Halitosis or Peppermint? – I Corinthians 16:18

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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An amusing commercial on television pictures a husband and wife waking up next to one another in bed in the morning. They both instantly recognize their halitosis, or bad breath, cover their mouths, and turn to get up while saying, “Good morning.” We all know that after sleeping through the night, our breath has become extremely stale. That’s why one of the first things we do each day is thoroughly brush our teeth. Likewise, many of us use peppermint to refresh our breath throughout the day.

When the Apostle Paul mentioned Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, he revealed something very important about their character. He stated, “For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such” (I Corinthians 16:18). The Apostle Paul had been blessed to have a number of Christian friends who were a spiritual encouragement. It wasn’t by accident that he companied with those who refreshed his daily walk with Christ and renewed his desire to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul, like David before him (Psalm 119:63), surrounded himself with and intentionally spent time in the company of believers. The men mentioned above cared enough about Paul to travel great distances to bring him needed funds and supplies, including a supply of refreshing fellowship. Paul had previously partnered in ministry with Barnabas, traveling extensively to proclaim the Gospel of Grace. Acts 4:36 revealed the given name of Barnabas was Jose, but because his personality was one of constant encouragement, the apostles gave him the surname Barnabas “…which is, being interpreted, the son of consolation….” While others avoided or shunned Paul, Barnabas befriended, strengthened, encouraged, and partnered with him in ministry. Aquila, Priscilla, Titus, and Timothy are other examples of believers who refreshed Paul’s spirit and encouraged him in his walk with the Savior. Paul’s instruction to the believers at Corinth was to warmly recognize encouraging, godly people. In other words, “…acknowledge ye them that are such” (I Corinthians 16:18).

Don’t allow yourself to become a complainer and discourager. Instead, choose to be like a peppermint that refreshes those around you with spiritual encouragement. Purposely remain positive in attitude, edifying in speech, encouraging in outlook, and praising those who act likewise. Who do you know that should be acknowledged today for being one who refreshes your spirit and walk with the Lord? Now, it’s time for you to refresh the spirit of someone else.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."