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Faithful, Not Famous

The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain.—2 TIMOTHY 1:16 KJV

Onesiphorus is mentioned only twice in the Bible. Paul introduces him in his letter to Timothy as a person who went out of his way to refresh and encourage him—a sharp contrast to Phygellus and Hermogenes, who had deserted Paul (2 Timothy 1:15). We might view these fair-weather friends with scorn. But in that volatile political climate, those who associated with the apostle put themselves at risk. After all, the Romans had imprisoned Paul, and they often did not hesitate to jail a convict’s friends.

Onesiphorus, however, did not let that stop him. He not only helped Paul nurture the fledgling church in Ephesus but determined to help and encourage his friend when the Romans imprisoned him. Onesiphorus went to Rome and searched the city until he tracked Paul down and met his needs.

While few Christians in North America languish in prisons because of persecution, many suffer from illnesses and old age, which distance them from the believing community. Fortunately, modern-day encouragers like Onesiphorus seek out these needy Christians with a refreshing ministry that blesses lonely, hurting hearts. Jesus, who commanded His followers to visit the prisoners, honors those who serve shut-ins with love like His.

Lord Jesus, even though my contributions to Your kingdom seem insignificant, You never forget a cup of cold water or a smile given in Your name. Thank You!

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