Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.
Today, I read through Paul’s letter to Philemon. It is only one chapter long, so if you are not familiar with it, perhaps you might could read it now. I was trying to really meditate on the things Paul said to Philemon. Many of the concepts can easily be applied to our own lives. Near the very end of the book is Philemon 1:21 (as listed above). Paul has been giving some instruction to Philemon about his newly-converted runaway servant named Onesimus. As Paul comes to the end of his letter, he says that he has confidence that Philemon will do more than Paul told him to do. I started thinking about that…
The people that have made the most impact in my life have been those that went above and beyond what was expected of them. Those people have served as my role models and mentors. Mind you, there have only been a few. Sure, many people do nice, unexpected deeds for me, which are greeted with a grateful heart. But few have done MORE than expected, more than requested. Few have gone above and beyond, tirelessly trying to do all they could to please and serve me. Now, I am certainly not worthy of this! So, what makes them pursue it? My conclusion: love. Their love and passion for Christ overflows into a love and passion for me. Their seeking to please the Lord fully overflows into their seeking to please me fully. Their mindset of servitude to God overflows into a mindset of servitude to me. Notice what Paul says to Philemon in the beginning of the letter:
I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints; That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother.
Philemon loved the Lord. So, he loved people. Because of all this love, he sought to serve others to the best of his ability.However, I think far too often we are looking more at the bare minimum we can do. We ask, “What can I get away with?” instead of “What’s the best I can do?” Most are content with their salvation and do not care to do much more than just what they can get away with and be saved. Let us not be like this. I confess that I often find myself thinking, “What can I do and it be enough to please God?” I often only do what is necessary when serving others, and even then it hurts. Woe to a selfish, lazy Church! Let us not be this way any longer! I know some who have already begun to change, and are changing those around them because of it. Let us all respond to our Lord’s call to do more!
“I know you will do more than I say.” Imagine Paul saying that to you. No, imagine Christ saying that to you. Imagine Christ sending something your way and saying, “I know her obedience, that she will do MORE than what is required of her.” All with a smile on His face. I would certainly want my Lord and Master to say that of me. But, to receive such an honour, we must labour. We must tirelessly, without hope of recognition here, bend and serve and bow, doing much more than is required of us, even when it hurts.
But I think I could bear it knowing how my Lord bent and served and bowed, doing far more than what was expexted of Him, and also knowing that I would be pleasing Him with doing the same. And let’s not forget the reward we will receive in heaven for such.
Now, let us bond together. Let us love unconditionally. Let us serve one another. Let us be a pleasing, obedient bride for Christ. Let’s do MORE than what is expected of us. 🙂
That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.