Paul rejoiced as he wrote to Philemon. In this context, Paul was filled with joy because of Philemon’s growth in spiritual aspects (things).
Philemon 1:7 (NIV)
Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.
We previously examined the kind of prayer Paul prayed for Philemon and we can agree that such a prayer of thanksgiving can only be made by someone who rejoices with you.
Paul acknowledged the following about Philemon
· Philemon’s faith in the Lord Jesus (vs 5)
· Philemon’s love for all God’s people (vs 5)
· Philemon was definitely someone who loved others because Paul acknowledged that Philemon’s love has given him much joy and comfort. And Philemon’s kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s people (vs 7). Amen.
So, it takes only someone who genuinely rejoices with you and what you do, to patiently acknowledge what you do. It suffice to say that Paul was praising Philemon as well. It is okay to praise one another. It is wrong to worship one another. You praise someone for what they have done. Worship is reserved for our one and only wise God.
Let’s make these principles practical. How often do you acknowledge the things people do around you? (For you and for others?). How often do you praise them? Let’s learn this principle from Paul’s Epistle to Philemon. Praise and rejoice with and for one another.