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A Special Reward for Service (2 Tim. 1:16-18)

WONDERFUL THING IN THIS PASSAGE – God is full of mercy and blessing for those who don’t deserve it. He is most often good to us for no reason in us – the explanation for His grace is all in Him. He will be praised forever for that!

There are, however, times when His blessing of us is because of something we’ve done. When we see those “becauses” in Scripture, we want (or should want) to do more of that. Here’s a “because” that’s mentioned often:

“May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he diligently searched for me and found me. May the Lord grant that he obtain mercy from Him on that day” (2 Tim. 1:16-18).

Paul prayed and expected the Lord to give special blessing to Onesiphorus and his family because of how this godly man had blessed him. While most other “friends” were distancing themselves from Paul the condemned criminal, this true friend was scouring the imperial prison system to locate him.

After he found him, he did everything he could to “refresh” him. This vivid Greek word literally means “to cool off again.” It carries the idea of fanning cool air on someone who is feverish or overheated. That’s what each of Onesiphorus’s visits felt like to the elder apostle in his dungeon.

WONDERFUL THING IN LIFE – Jesus takes it very personally when we serve fellow believers in need:

“The King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me; I was in prison and you visited me.’” And when they protest that they never did any of that for their Master, He’ll answer, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matt. 25:34-40)

God will reward you for your ministry to His people. “For God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you demonstrated for his name by serving the saints – and by continuing to serve them” (Heb. 6:10). Keep up the good work, my friends. As the angel told Cornelius: “Your acts of charity have been remembered in God’s sight” (Acts 10:31).

God will reward those who’ve blessed you, especially if you ask Him to. There have been times you really needed “refreshing,” and they’ve shown up. Call them to mind. Call their names to God in prayer. You’ll be humbled to find the list much longer than you would have thought, and you’ll be filled with gratitude to God and to these He has sent your way.

Then, maybe you’ll want to call some of them – that would be a reward in itself.

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