by Harvey Porter
“May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me; he was not ashamed of my chains, but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me eagerly and found me — may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that Day — and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus” (2 Timothy 1:16-18).
“Onesiphorus” means “profit bringer” in Greek. He was a dear friend of Paul’s and is mentioned twice in this last of all of Paul’s epistles. We learn several things about him that would be profitable for each of us to possess in order that we too might be “profit bringers.”
He was loyal. Paul was greatly disappointed that “… all who are in Asia turned away from me, and among them Phygelus and Hermogenes” (2 Timothy 1:15). But Onesiphorus did not turn away. One of the great needs for the people of the Lord today is loyalty. Loyalty to the church, to the Word, to the Lord is hard to find in the lives of many today.
“For he often refreshed me,” Paul wrote. All of us like to see people come into our lives who “often refresh” us. We all see enough who complain, gripe, and talk down the church and life. Determine to be like this good saint and spend some time refreshing the hearts and lives of others.
Onesiphorus was not ashamed of Paul’s chains. Are we ashamed of the church, of Jesus, of Christianity? Many are! Many do not stand up to defend or to be counted with those who are suffering for the Lord. There are “fair weather friends” in all walks of life.
“He searched for me eagerly and found me.” Many give up too soon in the work of the Lord. Every good work requires time and effort. Some Christians salve the conscience by saying, “Well, I tried.” But did you try hard enough? Let us not be guilty of giving up too soon. “Be thou faithful unto death…” (Revelation 2:10).
“You well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus.” It is still true today. There are those in any congregation who are known as the workers. They come to all the services, they prepare food, they visit, they teach classes, they do personal work, they send cards, they encourage, they are busy with the Lord’s work as much as their own. For them, Jesus comes first!
Paul prayed, “May the Lord grant him to find mercy … on that Day.” Few of us would think that the Lord would deny mercy on the Judgment Day to a person like this. Let us, too, seek to be in the company of Onesiphorus to receive riches of mercy on that great day!
Thanks to The Voice of Truth International, Vol 48, pages 86-87
by Harvey Porter