, Onesiphorus was not ashamed of Paul's situation. Onesiphorus was not afraid to get his hands dirty - literally and figuratively. Prison was not the place to be back in Paul's day. He did not get three square meals a day and have access to a law library and a workout facility. The conditions were deplorable at best. Typically Roman prisons were simply a holding tank where the condemned were stored until they could be executed. Imagine the conditions, the smells, the sounds. Paul was coming to the end of his life and he knew it. I wonder if anyone saw Onesiphorus and said "Hey, you are one of Paul's followers aren't you!" or "Hey, you better be careful associating with Paul or you may end up in the same situation!" Similar to what they said to Peter when he denied Christ. It does not appear that he really cared about that or shied away from being associated with a condemned death row inmate.

Not only was Onesiphorus not ashamed but he actually searched for Paul, which leads me to my third point. How often do we look for the outcast, the folks who are struggling. How often do we reach out to or search for the guy who was at the top of his game at one point but now drugs and alcohol have taken his to a very dark place. How often do we search for the woman who is dealing with depression and has found herself in a very dark place. When is the last time we searched for someone who was in desperate need of help and refreshed them.

Opportunities to refresh are everywhere, are we looking?


  1. Thank you for ministering to me today! Such truth in what you said. We don't allow others to minister to us, for fear we will look weak or have to be vulnerable. I liked the word refresh vs the one I normally use; encourage. I wrote on encouraging others today. I see a theme :)

    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

  2. Mel, Thanks for your comments. The fear of looking weak is something we all struggle with. We do not want people to think badly about us. We have to appear strong even when our lives are in complete disarray. Thanks for stopping by. Lamar