Wednesday, March 9, 2011

~ "Thanks for sharing..."

Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints. (Philemon 1:7)

Paul reflected on Philemon's kindness, love and comfort. He had opened his heart and his home to the church.

We, too, should be as Philemon. We should share what we have (even if it's not a lot) with our fellow Christians. We should encourage one another. We should open our hearts and our doors to those around us. We should lift each other up in moments of darkness and share in each others joys!

Sometimes, we become hesitant to reach out to others because of the past (either ours or theirs). Knowing that our great heavenly Father forgives all who ask should be reason enough to offer the same forgiveness to those around us. "But what about those who continually harm us? Do we forgive them and allow them to continue to hurt us?" Yes, we do. We are commanded to forgive 70 times 7 (490 if you want to be specific) - that's a lot of forgiving! Sometimes the person asking for forgiveness needs to see that there are no conditions placed on it other than the promise to try and "sin no more".

We go through life with the mentality of "fool me once - shame on you, fool me twice - shame on me". Imagine if God felt that way about us! Many of us wouldn't stand a chance!

Philemon's generosity and love was the purest gesture of love we can hope to achieve. Open your heart to others, open your door to those in need. Don't take the attitude "it's mine - I've earned it - let them go earn theirs". Give as little or as much as you can. Don't be afraid to give someone the shirt off your back - it's been my experience that when I give my shirt, the Lord gives me a coat! Let God's blessings fall down on you like the rain during a storm. Know that in that "rain" there is power! Power to nourish, power to cleanse and power to grow!