Summary: Imitate the heart of Onesiphorus and be a refreshment to the saints!
IMITATING THE HEART OF ONESIPHORUS
There are not many scriptures that talk about Onesiphorus but those that do speak loudly about the man. Turn over to 2 Tim 1:1-18.
2 Tim 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, 2 Tim 1:2 To Timothy, my dear son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
2 Tim 1:3 I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.
2 Tim 1:4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy.
2 Tim 1:5 I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 2 Tim 1:6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 2 Tim 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
2 Tim 1:8 So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God,
2 Tim 1:9 who has saved us and called us to a holy life--not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 2 Tim 1:10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
2 Tim 1:11 And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. 2 Tim 1:12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. 2 Tim 1:13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 2 Tim 1:14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you--guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. 2 Tim 1:15 You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes. 2 Tim 1:16 May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. 2 Tim 1:17 On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. 2 Tim 1:18 May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus.
The ministry is demanding. Emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically. As we look at a time in Pauls life he was going through it. He was a prisoner. He was suffering. He’s in chains for the gospel. He’s also been deserted by two brothers, Phygelus and Hermogenes. He’s feeling the emotional strain of having disciples ashamed of him and would not even associate with him.
IN STEPS ONESIPHORUS (Look at his heart!)
He often refreshed Paul! Oh, how wonderful it must have been for Paul to have someone care enough to come and bring refreshment!! (Prov 11:25 A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.) Maybe he shared an encouraging word from brothers and sisters who cared and were doing well spiritually. Maybe he shared some good news from Gods word. Maybe they sang together. Whatever it was it was refreshing to Paul! Oh, we need more saints to bring refreshment to one another in the church instead of the gossip and meaningless talk that occurs so often.
Not ashamed of Paul’s condition. He wasn’t ashamed. Ever felt ashamed when your with someone and they share their faith. Ever felt a little embarrassed? While others felt that way about Paul not Onesiphorus. He wanted to be with him. To help him. Others went down as deserters but not him. He was there for Paul and dug deep to take care of him. He risked his own life, his own freedom to meet the needs of a brother. It must have hurt Paul deeply to have some of his brothers ashamed to even be around him, but not this brother. He didn’t care about the chains! That was his brother! Praise God!!
Searched hard to find him (didn’t give up). What a spirit! He didn’t throw in the towel just because he had looked in a few jails and didn’t find him. The Roman prison system was not an easy place to find criminals. Easy to get lost in some dungeon somewhere and not be heard of again. He kept at it determined to find this man of God. You can hear him praying, God help me to find Paul. And God answered his prayer because he had the same spirit of the widow who kept praying and didn’t give up.