14 June 2012

To Be a Better Friend

May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains, but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me. 2 Tim. 1:16-17

Dear Lord Jesus,
Onesiphorus is just one of many of my brothers and sisters I’ll have to wait till heaven to meet. Knowing you places us in a most amazing family, and like every other family, it’s a broken family filled with broken people; but like no other family, it’s a family with a guaranteed future of whole people and perfect relationships beyond all imaginings (1 Cor. 2:9).

We praise you for paying the supreme price of your life to secure such an glorious forever for us. Until that Day, may the gospel make me much more of a friend like Onesiphorus. Though his name literally means “bringing profit,” he didn’t have to live that way.

Like any of us, he could have been too busy to care—so preoccupied with good things that the best things were left undone. He could have lived a driven life instead of a called life. He could have “given at the office,” but stayed committed to a life of personal peace and affluence—a life of being isolated and not bothered by the needs of others. But instead he was a source of refreshment, and according to Paul, he worked hard at it.

Jesus, make me a much more refreshing person. Fill my heart with your mercy. Give me gospel eyes to see others as you see them. Sensitize my spirit with your Spirit. Free me from working hard just to get my to-do list done, that I might work hard at bringing refreshment and encouragement to others. Forgive me when I get too busy to care about anything more than me.

Lord Jesus, help me aware today of those who simply need a call, to be checked in on, to be remembered. Who needs some reason to hope, motivation to get out of bed, convincing that life is even worth living? It may be at the price of an airline ticket to find them. It may simply be a walk across the street, a drive across town, a face-to-face visit—some small thing that will bring a profit beyond my imagining.

Jesus, you searched hard to find us, and you did. You’ve broken our chains and you’ve borne our shame. May I offer a refreshing taste of your kindness to others today, no matter what their chains are. The only thing that counts today, or any day, is faith expressing itself in love. So very Amen I pray, in your loving and liberating name. - Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is Founding Pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, TN and a Council member with The Gospel Coalition

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