Every time your name comes up in my prayers, I say, “Oh, thank you, God!” I keep hearing of the love and faith you have for the Master Jesus, which brims over to other believers. And I keep praying that this faith we hold in common keeps showing up in the good things we do, and that people recognize Christ in all of it. Friend, you have no idea how good your love makes me feel, doubly so when I see your hospitality to fellow believers. Philemon 1:4-7
Here Paul is writing to Philemon and to the church that meets in his home. Paul is in prison when he writes this, and it’s great to see that even though his circumstances are bleak, chained up for the Gospel, he obviously is still filled with a joy that can only come from God.
Wouldn’t you want to be like the people Paul is writing about here. Whenever someone prays for you they say, “Oh thank you God!” And where you are bearing so much fruit in your ministry that word is getting around that that the Love and faith you have for Jesus is brimming over to other believers.
I also love to see here that Paul has been so blessed by there Love and there hospitality to other believers. That’s the kind of reputation you want. Proverbs says that “a good reputation is better than stored up riches.”
I was thinking the other day, that all of my years in church life, I have really looked up to my leaders and tried to bless them. I have always had a healthy respect for Pastors and the responsibility they have on their shoulders, and I have tried to be a help rather than a hindrance. I hope that anyone who has pastored me in the past can speak of me like Paul spoke of Philemon and his church.
I heard of a book recently called “Jesus in the margins.” It talks about how there are lots of people in the margins of our lives who we are called to minister to but we overlook them in our busyness. Here at New Hope I hope we are always being a blessing to people, in and outside of the margins, whether people can see us blessing them or not. We need to keep showing hospitality, and serving with all of our hearts.
Sadly, you come across people in churches who always have a problem with something. Phillip Yancey calls them “grace growers.” We need to handle them well. And if we look at it the right way it can be an opportunity for us to develop our character.
Lord, Help me make each day count for you. Anoint me with your Holy Spirit to reach out to whoever you call me to, in and outside of the margins. Amen.