From the pen of Dr. Sam Jones
The 80th Annual Bible Lectureship is officially completed. It was truly a great refreshing spiritual event. Thanks to Dr. Doug Burleson, the Lectureship Committee and the entire FHU’s family for working together to make this spiritual feast a success.
When I reflect on the lectureship, Paul’s words in 2 Timothy 1:16 come to mind. Paul in this passage writes, “Onesiphorus... often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain.” At the time this letter was penned, it’s speculated that Onesiphorus may have been put to death as a result of Nero’s persecution of Christians. On the other hand, some believe that Onesiphorus – just like Paul – may have been incarcerated and was waiting execution. In my opinion, the latter of these two speculations seem most plausible.
Also Paul was imprisoned in a Roman prison cell when this letter was written. It was a very difficult time for this great servant of Christ; Paul informs us that he had been abandoned by some of his friends, “...you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me, among whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes” (2 Tim. 1:15). But during this dangerous time, Onesiphorus displayed great courage. He visited Paul; his trips to see Paul were like a cup of cold water for him - refreshing. Onesiphorus had learned to put into practice an exhortation of Jesus found in Matthew 10:42. This passage encourages Jesus’ disciples to strive to give or be a cup of cold water in the lives of others. As Christians we need to be willing to “refresh” or lift the spirits of others. After feeling abandoned by others, Paul’s spirit was refreshed by Onesiphorus.
As Onesiphorus was to Paul, the lectureship was for me – I am refreshed. Again, thanks to each of you for making this lectureship a refreshing experience. Have a great day and think of a way you can be refreshing to someone!