It takes an Onesiphorus to reach the world

Barringer black and white against the green wall

Thoughts from my devos to day…I thought I’d share some ramblings…

I judge all names on how they would look on sports jerseys.  I know it’s weird, but I follow that thought up with how the name sounds from an announcer calling out the name on a huge play during a game.

I’m not sure if Onesiphorus (oh – neh – see – fuh – ruhs) would fit on a sports jersey, let alone, be pronounceable for the average sports announcer. But this man-made a profound impact on the Apostle Paul. This morning, Onesiphorus made a profound impact on me.

16 May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains, 17 but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me— 18 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


1 – “often refreshed me” The word “refreshed” means to recover breath.

2 – “was not ashamed of my chains” Why is this important?  Because it hints that, not only were others ashamed, Onesiphorus seems to be the only one what wasn’t.

3 – “he searched for me earnestly and found me” The fact that Paul was in jail didn’t deter Onesiphorus.

4 – “all the service he rendered” Onesiphorus wasn’t content or complacent. He served.

My simple reading through 2 Timothy gave me some simple observations that will help equip you to reach the world around you.  (When I say “world,” I speak of your sphere of influence that you are surrounded by every day.)

Are we people who are considered “refreshing”? Do we tire people out with our gossip and slander? Do people hear nothing but complaining from us? Do people feel drained after a conversation with us?  On a marriage note: Does your spouse look at you as refreshing? Are they excited to come home because it’s “refreshing”?

OR…are they built up? Have they experienced the love of Christ from their interaction with  you? Is there  the character of Christ showing through you? Can people say you were a “breath of fresh air”?

Do we stand in judgement over people’s “chains”? People get enough shame from others, the enemy, and themselves. They don’t need it from the body of Christ. They need you to see past the “chains,” the things they’re bound by, and they need you to see them the same way Christ sees them.  There needs to be a display of His kindness that leads to repentance. There needs to be a display of the Spirit’s power working through you.  Remember, your chains didn’t stop Christ, they motivated him.

Do you “search” or seek out those that need to be found?  Onesiphorus didn’t allow Paul to just be label as missing or an outcast.  He didn’t just pray.  Onesiphorus put actions (the word earnestly means actively or diligently) to his prayers. Jesus prayed AND reached out.  He sat, had a meal, and spoke of the kingdom of God. Have a resolve to put flesh to the Gospel in your workplace, neighborhood, and family. Show the heart of Christ that earnestly sought you.

Have you taken an opportunity to “serve”? There’s not much known about Onesiphorus. But apparently he was a legend in Ephesus for one reason: he served. It sounds so simple. Do you know why? Because it is that simple. Serving is not complicated. Sometimes it’s helping a fellow employee without them knowing. Perhaps it’s assisting a family on your block that the Lord has laid upon your heart. It isn’t about notoriety. It’s not even about getting them to church. You are the church.  Live to serve someone today.

I don’t know if you got anything from this…but Onesiphorus challenged me today.

And I hope he challenges you too.

Thanks for letting me ramble…

One response to “It takes an Onesiphorus to reach the world”

  1. Love your ramblings. They are wisdom from on High. Yes, the church is NOT at an altar where there are 4 walls surrounding it. (However that can be a place to be renewed and “refreshed”) but then, we are meant to go out, and serve! Love this. Good stuff. Thanks for the reminder. I’m thinking a children’s book is in order here: The adventures of Onesiphorus (an odd kind of dinosaur), who is nearly extinct. LOL Thanks P.D.

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