Posts Tagged ‘Pray’

I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people. Philemon 1:4-7

Philemon,  I have to wonder if it is the least read of all the books of the New Testament.  It is unfortunate because it contains one of the most beautiful stories of redemption and reconciliation ever.  The story centers around three men, Paul the Apostle, Onesimus the slave and our subject today Philemon.  Philemon was a leader of the church that met in his home.  This was typical of the early church.  He was also a slave owner, specifically he owned a slave named Onesimus.

Strangely enough we are not going to focus on the theme of the letter, instead we are going to take a quick look at the man and the qualities that I find qualify him as a hupomone man.

People pray for him – Specifically in this case Paul.  However if the Apostle Paul remembered Philemon in his prayers I choose to assume that others were also. A true hupmone man inspires prayer by the example that he leads.

Paul’s words are very specific here.  “I always thank God AS I remember you…”  We might make the mistake of thinking that Paul here is referring to a prayer of thanksgiving for this wonderful man of God.  There would be nothing wrong with this but it is not what he is saying.  Paul is praying for Philemon as he continues his hupomone ministry in Colosse.

The placement of this phrase immediately following the greeting speaks of the importance that he knows Philemon places on this subject.  The hupomone man values prayer.  He values a life of constant communication with God (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and in this particular case he values the prayers of others on his behalf.

People talk about him – People talk about the hupomone man.  They don’t talk about the amazing “things” he has accomplished.  They don’t talk about all the books he has written.  They don’t even talk about the incredible ministry that he has built.  “I hear about your love for God’s holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus…”  They talk about his love for people and his faith in Jesus.  Now don’t get me wrong all of the hupomone men that we have discussed over the last few years in this blog were men of action, but it is the heart and soul that defines hupomone, not the results of that heart and soul.

He is willing to collaborate – Partnership comes naturally to the hupomone man. I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. The Holy Spirit cultivates collaboration among God’s people, very often among people very dissimilar or with competing priorities.  Consider the struggles of Paul and Barnabas, the motley crew of the twelve disciples.  Jonathon’s future clashed directly with the anointing on David.  The spies at Jericho and Rahab had so little in common yet together they brought down a city and brought forth the Messiah!  These collaborations serve to deepen our understanding of the faith.

He cultivates joy and encouragement – If the joy of the Lord is his strength, the hupomone man likes to spread his strength around. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement. It is the essence of the Holy Spirit flowing out of him to those around that extinguishes fear with encouragement that is not tied to circumstances but to the source of all hupomone, God Himself.

He refreshes – The word that Paul uses here is the same word that is used to quote Jesus when he said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28.  The hupomone man is quite simply allowing the very basic qualities of his Lord and Savior flow out of him.  He calls out to those around him to cease their futile labors. Anapaow is an emphasized form of the Greek word for pause.  Literally it is an “up pause”.  The presence of a hupomone man brings “up pause”.

Paul gives us a snapshot of the hupomone man.  It is the mirror for Philemon to look into as he stepped into a personal and cultural challenge.  Onesimus, his slave/property had run away.  Potentially he had stolen from Philemon as well.  Somehow this run-away slave met up with Paul in Rome.  Onesimus became a brother in the faith and told Paul what had occurred.  Paul sent Onesimus back to Philemon instigating a journey in faith and hupomone living for both of them.  Scripture leaves us to our own interpretation of the outcome of the journey, but church tradition tells us that some years later Philemon and Onesimus are martyred side by side proclaiming the Gospel message and establishing them both as hupomone men.

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1 Chronicles 28:20
Then David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and courageous, and act ; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you until all the work for the service of the house of the LORD is finished.

 

God is moving in the lives of the Guidry Family!  Allana is regaining her strength.  God’s healing touch has been so apparent in this process.  Even as the little things come and go attempting to distract us from His Call on our lives the Holy Spirit speaks in so many ways.  We are on the brink of big changes.  Being the A type personality that I am, I would much prefer to plan out and know exactly what those changes will entail but I have found that this is not God’s plan for my life.

Solomon was also facing big changes.  David was nearing the end of his life.  One might think that Solomon was super excited about becoming king…maybe you should go back and read about the events that occurred throughout his childhood.  On top of the great responsibility (and danger) that came with being King of Israel, his father was publicly saddling him with the monumental task of building the Temple, complete with design plans direct from God.  God was moving in Solomon’s life.  David knew the waves that are created when God moves and so he gives this fatherly advice to his son, “Be strong and courageous, and act; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD God, my God is with you.  He will not fail you nor forsake you until all the work for the service of the house of the LORD is finished.”

Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians that we are the Temple of the Holy Spirit.  Just as the word of the Lord to David gave Solomon the blueprint, the guide to building His temple, Scripture provides us the guide for the work that He has given us.  “Be strong and courageous”, why do we need this advice?  Because though we have the guide the details and the work in progress.  The storms of life, the shortages of supplies, the delays, as Solomon performed his service of the house of the Lord I am sure that he experienced all of these. “for the LORD God, my God is with you.  He will not fail you nor forsake you…”  This is the assurance of success.  This is the assurance that ” I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 1:6)

Pray for us.

God is moving.  The path He is moving us on is not entirely clear yet but he has been calling us to specifically to Strength and Courage and to the service of His House.  We are so blessed by all of you who have supported us in so many ways.  As God moves His ministry for us forward we look forward to partnering with all of you until “the service of the house of the LORD is finished.”

Blessings,

Sam

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This is our first Newsletter since the closing of The Lewis House.  Below is a link to the PDF version with live links for donations and contacts.

GuidryOH4-14

 

GuidryOH4-14AGuidryOH4-14B

 

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