May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus. 2 Timothy 1:16-18 (NIV).
Notice that Paul prays for the blessing not just for his friend, Onesiphorus, but also for that man’s house. It wasn’t enough for Paul to ask for God’s blessing / Jesus’ presence in the life of the man who had helped him. No, Paul prayed blessing and kindness on the people who mattered most to Onesiphorus.
That’s going over and above. The more you walk in faith-moved circles, the more you see people praying for the benefit of others, the health and prosperity of strangers, the peace of people they don’t even know. It isn’t enough to get the fruit of Jesus’ Spirit in our lives; see Galatians 5. No, when that happens, you have to share it. You want other people to know what that peace means, what it feels like. You want them to know Jesus, too, so that they can receive those blessings, those fruits in their lives..
You want it so much that you want them to experience it forever. Paul prayed Jesus’ mercy over Onesiphorus’ household: his family, his extended family, and anyone who may have moved in their circle. He prayed eternal life over their home so that they would continue to abide in the Lord when Paul was (soon to be) gone. Only God could give the kind of peace that would last forever. Onesiphorus had shown kindness and loyalty to Paul. Now, in his darkest hour, Paul repaid that kindness in the only way he could: through prayers in Jesus. That matters most.
If you don’t believe these things are true, or if you only have one toe in the pool of this faith-life, then these things might not make much sense to you. This isn’t some Christian game of “I’ve got a secret” or playing goody two shoes. It’s a life and death battle we’re in and we’re in the armies of the living God. We want you on our side because we want you, with us, to live forever with Him. We want you for Him because He wants you for Himself more than we do. Because He loves you. Because He is true and real love and the only real peace there is. Allah and meditation can’t do that. Jesus does.
For further reading: Galatians 5:22-23, Hebrews 6:10, Acts 21:33, 2 Timothy 2:1.
Lord Jesus, only in You is found mercy and peace. I’ve messed up before; help me to not do it again. Bless those who are around me today, especially those with whom I barely come in contact. Abide with them; live through them; bless them.