F is for Fortunatus
Fortunatus is not just a cool name, it is the name of a really refreshing Christian in the book of 1 Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 16:15 "I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)
16 That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth.
17 I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied.
18 For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such."
In this chapter Paul is writing a letter outlining some of his future plans and travels, and giving some final instructions. The book of 1 Corinthians has a lot of doctrine and good amount of correcting as well. In this final chapter, Paul mentions a specific group of people (the household of Stephanas) and holds them up as a good example to follow. Fortunatus is acquainted with this group. I do not know whether he is family or just a friend and co-laborer, but nonetheless, he is listed here.
There is a mild rebuke to the Corinthian believers, because they did not take care of the physical needs associated with the ministry in the way they should have; but thank God for a man like Fortunatus, who partnered with those who rose to the challenge to meet a need above and beyond what was required of them.
In fact, they had such a good testimony of giving and having a great attitude, that Paul says they were "addicted to the ministry." I am impressed with that statement. What a great thing to be addicted to! Serving others, and living out the Gospel.
Because of the spirit that Fortunatus had while meeting needs, Paul says that he was "refreshing". He must have been such a helpful, kind, caring man, that gave cheerfully and never sought glory or reward for it. He certainly was "under the radar" in his own eyes. What a blessing that God specifically mentions him by name in the Bible!
How I long to follow this example and be refreshing to those around me. This old world is full of bad news, sadness, sorrow, grief, and negativity. I want my life to counteract all of this by being full of the Holy Spirit, allowing God to love others through me, and meeting the needs of those around me. By doing this, I will be refreshing, like a cool drink on a hot day.
Like Fortunatus, we too can live for others, and allow God to use us to refresh their spirit and bring them closer to Christ!