And I pray that the sharing of your faith
may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing
that is in us for the sake of Christ.
What did Paul pray for Philemon? That the “sharing of your faith may become effective.”
First, note that Philemon shared his faith! He wasn’t just sitting back in his nice house, letting people come to him. He wasn’t just talking about love and peace and things people wanted to hear, the “soft side” of the gospel. He was out there, sharing the “good news” of Jesus Christ that had totally changed his life!
Second, Paul was praying that Philemon’s sharing “may become effective.” It is important we get out there and share our faith. That takes boldness and courage. But it’s also important that we do it effectively. That takes knowledge of our faith, the truth of the gospel, the facts of history and our Savior.
It also takes wisdom. Wisdom is knowing how, when, and where to apply those facts. Facts can hurt and they can also heal. Sharing our faith is not standing on a street corner blaring damnation, which may be truth. But sharing our faith effectively is having the wisdom to know who, when, where, and could be effective in hearts.
Most of all, effective sharing of our faith comes with the power of the Holy Spirit. Only when we are led, filled, empowered by the Holy Spirit will our efforts be effective. I Thessalonians 1:5 reminds us, “our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and will full conviction.”
It’s the Holy Spirt who makes our sharing of the gospel “effective” in the lives of others.
And isn’t that what we desire?