Thomas A’Kempis once said, “I’d rather be able to demonstrate love than know how to define it.” Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love one to another.” When agape love is truly working in our lives, its effect within the body of Christ will be that of refreshment.
Three Greek words translated into the English “refresh” in some form also carry the idea of “to be eased; given rest; relieved”. The apostle Paul repeatedly acknowledged the outcome of being around Spirit-filled saints. He desired the fellowship at Rome and its subsequent refreshment. He was thankful for the support of Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus and the relief that they, by God’s grace, brought to him. The Corinthians were applauded for the help they gave to Titus. And again, Paul cited the house of Onesiphorus and how he oftentimes eased his load. Paul’s short epistle to Philemon points out the fact that this brother’s love brought joy and consolation to many, in addition to bringing the supply of spiritual refreshment.
The question echoes in my mind, “Raymond, what effect spiritually do you have on others?” Ask yourself the same question. Are you one of those saints that brings refreshment to others when you enter a room because of Jesus in you? Do you ease the burdens of others, or do you add to them? Do you bring spiritual refreshment “into the camp” by acknowledging every good thing in Christ, or is your conversation a continuous cycle of complaints and woes? I’ve personally been refreshed many times by your lives!
As we continue to grow, may we each endeavor to maintain harmony in Christ, which is refreshing in our world of chaos and strife. Being faithful to Christ’s command to love, in season and out, will produce the refreshment that we all need and, more importantly, will refresh the heart of our Master.