The New Testament book, Philemon, is a book that is written by Paul to Philemon concerning a slave named, Onesimus. The book of Philemon consists of only twenty-five verses. It is interesting to note that the man, Philemon, was renowned for his ministry of refreshing. The word “refreshing” has the idea of “rest” and “restoration”. In verse 20, Paul writes, “Refresh my heart in Christ”. Paul’s refreshing from Philemon was based on Philemon receiving, giving freedom to and ministering to Onesimus.
Let us think about the words, “Refresh my heart in Christ”. How can we refresh our hearts, our spirit? What are you doing to receive refreshment in Christ? Our need for spiritual refreshing can be compared to our need for spring after a hard winter. During the winter months, the weather is cold, brutal, icy, snowy and rainy. During the winter months of our spiritual journey, we can find ourselves lacking spiritually.
Spring is a time for newness, a time for a new kind of weather, new colors and even a new outlook. Let’s consider ways that we can “refresh our spirit”, so that we can experience a time of newness in our lives.
-We should understand that we need Jesus. He is holy and we are sinners. When we are faithful to acknowledge our sinfulness to God, we are able to receive forgiveness and restoration.
-We should be mindful of the words we speak. The spoken word is powerful. Our instinct is too often to speak of everything we know. Talking too much, too quick and too cleverly is destructive to the spirit. When we speak, let us follow the instruction of the Psalmist, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).
-We should prepare for each day. We need to be mindful that our days are with purpose. God has a plan and purpose for each of us. Therefore, we should prepare to spend time in His Word, in prayer and in service for Him. We should also prepare to take time to bless those around us.
-We should put our hands to work. We should participate in the common chores around the house. Embrace the simple things in life by taking out the garbage, washing the dishes, working in the flower beds, mowing the lawn, etc. In doing such work, we are able to embrace genuine humility.
-We should get rest. Take time to enjoy your journey. Rather than having every minute planned, give yourself a break. Take a trip, go for a walk, go fishing, go to the park—get some rest. When we are rested, we can be much more attentive in the presence of God.
As we seek to be “refreshed”, take note of the newness of spring in your life. Refresh your heart in Christ!