• a family of churches

    Anthem Denver is part a family of churches. The Anthem family of churches is united around shared mission, vision, values, and submission to the Lordship of King Jesus.

Philemon 1

Refreshing the Hearts of the Saints

This past Sunday, I got to meet together with a good chunk of our church family at a barbeque and I really felt refreshed by them. I remember a moment sitting amongst everyone, everyone in a side conversation, and just getting to smile due to being in the presence of family. There was a sense of belonging, trust and striving for God together. I knew I was around people who truly love and care for me and are ready and willing to carry my burdens. 

I got to experience what is written in Philemon verse 7: “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.” Amidst stress, anxiety, and frustration, I felt understood and supported. I am so thankful for my church family that they encourage me towards God’s grace and peace. But how do I attain this love to spread it to others? 

Anyone can put on a face and present themselves as happy and be kind to those around them, but they would not be emanating the love described in Philemon. This love is sourced by God. The love showed to me on Sunday is derived from God loving the church and the church reflecting that love on me. But reflecting God’s love comes from knowledge of God’s love and a devotion to him. If I truly want this love that refreshes the hearts of the saints, I need to know my creator. I need to be in constant conversation with him. 

Especially in this time in life, people outside the church are eager to find something to satisfy them and I believe this kind of love is the only thing that will satisfy. It is the duty of the church to display God’s love to those who don’t see it yet; to present others with belonging, support, and encouragement. I know for me I need to lean on God more and live life for Jesus instead of a life with mere knowledge of Jesus. Constant chats with my true Father and reading the Bible is what will grow me deeper into emanating the love described in Philemon 7. 

weekly reflection by

Michael Burns