Joy In The Work Of Another

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Daily God Walk For Monday, February 11, 2013

I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints. – Philemon 1:6-7

My six year old granddaughter gave me a birthday card this year. She had madeit herself. It read, “Hape burf day pape.” Did you notice any misspelled words? Ididn’t! all I saw was a child trying to express her love, and she succeeded. When I saw the work of her own hands great joy welled up inside of me. I was proud of that birthday card. She had given me a card, but the gift I received was great joy. I think that is what Paul was trying to convey in this passage.

I have many sons and daughters in the gospel and when I see them my heart is made glad because of how they are serving God. Paul says of his friend Philemon, “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement.” It is truly a joy to watch someone with whom you have had influence come to the Lord and begin to grow and develop.

Here is an interesting insight. The word used for joy in this passage is charis.. Charis is sometimes translated grace, a gift, or favor and, as in this passage, joy. The nuanced inflection is that this joy is a gift. Paul seems to be saying that he had invested in Plilemon, and the response of Philemon was to encourage other believers. Paul received the gift of joy in this transaction..

God has called every one of us to invest our lives in the lives of others. Every kind deed, every encouragement, and yes, even every dollar invested in another person is returned many times over in the joy of watching them grow and mature.

Prayer: Lord, there is joy in accomplishing good works myself, but grant me the grace to be joyful over the accomplishments of others. Grant me the grace to invest my life in others, and the wisdom to know who to invest in. In Jesus name, amen.

PS: What thoughts did this devotion bring to your mind? I would very much enjoy reading your comments. Please let us know what you are thinking – write your comment in the comments box. Thanks.

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Paul ”Hope Preacher” Smith

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