by Daniel Rodgers

Onesiphorus, God's Minister of Encouragement
Dan Rodgers
2 Timothy 1:16-18

INTRODUCTION: The name Onesiphorus means ''benefit-bringing or profit-bearing.'' I wonder how Onesiphorus' mother knew at the time, the importance of his name and how much he would later live up to his name? I believe the Lord told her.

Do you remember when John the Baptist was born? There were some who wanted to name him Zacharias, after his father; but his mother said, ''No! His name shall be called John.'' The Lord had told her what is name was to be.

Of course, not all names are from heaven. How would you like to be called Vladimir Puten. or Aristade, or Crayonella, Gazolla, or Billy Bob, or Bubba?

As Paul writes his letter to Timothy, which, by the way, would be his final letter (He would later die in the prison from which he penned these last words), he is faithful to mention someone who had been a tremendous encouragement to him, Onesiphorus: ''The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: [17] But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me. [18] The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.''

Onesiphorus is one of the unsung heroes in the Bible. In fact, other than in chapter 4 and verse 19, this is the only place his name is mentioned; however, Paul, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, forever immortalized Onesiphorus as ''God's Minister of Encouragement.''

This morning, I would like for us to consider three things about Onesiphorus:

I. His Uplifting Spirit
II. His Unconditional Support
III. His Untiring Effort

I. HIS UPLIFTING SPIRIT-''He oft refreshed me.''

The word refresh in the Greek means ''to cool off'' or ''to relieve.''1 The presence and friendship of Onesiphorus was uplifting. When he walked into that prison cell, it must have been a treme ...

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