Tag Archives: philemon 1

Found Forever

Philemon is a short letter but it is surely a gem. In Philemon 1:15, Paul writes that Onesimus was lost for only a little while so that Philemon could have him back forever. The forever that is mentioned is not talking about the return of Onesimus to the position of servant to Philemon, for him to serve forever. The forever mentioned is eternity. Onesimus was lost as a runaway for a little while, so that he could return to Philemon with eternal life. He left a slave to Philemon; he would return a slave to Christ.

In the past few months there have been a lot of deaths among family and friends. Whenever someone is called home to the Lord, we grieve in our own ways as we have lost someone we love. We consider how we won’t be able to do something with someone who is now in heaven. We may recognize that one day we will see them again, but it is the today and tomorrow that we see and our loved one isn’t there. Those who have passed away may be lost for a little while, but we will have them back forever if they have put their faith in Christ Jesus.

Today, remember that it is through faith alone in Jesus Christ that we are saved. Remember, that the only way to the Father is through the Son. Remember, that there are people in your life right now that have not heard the Good News. They could be forever lost. Be intentional. Take the time to share the Gospel and to live it out. Pray that those who come along your path will be found forever.

“It seems you lost Onesimus for a little while so that you could have him back forever.” – Philemon 1:15 [NLT]

 

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Willing Consent

Notice that when Paul writes Philemon, he says he didn’t want to do anything without having Philemon’s consent. He wanted Philemon to help because it was something he was willing to do, not something that he was forced into doing. The Bible speaks about this desire and purposeful decision we make to do something, and it comes from the heart. We know that when we are giving, we are to not give reluctantly or because we are forced, but to give what is on our heart (2 Corinthians 9:7). If we are doing anything for God because we are forced to do it, or because we feel we should do it, but it is not in our heart to do it, that’s not being real with God. It’s also not what Jesus had in mind when He spoke of discipleship.

Paul wanted Philemon to make his own choice in the matter. If Philemon just did what Paul said because Paul told him to do it, it does not give the opportunity for forgiveness and reconciliation. It also does not open the doors for what God had for all parties involved. It was important for this reconciliation to take place. It was important for there to be this opportunity to forgive and move forward. It was a great moment for growth if he was willing to respond.

Today, consider what you are doing because you truly want to do it, and what you are doing because you feel you are supposed to do it or your family/friend/parent/boss is making you do it. If it is not something on your heart, if it is not something you give your willing consent, it is just going through the motions. It’s not being transparent or truthful. If you are not willing, talk to God about it. Ask Him why not. At the end of the day, you have the opportunity to give consent for God to move mightily in your life, just as you also have the opportunity to keep yourself self-centered. It’s always either Thy will be done or my will be done. You decide.

“But I didn’t want to do anything without your consent. I wanted you to help because you were willing, not because you were forced.” – Philemon 1:14 [NLT]

Refreshing Kindness

Kindness is always refreshing. In this dark world, kindness is a great light that shines brightly. Paul wrote about how he had such joy and comfort from knowing of the love that was being shown to others.

Paul also recognized that kindness refreshes people’s hearts. The word that is used means “to give rest.” It means to have a pause, rest, or to take ease. Kindness allows people to be free to simply share the love. For many it is a breath of fresh air. Kindness makes life much easier, and much more blessed.

Today, share that refreshing kindness to others. Ask the Spirit to help you be a blessing to someone. Be intentional. Look out for the best interest in others. Take notice. Speak life. Hold open the door. Smile. Your kindness is refreshing. Consider how God will use whatever you do in His name to further His kingdom. That one smile could encourage someone to be bold today. That one word of encouragement could be the push that starts a fire in someone’s heart. That extra time spent being kind to someone could help someone to truly feel the love of our Father.

“Your love has given me much joy and comfort, my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s people.” – Philemon 1:7 [NLT]