A Cup of Cold Water [Devotional]

cup of cold water philemon devotional
For we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother (Philemon 1:7, NKJV).

When we think about gifts that people in the body of Christ have, we seldom think of the gift of refreshing others. If you check out your local Christian bookstore or the Christian book category on Amazon, you’ll find all kinds of books on how to do different types of ministry, and what it means to be a great pastor or leader in the church.

There are volumes written on evangelism, worship leading, and administration. But there aren’t a whole lot of books written on how to refresh others in the body of Christ.

And yet who among us doesn’t need to be refreshed?

I’d even go as far as to say that the gift of refreshing others is one of the greater gifts. When my pastor preaches a sermon and imparts knowledge to me, that’s great. But when he preaches a sermon, that refreshes me, I'm changed and motivated to move forward in my faith, which is even better.

The great thing is, we don’t have to be a ministry professional to bring refreshing to others. All we have to do is be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and reach out to those who need a word of encouragement, or hope.
Philemon had a reputation for refreshing the saints. He wasn’t famous, but he reached out to people in his community and served them. He refreshed not only the people in his community (and in the church that met in his home); he also refreshed Paul, since Paul was encouraged when he heard about how Philemon blessed others.

The question for you to ponder today is whether or not you bring refreshing to others in the body of Christ. Is your life like a cup of cold water to those who are thirsty? Do you bring healing to those who are hurting? Or are you so caught up in your struggles or busyness that you forget to send a note, make a call, or extend love and encouragement in some other way?


Praying the Word

Lord, I pray that you’ll help me to be a blessing and encouragement to others. I ask that my very presence in people’s lives will be like a cup of cold, refreshing water. Make me sensitive to your Spirit so that I’ll bless others when they need it most.


Applying the Word

The concept of “random acts of kindness” has been around for a long time. While I love the thought of random acts of kindness, and I’d certainly encourage anyone to participate in them, I want to encourage you to develop a habit of “Spirit-led acts of kindness.” Ask God today who he’d like you to encourage and how to best encourage them. Then respond in obedience. Even better, make this a 30-day challenge so that refreshing others becomes a habit. If we all did this, what a difference it would make!


Faith that Forgives


This post is an excerpt from my book, “Faith that Forgives: Christian Devotional Readings from Philemon.”

Learn more about this book here.


  • Barbara Radisavljevic

    May 22, 2016

    Ouch! That hits me where it hurts. I never really go out much anymore, but I know there are letters I should have written and cards I should have sent.

    • Rebecca Livermore

      May 28, 2016


      I’m so glad that this spoke to you. I think we could all improve in this area, and I love the way that you have identified how you can do it with your current lifestyle.

      Take care, and have a great weekend!