For we have great joy and consolation in your love,
because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother.
Philemon practiced a ministry of hospitality that went “above and beyond” expectations of his guests. The apostle Paul knew this, having acknowledged in his letter to Philemon, “Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say.” (Philemon 21)
It’s very likely that Paul didn’t need to ask Philemon to prepare a guestroom. Philemon probably had everything ready and waiting for his special guest. The ministry of hospitality is profoundly farsighted.
The ministry of hospitality is also unselfish, inclusive, and prayerfully practiced. It is a ministry that is welcoming and refreshing for others. It is a ministry that shares the joy of knowing and confessing that Jesus is Lord.
God uses His children to cheerfully greet those entering His house of worship. We are those who offer the good news of Jesus Christ, that He is Lord. (Acts 10:36)
May we, like Philemon, always be found faithful ministering to those who need the Master’s restoring touch, going above and beyond all expectations. This is the spirit of Philemon, the ministry of hospitality.